Friday, November 29, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

Happy Black Friday! Hope your Thanksgiving was good! Here's the roundup for the week!

1. Saturday night I met up with some friends for a Thanksgiving dinner/game night. I cannot begin to describe how much fun everything was and how delicious the food was. 




2.  I caught this gorgeous sunset Saturday night on our way out to game night shenanigans.




3. Wednesday night Dave and I watched the new Thor flick. I am a huge fan of Tom Hiddleston and his portrayal of Loki was awesome. It was definitely a must see flick. 





4. Thanksgiving was amazing, good food, good company, great day. Not much more to say. I'm thankful for being blessed with a good life. 




5. Dave caught this moment between Nibbler and Squishee one morning. I love how Nibbler is literally holding Squish's face and Dave's great timing with the lick. 




How did your week turn out?

                                                               Linking up with Lauren and Lauren and Jennie!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Wish List





This is my ultimate, money is not a factor wish list. Could I have aimed higher without the money factor? Probably. But these are things that I would want to open up Christmas morning regardless of their cost. 

1. Banana Republic Bow Belt Jacket

I'm lusting after this jacket...and the only reason I haven't purchased for it myself yet is that I can't put anymore money on my credit card or Dave might have an aneurysm. Repeat Nicole, repeat: I love my husband more than I love that jacket, I love my husband more than I love that jacket...

2. Better Life Emily Bag

Not only is this bag incredibly adorable, and WILL BE my go to diaper bag, but it also is created under a good cause. I can justify the price for the good of others. 

3. Silver Tube Necklace

These necklaces are all over Etsy. They are so darn cute and I have no idea why I haven't purchased it for myself yet. Super simple design that would go with pretty much every outfit, so it would definitely be part of my everyday jewelry.

4. Anthropologie Helianthus Headband

This headband is gorgeous. In the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

5. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel Series

It wouldn't be a wish list if I didn't have at least one book on here. This series intrigues me. I haven't read any of the books yet, but I'd like to. 

6. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation

This stuff isn't exactly cheap, but it's awesome. If I could get someone to buy it for me, even better. 

7. Pottery Barn Glass Cloche Jewelry Storage

I love this storage set. It's pricey for all three, but it's so darn cute. I would get at least one of the glass lids monogrammed, probably the necklace one. 

8. Calvin Klein Marin Sheet Set

I have this entire set (comforter too) on my bed and man is it luxurious. The sheets are soft, like sleeping on clouds. The problem is a certain acne medication that I shall not name that I do not use anymore bleached my pillows and sheet set. So my side of the bed is orange, not husk. Needless to say I was pretty irked and I'd like to get them replaced with nice, pretty, non-bleached new ones. 

9. Target Salad Set

I love this little set. I had cheap plastic salad tongs and they broke on me. Dave and I mix up salad for a side dish pretty often, so having a nice little set to use and place on the table for dinner would make me happy. 

10. Pottery Barn Ooh La La Swivel Chair

We are currently turning one of our spare rooms into my sewing/library/random room. I plan on putting a small white desk in the room to work off of and this white chair would just be the cherry on top of my perfect little room. 


What's on your holiday wish list? 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Green Beans and Bacon

It has been forever since I posted a recipe! I've got this one up with perfect timing because it is an excellent side dish for your Thanksgiving feast. 




I love this dish, it has bacon in it! Who wouldn't love it (aside from the obvious)? It is an incredibly simple dish to make with only four ingredients! 

I highly recommend adding this to your menu for Thursday. And I need to apologize, I've been a terrible blogger, I didn't take a picture of the final product on it's own...so here is what it would look like, at a feast! 




Ingredients:

- 1 pound bacon cut into one inch pieces
- 2 cans green beans
- 2 cans wax beans
- 1 onion, chopped

1. In a large pan, cook bacon and onion.

2. Drain the grease from the pan periodically (when there is too much for everything to continue to cook). You should probably drain the grease at least 3 or 4 time throughout the cooking process.

3. While the bacon is cooking, drain the beans of the water in the can completely and set aside.

4. Once the bacon is cooked, add the beans to the pan and cook covered on medium heat for about a half hour, mixing occasionally.

5. Once the beans are heated through and the flavors have all melded together, you're done! Enjoy!


                                         
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Friday, November 22, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

November is just flying by...I feel like I blinked at we're at the end. It's crazy! Here is the roundup for the week!

