Monday, December 31, 2012

happy NEW year

Well folks, today is the last day of the year 2012. Can you believe it?!

I cannot. I feel like the days go by so fast. The older I get, the more I realize how precious time really is.  You cannot take time for granted in this world. Life is just too short. Making the most of every opportunity is the best way to live. One of my favorite verses from the bible says,

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:15-17

Anywho, with this year ending, it brings some sadness to my heart that a whole year has passed and it is done. On the other hand, the end of one year means there is a beginning of a new year.


Just think about that word for a second. What hope that word brings. What fresh and new ideas that word means. Beginnings are always a good thing. A clean slate. Starting anew. Creating something out of nothing. All of these things are what I want this new year to bring to me and my life and my friends and my family.

I want a new diet
I want a new exercise routine
I want a fresh relationship
I want to start over
I want to be better
I want things to be different
I want to improve at everything I do
I want a new hobby

Whatever it is that you want, I encourage you to think about it, pray about it, and pursue it. I think that is why we have so many beginnings and so many ends in this life. It reminds us that things can change, that we have a second chance. Why not use them now while we still can? Not to be too dorky or too sentimental or too weird, but it reminds me of a phoenix. I know they are made up, but they provide a good image of starting over, a new beginning.

One of the things I want to improve on this year is my health. I don't want to go on a diet or a binge exercise program. I want to change my life. I want to stop eating outside of the house and find a way to cook most of the meals that my family eats. I want to find a routine to do so that I will exercise during the week. 

I also want to find a routine to keep my house clean. I want routine. I so desperately crave it. It is something I haven't had the whole time I have been out of college. It was ridiculous to think of a routine while I was working night shift, but now that I work days, I need to spend some time coming up with a game plan and find some routine in my life. 

I also want to read more and watch less T.V. I want to better myself. I can sit down and relax and read a book just as easily as watching a T.V. show.

I also want to create. I have such a creative spirit, but never spend time doing creative things. I want to use some of my free time to craft as much as possible.

Lastly, I want to make our house a home. We have almost been living in this house for 3 years and we still don't have anything up on our walls (much to my husband's dismay). He has been begging and begging and BEGGING me to do it for these 3 years and I have not done it. I have so many excuses it's ridiculous. No more excuses. 

What do you want to do this year? What are your goals? What things do you want to change about your life? It's the best time of the year to make a change!

All this to say...


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Simply Clean

If you haven't figured this out already, I am trying to turn around my life and be in control of the things that I can personally control. For instance, how I present myself (hint all the posts about fashion recently). Another way I am trying to control my surroundings is by keeping a clean house. Yep, you heard it. The messiest girl in the world is trying to be clean! Who would have thunk?

I have been pinning away things on Pinterest that will help me in my cleanliness quest. All things clean is what I am going for here. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will notice my cleaning board is titled "Cinderelly Clean." Yep, ALL Disney Princesses clean (you think I am wrong, just think about it). That is step one to becoming one, you know (I just scared about half of you and you will probably not finish this post)! Sorry, I love Disney and I have to find a way to make myself clean, right?

Tonight I tried out one of the methods of cleaning I found on Pinterest. I actually really liked it!

During Thanksgiving, my dear, loving brother made a reference to my microwave and the fact that it was dirty and needed to be clean. Thank you, brother (you know who you are), for pointing out the obvious. Although it was obvious, and a fact, it still embarrassed me to know that someone else noticed. Hints the method for cleaning the microwave.


All you need is a medium sized microwavable bowl, water, and either a fresh lemon or lemon juice in a bottle. I had the latter, so that's what I used.

Fill said bowl half way with water. Either juice your lemon into the water or add some lemon juice. Put bowl in microwave and microwave on high for 5 minutes (silly that microwave can be a noun and a verb in one sentence (sorry for my dorkiness)). Let bowl stand for 1-2 minutes after your 5 minutes is up. Take out rotator or whatever gadgets you have in there and wash down with hot, soapy water in the sink. Use a rag dipped in your original mixture to wipe down all inside surfaces of the microwave. Don't forget the inside of the door! All that gunky yucky food should just wipe right off. And be careful, because that water is HOT. I then dried it all off and put the rotating tray back into the microwave.

Viola! A clean microwave!

Deck the Halls... and Your Door!

I absolutely LOVE everything about Christmas!

I don't think I said that right...


I am pretty sure you can put an emphasis on any one of those words.

I love the lights, the greenery, the ribbons, the red, the gold, the cheerfulness, the prettiness, the elegance, the gaudiness, the songs, the movies, the commercials, the EVERYTHING.

