Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Resolutions - Complete...or not.

As 2014 comes to a close at midnight tonight, I'm looking back at my "resolutions and goals" from the beginning of last year and...well...cringing. How hard is it to read just one book a month?! Why can't I just push myself and finally get the bangin' bod I've always wanted? (Oh wait...margaritas). Here's a look at what I set out to accomplish, and how things actually ended up:

New Years Resolutions
  1. Bring lunch to work at least three times per week (event depending). This worked...for awhile. Until it didn't. Now it's turned into eating out three times per week. Whoops.
  2. Instead of impulsively buying lots of small things, spend your money on quality things that you’ve wanted for a long time, or on things that will last for a long time. I've been better about admitting to myself when I'm buying something out of impulse versus something I actually need.
  3. Go to zumba and yoga at least three weeks out of the month. This was a lot easier to do when I still lived at home, as I love my zumba instructor so much that I still travel across the bridge just to take her class. Yoga is definitely something I slacked off on.
  4. Take everyone’s opinions into account and consideration, but make your own decisions based on what you feel will be best for you. Done and done.
  5. Eat well 80% of the time and eat whatever the hell you want 20% of the time. Remember: one “bad” meal won’t make you fat, just like one “good” meal won’t make you skinny. Um, weeeellllll some times were better than others. But for the most part, I can definitely feel a difference when I'm eating more bad foods than good foods, so I tried to stay on top of that as much as I could.
  6. Read one book for pleasure per month. This, unfortunately, did not happen.
  7. Even when you don’t have plans, get dressed and ready for the day. Lazy bum days are totally allowed, but most days you should get up and make yourself pretty. Check!
  8. Don’t waste time, but enjoy the time you waste. I assume this is a check. We'll go with it.
  9. Learn to laugh at quirks and accept flaws. No one is perfect. I'm just one giant quirk, let's get real.
New Years Goals
  1. Go one entire month without consuming any chocolate or coffee and see what it does for your skin (I'm allergic to cocoa beans...lucky me!) This happened! And my skin looked great. Too bad I can't resist chocolate. Ugh.
  2. Sell three portals by the end of the year (it's a work thaaang). Erm, no, only sold one. My bad.
  3. Do 20 minutes of ab work four times per week and have a flatter stomach by cruise time in April! LOLZ.
  4. Complete at least 30 minutes of cardio three times per week or more. Most weeks I did actually do this.
  5. Make one Pinterest meal and one Pinterest dessert per month. This was more sporadic - not so much once a month. But it definitely happened!
  6. Travel to five places you’ve never been before. Savannah, Georgia/Long Island, New York....ummmm, maybe I'd never been to Naples or Siesta Key? But I've lived in Florida my whole life, I could be wrong.
As you can see, a lot of this did not go according to plan. So frustrating! Ugh. But I understand everyone's journey is different and life is just that: a journey, never a sole destination. Thus, I will create New Years goals once again, and maybe I'll forget about them come February. But maybe I'll stick with it...just maybe ;) 

Happy New Year! XOXO


Monday, December 29, 2014

5 Day Vacay Recap!

I'd say that I can't believe my five day vacation has already come and gone, but I say something along those lines roughly every day of my life. At this point, I can believe it - time flies when you're having fun! And I enjoyed literally every single second of my time off last week.

Christmas Eve morning was a whirlwind of bad drivers, a quick Christmas gift exchange with my parents, and unlucky scratch off tickets. My dad had already given me my Apple TV as a Chrismukkah present a week before, but my mom gifted me a DNA test for Einstein! So I can finally figure out what breed(s) that little bugger is. The results take about 2-3 weeks, but I'm so excited.

After convincing Ryan that Chic-Fil-A was a far better road trip lunch choice than McDonald's, we embarked on our two hour journey to his parents house down in Fort Myers. We listened to Christmas carols the entire ride down...100% his idea. Immediately upon arrival, we were thrown into the kitchen with his parents and sister, Jamie. We spent the day baking cookies, making chocolate covered graham crackers, and cooking Christmas Eve dinner. I even managed to sneak in a quick 30 minute run. The rest of the night was spent exchanging gifts and hanging out with family.

After opening our stockings on Christmas morning, we headed down to Naples to have Christmas lunch/dinner with Ryan's cousins' family. It was my second time spending Christmas with all of them, and I had a blast. We drank homemade sangria, ate tons of food and ended the night sitting around a fire pit playing Heads Up and catching up. Ryan's family truly feels like my second family. I love spending time with them, especially around the holidays.

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating my good friend Whitney's birthday at a newly built Top Golf, seeing Into the Woods (SO GOOD!), and ya know, getting asked to be a bridesmaid in my roommate's wedding! No big deal.

The first few days after Christmas always bum me out, as the holiday season officially comes to a close. But I keep trying to remind myself that I have so much to look forward to in 2015 - there's no sense in holding on to the past. Let's get moving! XO


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas - It's Almost Time!

'Twas two nights before Christmas and all through the house, every creature stirred, especially Einstein.

...what do you mean that doesn't rhyme?

After a crazy couple of days, Ryan and I finally head down to Fort Myers and Naples tomorrow morning. This will be my second Christmas down in their neck of the woods, as my parents aren't super into the holidays. My grandparents won't even be making their way down this Christmas, so I don't feel too guilty about it. Plus, Ryan's parents are like a second set of parents to me anyway, so I'm really looking forward to having five (5!!!) consecutive days off of work to bake yummy things, drink sangria, and truly unwind. 

