31 December 2010


★☆Happy New Year, friends!☆★

I hope you're having (or had!) a safe and wonderful evening. Here's to a fresh start ♥

30 December 2010

2011 Goals

I really love the resolutions I made for 2011, but I'm beginning to feel as though they might be a bit too.. big.  Even broken down month-by-month, it still feels like a lot to take on for only 365 days.  And yes, I did say that my main goal was progress, and while I believe that being ambitious can get things done, I also believe that being too ambitious can be setting yourself up for failure and lead to disappointment.

So I've decided to make some specific goals instead.  Specific, attainable but still demanding goals.  The objective is the same - to do it on purpose - but I think that by giving myself more concrete, explicit goals, I'll be better able to mark my progress and feel good about what I've done.  I've put the short version of each of my goals in the sidebar to keep myself on track and accountable all year (plus, who doesn't like crossing things off a list? ;)).
  1. Keep blogging! I'd like to maintain a minimum of 3 posts a week, but I know that student teaching will be busy, so I'm willing to give myself a break for the first half of the year.
  2. Finish my Master's (and get certified in Missouri).
  3. Be able to run at least 5 miles. Gotta start somewhere!
  4. Read 10 new books.
  5. Eat more vegetables. Confession: I hate vegetables. How do you eat your veggies? Favorite recipes/tips/etc? Help ya girl out!
  6. Be healthy. Running more and increasing my veggies will help; I want to feel healthier (dropping some lbs wouldn't be a bad thing either! ;)).
  7. Find a job I love.
  8. Save money. I spent way too much this fall and my bank account is going to be recovering for awhile. I'm going to be more conscious of how I spend my money (and will use my Fiscally Responsible October tips too!).
Are you making any goals or resolutions for 2011? (And how do you plan on pronouncing it - twenty-eleven or two-thousand-and-eleven?)

TiLT #15

♥ Boyfriend : ) ♥ Black bean soup ♥ Ellie Goulding ♥ Amazon wishlists ♥ Old episodes of The O.C. ♥ Cuddling with Neko all day ♥ Christmas gifts: My new Kindle! ♥ Graphic novel classics ♥ Cuisinart stand mixer ♥ Intervention OnDemand ♥ Making 2011 plans with Boyfriend ♥ 'Cuse football (could.not.care.less about 'Cuse bball) ♥ Hot chocolate for breakfast ♥ Belted jackets ♥ Antibiotics (okay, actually, I hate them.. but they work miracles) ♥ Southern accents ♥ Pretty Little Liars coming back on Monday the 3rd :D ♥ New running sneakers ♥ Pink lemonade Emergen-C ♥ Flaxseed oil ♥ The Vampire Diaries ♥ Vuze ♥ Jason's Tea Time moisturizer ♥ My B.A. shark ring ♥ Mexican food ♥ Champagne (oh YEAH New Year's!) ♥ Full Dark, No Stars Stephen King ♥ Honeycrisp apples ♥

Today's gonna be a two-post day, so stay tuned for more!

26 December 2010

7 in 2011, part II

A few days ago I posted about my long-term 2011 goal - to really mean it.  I often feel as though I'm kind of stumbling around, letting things happen to me instead of making them happen, which is why I made this resolution.  Do things on purpose.  Of course, that's an awfully vague resolution, so I want to clear up some of the ambiguity.

