Sunday, June 30, 2013

Behind

I know, I know, I'm behind! I haven't blogged in so long, I feel like! This past week has been INCREDIBLE and I have so much to share. These past three days have all been spent in a car (26 hours to be exact). So I'm posting this from my phone...but look at where I've been!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Bow Kind of Girl

Yep, I'm a bow kind of girl. I wore them when I was little and I still wear them today, as a 17 year old. They're my favorite: they make outfits so much cuter and make you feel so much better and more playful.

Since I've been at Passport, I've rocked the bow twice! Once was for our dance, where our whole youth group went in University of Kentucky gear (We do bleed blue).

 
Note: This wasn't our whole youth group! Only the girls and Mark.
 
 
And I mean, when in doubt, wear a bow!
 
I wore the same bow last night for worship. There's just something about being all messy and dirty and gross during the day and coming back to shower and be clean. Yesterday, we had one heck of a messy day at the recycling center, and then we went to the lake for our free time! It was fun, but it was so nice to be all dressed up.
 

 
 
And I was Honor Camper for my mission site.
 
Now, y'all know I do things low-budget. I love shopping and I love new things and I love splurging every once and a while, but heck, if you find something cute cheap, you're not gonna pass it by! So, when I tell you that this dress is from Walmart are you going to believe me?!
 
Yes sir and yes ma'am, this dress is from the good ol' Walmart. We were picking up a few random things before all my trips and found this. It goes straight down with no waist, so I added a thick brown belt to go with it. I'm in love with this dress, and it was so cheap.
 
But right now I'm having the time of my life. I can't wait to share some of my life-changing experiences in an upcoming blog post! It makes me want to scream from the rooftops about my faith and step out of my comfort zone to tell people about this crazy love and eternal grace in a Christian lifestyle. It's not chores or rules, it's the reason for my happiness and peace.
 
Anyways, I'll write more about that later!
 
from a girl full of crazy love,
Meredith
 
PS: What does Mere do after blog pictures have been taken?
 
 
...put on a pair of pajama pants and hang out. Even one of our chaperones saw me like this and said, "Quick, take a picture and put this on your blog!" What do you mean plaid flannel pants don't match?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Super Easy Cake Balls

I know, I know, I've never made cake balls before. So what? I like cake and I like icing, why is there any need to change it up?

...Except for when you're having a party and cake isn't the best finger food. And everyone always talks about cake balls, so I figured I had to try them. Besides, my Golden Oreo Truffles are my friends' favorite thing I make (go check those out, they're the BEST). So I Googled 'easy cake ball recipe' (so thought-provoking, I know), and this recipe came up.

My friends loved these at my party! They were definitely messy (use wax paper), but so good and moist. Gotta love it.

I had SO much fun just throwing a cake into a bowl, not worrying about it being messy!

Mixing the icing and the cake.


Super Easy Cake Balls

Ingredients
  • 1 package cake mix (I used white), plus needed ingredients
  • 1 (16 oz.) container icing (I used vanilla)
  • 1 bar dipping chocolate
  • Sprinkles (optional)
Directions
  • Bake the cake according to box instructions. To save time, use a bigger baking dish.
  • Once finished, crumble cake into a large mixing bowl (Note: This is fun!). Next, mix in the icing until smooth.
  • Scoop mixture into 1-inch balls- it helps to use a cookie scoop- and place onto a tray prepared with wax paper.
  • Freeze balls for 2 hours or until firm. Dip in chocolate, cover with sprinkles, and enjoy!

Passport update: I'm loving it! My mission is cleaning and sorting out recycling, which is gross hard work, but the money they get from recycling goes to Habitat for Humanity to help build houses. They build 10-12 houses each year just from this money. It's been raining a lot, but hopefully it'll clear up!

xoxo,
Meredith

"For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: 'I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.'" Ezekiel 34:11

Monday, June 24, 2013

Passport!

People of God- Gungor


Oh goodness, how I love this beautiful song. I heard it for the first time at Passport camp, where I am today!

