About Donnica Smalls

http://www.donnicakelsey.com

Resident Palmetto Peach expert on glitter, baking and why football is the 5th season. Pragmatic dreamer. "I might bend a little bit, but I don't fold."

Posts by Donnica Smalls:

#Latergram: Put Your Phone Down

Whatever happened to living in the moment?

At Hangout this year, I watched a friend get super frustrated that she couldn’t get a good video of Mumford and Sons on Snapchat. To be fair, she was drunk, but her bad mood from not being able to get amazing footage killed my vibe. I just wanted to jump and dance around to “Little Lion Man”. But to be fair, I’ve be I’ve been that person too. A few weeks ago at Music Midtown, I watched a lot of Bruno Mars’ set through the iPhone screens in front of me. I was trying really hard to record “Versace on the Floor” and “When I Was Your Man”. But all I (and countless others) really got was a low quality version of a performance we could’ve been experiencing.

#Latergram: Put Your Phone Down - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Why?

Because we’ve become so obsessed with recording our lives. Too many people are too busy “doing it for the ‘Gram” (wait, do people still say that) trying to get likes and followers rather than living in the present. When I finally put my phone down, I danced and sang screeched my way through Bruno’s set.  At the end of the night my feet and back hurt. We kinda lost two of our friends who left to get us water. But I had the time of my life and I enjoyed the hell out of that concert.

Let me share another story with you:

Pulling out the parking lot at Starbucks the other day, I was the witness to a pretty remarkable scene. With the exception of one table, everyone was sitting with a group or at least one other person. However, everyone was on their phone. The next thing I saw was a young woman with a little toddler. Juice box in hand, the little girl stopped at the curb and put her hand out to be held as they walked into the parking lot area. Here’s the thing, her mom/sister/babysitter was too busy looking at her phone to notice the little girl had stopped and extended her hand. I became extremely annoyed with all of those strangers. I don’t know why it bothered me so much that particular day, but I told myself I was being a hypocrite. In that moment I vowed to step back and not partake in this madness (as much) and that I’d put my phone down more. I’m encouraging you to do the same.

You may need to put your phone down if:

  • You’ve almost injured yourself because you were walking and looking at your phone.
  • If you’re Instagramming your food and not paying attention to your date.
  • You’re too busy live-tweeting Scandal you missed most of Olivia’s monument or asterisk monologue.
  • You’re in a room full of people and not engaging in the conversation or at the very least doing some people watching.

We’re so involved in this race to capture everything that’s going on around us that we’re only getting a diluted form of the actual experience. So in the next few weeks try to:

  • Limit what makes it in your Snapchat story. You don’t need to take a snap of every song during your favorite artists show. At the next concert you attend, maybe take a quick video at the beginning and then put your phone away and enjoy the show.
  • Talk to a stranger. Now I’m not saying go find a creep, but have a little social interaction instead of resorting through scrolling through your Instagram feed.
  • Enjoy your meal, don’t Instagram it. Look some of your brunch pics are mouthwatering, but bite into that eggs benedict and get all that hollandaise sauce.  Order two baskets of duck fat fries and enjoy. No one has to know you’re on your 3rd cheat meal of the week.
  • Do it IRL. Yes, in real life. Instead of browsing through Pinterest for hours, grab a friend and hit up an antique store, craft shop, or mall and browse IRL.

Go have some experiences and if you take a picture or two make it a #latergram and keep living in the moment. Or just put your phone down and make a conscious effort to go screen free because real life is out there waiting for you to experience it.

What about you? Are you good about putting your phone down and getting the full experience? Leave a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness

While the first day of fall was last month, fall is finally beginning to creep into Atlanta. I do, however, mean creep. The mornings are cool, but by lunchtime it’s back 80°. Leaves are starting to change and fall. Pumpkins are popping up everywhere and football rules the weekends.

The shorter days and longer nights are on the way. Typically fall is the time of year I exercise less. I tend to hibernate all fall and winter, perfectly comfortable spending my time on the couch. Whether watching football or TGIT. However, when I think about it fall is really the perfect excuse to slow down and take extra time to really look after yourself. Below are four tips to fit in health and fitness this fall. 

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Fallin’ into Health and Fitness

Savor seasonal produce.  

Nourish your body this season with seasonal foods. Shopping for seasonal produce will also save you some precious coins. Apples, cabbage, cranberries,  eggplant, kale, pears, persimmons (hey, Charleston folks), pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Basically think fall colors when you’re cruising by the produce: deep greens, dark yellow and oranges.  Fall is the perfect time to crank out some hearty and healthy soups and stews. Remember the crock-pot is your friend.

