Parks Picks

Parks Picks: Cozy Candles, Christmas Tunes + More

The minute the temperature drops, I’m all about comfort. To be honest, I’m all about comfort year round (hi yoga pants!), but once it gets cold, it’s much easier to sink into your favorite chair with a big mug of hot cocoa and binge-watch Gilmore Girls.

Luckily for me, I’ve found a few fantastic comfort items for the end of fall. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Bath and Body Works Mahogany Teakwood:

As a cinnamon pumpkin candle connoisseur, I was disappointed to find out that the adorable mason jar candle I was waiting to purchase with my free item coupon had sold out. Since three-wick candles were on sale, and my Winter candle had all but burnt out downstairs, I went to smelling. While mason jar options were limited, the Mahogany Teakwood caught my eye (and my nostrils!) The best way I can describe it is a sexy but comforting masculine scent – picture the oversized hoodie you stole from your high school boyfriend that was doused in Hollister Co. cologne. I ended up buying the mason jar, the three-wick candle and a car freshener.

Brett Eldredge’s Christmas Album, Glow:

I am the first person to jump down your throat about Christmas music playing on November 1. Hell, I visited the Opryland hotel in Nashville on October 31 and saw nothing but trees, nutcrackers and stockings! That being said, I took a chance and turned on Brett Eldredge’s Christmas album, Glow, the other night, and realized what a fantastic choice it was. I love Brett Eldredge – he helped my client AT&T surprise fans at CMA Fest in 2015, and I was able to sit down with him for a quick chat and photo. He may be a Cubs fan, but the man has a voice that echos Frank Sinatra, with just enough twang to remain in the realm of Country Music. I will be buying this for EVERYONE this Christmas (so you better be nice!)

Third Love 24/7™ Classic Full Coverage:

You know those ads all over Pinterest? Third Love asks you a few questions about your breast shape, current bra issues and current bra size, then recommends a bra for your fit. The best part? You can try it for 30 days risk-free. Being someone with a very full cup, they sent me the 24/7™ Classic Full Coverage, and holy cow, it is SO comfortable. I worked for Victoria’s Secret for 8 years – I know bras. I know bra sizing. And I’ll be damned if Third Love didn’t shove everything I thought about bras I knew in my face!  I’ve got 28 days left on my “trial,” and I can promise this will be topping my Christmas list (from my mom, because no one else should ever buy you bras and panties.)

What are your favorite comfort items? Leave a comment! 

Getting Personal

Giving Thanks

Let me be blunt – I am not a fan of the “post something your thankful for everyday on Facebook” nonsense. I’m happy that you have a great family, friends, boyfriend, dog, etc. I do, too. But the things I’m most thankful for might not fall into your standard buckets.

I’m thankful for the teen moms who existed before the MTV show, like my birth mom, who may have had unprotected sex, but was smart enough to realize she could not handle a child and gave me up for adoption, allowing me to grow up in an amazing family with plenty of opportunity.

I’m thankful for AT&T, although they may not have the greatest cell reception or customer service, because they have given my father a job for the past 35 years, allowing him to support my mother and I.

I’m thankful for hockey. Yes, hockey. Hockey has given me something to be passionate about, it brought me and my boyfriend together (no joke, we met at a hockey tournament), and gives me something to connect with friends and family about.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society, Animal Protection Association and all other pet rescue companies. My rescue pup brings an insane amount of joy to my life, and these folks get to give people that same joy day after day.

I’m thankful for the Great Pumpkin (my Eclipse). Without it, I would be unable to go to the job I love every day, visit friends and family, and have some much needed me time with nothing but the radio.

I’m thankful for Martha Foote Crow. If this lovely lady did not decide to start Alpha Phi at Syracuse in 1872, I would not have had the opportunity to grow, lead, and meet some of the most amazing women on earth.

I’m thankful for communications. Communication is such an integral part of my life – my degree (Strategic Communications), my passion (writing), my relationships – that without it, I would not be the same individual I am today.

And yes, I’m thankful for my supportive family, my loving boyfriend, my fantastic friends, and my darling dachshund. But you already knew that. 

Parks Picks

Top 5: An Apple a Day…

As you all know, Apple announced the iPhone 5 yesterday. To say I’m an Apple fan is an understatement. The only reason I’m not counting down until pre-order is (1) my dad is an employee of AT&T, so I can’t actually pre-order it, and (2) I need to save money for my grad school class. (Oh yeah, I’m going to grad school. Guess I haven’t blogged in awhile!) However, the iPhone 5 is absolutely on my list of must-haves for 2012, and I will attempt to tell you why.

iPhone 5

(1) Presentation: Apple lovers and haters alike must agree, no company knows how to better showcase a product. Whether it’s the creative press conference invitations or the brilliant graphics and charts, Apple can draw a crowd. For those of us who were not lucky enough to attend, blogs such as Mashable had live coverage. Seriously, the phone rose up from the ground in a rock-star like viewing. I don’t see the latest Android phone doing that.

(2) Loyalty: Once you go Mac, you never go back. Seriously – I’ve been working on Apple computers since 2005, and I can’t imagine purchasing anything else. One of the biggest reasons Apple is so successful is because of their customer loyalty. Yes, products can cost an arm and a leg, but they are also made with quality to boot, as any Apple owner knows.

(3) Look: The iPhone is a thing of beauty. From it’s sleek curves to it’s textured back, it’s the Ferrari of cell phones.

(4) Panoramic Camera: OK – yes, Android phones have this. iPhones didn’t. Now it does.

(5) I’m Eligible for Upgrade: So why the hell WOULDN’T I get it?

Are you pre-ordering it? What features are you most excited for?

Parks Picks st. louis

Top 5: Reasons Why I’ll Never Leave St. Louis

St. Louis Doesn’t Suck – Forbes.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read Aaron Perlut‘s article, St. Louis Doesn’t Suck, I’d suggest you do. With the campaign @STLDoesntSuck, it’s really made me think about why I love this city so much, and why I didn’t consider applying (outside of Disney) anywhere else in the country when I graduated college.

1. It’s a sports-rich city. Sure, everyone knows St. Louis is a baseball town, but did you also know that we have one of the richest inline hockey breading grounds? Or that the age old question of “Where Did You Go To High School” is followed up by a snarky sports-related comment, such as “Oh, we beat you in the 2006 State Hockey Championships!” (Sorry CBC.) The sports scene stems from a strong 11-time World Champion Cardinals following down to the pee-wee players you see at intermission of a Blues game.

2. Unique Attractions: Where else can you find a top ranked FREE zoo, outdoor theater, lake, golf course, art museum and history museum in one spot? From Forest Park to the creative-based City Museum to the steps of the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is full of secret spots and public places to enjoy at any age.

3. Degrees of Separation. You’ve heard the age old saying that there is a 6-degree separation between you and a stranger, right? Be it as it were, in St. Louis, that number drops in half. Whether you’re parents went to school together, you both worked for AT&T or Boeing, or you’re neighbor walks their dog, you probably are closer connected than you thought, and that’s important to my next point.

4. Small town, big city: St. Louis is made up of two parts – the city and the county. The county is made up of hundreds of neighborhoods from The Valley in Chesterfield to my home Oakville in South County. Sure, when you live in St. Louis you know you’re in one of the top cities in America, but back home, it’s a small town atmosphere of high school football, local bars and running into people at the grocery store.

5. Provel Cheese: And the other St. Louis delicacies (Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Butter Cake). Judge me if you may, but if I can’t get provel cheese by the block, slice or shredded, you can bet I will not be calling it home.

I’m bound to this city, or this city is bound to me. Either way, it definitely doesn’t suck.