As the countdown comes to a close, I'm scratching things off my "10 Days Until" to-do list, and feeling pretty good about my progress:

  • Bake a couple variations of Christmas cookies. Bring a box down to Ryan's family for Christmas Eve, have a cookie or ten with a glass of champagne surrounded by friends at a holiday soiree. Whatever - I just want to bake cookies, dammit! And drink champagne. Obviously. Baked cookies for my work's Christmas cookie exchange! I tried to bake two different kinds, but one was an epic fail. Womp womp.
  • Take a walk around a festive neighborhood or park. There are some gorgeous neighborhoods around where I live, and some streets are known for having tons of beautifully holiday decorated houses. I'd love to take Einstein for a walk with Ryan one night to enjoy all the lights. Or take a drive. I'm easy to please. While we didn't waltz around a neighborhood, we took a stroll through downtown St. Pete's set up over in Vinoy Park and it was magical. Maybe not magical, but I enjoyed myself. Check and check.
  • Wrap my gifts early. I've been pretty good this year about buying my presents for everyone in advance, but I have a tendency to put off wrapping because I have "all this time" and then I end up with no time.  Pretty much done with this! Just a couple gifts left to wrap.
  • Make holiday-inspired sangria. Enough said. HA, I actually forgot this was on my list. I will definitely be doing this on Christmas day. Cannot wait.
  • Truly enjoy time with those around me. Put my iPhone/iPad/whatever down for once in my life and appreciate my friends and family that are choosing to spend their time with me.  <---Still in the process.

Happy holidays, friends! Hope it's merry and bright and filled with love. XO


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday Re-Cap.

When is the last time you came home from work (or school, or a weekend off, or whatever) and allowed yourself to forget about unpacking, doing the dishes, picking up 48375 "necessities" from Target, and decide to just lay in bed and watch mindless television for six hours?

For me, it was Sunday. After a crazy wedding weekend and the hangover from hell, I came home wanting my bed and my dog. And for once, I allowed myself nothing but.

I whipped up some veggie rotini pasta with pizza sauce because after cooking the pasta for 15 minutes I came to find that neither I nor my roommate had actual pasta sauce. It was edible, but just barely. I plopped myself securely underneath my IKEA duvet with a tall glass of water and bottle of Gatorade, and I watched The Hills on Hulu for six hours. Yes, I'm moderately embarrassed. But do I regret it? Not one single second.

Around this time of year, I feel like there's a lot of pressure to be hustling around - wrapping gifts, decorating trees, baking cookies, going to holiday parties. And let's get real, I enjoy that pressure. In fact, I plan on wrapping presents and baking cookies and running errands tonight. But Sunday was the first time in a long, long, long time that I looked at my long list and said, "Ya know what? Not ta-day."

And the world did not end.



Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Days Until Christmas!

Edit: This post is actually a survey of how many times I can use the term 'holiday' before things get awkward. You let me know.

I remember when I was young, it felt like Christmas (and Hanukkah...I'm half Jewish, dontcha know) took foooorrreeeevvveerrrr to arrive. Those 25 days before I could open up gifts from Santa [ahem, yes, they were hand delivered by Santa] were some of the longest days of my life. 

Now, we're already just 10 days away from Christmas. Brb, let me pick my jaw up from the floor. I feel like post-college, the time really just flies by. Aside from watching a few Christmas movies, setting up the tree(s), and a little gift shopping here and there, I feel like I really haven't gotten into the holiday spirit just yet. Now that it's right around the corner, I'm going to really focus on getting the most out of one of my favorite times of the year.

In the next 10 days, I vow to:
  • Bake a couple variations of Christmas cookies. Bring a box down to Ryan's family for Christmas Eve, have a cookie or ten with a glass of champagne surrounded by friends at a holiday soiree. Whatever - I just want to bake cookies, dammit! And drink champagne. Obviously.
  • Take a walk around a festive neighborhood or park. There are some gorgeous neighborhoods around where I live, and some streets are known for having tons of beautifully holiday decorated houses. I'd love to take Einstein for a walk with Ryan one night to enjoy all the lights. Or take a drive. I'm easy to please.
  • Wrap my gifts early. I've been pretty good this year about buying my presents for everyone in advance, but I have a tendency to put off wrapping because I have "all this time" and then I end up with no time. 
  • Make holiday-inspired sangria. Enough said.
  • Truly enjoy time with those around me. Put my iPhone/iPad/whatever down for once in my life and appreciate my friends and family that are choosing to spend their time with me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A List of Happy, Pt. 7

When the white lights on my spindly Christmas tree twinkle every so often in the corner of the living room while I watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas...while drinking a milkshake because it was 80 degrees here Friday night. 
Snuggling my pup, only to hear him snoring in my face three minutes later. 
Teaching said pup how to lay down on command. 
Splitting a mini bottle of pink champagne with my roommate at 12 a.m. on a Monday night. 
Being able to watch the Victoria's Secret with an appreciation for the women who worked so hard to get where they are. 
Getting to see my boyfriend for the first time in a week tonight. And it just so happens to be his 28th birthday. 
Setting real, attainable goals for myself; not just for the new year, but for every day leading up to it. 



Monday, December 8, 2014

Finding my passion

I see quotes plastered over Instagram and Pinterest to "Work Hard, Follow Your Dreams, Follow Your Passion, It Can Happen, It Will Happen," blah blah blah. I've always kind of disregarded those, mostly because I have no idea what my "dream" is. I don't know what I want to work hard for. Money? Maybe. Ultimately, I don't know what my passion is.

The last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of self-reflection and soul searching. And by reflection and soul searching, I mean I've been calling myself out on my own crap and trying to figure out what to do about it. I was talking over hot tea with my mom yesterday afternoon, and openly admitted in my out loud voice that my whole life, I've always kind of expected good things to fall into my lap. 

