Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Curveball

Remember when I said I was going to start blogging full-time again? Yeah… so much for that nonsense. Girlfriend sure is slackin' over here. But for good reason. 

I've sort of just been living in that land of struggle where your personal life is going swimmingly well and you don't quite know how, or if, really, you should be merging all of it into your blog's life. The dilemma is really real when it comes to this thing known as lifestyle blogging because the only thing I really share here is, umm, my life and all the things going on in it. So what in the hell do you do when you don't wan't to talk about your life and all the things going on in it?

In my case, you basically just stop blogging. Whoops.

But when your head gets all clogged up with newfound happies, your initial reaction is to want to pour them all out and show how great of a hand you've been dealt. But that's also quite the gamble in a world full of Judgey McJudgertons, so the best move is to probably just pull a Lady Gaga and put on your poker face. Which I think I'm probably going to do for a while. 

Although that is quite the cock tease, so let's just say that I'm 100 and 70,000% shocked that I've been able to do a complete 180 since my break up post five weeks ago.

Five. Weeks. Ago. 

Phew, that feels like an entire eternity ago at this point. Because now I'm pretty much just thanking all  my lucky stars above, each and every day, that all of that hell went down. And especially when it did. Because at five weeks ago, I was severely depressed thinking about how I wasn't going to be able to live out the life I had planned for my future. And now, today, I just get depressed thinking about how I could've so easily been handed that life… because that would've meant that I never would've found this new one I'm currently living. And I rather like this one I'm currently living.

Good God. Who am I? 

That's the question I've been asking myself these past couple weeks. Because I'm seriously in so much disbelief as to how easy it was for me to climb out of that dark hole, which we can now title, "Moping Around Watching Rerun After Rerun of That 70's Show in Whitney's Apartment While Downing Glasses of Wine and Snuggling Ella" two days after the break up, to now finding my sunshine and skipping down the street in my Hunter boots again. And I don't really know why I feel the need to let everyone know that my mindset is back on track to thinking about puppy snuggles all day, but I do.

Maybe for my own sanity? Maybe for anyone else out there that is moping around thinking they'll never feel normal again? (Newsflash: you will) I'm not entirely sure what the rhyme or reason is for this post. All I know is that life has a crazy ass way of throwing you a curveball when you least expect it.

There couldn't be any truer words for me at this moment. So for anyone going through something similar to what my life was like those five long weeks ago, I hope you try to keep the faith. Because in the words of Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, "JUST KEEP SWIMMING". And maybe you too will be thanking life for your very own curveball one day.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Decision Made

Give me a second while I dust the cobwebs off around here. 


There, that's better. Vacuum hose to the rescue. Apparently I've been too busy figuring out my life slash trying to soak up the last few solid days of summer to attempt to actually show face at this place. But that's perfectly fine with me because I've been pretty damn happy this past week and my motto is to basically just do whatever it is that gets you to that point, so here we are. 

But with summer winding down and my two months of "I'm going to do whatever I want for a couple months and figure out what to do with myself later" expiring pretty much today, I think it's time I hop back on the blog train. All the other bloggers are coming back now too, right? The sunshine bug that took us all out of commission for awhile is about to be sent packing into fall boots and infinity scarves, so I say it's about time. Then again maybe I should just hold on to that bug for a little while longer since I don't think I'm even making a single ounce of sense right now. 

Le sigh. That's what happens when you've been out of practice. Things get more awkward than Taylor Swift at an award show.

And I digress…

So as for that whole "figuring out what to do with myself" thing. We're getting there. Slowly but surely. A couple weeks ago I posted about my life choices and how I was attempting to decide between four different options. If you're too lazy to click that link, then shame on you, I could really use the page views around this barren land. That was rude. But anyway, those options were: moving back to my apartment in NYC, going to Israel to keep nannying for my nanny family, staying home to save money and take classes, or moving somewhere completely new.

The winner has been chosen and I've decided to stay home for awhile. Which is pretty much the most anticlimactic ending to this decision making process, but I'm currently 110% happy with it.

