Sunday, February 20, 2011

Songs I Heart :)

This weeks' songs I totally heart! And I've been listening to them like nonstop for the past week....probably driving Blake up the wall (actually I'm listening to one right now!) :)
So here they are:
  1. For Those Who Wait by Fireflight
  2. You Are For Me by Kari Jobe
  3. The Healing by Ivoryline
Those are amazing! I hope you like them too!
What songs are you guys feeling this week? (Like what do you turn up when it comes on shuffle or the radio? Or what have you been putting on repeat??) :)
I hope you all have had an amazing weekend and are continuing to focus on The Brighter Things! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some Things That Brighten My Day!

Hi everyone!
I hope your Valentine's/Single's Awarness Day was super dooper awesome!
In light of my blog being called "The Brighter Things" I figured I would share some things that brighten my day so that you can enjoy them too! :)
  1. This is a site that has user-issued content and is in the form of Dear something, ..... Sincerely, something. I must warn you that it is not all wholesome since it is user-issued, but I haven't seen much on there that is totally terrible. And most of them are hilarious! I busted out laughing a couple of times in class today while reading them....which I don't advise btw...not the best way to make your professor think you're on your computer to take notes :)
  2. The Office! I love this show! It's Blake's and my go-to show when we have some time to watch TV together. We watch it on hulu and netflix, but the great thing about The Office is that not only is it hilarious, it's only like 25 minutes long! So you can watch one if you need a quick break to let your mind relax or you can watch 5 if you're bored and have nothing to do!
  3. This is my favorite blog of all time and is what inspired me to want to blog before I was given this assignment! It is a DIY blog and one of the few of its kind that is both a woman and a man writing on it (mostly, DIY blogs are run by the ladies). It's a nice dynamic and gives it a little something unique (and it's totally cute when they talk about their love and baby and all that cuteness) :)
  4. My sorority sisters! I know, totally sappy...but they really do brighten my days! I can't speak for all sororities and definitely not all campuses, but the Alpha Xi Deltas on UAB's campus are amazing. Like every one of my sisters are so nice and I can count on them! I never in a million years thought I would ever be a "sorority girl" but now that I'm here and am one, I can't imagine my life any differently! And you can actually be a believer and still be in a sorority! In fact, what better place to be if you really want to shine your light, right?
  5. Taylor Swift's Speak Now Target Exclusive Album! That thing is amazing and it never fails, it always brightens my day to hear "the stakes are high...the water's rough...but this love is ours" and "do you remember we were sittin' there by the water..." Ah...I just love it! :)
  6. Smallville and Vampire Diaries....enough said.
  7. Sunshine!
  8. Mr. Blake McDermott! I know I'm getting sappy again, and it'll probably be worse this time. But he is truly amazing! He inspires me, challenges me, believes in me, is so creative and intelligent, and he is really my best friend. I can count on him and he's so faithful. And let me just say that if you don't have someone yet, "the one" is well worth the wait. I know that it's easy for me to say that sitting here in cupid's bliss, but just trust me. He or She is so worth it. And if you're with someone that doesn't make you happy 98% of the time....I'm not a fan. Blake and I can get in arguments (although we more have disagreements...we've never really fought) and we can disagree and be annoyed with one another but when it comes down to it, I'm never happier than when I'm with him. It's as simple as that. There is someone out there that can do the same for you. Believe it. I do.
There are probably a million more things that brighten my day that I can't think of at the moment, but mostly it's all about looking for those bright things. Like a heated building on a nasty, freezing day or a rainbow after a bad storm or your friends and family or just the experiences that have made you who you are (good or bad). There is always a light , a silver lining, or a ray of sunshine somewhere. Sometimes they aren't as easy to see but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Just keep looking...and focus on The Brighter Things. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day! Yay!

It's Valentine's Day! How exciting!! :) Well, actually I kind-of think Valentine's Day is a stupid holiday and it totally gets on my nerves that I can recognize the marketing ploy that is Valentine's Day but I still have to support it because that's "the thing to do" but! I am still a girl and I am in I figure might-as-well have fun in it, right? (focusing on The Brighter Things remember?) So! I decided to decorate my house while my hubby was out of town!
I didn't have a very big budget (try pretty much nada) so I worked with what I had! Here's the sitch (yes, that is a Kim Possible reference...hope you all got it) ;)

This was what I did on the mantle! I got the X's and O's for our wedding so our guests could play tic tac toe in the garden that our reception was held!
It actually looked like this:

So as you can see they're white, but on the mantle they are pink! I painted them with some craft paint and a spongey brush in different motions so it wasn't just a matte pink X or O and got Blake involved so we got some quality time together! Yay :)
The panting I painted as Sips'n'Strokes with my church women's group and the "McDermotts" thingy was a wedding gift from Blake's aunt who DIYed that!
Then I got some votive candle holders left over from our wedding and some colored sharpies and went to town! Yielding this result:

 And those photos in front of the X's and O's were leftovers from our reception!
Then on the bottom we have:

 Which that painting was also from a church event! We did our own Sips'n'Strokes for the teenage girls for last Valentine's! And that picture was a present from my husband (although then I think he was my boyfriend...maybe fiance...but I think boyfriend) :) And we all ready had all those candles!
So our entire mantle overhaul was done on zero dollars!! Yaaaay!!!! :)

Then I made a new centerpiece for our dining room table! It looks like this:

And As you can see, those are fake flowers I picked up from Hobby Lobby and some Valentine's M&Ms! Then, that vase that I got from Walmart and that Love decor thingy I got from WalMart last year on clearance!

So I decorated for Valentine's Day for a whole total of about $15 dollars! (after I bought the flowers, two  bags of M&Ms, and the vase)!

