Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things Grown-Ups Do: Be Prepared

Sandy has made her brief but destructive East Coast appearance and has now gone on her way.  When disasters strike, there's always a bit of panic involved in getting things together in case the worse happens.  I'm here to remind you to get things together now, so the panic isn't necessary!

First off, assemble an emergency kit.  It will take you less than an hour, and then you never have to think about it again.

  • Flashlights (that work!) - good idea to have at least one for every person living in your house
  • Battery powered radio
  • Batteries for both the above items (check what kinds they use!)
  • Candles and lighters
  • Extra blankets
  • Good stock of non-perishable food items + bottles of water
  • Emergency contact information, important phone numbers, insurance policies
Seems like an easy list, but somehow whenever bad weather is on the way, there always has to be a trip to the store for batteries, and we discover that our flashlights have disappeared.  Get a clear storage box, label it "emergency supplies," toss everything you may need in there, and then put it in a place that is easily accessible (because if the lights go out, you need to be able to reach it!).

Secondly:  insurance. 

We tend to get lazy with insurance because it's a hassle and it seems like something we will never need.  If we're lucky, that will most certainly be the case, but that's not something we can predict!  So, if you own a home, make it a point to get homeowner's insurance AND flood insurance (floods aren't covered in homeowner's insurance!).  If you rent, as silly and pointless as it seems, get renter's insurance.  There are tons of policies that are only $10-15 a month, and guess what?  They cover allllll of your belongings.  If anything you own is stolen (even if your laptop gets stolen from your car, for example), renter's insurance will cover that.  It's too important and too cheap to overlook!

Now that I've given you my public service announcement for today...I'm going to follow my own advice and make an emergency kit and get some insurance!  Do it, do it, do it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Sandy Time.

Today I've been preparing for ol' Sandy to pay us a visit here in Philly.
Valerie is also going to be hanging out with Sandy in NYC.

It could be an interesting couple of days. Or it could be a boring couple of days.
Weather men are wrong more times then they are right. That's a fact. Proven by me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Favorite Stuff: October

A few of our favorite things this month (or year)!
I'm not sure why I am making this my favorite this month, because it has been my favorite for about 2 years now, but I think it's about time I talked about this. (I recently put it in Valerie's get well box!) My mother-in-law opened my eyes to these incredible color catchers and they actually work! I seriously have saved numerous loads of laundry and clothes with these babies. Now I wouldn't suggest putting your sexy red panties in with your favorite white tee, but you can live a little with your colors and darks. It's amazing! At under $4 you too can have easy laundry days.

Last week I talked about my love for the cheese-tastic Dancing with the Stars, and this week I was provided with one of my favorite moments ever from the show:  when Carrie Ann Inaba fell out of her chair in a fit of overjoyed ecstasy.  She wasn't hurt at all, so that means we get to laugh at it!

Ah, this candle.  It's from Anthropologie (swooooooon) and it's probably way too pricey for a little ol' candle, but it smells so good and I've had my eye on it all month. My in-laws are big into Christmas lists, so I think this bad boy is going to make the cut!  Next time you are in Anthro, take a sniff and let me know what you think. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diesel: Girls Allowed

Did you guys know that the brand Diesel, which is typically known for it's hard core swanky boy watches, has both unisex watch line AND a female watch line too?!

Now, when I say unisex, I don't just mean they're all feminine watches with a smidgen bigger face than the other brands. I'm mean these watches literally swing both ways if ya know what I'm sayin...
I have the titanium one!

I wear it on the reg and get compliments on it nearly every time I wear it from both genders!
I lurrrrv it :)

Well, my birthday was last week and a friend sent me a surprise birthday gift in the mail!
What could it be??

Behold, my second Diesel watch! This one is definitely from the female line and I pretty much have fallen in love all over again!

Isn't she a beaut :) 

What are your guys thoughts on big watches for women?! 
Like them? Hate them? Never seen them? Too manly? Too butch? Too hot to handle?
Please feel free to write your true thoughts! 

I'm down to hear some opposite sides of the spectrum too because these bad boys are, in fact, pretty intense for the female wrist and I enjoy hearing all the different perceptions on them. That's what makes personal style so much fun; all the uniqueness :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beautiful Advice About Loving Your Body

I recently discovered that Amy Poehler has a channel on YouTube called "Smart Girls" that celebrates girls around the world who are accomplishing wonderful things by being themselves.  It's geared toward young girls, and I actually wish I could go back to my 13-year-old self and watch some of these videos and be inspired.  If you have a younger sister/daughter/friend, send them here!

