Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Celebrating... Daniels twenty-third birthday! Long distance of course, but I did surprise him with some tickets for us to go the Tim Mcgraw and Billy Currington concert this summer!

Watching... One Tree Hill re-runs. Naley forever.

Eating... Ben and Jerry's S'mores ice cream.

Counting down... 18 more days till Daniel and I get to start spending our summer together!

Indecisive about... what to do next with my hair? The extensions are coming out Monday so its time for something new!

Loving... the peach green tea lemonade from Starbucks. Sometimes it goes away during off season but its back now and better then ever. Go try some asap!

Avoiding... all responsibilities related to finals this (and next) week.

Searching for... a great mothers day present for my wonderful mommy! Any suggestions?

Hoping... that I survive this week! I can almost taste the summer time.

Happy Tuesday!

Five on Friday

Friday, April 24, 2015

Yesterday I saw this post on The Daily Tay, one of my favorite reads out there in the blogosphere. I thought I would use this Five on Friday to take a little time and write my own letters to me. It was so fun to think back on these different stages in my life, some of course better then others. If you could write a letter to yourself at any age, what would you say?

Dear four-year-old,

Eating that entire bag of Flintstone vitamins your mom packed you for your weekend away will not make her come pick you up sooner. In fact, while everyone else is calling poison control on you, she’s just going to laugh.

By the way…mom also wont let you name our new little sister Nala after our favorite Disney movie. Despite our creative differences, mom will still become our best friend.

Dear six-year-old,

Take a damn nap. Take one at school, take one at daycare, and take one at recess. Fit as many naps in as possible because you will miss them, and you will regret those days when you pretended to sleep instead of actually sleeping.

Dear ten-year-old,

You will get past that awkward stage. Your head will eventually be the right size to match your teeth, and you’ll grow into your “elf” ears, I promise.

Also, ask your mom to buy you longer jeans. They do make them. That denim that just barely reaches your ankles really shouldn’t be a thing, and to be honest its just not going to cut it. 

Dear sixteen-year-old,

You just moved to Los Angeles, California. Embrace it and ultimately you will realize that getting out of Cincinnati, Ohio at an early age was the best thing your parents could have done for you.

Also, go to the beach everyday…for the rest of your life. Seriously.

Dear twenty-two- year- old,

Smile more. Be grateful and take a second to look around at all the beautiful things surrounding you. Graduation is right around the corner, so put your best into finishing this last year of school with a bang. Stop worrying about making your life look like something, and start actually making it something.

Happy Friday!

Injury and Insecurity

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today I’m going to get a little more serious with you guys, and share something personal about myself. I have a relatively serious neck injury that began giving me problems right around last March. Although I can’t be positive about it, I think it was caused by (what I thought to be) a minor fall down the stairs at my grandparent’s house. They have carpeting on their staircase that is so slippery and walking down them in socks was just asking for trouble. But it was first thing in the morning and I didn’t think anything of it until I slipped backwards and landed on my butt, hard. In the process, I think I gave myself some kind of whiplash. For the first few months I didn’t experience any pain, until slowly it started to creep in. I used to crack my neck, a lot, and suddenly I wasn’t able to crack it at all. I tried to avoid it but the fact that I couldn’t crack it all of a sudden made me literally insane, and as the months went by I developed this habit of constantly moving it to try and get it to crack. Probably doing further damage in the process. I started seeing a chiropractor that did little but temporarily fix the problem, and by that I mean I would get an adjustment and within 30 minutes I would feel pain again. X-rays show that I somehow lost the curve in my neck. I have pretty bad posture on top of all of this so I’ve been working hard to correct it. After realizing that this particular chiropractor might have been doing more damage then good, I went to see another doctor. He has been able to help me more then the previous doctor. At times I have been able to hold my adjustment for as long as a week and a half. But overall its a very tough situation and when it hurts all the time I feel the need to consistently move it, which gives people the impression that I have some kind of twitch. I spend so much time in the car that by the time I drive from home to school my neck is so tired that laying it down and putting ice on it is the only thing that helps. At 22 years old, this absolutely scares me more then anything else. It’s almost been a full year at this point and I haven’t gone a day without it hurting to some degree. Anything can set it off like bad nights sleep, walking too long, being in the car, or flying on an airplane. It makes it difficult to participate in things because I get nervous that it’s going to hurt too much and I’ll ruin something for everyone else.

