It’s been a long time…

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Hello there. You look nice. Is that a new hairdo? Okay, enough jokes, but seriously it’s been awhile since I’ve been on this blog. Let’s just say a lot has been happening.

#1. Moved into a new place: bigger, better, and a fresh new start.

#2. Boyfriend moved into said place: Yep.

#3. Promotion at work: YAY! But at the same time, a lot less time on my hands for this blog. Hence the absence.

#4. My mom has/had cancer. Found out six months ago while in Chicago. She just had her last chemo this past week, opening up some time for myself.

That being said…here are the things that are inspiring me to start this bad boy up again.

#1. My boyfriend and I cook. A lot. We’re both vegetarians, and he works in food service, so some of the stuff we come up with is quite delicious and pretty. So pictures to come.

#2. I’ve been having body issues lately. With a new medication I’m on plus being happy in a loving relationship (terrible excuse, but you get what I mean: going out to eat, eating desserts, and more desserts…#dontjudge), I’ve gained almost 50 pounds in 1.5 years. Since I’m 6 feet tall it isn’t super noticeable to people, but to me it is. When jeans don’t fit anymore and coats are too snug, you know something has changed. I have a yearly physical through work in 100 days, so I thought that would be a great goal and a good way to keep myself on the being-healthy kick, I can post on here every once in awhile my progress and such. Ideas?

Anyway, I basically wanted to say hey, catch up over a cup of tea, and vent on here some things that have been going on. How have you been?

 

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Bedroom Inspiration: Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”

PicMonkey CollageaGeometric shapes, gold tones and nothing too similiar: I think that’s what makes all the items in my bedroom go together. It wasn’t an easy journey- in fact it took me one year in my new apartment to get it right. Continue reading “Bedroom Inspiration: Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss””

THRIFTY WEEKEND- THE PERFECT MIRROR

You will not believe the most amazing thing I found thrifting with my sister this weekend! One of my favorite thrift stores in my area was having a 30% off everything sale, and of course I took advantage of this.

I’ve been in the market for a full-length mirror but nothing really stood out to me online or in stores…and then I saw “the one” while I was standing in the checkout line. The most perfect mirror I had ever seen. And not just one mirror but TWO hinged together with gold trim. Perfection. I had to have it, even if it didn’t fit in my car I would have walked it home (thankfully it did fit).

Here are some pictures in all its glory (and of course my cat, Myrtle looking elegant and photogenic):

PicMonkey Collage1Did you catch the mirror-ception? Mirrors are so fun. 🙂

Also, pardon the mess in the background of the photos- I’ve been swamped with work and getting a lot more kids to teach music lessons to for the summer, so I haven’t had much time to tidy up (I’m usually super organized, I swear!). But I just really wanted to share this mirror with you guys!

Total cost: $40.00

I love a good bargain.

Also, fun fact: mirrors always remind me of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode involving Sabrina getting trapped in her bad mood. Click on the picture below to watch the episode (what a blast from the past, eh?)

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If you aren’t already, please follow my on all my social media-ness to keep up with what I’m doing!

Instagram & Twitter

Have a lovely day! And remember: hair grows! (Sabrina reference…okay I’ll stop now)

OATMEAL SMOOTHIES: MY BREAKFAST SOLUTION

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Anyone terrible at remembering to grab breakfast before you rush out the door? Well I seem to have found a great, homemade solution- and you make it the night before!

It seriously tastes delicious, is good for you, and helps tide you over until lunchtime. I got the Oster blender for my birthday and it really works great- I can use the same container I mix my smoothie in and take it with me on the go!

Here’s my new toy:

IMG_3380It came with two bottles, two caps and one blade that fits on both containers. I was hoping the blade lid would fit on a mason jar, but it’s just BARELY too big. Oh well. You can order more bottles online in different colors, which I might do just so I can make smoothies for the week ahead and store them in the fridge.

First thing you’ll want to do is blend up the oat/chia/flax mixture until it’s very similar texture to flour. Then add the liquids: I opted for 1/2 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of cranberry juice. After this step I think it’s best to put a lid on the container and hand shake the liquid so it starts mixing with the oat mixture, that way it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container. Then add your yogurt, fruits, and anything else you want and blend away! The smoothie I made this time around has 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup of raspberries but any fruits amounting to 1 cup would work.

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And here’s the recipe! It’s very flexible, so feel free to add/subtract/substitute anything to your liking:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked oats (old fashioned rolled oats recommended; do not use steel cut oats)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds/flax seeds
  •  1 cup liquid (mixture of milk, almond milk, and juice- whatever you have/prefer)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (greek or lowfat)
  • 1 cup of any combination of fruit/berries (frozen or fresh)

Make sure and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours, so oats & chias can soften. It wiill keep in refrigerator 2-3 days. Shake before drinking.