Work out at home.

I get it the days feel shorter and maybe fitting a workout into your routine feels a little harder. I try to tell myself that even 15 or 20 minutes is enough time to get in a quick workout. I use walking my dog around my complex as my warm up and am not above a living room workout. I bought a set of resistance bands I could set up on my door for full body workouts turning my living room into my own personal home gym. However, figure out what works best for you:  fitness DVDs, Youtube videos, Nike Training Club, or the Tone It Up program.

Protect ya neck!

Well literally, but also just layer up. I started sniffling last night and realized I probably should have thrown on another layer to walk my pup. The change in season brings about a change in climate. I know some people are already feeling the change in weather and in some places it’s basically 90° everyday. No matter where you live, be prepared when the temperatures do start to dip and keep this in mind as you plan outdoor activities.

Indulge

As much as I support eating healthy and finding times to fit in fitness. I think you should also make time for yourself and indulge. Whatever that looks like to you. Spend time relaxing at home, wrap up in your favorite blanket, wear your favorite hoodie and enjoy some early nights in. Binge watch Stranger Things and drink a spiked cider. Go and get the PSL with the whole milk and extra syrup. Now I’m not saying drink three a day, but bat an eye at the mention of calories and savor that latte.  

Do you plan on fitting in more health and fitness into your fall? Leave a comment below and tell me how. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

90s Kind of World: Renaissance Apparel

I was born in the 80s (’89 but it still counts) and raised in the 90s. Argue with me if you want, but the 90s produced some of the best entertainment of all-time! Don’t @ me. So when my good friend Ashley started a clothing company, Renaissance Apparel, dedicated to the 90s, I was ecstatic. In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, I thought I’d do a little Q&A with Ashley to get some thoughts on her 90s fave and to learn more about the company.

90s Kind of World: Renaissance Apparel - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

90s Kind of World – Renaissance Apparel

Donni: Tell the readers a little bit about Renaissance Apparel. How did you come up with that name?

Ashley: A millennial’s favorite tool: GOOGLE! I knew that I wanted the name to represent the era and not me. The era of the 90s represented so much from family, friends, growing up, culture and so much more. I knew I wanted it to be a rebirth of all of those characteristics. I used google to find synonyms for the word “rebirth.” After a few unsuccessful attempts, I finally settled on Renaissance Apparel.

90s Kind of World: Renaissance Apparel - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

P.S. That gorgeous lady in the middle is my friend Ashley! 🙂 Photo Credit: Renaissance Apparel

D: What was it about the 90s that inspired you to create this company?

A: Being born in the late 80s, I’ve always been fascinated and in love with 90s sitcoms, music and culture. That decade basically raised me on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Looking through my playlists of music, I discovered that 70% of my library contained 90s music. Seriously, who doesn’t love Biggie, Aaliyah, and Tupac?

D: That’s true. I was just jamming to Aaliyah this morning. If you could bring back one 90s TV show, which would you choose?
A: Bringing back one 90s tv show would be awesome! If I had my pick, I would choose The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. That has to be my favorite show of all time. The comedy, underhanded jokes from Will and Geoffrey, and sense of family are definitely needed in 2017. I’d love to see how the characters deal with today’s issues that are prevalent.

D: I don’t know why a Fresh Prince reunion hasn’t happened yet. What are some of your favorite 90s movie(s)?

A: My favorite movies from the 90s are:

  • Bad Boys
  • Power Rangers Turbo (don’t judge)
  • Friday
  • Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
  • Forest Gump
  • Clueless
  • BAPS

D: Me, judge? I couldn’t even if I wanted to because these are all good choices. Add The Sandlot and the list is near perfect. Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead is one of my favorites, too. Reasons why we’re friends. 🙂 Okay, here’s a hard one: Tupac or Biggie?

A:Don’t make me choose! I love them both for different reasons. If I had to choose, I’d choose Tupac.

D: I always choose Tupac, so I approve. Magic School Bus or Rugrats?

A: Definitely Magic School Bus! I love Miss Frizzle so much that I made it my IG name 🙂

D: Hmm, ok. Proud Family or All That?

A: I’d say All That. It was basically a younger version of In Living Color. I loved the skits!

D: I miss All That. What about Fresh Prince or Martin?

A: Noooo! My two favorites! I’ve seen every episode from both of these shows. I’ll go with Martin!

D: That’s all I have! I can’t wait to see what new releases you have and don’t be surprised when you see my second order come through.

There’s a 40% off sale going on right now. So if you enjoyed reminiscing about the 90s go grab a few tees. Be sure to follow Renaissance Apparel on Facebook and Instagram!

