Friday, August 29, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

Dave and I were talking tonight (Thursday night) and we both asked at the same time "Where did the summer go?" It feels like it's flown by just like when we were kids. Anyway, here's the best moments of the week!

1. Sunday Dave and I went up to his brother's  house to celebrate our youngest nephew, Jacob's, 4th birthday. They have a little pond behind the house that is stocked with fish each year. I snapped this sweet moment between Lucas, Jake's brother, and his best friend since his was a baby, Peyton. 

2. This week I started back to school for my certification and master's degree. It's a bit bittersweet. Part of me is happy to be back, working towards my dream career, and appreciative of the opportunity to even do this; but another part of me is bummed. I really liked my free time and I'm a bit over school. 

3. I finished another baby quilt this week, and I'm currently trying out a new project using scrap T-shirts to make teddy bears. I'm hoping it turns out great!

 4. Snapple cap "Real Fact" taught me something new this week:

 5.  Nibbler loves laying on Dave's stomach. I don't blame him, it's pretty comfy and I think he smells good. 

How was your week?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Favorite Pinned Hairstyles

I only give myself about 20 minutes to get ready in the morning, for both hair and makeup. It's mainly because I spend a good hour laying in bed just playing on my phone. What can I say? I like to wake up slowly and restfully, haha. 

Some mornings I'm just not feeling the whole "pull out the flat iron and curling iron" look, and I'll scan through my pins to find easy styles. The ones I am sharing today are my favorite go to simple looks. 

I have a confession...I like to look at the back of my head in the mirror when I style my hair like this, the criss cross just looks so good!

I love how elegant this looks, especially since it's so simple. Plus I finally learned how to use my spin pins with it!

If I have to do my hair for a fancy function (versus paying someone to do it), this is my go to look. 

Pin                 Original Source:

On the days where I do decide to pull out the ironing tools, but my front bangs won't cooperate, I'll braid my hair in this quick look. 

This is similar to the first pin, in both looks and me looking at the back of my head a lot...

What are some of your favorite pinned hairstyles? Comment with the link below!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Teen Book Club Hits and Misses

I've been running a teen book club at my local library for a little over two years. I recently asked the teens what their favorite books were that we read in the group and which ones missed the mark. 

If you'd like to see all the books we've read as a group, you can check them out on the TBC shelf on my Goodreads profile.  


1984 by George Orwell showed up on the favorites list of all the teens, and quite frankly I was shocked. One teen explained, "I enjoy books that have depth and complexity, and that say things, and preferably expand my mind by reading them. I also enjoy classics, which have stood the test of time, for some reason or another . . . I love exploring them, and discussing them after!"

I wasn't sure if the teens would "get" this book, and they did. We read it right after Animal Farm so we could compare the two books. I also explained what inspired Orwell to write the two stories and they were fascinated by the history behind it.

Farewell to Manzanar was one I was hoping the teens would like, and most of them did! Since the autobiography of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston focuses on Japanese interment camps (something you never hear about in school), I was really hoping the teens would be interested in learning something new and discussing it. This book gave us one of the best discussions we've ever had. 

The Book Thief is one of the most recommended books I've ever come across and it definitely lives up to the expectations. Again, most of my teens recommended this book too. It still gives me "the feels" when I think about it. 

Honorable Mentions:

    The Hobbit                                        Nation                                 The Time Machine


The Obsidian Blade, well actually the whole series, wasn't a big hit among the teens. It wasn't that it was a terrible book, but as one teen stated, it lacked literary style and seemed to have no meaning. I enjoyed the first book and the different events that Hautman took you to, but I have to agree, by the third book everything was so muddled it was too hard to keep track and just wasn't enjoyable. 

Okay so here is the thing about Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, it's your typical teenage love story. If you liked Twilight, you'll probably love this book, but the Teens and I aren't typical teenage love story fans. This book fell flat because it seemed like it was going to go somewhere but just didn't seem to go anywhere. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five (Again)

I'm sorry guys, the past few weeks have been a bit stressful. I'm really dreading starting school next week (I'm loving my "free" time and don't want to give it up!!) and student loans has me freaking out since they can't seem to understand that I'm still in school and they keep trying to bill me, even after they supposedly have put a student forbearance on my account...three times. So I don't have another roundup for you. Instead, here are my top five favorite things this week:

1. This video...hilarious!

2. This shirt....ridiculously comfortable AND stylish? Yes please!

3. This cleanser...hormonal pimples are awesome, especially because they are not only unsightly but hurt too. This cleanser seems to soothe them.

