May 21-June 21 Goals

Perhaps I should have posted these at the beginning of May but as I think Lara Casey would attest to there is really nothing special about the first of the month. It’s a day that we’ve socially constructed to mean the beginning or starting point but who says you can’t start on the 21st? Throw away nonessential rules!

Nashville Bucket List –My list of things to do in my favorite city this summer. I envy those people who say things like, ” I summer in The Hamptons.” You know folks got bank when seasons become verbs. I haven’t reached baller status so for now #isummerinNashville.

Fruit Name

Update my Retirement Plan–I’m 32 and it’s never too early to get this party started. I have great employer matching benefits and I want to make sure that I’m taking full advantage of every opportunity to save for retirement.

Restaurant Crawl– Dinner at Lockeland Table and I still have 2 reservations to secure for a dinner date and a group brunch. I’m also working on a visit to Biscuit Love.

Sunday Gratitude Time– I have a ton of Thank You Notes and Love Letters to write to special folks in my life. Time to get it started! –Fruitful Summer!

Mail God

Summer Reading List– Diving into Spinster by Kate Bolick and Do Over by Jon Acuff

The Nashville Zoo

The Peach Truck

Fitness Goals

Use my Fit Factory Nashville Groupon. I purchased a months worth of classes. Can’t let that $39.00 go down the drain. IP

Yoga on the Field!

Begin the Barre3 Anywhere Challenge on June 1. The first challenge was the best fitness experience ever for me and I’m looking forward to getting it done again.

– Pick 3 new recipes from Soul Food Love and Oh Gussie! to prepare.

Professional Goals

Present at the National Conference for College Women Student Leadership at my alma mater, University of Maryland, College Park.

Participate in Mid-Level Managers’ Institute taking place right here in Nashville. So thankful to have been selected for this PD experience.

-Hold action oriented meetings for PREVAIL and TEDxVanderbiltUniversity

– Transfer Student Recruitment for EVOLVE

Summer Leadership Challenge! First 3 challenges.

Peculiar Pearl Goals

3 Posts per week

Build instagram following over @peculiar_pearl

Get new business cards

Develop a Business Plan

Email Rachel about training with Liz

– Craft Key messages/services

Orientation at Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Faith Goals

Continue working through the Wholeheartedly Devotional

Attend the Belonging Co.

– Continue seeking and praying about a Bible Study/Small Group

I think that might be enough. I’m excited and tired –is there a word for that?


Feel Good Things

I’m all about including things in your life that just make you feel good. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the importance of acquiring a simple indulgence in your life.

Three things have been making me feel super great lately:

1. Green Tea-I started drinking it during the #barre3challenge per the advice of Barre3 Founder, Sadie Lincoln. She advised us to try it instead of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. I was hesitant BUT I have totally forgone coffee since the beginning of the challenge in January. When I need a boost, I make a cup of tea. If I’m fighting snack urges, I dive into a warm and, of course, cute mug. There are all types of Green Tea but I found this kind on the shelf for a great price at my local Kroger and keep a box in my office and in my apartment. Tea makes me feel fancy and mature. Pinkies up!

green tea

2. Beauty Counter- I’ve played it pretty basic with my skincare regimen until my friend and fellow Junior League of Nashville member, Cara introduced me to Beauty Counter. I love that Beauty Counter is not just delicious smelling and effective products that have made my skin incredibly soft but that this company is a movement. This one fact should make you think about what you put on your body everyday.

1938 was the last time Congress passed a law regulating the cosmetics industry.

1938?! This was the last year that there was any type of regulation over products that we utilize and that we allow our family to use This is frightening. Cosmetics companies are pretty much running with scissors and using thousands of toxic ingredients that are more harmful than helpful. Our bathroom counters and medicine cabinets are full of products that we think are helping us and our children lead more beautiful lives but in the end could lead to a wide array of medical challenges. Check out and read more about the products and the movement. I’m in love with the body wash and body lotion. Rinse & Hydrate.