So, starting tomorrow, I'll be going back to school to take digital photography and graphic design classes. And now that I just officially wrote that down in one solid sentence, it's all becoming really real. Here's a collection of feelings I have about it all.

"Wait what? Did I really just say I'm going back to college? Doubleyou tee eff?!"

"Oh my God, I get to go buy fun notebooks and mechanical pencils and pick a first day outfit!"

 "Let's hope I'm actually good at this shit, fingers crossed I guess."

"I plan on trying to be as invisible as possible since I'll be 25 in a room full of 18 year olds."

"I never could get financial aid the first time around but now that I'm an independent I can. 
Free money? Fuck yes!"

"The realization that I have to sit in a classroom for nine straight hours moment of petrified horror."

But really when all is said and done, I honestly truly just feel like this:

Because I really am so unbelievably excited. I could go on for days, scratch that, YEARS about how much I think our educational system is screwed up and wasted on the indecisive young. But I'll save that for a later date. Just know that I think my time spent at college the first time around was an absolute waste. Because most 17 year olds don't have a damn clue what they want for breakfast, let alone what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Except society tells us we "need" to go to school and thus we rush into it and drop bucket loads of cash to do so.

I'm getting carried away.

Anyway, now I'm just crazily thrilled to finally have a real direction, a passion, something that I'm over the moon excited about learning, something that I need to learn in order to be able to live out my current goals and dreams. And on top of that, the ability to go back and only take the classes I find interesting, those I know will further my skills in the areas that I want furthering, not gen-ed crap that I won't remember two weeks after the final. 

So it all begins tomorrow. I'm nervous to shit, but I'm excited as all hell.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DIY Canvas Tote

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #StaplesBTS http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

If you know a single ounce of my personality, you'll know that I'm an organization freak. The annoying customer that stands at the register thirty seconds after she's done being rung up because she must have her dollar bills face the right way and be in the right order. Yup, that'd be me. The weirdo at the dinner table that likes to separate her meat from her mashed potatoes from her veggies, not because she's picky and doesn't want them to touch, but just because everything needs its own pile. That'd also be me. I could go on for days here…

But I'll save you the nonsense and just cut right to the chase. My Etsy shop business is just a tad bit unorganized when it comes to shipping out orders. There, I said it. Prints are strewn across the table, mailers are everywhere but up my nose, and addresses fill in the rest of the space creatin chaotic clutter. And then once I have everything sorted out, there's also the task of getting all of them to the Post Office so they can actually make their merry way to customers. 

Enter the need for a tote to help me transport things and keep organized.

But if you know another ounce of my personality, you'll know that I like creative DIY projects just about as much as I like puppies. So that's exactly what I did in creating that badass little tote you see up there. 

It started out as your regular plain old canvas tote for about four bucks at Hobby Lobby. Then I went to town taping things here and there. First to create the line at the bottom for the gold, then again into triangles for the pattern, and then around the whole thing so I could make the handles black. I used gold acrylic paint for the bottom, a black Sharpie to fill in the triangles, and then just some spray paint for the handles. Piece of cake and way better than the original!

So if you're feeling crafty and find yourself in need of a new tote, try this little project out. The possibilities are endless! Plus, if you go to Staples like I did to get your materials, you'll get any Sharpie Fine Point, Ultra Fine Point, or Neon marker pack on sale, while supplies last, until August 24th. How's that for the cheapest personalized bag you ever did see?

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fearless I Am Not

Have you checked out Whitney's newest IWYP by Whitney Ellen tee? If you haven't you're really missing out because it's probably one of my favorites yet. I'm not really one to wear t-shirts that have anything to do with blogging, hell I still get all freaked out when I find out someone I know in real life has read my blog, so whenever Whitsticle designs one that's not related to blogging I jump on it. Or she just shoves it in my face because I was in her apartment when the order arrived and we screamed in excitement about how badass it is. Whichever works. 

"Fear less to be fearless" is this month's motto and I could sure use it because I'm afraid of quite a few things in life. So I figured I post them today, because whenever I write things down into a list I feel like it's much easier to tackle inside my actual head. So here we go, the things I'm most afraid of.

