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:

Five Things To Do With The Extra Sunlight

Five Things To Do With The Extra Sunlight - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comWe’re about a week out from the first day of spring and it’s snowing…

Five Things To Do With The Extra Sunlight - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Despite the cold weather, it will officially be brighter in the evenings each day. Thanks Daylight Saving Time. Although – first world problem alert – I get slightly annoyed by having to change all of my clocks that don’t automatically update. Seriously, yesterday I totally forgot about the clock on my stove and confused myself for half of the day. Although, this is looking like an unusually long winter, I think we should all use this additional daylight to increase our productivity. So please join me in engaging in some new or productive activities with all the extra sunlight coming your way. So here are five things to do with the extra sunlight.

Five Things To Do With The Extra Sunlight

Exercise Outside

I’ve been on a pretty consistent gym schedule, but with the extra sunlight I’m going to try and find some outdoor routines. Yoga In The Park starts later this month in my city. Check Meetup or local yoga studios to see if anything similar exists in your town. I may even attempt to run outside. I’m a little traumatized from my experience of starting the couch to 5K program and almost being hit by a car on day one, so we’ll see.

Meet Up For An Outdoor Happy Hour

I fully plan to take advantage of patio weather when it arrives. Brunch, lunch, or breweries, I don’t care. Just sit me on a patio, please.

Work Outside

I do not have a window in my office. So unless I visit my coworkers with the a view or take a walk outside I have no idea what’s happening with the weather. Also, I have a bad habit of just locking myself in the office – until dark sometimes – when I want to get things finished. My resolution is if I have work from the day leftover, I’ll take it home and work from my balcony and enjoy those last fleeting moments of daylight.

Read that Book You’ve Bought But Never Started Outdoors

Here’s an opportunity for you non-outdoorsy folks (me) to enjoy the great outdoors besides just brunching on patios. Go outside and take that book you’ve been meaning to read or finish reading.

Evening Walk

When it gets dark early, I rush my pup on our walk. I’m going to slow things down and enjoy a nice long walk in the evening with Sgt. Pepper. Besides a long walk will tire him out and he’ll head straight to his bed or just snooze on my feet until it’s officially bed time.

What are some things you plan to do with the extra sunlight? Leave a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Rom-Com Fake Out: The Time Netflix Tricked Me

Rom-Com Fake Out: The Time Netflix Tricked Me - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comAll I wanted was a recommendation for a good rom-com and Netflix let me all the way down. Netflix actually tricked me. I thought no one understood me better than Netflix, but this relationship was a lie. So, if you’ll indulge me: I have a quick story.

Rom-Com Fake Out: The Time Netflix Tricked Me

Let me set the scene for you: It’s a Saturday night and no part of my body or soul wants to go out and drink or socialize with other humans. I had all the conversation I needed chatting with my four-legged bestie, Sgt. Pepper. I’d read a few chapters of a book and decided to Netflix it for the rest of the night. I had wine and about a half a pan of salted caramel brownies at my disposal and all I needed was a rom-com to pair with it.

As I scroll through my options, I realized I’ve watched everything hundreds of times. I know all the dialogue for Two Weeks Notice, so I have to skip that one. Leap Year. I just watched that…next. Bridget Jones’ Diary: meh…Renee isn’t going to do it for me. Next.  Hope Floats..Ok, Netflix I get it. You know I love Sandra Bullock. Step Up. Well, I just watched She’s The Man (the best Channing Tatum movie). So, I decide to skip that movie as well. As I continue to scroll I see a title I don’t recognize: Copenhagen and decide to give it a chance.

How Netflix Played Me

Now, here’s where everything starts to go left. The movie has 3.5 stars which is good enough for me, so I don’t really read the description. Big mistake. Huge!

The movie is about this 28 year old guy (this is important) named William. Moving forward, he will be referenced as homeboy. Homeboy is traveling to Denmark to find his grandfather. However, his only clue is an old letter he finds among the items of his deceased father who abandoned him. Homeboy doesn’t speak Danish and as a result needs help. He ends up meeting a nice girl who decides to help him with his quest. Homeboy clearly has issues with women. However, you see their chemistry and how she’s clearly quite different from all of the other women he’s encountered and is slowly changing him. It’s pretty cute. Here’s where it goes super sideways. Homegirl is 14. 1-4. As in illegal AF.

