Saturday, August 31, 2013

it's the weekend!

Oh, goodness, this first full week of school seemed like it lasted forever! I'm happy it's over, but I'm even happier that it's the weekend, and a long one at that!

This week was full of excitement, new ideas, writing, and a little elbow grease.
  • BOOK CLUB: Obviously, I got pretty excited during my post from Tuesday, but the excitement is still flowing. I spent the whole week leading up to our meeting on Wednesday, crashing on Wednesday night, then the rest of the week reading and coming up with new ideas. Plus, I finished Holding On To Zoe...it was incredible. I highly recommend it and can't wait to discuss it!
  • Devotion: We have FCA devotions at our school on Friday mornings and it's absolutely wonderful to be with so many people that love Christ and want to share His love with the rest of our school. It's such a great part of my week! Yesterday, we watched this video and I had to share. I've always loved this song so much!


  • Monogram Meredith: ...is about to be working hard! Starting to have more shirts is crucial to the success of my mentoring project, so if you want a shirt, let me know! You can check out all the details on my page up at the top, but here's what you need to know: short-sleeve- $20, long-sleeve- $25, sweatshirts- $30, tank tops- $20. Also, are you in a sorority and want letters in the style of a monogram? ...Monogram Meredith is trying it out, so let me know and I can make you a shirt!
  • Writing: I've been writing lots of college essays, which aren't too bad, because sometimes it's like writing a blog post! But I wrote a post the other day that really got me thinking.
  • T-shirts: Sometimes, I feel like my life revolves around the production and wearing of t-shirts...including lots of Book Club t-shirts!
 
I'm excited for this long weekend...I have two movies, lots of books, and an extra day to be at home (shoutout to Labor Day). Speaking of Labor Day, I'm so excited! It's the transition into fall and even though I loooove summer, having some sort of holiday to end it makes it all better. Except the thought of not wearing my white jeans until the spring again makes me sad...it's closure we need, right?!
 
Plus, it's gameday in the Bluegrass! Well, rather, it's in Nashville, but the start of college football for the great University of Kentucky is pretty exciting!
 
What are your Labor Day weekend plans?
 
xoxo,
Meredith

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

book club lovin

If you were at the Henry Clay Book Club meeting yesterday, then you'd understand how much of an enthusiastic fool I made of myself. If not, let me try to describe the type of insane excitement I had yesterday when we had over FIFTY people show up to our first meeting!

Aren't our shirts great?

A lot of these pictures I'm posting are ones that people tweeted in to our HC Book Club Twitter account. There's my arm on the far right!

(Photo thanks to Victoria Pallos)

As I write this, I am absolutely exhausted. I never knew when I agreed to be president that I would be spending this much time obsessing over every detail but I am more than ecstatic to do it. When you spend all your time doing something that you're in love with, it never seems like a chore! Anyways, the last week I feel like I've lived and breathed book club. Ordering shirts that had finally come in was super cool, especially when I got to hand them out to everyone and feel like Santa. And then there's the baking part, of course (I spent over four hours baking the other night. Super worth it, though)!

 
 
(Photo thanks to Matt Duffy)

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the baked goods...they were all gone so quickly!

Remember when I wrote in May about our last book club meeting and about how I loved brownies for big groups? I most definitely stand by that theory. Seriously, take your favorite prepared brownie batter and add anything.

It's super easy to have a mixing bowl and three pans sized 9x13, and crank those things out. For the first batch, I made them double chocolate by pouring half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the mix. Super chocolaty brownies? Check, check.

For the next one, I used 16 regular-sized Reese's cups and was super pleased with how they turned out. Use a cutting board and a butcher's knife to cut them into tiny pieces and then mix them into batter. They'll be mushy, but it almost works that better to incorporate all of the chocolate-peanut butter goodness.

The add-in I've always wanted to try was York peppermint patties. I bought a bag and followed the same directions for cutting them into little pieces. What's different about this one is that I poured half of the batter into the pan, put the patties on top, then poured the rest of batter back on. These turned out really mushy and I think it may have been better to mix them into the batter before pouring it out, but they were still absolutely fantastic.

I also made one of my favorite recipes, Strawberry Cake Cookies. So simple yet so good! 