1. We made pizza one night this week, using frozen dough. It's amazing how quickly a little ball of dough will turn a regular man into an expert dough tosser.



2. Cuddle time with Papa! I don't know how Squish is comfy in that position, but he stayed that way for quite some time.



3. My friend sent me this text Tuesday morning, totally made my day.







4.  This past weekend Dave and I decided to rearrange the living room. I love the new setup, it's super cozy. And I snapped this picture. I almost broke the TV from laughing so hard and not holding it in place.




5. Nibbler hiding in his "spot". He's a big scaredy cat when it comes to unknown visitors or loud noises. He runs to the top of our basement steps and stares out the cat door of the steps. I decided to take a picture of it, much to Nibbler's dismay (he hates having his picture taken for some odd reason). 




And of course, Squish is like Hey Ma! I'll be in the picture!


That's it for this week's roundup. How was your week?

Linking up with LaurenLauren, and Lindsey!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Curiously Furious

P.S. Not by Fitzgerald...but then again, Abraham Lincoln did once say, you can't trust everything you read on the internet. Still a good quote. Source

Yesterday I was in Ulta, "cashing in" on my rewards. I had a handful of goodies plus one bottle of Pureology's 21 spray (or whatever it's called, I call it 21). I took it to the register and after the girl was done ringing me up, everything came to $0.00, including the $24 bottle of 21 spray. She handed me the items in a bag and said "have a good day!" I looked at the girl and said, "ummm aren't you going to charge me for the Pureology spray?" and she said "Isn't that part of the rewards program?", "Uh, no. I wish it was!"

So she rechecked me out and I walked out $25 (after taxes) poorer and 100x angrier at myself. 

Why? 

I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was so angry at myself for speaking up. 

I'm the kind of person that always does the right thing, to the point where it's sickening. There's a sign that says "No Trespassing"? I'm the girl that's politely reminding everyone that we can't go that way because the sign says so. And then continues to remind you the rest of the night.

Yes, I'm THAT "guy". 

Yes, I know it's annoying at times. Sorry. 
Source
I've never been this furious with myself before, especially over something that I knew was the right thing to do. It normally feels good to do the right thing, so why was I so upset with myself? 

I got back into my car and started yelling. Yelling at myself, at my steering wheel, yelling at God. I called my mom, yelled at her (in a venting kind of way, not yelling AT her). 

Why did I get so mad? 

Dave and I both agree there is something deeper to this anger I felt, but we can't agree on what it is. He thinks I'm sick of being the "nice guy" and this was just my way of taking it out on myself. That may be true, one of the things I was hollering at my poor mother was that nice guys finish last. I think it may be stress and the result of some not so great weeks at work. 

But what if it's something deeper?

I don't want to be that person, filled with so much anger and hate. I held on to that anger for most of the afternoon. It wasn't until I was driving to school that I had to have the "come to Jesus" talk with myself and tell myself to knock it off. 

I'm really hoping it was just me being overly emotional about having a bad day and nothing more because, pain in the ass or not, I just want to be a good person.
Source
Have you ever had a time where you surprised yourself with how you felt about something or how you reacted to something?




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Monday, November 18, 2013

Makeup/Fashion "Rules" I Think are Absurd

I was reading Glamour the other day and I saw their "Hey It's O.K." page. One of the things they said was "Hey it's okay to not have a signature fragrance by the time you're 25" and for some odd reason it annoyed me. 




First off, it's okay to not have a signature fragrance at any age, because some of us don't really wear perfume AND I can't afford to drop buku bucks on many different fragrances to have a "signature" one. Secondly, my experience with anything beauty at 25 was nil. I'm sure Glamour meant well by telling me and all it's other reader's that "it's okay" but quite frankly it only made me question myself even more.

And so that is what inspired today's post, "Rules I Think are Absurd". Without further ado, other absurdities, aside from needing a "signature fragrance":


1. You should always buy the high end brand, because the more expensive it is, the better it works. 

I'll be the first one to admit that there are certain things I feel work better from high end brands, like my foundations. I think every girl is different, some girls can work the Cover Girl foundations, I just can't. I find that sometimes high end doesn't always mean better. My favorite eyeliner? Ulta brand. My least favorite? Urban Decay. Mascara? Pretty sure the pink and green tube is still women's #1 favorite go to.  So, no, high end does not always equate better results. 