I’m now distraught and obviously felt the need to go back and read the description. Because how in the hammerhead halibut is this categorized as romance?  I thought this was called pedophilia. Netflix tricked me!!

Actual Description: An immature womanizer in search of Dad. It’s about time someone helped him grow up. Even if it’s a girl half his age. 

Thanks, Netflix! Now, that I’ve been flagged for watching this. My government job is now in jeopardy, but I felt like I might as well finish it since my name will forever be on a list. I might as well see how it ends. I think that there must be a twist. Surely, this 28 year old man knows better than to hang out with this, albeit mature,14 year old girl.

Here’s actual footage of me watching the rest of the movie:

Rom-Com Fake Out: The Time Netflix Tricked Me - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 

Me: Homeboy don’t you dare tell her you love her. She’s slamming shots. No, no, no. Cigarettes? Don’t you dare kiss her. Leave your top on, ma’m!!

Suffice it to say, I was and still am very disappointed in Netflix for that rom-com fake out.

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30 Days of Decluttering: A Minimalism Challenge

30 Days of Decluttering: A Minimalism Challenge - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com If you’re interested in participating in this challenge you may want to check out my Minimalism 101 post or my Art of Decluttering post.

I’ve pulled together a challenge for the month of March to tackle some physical decluttering needs that adds adds on some decluttering of items that are using up our mental energy as well.  While I’m calling it a decluttering challenge, you can also think of this as start to your journey to minimalism. If minimalism isn’t your thing, consider this a spring cleaning challenge.

“Sometimes, the only way to figure out what is really important is to get rid of everything that isn’t.”

30 Days of Decluttering: A Minimalism Challenge - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Click here or the image above to print off your own copy of the challenge.

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Cultivating Stronger Friendships in Your Late 20s

Cultivating Stronger Friendships in Your Late 20s - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

I’ve touched on the difficulty of making new friends before, but what about the friends you already have. One of my goals for this year was to put more effort into maintaining and cultivating stronger friendships. I’ve thought a lot about why it’s so easy to drift apart from the people you love so much. I finally realized for me, it’s because my friends and I are in all different stages of life.

I’m 27. Single – not actively looking, but open to a relationship. I’m focused on my career and perfectly happy being a fur parent. I love kids, but at this stage I can’t imagine trying to find a babysitter to watch my kid when I want to have a wild night in Buckhead. I also don’t want to go out every weekend. I’m perfectly content with parking my body on the couch with Netflix or a good book, my pup, and sweatpants (wine is always included).

Cultivating Stronger Friendships in Your Late 20s - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Some of my friends are married. Some of my friends are married with kid(s). Others are out every weekend, waking up with hangovers. I’ve got a few friends who are actively trying to lock down a significant others, while others are on every dating app – just looking for hookups. A few people have never left our hometown, while others are traveling every chance they have. Some are still doing what we were doing at 21 (how Sway? Is your liver okay?) others have started companies.

So what’s a girl to do to stay connected?

Friendships take work

Don’t forget about how your friends have been there for you. Likely, they’ve seen you through something – even if it was just a rough finals week. Then think about what connected you. Friendships take work, just like any other relationship. So you’ll have to put in a little effort. I’ve been lucky to hold on to a few of my friendships from high school. Oddly enough, I’ve also become very close with some people I went to high school with, but would not – at that time – even think to call them a friend.

It’s hard to stay connected to someone you were friends with when you were 14, but not impossible. One of my high school besties is married and a fantastic mom. Have I ever had a wedding? No, but we talked about all the wedding things. I even designed her Save the Dates. Have I ever had a baby? No, but we talked about all the baby things and I helped her sister-in-law through her baby shower.

My point is as long as you don’t forget about those who have been there for you – you will be able to find  You won’t always have everything in common, but you will always have the common ground that your friendship was based on. Sometimes that is enough, if you both still want to be in each other’s lives.

Maintaining Friendships

This year, I’m determined to make more of an effort. I’m celebrating birthdays. I’m sending letters, cards, care packages – just because. Earlier this month, I sent Galentine’s Day packages to some of my favorite ladies – local and abroad. But it’s not just about gifts. I’m going to schedule regular phone dates and just check-in on people. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone ask you “Are you okay” and mean it.