It just makes me so happy... I just can't help it.

So, needless to say, I am oh so happy right now. 

Except for this morning...

I woke up determined to FINALLY sew my curtains for the living room. I bought some fabric several months ago that I love and got a super good deal on while my favorite little fabric store was having a sale. The colors in the fabric go perfectly with everything. They are just perfect... oh, and they are chevron patterned... what could be better?!

Anywho, I got my fabric back out since school is over for Christmas break (I had previously started working on them, but never finished, and WAHOO for being out of school) and started to re-iron what I had already done. While I am ironing and watching the most recent episode of "New Girl" (love that show!), I saw my worst nightmare come true....

A *&%$& stain on my fabric!!!

I was so mad! I have no idea how it got there, but it was there! 

I called my mom and consulted her about what to do. I ended up putting all the fabric into the washer (which I didn't want to do), and now both panels are delicately hanging over two different shower curtain rods in my house air drying. So mad things did not go my way this morning. Oh well, I guess I can do them tomorrow.....

So, onto what I did do this morning!

I have been itching to make a certain wreath for several months. I had acquired a pendent from a family friend that I have been trying to make into a wreath. I had seen a wreath made from a pendent on Pinterest awhile ago, and I have been holding onto the idea in my mind. I decided to make it into a Christmas wreath. What could be better?!

(Just a forewarning, my camera has been acting up, so please bear with me on these photos)

Here was my blank canvas. I decided to spray paint the thing green. Then I went and found a really cute ribbon in red to make it Christmasy!

Once I had my pendent spray painted, I got all my supplies. I picked out a wide, wire edge ribbon that I liked and some pretty jingle bells. I liked these because they reminded me of vintage bells, like the ones from The Polar Express.

I already had some pipe cleaners lying around so I got those and some fishing line together. Sorry, the fishing line is not pictured.

Then I started to make my big bow. Here is how you make a big, pretty Christmas bow. All you need is wire edge ribbon (the wire edge is a must) and some pipe cleaners or some wire.

I started out by leaving a little tail of about 6" and making a loop with the long end. The size of your loop will decide how big your bow will be in the end. Good reference is one loop is the radius of your bow (sorry to throw out a math word in there).

Once you complete the loop, make sure you pinch the end of your loop so that you can make another loop going in the opposite direction. Important: when you start your next loop, make sure that you twist the ribbon over once so that the back side of the ribbon is visible. Once you see the ugly part of your ribbon looking up at you, make another loop. This will keep the pretty side of the ribbon visible. It is important that you twist the ribbon over once after making EACH loop. Make sure each loop is even in size as well. As you can see in this picture, one loop is a little bigger than the other. Make them the same size.  

Another point of advice, ALWAYS keep your pinch grip firm! Never loose grip of the middle of your ribbon, or you will have to start all over again. See how I am keeping the middle of my loops firm between my fingers?

Now, just keep on looping! I did 10 loops on either side of my fingers to have 20 loops in total. Once you have the amount of loops you want, get out your pipe cleaner or wire. You should have it real handy before you start making your loops, because it is critical for you to keep that grip around the middle of the bow. Wrap your pipe cleaner or wire securely around the middle of your loops. I wrapped the end of my pipe cleaner around part of the already looped pipe cleaner to keep it tight and in place.

Once you have in secured, the hard part is over and you can relax! I left a long tail on my bow so that I could use the tail to hang up my wreath.

Once you get this far, all you have to do is start pulling loops up toward you. I set my bow on the ground as pictured. Then I got a hold of one loop at a time, and starting at the center, positioned it how and where I wanted it to stand. Do this with each loop, being careful not to break the wire. I have heard that can happen sometimes.

It does take a few minutes to get everything situated how you want it, but be patient! It will end up how you want it!

Once you have tugged and pulled all you can, VIOLA! You have a pretty Christmas bow!!

To finish the wreath, I wrapped my tail around the hole in the middle of the pendent and tied it to the other short end I had left. I made sure it was secure so that my wreath doesn't fall off the door.

For an added embellishment and a little excitement, I added some bells to the wreath. I used fishing line and tied the bells into the bow so that they dangle just below the bow, but more importantly, they jingle when you open and close the door.

Here is the finished project!

Now you have an idea for a wreath, and if you didn't know already, now you know how to make a bow!

Happy Christmas decorations making! Post soon to come about the Christmas banner that I made last week with my sister! It is so pretty! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's All About Whatchya Know

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Not only because of the crazy, messy life that I live, but also with the knowledge I have gained. When I haven't been studying like crazy for my test that was this past week or working or cleaning or whatever else makes me so busy, I have been looking at fashion stuff like crazy! I have become a fashion sponge. Unfortunately, I have not been able to use my knowledge per say, but I have gotten a few items since this whole "walk about" began. 