When I was young and desperately wanted to become an actress, I went to acting classes and tried out for a couple of plays and thought that would be enough. I didn't actively study the craft; I didn't watch old films, or spend hours researching method acting. I just wanted it, did the bare minimum, and expected it to be enough. In college, I knew I didn't want to go to graduate school, so I settled for B's instead of striving for A's. Working as a server, I knew I didn't want to become a manager for the restaurant, so I didn't pick up extra shifts or do extra work. 

I'm painting myself to be an overall lazy person, and to be honest, I'm really not. I do exactly what I'm asked, when I'm asked. When a task calls for hard work, I work hard. But I guess I'm not entirely sure what I'm striving for, what I'm working for. I've never set any real goals for myself, mostly because I don't believe I would actually obtain them. That's a pretty sad thing to admit, but I guess that's the first step to progress right? I'll keep ya posted on that. 

Happy Monday! XO


Friday, December 5, 2014

No boyfriend?! What am I to do?

HA, made you look.

I am still dating my boyfriend. Not a rough patch in sight!

However, this weekend, he is celebrating his best friend Corey's bachelor party in Key West (or he's trying to, anyway - he's actually quite sick in Fort Myers now, but that's another story). Thus, leaving me to my own defenses for the first weekend in probably months! 

Before you peg me as one of those girls who can't stand to be without her boyfriend, think again. While I miss him a bit already, I'm actually excited to get a few things done that have been on my to-do list for awhile, see a friend or two, and maybe even go to the beach. Because, you know, that's a thing in Florida. You go to the beach in December because it's still 80 degrees outside.

This weekend, I fully intend to:

  • Clean my room from top to bottom. Put away all of my clothes, dust all the shelves, do all the things. And my bathroom. It will be pristine come Sunday night.
  • Plant a new herb garden. I tried to be as Pinterest as possible when I first moved in, growing some basil and oregano in cute little mason jars. Alas, that project has proved to be a fail, and I already bought and painted new planters. 
  • Go to the beach and quench my craving for summer. 
  • Finally get into the holiday spirit, decorate a Christmas tree, and watch a holiday themed movie or two.
It sounds like a thrilling weekend, I know. I can hardly contain my excitement. But let's get real, I plan on throwing in a margarita or three. Maybe even a mimosa. Regardless, I fully intend to make this weekend without Ryan a productive and fun one, so I won't have as much time to miss him. Hope everyone has a great weekend! XO


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


My parents are famous for their "looks." I don't mean how attractive they are (but let's get real, aren't they?). I mean those looks. The "Don't make me turn this car around," or even "So help me God, if you don't stop doing XYZ, you will not live to see tomorrow." A bit overdramatic, but when I was losing my mind via temper tantrum, these key phrases usually got me to sit down and shut up. 

More than any other assembly of fighting words, there was one word - just one - that stopped me in my tracks. Maybe it was the sideways glance and the dagger eyes that accompanied the one devil word, but I knew that when I heard it, it was time to stop blubbering:


Growing up, getting into and out of relationships, jumping from job to job through college, there has been too many instances when I tolerated too much. When I would call my mom crying every day, when I would come home with a pit in my stomach - when I kept telling myself "it'll get better, it'll get better" - I should have just whipped around and said, "You know what? Enough." 

As I get older, I'm getting better at it. I'm learning to stand up for myself, and more importantly, when to stand up for myself. I'm figuring out when I need to bite the bullet and fake a smile, swallow my pride and move on. More often than not, I take the high road. But sometimes, I think taking the high road is letting the world, or even just one person, know that it's not okay. I think the higher road is letting someone know when you've just had enough. XO

Monday, December 1, 2014

Welcome, December!

It's December! Like many people, it's safe to say that the holidays are one of my favorite parts of the year. It's crazy to think that Halloween and Thanksgiving have already come and gone, and all that's left to celebrate is Chrismukkah (I grew up half-Jewish, dontcha know) and New Years....and then it'll be 2015. Unreal.

I have officially put away my pumpkin candles and Fall decorations in exchange for gold tinsel, sparkly lights, and a menorah. Later this week I'll be putting up my Christmas tree, and I've already started burning my holiday wreath candle. I've even subjected myself to a few Christmas movies. The holiday spirit is in full force, and with time flying by as quickly as it has been lately, I'm trying to soak in every moment before it flashes by in an instant.

Between a good friend's wedding, Ryan's birthday, and our official one year anniversary, December looks like a promising month. I can't wait for holiday parties (and cookies!), champagne toasts, and finding the perfect gifts for my favorite people.

Happy Monday, everybody. Try not to let it get the best of you. XO

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Currently, Pt. 1

I came across The Daily Tay on BlogLovin' the other day, saw this post, loved it, and immediately wanted to replicate. Maybe it'll even become a weekly thing. Or something.


Listening to: I mentioned Spotify's Afternoon Acoustic playlist awhile back, and I just started listening to it again. Right now I'm listening to a cover of "Fast Car" (originally Tracy Chapman) by Kina Grannis and loving it. I've also been excessively listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 deluxe album - current favorites: All You Had To Do Was Stay, Clean, Wonderland, and New Romantics. If you're a fan and haven't picked it up yet, do it. Now.

Loving: Pure Barre! I'm going to sound 100% like a yuppy but I tried it out a few weeks ago and so far I really like it. I bought one month unlimited, so I've been trying to go as much as possible. If you're not familiar with barre, it's basically a lot of small, small movements to elongate and strengthen your muscles. Every class, you spend time working your arms, thighs, seat, and abs. And it burns...a good kind of burn that you start to crave. It is, however, an expensive habit, and if I don't switch up my routine every couple of days, I can definitely see myself getting bored with it. But like I said, I love it!

Doing: Cleaning up my computer. Or my startup disk. Or whatever keeps pestering me to "clear because it's getting too full." Perhaps it's the 20,000+ photos I have saved. I have to say, even though it's proving to be a real pain at the moment, it's also kind of refreshing to delete unnecessary clutter and in truth, unnecessary people from my life. And by life, I mean my Macbook. Okay great.