4. This pin....I can never catch friends with this game in real life, so this pin is my way of doing it on a wide scale. 

5. This song....Ed Sheeran can do no wrong. He's been on repeat for the past month for me. 

How was your week? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rainforest After Dark Palette

One of the things I purchased when I went shopping with MJ a few weeks ago was Tarte's Rainforest After Dark Palette

At $38, I was a little hesitant to purchase the palette, especially since I had just bought several items at Ulta and got an eye shadow palette while I was there. But I loved the blush, and in fact, before I saw it in store I was loving the blush color. Then MJ pointed out that it was a really good value, since the blush appeared to be full sized, which would run $26 on its own, and there are 6 shadows in the palette, which could be the the price of the palette on their own. Plus, I really wanted to check out Tarte's bronzer, Park Avenue Princess. 

I have to say, I absolutely love this palette, love it. I love the bronzer, highlighter and blush trio. The fact that they are all in one spot also means I'm more likely to contour my face on a regular basis instead of just on special occasions, it's more convenient! 

The shadows are gorgeous, and it comes with a card that shows you how to create two different looks from the shadows offered. The picture below is the day time look. 

I seriously cannot praise this palette enough, I highly recommend it! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weeds are Flowers too, Right?

It's been about two months since I weeded the garden in front of my house. It's a tiny flower bed, but it was getting close to jungle territory. I know its bad to let it go that long, but in addition to the fact that I hate weeding, bad things happen when I weed. 

Yesterday, I decided to weed, even though it was raining. I figured I would get dirty weeding and would need to take a shower anyway so it didn't really matter if it was raining as long as it wasn't lightning out. Plus, the wet flower bed would help me dig up the grass that was rooted in deep. I assumed it would be a quick, simple chore. 

You know what happens when you assume, right?

My story begins in the "garage" or the half room that we call a garage since part of ours was converted into a room. That's Dave's space. I don't mess with the garage at all, and in typical guy fashion, the place is a hot mess. I tried to find my gardening gloves since I knew I'd be doing some serious digging and I didn't want the dirt embedded into my nails or to have my fingers rubbed raw from trying to dig the roots out. I couldn't find my gloves in all the chaos, but I did find some latex gloves which I used instead.

Old pic, this was before the Nibbler fiasco. RIP red lilies!
Everything was going good until I had to cut my lily stalks down since they were done for the year. Normally I wait so long that I can just grab the stalk and pull it right out. This time, though, I ended up pulling out the entire bulb. So I go inside and grab a pair of scissors and cut the stalk of the one I yanked out and replanted the bulb. I went to cut the next stalk and broke the scissors. 

I go back to the garage and grab the gardening shears (which I should have grabbed in the first place, I know) and cut down the rest of the lilies and proceeded to get whacked in the fact each time they came crashing down (again I know, I never learn). I finish weeding and get up to go inside and see this:

I already knew I had to shower, but didn't realize it was this bad. So I brushed off and began to take off my latex gloves, which had gotten a little stuck to my hand from the sweatiness. Instead of just peeling the gloves off, I decided to grab the left one by the fingertips and pull, and proceeded to whip myself in the arm when it finally came off. Then I went to take the right one off, only to find that the index and middle finger tips were completely gone, negating the whole reason I had the gloves in the first place. 

I go inside, and walk into the kitchen to drop the broken scissors off, turn around and find that I tracked dirt in, because apparently I put my foot in the dirt pile left from the one lily bulb I yanked out. So now in addition to weeding, I had to do my second least favorite chore: mop. 

This my friends, is why I should not weed, and it's not just because of my lack of common sense. It's because bad things happen when I weed. 

My goal now is to avoid weeding until next spring. Who's with me?

Friday, August 15, 2014


This week has not been very eventful, so I figured in lieu of a "End of the Week Roundup" post, I'd do another Friday Five post. This week I've been listening to a lot of the same songs over and over, and I thought I'd share them with you today!

1. Kiss Me- Ed Sheeran

Over the past few weeks I've been slowly becoming obsessed with Ed Sheeran.  I could listen to his songs over and over again all day. 

2. Photographs and Memories (album)- Jim Croce

I used to listen to this album on Saturdays when I would work with my Aunt Penny at the gas station she co-owned with my father. It was a really nice throwback. The link above goes to the whole album, but I decided to share just one song here, one that has always been a favorite of mine.

3. Take Me to Church- Hozer

Wow. Just wow. This song is so sensual, I love it!

4. Rip Tide

I can't help but bopping my head to this song, it's such a great summer song. 

5. Small Bump- Ed Sheeran

Yes, I'm still listening to this song, I just can't stop.

And just in case you stopped by for a picture of the boys,I shall indulge, haha.  They celebrated their 4th birthday this week, so of course I had to treat them to a nice meal for dinner on their big day!

This first pic is Squish passed out in my quilting room while I work. This is normally how he sleeps.

Next up is Nibbler. He does this odd thing on some mornings where he jumps up in between the comforter and the sheets at the end of the bed and just chills there. I snapped a quick pic of him climbing out of the bed when he was done relaxing. 