Amy Poehler just jumped up a few notches in my book, though she was already pretty high on my list of favorites.  In response to a young girl's question about being unhappy with her body, Amy gives this thoughtful answer that I think every woman should hear, because body issues can plague women at any age and at any stage in life.  As I struggle with my body right now while recovering from surgery, wishing I could heal faster, hoping my body will be able to once again do what it could before all of my back problems, these words are encouraging, uplifting, and universal.

Let's not forget to be grateful to our bodies, and focus on what they enable us to do, rather than what we dislike about them.  And let's pass this on to the next generation of girls as well!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Are they together? Are they not?!

Jef and Emily were photographed hanging out, still in love (my own interpretation), after their official "we're not together anymore" announcement to People. 

I can't take the games, you two.
We are still rooting for you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I have a twin!

I don't normally get into politics or anything related to it. I don't really understand anything about it, but I did just spend the weekend in D.C. so I'm feeling American. But instead of talking politics I'll just share a picture with you.

My friend posted this photo on my Facebook wall, it is originally from Barak Obama's Facebook page.

Did you have to do a double take to make sure that wasn't me chillin with Obama talking on the phone. Yeah me too.

This is my doppelganger, my very liberal, politically informed doppelganger. 
I want to know her.

Friday, October 19, 2012

TV Stuff: Fall Shows We're Excited About

Leaves changing colors, the holidays approaching, everything pumpkin, and TELEVISION.  These are a few of our favorite things about fall!

I have to go with Nashville -- for the country girl deep down inside, the big love for Connie Britton, and the pure enjoyment of a diva throw down.

This is such a hard decision! Fall TV is what I look forward to the most! I could pick all of the funnies out there right now and I wouldn't be lying but I think what I'm most excited about is The CW, particularly Gossip Girl and 90210 (along with others). I have been watching these shows since college, and they are still going strong. Well, not that strong, but they are still on the air for one more season so good job! I love the fashion and the ridiculous unbelievable story lines, I love that I never remember what happened the previous episode, and I love feeling like I watched these crazy kids grow up. The CW sure knows how to make magic....

As Heidi said, this was tough! I love Fall TV too. Probably more this year than ever before... I could literally write about so many show I'm stoked for; Vampire Diaries (I love the CW too Heidi!), Hart of Dixie, Revenge, Nashville, Sons of Anarchy, Switched at Birth, The Office, Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead, Duck Dynasty, X- Factor, Downton Abbey (, you da bomb!) and truly the list could go on forever and a day. HOWEVER, life just really seems to get in the way of any and all TV watching. Between school in the mornings, work in afternoon/evenings, then studying, cooking, working out, showering (let's be honest, doesn't happen much either)... my TV time is quite miniscule. It's really sad... However, in my heart and mind I know I will watch them all eventually.  Someday, someday...

My favorite for the fall has already been on for 4 weeks:  DANCING WITH THE STARS.  I love this show so much I wish it was on every night of the week.  My dream in life is to reach the minimum level of fame possible to be on this show.  I don't know how I'm going to achieve that, but...just you wait.

What do you have your DVR set for?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Only Mess I Can Handle

As I've mentioned before, I'm a neat freak who married a slob (is there a nicer way to put that?).  I'm also a neat freak who has spent the past week laying in bed recovering from my back surgery and the fact of the matter is that with me unable to do anything around the house, it's easy for it to very quickly get to a bad state.

I'm pretty much relegated to the bedroom right now, and honestly, I'm surrounded by a super mess.  Stuff is spread out all over, things are piling up, there's an empty Cheeto bag on the nightstand.  But for some reason, it's not really getting to me.  As I looked around the room today, I realized that I think that's because though there is a mess, it's a lovely one.  It's the loveliest mess I've ever seen, because everywhere I look in this room, I feel love and support and memories from family and friends and everyone I love.