One thing that I did buy was right up my alley. 

Not only was this item good quality, it was name brand, and it was CHEAP (and the crowd goes wild!!). I would not have known this brand from Adam a few short weeks ago, but as I was strolling along in SAMS CLUB (SAMS CLUB people, can you believe it?!) I happened to notice a certain sign above some clothing items that read 7 for all mankind.

I totally did a double take.

I had just seen these exact same jeans on RueLaLa the week before selling for over $100! 

I feverishly dug through the pile, only to find out that they are sized like those fancy clothes that I don't buy. I have no idea what size I am in the 20's-30's! I only know those low number sizes that I can afford!

I held up several pairs up to me to try to pick out what would fit. Then I realized I didn't know how much they were. I looked up and read all the signs and saw that they were..... $30!!!!!!!!

I am sorry for my enthusiasm, but that is MY kind of price and I can't help it!

I picked out what I thought would fit (since there are no fitting rooms at Sam's and you can't take merchandise into the loo), and took it straight to the cash register.

I now have to apologize for such a good story. Unfortunately I got them home and guess what... they didn't fit! :(

I am going to take them back in the next few days and exchange them, but what a deal, right?!

Check out your local Sam's Club. You never know what you will find. Thanks to all my Pinteresting and internet shopping, I CAN have my cake (fashion) and eat it too (cheap!!)!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Did It

I totally sewed Sadie a doggie sweater from one of my old sweaters that she loves to lay on. I am pretty sure she is a big fan! It only took me about 15 minutes to make the changes. It may not be the best fit, but you could not pay me enough money to go out and buy a real doggie sweater. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Will to Run

For about a year and a half I have been doing CrossFit as a means to get my exercise in for the week. I absolutely LOVE CrossFit for so many reasons. I love the challenge, I love the people, I love that you see results, I love that you start doing things that you never thought you would EVER be able to do (like a pull-up or a rope climb), I love that it pushes you farther than you ever thought you would go, I love the high that you get from working your body past the point of breaking, I love that ANYONE can do it even though nobody thinks that they can, I love all of it. Since I have started school in August it has been really hard for me to keep up my CrossFit routine. Because I have such long hours at work, which means I can't go to CrossFit on those days, and then on my days off I have to get up and read a stinky, boring textbook, I have not found the "umph" to wake up early on my days off and go to the gym. To sum it up, I have been lazy (fine, I will admit it!).

All that to say, I would recommend CrossFit to anyone and everyone. However, this week, I have made the decision to put CrossFit on the back burner for now. It is difficult to keep something in a certain time slot on a regular basis with the unscheduled life that I have. 

Therefore, I have also decided I have to still get exercise at home. I decided that this will actually work, because in the last few months on my days off when I couldn't get up to go to CrossFit (at 6am), I have been waking up and running at home. 

Today is my day off so I woke up, laughed at all the ridiculous comments on Facebook about the election (from both sides mind you), looked at Pinterest for a few to recover, and then got me and my lazy dog's butt out of bed. I suited up like a snowman (it was in the 40's this morning, burr), wished for the first time in my life I had bought Sadie a doggie sweater (I admit it), and tried to get her excited about going for a run and going out in the cold. 

Needless to say, it is hard to run with an unmotivated dog. We did a few laps around the neighborhood while I listened to America's Test Kitchen and then did some squats. It was short and sweet, but at least I did it. 

I will continue to work out on my days off and drag this lazy pooch around with me.

(This is a picture I took after our first lap around the neighborhood. When we got back to our driveway, she seriously halted and sat. It made me laugh so hard that I had to stop and take a picture. She is such a lazy girl, but you gotta love her!)

Happy running! Hope this picture brings you some motivation! ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Voting!!

Everyone go out and use your right to vote today! Proud to be an American today. No matter what happens, I am proud and thankful to have the freedom to use my voice as a citizen of the United States of America to make my opinion known. Not everyone has that right or freedom! Use yours because you can!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Recently Read

(I am FINALLY getting around to posting about these books. You will have to forgive my lateness, which is probably going to make for a pretty crappy post, but here goes nothin'...)