(Photo thanks to Charlie Grimes)

Food's become a big part of book club (as it should be), but of course, it's all about the books. We're reading Holding On To Zoe by George Ella Lyon and our next meeting is September 25th...if you go to our school, show up!

If not, read along with us and let me know what you think! You can trust that there'll be a blog post following that meeting if you want to keep up! Seriously, I really think this could be a fun blog thing to do, I'm pretty pumped!

(Photo thanks to Sloan Warner)
 
So guys, I LOVE BOOKS. And I'm very enthusiastic about it. Ask me about it!
 
xoxo,
Meredith

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

an instagram filter of ourselves

Let me preface by saying that I Instagram, and I Instagram a lot. I edit my photos and put them through these magical filters that instantly make me or whatever I’m posting better and more vibrant. Heck, I even do it with my blog. It’s a simple part of this wonderful technology we've been privileged to have as millennials. We all joke about how everything looks better with an Instagram filter: it makes you skinnier, tanner, prettier, etc. I’m guilty of it! I laugh looking back at some of my spring break pictures where it was pretty clear that there was a filter in use to help my pasty white skin look a little...bronzer. We look in awe and bewilderment at pictures with #NoFilter, because it’s become a norm that if you post a pretty picture on the Insta, it most definitely has a filter. And if it doesn’t, then whoopdee doo, you are now either a) naturally gorgeous or b) an amazing photographer (and everyone's super jealous of you).
An Instagram photo of mine that is clearly not #NoFilter

Someone I follow on Twitter even joked the other day that when you see a girl in real life that you’re used to seeing in super-edited Instagram photos, it’s the biggest letdown. We even joke that we wish we could walk around with an Instagram filter on!
But the other day, I was looking through some pictures from the summer and was trying to find a good one to post. Getting a little frustrated at the fact that it looked like my eyes were closed in all of them, I thought, “If only there were a filter that could make my eyes look bigger and my mouth smaller.”

And then I stopped right there.

WHAT?!

How on earth would there be a filter to resize my eyes and smile? Is this what it’s come to? Wishing that there were a filter to try to prove to my Instagram followers that I didn’t, in fact, have small eyes? Most everyone that follows me knows that I laugh a lot. I smile a lot. And when I do, I am most likely squinting and have my abnormally large gums protruding. So why I was I concerned with trying to filter out something that is so true to myself?

It made me think of how we’re all trying to constantly ‘put a filter on it’.

Yes, we’ve all seen the Dove beauty commercial, bashed Victoria’s Secret angels, critiqued photography and magazines for using photoshop and not portraying ‘real women’. We use these terms ‘media’ and ‘society’ so frequently to describe things that are 'fake'. But how can we expect this so-called ‘society’ to stop changing photos if that’s what we, functioning members of society, do every single day on Instagram?

It’s more than just print ads of flawless models. It’s about how we try to convey a different person than who we are.

We’ve all heard some of these phrases a million times. As a girl, I’ve heard them a billion times. I’ll be honest about it, too, I roll my eyes a little bit each time I do hear it. Not because there’s no meaning behind it, but because these words have become trite cliches, almost to the point of where they don’t feel real anymore.

1. “Love yourself for who you are.”
2. “Don’t change for anyone.”
3. “Your imperfections are beautiful and what make you you.”
4. “If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, forget about them.”

They’ve lost their meaning because they seem to be overused. But could it be that they’re overused because they’re...

...TRUE?

Thinking back on my dilemma of small eyes and a big smile, I thought, forget about it. This is what God gave me and I love it. I’ve tried to think about it for everything about myself, not just my eyes and smile. I was given big hips that may or may not come with big thighs. I was given a great height that may or may not be annoying when everyone jokes that you’ll “never find a guy tall enough”.

But you know what? I can’t change those things about myself...and why should I?

If we go around acting like we need to change who we are for what we think others want us to be, we’ve lost who we are.

It’s not even about our looks, it can be about our personality. There are so many things about myself that others may not like, but that I love. For one, I love monograms. I know others don’t, but monograms make me happy, so why should I worry what they think? I’m proud of the decisions I’ve made, the religion I practice, the school I go to, the state I live in, and the way I dress because they’re what make me happy and they’re what make me Meredith Scroggin.