3. The LovingKind– Mattye Woodcock has the most charming blog and shop on the interwebs. I’m lucky to have met Mattye years ago in North Carolina and her sweet husband Woody through my work in the fraternity & sorority life arena. I’m all about supporting businesswomen and ordering a set of Matty’s sweet cards was a great way to support a small woman owned business but also to make my heart smile as I sent off these lovelies to dear friends for Valentine’s Day. My fave is the Good Pickin’ Card. Since I didn’t have a Valentine, it was all about telling my friends how much I love them. Sending cards creates such a feel good loop. I’ve got a bunch to write and stick in the mail this weekend and I love creating a personal and special message for each individual.


What are the little things in life that just make you feel good? Never feel bad about grabbing those things up and taking time for them in your day. I hope you look into these products and that they bring a smile to your face.

Thanks for reading.


Add this place to your list…

whites mercantile

Well, y’all it is Friday at 2:55pm and I’m just sitting at my desk wanting to venture into the sunshine, grab a snack on 12South and pop into White’s Mercantile for more lovelies. If you live in Nashville or will just be hopping through the city for a visit then I strongly encourage you to stop by and do some damage at this fresh and sunny general store.

White’s Mercantile 2908 12th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37204 Ph (615) 750-5379 is all the info you need to make your way to this destination. There’s even parking in the front!

Oh, and did I mentioned it’s owned by Holly Williams?

Before a delicious lunch at Epice (you should eat here and sit outside if it’s a nice day) and for dessert maybe, Las Paletas?

I digress. Ahem!

Back to White’s Mercantile, billed as the “a general store for the modern day taste-maker” is just what you need to find those pops of special to freshen up your home, office, or your everyday precious routines. There’s an entire section of greeting cards that could have single handedly put me in debt, toiletries, practical accessories, all the delightful notepads you could ever think of in your stationery obsessed mind, kitchenware, and even fancy breath mints. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I wanted to wrap it ALL up and take it home. On top of  that the women who work there are those girls that everyone wants to invite out for drinks but you don’t want to be awkward by basically asking them out on a friend date. Therefore, you leave and promise to come back for more shopping, laughter, and girlie chats.

What did I purchase?

My “Sweetie” coffee mug. When I don’t know people’s names, I call them “Sweetie”. Shh! Don’t tell anyone my secret.

My Hummingbird Factory black and Gold Anchor Clutch because I’m a Vandy employee, a fan, and I sincerely hope our football team gains a better understanding of what it means to “Anchordown” before this football season is a total bust.

My bright yellow Public Supply notebook because well, I love notebooks and a % of the proceeds goes back to New York Public Schools. Win-Win, right?

I highly recommend you give it a go and treat yourself of someone you love.

Thanks for reading!

Lata Y’all.

What are you doing in the next 1,001 days?

I took some time today to update my 101 in 1,001. I still don’t have 101 things on my list. I need to think more outside the box or just take notice of those times throughout the day when I go, “Wow, I wish I could do that.”

Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post and Thrive, inspired me when she stated that one can easily complete a task by simply taking it off your to-do list. Magic! There are times when I put things on a list and then after a while I wonder, “What was I thinking? That doesn’t matter.” Instead of still working to get it done or just keeping it on the list and feeling like a failure, Arianna just says “Get rid of it.” Done and Done. On to the next!

This list all started with Design Darling. I read over her new list to borrow a few ideas. Check out her blog and her cute boutique. She’s lovely. –Check it out! Any suggestions?

Later Y’all.


That time my dress didn’t fit…

Apparently, I’ve gained weight.

I have gained weight. I mean, fine. That’s been happening my whole life. I’ll always be a bit more to love BUT I don’t want this to get out of hand. Health is important. Love your curves but not to your death. I’ve got to begin making healthier choices. That is what this is about and not a quest to be skinny. I’m beautiful. I get it.

How do I know I’ve gained weight. Some of the dresses don’t fit and that is just an abomination and makes my stomach hurt. Seriously?! I love them all.