A few months ago I read a few books that I thought I would share about because I liked them so much. After reading The Hunger Games (HG) by Suzanne Collins, I have been itching for a good read. I really loved HG, however, the writing style was not up to par for me. I found my taste for "a book as good as HG" sad, because HG was not the best written book I have ever read. I had been doing some tootling around on some blogs and found a list of books recommended by the author of a particular blog that I frequent. I went out on a limb and just bought one of the books she recommended, hoping it would be good. The first book that I read was called Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Image via

The reason I was excited to read this book was because it is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, which intrigued me after reading my very first post-apocalyptic novel, HG. It is also about a young girl who is coming of age in this post-apocalyptic society, which divides its' people into five factions by distinct personality traits/characteristics: honesty, intelligence, peacefulness, bravery, and selflessness. In order to be apart of one of these factions, you must prove to the people in the faction that you belong there by a series of "tests" designated by each faction. If you don't complete the tests up to their standards (which you might not survive), you are placed into a group of people (more like the "untouchables" of the society) known as the "factionless." The main character is at the age where she must choose to either stay with the faction she was born into (stay with her family and everything she has ever known) or leave her home, reject her family, and choose another faction, even if it is where she thinks she belongs. Like HG, this book presents its' readers with many questions of social norms as well as ethical issues. It was a thrilling read for me (not for my husband, he made me stop reading it to him at the climax of the book, boo) and also, very thought provoking. I actually thought it was better than HG in most instances. My husband disagreed.

The other book that I read (as soon as I stopped reading this one) was Divergent's sequel, Insurgent.

Image also via

This book was just as good as the first (which HG did a bad job at). I gobbled it down in a short time, and was left wanting more and more! Unfortunately, the last installment of the trilogy is not to be released until next fall.

I highly recommend both of these books to anyone who liked/loved HG, or who loves good books, period. They are considered "Young Adult" reads, so if you are not into that, I wouldn't read them. 

Anyone read anything good lately? I am looking for some good books to read over the holiday once my semester is over with (yep, back to no pleasure reading books while in school, BOO!). I will also do another review if I read anything good (I have read a few books since then, but they weren't good enough to do an actual review on). 

Hope everyone had a good start to their week! Is anyone else as tired as I am at about 6pm once it is already pitch black dark outside?! Darn you, time change! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Yes. My new goal in life is to become some what of a fashionista. I have never been interested in fashion. Well, I have always wanted to wear cute clothes, but I never have had a knack for picking them out or spending the time/money (mainly the money) to buy them and/or keep up with the latest trends. My main problem is that I cannot seem to gravitate at all towards fashionable clothes due to some unknown cause. I am fairly conservative/modest, which has always caused me to either look like I am 50 years old or like I am 12. My best friend even told me once (I clearly remember this so don't try to say you didn't) that I need to stop dressing like an old lady. Basically, I am a fashionignoramous.Yep, I said it.

So, one day quite recently I decided I was going to change this about myself. I don't want to spend enormous amounts of money on clothing, but I am willing to put up a substantial amount of money in small increments to get a basic wardrobe started.
You know, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly style (love that show and them, of course!).
Although I want to change everything about my personal style and my closet, my main problem is found in the beginning of the quest... what is fashion/style and where do you find it?

First stop. Pinterest.

I have basically been spending my free time scouring the Women's Fashion section on Pinterest and looking through every fashionable friends' "style" boards to try to answer this simple question. I have found a lot of fashionable things. The more I look through pictures, the more I feel like I know my own personal style. It has been really helpful in figuring out what I actually like and what grabs my attention at first glance.

This has brought me to my next question (which I am still trying to answer)... where do stylish people shop? Not only stylish people, but stylish people who wear my age appropriate clothing?

This question still boggles my mind. I cannot seem to figure this out.

One thing that has helped me answer this question, is a certain blog I have started reading recently. This certain blog is written by a girl who writes about food, fitness, and of course, her style. She takes pictures of herself, posts the pictures, and then says where each piece of her outfits were bought. This has helped me figure out (at least a little) where some people shop.

One of the places that this girl shops is a certain online boutique called RueLaLa. At RueLaLa, you sign up to become a member, and then you have free access to look through their deals of the day. Basically, it is discounted high end clothing. Some things are reasonable, some things are moderately expensive, and some things are incredibly expensive. Although most things I would not or could not afford, I did purchase something....

I am sorry for two reasons... 1.) I cannot tell you what I bought and 2.) It was not for myself to help my wardrobe. However, it has helped me to see that buying clothes and things online is posible and can lead to a positive outcome without any trouble.

All this to say, I am working on my style and trying to figure this whole thing out. I would appreciate any tips or tricks from anyone with any sense of style. I personally need it greatly.