Worried about how I was being portrayed in a certain situation, I was talking to a good friend about it. I started blabbering on and on about what other people thought of me, and he stopped me. He said, “You know, I could let a lot of things that people have said to me get to me. Heck, I’d be in years of therapy if I did. The way I think about it, we’re going to grow up and there are going to be bosses and coworkers that we have to deal with and that we may not particularly like. But if we let that get to us, we haven’t done anything with our adolescent lives. If you’re doing what you love and loving what you do and it makes you happy, don’t worry about it.”

I am a happy person. I do what I love and I love what I do. There are people in my life that may not care for what I stand for, but there are people that love and support me because the things that I love are what make me me.

So I’m not worrying about it and I’m not putting an Instagram filter on myself. I don't want to sound redundant or like the generations above us that critique new technology, because I use it a TON. I have nothing against editing your pictures, either. I just think it's something important to note: Yes, I will continue to put filters on my real pictures, but trust me, I won’t be obsessing over a filter that could fix my gummy smile or my love of monograms anymore.

(#NoFilter)
with much love,
Meredith

Saturday, August 24, 2013

InVESTing in the fall

Go ahead and hate me, but I'm not really an autumn girl. Everyone gets too excited over things that I'm not really a fan of: I'm sorry, but I can't stand pumpkin flavored anything and I think apples taste better as just plain apples.

...are you still there? Again, I'm sorry, I'm sure I've just offended everyone, but blogging is all about this 'raw honesty', right?? Right.

Regardless, fall does come with new fashion.

And I do know that every other girl is in love with the idea of big sweaters and riding boots. As much as I love worship both of those things, I'm just not too crazy about it! It makes me feel sloppy and it's not exactly the most flattering thing on me. Now, don't get me wrong, I seriously have no clue what I'd wear without my riding boots, but come on, I'd prefer to wear a pair of cute sandals!

So now that that little rant's over, I guess I'll tell something that makes me look a little bit forward to fall: vests. Oh my goodness gracious, in the fall, I wear a vest almost 80% of the time. I'M SORRY to all of you who think they're ugly, but I'm obsessed. I laugh looking back at my pictures where I'm wearing a vest in the majority of them.

I've fallen back on this black puffer vest on so many occasions.


In October...

 
...or in February (even when you share your love over vests with your mom and frequently match). You simply can't go wrong with a black puffer.
 
I have that black one and recently bought a quilted blue one (on sale, duh) that I can't wait to wear this fall! But of course, I'm always looking for others.
 
 
 
 
I'm obsessing over any of these! And going through my pins, here are more because I can't stop with the vest love.
 
(Not my photos)
 
 
 
The Herringbone vest! Just get me this and I'll love you forever.
 
 
(..and the Bean boots too! I think I'll have to write another post sometimes about them.)
 

I'm not ready for school

Untitled #282

Untitled #282 by preppysoutherngirl featuring Michael Kors

And I guess for kicks, I can add a guy in a vest. Because everyone knows that guys in vests are almost better than wearing vests ourselves...right?!
 
 
So really, I'm pretty pumped for 'vest season'. It's going to be great!
What vests do you have or are you looking at? I love to read comments!
 
xoxo,
Meredith
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars

There's a little folder in my Favorites with the title 'Bookmarked to Try', filled with the recipes that I was too eager to just let sit on my overloaded Pinterest food board. These are the recipes I salivate looking at and can't stand to forget, so I keep them here.

And then there's this exciting moment when I can drag that bookmark to my 'Completed' folder. It's a sense of accomplishment to have such a long 'Completed' folder and it's one of those little things that just makes me happy.

This recipe, though, has been sitting in my Favorites for a long time. I've looked at it over and over, thinking, I cannot wait to make these!


But of course, I needed a good excuse to make them so I wasn't sitting at home eating all of them. So, here's a wish to one of my best friends, Victoria, to have a very happy birthday! She gets a good majority of them, which is probably good for my figure (ugh, these things are so good).


I also haven't baked anything in TWO MONTHS. I wanted to make something really good for the first time since I was back, and I most definitely chose the right thing.

Some of my favorite recipes are ones that include two of the best things that exist in this world: Reese's cups and s'mores. I mean, the bars with brownies, Reese's, and cookies are one of my most popular things, and the s'mores cookie recipe I wrote makes me so happy.