2. If you wear open toed shoes you MUST have your toenails painted.

I just want to scream "Bite Me" when people say this to me, or criticize me for not having them painted in the summer. I get that you want your toes to look nice if they are on display, but they don't have to be. Here is my routine if I wear open toed shoes:



Someone once said to me, I have to have my toenails painted, what if I get into an accident? Yes, because the EMT will take your shoe off and call in it "Sorry guys this one's a lost hope, her toenails aren't painted". If you want your nails painted, great. Do they have to be? No.

Same goes for fingernails. I don't have time or patience to keep up on my nails. In the rare event my nails are painted, the paint stays on until it chips off, so yeah...

3. When applying makeup you MUST do up your entire face, foundation and all.

Eh, no. Makeup, in my opinion, is supposed to conceal and enhance. If you don't need to conceal anything you don't have to have a full on Braveheart war paint, if you choose not to.


Source

If you're lucky enough to not have to cover up pimples or uneven skin tone and you skip foundation and move on to blush or whatever, or if you just want to do up your eyes, feel free. If the makeup police come, we can riot and burn our bras together. 

Just not my good Victoria Secret bras, girl is on a budget!

4. Your purse MUST match your shoes.

Pretty sure I'd have to change out my purse everyday for this one, and considering said purse is a literal black hole for all my belongings, that is not happening. 

Now excuse me while I go coordinate tomorrow's outfit with my car.


Source

5. You cannot wear white after Labor Day.

What is this the 80s? 


Source..P.S. Serial mom is a great movie. That is all
The only concession I will make to this rule (and this is my personal concession only) is white pants. But then, I never wear white pants even before labor day so it's not even a concession. 

The point I'm making in all of this is that makeup and fashion is supposed to enhance your beauty. The only rule you should abide by is that you wear what makes you feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable. 

And don't worry if Glamour doesn't say if it's okay or not, they always put black bars on their "don'ts".


Source


What are some "rules" that you can't stand?


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Friday, November 15, 2013

End of the Week Roundup


1. I ordered new glasses from Walmart last Wednesday and I was told it would take a week for them to get in. I was very surprised when two days later on Friday I got a call telling me my glasses were already in! Here is how the convo went with the Walmart eye care center rep:



Him- Hi Nicole, just calling to let you know your new glasses are in

Me- Already?!? I was told it would take a week! 

Him- Well if you'd like I can always call back in a week?

Me- Yes, make a note to call me Wednesday on the day you said it would originally be in. In fact, please put a note on the file stating to specifically tell me that they aren't in until next Wednesday, regardless of what happens. I'll be in tomorrow to meltdown in the middle of your showroom floor because you won't give me my glasses.
Him- Will do, I'll have my camera ready. 


2. I hate posting on Craigslist. I'm sorry, I know some of you swear by it, but I have never had a good experience with Craigslist. All it ends up doing is make me question my faith in humanity. Here is a tiny excerpt from one individual. The picture I'm about to present to you doesn't even cover a quarter of the emails I got before AND after my last email in this picture, it just gives you some insight on this particular person's complete oblivousness. They asked me at least three times before this email thread whether or not the love seat was still available and each time I responded that it was. Enjoy my suffering:


...and this particular person never got the hint. They asked me at least six more times if it was still available and whether or not a couch came with the love seat. It was awesome. 

3. Wednesday I hit two milestones for the blog. I hit 100 likes on Facebook AND 50 followers on bloglovin! Granted, they aren't HUGE numbers, but seeing my little blog grow is so exciting!




4. All I can say about this that great minds think a like, and no we didn't plan this one out...




And this, my friends, is why I love my girls....




5. Nibbler is my little heater hog. He always sits in front of the vents during the colder months. Here he is hogging up all the bathroom heat, enjoy my mini cartoon (and yes that is Squish's head you see in some of the shots, we were both watching Nibbler work his magic on the heater):





Linking up with Lauren, Lauren, and Lindsey!


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Clair de Lune

Have you ever had a song just remind you of someone or something? Every time you hear it, you think of that one thing? I have a few songs like that, but for today's post I'm going to talk about "Clair de Lune" and Buddy.