The most important thing for me is that this isn't about perfection or set goals - it's about getting better at what I'm doing. I'm going to make more progress in some areas than in others and I have to be okay with that. In 2012 I can continue to work and move forward, but I can't expect drastic changes in only one year.  Gretchen Rubin has some great tips about writing and keeping New Year's Resolutions over at The Happiness Project.  I haven't decided if I want to focus on one "part" of my resolution per month, with four months of cushion, but I'm definitely thinking about it.
  1. Take care of yourself. When we get stressed and busy, we tend not to take time to do things for ourselves (many of which can be important in lessening stress). Since I'm going to be student teaching for four months this spring, I'm anticipating a lot of stress and busy-ness, which makes it even more important to take time for and care of myself. I've made a few appointments - hair cuts, pedicures, etc. - during spring semester to help me slow down every once in awhile. I'm usually pretty good about setting my bedtime and taking vitamins, but I am going to make a conscious effort to exercise and eat well even when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I can't think of a single thing more crucial to emotional health than physical health - if you feel well, you'll do well. Student teaching and stress behind me, I will continue to be deliberate about exercise and food. I've been unhappy with myself for too long and it's just not something I want to sustain.
  2. Work hard. This applies to everything, not just actual "work" (or, in my case, school). What do you want? How much do you want it? How are you going to make it happen? I've been kind of on the fence about teaching, even though my degree will give me certification. I'm not going to let my own personal doubts keep me from blowing minds during student teaching - I'm going out with a bang! Once I finish my Master's in May, I'll be back in St. Louis, job hunting; luckily Boyfriend's job could support us, so I can be picky about the job I take. If you don't love what you're doing, what's your motivation to be awesome at it?  Why go above and beyond for something you don't really believe in?  It's definitely harder to work your butt off for something that you're not passionate about, but that shouldn't stop you.  You know when you had to do group work in school and there was always the ONE person in your group who didn't do anything, and everyone else had to pick up their slack?  Don't be that person.  It's called initiative.
  3. Save money. I spent a LOT of money this fall and it didn't feel good.  I wasn't buying things that I needed and honestly, I kinda felt out of control.  While I like nice things (who doesn't? :wink: ), I've never been so reckless with my money.  I even established Fiscally Responsible October!  Because I won't be able to work during student teaching and I'm not sure how long I'll be unemployed after graduation, it's really important that I work on my savings in 2011.  I'll be using a lot of the same methods I used during October, especially using gift cards and wishlists.
  4. Get dressed like you mean it. I know from experience that things like making your bed, taking a shower, and getting dressed every morning - even if you work from home, have the day off, etc. - can make you more productive.  You're ready for the day!  But sometimes we all fall into bad habits: showering at the last minute, staying in pajamas all day, going out in slippers... you get the idea.  Even KNOWING how much better I feel when I get ready, sometimes laziness takes over.  I also live in fear/wild hope of being nominated for What Not to Wear (pretty sure that $500 for clothes and getting to hang out with Stacy & Clinton would outweigh the embarrassment), so I try to keep it in mind when I leave the house: if TLC were secretly filming my style right now, would I be ashamed?  If I see you in the checkout at the grocery store, am I gonna think, "frumpy," or "fantastic"?  Dress like the fabulous human that you are!  Like my boy Oscar Wilde says - you can never be overdressed or overeducated.
  5. Appreciate what you have. This might be the hardest one. It's so easy to forget everything that we've been blessed with and focus on what we want, or what's not going exactly the way we'd wanted. To be honest, I'm not totally sure how I'm going to keep myself grateful in 2011, so I'm open to any and all suggestions.
  6. Be kind. I tend to be the kind of person who forgets birthdays and ends up sending a FB message at 10pm. But come MY birthday, I expect EVERYONE to remember and recognize it (marvelous presents are also welcome, of course). I've put all of the birthdays from my memory and FB into Google calendar and I'm going to send cards in 2011. No more FB comments!  (Isn't getting mail more special anyway?)  I also really hate talking on the phone so I kind of dread hearing my phone ring and usually let it go to voicemail. But some of my friends prefer talking on the phone, so I'm going to return phone calls and maybe even start picking up the phone!? :shock: For both of these reasons, I can be bad at keeping in touch.  Why should this be, given the miracle of the Internet?  I have no excuse and am going to make more of an effort to stay connected to my friends. This kind of goes along with being grateful, since making the people we love FEEL loved is so important.
  7. Push yourself. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow and develop. To be comfortable outside of my comfort zone is what I'm aiming for; change doesn't scare me, but doing new things sometimes does. I'm going to try new things, eat new foods, do things that scare me, and work as hard as I can to get what I want. I'm going to find my limits and boundaries.  But here's the problem: pushing yourself enough to grow but knowing when to give yourself a break. Never feel guilty for being mindful of what you need.

23 December 2010

TiLT #14, Christmas Edition

♥ Reading about weird sh!t ♥ Family time ♥ Holiday parties ♥ Headbands ♥ Knowing who will always be there ♥ Onion bagels ♥ Leopard print ♥ 7am gym routines ♥ Google Reader ♥ The Real Housewives series (especially Atlanta.. ohh dear) ♥ Sequins ♥ Trouser jeans ♥ How to Train Your Dragon ♥ Patricia Field's rhinestone brass knuckles (for decoration ONLY, guys) ♥ MC's "All I Want for Christmas is You" on repeat ♥ B&N coffee dates ♥ My sweet, sweet GPA ♥ Running into old friends ♥ Salted caramel hot chocolate (always 'n' forever) ♥ Making new outfit combinations ♥ Plaid ♥ Pink leather 2011 planners (yes, I caved) ♥ Knitting! ♥ Being challenged ♥ Workin' on my fitness - even if it means limping around the next day ♥ Firefox 4.0 beta ♥ Seasonal flavors ♥ PeaceKeeper "Cause-Metics" (I found this fresh nail polish at Wegmans - it's vegan?!) ♥ Not having to fold my own laundry ♥ Waking up to new snow ♥ All the bangin' recipes that Stacy has been posting ♥ The 2nd Annual Snowman Building Contest ♥ Champagne ♥ Gift anticipation ♥ Glow in the dark ♥

A little short this week, but I'm sure next week I'll have plenty of NEW things to love :wink: Keep your eyes peeled for the follow-up to my resolution post! Have a safe & happy holiday!

21 December 2010

7 in 2011

I'm going to be writing a lot of lesson plans over winter break, and we use "long-term objectives" and "short-term objectives" in our lesson template; your long-term objectives are your ultimate goals - what you want your students to learn or take from the unit - and short-term objectives are the steps that get you to your long-term objectives.
Y'all know I love making resolutions, New Year's or otherwise.  It feels good to decide what you want and make plans to get yourself there.  I'm working on a "part 2" which will include my short-term objectives and some game plans.  For now - here are my long-term objectives for 2011:

Do it on purpose.