What are some of your favorite 90s TV shows, movies, or songs? Let me know in the comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Fall 2017 TV Preview: Let Me Be Your TV Guide

It’s that time of year, peeps. In my head/ former life, I just know I was a TV show writer — all hits of course. However, since I’m in this life, I’ll just give you a fall 2017 TV preview. If you’re behind on any of your favorite shows, you may want to skip my commentary and just jot down the dates because there may be spoilers.

 Fall 2017 TV Preview: Let Me Be Your TV Guide - The Palmetto Peaches

Fall 2017 TV Preview: Most Anticipated

This Is Us (NBC)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c

I basically needed a box of tissues for every episode last season. So I’ll be buying in bulk before the second season begins. You know the saying about failing to plan. As you may recall, this is how we left the Pearsons:

  • Back in the past Jack has left Rebecca after a huge fight
  • Randall threw the idea out to Beth about adopting
  • Kevin scored a big movie right after winning Sophie back
  • Kate decided to pursure singing, like her mom

Things I need Answered: HOW DID JACK DIE? But most importantly will the second season live up to the amazingness that was the first season and what kind of narrative tricks are they going to pull on us?

Scandal (ABC)

Premieres: Thursday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m./8c

This is the FINAL season of Scandal. I was still in grad school that fateful premiere day: April 5, 2012. As sad as I am to see it go and as much as I will miss the Twitter conversations, it’s time. I will have popcorn every Thursday and I will even drink red wine instead of my usual white. I’ll continue to @ Scott Foley – aka Jake aka Pillow Lips – (who has liked my tweets to him several times) and Papa Pope himself, the incomparable Joe Morton (who has also retweeted/liked my tweets).

 I’ve read the final season starts 100 days into Mellie’s presidency and we’re going to really see a new side of Olivia as the new head of B613. I’m also very curious to see the new Quinn Perkins & Associates and how that storyline all plays out. Finally, will Fitz and Olivia end up together? I hope not. #TeamJake. 

The Walking Dead (AMC)

Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 22 at 9 p.m./8c

The season 8 premiere is going to be the 100th episode of The Walking Dead. That’s crazy! And I have a feeling that the executive producers Scott M. Gimple and Greg Nicotero will pull out all the stops for this episode. The comic-con teaser had me hyped from from the first moment we hear Negan’s voice over about two seconds into the teaser.

Here’s what to expect: ALL OUT WAR

The battle is coming, y’all. Those trash people double-crossed our group to work with Negan and the Saviors, but we’ve got the Kingdom and Hilltop on our side. I say our because obviously I feel like I’m a part of Rick’s group.

 Stranger Things (Netflix)

Premieres: Friday, Oct. 27

Y’all I’m geeked. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling Stranger Things the first episode or two. It just started so slow to me, but then I was hooked. Did you know the first season nabbed 18 Emmy nominations? That’s how good it was.

So here’s where we left off: Eleven, played by the oh, so charming and cool, Millie Bobby Brown, sacrificed herself to defeat the Demogorgon. Meanwhile, poor little Will gets rescued only to cough up something. A slug? Will, little man, what did you bring back from the Upside-Down?

I want to see how Nancy handles Barb’s death and what looks like could be a love triangle with Steve and Jonathan.

Fall 2017 TV Preview: Oldies but Goodies

A few of these shows are only four seasons in, but that’s enough to call it an oldie, right?

  • American Horror Story: Cult → Season 7 premiere; Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m./ 9c
  • You’re the Worst (FXX) Season 4 premiere; Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m./9c
  • Dancing with the Stars (ABC) →  Season 25 premiere ; Monday Sept. 18 at 8 p.m./7c
  • The Voice (NBC)Season 13 premiere; Monday,Sept. 25 at 8 p.m./7c
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) → Season 5 premiere: Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m./8:30c
  • Empire (Fox) Season 4 premiere; Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. /7c
  • How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) → Season 4 premiere ; Thursday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m./9c
  • Black-ish (ABC) → Season 4 premiere; Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m./8c
  • Once Upon a Time (ABC) →  Season 7 premiere; Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m./7c
    • The cast got all shaken up for this season, so I’m not sure it’s going to fly. I almost considered putting it in the hit or miss section.
  • Jane the Virgin (The CW) → Season 4 premiere; Friday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m./8c
  • Shameless (Showtime) → Season 8 premiere; Sunday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m./8c

The Mindy Project (Hulu)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 12

I love Mindy Kaling and I love Mindy Lahiri. However, the upcoming sixth season will be the final season of the show. Bless Hulu for keeping this one alive after Fox canceled it.

