Kaley Gross of Kaley Gross Photography

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

kaley gross photograpy - profile - #BSCTX Guide - bryan/college station photographer

About a month or so ago, the sweetest person ever reached out to me to meet up and discuss the possibility of a collaboration. After a few sips of coffee, I knew that Kaley (pictured above - isn't she gorgeous?!) and I would get along so well and couldn't wait to work with her on some fun projects! All the images in last week's post were taken by this amazing local photographer and she also took the pictures that'll be in next week's blog post. I am so thankful that she reached out and took the time to do a quick Q&A on her and her photography business for all of you! 

Little Black (Tassels) Dress

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

target little black tassels dress

For the month of March, I somehow avoided Target. Literally, for the entire month. I don't even know how I managed to do that but when I realized it, I was like, "Holy crap, what is my life??" I think that's the first time I've done that in many years. (Target is my homeland, y'all.)

Galentine's Day Gift Guide

Monday, February 1, 2016

galentine's day gift ideas

I loooove Valentine's Day. Everyone is so happy and in love! Really, I feel like people smile more during the month of February. But maybe it's because Valentine's also gives us an excuse to eat more chocolate and drink more wine. (At least that's why I'm smiling!)

I rounded up a few gift ideas to show your girlfriends some love this year. They deserve a little spoiling for always sticking by your side through the ups and downs of your love life. (Lord knows mine definitely do. Y'all are the best!) So whether you get to have a Galentine's Day celebration with your friends or have to send your long distance bestie something by mail, just make sure they feel the love this month with a little gift of appreciation.

Are you celebrating Valentine's Day with your girls? What are your plans?

101 in 1001

Monday, January 25, 2016

As I mentioned in my previous post about lessons I learned in 2015, I spent the past four years making my whole life about other people. It's a really bad habit that I'm determined to break, so I decided that 2016 is going to be all about me. (I mean, I'm the sun, right?) But making a list of resolutions for 2016 didn't feel right. I always start the year off determined to do the same things every single year, like 'lose weight' or 'cut out fast food'. They never seem to direct or motivate me to live a better life.

So when I was browsing through my morning reads, I was really intrigued by Pretty & Fun's post about 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. Her list is filled with various goals, adventures and ways to grow personally. And that is exactly what I need. 

I've been working on my list for the past couple of days and it's almost complete. Every time I thought to myself, "I wish I could do that" or "I really want to try that," I jot it down or emailed the thought to myself to add to the list. I'm seriously so excited to start crossing things off! 