This is actually my entire resolution (and has been for the last few years), but it definitely helps me to clear up what I mean by "on purpose," because it's kind of like every resolution possible, rolled into one.
  • Be intentional.  Impulsiveness is out.  Consideration is in.
  • Take care of yourself.  Take your vitamins, eat your vegetables (gross), have a bedtime, get exercise, read books.
  • Work hard.  If you want it, make it happen.
  • Save money.  Think deeply before you buy; you probably don't need it.  "The best things in life aren't things."
  • Get dressed every morning like you mean it.  No sweatpants in public, even if you're "just running to the grocery store," lest Stacy & Clinton be watching.  If you look good, you'll feel good.
  • Appreciate what you have.  Remember how lovely your life is before you complain.
  • Be kind.  Send birthday cards, listen to others' problems, return phone calls, keep in touch.
  • Push yourself.  Be comfortable outside of your comfort zone.
I'd intended to make 11 resolutions for 2011, á la Angela, and while it makes for better blog post titles, I didn't want to fluff my list with things that I don't feel really strongly about making an effort on in 2011.


19 December 2010

Quote of the Week

Expectation is the root of all heartache.
- William Shakespeare
How different would your life be if everything had turned out exactly the way you'd expected - the worst case scenarios AND the best case scenarios?  Would you be grateful for everything that you have or would you presume you deserved it?  Disappointment and heartache can be tough to deal with, but they help teach us what's important.  Learn to appreciate what you have and be grateful for what you are continually blessed with - good health, a loving family, your dream job, holiday traditions, your education, a supportive significant other... ♥

16 December 2010

TiLT #13

♥ First things first: FINISHING THE SEMESTER! ♥ Mani/pedis ♥ Gala's Ultimate Playgirl Gift Guide (shame she didn't post this a month ago - sooo many additions to my wishlist!) ♥ Lip gloss ♥ My grad friends! ♥ Diet Dr. Pepper ♥ Off-street parking ♥ Wegmans' naturals section ♥ HTC's Droid Incredible (f'real.. it saved my a$$ on my video project) ♥ Obsessing over my Netflix queue (I might be 12 years old) ♥ Reading for pleasure ♥ The knitting project I've been working on since 2008.. when I learned how to knit :oops: ♥ My favorite F+tM song this week ♥ A good night's sleep ♥ Sephora samples ♥ Christmas cards ♥ Starbucks peppermint mocha ♥ Kiss My Face olive oil soap ♥ Compulsive post-semester cleaning & purging ♥ Google Chrome for Mac ♥ Snow ♥ Tomato soup ♥ Twitter conversations ♥ NOT talking on the phone ♥ Catching up on Boardwalk Empire ♥ Warm mist humidifiers ♥ Borrowing books from friends, professors, etc. (it's like the library without fines) ♥ Holiday themed anything ♥ Boyfriend in one week ♥ Being in law school vicariously (ask me about torts!) ♥ Serendipity Peppermint syrup ♥ Christmas tree smell ♥ Tori Amos' "Winter" ♥ Cats (no, not the musical) ♥ Optimism over realism ♥ Throwback jams - Saosin? Cursive? Meiko? Yes, yes, yes! ♥ The Help by Kathryn Stockett ♥ Having health insurance come January 1st ♥ Ryan Reynolds (dibs) ♥

Phew! What a week. And it's only Thursday..! But I've got a wonderful, relaxing day planned: a mani/pedi, catching up with an old friend, and a hairs cut. I never make the time to do these things during the semester. How do you relax?
An unrelated question: are you a spender or a saver? If you're not naturally a saver, how do you make yourself save? If you're a saver, what kinds of things are you willing to splurge on? I spent wayyy too much on Christmas.. time to buckle down again!

12 December 2010

Quote of the Week

"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
- Oscar Wilde
Remember that everything happens for a reason!  There are no mistakes in life and thus, no reason for regret.  More clichés about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, etc. and so forth.
I really do believe that everything happens for a reason, though.  Do you?

Either way, have a beautiful week, lovelies!  I know I will.. my only final, last paper, and final project are DONE after Tuesday.  What does your week look like?

09 December 2010

TiLT #12

♥ Cashews ♥ Finding gift cards I'd forgotten about ♥ Interlinear translations (Middle English is not English) ♥ My space heater ♥ Flossing ♥ When Tumblr actually works ♥ Grad friends ♥ Angry Birds Seasons ♥ Clementines! ♥ Zenni Optical's "Frame Fit" feature ♥ Cambria font - bigger than Times, but still accepted by professors ♥ Caffeine-free ♥ Lolita Lempicka (and TRUST ME that is a great price) ♥ Reverb10 ♥ Finishing papers!  (Only one more to go!) ♥ My beautiful ruffled Steve Madden bag ♥ Florence and the Machine's "Lungs" (I'm late but it's still tremendously wonderful) ♥ The end of semester in sight ♥ Celestial Seasoning's Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea ♥ Tasks in Google Calendar ♥ Getting Boyfriend for TEN DAYS at the end of the month ♥ New sneakers ♥ Sending holiday love ♥ The search for the perfect pink lip gloss ♥ All Of The Lights ♥ SNOW ♥ Evernote ♥ Cute notebooks (so much for giving up paper) ♥ Christmas tree decorating ♥ RetroCamera ♥ New blog friends! ♥ Satin pillowcases ♥ Cleaning out my inbox ♥ Bad jokes ♥ Target's amazing flannel pajama pants ♥ Giant cozy scarves ♥ Pumpkin candles ♥ Four-wheel drive and brand new snow tires ♥ Delicious (who else remembers when it was de.licio.us or some sh!t like that?) ♥ slickdeals ♥ My triumphant return to the gym ♥ Christmas music & movies ♥ Waking up before my alarm goes off ♥ Sister time ♥ Taco soup ♥ Last-night-of-class parties ♥ Beautiful handmade rings on Etsy ♥ Homemade peppermint hot chocolate ♥