At 22 years old I should have the free ranging ability to do anything and everything with my body, but lately I feel so limited. I get scared that there is no permanent fix and that I will constantly be in pain no matter what. I get sad that it’s going to upset Daniel if there are things that I cant do, and I never want to prevent him from doing anything, although he is always here for me no matter what, so my insecurities are in my head. I want to be adventurous but I feel like I have to place myself in some type of bubble to protect what little amount still feels good in my neck right now. Although I feel fear, I also feel hope. Hope that ill find a permanent solution, or that I’ll wake up and it won’t hurt anymore. I get embarrassed by the way my neck moves, but I hope people will give me the chance to explain before they jump to conclusions on what might be wrong with me. I also feel like I have no reason to complain, because so many people have it worse then me, but I'm hurt too. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and play pretend that everything is all right all the time, but sometimes its not. I am confident that I will overcome this, but sometimes it’s nice to put all your negative feelings on paper (or computer) and get them out there so you can get past whatever it is holding you back. Whether it’s a physical or emotional thing, there’s always something out there to help. If you’re dealing with anything similar I hope you keep your positivity and hope, because without that it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder to overcome whatever battle you might be facing.

Pinspiration: Office Space

When it comes to office space I want bright colors and patterns that pop. I always work better in a space that I am aesthetically drawn too. I love the cozy feel of these office inspo pictures from Pinterest. I would be happy to be working in any one of these spaces and can't wait to decorate my own little work place! Raise your hand if you're happy the week is half-way over!

Trader Joes Dulce De Leche Cake

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yesterday I went to Trader Joes in search of a few things to pack my lunches for this week. In doing so, I made one major mistake, I went while I was hungry. If you have a Trader Joes near you and shop there frequently you might know how affordable their prices are, and how amazing their products tend to be. They are always coming out with new things that are worth trying and I end up leaving the store with three times the amount of stuff that I intended to buy. They also do food demos in the store, which until yesterday I never took the time to try. Yesterday, however, they were making cake. Wonderful, warm, chocolate-y, vanilla cake, and I had to have it. I bought all the ingredients, grabbed a slip of paper with the recipe and headed home. It turned out so perfect I had to share the recipe here, if you live anywhere near a Trader Joes, get yourself there immediately and make this cake! If not, it can probably made with ingredients you can find at another grocery store with just a few adjustments.

1 Package of Vanilla Cake Mix (the Trader Joes version has vanilla beans in the mix which are amazing)
2 Eggs
1 Cup of cold milk
1 Stick of butter
1 jar of Dulce de Leche
1 Package of cocoa dusted truffles with toffee bits (this would be the most difficult ingredient to find at a regular grocery store, but regular chocolate icing would taste just as good on top!) 

On the healthy scale this recipe is a 0, but so worth it. After you prepare the batter for the cake, mix an entire jar of dulce de leche directly into it. Pour the mixture into a greased cake pan, and bake according to the temperature on the cake box for 40-50 minutes. As soon as the cake is finished baking, open the package of truffles and place them directly on top of the hot cake. They will immediately begin to melt and you can spread them easily with a spatula onto the top of the cake till there is an even layer of chocolate sauce.

The final product wasn’t so pretty, so unfortunately I don’t have an after picture, but you’ll have to take my word for it. I wanted to eat the whole cake when it was done, but I limited myself to one piece, somehow.

What’s your favorite thing to make with Trader Joes ingredients?

Weekend Recap

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Monday guys! This morning I am rushing off to the elementary school where I usually do my Friday observations because for two hours this morning I get to be the teacher! I’m scared. But I’ve got a great lesson planned for the kids all revolving around this Wednesday’s Earth Day. The most nerve wracking part isn’t the lesson or that I get to be judged by a bunch of super awesome third graders, but because of the fact that my cooperating teacher will be conducting an evaluation on me during the lesson. She’s been very nice and helpful but also a little intimidating. Fingers crossed that everything goes well!