1) Getting trapped under water - we can thank me sitting on my mother's lap in the movie theater for the entire three and a half hours of Titanic bawling my eyes out for that psychotic fear.

2) Paper cuts on eyeballs

3) Paper cuts in general

4) Bugs crawling into my ear - I know a man who had a moth crawl all the way into his eardrum and then get stuck for a couple days before surgery could remove it. Now I tear up and shiver just thinking about it.

5) Receiving a phone call that someone close to me has died

6) Never finding a job that will satisfy both my dreams and my bank account

7) Being tortured

8) Being forced to watch my loved ones be tortured

9) Complete darkness when sleeping - I basically should just move into a Motel 6 at this point because they'll leave the light on for me.

10) Not being able to get pregnant

11) Never getting the opportunity to find out why the hell we're on this planet since I don't really believe that anyone really walks through the pearly white gates of heaven

12) Samara from The Ring

13) Never being loved by someone as much as I love them or vice versa. But seriously, do fairy tales even exist?

14) The world being demolished by a contagion epidemic

15) Witnessing someone jump in front of a subway train to commit suicide

16) Suicide in general - I'm not so much fearful of this one but rather just completely disturbed by it. This as well as executions.

17) My brother getting hurt while serving our country

18) Pixar suddenly going bankrupt and never releasing another movie

What are you afraid of? Let me know in my comments and then make sure you go order your own "Fear Less" shirt  here so you can have a reminder too.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Awkward Turtle

Sometimes I try to be a fashion blogger when boutiques send me clothing to be a fashion blogger with. Every single time this happens, shit hits the fan. I don't understand how any of you do this so many times a week. I turn into THEE most awkward turtle there ever was to grace this planet and end up doing weird things with my hands. Like where do you even put them? Your hands that is. 

And how does one learn how to not smirk like a six year old? Because that's what I did in every single picture that my mother took of me yesterday. And that's why there isn't a single picture of my actual head in this blog post.

Plus the lighting - there is none. Do you plan outfit posts by your weather channel app? And the location - this is my deck after a nice downpour. Do you get in your car and scope out cool places that actually match your outfit? Good lord, I think I should just give up on this here and now. If anyone has tips for this game, I'd greatly appreciate it. Maybe next time I should just do this after twofer Tuesday instead of dead sober in the dawn of the morning? There, problem solved.

But P.S. this lace kimono cardigan thing is so fun to play with. My brother even complimented me on it! So go get yours today and use TWOTHIRDS15 for 15% off your order. Oh and be sure to enter this giveaway to win a gift card to In Bloom Boutique while you're at it..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

She Said Yes!

If you follow me on the Insta, you probably saw an engagement go down over the weekend. Obviously this engagement not being my own, since you know, that probably won't be happening until 2030 at this rate. But, for my little broski, it happened on August 9th. Here's how it all went down.

So for starters, he's in the Army. He just finished basic training and AIT last Friday and was on his way home for the week before he heads to South Korea for an entire year. His girlfriend, Brittany, lives here in my house with my parentals. He was flying in really late last Friday night, but instead of showing up at midnight, he told Brit that he wasn't getting in until 6:00pm on Saturday. Lies are fun when they turn into surprises. 

He hid out at his friend's house Friday night while the family and I planned out Saturday morning. The "plan" (at least to Brittany) was that my parents and I, Brit, and my parents' friends were all going out to lunch to celebrate my parent's anniversary on Saturday. But we wanted to make a quick stop at Taughannock Falls first to take a picture of my rents because it was their anniversary and they had gotten engaged at that very spot. Aka the same spot my brother would actually end up proposing to his girlfriend. Cue the cuteness. 

Meanwhile, we were never actually going out to lunch. We were only using that as an excuse to have a reason to stop at the falls on the way so that we could get her to the place where Chris (my little broski) was going to surprise her and propose. So we arrive at the place where all the magic was going to happen and quickly texted Chris that we were there so that he could show up. 

