Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Swap

I have recently started reading again, and I absolutely LOVE IT. I have fallen back in love with getting lost in the characters and settings of books. The literary world is so much better than the real one. Hate to break it to ya if you didn't already know!

Recently I have read

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I am waiting for a few more books to come in from Amazon, and I keep ordering more...but sooner or later I'm going to have to quit buying books and buy groceries. But then as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep to the TV since none of my new books have come in yet...IT HIT ME. I could suggest doing a book swap in the bloggy world! I am a genius. How do y'all feel about this? I'll stock up on books from my collection at home that I've already read and bring them back to Tuscaloosa with me! If any of y'all are interested in this let me know! Or if y'all have any good book suggestions I won't turn them down either ;)

-xoxo Tiff

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Two years ago today I was bitching and complaining about going to math class.
Two years ago today I disregarded my family's warnings of bad weather.
Two years ago today I sat in a pantry with my roommates.
Two years ago today I walked out of my house to complete chaos.
Two years ago today my beloved Tuscaloosa was ravaged by an EF4 tornado.

Two years ago today my life was changed.

April 27, 2011 started out as normal as any other day. Margarett came to pick me up for Mass Comm and we drew pictures all through class not paying attention. We went to Chipotle after for lunch, because let's face it Chipotle is awesome. My Gran called me to tell me that the weather was going to get bad and to be safe, but we had been having tornado warnings for the last three weeks and I just wasn't worrying with it. Margarett drove to the Kangaroo Express gas station to grab 2 cases of beer and then we went to her apartment to grab her tornado essentials. (teddy bear, Bible and MacBook) Necessities people. We went back to my house where I lived with Derik, Meagan, Joe and their dog Charley. We watched James Spann's twitter feed like our lives depended on it. Little did we know our lives actually did depend on it. Margarett ended up leaving to go to a friends house in Northport because she had a gut feeling. I had numerous ex-boyfriends, friends and even more family text me telling me to be safe. Of course I just shrugged it off. My Gran called again to tell me to put the couch cushions in the pantry just in case. I told her I was drinking and didn't want to be bothered with Mother Nature.

30 minutes later the tornado sirens started wailing and Spann came on the TV telling us to get in our safe place. Meagan ran upstairs to get the boys off of the balcony and I ran outside to tell our neighbors to get inside. Meagan was on the phone with her dad most of the time. The last thing I remember is pulling our front door as hard as I could so it would shut, Joe ripping out the extra shelf in our pantry, all of us climbing in the pantry, me praying as hard as I could and holding on to Charley for dear life, and the lights went out. No more James Spann on the TV telling us where the tornado was. The last thing that Meagan's daddy heard her say before she lost signal was "Daddy I can hear it I'm scared" and me bawling in the background. We heard a tree go through our roof seconds before we heard the tornado. Everybody says tornados sound like a train. In a way they do, but mostly they sound like a street sweeper. A street sweeper that makes your ears pop and tears up your entire city. It was over in two minutes, but those two minutes were the longest two minutes of my life.

We came out of our house and looked around. We could still see the tornado tearing through Tuscaloosa a little ways away. Their were tree branches everywhere in our loop of houses. A tree went through our roof. A tree went through one of the houses at the front of our loop. I tried to call my grandparents. No cell phone signal. Some people were able to get Twitter to load on their phones and were getting information about where the tornado had gone through. 15th Street. McFarland Boulevard. Forest Lake. I saw one of my ex boyfriends running for his truck. He was dating a girl in the loop of houses I lived in. Different story for a different time. I ran over to ask what was wrong and he told me that his house was gone and that his roommate and his girlfriend were in the house. That's when it hit me. "YOUR HOUSE IS GONE!?!?!" Gone. Cue hysteria.