101 in 1001 list suzy speaks

End date: October 22, 2018

  1. Finish writing list of 101 things.  
  2. Inspire someone to create their own 101 in 1001 list.  (2/16)
  3. Take piano lessons. 
  4. Visit NOLA with my grandmother. 
  5. Blog once a week for 6 months in a row. 
  6. Practice yoga for 30 days.
  7. Take a solo vacation. 
  8. Donate to Alpha Delta Pi.
  9. Teach someone something new. (3/16)
  10. Lose 10 pounds.
  11. Pay for someone's order at Starbucks in the drive-thru.
  12. Buy a 35mm lens. 
  13. Take a trip with my best friends. 
  14. Read 50 47 new books. (4/16 - The E-Myth, 6/16 - A Game of Thrones, 10/16 - Content Inc)
  15. Take a photography class. 
  16. Take professional photos of me and my puppies. 
  17. Get a passport. (9/16)
  18. Travel to another country.  (11/16)
  19. Complete Kayla Itsine's BBG 12 week program.
  20. Lose 20 pounds.
  21. Setup office space. 
  22. Hang gallery wall in office. 
  23. Take a trip to NYC. 
  24. Take a trip to Chicago. 
  25. Have 3 months of living expenses in savings.
  26. Pay off credit card debt. 
  27. Pay off one student loan in 2016.  (1/16)
  28. Pay off one student loan in 2017. 
  29. Pay off one student loan in 2018. 
  30. Lose 30 pounds.
  31. Run a 5K.
  32. Buy bar stools for kitchen.
  33. Learn how to make latte art.
  34. Blog twice a week for 6 months in a row.
  35. Host a NYE party. 
  36. Volunteer for Ronald McDonald House. 
  37. Leave a 100% tip. 
  38. Donate to the Association of Former Students. 
  39. Purchase headboard for bedroom. 
  40. Lose 40 pounds.
  41. Replace ADPi pin. 
  42. Guest post on another blog. 
  43. Become a RewardStyle member. 
  44. Send out Christmas cards. 
  45. Stick to a diet for 28 days in a row.  (3/16)
  46. Sew custom pillow cases for living room. 
  47. Cut out fast food for 21 days in a row.  (3/16)
  48. Cut out sugar for 21 days in a row.  (3/16)
  49. Cut out dairy for 21 days in a row. (3/16)
  50. Lose 50 pounds. 
  51. Learn how to hem jeans. 
  52. Purchase a David Yurman bracelet.
  53. Take a ski trip. 
  54. Instagram once a day for 14 days in a row. 
  55. Review a new place for my Bryan/College Station guide once a month for 12 months. 
  56. Make 5 new friends. 
  57. Send out thank you notes. 
  58. Host a girls night. 
  59. Join a gym. 
  60. Make a YouTube video. 
  61. Learn how to use hot rollers. 
  62. Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 
  63. Take a camping trip. 
  64. Try 10 3 new recipes. (1/16 - Simply Roasted Chicken Thighs, Honey Mustard Salmon; 3/16 - Beef Enchilada Bake, Paleo Homestyle Meatloaf, Paleo Pot Roast, Whole30 Chili; 8/16 - Crockpot Pineapple Pork Chops)
  65. Attend a marketing conference. 
  66. Attend a blogging conference. 
  67. Go on a Bluebonnet Wine Trail.
  68. Shut off all electronics 30 minutes before bed for 30 days. 
  69. Make gumbo from scratch. 
  70. Learn how to two-step.
  71. Get custom fit tennis shoes. 
  72. Try a spin class. 
  73. Try a barre class. 
  74. Go to First Friday in Downtown Bryan. 
  75. Take a cooking class. 
  76. Reach 2K followers on Instagram. 
  77. Fly first class. 
  78. Run an 8 minute mile. 
  79. Become a contributing writer on a website. 
  80. Do a 30 for 30 wardrobe remix. 
  81. Go to The Nutcracker ballet.
  82. Fall in love. (7/16)
  83. Reach 1K followers on Twitter. 
  84. Make blog business cards. 
  85. Create consistent branding across all social media platforms. 
  86. Take a flower arrangements class.
  87. Go to an Aggie football game. 
  88. Have a girls weekend with my mom and little sister.
  89. Learn how to speak French.
  90. Learn how to make sushi. 
  91. Shoot a home tour for the blog.
  92. Have a glass of wine at Messina Hof. 
  93. Tour a vineyard. 
  94. Go to an Aggie basketball game.
  95. Travel for an Aggie football game. 
  96. Do something outside of my comfort zone. (3/16)
  97. Mail care packages to each of my siblings.
  98. Vote in an election.
Keep up with the progress of my list by clicking on the 101 in 1001 tab under Categories in the navigation bar! 

Grub Burger Bar

Monday, January 11, 2016

Grub Burger Bar College Station, Texas

Grub Burger Bar Dining Area
Grub Burger Bar
Grub Burger Bar Menu
Grub Burger Bar Honey Ssam Tuna & Edamame
Grub Burger Bar Luau Fries
Grub Burger Bar Harlem Chicken Tenders
Grub Burger Bar Charred Caesar Salad
Grub Burger Bar You're My Boy Blue Burger
Grub Burger Bar Kitchen Sink Milkshake
Grub Burger Bar Spiked Bourbon & Caramel Milkshake
The great thing about living in College Station for about 7 years now is watching it grow into a place that's attractive to more than college students. Yes, most places open here because college students will be their main customers, but I love when I stumble upon places that can see beyond that demographic (aka: families and post-grads). Grub Burger Bar is definitely one of those places and I was beyond excited when they reached out to me last month about coming in for a Grub Feast. 