Passport is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. It's a week full of friends, worship, missions, parties, Bible studies, and God. We're at a college in North Carolina and a day goes like this: wake up, eat, have a morning celebration, go to your Bible study, have lunch, go to your mission site (or other choice), have free time (lots of volleyball tournaments and swimming), eat dinner, go to worship, and then have a party! It's a long day but it's soo much fun! You get closer to so many people: old friends and new friends. You become a part of this God bubble where you don't ever want to leave such a spiritual place.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from past Passports!


You have a dance every year with a different theme- last year's was favorite TV show, so we chose Sister Wives. This was one of the funniest things I've ever been a part of.


The Rec Party is this huge competition between the Bible studies!


I have such a cute youth group.



Some of my best friends on the planet! This was part of our seersucker night!


Like I said, the dance is lots of fun...can you see me in the green having a blast?


One of my favorite memories was when it started to POUR down raining on our way home from the dance. That was something to remember.

Yesterday was our first day, but it was more of an opening. After 7 hours cramped in a mini-van, waiting in line in the heat for dinner, and going back and forth between dorms, it was a long day. But I'm pumped!

I'm just SO EXCITED for this year's Passport! Want to keep up with our adventures?


xoxo,
Meredith

PS- I've seen four Polo dresses since my post about them. It's working.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bittersweet

Oh, this time has come. I knew it would for a while, but I didn't know it would come this quickly!

Today I leave for the first of many summer adventures, but I leave my beautiful city for six whole weeks! I'm so excited, but I'm going to miss so much. After spending my few weeks of summer at home with all of my friends, it'll be super weird to leave them. Fortunately, I'll be with my family for a week in Boston before I go to San Francisco for the biggest of all my adventures. San Francisco is the opportunity of a lifetime! But I'll tell you what, I have some serious business suits packed for that. And I'll rock the business casual in J. Crew and Banana Republic!

Anyways, the weirdest part of all of it will be that I can't craft or bake for 6 whole weeks. I know, it probably sounds like I'm just saying that, but I'm dead serious about being upset about that. That's why I have some awesome recipes queued up that I haven't shared yet (but I have shared the Cream Cheese Garlic Dip!). So don't hate me for not blogging just crafts and recipes all the time because I'm just as upset as you. And no Monogram Meredith shirts will be made during this time, either! Trust me, once I get back, Monogram Meredith will be bigger and better than ever. Like I talked about once in a post, I'm super excited to learn, which is what I'll do during the Wharton program: learning how to think more creatively and ultimately, expand Monogram Meredith!

But don't fret if you do want a shirt! E-mail me, text me, or fill out a contact form if you have an order. The sooner you do it, the closer you'll be to the top of the list, and your shirt will be done ASAP!

Again, I'm EXCITED (I know I keep using this word but I don't know how else I should describe myself??) for everything going on this summer. It means so much to me that people keep up with my blog, so please keep up during all this hustle and bustle of new experiences!

this is so bittersweet,
Meredith

**EDIT: If you're coming across my blog for the first time, this is an odd time for me! I'm out on vacation and in a summer program. My blog is usually all about baking and the odds and ends of a preppy life, but this is what it is for now! Please keep reading!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cream Cheese Garlic Dip

Don't freak out, this post isn't a love proclamation for a fashion piece. But it is a love proclamation for this easy, three-ingredient dip that tastes a lot better than it should be.

Needing a dip recipe for my party, I just Googled something like 'easy dips' and this recipe came up. I had my doubts- I mean, cream cheese, garlic, and milk? That's too simple. And all you do is put it all in a mixing bowl? That's just unreal.

But I now attest to this great cream cheese dip. It's marvelous and I love it. The cream cheese gives it its base, the garlic gives it its taste, and the milk gives it its thinner-dip-tendencies.

We had it with Ritz crackers and Keebler crackers and it was PHENOMENAL. So what if I've also tried it with every other food in our house?