Before Nibbler and Squishee, I had another cat, Buddy. He was my first pet that was all mine. I got him when I moved into my first apartment when I really wasn’t a fan of cats but really wanted a companion. Needless to say, Buddy changed my life. I lost Buddy very quickly about a month after Dave and I got engaged. I was devastated. He completed our little family, and was a huge part of our life. I was even making plans on incorporating him into our wedding somehow (which by the way, I still did in many ways, but that's for another post, another day). 

Literally one night he's fine, in fact in was the perfect night. I still remember it so vividly, we were hanging out as a family, Buddy even got to spend some time outside, eating grass (his favorite thing to do). He and I had a rare cuddle/play session (when Dave came into the picture, Buddy quickly replaced me as his favorite person with Dave) and we all fell asleep cuddling. I thank God for that last precious evening with him and for giving me the foresight to appreciate it when it was happening. Then the next morning blood clots broke loose from his little heart and he was gone. He was only six years old.



I took it really hard and the only thing that seemed to soothe my pain, allowed me to grieve, was “Clair de Lune” by Debussy. And throughout the past few years, that song has come up and often reminded me of Buddy and that he’s still with me, somehow. At our wedding reception, the song came on quietly after our toasts when everyone was sitting down to eat. I heard it and knew Buddy was there. I was having a really rough day recently and the song came on again, and it was like having him with me all over again, purring softly to soothe my angst.  It’s my little reminder that he’s always with me.

Most recently was this weekend. Dave and I are preparing to extend our family beyond Nibs and Squish to little humans and we bought a pack and play from a neighbor (no I’m not pregnant yet, hold your congrats). Anyway, we were starting to clear out one of our spare rooms that had the pack and play in it when Dave pushed a button on it and that song came on. Poor Dave didn't know what happened, one minute we were laughing the next minute, I was quiet, trying to hold back tears. 

Why? Because I envisioned placing the little one in the pack and play, pushing that button and seeing Buddy stand on his hind legs and watch the baby while the song softly lulled it to sleep. Then I remembered that is something that won't happen physically but maybe he'll be there in spirit. Then I remembered all the other times that song came on, and I knew it wasn't a maybe, it was a definitely. 

Darn it....stupid song/post got me all teary eyed.


Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque by Claude Debussy on Grooveshark
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Lover

I borrowed today's post from Ashley at Uniqueness of Being. I love books and I could go on and on about a book if anyone cared to listen to me, which is why today's post was a must! 

What are you reading right now?

1984 by George Orwell for the teen book club I run. I'm also in the middle of a few excerpts of The Canterbury Tales for my lit class. 

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

My entire bookcase that I have been neglecting since I started back to school. More specifically  The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers and Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore



What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Running with the Demon by Terry Brook (side story to this one. I think I'm fated to NEVER finish this book. I've started reading it about 8 times and then stop and pick it up a few years later and have to start over because it's been so long since I last read it and then the cycle begins all over again!)
The Stand by Stephen King...the size of this book terrifies me just about as much as anything Mr. King writes
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?

Glamour, Reader's Digest, The Handyman (for Dave)

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

The easy answer could be Twilight series...but I'll take the higher road here. The only book I could never finish in my life because I hated it so much was Helen of Troy by Margaret George. I know it's not supposed to follow the original myth to a "T" but this author took so many liberties with the story I almost threw the book across the room in a rage. I don't think it helps that I'm such a Greek myth fanatic.

What book seems really popular but you actually hated? 

I never read it but I did read a few pages...the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I'm sorry, and if that got you to pick up a book, that's great, but for me personally the few pages I read felt like a third grader with vast sexual knowledge and an incredibly dirty mind wrote the book. 

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? 

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Blue Bear by Walter Moers. I loved this book so much I bought all of his other books and fell in love with them too. Go read it!



What are your 3 favorite poems? 

 "i carry your heart with me" by e.e. cummings
"Stop all the Clocks, cut off the Telephone" by W.H. Auden
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Here's "Stop all the Clocks..." from Four Weddings and a Funeral:


I love "He was my North, my South, my East, my West. My working week, my Sunday rest." If that doesn't describe someone who means something to you, I don't know what does.

Where do you usually get your books?

Book sales and then stores that sell books a bit cheaper like Target, Walmart and BJ's. Book sales make me feel like a little kid at Christmastime.

Where do you usually read your books?

Everywhere, but I would say more often than not in my car on my lunch break. 

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? 

