Donni’s Dash of Sparkle

“Leave a little sparkle where ever you go.”
These posts are sprinkled with Donni’s dashes of sparkle on a variety of topics included but not limited to beauty, food, and yes – sports.

Living My Best Life: Lessons I Learned in 2017

In 2017, I made a lot of mistakes. I’ve grown. I’ve failed. I have kissed a lot of frogs – although some were pretty cute. I’ve learned to truly embrace my flaws and recognize them as things that make me unique.  All of these experiences taught me valuable things.

Living My Best Life: Lessons I Learned In 2017

 Living My Best Life: Lessons I Learned in 2017 - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Bad days are allowed.

I usually try to be a positive person, but no one is positive all the time. I’m not sure when I heard and decided that I had to be that way every day. It was exhausting.  It’s okay not to be okay, as long as you don’t dwell in that negativity.

I am enough.

As confident as I think I am, I still have moments of self doubt or moments where I lack self-confidence. At the beginning of the year I remember saying I loved my natural hair, but I still didn’t want people to see it. It wasn’t long enough. My curls weren’t popping like that girl on Instagram. What if someone made fun of it?

SO WHAT!!

I can’t compare myself – whether it be hair, finances, body, career- to anyone else. As soon as I truly believed that, I was free to believe that I was enough.  By the summer time,  I had a hot rugby player throwing me in the pool – natural hair shrinking in the water –  and him playing in my 4c curls poolside, saying how “lovely” my hair was in his New Zealand English.

Living My Best Life: Lessons I Learned in 2017 - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Real gs move in silence.

Or as the great poet Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. said: “Real Gs move in silence like lasagna”. Stay with me. I would say I’m pretty open about my life. If someone asks me a question, I’ll answer it honestly. However, this year I watched some people announce some of the plans or dreams they were pursuing and then literally saw people wish these plans and projects nothing but failure. In 2017,  I realized that there are so many people who hope you fail rather than wish you succeed. So while I’ll continue to be open I’m gonna keep my projects and plans close to my chest until they’ve come to fruition.

Healthy relationships are vital.

I’m not talking about romantic relationships. We need people who are willing to motivate us and keep us moving in the right direction. Someone told me they had friends and then they have life bonds. Isn’t friendship a lifelong bond? I thought.  But then I started listing all of the people I labeled a friend. Many of them have no clue what’s currently going on in my life. I’ve been through some tough things this year, like issues at work and deaths in the family. It was during these times I really saw who I’ve created a life bond with. Some bonded by blood and some via tequila shots taken on sticky floors in bars on Harden St. that no longer exist. They lifted me up mentally and spiritually when I needed words of encouragement, a laugh, a hug, or caffeine.

Sometimes you have to scrap the plan.

And this is coming from the planner girl.  I would sometimes frustrate myself when I couldn’t complete my to-do list or the plan didn’t come together just perfectly. However, this year I’ve learned to be flexible and I’ve learned that I can’t control everything. I can only control myself and my reaction to a ruined plan. Sometimes you have to change the plan (mid-way through) to continue the course.

You can’t hurry love

When I go out on dates I inevitably get the question: Why are you single?

I used to say I don’t know or I’m still having fun.  However, in the back of my mind, I would repeat the things that exes have told me when I broke up with them: I’m selfish.  I don’t know how to love.  I’m too independent.

Here’s the thing: I do know how to love. I love my family, my friends (life bonds), and my sweet little pupper. I love life. I just didn’t love them. I am independent, but I  am willing to be a unit with a right person – to rely on them and have them lean on me. I’m selfish, but only when it comes to my happiness. I refuse to sacrifice my joy to settle into an ordinary life with an ordinary love. I will be enough for the right person and there’s no need to rush it. While I’m so incredibly happy for all of my friends that are married, or in  relationships, there is no expiration date on when I’ll find the one.  Maybe 2018 will be my year or maybe it won’t – either way I’m good.

Thanks for reading!

I’ll be back in the new year with new content and ideas for the blog! See you dolls and gents in 2018!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms

Hey, friends. I waited a full two days after Thanksgiving before I fired up the holiday romantic comedies. Talk about self-control, right? I could really watch them all year, but I try make this a holiday tradition. Here are the rules of holiday rom-coms:

  1. They shouldn’t be well-written.
  2. Holiday rom-coms should have plenty of plot holes or scenes/dialogue that aren’t logical.
  3. They should be cheesy enough that you roll your eyes, yet still swoon-worthy. See just about every Hallmark and Freeform (previously ABC Family) holiday rom-com ever made.

