When I Grow Up

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" 

When I was a little girl I always wanted to be a doctor, more specifically a pediatrician. Every year on Halloween I would beg my mom to buy me a doctors costume with little baby scrubs and all. Ironically I would usually get sick at every holiday and end up throwing up all over my doctor outfit, but I couldn't be deterred from this being the thing that I wanted to do. I'm not quite sure when that changed, but eventually my little five year old dream changed and like most kids, each week I wanted to be something else when I grew up. 

As I continued through school, it became increasingly harder to decide what path I wanted to go down. Choosing a major was hard, and as I'm one month away from graduation, my soon-to-be Liberal Studies Degree proves that it never became any easier. 

In an excruciatingly long car ride on Sunday Daniel and I were talking about all the things we would want to do if we could. I talked on and on about how when I watch any Food Network shows I'm convinced I should attend cooking school to become a chef. Every time I walk into an animal shelter or visit the zoo I just know that I should be working every day of my life with animals. When I watch a Disney movie and visit Disneyland there's no question in my mind that I need to pursue a job with the Disney company. When I buy new furniture and browse through the endless isles at Ikea I can imagine myself as an interior designer. And I'm not on track to be doing any of that.

But I could. 

At what point in our lives have we reached the place where we are already too "grown up" to decide what we want to be? Personally, I don't think we should ever cap that part of our lives with an age. Although I'm happy with what I have decided to do, I think that if I ever wasn't happy with it anymore than it should be perfectly acceptable for me to change my mind. And as time goes on, maybe I will end up doing one of those things because who says I can't? 

I think that it's never too late to do the things that you want to do. No one is too grown up, or too stuck in a position to change their minds about how they want to live or what they want to do, or who they want to be. If there's something you've always wanted to try, I say go for it. If you're happy where you are that's great too. Maybe tomorrow you'll decide you want to be an astronaut when you grow up, if someone said that to me I think that'd be pretty awesome. 

Be the person you want to be, not the person you think you have to be. You can do anything you want. 

Three Years of Marriage

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To say that the first three years of our marriage has been a bit unconventional would be an understatement. We've overcome deployment, distance, cross-country moves and more things than most couples could ever imagine in trying to get their relationship off the ground. But we're stronger because of it. This year was a culmination of everything we've been working towards, this year I got you back for good. I got to fully experience what it's like to be with you all the time, and I'm amazed at how much we've grown. 

I've learned a lot about you, me and us in the past three years. I've learned that we won't always agree, but we'll always work it out. I've learned that it's more important to work together than it is to always get things done the way that I want them to be. I've learned that you're always going to be the person I want to share things with, big moments and small. Although I kind of already guessed that that would be the case. 

In these next years of our life together I can't wait to see more of the world with you. I can't wait to see the people we become. I can't wait to see how our little two-person family eventually grows.  

I love you to the moon and back. I love having an unconditional best friend, someone I wouldn't want to live without. 

So cheers to three years, my love. And here's to many more. 

Easter Weekend Snapshots

Monday, March 28, 2016

Any Monday is better when you get to wake up on your own terms with no real responsibilities calling your name first thing in the morning. That's exactly how today started for me and I'm loving it. I'm currently posted up on our brand new Ikea couch under a sweater blanket from Target and it's raining outside. Seriously, I couldn't make up a more perfect morning if I tried to follow what was basically a perfect weekend. Here's a little of how our Easter weekend looked.

Saturday morning we ended up back at Ikea for what seems like the millionth time recently (not that I'm complaining) to get all of the final decorative touches. Thirty-minutes Two hours later and we were stumbling out of there feeling complete but hungry. We hit CPK for a quick breakfast pizza before getting on the road. Once everything gets put together you can expect plenty of home-update photos. 

Saturday afternoon we drove to Daniel's grandparents house to stay the weekend with them. We decorated eggs, used their jacuzzi and cooked grilled salmon and veggies for dinner. We drank wine and caught up. His grandparents are truly amazing people and they've been nothing but welcoming to me. I love spending time with them although it is no less than a two hour drive to their house. I wish we lived closer but we enjoy every minute we have together. 