Hope everyone had a great, relaxing weekend! Happy Sunday! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Very Merry (Un)Birthday

After you meet me, it doesn't take very long for you to realize that I am probably the cheapest person alive. I am always the person who goes straight to the back of every store I enter and go directly to the clearance section. Yep, I am that person. I also find worth in myself (sorry we are going so deep, here) for how good of a deal I can get on anything. I am just that way. I am my father's daughter. Growing up, all I heard from him was about pinching pennies and saving every dollar you earn. Now, it haunts me every time I buy anything! This practice includes when I am given any money.

Well, I am starting to recover somewhat from the practices my father has taught me. Not that saving money is a bad thing, but when you feel guilty for buying something (and this is anything, needed or not needed), it is not very healthy. I have always had more expensive tastes (thanks to you, Mom!), but I have never been able to fork out the cash to really get what I want. However, I just got a big ol' box in the mail that even my mama will be proud of! (Sorry the picture quality is not the greatest. My excitement made the pictures a little crappy!)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have been doing some internet shopping! I still had Birthday money piled up in my secret stash place (only I know, hehe) and I decided that I wanted to buy a nice pair of riding boots. My search started last fall when riding boots became the "thing." I ended up going to DSW with some coupons and buying a pair of suede knee high boots that I liked better than the riding boots at the store. The sales girl told me that "even Fergie had a pair of boots like that," so I shouldn't doubt my decision to get the suede boots instead of the leather ones. I love the boots that I bought last year, but I was still itching for a pair of boots that smelled and felt like butter (that's what my mom and I call anything that's real leather, which I never buy because it's too expensive). I stopped looking after the cold months were over, plus I didn't want to throw down more cash for another pair of boots.

After it became cold again this year (thanks to the trip to Maine and Frankenstorm), I began to search again for some boots. I fell upon some Etienne Aigner boots on Amazon that I loved. They were two-toned and had a large crest at the top of the boot, uber regal and beautiful. I showed them to my husband, who absolutely hated them, and then it became a game to see how many people liked or disliked the boots that I liked. Comments about the boots were: "oh, those are... different," "very...unique," or no comment at all while the person being questioned would try to come up with something to say other than they were just plain ugly. Much to my husband's delight, I decided these boots were probably not the best boots to buy, not because people thought they were ugly, but because I was worried that with my big calves, the leather would separate from the zipper. I have had a lot of boots that have done this in the past because I am too cheap to buy nice shoes. I didn't want that to be the case again. I decided to keep looking.

I stumbled upon a beautiful pair of boots by Frye. Now for those of you who don't know who Frye is, Frye is one of the oldest shoemakers in the U.S. They produce the most beautiful boots, mostly cowboy/girl boots. I only know of them from riding horses and wanting a pair of riding boots so bad. They are high quality shoemakers, which is usually why their shoes are so stinkin' expensive. Most pairs of their boots run over $300. However, I found this pair on Amazon that, combined with the price and a coupon from Amazon, I could actually afford (somewhat). My husband had to be the one to hit the BUY button, because my cheap self just couldn't do it. I was also nervous about buying shoes from an online retailer, because you don't actually see/feel/smell/try on the shoe before you buy it.

I just got the box today, and I am so excited to reveal them and tell you that THEY FIT!! I loved the idea of these boots. Sexy and versatile... that is what everyone said in the reviews. I think they were right!

When I opened the box, I knew I would love these boots. The smell of the leather was unbelievable! They feel like distressed butter (yummo). I saw how big the shoe was and I knew they would fit well! I went and put on some leggings and threw those puppies on to see how they looked!
These boots are considered "over-the-knee," which I love. Several websites listed ways you can wear the boots. These are the ways...

Pulled up over the knee.

Folded down. Looks like pirate boots to me!


All that to say, I love them and I am so glad they actually fit! So excited to wear them! I will not be so hesitant to shop online in the future. This picture pretty much sums it all up!

Happy (un)Birthday to me! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Long Live Lobster

Just got back from Portland, Maine! Took a wonderful trip with my hubby and our best friends. It was the best trip ever!

We rented a floor of a town home/brownstone for the weekend. We could walk to anywhere in downtown Portland. The weather was perfect. The leaves were gorgeous. It was amazing.

We did take a little detour to Boston for the day. Long story, but we all loved Boston and none of us had ever been there.

To sum it all up, we ate well, drank well, had tons of fun, and we will never forget it. Here are some photos from the trip.

P.S. if you are planning to go to Portland I would HIGHLY recommend a particular restaurant called DuckFat. It was unreal. Their main attraction is their fries... Fried in DuckFat. Yummo!