As soon as I saw him in his uniform getting out of the car my legs turned into straight jello. I'm still shocked that I could even hold myself up at this point because my heart was also moving at the speed of a freight train. I have absolutely no idea how I'll manage when I'm the one actually getting proposed to. Holy Hotlanta.

We were all down at the bottom of the stairs while he was making his way down. My dad had turned Brittany away from the stairs and towards the falls so that she couldn't see him coming. Miraculously, she decided that she wanted to take a few selfies. The one below ended up having my brother right smack dab in the middle of her and my dad. 

Except for she hadn't even realized it, so my dad was like "hey pull that picture back up there, who is that between us?". And then all hell break loose. She said something along the lines of "Are you fucking kidding me?!" and everyone immediately started crying as they hugged and reunited and were so excited to finally be together again. 

Surprise #1: success. Little did she know that she was about to receive another one. Because my brother wasn't the only one making his way down the stairs. He had also brought their dog, Dutch, along for the adventure too. And while they were reuniting, we slipped a bandanna around his neck that had a diamond ring tied to it that read...

And that was her reaction to seeing it on him. Dutchy boy for the win! 

Then Chris got down on one knee, told her the story about how my parents got engaged in the same exact spot 20 something years earlier, said he asked her dad for permission, had both of her parents there for the actual proposal, used her FULL name (you go bro), and asked her to be his wife.

And they all lived happily ever after.

I couldn't be any prouder of my brother for getting his life together, fighting for our country, and now for giving me a real life sister. It truly makes me so happy to get to call him my little broski and I can't wait to start planning a wedding while he's away. I love you soldier!

After all the shaking, tears, excitement and pictures were over, we all headed back to my house to cook out and celebrate. A bunch of friends and family came over, we drank way too many beers, and then played the most epic game ever created: SLIP CUP! 

There are two teams that have to race each other in a game of flip cup. Except for you don't just all stand around the flip cup table like the basic bitches do it, instead, you have to face the slip and slide in order to get there. So two opposite team members race each other down the slide, then drink and flip their cup, and as soon as you get your cup over the next teammate goes. It's pretty much the best time I've had in quite a while so I highly suggest making your own this weekend. Here's the video:

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Homemade Snickers Ice Cream

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

It's Monday. Mondays suck. So here's a heavenly freaking recipe to help ease you back into your week. Except for it does the opposite for trying to get your ass into a pair of jeans, so proceed with caution because there is absolutely no easing there. 

I think this might just be my own subtle way of trying to give myself hints to get my ass to the gym? But anyway, I've been wanting to make some homemade ice cream for quite a while now. Minus I didn't want to shake things around for two hours with rock salt. And I also didn't want to have to use a machine to make it sense, well, I don't own a machine to make it. 

So what exactly is a girl to do? 

She consults Pinterest, of course, and searches for ways to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream machine. Ten minutes later I was on my way to the store to buy the two ingredients (seriously that's basically all you need) to get this ice cream party started. 

What you're going to need to make the heaven:
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of crushed peanuts
A couple squirts of caramel sauce
As many pieces of chopped up Snickers as your little heart desires

How to actually make the heaven:
Pour the whipping cream into your stand mixer bowl.
Whip things into shape for about five minutes until you develop some stiff peaks.
Pour the condensed milk, vanilla, and toppings into a separate bowl.
Fold the whipped cream into that mixture until everything is all uniformly spread around.
Put the concoction in a tupperware container.
Put the container in the freezer to chill (literally) for six hours.
Go run a few miles while you wait so you don't feel guilty about what you're about to do.
After the time's up, devour the whole damn thing.

And then once you're done and your hands are stickier than a piece of gum stuck to a shoe on a 98 degree (oh hey Nick Lachey) day, grab a Wet-Nap to clean yourself up. They're softer and stronger than ever, they moisturize with aloe, and on top of that they don't smell like you just stuck your head in a bottle of vodka, yet they still sanitize perfectly. Oh and if you head to Walmart like I did, you can use this coupon to get 55 cents off of any Wet-Nap product while supplies last. Just head to the napkin aisle to find them and you'll be well on your way to being less sticky!