And another random thing- buy a lighter version of the cream cheese for a 'skinnier' recipe! Usually I buy full-fat because it's to go in a dessert that needs the fat, but this would be just as good with low-fat cream cheese. Also, use skim milk instead of half & half.

Cream Cheese Garlic Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (16 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup milk or half & half (I used milk)
Directions
  • Let the cream cheese sit out for a couple hours until soft.
  • Mix up the cream cheese, garlic, and milk for a few minutes so that you're sure to get all the flavors everywhere. You'll probably have to scrape it down on the sides so it completely mixes.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!
-Meredith

Friday, June 21, 2013

I still love Polo dresses

Like I said yesterday, I had some friends over the other night and today's post was going to be a 'What I Wore' thing with my green Polo dress.

I was going to do a cute little Polyvore thing and ramble about how much I love Polo dresses (I ramble a lot), so I was looking for pictures online. Then I came across a post of someone talking about them. THEY SAID POLO DRESSES WEREN'T COOL.

WHAT?!?! I was appalled. I mean, when did I miss this news flash? They're not some sort of trendy thing that's odd and different: it's literally just a long Polo. And Polos are classic!

I was so upset. I mean, I had worn my green Polo dress for my party the other night and wore it on the beach for our 'cute pictures', so I've been photographed in it several times (and we all know that you have to really love something to be photographed in it that many times). It's even in my cover photo on Facebook!!! Had I just been sitting around in a Polo dress, thinking I looked good, without anyone telling me that they're 'out'? Would I have to take down Instagram pictures because I was "so 2001", as this post had said? Look, I know that being 'out' and 'in' is one of those things people tell us to not worry about, but I felt like I had missed this big memo that Polo dresses really were completely 'out' and I was just embarrassing myself. These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night, guys.

And you can't ask your mom about this sort of stuff, because she's going to tell me that I'd "look cute in a paper sack" (Am I right or am I right?). So I turned to my best friend, Kirby, who'll tell me the truth about this question that I had been internally battling: Are Polo dresses really out?

pictured: a Polo dress and said best friend
She, of course, exclaimed, "I don't know, but I still like them!". Exactly what I had been thinking. Style freaks, we discussed the merits of these dresses we love so much. I mean, a Polo dress is a classic prep piece. No one ever gets mad at men for wearing collared shirts from Ralph Lauren; no one's ever said that those are out. Again, a Polo dress is just a long collared shirt. Feminine and casual and preppy and cute and comfortable: isn't that what we all look for in a clothing item? They look cute on everyone, from little girls (I know my mom made me wear them) to girls my age to moms. That's what classic means: they work for everyone and withstand trends. And it's really not fair to say that they're "so 2001" because I WAS 6 YEARS OLD in 2001. That's simply not fair to not let me enjoy this 'trend' (if it even is a trend).

So then, I still struggled with whether or not I would blog about how much I love these dresses. And heck, I went for it.

I'll shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone that I STILL LOVE POLO DRESSES. Maybe they're out, maybe they're not. But who cares?! And if they are indeed out, I'll bring them back in. I'll start it again, being early of the generation 10 years younger who'll try to do it in 2023, much like my generation is bringing back high-waisted pants everything.

What else should we bring back? Scrunchies? Denim skirts? Tear-away pants? Limited Too?

I'm starting a revolution, guys, because I'm proud of my green Polo dress. Trust me, they're coming back and you can all thank me later. 

xoxo,
Meredith

PS- Tomorrow's post is about cream cheese garlic dip. It's a lot calmer. Cream cheese is always in.



PSS- Happy first day of summer/Wear your Lilly day!!! I love this dress. I'll write more about it later.


And I'm sorry it's a mirror pic. Everyone hates mirror pics.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Excited

First of all, I know it's 4:30 and I'm just now posting today. One of my goals this summer was to blog more frequently and so I guess it's better late than never for today!

But this morning, I was absolutely exhausted. I had some friends over last night and had spent the whole day cooking, which I love to do, except for the fact that you're standing for so long and it's just tiring. So I didn't have a fab post planned for today. BUT, I had so many good foods yesterday and so many new recipes that I tried that I cannot wait to share!