This recipe COMBINES THE TWO.

What more do you want in a dessert?

 
I used this recipe from The Sweet Life blog and absolutely loved it! Here are some of the few things I wanted to note.
 
 
This looks absolutely horrible and weird, but I figured that if you're going to make it, you might as well think about it logistically. The recipe says to use an 8x8 dish, but I decided on an 8x11.5. In that, I had about an inch to the side where there wasn't any PB cup, so I threw a handful of chocolate chips on there and it worked out!
 
I would recommend putting the PB cups face-down; it makes them easier to cut and more dough that it covers.
 
 
I wasn't exactly sure how I should spread my marshmallow creme on top of that, so I put the whole jar in the microwave. I'M SORRY. It specifically says to not microwave the whole jar, but I using the entire thing and needed it to be a little more spread-able. I'd recommend it, but if some sort of weird thing happens because you microwave it, you didn't hear it from me.
 
I ran out of marshmallow fluff...you'll probably need more than you think. I didn't want to ruin the bars without enough, so I spread it around as much as I could and dealt with it. It wasn't pretty, but it's all going to be covered and then baked again, so don't worry about it. Also, I split a few marshmallows in half and stuck them in there. Who knows what it did to it?!
 
 
This was easily the best piece of advice in The Sweet Life's recipe. After you spread the marshmallow fluff, you'll have to cover it with a layer of the cookie dough, and spreading it out on wax paper in the shape of your dish makes it 82398239082x easier. I just flipped mine right over on top and it worked out perfectly.
 
 
And they're absolutely perfect.
 
Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 16 regular sized peanut butter cups
  • 1 & 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff (or just guess)
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8x8 or 8x11.5 dish with cooking spray.
  • With a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined well. Stir in flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking powder until mixed.
  • Push 2/3 of the dough onto the bottom of the baking dish and spread well. Line the dough with the peanut butter cups upside down (and fill in with any extras if so wished).
  • Spread the marshmallow fluff on top of peanut butter cups (heating marshmallow fluff if needed/wanted).
  • Take the remainder of your dough and spread it out on a sheet of wax paper in the shape of your baking dish. Carefully flip your dough onto the top of the marshmallow and barely press down.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least two hours (cover and set in refrigerator for additional time) so they're easy to cut. Enjoy!
 
xoxo,
Meredith

Saturday, August 17, 2013

first day(s) of school lovin

Just a short post for now, but...

I can't believe my first week (or first three days) of senior year is over! I mean, I just had my last first day of school. Isn't that the weirdest thing?

I love back to school outfits; I think it's what makes going back so much smoother!

And who doesn't love a back to school outfit with some Lilly and Jack (and your sweet sister)?

 
 
The Scroggins doing school right.
 
 
Friends...
 
 
...and more friends!
 
I think it's safe to say that senior year is going to be a blast! I'm pumped for the potential of so many cool things to happen, but mostly because I'll be doing the things I absolutely love.
 
With lots of love,
Meredith

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not a Summer Farewell

Summer is my favorite. It's two months of having no responsibilities but a lot of freedom. It's full of warm weather and friends and the ability to do whatever you want.

Today's the last day of summer, and usually at the end of our two-month period of bliss, I get pretty upset, not thinking that I had a fun summer. Thinking that there are things I could've done to make it more fun, memorable, distinguished. But today, thinking about the summer I've had, I seriously could not ask for one thing to be changed. I had the best summer of my whole life and can't believe the things I've been blessed with during my two months.

I traveled all over the country, spent time with my best friends in the whole world, made a new set of best friends in the whole world, did a lot of learning, wrote more than I thought was possible, and discovered new passions.

I'm still in disbelief about it all.

 
I went to our high school's graduation, awestruck by the senior class of 2013 and their accomplishments. I realized that it's our time to be the leaders of the school and the community.
 
 
 
I had fun hanging out with friends, who also to be friends of the infamous Henry Clay Book Club.
 
 
I helped with some of the new Henry Clay class and realized how incredible it is that I'm actually in my fourth year of a program that I love so much. I can't wait for this class to find their passions and work with such great peers!
 
 
I baked a loooot, including one of my new favorites, which had the potential to give me a heart attack. But it was still good.
 