Now go get yourself some whipping cream and condensed milk so that you can enjoy a bowl of heaven with me at my nonexistent party. That's an order. Over and out.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Life Choices

Well I'm alive. I guess. It's been a week and a half since I've shown face around here and let me tell ya, it was definitely needed. Heartbreak is serious, guys, holy heck. I've been through breakups before but this one pretty much took the sunshine straight out of my sky. And that is never, ever, okay. If only we could shut off the part of our brains that produce certain memories, right? Then I could actually listen to the radio, or see things pertaining to North Carolina, or come into contact with anything that reminds me of him without wanting to go run and hide under the covers for two months. Yikes.

But anyway...

I took a few days of drinking and snuggling with Whitney and then a couple more in the comfort of home with my family and now things are starting to turn around a bit. I'm getting more towards the point of things being less "holy shit that was my whole future, my life plan" to "holy shit that was a dumb ass move on your part, don't regret it". And that is always, always, okay. So I will be fine and life will go on and I will continue to strut through the streets in my Hunter boots with my face towards the sun. Woosah. 

The only real problem here is that whole "So what's next?" question everyone (including myself) has been asking me ever since doomsday went down last week. Because I'm pretty sure it was obvious by now that my life plans were a tad bit on hold this summer until my relationship plans were figured out. Destination: Charlotte or "Wherever the Hell he Was" being at the top of my "hopeful plans" list, and then once that move happened it would be game on figuring out what it is I really want to do with my life in terms of a career. 

But now I have a destination and a career to figure out all on my own, and that has been causing my head to spin faster than the tilt-a-whirl at your country fair. It's both exciting and terrifying at the same time. To basically have the entire world out there as a possibility for your future. It's quite daunting. 

So I've broken it down into a few options that are currently swimming around in this little head of mine.

1. New York City
This is the absolute easiest possibility on the table right now. I can go back to my apartment anytime I want since I'm currently subleasing to a friend who knows I could want to come back at anytime. All my furniture is there. All of my new living room decor is there. I'd just need to bring all of my clothes back and boom, I'm set. I also have about four different families that want me to nanny for them that are basically just waiting on me to decide if I'm coming back to Manhattan or not. So there it is, a job and an apartment right there waiting for me. 

But here's the thing: I'm sick of New York. So sick of New York. I said I wanted a change a month or two ago and that's still the case. Do I want to go back to my old life if it's not exciting me just because it's easy and readily available and waiting for me? I don't know.

2. Stay Here
Here being home. My parents' home. Half of me says yikes and half of me says comfort. I've really loved being home for the time that I've been here so far this summer. Plus fall in Upstate is amazing and that quickly turns into the holidays when I love being home anyway, so it'd be a good time to be here for a little while. I could work and have time for my blog while saving money. I could also take a couple graphic design classes at the local college around here. Being home wouldn't be the worst thing in the world since I've been away since I was 18, but still, do I REALLY want to live at home with my parents at 25? I really don't know.

3. Israel
My nanny family has wanted me to move there with them since before they had even told me they were moving there. They'd take me in a heartbeat, I'd have a brand new little three month old to start taking care of, and I'd have one hell of a life experience. Half of me is scared shitless of this idea and the other half thinks to myself, self, why in the HELL not?! You only get one life here on this earth so why not shake up the universe and go live it? So this could definitely be a contender. I'd just prefer for there not to be a full blown war going on over there right now. We shall see.

4. A Brand New Place 
And then the last part of me wants to just pick everything up and move somewhere completely new and start fresh. Set out a map and plop my finger down just about anywhere. Work my ass off to find a job, find an apartment, make new friends, experience new things. I'm not sure what I'd do or where I'd go, but this option makes my heart jump up and down. The only problem is you need a bit of money to do this and I'm not sure if I'm ready to drain a savings account for a chance at something new.

And that's where I'm at right now. A big clusterfuck. But I'm excited!

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