As I write this, I'm enjoying leftover fried mac and cheese balls...yup. Just what you think.

 
So yeah, I'm pretty excited to share that recipe! My mom and I definitely had an adventure with that one.
 
But for now, I'm enjoying all these random leftovers and hoping that my summer bod will come quickly (ha).

xoxo,
Meredith

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Tuesday Recap + Cookie Bars!

Whoo-whee, Tuesday was a busy day!

I had my portraits done at Holifield Photography for Youth Salute (just this thing where you have your pictures taken before senior year). Those were so much fun to take and I can't wait to share my pictures!


And then my mom and I went shopping for some goodies for San Francisco!

Finally, I headed to a surprise going away party for my best friend, Adam. It's kind of funny because this is the second surprise party he's had.

 
Super surprised, right? Anyways, he's headed off to the Governor's Scholar Program for 5 weeks. So excited for him!
 
 
 
 
This cake was SO GOOD and so freaking pretty! (Creds to Molly and Ellen for such an awesome cake)
 
And an OOTD:
 
 
 
 
Shirt: Forever 21 (Old)
Shorts: Calvin Klein
Shoes: Jack Rogers
 
Yes, my Jack Rogers sandals came in! I did decide on the platinum!
 
I also brought a dessert to the party: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Now, don't get all frustrated because I posted two cookie bar recipes a few weeks ago. These cookies are different. They're completely from scratch (as they should be) and are melt in your mouth delicious. They're so easy and my mom takes them to every party. WE LOVE THEM.
 
 
I mean, come on, they're going with chocolate and have a crunchy outside. Gotta love them.
 
 Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 1 & 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking dish by spraying a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Blend shortening, sugar, milk, vanilla, and egg, using a mixer. Add the salt and the baking soda, blending well. Add flour a little at a time. Once all blended well, add chocolate chips.
  • Press dough into pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Let cool, cut, and enjoy!
xoxo,
Meredith
 
 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ivanka Trump: A Role Model

There are very few times that I've actually finished a nonfiction book. They just get long and boring and I give up easily on nonfiction, even though I love to read a ton. But sometimes I Google famous people and quickly become fascinated with them.

A few weeks ago, I looked up Ivanka Trump, which led me to her book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. I read that so quickly, faster than some of the fiction books I've read.

Oh my goodness gracious. I don't even know how to explain how cool and amazing and awesome and great and inspirational and wonderful I think she is. She's everything I aspire to be in life and so much more, which is why she's become so much of a role model to me. I know that there are opinions that don't necessarily favor her father, Donald Trump, but I think that if you give the Trump family a chance, or rather, look towards Ivanka's stories, you will truly feel inspired.

She's a businesswoman who manages all of the real estate and hotel management aspects of The Trump Organization, she's a writer, a mother, a former model (something that I've always been very interested in), and the woman behind The Ivanka Trump Lifestyle Collection (mostly jewelry, but also many other things). She graduated from the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania (where I'll be this summer!!). She majored in Economics (major I'm possibly considering...). AND, she's 5'11".... I am also 5'11".

Her book details her life story and about her career successes. She thoroughly delves into how although her parents were some of the most influential and wealthy people in the world, she wasn't given things when she asked for them. She worked hard for them and earned what she had. She wasn't given her position at The Trump Organization because of her name, but because she had always dreamed of working in real estate for such a large company like her father's and did everything in her power to get to where she is now. She talks about being competitive and working hard and networking and proving yourself. I aspire to be as hard working and intelligent and as powerful as her someday.

Honestly, if I could meet anyone in the world, Ivanka Trump would most definitely be near the top of my list. It's just so refreshing to hear from a powerful businesswoman who gained her successes while she was still so young. I highly, highly recommend her book to any girl my age that wants to eventually have a career like Ivanka's.