If you find yourself bored one evening and in search of a holiday rom-com to scoff and swoon at while sipping an adult hot chocolate, I’ve got you covered. Please note, classic holiday movies are not included on this list, but you should go watch Home Alone and Love, Actually before any of these movies. Or start with the bad ones below.

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

As an added bonus I’m assigning an official Palmetto Peaches’ Gingerbread rating to each movie because I seriously think I’m Roger Ebert  in my head.

Gingerbread Man Rating
1 = Meh, not worth wasting 90 minutes

4 =So bad you can laugh at it ironically, but also wish some of this romance into your love life.

Spoiler alert: not one of these movies gets just one gingerbread man 🙂 

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms

A Christmas Prince (2017) – Netflix

Netflix watchers, you may have seen this pop up in the trending section. I had a 98% match to the movie because I obviously love a ridiculous holiday movie. In A Christmas Prince, we follow Amber, an editor who aspires to be a writer, as she is assigned to cover a press conference in the made up country of Aldovia. Uh, if you’re a fan of the rom-com genre you may have quickly recognized that sounds a quite similar to Genovia, a la The Princess Diaries. Actually, the movie straight up steals scenes from The Princess Diaries 2, but please refer to holiday rom-com rule #1. Anyways, Amber is supposed to find out what would happen if the future king, who is set to take the throne one year after his father’s death, decides not to accept his royal position. I mean I’m pretty sure you could Google succession plans, but please see rule #2. She ends up going undercover, and I bet you can guess,falling in love with the future king. I won’t spoil the ending, but seriously I’m proud of how much awful this movie is and can’t wait for the sequel. A Valentine’s Princess.

A Christmas Kiss (2011) – Netflix

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Wendy is an aspiring interior designer working as an assistant to the boss from Hades, Priscilla, who takes credit for all of Wendy’s work. Wendy shares a kiss with a handsome stranger, Adam. As an aside, Adam is played by my favorite alien – any Roswell fans – Brendan Fehr. Later on, Wendy finds out the stranger is her boss’s boyfriend, but he doesn’t recognize her without glitter on her face *rolls eyes*. Wendy and Adam work closely together decorating his home and of course Wendy falls in love with him.

 

12 Dates of Christmas (2011) – Netflix

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Kate (Amy Smart) gets set up on a blind date with  Zac Morris Miles (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) on Christmas Eve. She then finds away to ruin the date, but gets 12 chances to relive the date over again until she sets things right. Yup, it’s a Christmas ripoff of Groundhog Day. And I am here for it!

Wrapped Up In Christmas (2017) – Lifetime

This movie revolves around Heather (Tatyana Ali) who is the the manager of a large mall. She is basically ordered be a Grinch and cancel the leases of under-performing stores at the mall. Heather’s niece asks the mall Santa to help find a boyfriend for her aunt. Ryan (Brendan Fehr) is actually filling in for the mall Santa and uses this info to woo Heather. I won’t spoil the plot-twist, but I’ll just say nothing can be simple in a holiday rom-com.

Can we go ahead and crown Brendan Fehr as the new holiday rom-com leading man? I know, I know. That’s not a real thing. I just want to watch a bunch of these movies starring him. The acting in Wrapped Up In Christmas isn’t that bad, plus the movie also includes appearances by Jasmine Guy, Jackee Harry, and Joseph Marcell aka Geofrrey from The Fresh Prince.

The Spirit of Christmas (2015) – Lifetime

5 Wonderfully, Terrible Holiday Rom-Coms - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

An attorney Kate (played by my favorite Days of Our Lives actress Jen Lilley) falls in love with a ghost, Daniel, when she travels to Vermont over the holidays to sell an inn. And the ghost is super hot, y’all. Just look at him! He’s also kind of an asshole, but you know maybe I’d have an attitude too, if I were a ghost trapped in an inn and “forced” into human form for only 12 days a year. Daniel doesn’t remember how he died and Kate, once she decides she believes in ghosts, decides to help him. Of course, they fall in love.

Do you have any cheesy holiday rom-coms you recommend? Leave a comment below and your own personal gingerbread man rating. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering

This is not a drill, people. We are less than one week away from Thanksgiving! Some of you may be headed to a traditional family gathering. While others of you may opt for a celebration with your friends – Friendsgiving. There may even be you  greedy lucky few, that fill their bellies at both occasions. Whether you’re having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or planning a Friendsgiving, I’ve got some tips for a fantastic holiday gathering.