Here is a little breakdown of my weekend. Friday night one of my friends, Katie, came over to stay the night. We met up with my friend Jess who moved to Atlanta a few months back. I have missed her like crazy! We all met up at this cute place called Stonehaus which is a wine and coffee bar. Jess and I used to go there at least once a week when she lived here and I haven’t been back since she moved. I drove everyone so I had a cappuccino while Jess ordered some delicious red wine.

Saturday I went to lunch with my parents at this place called Lure. It’s a fish house and it’s amazing. We started with chargrilled oysters and I had a citrus crab cake salad. I was so hungry I literally did not take a single picture of our meal until it was leftovers in my kitchen so I apologize for the bad quality. I promise it tasted much better then I made it look. I wore my favorite rolling stones T-shirt from Urban Outfitters and some blue leggings. They’re the most comfortable clothes I have that still look cute enough to wear as a pulled together outfit. My dad and sister went to a Dodgers game at night so mom and I stayed in and had some quiet TV time. We watched Billy Crystal’s 700 Sunday’s and Ricky Gervais stand-up comedy. Both were so good! I also booked my flight for my summer trip out to Daniel, 25 more days till I get three full months with my husband! 

Sunday I spent preparing for my lesson. I also took a little trip to Target after completely underestimating us California girls. In my mind I’m all, “there’s no way Lilly for Target will be as popular here, I’m sure if I show up around noon there will still be plenty of stuff to buy.” I was wrong. Everything was gone which I realize was the sad reality of women across the U.S. Target has also made a statement that they will not be adding more Lilly products, but with the success of this collection how could they not?! I ended the night with some of this new wonderful frozen custard and the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Wish me luck on my lesson and happy week! 

Five on Friday: Lilly Comes to Target

Friday, April 17, 2015

My closet is honestly lacking in the color department. I am usually drawn to the simplicity of black, grey, and tan tones. However, there’s just something about those bright Lilly Pulitzer colors and patterns that I just die over. I'm dedicating this Friday post to the new Lilly and Target (my one true love) collection hitting stores this Sunday! Although I would love to own everything from the collection, here's my Five on Friday, Lilly wish list edition.

One// satin halter maxi dress – sea urchin for you. Two// glass votive candle holders. Three// palazzo pant – giraffeeey. Four// hammock – nosie posey. Five// phone case Iphone 6 – upstream.

You can check out the look book, here! What are you coveting from this gorgeous collection?

Baby [Fashion] Fever

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My husband has the absolute worst baby fever, like ever. On a daily basis he asks me if we can have a baby at least once, if not more. When we see babies out in public he immediately gravitates towards them, and then his asking turns to begging. Now I am all about babies. I have been a nanny off and on since I was old enough to stay on my own. However, I’m so close to graduating college and Daniel still lives in another state. Throwing a baby into that mix sounds like a recipe for disaster, and I’m thankful that even though Daniel wants a baby right now, he and I are on the same page that it’s the best decision for us right now to wait. I don’t plan on waiting forever though. The program that I’m in for school is a dual program where I will receive both my bachelors and my teaching credential all wrapped into one tiny little package. It’s very important to me that I finish this program because I’ve put so much time and energy into getting to this point. Daniel supports me one hundred and fifty percent in this and he is honestly the leader of my fan club on most days when I’m not feeling entirely motivated. On the other hand, I’m so excited to get to that point in my life where I’m ready to be a mom. Many people might read this and think what I'm saying is so ridiculous because I’m 22 and should be out being young and enjoying my freedom. But my life has always been centered on my family and I know that’s something that will continue as I get older. The only thing I really want to do besides finishing my degree is to travel to Europe. My parents and Daniel I have already started making plans to go on a big trip right after graduation, so I think ill be able to check that one off of my list pretty easily.

I digress.