In other news, I am officially ONE PRESENT AWAY from being done with my Christmas shopping! Rejoice! :mrgreen: How are you doing on your shopping? Also, dear Internet, I need some undereye circle help. Like, in a bad way.  Please recommend your favorite treatments and best makeup. Ya girl needs it.

07 December 2010

A Quick Update

Chronicle Books has extended their Friends & Family sale till December 12th - use the code FRIENDS at checkout to get 35% off your order + free shipping :mrgreen:

No time for online shopping - gotta get back to paper-writing!  See y'all on Thursday!

05 December 2010

Quote of the Week

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
- Roald Dahl

03 December 2010

Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-iday Giveaway

You KNOW I love a good reading party!!  Yesterday, when I was popular, I was introduced to several blogs that I was unfamiliar with (love!) and a few of them were participating in Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-iday wishlist giveaway.  Books?  For free?  I'm sorry, friends, but I could not resist!  Here's how it goes down:

If you're a blogger: Head over to Chronicle's website and make a list of books (up to $500!) that you want.  Post your book list to your blog and enter the contest by linking up at Chronicle.  THAT'S IT.  The last day to submit posts is December 10th and the winner will be announced on December 13th.

If you're NOT a blogger: Check out the list of blogs participating in the giveaway and comment your little heart out!  One blogger and one commenter on the winning post will win the $500 wishlist!  (Here's some boring official stuff that's probably important.)

Click "Read More" to check out my list!  And don't forget to comment - get you some! ;)

02 December 2010

Fireworks, Hallelujahs, etc.

Today just became the busiest day for my blog so far!! Thanks (and welcome) to everyone who clicked over here from Gala's Things I Love Thursday post; I hope y'all enjoy what I'm doing! :D

TiLT #11

I'm thinking about switching Things I Love Thursday formats.  My favorite is always Honorable Mentions, so next week I'm going to try doing it ENTIRELY as Little Favorites.  Feedback is welcomed & appreciated. ;)

Dove's Lemongrass & Grapefruit scent ♥ I know this one is weird.  But the Lemongrass & Grapefruit flavor smells just like candy and I can't get enough of it.  It goes nicely with Pink Sugar which is good, since the scent is pretty strong (not that I'm sniffing my armpits all day or anything.. :shock: you would too if they smelled like this!).  Also, apparently I am 9 years old.

Ruffles ♥ If my Cyber Monday purchases were any indication, I am completely obsessed with ruffles. Hear me out: they're girly & pretty AND they camouflage "problem areas" like it ain't no thang.  Yes please!

Google Calendar ♥ I have a very special place in my heart for things like planners and notebooks (and office supplies in general), but I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that paper is over. I bought a Moleskine as usual for 2010 but I haven't used it very much, so I'm going to try a combination of Google Calendar and GMail Tasks for 2011. Since my phone is Google-based, I'm pretty sure this will only be a catastrophe and not a disaster. Will report back.

Cookie Monster on SNL ♥ It is my sincerest hope that you've all seen Cookie Monster's YouTube video and liked his FB page.  If you haven't, you now have no excuse.  Macarooner!

Little Things ♥ Clean laundry ♥ Wired magazine ♥ Meager Tuesday (get it? Instead of Fat Tuesday.. ha) ♥ Fresh coffee! ♥ Christmas cards purchased on the cheap ♥ Polyvore ♥ December ♥ Chocolate Peppermint Bark cookies (hands down #1 ultimate best ever most favorite cookies!) ♥ Obsessively tracking my online orders ♥ Mini-book club ♥ Marshall's (/TJ Maxx/Ross/whatever equivalent you've got!) ♥ Christmas presents :D ♥ Making my bed ♥ Wegmans' labeling of vegan items ♥ Twinkle lights & candles ♥ Warm toes ♥

01 December 2010

Don't play with me, Winter..

Of anyone who "doesn't believe" in global warming (I don't believe in people who don't believe in global warming, but that's another story), I ask: when has Upstate NY ever made it all the way to December without a full inch of snow?  This is not normal.  BUT today is a good day.  Here are the reasons why:
  1. It's the first day of December!  And Hanukkah begins tonight!  And Movember is over!  Which means Boyfriend no longer resembles Ron Burgundy.

  2. My weather widget looks like this:

    Okay so today's weather sucks.  But after today - snow, snow, snow, snow, snow!!  And WordPress snow is here toooo!  (I know you didn't notice because the blog's background is white, but it's THERE!) :D

  3. It's a woot.off!

  4. I have a big cup of coffee in front of me and a lot of writing to do.
Better go start my first 30 minutes of focus. I'll be back tomorrow with fresh Things I Love Thursday - and this week, it is all. set. to. go!

29 November 2010

Cyber Monday

I tried so hard to resist Cyber Monday, friends...
Welllllllll, to be honest, I made my first Cyber Monday purchase while laying in bed with a headache this morning.  But I had very good intentions!  I think I was downright restrained.. ;)

Ann Taylor Loft Long & Lean Cardigan

Ann Taylor Loft Scuba Jacket with Ruffle Hem (in black!)

Steve Madden Bruffler (I really love ruffles??)

And everything was on super sweet sale! How could I have resisted? Did you get any sweet deals today?  I love show & tell!
(And just btw, can we please appreciate Loft for NOT airbrushing out dumb things, like wrinkles in jeans?   Homegirl in the cardigan picture looks straight up SLOPPY by some catalog standards.)

28 November 2010


I'm so upset that I missed Things I Love Thursday last week!  I started writing the post on Monday because I knew I would be busy later in the week and I could just schedule it to post, but I never finished :( Wah.  To make it up, here are some lovely Christmas wishes & ideas (which really doubles as a Things I Love).

Phew. I've been eating so much and sleeping so little this week, today is my catch up day. Tomorrow is the first day of the very first Change Your Life Challenge, so I'll have to be back in the swing of things. For now - some shopping with my sister, reading for my second to last week of class (!), and an early bedtime.  How was your Thanksgiving?!

22 November 2010

End of Semester

I'm finishing my English credit requirements this semester which means that I have three final research papers and a unit plan to write - oyyy.  I'm the first to admit that I'm not always the most on-top-of-it person; I usually let the big things go until I have to do them, but I don't necessarily see this as the most appropriate way to function.  I had every intention of getting my papers under way in advance this semester, but surprise - it didn't happen.  So I have two and a half weeks until the first of my assignments is due and I'm still on page two (of 20!).  Not great - certainly nothing to celebrate - but it's a start.  Now the question is: how to make myself focus?  How to make myself bang out this paper before I have 24 hours left?

My favorite homework trick is setting a timer - usually just for 30 minutes - and making myself work straight through.  Texts, tweets, emails, phone calls?  Ignored.  I'll deal with it in 30 minutes!  If something crucial pops into my head (and this is obviously when my brain finds everything important), I'll write it down to take care of afterward.  After my 30 minutes are up, I usually take a short break and then re-focus.  I like using this most for reading assignments; no matter how boring something is, I can give it at least 30 minutes.

I recently started reading Leo Babauta's ebook "focus" at the recommendation of a blog friend and I have to say that while it might not be groundbreaking, it certainly is interesting!  Most of Leo's ideas seem to be like that - he's not reinventing the wheel, but he's saying something important, something that most of us seem to have forgotten.  I'd love to be able to give up email like Leo has, but that probably isn't realistic for me right now (if only my professors were on Twitter..!), so I'm using some of his other tips to help me focus on creating - in this case, creating critical analysis and lesson plans. :-?

What about you - are you a last-minute procrastinator or an on-schedule to-do list maker?  How do you keep yourself accountable for your work?  And what are your best focus and motivation tips?

21 November 2010

Quote of the Week

"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable."
- Coco Chanel
Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy, friends?  You are one!  That's why you have to stay like the Little Engine that Could... don't ever tell yourself that you can't, don't let doubt sneak in, because once you do, you're done for.

A wonderful, lovely, perfect, and HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY to Boyfriend!! ♥ ♥ ♥ I can't wait to see you, sir.

19 November 2010

Speaking of snow...

When does the WordPress snow start falling!? I'm impatient with snow-lust now!


I'm going to be moving back to the Mid West after I finish grad school in the spring so I've been trying to appreciate the things I love about the Northeast, in all seasons.  I woke up to snow on the ground and in the air this morning and knew that this would be my #1 Most Missed Experience.

I grew up on skis so winter has a special place in my heart.  Plus, snow is just so beautiful (and fun!). What do you love most about where you're from?

18 November 2010

TiLT #10

Right now I'm a little bit obsessed with my Former Life... 2008 wasn't my easiest year, but it was definitely one of my best: I started it off in Boston, moved back to New York, met Boyfriend, and began my first semester of grad school.  You'll forgive me if my TiLTs are a bit nostalgic or old school.

Pretzel M&M's ♥ I can never spell "pretzel" correctly the first time and I didn't even LIKE this candy the first time I tried it, but now I can't stop. They're the most perfect combination of salty and sweet and they are going to make me gain ten pounds.

Law & Order: SVU ♥ So addicting.  I'd never paid much attention to the Law & Order series or it's spinoffs, but Boyfriend got me hooked on SVU when I visited him in October.  I found all ten seasons on Netflix Instant and my new life goal is to watch every. single. episode.  Aw yeah.

Free time ♥ Not the time I waste procrastinating on a paper, or the extra hour of sleep I get because I'm avoiding reading for class. When everything is done and I can fluff up my pillows, light a candle, and read my book (or watch SVU ;) ).

Tretorn's "Skerry Vinter" boots ♥ I've lived in a snowy city for my entire life but haven't owned a decent pair of winter boots since I realized that the "duck boots" my parents kept making me wear were ugly.  Last winter I spent over $100 on a giant pair of Sorel boots, only to have them sit in the back of my closet, still in their box.  I finally convinced myself that just having winter boots wasn't enough - I needed winter boots that I would wear.  Enter Tretorn's Skerry boots.  They are adorable, reasonably priced rubber rain boots with a fuzzy lining and I highly recommend them.  Having waterproof feet is one of the best things that has ever happened to me!

Little Favorites ♥ My new header! ♥ Having a weekly schedule ♥ "Holiday" makeup - shimmery eyes and pretty pink lips ♥ Long morning walks that leave me comfortably sore ♥ New-to-me delicious foods (can you believe I hated hummus until recently!?) ♥ A warm bed and cozy lights at the end of a long day ♥ HP & The Deathly Hallows, part I ♥ The relief and blessing of good health ♥ Theme nights with my favorite girls ♥ Rediscovering Animal Crossing! (btw, does anyone have a DSi XL, and if so, please tell me that the graphics are better than the DS Lite) ♥ Mos Def for President ♥ Having something to look forward to ♥ The placebo effect ♥ NaNoWriMo ♥ Guilt-less spending ♥ Reading for pleasure ♥ The first ever Change Your Life Challenge - comment on Monica's post to join the email group! ♥

I'm so glad to be back. :D

17 November 2010

Hi friends

I'm back.

I know.. I'd lost hope too. I didn't want to blog and didn't see myself wanting to blog in the future, either. But sometimes we need reminders to help us focus on the good things (and the pretty things!) when we're overwhelmed with the bad.  So I'll be here tomorrow with a mess of happy, pretty things for Things I Love Thursday.  In the meantime, is anyone even still reading?

11 October 2010

To Fight For Your Happiness

Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.
- Ayn Rand
Last night, instead of studying for today's midterm or posting this week's quote, I stayed up until nearly 2am talking and laughing with a friend.  I hope that you all have someone that you feel completely comfortable with, who will listen to all of your stories and wishes and fears, and be honest with you no matter what - someone who will help you fight for your happiness, as Ayn Rand puts it.

I'm taking a break. Next Monday is my two year anniversary with Boyfriend; I've changed a lot in the last two years and I don't love all of those changes. I need to do things for myself. I'll be on Twitter and Tumblr, and I'll be back. :]

08 October 2010


No, not the band. But I've put up a choice track for your listening pleasure. (Acceptance was one of my favorites in high school and college; they once played my hometown three times in two months - heaven!!)

This week I've accepted some things about myself -
  • as a blogger, I will never have the posting schedule of someone like Shannon and that's okay.  It doesn't mean I'm a bad blogger, it just means I'm not Shannon.  Lord knows how she does it, but bless her heart for giving us so much wonderful content to read and so many beautiful pictures to look at every day.

  • as a human being, I sometimes need more than I want to give myself.  Sometimes I want to sleep longer/eat more/work less than I should and sometimes I just have to give myself a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.  Just because.  I don't need an excuse or a reason.  (Sometimes I also try to see how many times I can say "sometimes" in one paragraph.  Five.  Beat that!)

07 October 2010

TiLT #9

Having a really tough week (I mean.. REALLY. TOUGH. WEEK.) but there's gotta be something I'm grateful for this week..right!?

"It Gets Better" videos ♥ In particular, Tim Gunn's. I love Tim Gunn and his response made me love him even more. Make it work. (I haven't watched Zachary Quinto's video yet, but DANG..  Is that man out yet!?  Repression is a b!tch, that's all I'm saying.)

Perfect jeans ♥ I've been playing this game with American Eagle since August where they send me a pair of jeans and I wait on pins & needles for them to arrive, only to decide the the jeans are too short/too skinny/not dark enough/not good enough and I send them back.  Repeat.  This week we finally got it right and I will never again stray.

Coziness ♥ Long sleeves, snuggly scarves, hot chocolate, late afternoons, cashmere cardigans, fuzzy Uggs, apple cider, wool jackets, tomato soup, extra blankets, warm slippers, old movies, delicious candles, steaming mugs, good friends, dancing leaves, pumpkin coffee, windy nights... oh.  Shall I go on?

Little things ♥ Taking myself to the theater ♥ Gift cards ♥ Apple's Genius Bar ♥ Blair Waldorf-esque headbands ♥ Switching back to my "winter" perfume - love the burnt sugar / vanilla smell ♥ Realizing that the semester is halfway over ♥ Red Netflix envelopes waiting for me ♥ Good hair days.

05 October 2010

On the Floor

October is one of my favorite months of the year for a couple of reasons:
  1. Fall truly begins - colors peak, seasonal flavors are everywhere, and best of all.. Halloween. :D

  2. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means that I get to wear as much pink as possible, as often as possible with the best possible excuse.
If you use Facebook, you probably remember last year's "post-your-bra-color" game.  The idea was to raise awareness for breast cancer (how, I'm not quite sure) and to leave the men on Facebook guessing why all the women were posting colors.  This year, the plan is to post where you like to leave your purse.  For example, "I like it on the floor."  This way you can have a vaguely sexual status update with a charitable defense - it's all in the name of breast cancer.