Sunday morning we got up and got ready at our own pace. We had breakfast at their house but tried not to eat too much because we had lunch reservations at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. It was about an hour drive, and so worth the small trip. The resort was beautiful. 

The restaurant was right up against the water, it was an open ceiling so we could hear and see the ocean right outside. I love the smell of the ocean and it made our lunch that much more relaxing. 

We posed for endless pictures against the beautiful backdrop. 

I love him because he makes me ugly laugh. 

I had the short rib with carrot puree for lunch, and vanilla bean bread pudding for dessert. I couldn't get over how good it was, I was still a little full from breakfast but I managed to finish most of my food. 

Post-food coma and ocean bliss selfie. 

Daniels beautiful grandmother. I was so glad that I remembered to bring my polaroid on this trip! 

After such a good afternoon we headed back to their house and watched a movie before heading back on our long drive home and crashing into bed. Overall it was such a good weekend and I wish it hadn't ended so soon. 

What was the best part of your weekend? Happy Monday! 

Five Things Making Me Happy

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We're halfway through the week and so far this one's been going really well for me. I've been busy which I like, but that does make it a little harder to find time to create any content for this little blog. So today I've decided to list it out. Because when all else fails a little list making always helps me feel like I have everything together. And since this week has been a good one I thought i'd share a little about what's making me so happy today. 

My best friend is in town. Recently she moved to San Francisco and I don't get to see her as often as I would like. This week she's home for spring break so I'm fitting in as much best friend time as possible before she has to go home again. 

New paint. Our living room is in the beginning stages of it's re-do and yesterday we picked out paint and went home and got straight to work. We decided just to do one wall and we chose a Behr color called Blueprint. I helped Daniel prep and then he took care of the painting. This morning I woke up to a beautiful blue wall and I couldn't be happier. 

Our furniture will be in tomorrow. Speaking of our living room re-do Daniel is going to pick up our Ikea furniture tomorrow. He's going to have it all set up by the time I'm off of work and I am so excited to see how everything looks all put together. Check back for photos next week! 

Four day weekend. My school takes Friday and Monday off for Easter weekend, hello four days of freedom. I'll be spending my Easter relaxing with family and shopping for all our little decorative things for the apartment. 

Ellen show tickets. Yesterday my sister surprised me with tickets to the Ellen Show as my graduation present. We're going on May 19th and I'm so excited. Any guesses on who the guest's will be that day? Last year on the same day it was Drew Barrymore and Luke Bryan. 

We're half way through the week. What's making you happy today? 

A Successful Trip to Ikea

Monday, March 21, 2016

Over the past three years Daniel and I have been collecting everyone else's furniture to fill up our little apartment. We've got living room furniture from my parents, dining room furniture that Daniel found somewhere, and a mix of kitchen appliances and dishes that we've collected as gifts along the way.

We decided that this year we would use our tax refund and finally buy some of our own furniture. What better place to find something perfect than my favorite of all places, Ikea. I won't lie, I was a little nervous before I ventured out to Ikea with Daniel on Saturday morning. To say that we don't usually agree on furniture is an understatement. We have completely different ideas about style and what looks good together and I tried hard to go into the morning without jumping into defensive mode as I was ready to fight for the furniture that I imagined for our little place.

Surprisingly, we agreed on almost everything.

I'm not kidding. I don't know how it happened, but we walked from set up to set up through Ikea and sat on the couches and chairs trying to picture the furniture in our own place. And we found everything we both loved plus some. We've decided on a dark gray couch, and a matching set of black-brown media storage and coffee tables. We also chose a dining room table, chairs and a bed frame because our other one broke on the move from North Carolina. After we bring all of the big furniture in then I'll be heading back again to pick up all the smaller decorative stuff to tie it altogether. We're even thinking about painting a wall in the room to tie our living room and kitchen together.