For now, I'm a 17 year old who's still in high school, so of course, I've settled for keeping up with her life and I really think you'd be inspired if you did as well:
Twitter: @IvankaTrump
Instagram: @IvankaTrump
Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump Collection

Ivanka's not only my career idol, but also my beauty icon! So gorgeous!

 
 
 
 

Anyways, that's me fan-girling over Ivanka Trump. Read her book, you won't regret it!

xoxo,
Meredith


Monday, June 17, 2013

Totes needing a new tote

I'm really needing a new tote bag right now. I love all my other ones, but I need a good bag I can loft around and kill my shoulders with. Haha.

But anyways, I looooove using Beso. It's this website that combines Polyvore, Pinterest, and all of our favorite online shopping sites. You can favorite items and make collections and then show them off, too! You can then go and order whatever you find.

So I used Beso to make a collection of totes that I really love!

 
 
They're all so cute! I love Michael Kors, as you can tell. And the Tisbury tote from Vineyard Vines is to die for.
 
What do you think?
 
-Meredith

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Daddy-o

I know we all say we love our dads a lot. And we do. But what's great about dads is that we all have such a different relationship with them and that's why they're so special.

My dad is special to me in SO many ways. He's the one that's exactly like me- we're both very stubborn, logic-minded, rule-followers, and independent. He's the one that has taught me every thing I need to know about life and the way the world works and how to be independent and how to get what you want out of life and how to save your money and how to prioritize. He's tough, but that's why I love him. I remember being little and him buying me a Harvard t-shirt for Christmas, telling me that I could study law there some day. It wasn't that he wanted me to necessarily go to Harvard, but he wanted me to know that if I wanted to go there, I could. The best thing he ever taught me and the thing that echoes through my head when I think of him is "If you put your mind to it, you can do it."

He's the one that makes sure I follow through with my goals and dreams and doesn't get me to where I want to be, but makes sure I can do it on my own and I can do it well.

He's the one that plans the BEST trips, including taking us to wherever we want for our 12th birthday.

 
He's the one who made us take a picture with this gamecock in South Carolina because he thought it was funny...go cocks?
 
 
Seriously the goofiest guy I know.
 
 
The one who makes me do things I normally don't want to do, including a five mile bike ride in the wind (I don't do bikes).
 
 
The one who'll get temporary tattoos and laugh his head off about it.
 
 
The one who will take us on the wildest college trip of all time and take pictures in front of the Duke stadium because "We like UK and it'll be funny".
 

The one who spontaneously decided to take us to Catlanta for the NCAA basketball tournament and let us skip school for such a big thing, the one that will take you driving in a snowy parking lot because it's "very important to know how to drive in all conditions", the one who will let you do whatever you want "because Mom isn't home and I'm a cool dad".

But other than that, he's just my daddy-o.

 
 
 
Love you lots, Dad!

xoxo,
Meredith

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Seersucker: A Love Affair

If you know me, you know my family. I love my family like no one else- they're the funniest people I know and also some of the sweetest. I mean, the Scroggins are infamous among my friends for just being goofy.

Anyways, the other night, my dad wanted to take a family photo, one that we could blow up real big and hang up on the wall and I suggested that we coordinate in seersucker. So we did.

 
What's funny about this picture is that we all look around the same height, but I'm 5'11", so that shows you how tall of a family I have!

I just love that we matched in seersucker! This post is all about seersucker (and my family, of course), so here are some of the pictures from our 'photo shoot'.

 
We've gotten used to this quick photo assembly of 'age order'.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Don't let this picture fool you, I am taller than my baby sister!
 
 
Skirt: G.H. Bass
Shoes: TJ Maxx
 

(Last summer)
Even my friends are obsessed with it!
 
 
Here are some of my favorite seersucker things found on Pinterest! I want ALL of it- especially the cute accessories, like the tumbler, bow, and headbands! There's a new Graves & Cox in the mall near where I live and they sell the cutest seersucker hard headbands and I'm obsessed with them.
 
What do you love seersucker?
 
xoxo,
Meredith
 
 
PS- I'm now a part of the Southern Blog Society!