(1) PJ pants I bought on a trip to see my favorite college friends.
(2) My laptop, which has All of the Stuff up on it, this blog that I am so excited to share with Kendra, Heidi, and Sam everyday!
(3) Flowers from my parents and siblings.
(4) A TV from my grandparents.
(5) My husband's biking clothes, which are kinda stinky, but are a great reminder of something he loves to do.
(6) Magazines brought over by sweet friends.
(7) Crosswords sent by my thoughtful cousins.
(8) My phone I've received a million "thinking of you" texts on.
(9) A tapestry my husband brought back from Bonnaroo, a yearly tradition (both him going AND him bringing me back a tapestry)

I feel a lot of things laying on this bed in this room - among them, boredom, restlessness, and discomfort - but I also feel a whole lot of love.  Laying here it's easy to see that love really is all around, even in (and perhaps especially in) the mess.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

crock pot chicken!

It's no secret that I love the Skinnytaste website for recipes. They are fairly simple recipes with pictures, and I enjoy feeling like I ate sort of ate healthy. This time we busted out the crock pot for this simple delicious meal.

There are a ton of varieties of this dish, so really I'm not sure how original it is, but it's quick, easy, makes tons of leftovers and perfect for a chilly fall night. We ate over rice, but then doubled it up and did rice in a tortilla with our leftovers! We also added some more spices because my husband loves his spice!
Please ignore my just showered look.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I want to be a crazy lady too.

I was taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood with my pup, Zia, the other day when I see a small sedan flying around the corner and then abruptly stop on the side of the street.  A woman inside, late 50s, petite, bounded out of the car, door left open, and started dancing wildly.

I was obviously staring, how could you not?  So she yells to me from across the street "I just needed a moment, and I haven't heard this song in years. I love this song!"

First reaction: whoa, crazy.
Second reaction: I want to be just like her.

I want to be the woman who finds joy in the simple things. 
I want to be the woman who shares her excitement with strangers.
I want to be the woman who stops to dance in the street.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Man Down, Man Down!

We originally had the usual Friday group post planned for today, but one of our comrades is down for the count. So instead, we decided a well wishes post was more appropriate!

For the past two{ish} years, Valerie was fighting major back problems. However, yesterday, she had surgery that's going to fix her right up and this back business will be done for good.  So, after a speedy recovery, she can get back to her...

elvis impersonating,
stair jumping,
party-rockin', self!
Get well soon Val.
All our love :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Letting It Go

I tend to over-analyze a situation past the point of real reasoning.  Please tell me other people do this too (actually no, I don't wish that on anyone!). It gets pretty far-fetched, trust me.  But when my feelers are hurt by a situation, I take it hard.  Even when I look back and realize it really wasn't that big of a deal.  In the moment, it still hurts, right?

So, I needed this simple reminder to let things go today.
If for no other reason than what I was worrying over was getting just plain heavy.

Maybe you needed this little reminder too :)

(photo via Rocketrictic)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Remember the days when sitting inside of a truck pretending to drive (or look at your self in the mirror) was entertaining. 

I love how innocent and sweet children are.

Here's to being more childlike.

*picture via me

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where To?

Chicago, DC, St. Louis, Disney World, Mount Rushmore, Seattle
My parents did a wonderful job making sure the travel bug bit me, and bit me hard.  Ever since I can remember, we took a family vacation every year.  And it was always a big one:  at least a week long, to a different state, taking being tourists to an entirely new level (our family trip itineraries are a sight to behold).  We've been to the East Coast and the West Coast.  I've put my feet in both the oceans.  We've seen historical sites and national parks and ridden a million roller coasters.  We've traveled by car, plane, train (for real - an overnight one to Chicago), go-cart, alpine slide, subway, and tram.  I've been to over 30 states, and I have my parents to thank for that.

Not only are those trips some of the greatest memories of my life, they've also made me appreciate so much that my parents made traveling a priority.  We never missed a vacation for 18 years straight.

Next year will be for the first time ever in life that neither Scott and I will be in school (which is kinda weird to think about!), and I would love to start doing the very same thing:  put aside a fixed amount of money every month, all year long, so that every year when vacation time comes around, you can go without a second thought!

I've got about 20 states to go before I've hit all 50 (Hawaii and Alaska, you elusive things!), so I would love to hit up some of those...along with about a million places overseas.  If you could leave for a vacation tomorrow, where would you go?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Single Girl Swag: COMPARE

So many times I find myself playing COMPARE. You know what game that is, right? Sure you do. The one where you look at everyone/everything around you and begin measure your strengthens versus theirs, your flaws versus theirs, how much money they have, your body, your hair, your clothes, your intelligence, your good deeds, your work ethic, your efforts, or maybe even, your blogging... GASP.