 
I made a ton of Monogram Meredith shirts, which happens to be one of my favorite things. I'm in love with the idea that I can make something that other people love, too.
 
 
I hung out with friends that made me happy and brought them all together for one fun night before everyone left! (PS: Note the dress? That was my favorite post to write. Ever.)
 
 
Dear goodness, I packed, and I packed a lot. This picture cracks me up because for the majority of my summer, I lived out of what I had packed in a suitcase, and this is what it started out looking like.
 
 
 
I spent a week at Passport loving my friends and my time there, but most importantly, loving God.
 
 
It's funny how just a week of worship and praise and being surrounded by those who love God as much as you do can change you so much for the better.
 
 
I'm forever trying to figure out how to act in the name of Christ and part of that is through working for others in His name. I learned that all I want to do is shout from the rooftops about Him!
 
 
I proudly repped Monogram Meredith everywhere I went, including our family vacation to Boston!
 
 
 
I found my sister to be one of my best friends in the world.
 
 
I visited some of the coolest places on the east coast with my family and had some experiences, including driving through NYC in a mini-van with a car-topper.
 
 
And I overall had fun with my family, just doin what the Scroggins do.
 
 
The biggest part of my summer was going to Leadership in the Business World, where I spent three weeks in San Francisco and one week in Philadelphia. I could go on and on about the random things I've learned (just ask my mom, she's tired of hearing it).
 
I mean, I'd flown once before in my life, let alone flown by myself. So going from Boston to SF was a learning moment in itself. I've never been by myself in that sense. I flew to a place where I knew absolutely no one, and that scared me to no end.
 
I learned about the odds and ends of living without parents and with a roommate, being in an unknown city with a bunch of other clueless people, taking public transportation, splitting checks in a timely manner, meeting new people, and so much more that I couldn't encompass in one post.
 
 
I learned that as much as I love the south, I could potentially see myself as a city girl someday.
 
 
 
I played lots and lots of volleyball. This was one of the more ironic parts of the trip because I never told anyone before that I used to actually play, so when we were on the beach and I whipped out my game, they were surprised! I loved playing with people that actually knew how to play, too!
 
 
 
I drank lots and lots of coffee and tried many new things at Starbucks (even when they do misspell my name). Seriously, I don't ever buy coffee, but without my own coffee maker, I had to have it! We were always so exhausted that going to get coffee was a known.
 
 
I faced one of my biggest fears and learned to like new things, from scary movies to Chinese food.
 
 
I visited somewhere I'd love to work someday... (Google, if I'm using Blogger to promote you, will you please hire me?!)
 
 
...and left my mark there. Zoom in and that line in black in the middle? That's me.
 
 
 
I ate lots. But who cares, right?! When in Rome... well, more of a when in San Francisco, eat lots of sourdough bread. But getting back into normal eating habits is bittersweet.
 
 
 
I rocked some business formal and business casual all the time and showed that fashion can still be a part of it. With a statement necklace, you can easily change the world!
 
 
 
 
I met the brightest, most intelligent, and most passionate kids in the whole world. I gained not only a few good friends, but a whole family. That top picture is my business plan team and I was so incredibly blessed to be a part of it. I learned to work in a team and about how I can personally attribute to it. I can't get over how much I loved my new family! They taught me so much, as we all learned from each other. By the way...my team won, and we won just about everything, from the scavenger hunt to the actual business plan competition!
 
And I even wanted to post some of the better pictures I have of my new friends; the good Lord knows that I have a blue million. But in every picture I looked at, there was always someone missing and I couldn't get over how many new best friends I met. So I felt like posting our group picture was adequate.
 
I met 119 of my best friends in the whole world at LBW and I know we'll always stay in touch.
I love my LBW family so much!
 
Again, this summer has been the biggest blessing. It's been the best thing to ever happen to me and I could not ask for anything to be different! Everything that's happened to me has been a learning experience and so even though our summer will fade away, the memories and the lasting impact will always be with me.
 
 
I truly believe that summer is a state of mind. We don't have to say goodbye to summer because the innovation, passion, and big dreams can, and are, all still be there.
 
So, guys, cheers to never saying goodbye to summer.
 
with much love,
Meredith