I realize my friends are my friends because they support me in whatever I do. Sometimes they laugh at me, but I know they love me unconditionally.

So to my friends who may be reading this:

If you need a home cooked meal, to borrow my dog for some puppy snuggles, a hug, a ride, my Netflix password, someone to proofread your resume, occupy your little one while you wash your hair, a wing girl, someone to help you hide the body or someone just to do nothing with – I’m here.  And I love you!

Cultivating Stronger Friendships in Your Late 20s - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Anyone else struggling with maintaining friendships? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year

I am always Team Book. I will always be Team Book. However, I do like to see the screen adaptations of the books I read. I have to read the book first though. I’ll wait until a movie is available on DVD, rather than view the screen adaption before getting a change to read the book. I’ve got a few book-to-screen adaptations I’m looking forward to in my list below. You will not find the new 50 Shades movie here because I think the book is trash.  To be clear, it’s not the “sexy” content that I think is trash, it’s the awful writing.#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

I joined the Show Your Blog Love Book Club and Big Little Lies is the book we’re reading for February. My book was just delivered last Friday and It’s a page turner. The HBO miniseries premieres this weekend and I don’t think I’ll be finished in time to watch it live, but I’m off on Monday and don’t plan on leaving the couch much. 🙂

  • Premieres: February 19, 2017
  • Starring: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Skarsgård, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz
  • Synopsis: Big Little Lies follows three women: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, each at a crossroads. The book is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

 

 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comBefore I Fall was recommended to me by a fellow bookworm. The premise reminds me of If I Stay which was also became a book-to-screen adaptation. Before I Fall been sitting on my Kindle for a few months now, but I plan to tackle it after Big Little Lies. 

  • Coming to theaters: March 3, 2017
  • Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller
  • Synopsis: Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

 

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife:A War Story  by Diane Ackerman

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com
In one semester of English, in either my freshman or sophomore year of college, (why does this feel like such a long time ago), my professor constructed a WWII unit. In addition to having us all watch Life Is Beautiful, she introduced us to this book.
  • Coming to theaters: March 31
  • Starring: Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh
  • Synopsis: A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages.

 
 
 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comI saw this book continuously being recommended in my book clubs and I’ve always wanted to read it, especially after I found out it inspired the Choose Kind Movement, an anti-bullying campaign. I recently saw the trailer and I just can’t say no to a Julia Roberts movie. So the book makes my list.

  • Coming to theaters: April 7, 2017
  • Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay
  • Synopsis: August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

 
 
 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

#TeamBook: 7 Book-To-Screen Adaptations To Look Forward To This Year - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

This is probably the book-to-screen adaptation I’m the most excited about. If you liked The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll love Everything, Everything.Seriously if you don’t tear up watching the trailer, you’re a monster — and not one of Lady Gaga’s.
  • Coming to theaters: May 19
  • Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
  • What it’s about: A quarantined girl who’s allergic to basically everything and everyone falls in love with the boy next door, who becomes the biggest risk she’s ever taken.

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Flowers and Candy: Love Jams Playlist

If you don’t know by now The Palmetto Peaches love a good playlist. I’ve made playlists for the best cover songswork out jams, and productivity. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I’d put together a little love jams playlist. You can play this as you’re having your dinner for two on Tuesday or on your way to your early Valentine’s dinner this weekend.There are some cheesy songs, but cheese it up. Twirl your significant other around.Flowers & Candy: Love Jams Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Flowers and Candy: Love Jams Playlist

  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • B2K – Gots Ta Be
  • Beyonce – Love On Top
  • Whitney Houston – I Will Always You
  • Drake – Take Care
  • Mariah Carey – Always Be Baby
  • John Legend – All of Me
  • Justin Bieber – U Smile
  • Katy Perry – Unconditionally
  • Bruno Mars – Treasure
  • Adele – Make You Feel My Love
  • Florence + the Machine – Stand By Me
  • John Legend – P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)
  • Peabo Bryson – Tonight, I Celebrate My Love
  • Savage Garden – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  • Barry White – You’re The First, The Last, My Everything
  • Monica – Angel of Mine
  • Aresomith – I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
  • Miley Cyrus – Adore You

What are some of your favorite love songs of all time? Leave me a comment below and I’ll add some to my love jams playlist! 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches