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!