What have you been listening to this week?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Dreams May Come

"To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come."

When I first heard of Robin Williams’ passing, I literally cried out “No!” and held back tears as I read it was due to suicide. It’s hard for someone who hasn’t experienced depression first hand to understand why someone, who seemingly has the world right at their fingertips, could let it all go and bring about their death by their own hands.

I suffered from crippling depression once. It’s something I’ve wanted to share on here for quite some time but could never find the proper way to write about it. It’s not the kind of topic that you can just post about one day, “Hey! I was depressed once and nearly suicidal, let’s talk about it!” I share my story now in the hopes that it might help people understand, and maybe, hopefully, help someone out who is going through it themselves.

I’m generally a very happy, optimistic person. I've been through some pretty tough times, but always seemed to make my way through it and end up smiling at the end of it. About four years ago, I should have been on top of the world, I had just bought my first home with Dave, we were talking seriously about getting engaged, I was half way through school at the light at the end of the tunnel towards my degree was finally starting to shine. But then I woke up one day and just didn’t want to move. I didn't want to get out of bed, or get off the couch. I didn’t see the point of it. That is literally how it all began. I went to bed feeling fine one night and woke up the next day miserable, lonely, and wanting to die.

I tried to reason with myself at first. List all the things I should be grateful for, my home, Dave, my cat Buddy, my family. But listing all those things made me loathe myself even more. I had so much to be grateful for and I wasn’t, in my mind I didn’t deserve any of it because of how I felt and the fact that none of it made me happy when it should have.

I went to the doctor about a month after I couldn’t shake the terrible feelings and the first medication I was put on made me worse. In addition to being sad, I suffered anxiety attacks. Everything set me off, the people I worked with laughing the wrong way  (I swore they were laughing at me), the aisles in Walmart closing in on me,  the cars on the road were out to run me off the road, everything sent me into a panic. So my doctor switched up the medication again, and I got worse. Now the thoughts of me wanting to kill myself became plans. It went from “you are worthless, just kill yourself already” into “you should go to that window, open it and jump out. no one cares, no one will notice”. I took time off work, switched my meds again, went to outpatient therapy for two months and started to get better.

It took time, patience, and a lot of love from family and friends before I got to the point where I knew I’d be okay. I think the hardest part now, thinking back, is the pain this period in my life caused the people I love to worry. Dave had to see it day in and day out. He had to deal with the massive breakdowns, the desperate calls where I would plead with him to come home to keep me safe from myself, the angry outbursts for no reason other than I wanted him to hate me like I hated myself. The pain I saw on my aunt’s face when she found out about it after the fact and the hurt it caused when she couldn’t be there for me when it happened. The worry in my mom’s voice when she would call. That pain sometimes is too much to place on others, so we internalize it. Without some kind of release, it becomes this big massive ball of hate that keeps growing and growing until one day it’s just too much to handle on your own.

I consider myself lucky. Even when I was at my worst, there was still a piece of me that wanted to live, wanted to survive this. It was that little hope that I held on to that made me get the help I needed, made me reach out to family when I knew it would hurt them to see me this way, because I knew this wasn’t the way I wanted to go. It’s ironic now, one of my favorite Robin Williams movie is What Dreams May Come. I believe in the heaven that this movie illustrates, that we all have our own little haven created for us, and I also believe in the hell that is shown there too. In the movie, Robin’s wife kills herself and he travels to hell to bring her back to heaven with him. I worried that if I did commit suicide that I would end up there, in that hell, but where I really wanted to be was my own little heaven. I knew that in order to get there, I would have to wait for my time to come naturally, not by my own hands.

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about a situation where you paint yourself in a less than stellar light, especially now when we only promote the good aspects of our lives on social media. I hope that by sharing this, it may help you or someone you know. 

I leave you with this, from Lisa Jakub's blog post about Robin's death:

None of us really know what fights Robin was battling, but I know his struggles were not uncommon. It’s estimated that 16 million people in the US have struggled with depression – and I include myself in that statistic. It’s real and it’s not shameful and there is help available.
You can bring it to the light, you can tell the truth, you can go to a meeting, you can reach out to a friend.
None of us are alone.
And if you have someone in your life that you are grateful for — someone to whom you want to write another heartfelt, slanted, misspelled thank you note – do it. Tell them they made you feel loved and supported. That they made you feel like you belonged somewhere and that you were not a freak.
Tell them all of that.
Tell them today.
The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Monday, August 11, 2014


I am completely unprepared for a decent post today, partially because I spent some time with Shelby this weekend. Shelby is an 8 week old Rottweiler puppy that a family member of mine recently adopted. I figured to make up for the lack of a thought provoking post today, I would overload you would adorable-ness, on a Monday no less!


Happy Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

This week has been a really great week. I've got to spend time with old friends and new friends, what more could I have asked for?