 

5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

1. Don’t waste your life away in the kitchen.

It can get easy to get stuck in the kitchen as your friends play or our family gathers around the TV. You can make a few items in advance and still get stuck in the kitchen preparing food. Here’s my solution: share the responsibility. As the host, you can’t get out of making the turkey, but you can relieve yourself of some of the work by letting guests contribute a few sides and desserts. My parents are driving up to Atlanta, so I’m not making them bring anything. However, my pops always brings extra sweet potatoes for pies and will grab drinks,napkins, aluminum foil and plastic bags upon arrival.  Honestly, I think she still fully doesn’t trust me with the turkey so she supervises with that as her contribution. 

Feel free to ask your guests what they’d like to contribute or assign them a dish. This is important because you don’t want too many of the same dish or someone to feel bad when no one touches their cornbread dressing.  Note, not everyone can make the macaroni and cheese. And Ms. “All I eat is zucchini noodles” probably shouldn’t be attempting to touch the greens. Like if  you don’t know what hamhock is — DON’T DO IT! Also, if you’re a guest and can’t cook, maybe just pick up drinks or one of Miss Patti’s Pies. 

 

Apologies for the language, but this video is still funny to me two years later.

2. Play a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade drinking game

Maybe save this one for Friendsgiving, but if your family likes to throw a few back I say go for it. Lay out the rules, and then get ready to do some pre-dinner drinking.  You could also watch  “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Take two sips (or a shot) every time Peppermint Patty invites someone to to Charlie’s dinner, or when she yells. Or just drink – that’s fine.

3. Remember what you’re thankful for.

Take time to go around the table with your friends or family and share what you’re thankful for this year. Your gathering should be about reconnecting and catching up over a great meal.  

4. Have a signature drink.

You could just go with the basics: wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages on hand, but consider  having a  signature drink. A signature drink is a nice way to add something special and seasonal to the mix. Check out Ace’s fall cocktails for some ideas.

5. Break Culinary Traditions

My second year in ATL (me thinks) Ace and I had a two person Friendsgiving. Sure, I made sweet potato pies, but there was no way I was cooking a turkey for two,  so we broke tradition and made some bomb Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa and a Thanksgiving sides cake. Still one of my favorite meals – EVER! P.S. We subbed out out their spinach layer for greens. 

5 Tips For a Fun Thanksgiving Gathering - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Image Credit: Huffington Post

If you’re looking for decor ideas or recipes check out this Pinterest board:

 

What are some of your tips for a fun Thanksgiving gathering? Leave your comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today

Healthy living doesn’t have to be be hard.

Well at least that’s what I’m repeating to myself until I am 100% living it. There are plenty of healthy changes you can easily implement. In my ongoing journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I’ve failed at making huge changes right away. Setting a goal to go to the gym five days out the week was a little ambitious right out the gate. However, I discovered that little changes can make a huge impact. Here are seven healthy changes you can make today to live a healthier lifestyle:

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today - The Palmetto Peaches -palmsinatl.com

P.S. I’m leaving out drink more water because just do it people.

7 Healthy Changes to Make Today

1.Don’t skip breakfast.

They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason! By eating breakfast, you’ll start off your day right, and you’ll also be less likely to have cravings later in the day. Enjoy a nutritious, light breakfast every morning.

2. Spend more time walking.

I love a good princess parking spot. But a simple way to get in some more steps is to park further away from your destination. According to the American Heart Association: Walking at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Break it down into three 10 minute increments if you need to.

3. Make time for self-care and prioritize your mental health.

I’ve written about self-care and mental health a few times. I plan to continue to do so because both are very crucial. Mental health is just as important as physical health.Seek help if you feel like you need it. I stress the importance of self-care because our mental health and overall happiness depend on it. Whatever self-care looks like to you make sure you make time for it

4.  Listen to your body

Look I’m not an expert, but listen to your own body. What works well for your favorite celeb or blogger may not be for you. Just because your best friend dropped 20 pounds when she became vegan doesn’t mean that you should now become vegan. Your healthy living should be determined by what you need and works best for you.

5. More LOLs

Seriously (haha) laugh more. Laughter reduces stress. It also burns calories and helps prevent heart disease. So just do it. Laugh more.