So, I need to make some promises to myself. In February, I went the entire month without drinking Coke. That hasn’t lasted and now I’m back to my late night $1.00 McDonald’s Coca-Colas. I mean, they have to be putting illegal drugs into that machine. If it isn’t Coke, it’s sweet tea. The nectar of the South.

Promise 1: No more soda this month. Okay, one last one tonight at dinner then no more. Water! Water! Water!
Promise 2: No more chicken biscuits for breakfast. Hey! Don’t judge me. They are magical. Chic-Fil-A or McDonalds…hmm!
Promise 3: Limit my white bread intake. I LOVE bread and I really love biscuits. Wheat/multi-grain or none at all for as many dining occasions as possible.
Promise 4: More fruit. Less candy. My office is full of candy. The students are gone so now I have to eat it :).
Promise 5: Keep working out at least 3 days a week. Barre3 has been great and perhaps I should hit up more cardio options. It is too hot to always be outside. The gym just isn’t calling my name right now but I need a cardio machine. One of my strange goals is to run the Girls on the Run Nashville 5K next year. Hmm…
Promise 6: Don’t stop working out during your travels.

Alright. Exhale. I can do this. Nothing extreme. Just better choices. I’m a visual person so this is now hanging in my office.


Pray for me.

Later Y’all.

On Thursday, We Give Thanks.

I know that everyone is all about Throwback Thursday or #tbt but I’m more into Thankful Thursday.

This week I am thankful for a few things:

1. My car is back in my possession. I drove myself to work for the first time since Thursday.
2. A short jaunt to Atlanta with a brief stop in Chattanooga. Getting away is always a good idea.
3. The opportunity to serve as a Provisional Co-Chair for the Junior League of Nashville. Great opportunity to serve on Council and I’m really excited about working with all of the new members. Developing their Provisional Year Experience has been fun and fulfilling. My two other co-chairs are the perfect partners in crime.
4. Lots of free food opportunities this week. A free meal is like a magical unicorn. Tonight, I was able to go to Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village. Voodoo Pasta and Butterscotch Habanero Bread Pudding= Yummy!
5. The over 40 people that liked “Peculiar Pearl” on Facebook. Thanks for taking part in my adventure. If you’re so obliged, please “Like” my page.

gratitude changes everything

Always good to take a moment to reflect on all the good happening in your life. What are you thankful for today?

Later Y’all.

Job Perk?!

For Monday and Tuesday my staff and my boss took a little trip to Emory University to meet with their Office of Student Leadership and Service Staff. Site visits are a great way to learn from peers in the field. As bonuses we were able to go to Chattanooga, TN and Atlanta/Decatur/Tucker, GA and there are some really cool people that work at Emory. All in all totally a worthwhile adventure. Learning and having fun while doing so is so the hottest thing on the streets. Get into it!

Here is a little photo journey of our trip:

Leon’s Full Service
Raging Burrito & Taco
Community Pie

Fun times and another kick in the face that we have a lot of work to do. Eek! However, we have great partners at a peer institution who want to help and that’s always a good moment. Relationship building is important and I’m amped to continue learning from Emory and perhaps one day we can teach them something. BTW, Emory is adorable–I neglected to get photos of our lunch location but if you ever get to visit pop over to the restaurant above their museum. Delish! There was also a really cool Farmer’s Market happening in the middle of campus. Confession: I’m a college campus geek.

Later y’all.

On Friday, I’m in Love

This week I’ m in love with…

Writing and receiving thank you notes. Make this a habit if you haven’t already added this practice to your life. Gratitude is the new black. They can totally match your style and personality since there are a huge variety available at all price points. I tend to collect them from Target, Paper Source, and Hallmark. Please know that you can make any blank card a thank you card simply by altering your personal handwritten message.

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

My new Kate Spade coin purse. I purchased it on a whim and it was on sale. I love the stripes and sometimes all you need are the essentials as opposed to the pieces of luggage I carry around called “purses”. Also, great color scheme so it is perfect for games in the fall :). Go ‘Dores!

Coin Purse

The new Civil Wars song, “The One That Got Away“. Just listen. Also, if you ever have the opportunity please see them in concert.