Watching: Rewatching Grey's Anatomy season one, because I truly miss it. Seriously, I got into that show in November 2012 and finished the first nine seasons by August 2013. For more hardcore Netflix goers, that might not be very impressive, but I digress. I really feel like I have a group of best friends that just so happen to be surgeons. I'm also in love with Patrick Dempsey, so there's that.

Wishing: For it to be after 5 p.m. today because that means it's a four day weekend! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, so I'm really looking forward to spending time with my parents, grandparents and Ryan. My sister and brother-in-law live in Europe, so they won't be with us this year...which means I just need to plan another visit over to that side of the pond next year [insert hair flipping emoji here].



Monday, November 24, 2014

Gifting Ideas - Courtesy of Savannah.

When I was in Savannah, I spent most of my money on food. Rather than accumulating a bunch of goofy souvenirs that I would later forget about, I like to research the best eats in whatever city I'm visiting and get to...well, eating. 

Ryan and I spent a good chunk of our Saturday in Savannah shopping along Broughton street. While we stopped into stores we could find back home like J. Crew, Urban Outfitters and Banana Republic, I made sure we stopped into a few shops that I felt were unique to the historic city. Two of my favorites were The Ancient Olive (later found out they also have a couple stores in Florida...whatevs) and Savannah Bee Company. I bought a little something for myself in both stores, but later realized that these would be great stores to pick up a few holiday gifts, so I thought I'd share!

  • The Ancient Olive - This store is also a tasting room, so as a foodie, I was pumped about it. In addition to a wide array of olive oils, they also had hot sauces, jams and marmalades, and balsamic vinegars. I bought myself a chipotle infused olive oil, which I drizzled on a frozen pizza earlier this week and it was superb. Yes, superb. And it was only $13. If you're buying for a foodie like myself this season, I'd hop on over here. I was also intrigued by the basil infused olive oil. 
  • Savannah Bee Company - To be honest, I wish I spent more time in here. When you first walk in, there's a honey tasting bar, and a bazillion different types of honey to choose from. As usual, I headed straight for the bath and body care and fell in love with this orange blossom honey lotion. I picked up the travel size for $5 and I'll probably end up buying their body wash to match. I was also really close to buying this Doggie and Me Balm . It works to moisturize your own elbows, heels and knees, while doing the same thing for your pup's foot pads, nose and dry spots. As far as holiday gifts go, I'm planning on purchasing the four pack of travel size lotions and distributing them to a few of my faves. 
Enjoy, and happy shopping! I'm hoping to have all of my holiday shopping done before the Black Friday madness ensues. Here's hoping. XO


Friday, November 21, 2014

Ready to reset!

It's finally Friday, and despite the fact that I had another four day work week, I am so ready for the weekend. I feel like I desperately need to hit my reset button and start next week fresh. And what better week to start fresh than yet another short work week?! Thanksgiving and the day after are both paid holidays for me, which [tis the season, right?] I am really thankful for. It looks like reestablishing a routine for myself will just have to wait until after the holiday season.

Having said that, I can't believe we're more than halfway through November - I haven't even had time to complain that Christmas music is being played before Thanksgiving. In all honesty, I think I've secretly enjoyed it this year, only because it reminds me to keep an eye out for potential gift ideas. Well played, department stores. Well played, indeed.

In other news, I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I'm making Ryan watch Maleficent tonight, and then tomorrow we're going to take Einstein on a little adventure, go and see Mockingjay Part 1 at Cinebistro, and end the night with an engagement party. I hope everyone has a superb weekend as well! XO


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Post-Savannah Rambling.

Ah, vacation is over already. As [semi] happy as I am to be home, I already miss Savannah. Ryan and I had such an amazing time. From bar hopping and stumbling home in the cold, to shopping on Broughton, to hunting aparitions, I couldn't have asked for a better traveling partner. Our B&B was way better than any hotel we could have booked, and we knocked off basically everything on my to-do list, and then some! 
  • Go on a late night ghost tour! This is a must do for me. It was pretty much the main reason I wanted to plan a trip to Savannah in the first place. Oh boy, did we accomplish this! We took a tour with Afterlife, and our guide, Ryan, was awesome. He's an official ghost hunter/investigator, and has stayed the night in every place we toured. I had chills throughout a good majority of the tour, and it wasn't just because we took a walking tour when it was 40 degrees outside. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well on Saturday night...especially after remembering that our B&B was built in 1854. Talk about history!
  • Have a fancy date night at a signature restaurant. I'm thinking the Olde Pink House, but I'm going to look into other menus a little more before making a reservation. I was a little late making the reservations, so we ended up at Vic's on the River, which was still absolutely amazing. Ryan and I split a bottle of wine and had a wonderful start to our evening. Plus, after hearing a few ghost stories about the Olde Pink House, I'm happy we ended up where we did! 
  • Go on a biking pub crawl. Apparently you pedal a multi-person trolley-esque bicycle through historic Savannah and make four stops at local pubs for a brewski, all while taking in the sights. Hey, I'm all for a good pub crawl. We ended up not doing this, but we did hit up a couple really awesome bars. Jen's and Friends martini bar was hands down my favorite. There were more than 200 martinis on the menu, ranging only from $7-$9, and there was literally every flavor imaginable. Being lactose intolerant and all, I knew I wouldn't be able to handle flavors with creamy liquor like mint Oreo or strawberry cheesecake, so I went for the strawberry lemon drop and blackberry lemon drop. I loved it so much, Ryan even bought me a t-shirt promoting the bar. And Jen, the owner, was our bartender all night, which I thought was pretty cool.
  • Take a stroll down River Street. I've heard the shops there can be kind of touristy, but I'm always down for a little tackiness during my travels. This was the very first thing we did in Savannah. A lot of the shops were pretty cheesy, but it was definitely a neat little area. My only regret is not picking up a caramel apple when I had the chance. I've been craving one for months!