If it's not already obvious, I think this is dumb.  If someone could kindly explain to me - how does this raise awareness for breast cancer?  Yes, it goes viral on Facebook in a matter of hours, but how does this do anything for the cause?  At least the bra colors had to do with breasts; this purse location thing has me scratching my head.  If you really care about breast cancer,  why wouldn't you donate money, go talk to someone about it, schedule a mammogram, etc., instead of update your Facebook?

03 October 2010

Quote of the Week

"You have to take risks.  We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen."
- Paulo Coelho

01 October 2010

Happy Friday!

Just some bits and pieces:
  • There are only 91 days left in 2010!  Can you believe it!?  How as 2010 been for you?
  • Tumblr has had the most amazing inspiration lately; my brain has been so full of lovely pictures and interesting words.  If you're on Tumblr, do say hello :)
  • This weekend we have THREE pumpkin festivals (Am I dreaming? Is this heaven!?) and next weekend is our beloved Apple Fest! If you've been lucky enough to go apple picking this season already, I highly recommend Ina Garten's applesauce recipe - but don't fuss about the different kinds of apples.  I'm sure it's delicious, but use up what you picked!
Have a beautiful and relaxing weekend!! ♥

30 September 2010

TiLT #8

Having Someone to do things For You. ♥ Like a Good Boyfriend, mine likes to do things For Me; I've been known to tell him that I can do it myself because.. well, I can be a brat sometimes.  On Tuesday I really needed someone to do things For Me.  I accidentally took my antibiotics on an empty stomach, giving myself a terrible horrible no good very bad stomach ache. :( I put myself straight to bed, but I really could have used a Handsome Boyfriend to rub my back and kiss my hair and pull the covers up when I got cold.

The tellyvision. ♥ So good!!  I finally got around to watching this week's episodes of GG & Glee and all I have to say is - it's Brittany.. bitch.  I've always loved Brittany because she's dumb hilarious but oh. my. god.  Girl can DANCE.  And I will be very disappointed if she doesn't present the promised Ke$ha song next week.  Ms. Spears' cameos were nice but her acting was so bad.. so, so bad... And speaking of bad, could the teaser for next week's episode of GG have made it any more obvious that Eva is a porn star?  (My apologies to those that hadn't figured it out.  Go watch again and tell me if you agree!)  I just can't figure out what Juliet's deal is.. and it's driving me crazy!

Music that makes me feel like fall. ♥ Sigur Rós.  The Pride & Prejudice OST.  Yiruma.  Detektivbyrån.  Yann Tiersen.  matt pond PA.  Band of Horses.  The Album Leaf.  This Will Destroy You.  Explosions in the Sky.  Contemplative and quiet.  Good homework music too!  Always open to musical suggestions.

Petits Favoris. ♥ Half coffee, half hot chocolate (must. stop. drinking.) ♥ Buying perfect gifts for P (time will tell if they're really "perfect"!!). ♥ Reading Gala Darling's weekly favorites - she is, after all, the original Thursday Lover! ♥ Getting an amazing hairs cut from a fellow Curly Girl. ♥ Finally finishing two weeks of antibiotics. ♥ Productive rainy days. ♥ Still missing London. ♥ Painting my nails! ♥ Taking a "day off" and not feeling guilty about it. ♥ Outlawing negative attitudes and comments on my blog (As my wise and lovely sister says, "I will not expend my limited energy on hostile interactions with close-minded people.") ♥ My intense crush on Gossip Girl - I mean, Kristen Bell - and excitement for her new movie. ♥ Okay, actually all the fresh movies coming out this fall. (And some that have already come out, too!)

28 September 2010

From Spending to Saving

If you're anything like me, you're a Spender.  Yes, with a capital S.  That's because I can do damage to my bank account without trying too hard.  As a perpetual student I've become dangerously comfortable with a low balance, but as someone who is, by most definitions, an adult, I really should be more sensible about my money.  And so I present to you: Fiscally Responsible October. (Umm.. I'll think of something catchier.  Soon. :wink:)

During the month of October, I will be observing the following money-saving methods and techniques (most of which were recommended by the brilliant Joanna):
  • To limit my eating out, I have purchased gift cards.  I find myself at Dunkin Donuts since it's nearby and has a drive-thru, so I put $20 on the gift card to allow myself one coffee drink a week.  Study groups generally happen at Panera for free Internet and delicious food, so I put $15 on that gift card to allow myself two meals.

  • In order to check my online shopping, I will be adding items to my amazon.com wishlist instead of buying them.  I briefly considered handing my debit card and credit card over to my mother for safekeeping, but since I have both numbers memorized (down to the security codes), it wouldn't have done me much good.  This is part of the "responsible" bit!

  • Similarly, I will be using an app on my phone (ColorNotes, for Droid users) to keep a generic wishlist for items that I see while out shopping and/or am continuously looking for, i.e., white tank tops, a black wool cloche hat, etc.

  • I will be using mint.com to track any spending that I do.  Mint includes useful breakdowns of how you spend your money in pie chart form, as well as customizable monthly budgets.  I've set up budgets before, but nothing is to stop me from exceeding my monthly coffee budget (except a scolding from Mint), so it doesn't work very well for me.  Instead, I'll just use Mint to keep track of my money.  If your bank has an online banking feature, that would work equally well.