Somehow, I keep starting these posts with the clearest of intentions, only to ramble on for 15 minutes before I realize that I’ve completely missed the mark and should probably get myself back on track. What I really wanted to share, was how my husband has baby fever, and how I have baby clothing fever. I see all these cute tiny humans on Pinterest that are more hipster then most adults I know, and they honestly couldn’t make me any happier. Here are some of my favorite little munchkins from Pinterest who obviously have the most perfect parents on the planet who buy them all the cute little baby clothes. I have every intention of becoming one of these parents, thank you Pinterest for all the inspiration, you never disappoint.

A Little Blog Makeover

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I’ve had this blog for all of one month, so when I first started thinking about purchasing a new blog design, I hesitated. I can’t be sure that I’ll stick around in this section of the internet forever, but what I can be sure about is that if I love the way it looks, I’m probably much more likely to keep coming back. That’s where Erin comes in. Erin blogs over at Love, Fun & Football. I saw her designs on a couple blogs that I liked and I decided to look into it a little further. First and foremost her prices are amazing. So many of the custom design options that I saw were available were well over 100 dollars. For someone who’s only just starting, it was hard to justify something like that. Erin offers a custom blog design that includes more then I even knew what to do with as a beginning blogger, and all in my price range. She was so willing to help me understand everything that went into my design. I sent her colors, and font choices and within a day she had already worked up a first draft for me. I told her I wanted something bright and colorful that makes you think of a summer day, and that’s exactly what I got. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work through my first custom blog design with me. She is amazing so if you’re considering a new look, go check out her design services right now!

(Summer) State of Mind

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Summer is so close I can almost taste it. I want pool days and beach nights and watermelons and popsicles and bikinis. And I know what some of you may be thinking, this girl lives in California, shouldn’t she be doing this stuff all the time? The answer is yes, I should be. But life gets in the way and school piles up and suddenly I’m completely taking the fact that I live 30 minutes from the ocean for granted and instead complaining that it’s “too far” to drive. Excuse me while I give myself one major face palm. In three-ish weeks ill be packing up my stuff and going to spend the summer in North Carolina with Daniel. I am 99 percent thrilled that Daniel and I will get three uninterrupted months together, and 1 percent bummed that the place we’ll be spending it is Fayetteville. To make up for the crappy location, I’ve decided to make a list of all the places on the east coast and in the south that I’d like to visit during long weekends, etc. Daniel will be working so much during the week but I want to make the most of his off days. Here’s my list of east coast/southern cities that I hope to get around to seeing this summer!

>> One – Washington D.C.
>> Two – Savannah, GA
>> Three – Myrtle Beach, SC
>> Four – Charleston, SC
>> Five – New York City, NY (I’ve done this one before, I just really love the city)
>> Six – Outer Banks, NC
>> Seven – Daytona, FL (My wonderful grandparents are building a house in the St. Augustine area, hello Florida vaca!)

Chances are I will probably only see maybe three of these places this summer, but I might as well shoot big and see where it gets me. We will only be about 2 hours from the beach anyway so I plan to nicely ask beg Daniel to take me there every single weekend.

If any of you have suggestions on other places worth visiting I would love to hear them! And, just because I've got summer on the brain, I'm linking this grapefruit mojito summer cocktail recipe, which comes from Iowa Girl Eats. How amazing does this look?

Happy Tuesday!

A Blonde Walked into a Barre

Monday, April 13, 2015

This weekend I took my first ever Studio Barre class. I made it through the warm up, cried a little and went home…just kidding, mostly. I used to nanny for this amazing family with two wonderful boys. Their mom worked for a skin care company and she designed their packaging, eventually she decided she wanted to work closer to home and combined her very talented work skills, with a love for working out and opened a Studio Barre location five minutes from their house. It’s been open for months and I haven’t found the time to get over there until this weekend, and I am so glad that I did! The class kicked my butt. I’ve never been the most athletically inclined or physically fit. I am very skinny but also very short, so mostly proportional to my size, however, I am very inactive due to my busy school schedule and even the smallest physical activity wears me out! I want to change that, so this weekend I finally got some actual use out of my very expensive Victoria’s Secret workout leggings. They usually get worn to run out to the grocery store or to lounge around the house so I’m sure that they were shocked to be used for their actual purpose of working out. The instructor was amazing. She was completely aware of the fact that I am beyond a beginner. I also have a slight neck injury due to falling down the stairs, but that’s a story for another post. I really needed to move at my own pace for most of the activities and I was so nervous going into the class. Most instructors say that their classes are welcoming to people at all levels, and then they end up flying through the workout at superman speed for all those pros. This instructor was really wonderful though and I was so thrilled with this experience that I’m signed up for another class tomorrow.