Yes, I shut my door and spent my entire summer reading books in my room. My mom used to yell at me to go outside and play or come out in the living room and spend time with the family. No thanks, I'll just read. I've always been an early riser so I would just grab my book and read for a few hours in the morning waiting for everyone else to wake up. I still do that now, just with my phone instead of my books, I need to get back into the habit of grabbing a book instead of my phone.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I know I said it before here, but my fingers literally itched to pick the book back up when I was done I enjoyed it so much.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? 

Most of the stuff I have to read in my Lit class. Beowulf? Sorry I wikipedia'd that.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

Not necessarily. I've picked up books because the cover intrigued me, but I always read the synopsis first before I buy and if it's one of those books that doesn't have it (like the back cover is all praise for the book and none of what it's about) I probably won't buy it unless I know in advance that I want it.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

I had a few...
The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
The Paperbag Princess
The Secret of NIMH
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

What book changed your life? 

I can't think of a book that comes to mind that has changed my life, per se. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore did pull me out of a reading slump I was in for a few years.

What is your favorite passage from a book?


"I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else." 
— Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)


"Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him...." 
 Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)

"Where shadows dim with shadows mate,

in caverns deep and dark.
Where old books dream of bygone days,
when they were wood and bark..." 
— Walter Moers (The City of Dreaming Books (Zamonia, #4))

Who are your top five favorite authors? 

Walter Moers, Christopher Moore, J.K. Rowling, Jen Lancaster, Rick Riordan

That's what I got for this list! I would love to hear your responses to these questions!

Friday, November 8, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

Hello! Another end of the week is upon us....if you are a return guest, have you noticed my new page design? Be kind, I have no graphic design experience whatsoever and I did it all by myself! Haha!

Here is this week's roundup:

1. Beware parents and future parents...someday I will be teaching your children....





To be fair, I was working upside down, and I caught it immediately. But still...

2. Sunday night our neighbors invited Dave and I out to dinner at our local Hibachi. I'm pretty sure that's a chain restaurant, but if you've never been it's really neat. They cook the food in front of you and put on a little show with the food they're cooking with. It was fun and I really enjoyed spending time with my neighbors. 



3. Sometimes I completely forget that I have a really great view outside my house. I took this picture out my guest bedroom window Sunday morning and it really made me appreciate my house a little more. 



4. My one professor cancelled my Wednesday morning class so I took the opportunity to go to my favorite place--Panera Bread--and catch up on studying and research for papers I need to write. One of my absolute favorite past times is catching breakfast at Panera by myself with something good to read. This particular outing was made better by an adorable baby boy who spent his entire time there trying to get my attention and then giving me a big wide smile every time I looked up. I forgot to get a picture before I scarfed everything down because bagels and cream cheese make me happy. Enjoy my empty cup picture:


5. Since it's gotten colder in my area, I have an extra blanket on my bed. It's soft and heavy, which keeps me really warm. It's also the boy's favorite spot to sleep. I washed the comforter Sunday and Squishee made it apparent that he loved the just washed feeling. I don't think Squish could have shoved his face any further into the blanket. It was just too cute!



That's it for this week's roundup, how was your week?

Linking up with LaurenLauren, and Lindsey!


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

So Monday the haters struck again. These are people I have to deal with on a regular basis. I'm going to be honest, I really let it get to me. I was so upset I gave myself the worst stomachache and I thought I was going to throw up. 

I felt myself spiraling down and I knew I needed to get it under control before the tears sprang, so I took a deep breath and all of a sudden a little voice in my head said Keep Moving Forward


Source
For those of you that don't know, Meet the Robinsons is my favorite Disney movie, with Up being a close second. I love the Robinsons, I hope someday Dave and I have a family like that. I want my kids to be like those kids. 

But I digress...the movie has so many positive messages, its such a great film. If you haven't seen it, you should make it a point to. It's uplifting. The movie stresses living life with a purpose, being okay with failures, and that sometimes failures are more important than succeeding. And then obviously, keep moving forward. Life is tough, and for everyone it's tough in different ways, but regardless you have to keep moving forward.

I guess I should thank the people who spent most of their day trying to hurt me. Today you may be the reason I had a bad day, the reason why I was anxious and my stomach was in knots. But tomorrow? You are the reason why I'll be a little bit stronger. Because you have reminded me that regardless of what you say or do, I will continue to keep moving forward.




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