  • Cutting back - I downgraded my gym membership from the $20/month option to the $10/month option and am missing none of the perks of the gym.  The only real differences are that I no longer have unlimited guest privileges (sorry, mooching friends!) and can't use the tanning booths for free (unhealthy anyway).  I've also stopped buying books; I've been a member of PaperBackSwap.com for years and by using it, I can get books in excellent to new condition for free - just use your Requestor Conditions!  Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get the book you want, but it's worth it.
These are the promises I've made to myself for the month of October. Hopefully they are changes that will begin in October and stick with me for awhile, helping to change the way I think about money.
What about you? Are you a saver or a spender? If you're a saver, what are your tips & tricks? If you're a spender, have you always been?

26 September 2010

Quote of the Week

If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.
- Thomas Edison
This quote reminds me of another, from one of my favorite movies from high school, Empire Records (so many classic quotes from this movie!).  When asked how she has time to do everything, Liv Tyler's character replies that there are 24 usable hours in every day.  How many hours do we throw away every day when we could be doing something astonishing?  How much more could we be doing if we eliminated just ten minutes of idle time here and there? Just something to think about as you get ready to start your week! ♥

23 September 2010

TiLT #7

Trees. Yesterday was the Official First Day of Autumn! And there was much rejoicing! The trees have begun to change color and it's giving me a newfound appreciation for them. Not that I ever look at a tree and think, "What an eyesore. Cut it down. OFF WITH IT'S HEAD!" My drive to and from school has lots of beautiful rolling hills that give amazing views of the changing leaves. Since autumn colors are fleeting, I try to appreciate them while they're here - and especially since I'll be in the flat Midwest next year with no beautiful rolling hills to display the trees for me.

Spending time in "the real world." I love the Internet!  Seriously, I do.  I can waste hours scrolling through pictures on Tumblr, reading gossip on Oh No They Didn't, adding things I'll never buy to my shopping cart on Amazon, commenting on pretty blogs, and video chatting with Boyfriend on Skype (that is, if he's not busy playing his nerd games).  But it's refreshing to take a step back from time to time, and focus on our physical relationships - to spend the afternoon catching up with a friend over coffee, wake up early for a solitary sunrise walk, indulge in hours of delicious family time.

Bows.  Obsession.  If you didn't know, now you know.  If I could alter my wardrobe to guarantee that every outfit I put on had a bow in it somewhere (and yet somehow avoid looking like Alice in Wonderland or an 8 year old), I would probably squeal with delight and joy.  I just bought these beauties at Target.

The friend who was with me when I found them mockingly suggested that I buy two pairs so that I'll have a back-up when the first pair inevitably tarnishes or falls apart.  (Actually a very good idea).

Time Management.  The skills!  I have them!  The problem is, I'm lazy.  I realize this is not an attractive quality to be announcing on my blog, but it's true.  This semester I don't have a strenuous workload and I've been getting away with doing my homework the morning before my class.  But this week I'm doing my homework ahead of time (and even starting on next week's homework..?  Over achiever!) so that I'll have time to do things that I want to do like read, go to the gym, blog, hang out with my IRL friends, Skype, etc.  Managing your time is fun! :D

Honorable Mention.  The North Face's sweet customer service; my new Twitter username; today's sellout.woot!; peanut butter chocolate chip Larabars; HBO's new show, Boardwalk Empire; being so obsessive about my new time management that I have a weekly schedule; Halloween on the horizon; an awesome gym routine; Slim Paley's GORGEOUS kitchen; helpful classmates; finding a glow-in-the-dark bones t-shirt for only $5; new running sneakers; finally taking the air conditioner out of my window!

21 September 2010


Inexplicably missing my glamourous European lifestyle..

Pain au chocolat and coffee for late morning breakfast
Reading among the fall leaves at Hyde Park
Watching the seasons change and enjoying beautiful London traditions
The only thing I'll never miss about London - no one ever says "bless you" to sneezes.  I got looked at like I was crazy (or rude!) the first few times I said it. Do we have any British folks who can explain it..?

19 September 2010

Quote of the Week

Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, no feeling is final.- Rainer Maria Rilke

18 September 2010


Today I bought a book for myself.  This one -

It's rare for me to buy a book to read for pleasure during the semester because I won't make time to read it, but I want to change that.  My workload isn't horrendous this semester, I just haven't been managing it.  I bought this book to encourage myself to get my homework done and to read before I go to sleep.  It seems so luxurious to read in bed, doesn't it?  Pillows fluffed up, cozy pajamas and blankets, everything done and settled for the day, nothing left to do but lose yourself in your book..

This may not work at all.  I might begin the book and hate it.  I might never even open the book.  I might read the book instead of doing homework.  But I've always been a terrible time-manager and this is my first small step towards gaining some control over my time.  It's an experiment! :D

17 September 2010

Oh Dear

I definitely chose the right week to take off from blogging - it's been just dreadful!  I still haven't found my ideal weekly routine or fallen into that "groove" and homework is really kicking my butt because of it.  My allergies have been awful since February :shock: and I finally went to the doctor, but all my new meds are just making me foggier!  My fingers are crossed that this is one of those you-feel-worse-before-you-feel-better things.

We understand each other.
swear to God PROMISE I will be back next Thursday, 23 September for TILT.. 'cause I've got A LOT things to love on! I hope everyone has a restful and fabulous weekend. ♥