So what about you guys? How do you get in the Valentine's Day spirit?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Inspiration Time

Hi everyone!
I just got finished watching "Beacon," Smallville's 209th episode and it really inspired me, so I figured I would pass along the inspiration!
In this episode, Clark Kent loses hope and needs some inspiration to keep going with his destiny. And that is where Lois Lane comes in. She gets with her cousin, Chloe Sullivan, and compiles all of these videos (that are actual fan made videos sent in to Smallville and chosen to be on the show) and then shows them to Clark and renews his hope.
This inspired me so much, because I think that a lot of times, as women, we think that we are destined to be second. Listed second on the mailing label, last to get voting rights, told that we can't fight on the front lines for our country, or that we are too emotional and therefore can't make rational decisions. But I am here to tell you that this can't be further from the truth. Women are emotional and we don't think everything through logically before making a decision. But that is not a weakness. Would God have made us that way if it were? Why not just go ahead and fix the problem? It's not like he doesn't know how!
No, He didn't change us because there is nothing wrong with us. We can stand up for what we believe in with just as much tenacity as the next person and we can sell it with all of our hearts because that is exactly what's in it: our hearts. And it is our job, ladies, to inspire those around us. There will come a time when your boyfriend, husband, best-friend, brother, father, needs someone to help them move forward. And you can be that! We are here for a purpose, not just to look pretty or to have babies or to cook dinner, we are here to do something in this world. To make it better somehow. That doesn't mean we have to change millions, or even hundreds, it means changing the person sitting next to you on the plane or your sorority sister or the person in your class. Because if each of us decides that we can do it, we will do it.
I believe in you. It's time to start believing in yourselves. And remember, even when looking in the mirror, focus on The Brighter Things.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Songs That Rock My Socks!

Recently Blake and I have been taking to heart what our pastor has been saying when he tells us that God wants us to "take it up a level." Blake and I are a part of the music ministry at our church (Victory Christian Fellowship check it out here: and we've been searching for awesome music to be able to take our music up a level! Unfortunately, here in Birmingham there is only one Christian music station and while they are much better than they used to be, they still are not quite awesome a little discouragement ensued...But, then Blake went to Texas on business and found some awesome Christian music stations with great music! And after googling, I found that he was right! They really do have great Christian music! And here I was thinking Christians were just left behind because no one was up to par with secular music!
So, I'm going to share with you guys 3 songs each week that are awesome, so that you can start a library of good music, that not only sounds good but that you can actually be proud to listen to!
Here's this week's:
  1. "What I've Overcome" by Fireflight 
  2. "You're Not Alone" by Saosin
  3. "Daybreak" by Runaway City
I hope you guys enjoy! I know I did! 
And remember! When life gets you down, you know what you've gotta do? Just keep singing! Just keep singing! And also always remember to focus on The Brighter Things!

Snow Day!

Well yesterday we got some snow which is usually a really exciting event for us Alabamaians but since this is the fourth "snow" (the last three times it was just ice...) not very many people were excited. However! This time it was actually snow that you could make snowballs and throw at people! Indoors! Next to really expensive electronic equipment!! haha
Anywho, because of where I live, most of the pretty stuff just didn't quite make it (I live on the west side of Birmingham, AL when all of the precipitation usually comes from the east, so by the time it gets to me, the warm air has all ready warmed the precipitation up enough so that it just rains and then freezes...sad day) But this time! I sent Blake (my hubby pants) out to take pictures of the snow before it all melted by the time I got home! And he did a fabulous job! So here they are!

And in honor of our snow day, I share with you my super awesome parody song "Snow On The Ground" (based off of "Pants on the Ground" by that guy from American Idol) ;)

Snow on the ground
Snow on the ground
Feelin' really cold with this snow on the ground
We're all bundled up
Snowman leanin' sideways
Drivin' really slow cuz snow is on the highways!

**If you don't know what song I'm referring to, check it out here!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Little Bit About Me!!

Hello World!
My name is Crystal McDermott and I'm super excited to start this blog! I must admit that it was assigned to me by my Newswriting Professor but! I have actually been thinking about it a lot lately (ever since I fell in love with a few blogs of my own). The main thing that held me back was not knowing exactly what I wanted to blog about! Which leads me to my about me...(everytime I see "about me" myspace memories/nightmares come flooding back lol)...because I am the basis of what I decided to blog about! (exciting, right?)
Here is a bulleted list of everything I can think of about myself at the moment!
  • Disciple (aka I'm a Christian but I'm not the stereotypical Christian that picks up Christianity on Sunday morning and drops it off when I leave out of the church)
  • Newlywed
  • I love to sing!! And have for as long as I can remember!
  • Alpha Xi Delta
  • Student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Go Blazers!!!) :)
  • I love cheesy/dorky jokes!!
  • self-professed optimist
  • Smallville and Superman fanatic
  • Which led me to be in love with all things comics
  • I like to think of myself as a professional googler
  • And also a "maker-upper of funny lyrics to go with popular songs of the day"
  • Vampire Diaries fan! (That will probably take my previous obsession void that smallville will leave behind when it goes off the air in May **sigh**)
  • I love politics
  • And I love business!
  • I have recently been teaching myself how to play guitar
  • And I really want to be a DIY-er! (though I haven't quite mastered that yet)
That's pretty much all I can think of at the moment, but the plan for this blog is for me to share with all of you the adventures of my life! That way maybe I can make you laugh when you're having a crappy day, or show you my mistakes so you don't make them again, or just rant to make myself feel better (promise I'll keep those to a minimum)! 
Everything in my life is changing at a constant rate of the speed of light and in those changes come triumphs, failures, laughter, and tears, but that's life! And the best way to get through all of it is to focus on The Brighter Things! 
Talk to y'all soon!!
Have a super fantastic day! :)