IMG_3389And here’s the rough nutritional facts: super good for you, and a great start to your day!

CaptureHave a wonderful Monday!

SISTER SUNDAY- TRAIL DISCOVERY

I spent my Sunday exploring some local trails in the area with my sister. I didn’t have my Canon with me, but I had to snap a few pictures to show you guys. It was such a serene place. Great for deep conversation and internal reflecting.

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Moral of this blogpost- take a walk. You never know what you’ll discover. I hope you had a great weekend!

CAFFEINE NO MORE

 

I know for most of you readers I’m sure this seems crazy- but hear me out.

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I recently went to the doctor for a check up and she told me that I should cut down on my caffeine to help with anxiety and not getting enough sleep. I know I didn’t drink THAT much caffeine per day, but growing up I feel like we drank caffeine-filled drinks more than water. So I’m sure my body has some sort of addiction to it. It’s been almost a month now and I’m definitely feeling better- but it was quite the experience to quit it cold turkey. Making coffee in the morning was in my routine, so I knew I couldn’t stop making it. There’s something satisfying about having a warm drink with my delicious peppermint creamer- it’s the best way for me to wake up. So right after my appointment I rushed to the grocery store and bought some decaf coffee. I’ve been drinking that every morning and I like it so far- it seems to do the trick.

As for my occasional soda here and there, it hasn’t been easy to not stop at a convenience store and get a fountain drink or to grab a can of soda out of the staff fridge. It’s been super hard driving past a Starbucks, knowing I can’t have espresso anymore. But all in all I feel like it has helped my body settle down and create its own energy instead of phoning it in with caffeine. Not going to lie, the first few days I felt super tired, but for someone who usually stays up until 3am every night, I think it’s been a good thing. I still go to bed at midnight or a bit later, but I do think I am getting to sleep sooner, feeling tired more, and getting more quality sleep. So, my advice for you if you’re wanting to go down this road:

1. If you have to have your morning coffee- decaf will suffice.

2. DRINK LOTS OF WATER- if you cut out your liquids with caffeine in them, you need to replace that amount with water. Keep hydrated!

3. Try teas or other caffeine-free drinks: now I’m quite picky about my teas, but I’m definitely more open to trying them out. Why not?

4. Get your sleep on! Don’t forget to sleep- in fact you’ll probably be tired and have headaches, so the best way to get through them is to sleep as much as you can. You’d be amazed how much better your body functions with more sleep and less caffeine keeping it awake!

Any of you taken the “no caffeine” plunge? Thought about it? I’d love to hear your stories!

MY SISTER’S ART SHOW

My sister had one of her art pieces up on display at her school along with other pieces made by students at the college she’s attending. I was so excited to see what she made as well as see what else this show had to offer. It was a lot of fun- especially since every hallway you went down was a different medium: photography, design, print-making, jewelry/metal arts, among others. Here are a few pictures of things that really caught my eye as well as the piece my sister made. I hope you enjoy!

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And here is the piece my sister made- I’m so proud of her!

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IMG_2979If you’re interested in more of my sister’s work, here is her Etsy shop where she makes origami cranes and hand-stitched journals. She’s working on her own personal website at the moment, and when that is available I will link it here as well- she has done a lot of really awesome things!

As always, I hope you are having an excellent day!

TARGET IS EVIL HAUL

Okay, maybe the title of this post is a bit harsh, but you know what I mean don’t you? You go into Target with one item you need in mind, and you end up accidentally finding the clearance sections. Before you know it you have a cart full of stuff you weren’t planning to purchase. This exact scenario happened to me last night, and I’m going to tell you about it if you don’t mind.

1346707921506_1123696I didn’t find any cardigans this time around since it’s becoming spring and all the colors that are “in” right now are pastels and highlighter colors. I must say, I’m not a fan. I didn’t even look at the clothes this time. I went straight for housewares first, and the things I found were 50% off and really great pieces for my apartment.

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Gold Glass Jewelry tray: I’ve been looking for a piece like this for awhile to put on my makeup desk. It’s perfect to put my watch, rings, and any other odds and ends that I take off at the end of the day. I was worried it might be too light, but with the darker wood of my desk it pops really well.

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Gold Glass Jewelry Box: I thought this jewelry box was a nice compliment to the jewelry tray I got- similar in color but different in pattern. Perfect place to hide away jewelry I don’t wear everyday to keep my desk from getting cluttered.

I then glanced at the jewelry before heading to the wallets/purses section. My wallet has been near-retired for the past month or so, and I’m super picky when it comes to wallets so I tend to check what stores have to offer every time I go. I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to keep the two wallets I purchased, but I loved that they were both 50% off and one is more dressy while the other is casual. Here they are!