I hate when I find that I'm comparing myself to my friends or others around me. Actually, I feel like this is a trait most women possess.. Which is so heartbreaking.We are all so wonderful in our own ways, yet the enemy does whatever he can to make us feel as little as possible; which in turn leads to such ugly, sinful emotions like greed and jealousy.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.-- Psalm 139:13-15
This past weekend, I was out with friends and as I was sitting next to one of the girls that was with me, a boy comes up to her and openly gushes on and on about insanely gorgeous she is. No lie, homeboy straight up walks up to us and starts telling my friend how absolutely stunning and beautiful and perfect and breathtaking she is. As I'm sitting elbow to elbow with her, I immediately become extremely uncomfortable. I truly don't care to hear how model-esque my friend is, especially as I spent a good 1.5 hours getting ready tonight and wore my ballin' red pumps...

The more I reflect on it though, the more I'm just so frustrated with the whole thing. Not because the stranger didn't find me gorgeous, but because I do not want to be that kind of a person! A jealous person, an envious person, a self-pity person. It's so ridiculous!

Why can't I be happy for my friend? Why can't I appreciate one of God's creations and know that I am just as equally loved and appreciated by our Heavenly Father? Why can't I realize that I will be that stunning to my future husband one day? Why do I care what complete strangers think of me?!

I've realized the only way I can overcome this terrible habit of comparing, is by diving into the Word and prayer. Unfortunately, I'm flesh and born into sin; we all are. And I'm female so I'm convinced I will always possess a comparing gene somewhere in my DNA. No, not an excuse but also something that is real and that I will have to work to control every single day.  However, it doesn't have to control me. It doesn't have to overrule my heart and my thoughts to the point of pain and suffering like it did on Saturday night.
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Proverbs 31: 30
So I encourage anyone that ever struggles with this like I do, to take deep breaths and say a little prayer to the good Lord above and ask that you can see yourself through His eyes; because that is true beauty and the absolute definition of love and admiration.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Music Stuff: Favorite Movie Soundtrack

So, my favorite soundtrack doesn't fall under just one movie, but a series of movies... THE TWILIGHT SERIES THAT IS. I can't even pretend to be ashamed because these soundtracks are just that good! I know, I know... but really guys, before you stop reading, give these bad boys a go.  I truly can't decide which one I love more out of the 4 options. It all depends on the day and what kind of a mood I'm in, but for the sake of the post I will say that New Moon was my favorite. I genuinely listen to every song on the album! Not just a select few :) I'm glad my love for the soundtracks hasn't faded at all, which I sadly cannot say about the books or movies.


I debated picking one of my favorite artsy/indie movie soundtracks but then I decided I wasn't being honest with myself or with you all.  So here it goes, High School Musical, 1, 2, and 3. I love them all. Does it count that it's a musical and the first movie wasn't even on the big screen? Whatever, HSM is by far the best soundtrack out there. Is it possible to not start dancing around your room every time you hear any of their greatest hits? I couldn't pick my favorite song but "Can I Have This Dance" really brings it home for me, I posted the extended scene so you can relive the love for yourself.

Remember that obsession with Zach Braff that I mentioned awhile back?  Well, it mostly stemmed from this movie, Garden State, and the fact that he picked out all of the music himself was a cherry on top.  Seriously, love this guy (though now that I follow him on Facebook, I find he cusses a whole bunch and is mildly inappropriate, but I try not to think about that).  Above is my favorite song from the soundtrack, Let Go by Imogen Heap (also known as Frou Frou).  Enjoy!
Love Actually, if not my true favorite movie, is at the very least the movie I have watched the most times.  Probably upwards of 20.  It's just complete and total perfection.  And the soundtrack totally is too!  It starts with a Kelly Clarkson song and ends with Christmas music <-- #winning.  The clip above is a perfect showcase of two of the other songs on the soundtrack as well.  First is the instrumental one, which is called "Love Actually Theme" on the soundtrack, and it will make you feel all the feelings.  Then when he walks outside, and Dido's "Here with Me" starts playing, and he zips up his sweater at the exact moment that the music gets epic...IT SLAYS ME.