I kind of feel like it didn't even happen because it all went too well. I guess i'll believe it when I'm napping on my new couch in a few days. Check back for some before and after photos of our little space.

Thinking of doing some re-decorating? Here's a little Ikea inspiration for your Monday.

photos via Ikea

A Year of Blogging

Friday, March 18, 2016

As of last Sunday I've officially had this blog for a whole year. I don't always get around to posting everyday, and lately I've been lucky to post once a week with as busy as my schedule has been but the past year has taught me a lot about myself and about the blogging community. 

Blogging has given me an outlet to share with others my experiences, happy times, and sad. It also gives me a way to keep track these quickly changing years of my life as I continue developing myself and my marriage. I started this blog on a fluke and I'm so glad that I've found my own little space in this world. Today I'm linking up for a Five on Friday post to share five things I've learned about blogging this year. 

First and foremost you have to write for yourself
Sometimes readers will find a connection to something that you've written, and that's great. But it doesn't matter all that much as long as you're happy with what you put out there. 

Blogging keeps you accountable. 
It's fun to set goals for yourself on your blog. Not only are you making a commitment to yourself, but you're making a commitment to anyone out there reading it. It's an easy and helpful way to keep yourself accountable for reaching your goals. 

You'll become your most creative self. 
Coming up with posts ideas is hard. But creating new and interesting posts requires you to really be in touch with something more creative within yourself. If you're just not feeling it, take a look at other blogs around you for some inspiration. 

It will always make you push yourself harder. 
Blogging is interesting in this way. When I see other bloggers with tons of followers and comments it can sometimes feel discouraging. At the same time, it pushes me to put my best work out there and it makes me better at what I'm doing. 

It's not always easy, but so far it's been worth it. 
And if it ever isn't worth it anymore, than I'll know it's time to stop. But right now it's fun. It's taking pictures, and creating and thinking and writing and it's always something new. 

It's been a good year, and I appreciate anyone who's been around for it. 

Finding the Perfect Dress for Graduation

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I am thirty school days and three finals days away from graduating from college.

I'm also three research papers and two projects away from graduation, and I'll probably wait until the last minute and then panic while I try to cram everything in at the end.

No, YOU'RE a procrastinator.

Anyways...as graduation comes running at me at full speed quietly approaches, I know there are some things that I want to have ready when May 9th finally arrives. One of those things is finding a dress to wear for the graduation ceremony. I know it might seem crazy to start looking this far in advance, but when it comes to dresses I either can't find one that fits me, or I find one that fits me so perfectly I wonder how I've survived life without it up to this point. It's more often that that isn't the case. I usually spend entirely too much time trying on clothes that don't fit because I have the body of a fourteen year old. I love wearing dresses but it can be defeating to try to find something, anything that will be appropriate and fit and doesn't come from baby gap.

So, the search begins. I usually have the best luck with stores like Urban Outfitters and Zara. However, both of these stores are much more shopable in stores than online. Urban Outfitters does have a feature online that allows you to check if a particular item is available in a store near you which is really helpful.

There are a few key things I'm looking for when it comes to a graduation dress. The first is something loose-fitting and flowy. Specifically this is important because as I'm sure any of you know who have worn a graduation gown before, those things get hot. You don't want something that's going to stick to you underneath your gown because eventually it's going to come off and you still want the dress to look beautiful for pictures. As I mentioned before, my graduation falls on May 9th in the middle of the day. That's going to be a really warm time in California. I'm all about anything with spaghetti straps or short sleeves.

Another thing I look for is something light in color. I have a lot of dresses already, but most of the dresses I've purchased recently are better suited for Fall in coloring. I'm looking for something with pastels, light blues, pinks, or purples are perfect for a summer ceremony and can easily be dressed up or down.