We walked to Hargrove to see what was going on. A house across from us had a huge oak tree through the middle of it. We went over to check on the little old lady that lived there. Her neighbor came out to tell us she was with them in the basement and was fine. Whew. We looked to the left. Another huge oak tree down in the middle of Hargrove Road. If that tree hadn't been there we would have been able to see the that the huge church around the corner was gone and so were the majority of the houses. A football field and a half. That's what separated me from life and death. Finally I was able to get through to my Gran and Pops. They were both in tears and getting ready to drive to Tuscaloosa to find me. To find me. Dead or alive. Find me. Actually writing that out for the first time has brought me to tears. I assured them I would be home after finals and that everything would be fine, that I was okay.

Derik, Meagan, Joe and I decided to walk to the gas station past the big oak tree to get ice to keep our milk and beer cold. Duh. We got to the gas station...and it was without a roof and all of the houses behind it in Forest Lake didn't look any better. Okay...turn around. It's getting dark anyway. We get back to our house and decide to take all of our meat and grill it. Everybody in our little circle of houses were getting together talking about what had just happened and drinking. I swear I drank at least a 12 pack after the tornado and I could not get drunk. I could not erase everything that I had seen. So we ate, drank and charged our phones in our cars since we were still without power. That night we fell asleep with our balcony doors open listening to the sirens and helicopters flying over.

The next morning I woke up hoping it had all been a very bad dream. We grabbed a bag and put water bottles in it and started out for our walk to see what exactly had been destroyed. The apartments on the right side of the street were completely untouched, while the houses on the left side had multiple floors missing from some of them. An entire outside wall had been ripped off of another apartment building, yet the bed inside remained made and books still on the shelf. We got to 15th Street....the McDonalds was gone. The Taco Casa was gone. Hokkaido, gone. Oil change place, gone. Everything was gone. We continued walking towards McFarland Boulevard and started smelling gas. I cried. I had to stop and get myself together. I had barely talked to any of my friends. Were they okay? Who was missing? Who had died? Who lost everything? I was a wreck. We walked back around all the way down Hargrove. Everything was gone. As we walked back into the loop where our house was I saw Margarett walking toward me. How had she gotten there? At that moment I didn't care. I ran to her. We hugged. Cried. Swapped stories about what we knew so far. She had walked all the way from Northport to make sure we were okay. I cried more.

At this point I knew I needed to get out of Tuscaloosa. I was out of gas though. OF COURSE. SHIT. I didn't care. I'd call AAA to bring me gas if I didn't get to a gas station that had gas before I ran out. I packed my things. All of my things I needed for the summer. I knew deep down inside I wouldn't be coming back to take finals. Everything went in my car and I left. As we were pulling out I saw a bunch of people I knew from back home at the front house and got out. Matt and Aaron's house was gone. Their cars were totaled. But they were okay. At that moment my phone buzzed. A new e-mail. Finals cancelled. Everybody go home if you can. Go somewhere else besides Tuscaloosa. You don't have to go home, but it would be best if you didn't stay here. Back in the car I go. It took me 45 minutes to get to the road I needed to be on to even start my actual trip out of Tuscaloosa. Thank God the gas station was open and had gas. I filled up. Back on the road.

When I got to Mobile I stopped at my Granny's house. I hadn't seen her since Thanksgiving. She hugged me and I cried more. When I finally got back home to Spanish Fort my Gran came running out of the front door (not really running, more like wobbling. She had just had hip surgery a month before). More crying and hugging. My Pops looked like he had been through hell. I sat in his lap and cried some more. I was home. I was safe. I was alive. There were 348 people who could not say the same. 348 people had died from the tornado outbreaks of April 27, 2011. I was lucky. There was no reason I had been spared. Why was I alive while others weren't? I felt guilty for living. I stayed in bed watching coverage on the news for 3 days. Crying. I was miserable.

Nobody will ever truly know what the people of Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas went through that day. I have attempted to tell my story here, but it will never touch what actually happened and how we felt. Tuscaloosa welcomes you, April 27th, back around this year. We haven't gone anywhere. You should see how we've grown. Tomorrow you will be gone. But we will still be here.