Emphasis on feast. The staff at Grub truly stuffed me, my family, and my blogging/real life bestie to the brim. We tried different burgers, various milkshakes, and a few of their yummy yummy appetizers. It was a lot of fun and want to give a shout out to them for their excellent service. Their staff in College Station is extremely knowledgeable about the whole menu and their history. Also, thanks to my family for dealing with me taking a billion pictures. It was really hard to not eat everything right away! #bloggerproblems

If I had to narrow it down to the perfect Grub trip for you and your friends, I'd say this is the must try list

+ Start off with the Luau Fries if you're looking for some comfort food. It's sweet potato waffle fries (yuuuum) topped with pulled pork, grilled pineapple slices, jalapenos, Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, and a tooon of melted cheese. This is also the perfect if you're feeling hungover but your friends/family insist on dragging you out into the sunlight. 

+ If you're hungry but want to start off with something light and a little healthier, definitely get the Honey Ssam Tuna & Edamame. The honey ssam vinaigrette is so good that you kinda wanna just drink it on it's own - not that any of us did that... 

+ Now for your main course, order the Jive Turkey. It's on their Burgers That Don't Moo menu and it is so freakin' delicious. I get it every time. Yes, I'm one of those people who orders the same thing over and over when I find something I love. But I'm not the only one who is obsessed with it! My mom and Kitty both sing it's praises as well. It's a turkey burger with bacon, sprouts, avocado, cheese, and a chipotle mayonnaise spread. Delicious. 

+ If you want your burger to moo, try the Guacapotle or the You're My Boy Blue burgers. We had both of them at the feast and they're both delicious. My dad was a big fan of the You're My Boy Blue burger. It has grilled onions and bleu cheese on top of a juicy patty.

+ Let's say though you're not in the mood for a burger. I suggest trying their Harlem Chicken Tenders or one of their yummy salads. When the staff brought out the chicken tenders, my little sister and niece pounced on them. Saying they loved them is an understatement. I, on the other hand, tried out their Charred Caesar salad and their Chapel Hill salad. If you're feeling something heartier, definitely go down the Charred Caesar salad route. I don't know how they cook the chicken for that salad, but it's so freakin' good. The Chapel Hill salad is perfect if you want something light but packs a punch with flavor. It's a new addition to their menu and hopefully will stay for a long time. The dressing on that salad is so tasty, my mouth is watering right now thinking about it. (Yup, I just decided to get it to-go for lunch this week. I'm excited.)

+ Finally, you have to absolutely top off your meal with a milkshake. You can't go wrong with their handcrafted shakes or their spiked shakes. (Personally, I like the spiked milkshakes. What can I say?)  We tried the Kitchen Sink and the Worms & Dirt milkshakes. Both are super good. The Kitchen Sink looks scary/weird at first, but it'll quickly become your's or your kid's fan favorite. And of course, everyone loves a good ol' gummy worms and crushed up Oreos. If you don't, what is wrong with your taste buds, friend? For the spiked shakes, get the Mint Chocolate Chip. It takes like a nice bowl of Blue Bell with alcohol. Can't beat it!

Grub has a really fun atmosphere that's great for taking the family out or meeting up with a group of friends. Honestly, I don't think you'll find something on the menu that'll disappoint. I've been going here since they opened their first location in College Station a couple years ago and have yet to get something that hasn't disappeared off the plate in seconds. They're opening a lot of new locations across the US, so if you see one in your area, definitely go try them out!

*While Grub Burger Bar provided the feast for me and my guests, all opinions in this post are my own. Trust me, their burgers are super tasty. Go eat one ASAP.*

5 Lessons 2015 Taught Me

Monday, January 4, 2016

5 lessons 2015 taught me
2015 was a defining year for me. It had a lot of ups and a lot of downs. I was blessed to be part of two beautiful weddings for girls I love so much. I ended a relationship of four years. I landed my dream job. I had a few grandparents end up in the hospital. I turned 25... (Still trying to get used to saying that number.) 

The list goes on and on. With all the ups and downs, I learned a lot about myself and about the life I want to live. Since I've been on bed rest for the past few days because I've had some back/hip problems, I've had time to reflect on the top five lessons I learned in 2015. 