Pictures will be up soon! I stole my dad's fancy Canon camera for the weekend, so they may even be halfway decent shots. I'm sad the weekend was over, but I know we'll be back! XO


Thursday, November 13, 2014


I can't believe it, but our little trip to Savannah is finally here. Well, close enough. Tomorrow. I've been counting down the days since before we even booked our trip. After scouring through tons of travel booking websites, I came to find that virtually every hotel in downtown/historic Savannah had awful reviews, so we decided to throw down a few extra bucks and stay at a B&B we found with rave reviews. And I mean, who doesn't love free breakfast?

I'm such a planner when it comes to short trips, because I feel like we have so much to accomplish in just 48 hours(ish), so we're going to sit down and plan what restaurants we want to eat at, bars to hop, tours to take, etc. Just a few things on our to-do list:

  • Go on a late night ghost tour! This is a must do for me. It was pretty much the main reason I wanted to plan a trip to Savannah in the first place.
  • Have a fancy date night at a signature restaurant. I'm thinking the Olde Pink House, but I'm going to look into other menus a little more before making a reservation.
  • Go on a biking pub crawl. Apparently you pedal a multi-person trolley-esque bicycle through historic Savannah and make four stops at local pubs for a brewski, all while taking in the sights. Hey, I'm all for a good pub crawl.
  • Take a stroll down River Street. I've heard the shops there can be kind of touristy, but I'm always down for a little tackiness during my travels. 
I have a few other ideas, but that's pretty much the extent of it so far. Any recommendations?! Let us know. XO

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A little follow up.

If you're a regular around these parts, follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or we're just real life BFF's, you would most definitely know by now that I adopted a dog two weeks ago. 

Adopting a dog is something I'd been thinking about doing on and off for a really long time. Then one Sunday morning, I woke up and thought, "I am ready for a dog. I want a dog." So I did my research at shelters and rescues all week long, came across Einstein, and adopted him the following Sunday. All of the sudden I was a dog mom, and it was real, and I was, for lack of better words, scared shitless.

Now, a mere two weeks later, I can easily say it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 

I always grew up having dogs, but Einstein is my dog. He whines for me when I leave, and jumps all up on me when I come home. He stretches on top of my chest and licks my face every single morning. He growls at strange men when I take him on walks at night. He plays ball with Micki (my family's dog), sits down in the tub when I give him a bath, and closes his eyes when I brush his head. He is my most favorite friend, and after just two weeks, I can't imagine my life without him.

So, as a little follow up to my taking chances post, I took a leap of faith. I blindly took a step into a semi-unknown realm, and I came out with a new best friend that I get to call mine for the rest of his furry forever. It was scary, but so worth it. XO


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Coming Home.

A person's relationship with their parents is such a strange, yet predictable progression. As an infant, a toddler, a child, you want nothing more than to be hooked around your parents' ankles - figuratively and sometimes even literally. As an adolescent, as a teenager, you throw temper tantrums and lose your mind on a regular basis and complain that "nobody understands" followed by the occasional "I hate you!" You can't wait to get out of the house, be on your own. And then you grow up, and you move out. And that's when you realize that your parents are actually freaking amazing.

Well, I kind of already knew that all along, even as a whiny "misunderstood" teenager. But I've been thinking lately just how lucky I am to live so close to my parents. Seriously, I live 20 minutes away. Maybe 25 with bad traffic...and I live in Tampa Bay so let's get real, traffic is a constant kinda thing. But seriously. From helping out with newly adopted Einstein to heart-to-hearts over a hot cup of English tea, coming home is the equivalent putting on my favorite pajama pants and wrapping myself up in a sweater blanket (ahem...that means it's awesome). 

I went home four times in the last nine days. I voted with my mom. Picked up groceries and Food in the Wall (Panda Express...long story). Watched Einstein and our family poodle Micki play tug of war. Snuggled in my favorite love seat with my Pinterest iPad app and just reveled in the comfort of home. I am so grateful to have a family that makes coming home my favorite part of the week. XO


Monday, November 3, 2014


The last week has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Between the new addition to my family, unexpected rejection, and Halloween, my roller coaster of emotions peaked at around 600 feet, plummeted at the speed of light, and slowly yet all at once shot back up and plateaued at a solid level of happy. 

Today is the start of a new week, and it's the third day into November. It's been pretty chilly here for my Floridian blood, which has been unexpectedly wonderful and makes everything feel new. Despite a few bumps in the road, I'm feeling so grateful for the people in my life, and the direction I'm going in. Having said that, as of now, I'm not really sure what direction that is. All I can do is keeping trekking along, and that's exactly what I intend to do.

I also intend to blog more this week. Sorry for the lapse. XO

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The First 24 Hours of Owning a Dog.

Remember how I mentioned that I may or may not have a furry companion come Sunday? Well, I may, and I do. His name is Einstein and he's a mix of a Yorkshire terrier and who knows what else, and he is already 100% bonded with me. He's the sweetest pup in all the land, but in the last 24 hours, I've come to a few conclusions:

1) He is not a poodle. No duh. But I've grown up with poodles my entire life. Poodles [generally] have a kind, non-territorial demeanor. Terriers are territorial, probably hence the name of the breed. He is pretty protective of me, and needs to be introduced to new dogs and most new people in a neutral setting. He's not going to be everyone's best friend right away, or even at all, and that's fine. 