Video taken by my neighbors

T-Town NEVER down!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I seriously have a problem with sleeping during the nighttime hours. As I write this it's 5:30 in the morning and I STILL have not gone to sleep. I even went out drinking last night thinking that would make me fall asleep at a normal hour (I know that's not healthy don't go all mommy on me). Do y'all have any helpful hints for me? I would just stay up all day to get back into a normal sleeping pattern, but I have things to do that require a little bit of sleep or my school work will turn to absolute s.h.i.t. I can't take Zzzquil because it knocks me out for at least 14 hours. Benadryl does the same. As does Tylenol PM. Even my sleep spray from BBW knocks me out for longer than it should. I have a serious issue. HELP A SISTA OUT.

In the mean time, I'm gonna go count to 100 till I fall asleep. Or until Derik's alarm goes off in an hour. :(

-xoxo Tiff

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Social!

Now that I have expressed exactly how I feel about my country kicking so much ass, I figured it was time to get back into the normal swing of things.
Today I'm linking up for Sunday Social! Here are this weeks questions :)

1. What is your shopping weakness?

And Discover Cash Back Bonus? WINNING.

2. What is your food weakness?

If you don't know that this is a Chipotle salad then SHAME. ON. YOU.

3. What is your go-to movie to watch when nothing is on?

This was mine and Derik's first date. And I may have a huge stuffed minion that hangs out in my room...

4. What is your go to breakfast food? I make a mean bacon, egg and cheese biscuit.

5. Do you drink coffee? If so, how do you take it? YES. I couldn't live without coffee. If it's hot outside, grande caramel macchiato with light ice and nonfat milk. If it's cold or really early? Grande SVL. Nomz.

-xoxo Tiff

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

Y'all, I have been trying to put into words the past 48 hours how I feel about this situation. It doesn't seem real. 9/11 seemed real. Even though I was only in the 5th grade, I knew it was serious. I knew that there were bad guys. I quickly learned all about the Taliban and al Queda. May 2, 2011 was one of the proudest days of my life being an American when President Obama announced that we had FINALLY got the bad guy. Osama bin Laden was dead. 10 years later. Our great country was finally at peace. Even though we will never fully overcome the emotional distress of 9/11 we have closed the folder and called it case closed.

Then Monday happened. I cannot fully grasp why somebody would do this. Why would you plant a bomb at a marathon? I understand that it was Patriot's Day in one of our founding cities. But, WHY? I need answers. Was it somebody from overseas? Was it an American? If it was an American, why would you attack your own country? I need answers. I need to help in some way. I don't know what to do. I can't focus on school. I can't focus on my side work. I can't watch anything but the news on TV. I am becoming obsessed. All I can do now is pray for Boston and pray that the person or people responsible for these attacks is arrested soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Save the Date!

Hola amigos! It's been a few days, how have y'all been!? I've been basking in the sun mostly. Other than school, of course! I have a new piece of work to show y'all too!! Two of my friends are getting married in November and they asked me to make their "Save the Dates", obviously I jumped at the opportunity to help and to build my portfolio!

Aren't they the cutest? They started dating Meagan's freshman year of high school and have been dating ever since! Joe proposed on his birthday, August 31, this past year. We all lived together mine and Meagan's sophomore year of college including Derik and their dog. It was a full house to say the least. So many memories have been made in the past 5 years that we have been close and I wouldn't trade any of them! I can't wait for their wedding in November or to receive my own work in the mail ;)

Do y'all know anybody that needs "Save the Dates" or something of the sort made? For the cheap? If so let me know and maybe I can help out!

-xoxo Tiff

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Insta lovin'

Pearls and Curls

It's that time of the week again! Saturday Instagram recap with good ol' Pearls.

Wedding invitations are starting to flow in!

Derik and I had our own bottles of wine for dinner. No shame.

Sleepy time tea and the book I've been trying to read for 6 months lol

Starting to test drive cars!

Date night :)

Hanging with Pearls 223 miles away!

Haven't followed me on Instagram yet? You totally should. What did your week on insta look like? Go link up with Sara and flaunt your stuff!

-xoxo Tiff

Friday, April 5, 2013

Baby got back?