When we left Mindy, she was proposing to Ben (beautiful Bryan Greenberg). I’m interested to see if marriage actually works out for Mindy and what her happily ever after will look like. I follow Mindy on Instagram and it’s been weird seeing her post photos of the final wrap days for some of my favorite characters.

 Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m./7c

Until Shonda makes the sun set on this show, I will continue to watch. No matter how many gallons of tears I shed over these fictional characters, I will keep coming back for more pain (and laughter).  Season 14 should bring a lot of drama with Meredith’s promise for new love (R.I.P Derek) being ripped from her. To be honest, I think Alex and Meredith are endgame. Don’t @ me!

(more…)

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay: A Pep-Talk

I used to tell myself that I shouldn’t cry because there were people going through so much more than I was. I thought crying (outside of the sappy-movie-watching type of cry) meant I was mentally weak.

All of this is false.

I’m not a person that battles with anxiety or depression, but sometimes I just have a bad day or bad days. Plural. Life is hard. Adulting is hard.  One of the things I dislike the most is when people try to tell me how I should be feeling. What problems could you really have? Suck it up. It can’t really be that bad.

It's Okay Not To Be Okay: A Pep-Talk - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Well you know what? Sometimes it can be that bad. Stress and sadness can affect anyone.  So here’s a pep-talk for anyone else struggling with anything.

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay: A Pep-Talk

You’re allowed to have bad days.

There will be days when you just feel stuck. 

Sometimes you need to have a good cry.

Break all the way down if you have to. Because life can get really hard. Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re feeling doesn’t matter or that you shouldn’t be feeling it. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s probably worse to pretend that everything is okay.

Call a friend. Turn your phone on silent. Watch a ton of Netflix movies and continue to tell it you’re still watching. Order that pizza with double the meats and get the bread sticks too. Talk to your dog. Crawl under the covers and wallow for a bit. Drink some tequila and dance it out like Meredith Grey.

You’re human and it’s okay not to be okay. Here’s the thing: have your bad day (or two) but don’t dwell in it.  Start putting yourself together. Figure out the root of the problem. Make a plan. Talk to someone. Refocus. This is not the end and you are still here. Heal.

Bonus: Let Kid President give you some words of encouragement.

How do you deal with your bad days? Leave a comment below. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Total Eclipse 101

I’ve been belting “Total Eclipse of the Heart” just about every time I come across a solar eclipse story or hear someone mention needing glasses.  I’ve seen a lot of questions or confusion about the upcoming total solar eclipse – one friend even asking if special glasses were necessary.  

P.S. Yes, they are if you want to keep your eyeballs and not go blind!!

So like the nerd I am I’ve pulled together a little info – just the basics – about the eclipse.

Total Eclipse 101 - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Total Eclipse 101

Wait so what is it?

Basically, a solar eclipse is what happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking out the light from the sun and forming a fast-moving shadow on the surface of our planet.  

Why is everyone freaking out?

This is the first total solar eclipse to occur solely in the United States since 1918. For most Americans, this is the best chance we’ll get to see a solar eclipse in our lifetimes. There’s another solar eclipse happening in 2024, but it’s not a coast-to-coast event like this.

Anyways, this go around will put an estimated 12 million people in the path of totality (more on this later). Also, the greatamericaneclipse website, estimates that between 1.85 and 7.4 million people will visit the path of totality on eclipse day. Basically, this is America’s golden ticket to get inside the Wonka factory.

What is “the path of totality”?

Okay folks, so people are going to throw around this term a lot. The path of totality is the 70-mile-wide, 3,000-mile-long area that lies directly in the shadow of the moon. For this eclipse, it will start off the coast of Oregon and sweep across the country to my beautiful hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. If you’re outside the path of totality, you will see a partial eclipse – like a cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Total Eclipse 101 - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Source: NASA

 

What to expect

It’ll happen pretty quickly. From everything I’ve read, the most people will view the full event in about 2.5 minutes. Here’s the funny thing: apparently eclipses give Mother Nature a buzz or drunk goggles, if you will.  The sky will grow dark, birds will stop singing, some  around the horizon, temperatures will drop, and you might even spot a few stars. Eclipses also confuse Mother Nature, so animals be going a little batty.

What not to do

For the love of pizza, do not look at the sun without some protective eyewear. There’s basically a 50% chance of vision loss. For anyone along the path of totality, you’ll get to take your glasses off temporarily when the moon covers the entire sun. But look, you’re not going to sue me for bad advice.  Check out this website for eclipse safety.

So that’s it! Is anyone taking a trip to view the solar eclipse in the path of totality? Or do you live in that area? Leave me a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches