Day 71: Ernie’s Birthday

Never fear, friends – I am eating very well in the Williams home.

For the sake of these bomb tacos (made with remarkable chicken from Ernie’s new smoker), here’s a picture of the big guy on his birthday.


Here’s a list of more awesome food I’ve gotten to try:

Ernie’s Smoked Ribs
Pimiento Cheese
Eggs Benedict
Chicken & Waffles
Corn Casserole
Biscuits with pecans and maple syrup
Pulled Pork
White Barbecue Sauce
Chocolate Gravy
Gin & Tonic (not a food, but certainly delicious)
Mojito (refer to above)
Mango Margarita (refer to above)

I will survive.


Letter To Your Broken Heart


I’ve been blessed in my life with beautiful friends who encourage me to no end. When I went through a breakup, I was showered with motivation and words of grace and beauty that inspired me to push forward. For all the broken hearts who need encouragement, let me share with you some of the love I received.

Letter To Your Broken Heart

My heart feels ripped for you right now, because I know exactly what this feels like. I want to take this all away from you. It’s one of those thing where you don’t want to go through the motions of life because it means time you have to endure.

You’re allowed to feel however you want to feel. But so you’re reminded, you’re strong and you are resilient.

It breaks my heart because I love you SO much, and it hurts me. I know how fresh it feels. We will get through this together, just like we have with the many, many other things we’ve pushed through together. It’s easy to say, but nothing is going to really help the next little bit except for knowing that you have the infinite support of your family and friends.

You have the brightest future ahead of you beautiful girl, and you are destined to be magnificent. Anyone who chooses not to be part of your life shouldn’t be there.

You are stunning. You have a stunning personality and a stunning heart. Everyone you meet falls in love with your spirit. You are the most alive person I have ever met, and a part of being so alive is that you feel every emotion deeply and you truly live your life to the fullest. You will never have to regret not trying hard enough or not giving it your full heart – our time is too limited to live (or love) half-heartedly.

If he was perfect for you, he would see how perfect you are.

I know it feels hopeless and lonely, but know that you’re not – your heart will mend. Cheer up, sweet beautiful girl. You are going to love again and it will be amazing.

I am here for you every hour of every day. This feeling of hopelessness will pass.

It’s not your fault, it was never your fault. You are flawless. You have the most beautiful soul I have ever known, and if he can’t acknowledge that then he does not deserve to have you by his side. I’m not saying this because I love you, I’m saying this because you could ask anyone who knows you.

I know that doesn’t make the hurt go away and it won’t for awhile, but take it from me that you are remarkable. You WILL get through this to the other side. I wish I could take your pain away, but you will just need to take it one day at a time.

No matter what, I’m going through all of this with you, because I know that a heartbreak – especially the ones we don’t expect – can hurt the soul inexplicably. Right now, you’re shocked and confused, and probably wondering what you did wrong. That’s the worst part, right off the bat. I can’t speak for him, but I can speak for you – as far as he’s concerned, you’re the one that got away.

Try not to let those wandering thoughts consume you; they’ll take you into darkness. It’s not your fault. Just because it happened the way it did makes you absolutely no less strong of a person. You are not the ‘weak’ or the ‘desperate’ one. You are a phoenix. You are the one that carries yourself through heartache. You are the one who sits with the cold body on the shower floor, and picks it up. You are the one who feeds it, clothes it, who tucks it into bed, and you should be proud of that. Having the strength to take care of yourself when everyone around you is trying to bleed you dry, that is the strongest thing in the universe.

The initial stages are the hardest but we’ve all had to do it, and you have to do it as well. Do things that make you happy. Throw yourself into the things you’re passionate about. Love yourself.

The thing to remember is that what you’re feeling right now is what everyone on earth who has ever been brave enough to let someone in – to become vulnerable – has felt. It’s frightening and scary and disappointing, but anyone who can’t see your worth has no place in your future.

I’m still here. Always here.

You’re loved beyond measure.


“When she was 22, the future looked bright.” – Lily Allen

21 has been a big year for me, full of transitions and opportunities and experiences.

I started a blog,

entered a new relationship,

took on a new leadership role,

learned how to plan a conference,

discovered why I speed on the highway,

stared at the sky,

bought a [new-to-me] car,

created my first Buzzfeed post,

applied for a crazy dream job,

felt anxious over my career direction,

got my dream job,

graduated from college,

moved to Birmingham,

lost old friends,

felt lonely,

made new friends,

and felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety,

among other things.

21 has taught me so many things about myself. I like being comfortable and safe. I love deeply. I have to realign my priorities daily. It’s hard for me to be alone.

This next year, I want to grow. I want to take advantage of being 22 and suck the marrow out of life. I have no idea what I want, and I have no idea where I will be in a year. But, I know that I want to seize opportunity.

For this reason, I want to try 22 things that make me feel uncomfortable. Probably, a lot of these will involve me doing things alone and being okay with it – something I find difficult now.

If you dwell on the past, on what could’ve been, or what should’ve been, you’ll miss out on the beauty of the moments right in front of you. Cheers to 22.

Day 14: Birmingham Food Adventures

This weekend, I had my first food adventure in Birmingham. Here are my reviews:image1

Post Office Pies: The White Pizza (roasted garlic, white sauce)
Thoughts: Pretty good, but not as good as Mellow Mushroom.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Next: brunch, aka God’s gift to Abbi Wilt.


Continental Bakery: The Benedict
Thoughts: So wonderful. First time I’ve ever had hollandaise sauce; I should definitely eat eggs more often. Delicious red mystery sauce. Could have eaten three more.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Next: the [con]fusion.


Wasabi Juan’s: Thai’d Up Burrito
Thoughts: Seriously, who came up with this food? At Wasabi Juan’s, some genius (prob Juan) put together Asian food and Mexican food and created this weird sushi burrito that tastes so strange but so wonderful at the same time. It contains lots of rice, shrimp, cream cheese, and peanutty goodness.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Day 2: Good Morning, Alabama!

Yesterday was my orientation at Southern Living. I can’t even describe the splendor of this building – imagine every great thing you’d want in a house packed into a five-story mirrored glass building with a creek running through it and a waterfall outside the door. And, the Cooking Light test kitchen made the whole place smell like shortbread.

We sat in on a panel with some of the top Time Inc. execs, met our managers, and were thrown into the craziness of magazine editorial work. Here are some photos I snapped from the building tour.

Southern Living Test Kitchen


Oh, unlimited cooking utensils? No big.


There are shelves upon shelves of antique and handcrafted bowls that are organized by color. Literally rows of beautiful cake plates waiting to be photographed.

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Pretty nice view, eh?

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Today was my second day at Southern Living but my first official full-blown work day! What a whirlwind!

As my first big-girl task, I got to shadow my boss, Associate Editor Ashley Williams, as she spoke on the Good Morning Alabama newscast about Southern Living’s best Father’s Day gift ideas. Check out these unique twists on Father’s Day here. Apparently, adulthood includes some early mornings and some afternoon yawns.

However, this early morning came with an incredible view.

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After the news segment, I got to check out a style shoot. Who would’ve thought that I would get to have stickies with tasks like these?! Be on the lookout for these pants in a few months…

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Until next time,