Hoda Kotb and this picture of her displaying her love of Delta Delta Delta.

Check out #4! DLAM

Check out #4! DLAM

A good breakfast. Thanks Sky Blue Café. If you’re ever in town, check this place out for delicious food and a charming atmosphere. I chose to create my own omelet with spinach, cheese, and chicken. It was delivered with breakfast potatoes, a small cup of fruit, and one of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten in my life. Yum! East Nashville does food well.

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe's Website

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe’s Website

The new buddy comedy, The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. I was able to see a sneak preview and did nothing but belly laugh the entire movie. Love these two sharing the same screen.

What are you love with this week?

Later Y’all.

Week in Review

Man, this week has been something else!

Despite some unpleasant moments, I have been able to take a deep breath and think about all of the good.

– Lunch with Jessica Reasons at Taco Mamacita. Check out her blog, DahliaLynn.
– First BlogNashville event: H&Margaritas with a lovely group of ladies who are intense bloggers. I have so much to learn.
– Lunch at Bosco’s with my lovely sorority sister and Tri Delta Nashville Alumnae President, Elizabeth.
– One of my favorite people, Royce, was in town recruiting fresh new talent and I was able to release him from the Opryland Hotel and take him for a real drink at The Patterson House and then a driving tour of Nashville. Love this kid!
– Surprise cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection. My mouth is still watering. YUM! Love great colleagues.
– My faves are still on The Voice. Sasha Allen and Michelle Chamuel–who are you rooting for?
– Great lunch with a colleague at West End Cafe. Get the Strawberry Fields Salad.
– Return to the elliptical machine and squats. Sore much?
– The voice of a great friend as he slayed it on a phone interview. I mean, he’s amazing and I’m so proud to know him. I love people who bring their A Game ALL THE DANG TIME!
– Fresh office supplies. There is nothing like a new pack of Pentel R.S.V.P pens, a rubber band ball, and a can of compressed air to clean my keyboard. Call me a nerd. No really, it is totally fine.
Kairos at Brentwood Baptist Church. The message, the worship, the nice people–I dig it.
– Messages from sweet people and Happy Hours as a result of those messages.
– I can cross Etch off my restaurant list. Been there and felt decent about it. Had the Pork Tenderloin–try it.

All in all, ’twas a blessed week.

talk about your joys

Hope you had a great one and if it didn’t appear to be great on the surface then take a deep breath and really think about those small moments that made you smile. We let the bad overshadow our world and we’ve got to learn to focus on the light.

Later Y’all.

Nom Nom! Nashville’s 50 Best Restaurants

50 Best

I’m a firm believer that food is the great unifier of the masses. I can break bread with pretty much anyone and when you’re in a new city and you’re on a mission to find friends then food dates are your best strategy to success.

Eating your way through a city has 2 main drawbacks: 1. Food is uber expensive and can take up a lot of your disposable income. 2. My waistline is not the same size it was when I arrived in 2011. Oh well, I would have spent that money on dresses anyway and there is just a bit more of me to love.

Nashville Lifestyles has come out with my food bible for this year and I’m eager to being setting up some food dates with new and old friends. The 50 Best Restaurants cover the gammit and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Excited to try:
– Arnold’s Country Kitchen (#1)
– Etch (#3)
– Rolf & Daughters (#8)
– Caffe Nonna
– Germantown Cafe
– Mas Tacos Por Favor

Already had the pleasure:
– F. Scott’s (#4)
– City House (#5)
– Margot Cafe & Bar (#7)
– 1808 Grille
– Burger Up
– Eastland Cafe
– Firefly Grille
– Kalamatas
– Loveless Cafe
– Merchants
– The Pharmacy
– Silly Goose
– Silo
– The Southern
– Table 3
– Tin Angel
– Urban Grub
– Valentino’s
– The Yellow Porch

Yum! Yum! Excuse me while I begin asking people out on dates :). Maybe, I’ll choose you ;).

Later Y’all.