6. Don’t go grocery shopping hungry.

I have two rules I have to follow when I walk into Publix so that I won’t end up with a cart full of brownies and breads. I have to make a list and I have to have a full stomach. When you’re in the grocery store and your stomach is empty, you’ll likely make impulse buys of unhealthy foods. Think about it when you’re hungry every things sounds good and I’d be willing to bet it’s not veggies that have you salivating.

7. Discover the fountain of youth

Okay not a real fountain of youth, but if you incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet the effects would be as if you discovered a fountain of youth.  Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and water – all the good stuff. So indulge in seasonal produce; sneak a serving or two in your breakfast; get your juice on smoothie on; or experiment with meatless Mondays. Get those fruits and veggies in!

 

What are some little things you do that make a big impact? Leave a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Happy Howl-o-ween – Barkbox Review

Happy Howl-o-ween, peeps! This year, I’m totally unprepared for Halloween. However, Sgt. Pepper has a costume. He’s going to be Reptar. Well to be fair, I purchased a $3 dinosaur costume for Target, but I’m going to tell everyone he’s Reptar. P.S. Did you know Reptar bars are now real? In honor of Pep’s Howl-o-ween, I am sharing this month’s Halloween themed BarkBox.

What is BarkBox?

BarkBox is a monthly subscription box for dogs of all sizes. Each box comes with two bags of treats, one chew, and two toys. Everything is tied together with a theme. All the treats are natural and made in the US or Canada. BarkBox is billed monthly. Additionally, the prices decrease if you commit to a 6 or 12 month plan. I pay $25 a month for a six month plan. You also have the option to join the Extra Toy Club for an additional $9 per month. The first box ships right away and subsequent boxes ship on the 15th of each month.

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Happy Howl-o-ween – Barkbox Review

This month’s theme was: Household Horrors. I love getting this subscription box for Sgt. Pepper. The box genuinely gets him so excited. He sticks his little nose in the box and starts pulling things out. It’s too cute!

Items in October’s Box

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

The treats usually match the theme and this month they didn’t. I reached out to Barkbox about this and they are actually sending Sgt. Pepper some Halloween themed treats for free!

  • Scare Dryer – ($8)  – Pep actually used to be pretty afraid of the hair dyer. So it’s hilarious he’s been dragging this around.
  • Rain of Terror – ($14) Sgt. Pepper is obsessed with the little raindrops that are hidden inside. He’s been carrying them around and napping with them since he found them.

Overall, I’m super pleased with this subscription service. I originally thought I’d cancel after the first month, but it’s been fun to open with Pep. I’m also saving money on treats and toys.

Interested in BarkBox?

You can get your first month free using my referral link: https://www.barkbox.com/r/HNK071JMMF.

Customize Your Pup’s Barkbox

You can choose from 3 sizes based on how big your dog is. This helps Barkbox send goodies that are the right size for your pup.

  • “small and cute” for smaller dogs in the 0-20 lb range
  • “just right” for medium dogs in the 20-50 lb range
  • “big and bold” for big dogs 50 lbs and up

Happy Howl-o-ween: Barkbox Review - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 Every barkbox is wheat, corn, and soy free, and there’s even a special allergy-friendly barkbox for dogs allergic to beef, chicken, and turkey. You just have to send them an email telling them about your dog’s allergies and you’ll get the allergy-friendly barkbox for no extra charge. 

And if a subscription box isn’t your thing you can always make some homemade treats.

Are you dressing your fur baby up for howl-o-ween? Feel free to leave pictures in the comments below or tweet us!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist

I’m trying to be more intentional about how I waste my time. Stick with me for a moment. While I like to spend time reading, there are too many times when I waste time trying to beat a really hard level of Cookie Jam.  I’ve decided that in those moments where I’m just wasting time I’d prefer to do something more productive. I decided to start listening to more TED Talks.

What are TED Talks?

A TED Talk is a showcase for speakers presenting great ideas. Usually, the format calls for presentations on the shorter side. Think about all of the lectures we’ve all (almost) fallen asleep listening to. The talks are thought-provoking and stimulate conversation. They can be inspirational, funny, or mind-blowing and they cover almost all topics — from science to business to global issues.

One of my favorite TED Talks even ended up in a Beyonce song: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Here are a few of my favorite TED Talks that you may want to add to your playlist.

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist

MANOUSH ZOMORODI

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

Description: Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.

 

ELIZABETH GILBERT

Your Elusive Creative Genius

Description: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.

 

SARAH LEWIS

Embrace the near win

Description: At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives.

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