2) He is a responsibility. I don't think it fully sinks in for many people before they adopt a dog or a new puppy that, to them, you are their whole life. You have to plan your nightly outings around when they have to do their business, and you have to be realistic about how many hours straight you can leave them to their own devices. I saw this on Pinterest, and the biggest part that stood out to me was "You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you." It's so true. They spend a good chunk of their lives waiting for you to come home, to play with them, to take them for walks. It won't always be easy. But similar to having a child, they must be your priority.

3) He is overwhelmed. While he's new to me, I have an idea of what's going on. I know that I adopted a pup, he's going to live with me, and he's going to be mine for the rest of his little life. All he knows is that his previous owners left him outside, matted and full of fleas, and he's been hopping between shelters and foster parents, and who knows how long this home will last. Like most dogs, he lives in his happy-go-lucky present, but he's a smart dog. He's had a rough past, and it's my job to make sure he knows the 'rough' bit is dunzo.

4) He is forever. Most adoption contracts mention this before you sign, but it doesn't ring true until you have your happy little friend home with you. Short of your dog biting off your face, once he's yours, he is yours. I brought Einstein over to my parents' place today and while he's phenomenal in the car, he sat in the passenger seat and looked at me with pleading eyes, and I could almost hear his little voice asking, "You're not taking me back, right?" Dogs require unconditional love. Again, much like a newborn baby or toddler, you can't 'send him back' because he got into the trash, or because he barks at strangers. Well, you can, but you'd be an asshole for doing it. Like humans, dog make mistakes. It's our job to be firm, but always, always loving. 

I've had dogs all my life, but this is the first time a dog has been my dog. It's been two days, and I'm exhausted. But as my boyfriend continues to assure me, it's going to get better. And it will. But as they always say, patience is a virtue. It's not always easy, but he's worth it.

PS: Here's a picture of the little man - XO


Friday, October 24, 2014

Taking Chances.

This week has been a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. Some good, some bad. Yesterday was especially trying. Maybe it's because it's not a fantastic time of the month for me, thus making me extra hormonal, but I was ready to cry over spilled M&M's. No but really, if there was chocolate available and I spilled it on the floor, I think I would've legitimately been upset and described it as the "cherry on top of my awful day." Wah wah wah.

A few things are up in the air right now, in several departments of my life. I don't want to go into too much detail, simply because I don't want to jinx the good stuff! Having said that, by the end of this weekend, I may or may not have a furry counterpart. I'm crossing my fingers for a good connection and good luck, but I'm also trying to stay rational and understanding. If this furry counterpart isn't meant to brighten up my life, maybe it's because he's meant to bring beams of sunshine into someone else's. 

I've found that there isn't much point in stressing out about what you can't control - you can only take a chance, do what you can, and hope for the best! Not only that, but I'm trying to break away from having to ask everyone's opinion about every change I might make in my life. From asking five friends if "this dress is okay," to asking a server at a new restaurant which dish on a menu triumphs the other, to asking my parents what my next step should be. Growing up means taking control of your own life and trusting your decisions, and that's exactly what I intend to start doing.

Happy Friday! XO

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A List of Happy, pt. 6

I've been wearing one of Ryan's t-shirts to a dress. It's so roomy in here.
Having lost almost six pounds in the last month. Small victories.
The last lick of cream cheese frosting from a slice of gourmet bakery made hummingbird cake.
Finally ordered my first package of frank coffee scrub.
When I come home to my parents' house and my dog, Micki, throws himself on the tile floor and demands his belly to be rubbed.
Discovering new music. If you're an active Spotify user and love acoustic music, check out their Afternoon Acoustic playlist under browse. On repeat.
24 days until our long weekend in Savannah. Errrmehgerrrd.
Coming to terms with my own personality flaws, and working toward overcoming them.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sale Shopping Mission...Complete.

As I mentioned in my post on Friday, I headed to the outlet mall Saturday afternoon on the way to my friend's bridal shower. It's about 45 minutes south of where I live, so I don't head down there too often. When I do stop and shop, my go-to is J. Crew Factory. Regular J.Crew is just a leeeelte pricey for my taste, but the Factory's sales are typically too good to pass up. 

The trouble with sales is that I'll just see '50% OFF!' and go nucking futs and buy all the things and most of those things are unnecessary. Pretty, but unncessary. This time, I went inside solely for the purpose of adding a few key pieces to my Fall wardrobe, a.k.a. my Savannah trip wardrobe. This is what I came up with: 

Factory waffle sweater in Colorblock here - I've been looking for an oversize sweater, and while this doesn't exactly fit the wishlist, it was too comfy to pass up. Plus, it fits perfectly into my wardrobe color palette of gray, gray and more gray. Or is it grey? Life's questions.

Factory three quarter sleeve tee in Heather Chrome here - Brought this baby home only to remember that I bought an identical three quarter sleeve shirt in heather gray two weeks ago. Whoops. Still, this one is super lightweight compared to the other one. I fought the urge to buy every color they had.

Factory classic button-down shirt in flannel in Buffalo Blue here - This is probably my first real flannel shirt I've owned since I was little. It's pretty thick, but SO soft. I was thinking I could either wear it by itself or layer it with a navy tank top. I'll definitely have to wait for the cooler weather to wear this one.

Factory Gigi jodhpur pant here - My black skinny pants recently died on me, so I've been scouring shops high and low for a new pair. These fall more under the category of leggings, but they're not quite 'jeggings.' I saw them on The Lauren Elizabeth about a month ago, and I loved the leather detail. Turns out they fit like a glove and I caught them on a good sale. Easy peasy.

Giraffe necklace - Didn't see this bad boy on the website, but I thought he was too cute. Because he's so tall, Ryan sometimes refers to himself as a giraffe, so I told him it'd be like I have him with me all the time! Just kidding...but seriously. 