It's okay to say no.
All of my life, I've struggled with needing to please people. In the past four years, my need to say yes to everyone went to a whole new level. I put others happiness and needs ahead of my own. It became so bad that I started having anxiety attacks because I couldn't figure out how to balance my life while constantly saying yes to others. I even started taking anxiety medication because I felt that I needed it in order to make it through the day.

Everything came to a head in October and I couldn't handle the stress anymore. So in true Suzy fashion, I ran away. I went to Boston and stayed with my best friend and her husband for a month. (Fortunately, my job at the time allowed me to work remotely.) While I was there, my friends helped me realize that I need my anxiety medication. I was so happy without it. Getting away from everything that stressed me out made me realize that I needed to start saying yes to myself more and no to others. When I returned back to Texas, I made a few life changes and am happy to say that I haven't had an anxiety attack since November.

Be yourself.
I know. This is such an obvious lesson that everyone should know by now. But really, this goes hand in hand with my need to please people. I also don't like conflict and want others to feel comfortable around me. So I end up over monitoring what I say or do around others. Trust me, that's no way to live. 

In November, I began looking for new job opportunities and started to feel my anxiety come back when I thought about interviewing with companies. I was still sorting through my "I need to make people happy and say yes to whatever they want" feelings during this time. My first phone interview surprisingly helped me understand that it's okay to be myself and it's okay to say things others may not like or agree with. I was stressing myself out thinking about the phone call. I studied the company and made a lot of notes and had a ton of questions prepared. Right before the company, I told myself, "Screw it. If they don't like me, then they don't like me." Great attitude, right? But it honestly helped me let go of all my stress and anxiety. It was the best phone interview I've ever had and helped me believe in myself again.

Build others up when they shine.
In the blogging community, you meet a lot of amazing people. There are so many seasoned bloggers out there who are extremely helpful to new bloggers. I mean, sometimes it surprises me. But, there are bloggers out there who probably spend more time tearing others down than actually blogging. I was amazed by the negativity when I started joining different groups here and there to connect with bloggers and learn how to improve my blog. Bloggers would post about how "so and so" stole their idea and got more likes on their post or they have more readers/followers than "so and so" but a company partnered with "so and so" instead of them. I mean, some people even go so far as to comment on blog posts or Instagram accounts to call other bloggers out. Honestly, it started to put a bad taste in my mouth for blogging. What's the point of tearing others down when they're achieving their goals or succeeding in their industry?

Since reading this post on Shine Theory, I can't imagine why we can't just be happy for others who are succeeding. When your friends/colleagues/acquaintances shine, you shine too. If you struggle with comparing yourself to others, I strongly encourage you to read that post. It was eye opening for me. When I start to read those negative posts or begin to compare myself to someone else's journey, I remember the shine theory and focus on being happy for others. 

Cut out toxic relationships.
Learning how to say no, be myself, and build others up also taught me that it's okay to burn bridges. Sometimes, relationships go sour and no longer benefit you or the other person. This was a struggle for me. I don't like not being liked. I don't want people about me behind my back. I mean, who does? I want to be everyone's friend. I want everyone to like me. I had a few friendships this year that I felt I was giving so much and receiving so little in return. Why didn't this person treat me like I treated them? I would stress out and cry about it. I let it eat at me until I went to Boston. While there I realized that if those friendships were making me that stressed out, then I probably needed to let them go. Honestly, it's crazy how much happier you become when you don't have to worry about those toxic friendships anymore. 

Be gracious.
You know, I learned a lot while in Boston. My best friend would probably laugh if I said this to her, but she really taught me a lot about being gracious while staying with her. She is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know. She sends out genuine thank you notes, she gives gifts to those who help her like the people at the front desk of her apartment complex or the woman who does her nails, she makes time to call her grandmother every day. Whenever I talk to her, she doesn't make me feel like she has other things to do or doesn't care about what I have to say. She's very attentive to her husband and others. She taught me the difference between pleasing people and serving people. Serving people doesn't mean you do everything others want you to do. It means being kind, listening, and being genuine to those around you. 

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me and supported me for the past year. I've learned so much and am so excited to see what 2016 will bring!