What started out as a weekend recap post somehow turned into a Studio Barre review, so back to scheduled programing.

After the class I thought I would be full of energy and ready to take on the day, but my body was so completely exhausted because this is the most activity that it’s had in months, and I proceeded to climb into bed and watch Parenthood on Netflix for a solid 5 hours straight. I also threw in a little trip to the fridge for a Trader Joe's salad that was waiting for me, it was wonderful...What was I saying the other day about procrastination?

That night I had a sleepover with our cute Chihuahua because my parents were out of town and usually he sleeps with my mom. He’s quite the cuddle bug. For dinner I made Zucchini Pizza’s from Simply Taralynn, which you can find the recipe for here. They were so good and so easy to make. Also much higher on the healthy scale then actual pizza which I would have regretted after my morning activities.

Yesterday I woke up and immediately regretted all that I did on Saturday, which was supposed to be “good” for me. What’s good about barely being able to sit up in the morning? Not much. However, there is something satisfying about being sore. With every step it’s a constant reminder that I was active and at least the idea of that seems pretty good. I spent the rest of the day working on homework, finally. I had to create a health lesson that I will be teaching to the third graders that I observe every week. With Earth Day coming up, I went for a lesson on the 3R’s and found some awesome stuff on Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s for free that went along perfectly with the lesson plan. I’m really excited but also pretty nervous to teach it all on my own. We’ve spent all semester doing lesson plans but they were all just ideas and now this one actually get’s to be put to use. Finger’s crossed that it all goes smoothly. I took a small homework break to go out to lunch with my little sister for some soup and salad at Olive Garden, mmm, I love me some breadsticks. After our little outing it was back to the grind. I finished up the lesson plan, organized a resource binder and got stuck on some English homework that Daniel was able to help me work through over Skype. Usually English is my area of expertise, but this linguistics class is out to get me. It’s all equations and truth tables. I was pretty sure I signed up for English, not Math and I’m honestly horrified that they could ever show up in the same class.

I finally ended the night with a taco bell quesadilla that I’ll be working off at the next Studio Barre class. No shame. 

Today I'm linking up for Mingle Monday!

Happy Monday loves. 

I'm a Pro at Procrastinating

Saturday, April 11, 2015

There’s not much I’m better at then procrastinating. Personally, I think it’s one of my most annoying qualities, but for some reason I just can’t convince myself to start something as soon as it’s given to me. What is homework compared to Pinterest, blog reading, eating, sleeping, or Netflix? Also, there’s my family who is just about the most unhelpful when it comes to not procrastinating. There is constantly something going on in my house, kitchen sounds, TV noises, dogs barking, not only is it distracting but all the happy sounds of our home tear me away from the things I really need to do. However, I am three weeks away from the end of my semester. I have a to-do list that reads longer then the novel I have to read for my English course, and enough anxiety to make even the most level headed person uncomfortable. But for some reason, I’m here, writing this blog post and once again ignoring all of my responsibilities. What is wrong with me? I guess it’s the fact that my procrastination has never really been an issue for me. I always get my stuff done, and maybe I thrive off of the pressure of the whole ordeal. Although my actions have fully embraced my procrastinator attitude, I don’t think my brain has. By this, I mean that when I do get an assignment, I organize myself like it’s my day job. I buy the materials, I make a general plan (in my head) and then I move onto something else, let it sit for three weeks and then go into overdrive mode when its due in two days. Is this healthy college student behavior? Maybe not, but that senior year is right around the corner and its been working for me so far, so I guess I just shouldn’t question the process and let the chips fall where they may.

How do you handle problems with procrastination?

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