If you're a student (or if you've graduated and you're lucky enough to not have an expiration date on your ID), USE IT HERE. I saved almost $30 with that bad boy. And I will continue to use it until I'm 40. And I don't see an issue with that. XO


Friday, October 17, 2014

Feelin' Frisky on a Friday!

Maybe it's the breezy weather, or that I just devoured Chipotle, or simply the fact that it's Friday, but I am feelin' frisky today. I may have woken up a little late this morning, and maybe things don't always work out the way I want them to, but today I feel like everything will fall into place. Maybe even sooner than I think. On that positive note, I'm really excited for a weekend of sale shopping at the outlet mall ("Very light sale shopping," whispers my credit card) and pumpkin carving! Happy weekend, my friends! XO

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Steps to Perfect Curls.

One question I get asked a lot whether I'm at work or posting rand-o pictures on Twitter is how I curl my hair. Lemme just's been a lawwwwng, long road of finding the perfect curling tool, and ya know, figuring out how to turn my wrists every which way without giving myself a third degree burn. The number of hair curlers/straighteners/crimpers (yes...crimpers) I've owned over the years is relatively embarrassing, but I've finally nailed a three step process that keeps my curls in tact for up to three days. 

Perfect Curls.

Step one: Remington ceramic pearl wand. I believe I have the 1.5 inch barrel, which I'm almost positive you can get on Amazon for less than $30. It comes with a little mitten to keep from burning your hand which, personally, I never use. I love that this one doesn't have a clamp, and with the pearl texture, it doesn't feel like it's scorching my hair off my head.

Step two: HAIRSPRAY. My hair is naturally pretty straight, and it falls really quickly if I don't add hairspray after each curl and as part of my finishing touches. I've had this one by Aussie for about a year now (I don't curl my hair super often), and the flexible hold is perfect.

Step three: I switch this part of the routine up sometimes, but this olive oil glossing cream from Fakkai is my favorite. It smells amazing. I just squeeze a little bit between my palms and run it through the ends after my finishing touch of hair spray. I think it adds a soft finish. I got mine from Birchbox, but it's also available at Target.

On my best days of using this process, my hair will turn out like this:

And this was on day 3! Happy curling, friends. XO


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I can't wait to:

  • Carve pumpkins this weekend with my handsome and a few friends. I didn't get to carve one last year, so I'm pretty pumped (ha, I'm pumped about pumpkins!). Maybe, by some stroke of luck, it'll be chilly outside, and we can sip hot apple cider. One can only hope.
  • Celebrate my sweet friend Sarah's bridal shower on Saturday. I love celebrating love, and I love giving gifts to friends who are about to begin their lives together. 
  • Put away all of my clean laundry that's currently residing in a heaping pile on top of my bed. Mmmm...maybe that can wait. Until tomorrow.
  • Figure out what to be for Halloween...and where to go...and what to do. Can we talk about how there's only 17 days left in October? 
  • See mom and dad sometime this week. Maybe I sound 12 years old, but I don't like to go more than a week without visiting my parents, my sausage-like poodle Micki, the horses, my kitties, and even our birds. Spending time at home is like hitting the reset button on any and all complicated feelings. I just sip on a cup of tea and they all slip away.
  • Hop in the car and road trip up to Savannah with Ryan! One month from today, we'll be en route to chilly weather, ghost tours, and the most adorable B&B. 
  • Watch my boyfriend play softball tonight. I haven't seen him play in awhile, and it always warms my little heart to see him run like a gazelle across the field (sorry not sorry, babe).

Sunday, October 12, 2014


October 12th, 2013, Ryan took me on our first date. 365 (okay now 366) days ago, I sat across the table from this shy guy with perfect cheek bones and kind eyes. He told me I had spinach in my teeth 30 minutes after he noticed, held my hand, and kissed me by the water. I knew in that moment that everything was about to change, and it did, in all the best ways. 

This morning I woke up to orchids and a chai tea latte from Starbucks. I returned the sweet favor and cooked us eggs and turkey bacon before getting ready for the lunch date he planned for us at Bella Brava, the same restaurant he took me to on our first date. We drank a bottle of Sauvignon blanc, ate eggplant parm and seafood pasta, and toasted to another 80 years of dates before walking along the same sea wall where we had our first kiss. 

Not to get cheesy/cheesier, but I will anyway: I really, really love this man. Thank you for making the last 365 days the best of my life - for making me a kinder and ultimately better person. I can only hope I fill your heart with as much joy as you fill mine. I love you, Fredsta! 



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Engagement season.

^ My roommate's engagement ring...isn't it a beaut?! 

Can we just talk about how everyone is getting engaged? Maybe not everyone, but I know five girls who have been proposed to in the last month alone, one of which happens to be my roommate. What a crazy, exciting, wonderful time!

When all your friends start to get engaged, it's only natural to look down at your left finger and think 'I could use something sparkly on here.' Of course you could. Who wouldn't love a diamond ring? Actually, my sister is the exception to this rule - she had an amber engagement ring...but I digress.

It's easy for the non-engaged to get caught up in the moment and think "I want a wedding! I want a ring! I want to say yes to the dress! I want all the things!" I catch myself doing it as well. During engagement season, there are a few things we girls in committed relationships without rings need to keep in mind:
  1. Remember that a wedding is merely a [super fun] party to celebrate the love shared between two people. Wanting to organize seating charts, send out invitations with perfect calligraphy, pick the perfect dress and create the perfect flower arrangement is not a reason to want to get engaged. 
  2. Remember that an engagement ring is also a mere symbol of the love shared between two people. Wanting pretty, sparkly things is not a reason to want to get engaged.
  3. Remember that getting engaged/getting married will not save a bad relationship. Once social media 'likes' start to dwindle, and the post-wedding thank you notes are mailed, married couples are a lot like not married couples...just with a lot of added responsibility. Marriage will not change a cheater, a liar, or someone who is just plain ol' mean. Wanting someone to change is not a reason to want to get engaged.
Let's get real. I have a wedding Pinterest board...we all have wedding Pinterest boards. It's exciting to think about 'One Day' and your future with your significant other. But it's equally as exciting to enjoy the dating phase of any relationship, and not to rush the big stuff that will eventually happen.