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Mossimo Bird Print Wallet:  This would be my more everyday wallet and I liked the colors and print on this one. It’s a bit smaller than my current wallet, but I also think my wallet could use some downsizing. I’ll give it a test drive and see what I think this week. I’m also not sure about how it opens- I’m worried things will fall out if I don’t snap it shut. But I like  that it’s cloth and the colors would match any bag or purse I put it in.

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Merona Wallet with Removable Wrist Strap: This wallet is a bit more dressy, and I’ve been looking for something with a wrist strap option for going out. I’m not sure about the compartment for my phone, though. But I guess if I am out and about with just my wallet, it would be nice to have my phone and wallet all together. I love the gold detail on this wallet, and the border detail on the outside.  Excited to try this one out!

All in all, a successful Target run, as usual.

Question of the day: What has been your best bargain at Target? Anything to brag about?

Have a wonderful day!

 

JUST ANOTHER MYRTLE MONDAY- HAPPINESS

Rain, rain- I guess you’re necessary. But it makes for quite the dark and dreary day. I had the afternoon off today and my cat Myrtle was looking too adorable not to snap a few pictures of her. She is so photogenic- jealous.

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I guess it is true that April showers bring May flowers- we’re not even into May yet and a few petals are showing their colors! I just hope we don’t get one more freeze that kills them all off- gotta love Iowa’s unpredictable weather.

I have decided to quit one of my three (yes, three) part-time jobs. It’s becoming WAY too difficult to juggle them all, plus rehearsals some evenings and trying to keep this blog afloat. It’s the job I least care about that was supposed to be temporary anyway- but I am having a hard time actually sending the “it’s not you, it’s me” email to my supervisor. I’ve never had to quit a job without having a legitimate excuse like moving away or finding something better. But I’m trying to realize that personal happiness is as good of an excuse as any of those. My well-being is just as important and this job is just not making me happy.

It’s time to focus on me- which I’ll admit I’m terrible at. How about you?

MY EMPTIES FROM FEBRUARY

I know this post is a bit late, but here are the products I literally used to the bitter end- and what I thought of them!

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Bath & Body Works Apple Ale Candle: One of the best smelling candles for the fall/winter season. Immediately smells of apples and cinnamon, and warms you up instantly. Would buy again (once it’s the season for this candle). One thing I don’t like about Bath & Body Works- they get you hooked on a seasonal scent and then make you wait a whole year (or never) for them to come out again. What I’ve learned- buy them all so you can have it all year. My favorite scents lately have been Blackberry Spice, Champagne Toast, and an old favorite Eucalyptus Spearmint.

Coffee-Mate Peppermint Mocha Creamer: I am seriously addicted to this stuff. I put it in my morning coffee religiously, and thankfully they have started selling it all year around instead of just around Christmas- minty things are not just for Christmas time! I can’t live without a bottle of this in my fridge.

Davines No 5 Mat Pliable Stucco for Wizards: I know I’ve talked about this product a couple times before, but I just can’t get enough of it. Perfect to hold (especially shorter hair) in place and has some give and take for moving it around throughout the day- not hard and crunchy but flexible and natural. Already bought another bottle to replace this one. Yum.

E.L.F. – Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter: Honestly think I took this from my sister when I stayed with her for a few weeks. I never used the highlighter side, but I used up the concealer side. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite concealer, but it did the job for the most part and only retails for about $3. I find that other concealers have more covering power, but if you’re having a good skin day, it will cover up minor things. Probably won’t buy this again.

Secret Clinical Strength Solid Lavender Deodorant: I’m going to be honest- when it’s warm outside, I sweat. Everybody sweats. I find that regular deodorant doesn’t really do the job, and I so far have really liked this product. I think I’ll probably try out another brand of clinical strength deodorant for a comparison, but if by the end of that stick I like the Secret brand better, I’ll probably make it a constant in my routine.

Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush SECRET CRUSH Water Fruits & Lily Lotion: I’m a big lotion person- especially in the winter when my skin craves moisture 24/7. I go into Victoria’s Secret about once a year when they have their huge panties sale. As I was checking out, I noticed they were having a 75% off sale on all of their beauty products. I ended up leaving with much more than I expected, but the scents on their lotions are quite lovely. I’m sad to see this one end, but I can always buy more when they have the sale again. It’s sweet, but not overpowering- and very clean. Give it a sniff sometime.

Avon Glimmersticks Eye Liner in Blackest Black: Not sure how this came into my possession (might have been given to me) but it was good while it lasted. It didn’t last as long as I expected it to, but I liked how it applied to my eyes and I would use it again- although I am currently loving the eye liner I’m using now.

 

Any products you’ve loved to death recently?