I also  look for something that I might already have shoes to match to! Any of the dresses below would look great paired with some nude heels or a pair of wedges, both of which I already have. If you don't have to spend money on shoes then you can spend a little more on a dress you really love.

Finally, I look for a dress that I would love to wear again and again, as well as something I'm comfortable in because chances are i'll be wearing it for awhile. I'm much more likely to buy something that won't be worn once and then tossed into the closet and forgotten about.

Here are some dresses that I think would be perfect for a summer graduation. All of these can be found at Urban Outfitters.

Where do you find dresses that you love? 

Emotional Stages of Midterm Week As Told By Zoey Hart

Friday, March 11, 2016

In two hours I will be officially done with my last midterm week, ever. It has been a roller coaster of emotions as I've searched high and low for some motivation to get me through these tests. Since I didn't have even one extra minute to prepare any worthwhile reading for today, here's a little look into how my week has been. 

Waking up Monday morning after Spring Break with the realization that it's time for midterm week. 

Looking at my schedule for the week and thinking about how I probably should have used some of my Spring Break time to study, or write an essay or two. 

Also thinking of quitting everything to dedicate my life to creating a time machine that would help students with this problem in the future. 

Reading over midterm guidelines and trying to decide if it's really possible that our professors were once students. Where is the sympathy?

Eating healthy? What even is that. Someone pass the marshmallows. 

Hearing someone say that I've had all semester to keep up with my studying. 

Walking out of my last midterm like...good or bad, it's over.

All gifs found on tumblr. 

...happy weekend all, and good luck to anyone who hasn't started midterm week yet. 

Today I Believe In

Friday, March 04, 2016

image via tumblr

In coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and wine at night.

In never having enough throw pillows and fluffy blankets. 

In buying flowers for yourself.

In eating dessert before dinner, and maybe again after.

In making lists, and lists, and more lists.

In the healing power of bubble baths after a long day. 

In calling my mom when things get tough. 

In staying in bed on rainy days.

In taking way to many blurry polaroid pictures. 

In making the most of Saturday's and relaxing on Sunday's. 

Happy Friday! What are you believing in today? 

Spending Spring Break At Home

Thursday, March 03, 2016

This week officially marks my last ever Spring Break. At my school we have Spring Break so early that I miss out on getting to plan anything with my friends who usually have Spring Break at the end of March. I also have work every afternoon which makes it a little more difficult to make any plans that involve going further than an hour or so away. Here are some things you can do to still make the most of your break, even if you're staying home. 

Get your nails done. Paint them a bright, spring color and think of warmer days. 

Clean a room in your house and than spend all day making it messy again. Everyday this week I've cleaned at least one room in my apartment, I started with the kitchen, and then I cooked in it that night and made it messy again. But that's okay. 

DIY something. I loved this paper rose idea from the girl who loved to write. It's so simple and pretty but it doesn't take many supplies! 

Spend a few hours in the library. Not doing school work of course, but picking out what could be your new favorite book. 

If you live near a beach, go there and have a picnic. Bring your new book, a few snacks and a blanket and hit the beach. 

Take a class in something new. If you don't have time to go out to take one, try one like this online Succulent Gardening Class from Brit & Co. 

Re-organize your closet. Sell some things that you don't wear anymore on sites like Poshmark or Ebay. Not only will you have more space but you'll also have more money for new clothes! 

Try a new ice cream place. We have a new one near our apartment called the little calf creamery and all of their ice cream is homemade. It's safe to say that I am addicted. 

Go thrift store shopping. Even if you don't buy anything it's still fun to try stuff on. Have a movie montage while you're at it. 

Go to the movies on your own. This is something I have never done! But I've always admired people who do things on their own, and eventually I'd like to have the courage to be one of those people. 

Meet some girlfriends out for breakfast or on their lunch break. Catch up, we all know how busy everyone is now that were all out here pretending to be adults. Spend some time together. 

Stay up late, sleep in, watch netflix, be productive, or don't. That's the beauty of Spring Break, it's really all about what you make it. 

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