1. Friday night I went to dinner with my good friend Gabby. We met while going to the same university and is one of the few people I consistently hang out with. A friendship like ours is rare, and I'm so grateful for her. 

Old pic, since I committed blogger sin #1 and didn't take a picture of our recent outing...

2. Saturday Dave and I attended a friend's "Baby-Q" which was a barbecue/baby shower mixed. We both had a  great time and I was super excited to give my friend the quilt I had made for her baby.

3. Sunday I met up with MJ. If you don't know her, she is the amazing girl behind Luck Fupus. I really can't express how freaking awesome MJ is, both on her blog and in real life. She has tackled so many tough things in life and still manages to come out on top. We met up in King of Prussia mall which is the halfway point for both of us and did a little bit of shopping. Meeting a friend AND shopping? Yes please!

The Victoria's Secret was having a huge event while we were there so I got to try on the angel wings too. Would saying I was on cloud 9 be too much of a bad pun?

4. Last night, Dave called me just as I was leaving for work and surprised me with an impromptu date night. We had a quick dinner and then went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, which was hilarious!

5. Nibbler loves when I clear the bed to clean the sheets. He thinks we are playing a game and proceeds to hide under the sheets and grab at them when I try to take them. He's giving me the "come at me bro" look here:

How was your week?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good Grief

It's been a little over a month since I learned I miscarried and for the most part I'm doing okay. I still have my moments.

Right after my surgery, for about a week I felt nothing. I wasn't happy, I wasn't sad, I wasn't anything. I was literally in "feelings" limbo. People would ask me how I was doing and the only answer I could say was "I don't know" because I really didn't know. I went on autopilot and it scared me. As much as I didn't want to hurt, I knew that feeling the pain would help me work through everything. 

Then the beginning of the next week, I finally felt sad. It sounds weird to say, but it felt so good to feel sad. Feeling the pain of the loss, made me feel normal and human again. I cried to Dave, asked the questions I am sure everyone has asked at some point in time, "why us?" "is God punishing us?" "is this karma coming back, did I do something so bad that karma is reaping punishment?" 

There are still fleeting moments where I think about how far along I would have been. There have been epic meltdowns when stupid companies continue to email me and tell me weekly bump updates, even after I unsubscribe and tell them I've lost my child, three times. I would apologize for my harshly worded email but quite frankly I'm not sorry, and if said company was a real human being they would get a swift kick in the crotch. 

My heart aches when I see Dave interact with little ones. I know our time will come someday, but we had it. It was right there and now it's not. It still hurts, and I'm sure that's a pain that will never completely go away. 

I think the hardest part right now is the fact that this is right about the time that I would have announced it to the world that I was pregnant...which means every other girl out there who found out they were pregnant at the same time is announcing it now. It's funny, it doesn't bother me too much to hear that someone else is pregnant, I'm genuinely happy for them, but once I hear they are due in February it's like a punch to the gut. It takes everything I have not to curl up into a ball right there on the spot. 

I was working on my quilts the other day and heard "Small Bump" by Ed Sheeran. At first I thought, "oh great, just what I need to hear. This guy crooning about his soon to be baby", but something told me to keep listening and so I did. At the end of the song, he sings "Cause you were just a small bump unborn for four months then torn from life. Maybe you were needed up there but we're still unaware as why" and that last line pretty much summed up everything I was feeling, have been feeling, and probably will be feeling. 

It's a good song, I recommend giving it a listen. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wyebrook Farms

About a week ago, Dave and I discovered a local farm/cafe near our home that we wanted to check out, Wyebrook Farm. It was such a gorgeous place and the food was delicious! I was a little bummed that I didn't bring my camera with me, so I apologize, you're stuck with iPhone photos. 

Wyebrook Farm is a 360 acre farm located about 20 minutes away from our house. All the meat cooked in the cafe is from livestock that was raised on the farm, and most of the vegetables are also grown directly on the farm. All the other food is brought in from local suppliers and is all organic. 

When we first showed up, we checked out the market located above the cafe and then walked around the building to where the cafe is located on the patio. 

The menu ranged from casual like hamburgers and pulled pork to more formal like roasted chicken, pork chops, and (for the vegetarians) tofu. Dave and I both chose the bacon burger that had "baconaise" (seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking of it) and parmesan fries. We also chose fresh squeezed lemonade to drink. The view from the patio was incredible, we both couldn't stop commenting on how nice the place was. 

After dinner, we were given free range to walk around the farm and enjoy the view even more. We checked out the pigs, piglets, cows and goats. We also checked out their herb garden where I saw fully grown onions that were about to be picked for the first time. It was really neat to see how onions looked fully grown, it's something I've never thought about. 

The patio from the bottom of the hill

 It was such a great date night, I still smile when I think about the evening and the fun we had.