If you're reading this and you know me IRL...You know I've got back. But that's all good. Thankfully today we are backing that azz up for the first time in the blog world. AND IT'S FRIDAY PEOPLE. FRI.DAY. (angels rejoicing, glitter falling everywhere, birds chirping, Reese's eggs being handed out for free) Did I go a little overboard there? Yes? Oh well, don't care.

Just so that I can reminisce about Alabama going to the National Championship game in January and absolutely OWNING Notre Dame...I give you what was my theme song the entire month leading up to the game.

As soon as we got in the car heading back to Tuscaloosa after beating Georgia in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, I stole the auxiliary cable and turned up the jam (turn it up). Any UGA fans reading this? Hi haterz. Any Notre Dame fans reading this? LOLZ.

-Roll Tide!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Now Accepting Handouts

You heard me. I'll accept a handout in the form of a blog redesign. Now, don't get me wrong. I can CSS and HTML all day long, but I'd rather save myself the headache. All 13 of my little lovelies over there to the right, I SEE YOU. And I love you :) Who knew 13 people that don't even know me would care what I have to say? Y'all are the bomb. Whoever would offer to redo my already awesome boring page design would be da bomb diggity. See the difference? DA BOMB DIGGITY. That's a pretty big deal. Lalalalalala okay I'll quit now.

*searches for funny gif on tumblr*

(Only when I wake up before 9)

Okay den, okay. Back to making sense. NOT. I will be a little more serious though. Let's talk about the *gym*. It's a dirty dirty word. I'm actually avoiding it right now by writing this post. Funny how things work out. (HAHAHA GET IT WORK OUT!?) I didn't actually do that on purpose...anyhoot. No, but seriously. I have to be skinny in like 24 days. It's time to get on my hour of cardio and 30 Day Shred grind. I figure if I write it down on here, I'll be more likely to actually do it. The only down side is that my apartment complex is having their first pool party of the year this Saturday...and I plan on drinking heavily. Drinking does not help in being skinny!! It's so dumb. I'll just stop now.

-xoxo Tiff

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

All I do is pin, pin, pin no matter what!

I sit on Pinterest the majority of the day. It's a bad habit, I should be doing my sketches for my design class. Or studying for my Media Law exam that's coming up in two weeks that I haven't even thought about studying for until just now. Angst. To my own defense, I have to start buying stuff for my new apartment next year, and I NEED INSPIRATION. Dadgummit. I really just want an all white apartment with splashes of color and fun. But Derik hates me. And hates my ideas. How can he hate these very inspirational pictures!?!?!

Anyway, I've been scrounging Craigslist for furniture that I can fix up and make it white and beautiful and lovely and not Derik approved. He can suck a big fat TOE. I always get what I want. (Veruca Salt, anybody? Bueller? Whatever.) If anybody is in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Mobile/Baldwin County area reading this and selling a bedroom suit that has TWO nightstands holla atcha girl! He always takes over my nightstand and I want to scratch his eyeballs out.

And just for shits and giggles I'll leave you with my favorite song at the moment :)

-xoxo Tiff

Monday, April 1, 2013

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catsup...catch up...bad humor

HELLO ALL! Spring Break is over, and I am back in Tuscaloosa being a slave at work. I don't have class until Tuesday, so I am going to lay out all day and get super burnt tomorrow to make up for not going to the beach over break. Even though I didn't go to Destin, PCB or Orange Beach, I did have a very busy week at home. I had interviews for internships in Mobile (which I kicked ass at btw, I've been offered every one).

In one of my interviews they asked me about this blog and why I loved to blog. Of course I talked about Sara and how close we have become since I started blogging/tumblr/whatever. Even though she is the reason I started this blog, I like to think she'd still be my friend if I didn't have it ;)

Another one of the interviewers told me that she loved the tone of my blog and could tell what kind of person I was before I even came in for the interview. Evidently I matched up well. Which is a GREAT THING. You don't want your blog not to match you.

Now that I have internship offers, I have to make a pro-con list today to figure out where I want to be this summer. Definitely not a bad problem to have at all. I cannot complain in the least. I am blessed. I've also had this quote written on my dresser mirror for the past three years. I see it every day. I like to think it has helped me succeed :)

-xoxo Tiff