On that note...I am SO excited for all of the weddings I'll get to attend in 2015...keep 'em coming, guys :) XO


Monday, October 6, 2014

Better things ahead.

Like a good chunk of America, October is hands down one of my favorite months of the year. It promises cooler temperatures, the beginning of the holiday season, and new adventures. For me, it also marks the month I met my wonderful boyfriend and landed my first "big girl" job. In other words, it marks the month of big changes. 

The last year has been nothing short of incredible. It's been a year of growing up. I've gained a new circle of friends, knowledge of what some might call the "real world," and I've fallen in love, for what I truly believe will be the last time. 

While this year has been unpredictable in the best of ways, I'm the kind of person who is always thinking about the next step. Whether it's the next step in my relationship or the next step in my career, I like to be a step ahead of the game. I think about the future more often than not. And although it's important to live in the present, I think it's equally as important to look ahead...regardless of what's holding you back in the past. Because when times get tough, it's crucial to remember that there are better times ahead. 



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bare Necessities.

Since I'm always on the go, I've carried my make up in a sparkly purple bag for the last four years. When I first moved into my apartment, I really wanted to create a little vanity corner on my bathroom counter. I spent $25 on a cute little makeup holder with designated space for my lipsticks, brushes, palettes and liners. I promised myself that I would take time in the morning to do my make up so I wouldn't have to sit in the parking garage at work for 10 minutes "putting on my face."

LOL. That worked for like, two weeks.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a makeup fiend. And unfortunately for my wallet, I don't like to settle for cheap products. When I'm in a rush, these are forever my go-to's.

Bare Necessities.

  1. If you're not using primer, you're doing it wrong. I typically alternate between this one from Smashbox and a BB cream from CoverGirl. This photo finish primer will make your skin feel like velvet, and it blurs any imperfections. I splurged on the larger size for $50, but I bought it back in December and still have plenty left, so I think it's worth it. The Watts Up highlighter from Benefit works wonders, too. I wear it on my cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose.
  2. I was lucky enough to pick up the Naked Basics palette for free from work, and I have to say, I love it. I was hesitant about all of the matte colors (I like a little glimmer) but the colors look so natural, and paired with Urban Decay's eyeshadow primer, my eye makeup still looks perfectly in tact by 5 o'clock.
  3. Some people pick at their nails; I pick at my lips. Bad habit. I love having color on my lips, but a lot of lipsticks make them look dry. I picked up a four pack of these bad boys from Birchbox a couple of months ago, and this is my favorite color by far. A quick swipe and I look a little less like a zombie in the morning. A little less.
What are your staples in your beauty routine? I'm always on the lookout for new finds :) XO


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall fashion lovin'.

How many times have I mentioned that it will not feel like Fall in Florida until, like, January? Fifty times? Okay, great. Well just in case you haven't heard me say it, here we go: Fall is not a thing in Florida. There is summer, summer, summer, and then a cooler summer. Okay, I'm overexaggerating. When it gets cold here, it gets pretty damn chilly. Like upper twenties, but with no snow. It's no Chicago, but it isn't Turks and Caicos either.

One of my favorite things about Fall and the changing of the weather is getting to change up my style. I can't lie: I've had the same three sweaters and long sleeve tee's for several years now. Comfy? Perhaps. Outdated? 100%. I've been scouring Pinterest the last few weeks for some Fall outfit inspiration for my upcoming Savannah trip, and these looks have topped the charts:


When it comes to fashion, I tend to stick with neutral tones. No matter the season, you'll catch me in a lot of black, grays, and cream. Chunky sweaters are a big go-to for me, as is denim chambrays and a good scarf :) I know it won't be for awhile, but I cannot wait for the weather to cool off! XO


Monday, September 29, 2014

Everything in moderation.

I need to be better about updating this bad boy. Sorry about that.

Nearly five pounds down, I am 14 days into my 21 Day Fix, and I am feelin' good, feelin' great. This three week journey thus far has been a lot different than I've been expecting. I don't feel deprived. I don't feel run down. If anything, I feel in control. 

If I'm being honest, I haven't stuck to the meal plan 100% of the time. Some days I really didn't feel like drinking Shakeology. Last weekend I ordered fruity drinks at Carrabba's, Friday night I got take out from Daily Eats, and Sunday night I drank wine and had a few too many yogurt covered raisins. I cheated, and there were moments where I felt like just giving up altogether.

Here's the thing: I don't eat badly. I've lost weight in the past, and my diet hasn't changed much since then. I eat healthily. But I eat a lot. I'll either take huge portions the first time, or come back for seconds later. I'll allow myself chocolate and sweets and extra drinks just for the hell of it, to the point where it's not a 'cheat' - it's my way of life. 

What this program has taught me is that moderation truly is key. I hear it all the time, from everyone and let's get real, it gets annoying. While I've had a couple 'off the fix' drinks and treats, I've followed it up with healthy choices and appropriate portions every single day, and that's quite an accomplishment for me. 

What I'm trying to say is that weight loss, much like life in general, is a journey. Of course I have an ideal goal weight, or a certain way I'd like to look (come on abs, I know you're in there somewhere!), but I don't expect to get there in 21 days. One bad meal won't make you fat, just like one good meal won't make you skinny. It's a process, and the 21 Day Fix has kick started the adventure for me! XO

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