Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day Off

Today was my first day off in months. And by that I mean it was the first time I haven't had something to do, finish, pick up, somewhere to be, etc. in months. The boyfriend and I woke up naturally today, with no help from a screeching alarm. Then we went out for breakfast and (huge) coffees. Then we went to a few Amish stores and a greenhouse, where we dreamed of the landscaping we'll do to the new house. Then I dropped him off at work and drove back to relax at his parents farm.
As if that wasn't a good enough day already, I came home hoping to lay out by the pool. Unfortunately, the foreign exchange student my boyfriends family is hosting beat me to it. Luckily, his mother came home and invited me to lunch. We had a delicious meal, accompanied by homemade strawberry lemonade in a mason jar. Then we came home and went swimming and tanned for a few hours.
Which brings me here. I'm putting off a shower because I'm already burnt and SO, so hot and staying in my bathing suit just feels too good right now to ruin. Of course, I'll eventually have to shower before picking my boyfriend up because we're going out for dinner tonight... swanky and precious all at the same time, I know.
But while I'm cooling off, I feel like sharing some outdoor inspirations with you is a more production use of time. Being outside today got me in the mood to have bbqs or sit out on one of our three porches with a nice cold drink with my boyfriend after a nice, long day. I can. Not. Wait.

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This actually looks fairly simple to make... my poor boyfriend. ;)

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These look kinda heavy, but again, so simple to make. I would love these during a get together. Or whenever.

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This is a better angle of how to make something like this. 

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Weekly movie night? If it's gonna look like this- yes, please.

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Love the rocking chairs (my parents had some like these from Cracker Barrel!) and the swing. It looks so inviting- perfect place to read a book, or just be.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Next Stage

I finished my last college course on Friday. The statement itself is crazy, and hasn't even really hit me yet. I've been asked how it feels, and honestly, I don't know. Things have been so hectic since then that I haven't really had a chance to sit down and reflect. I don't even know if it has anything to do with time; I don't know that I'm ready to think about it. It's not necessarily scary, but it's different. An adjustment. That I will make in due time, I suppose. Right now, work has taken over the time that used to be dedicated to school. Maybe that's why it doesn't feel different yet. I kept thinking about what I would do with all this extra time and couldn't come up with a whole lot. I thought about my best friend and what she's been doing since she graduated (and the fact that I didn't really know made me sad). Maybe it doesn't feel different because I didn't go to graduation. I didn't really see the point in all the hoop-la if I wasn't officially done anyways (I had two more summer classes to go); it would have just irritated me. And it was going to be a huge hassle for everyone to get there, sit in a big arena just for two seconds of my name being read. Not worth it.
So here I am; a new college grad. I feel educated, and somewhat smarter. I feel older. More responsible. Overly joyed (and relieved) that it's all over. But more anxious to get on to the next stage of my life, with my amazing family, boyfriend and friends. And what that is, I do not know yet. But (we're all) excited to find out. :)

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Happy Week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Puppy!

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, and now that we're moving into a new house and sitting in this hotel room by myself all afternoon has made me realize how much I'm going to need a furry companion, I thought now would be the perfect time.
I've wanted a dog forever- no matter how much my life plans have changes, whether it be my education, the location of my dream house, my dream house itself, my career, etc, there has always been a dog (or two) included. But very few places have I been allowed to have one. Our new house only has one carpeted room, which just screams "I'm already puppy proofed!" to me. I know I won't get one right away- things will be too crazy trying to settle in and we'll both be working way too much to give the puppy the attention it needs. And we don't have the budget to get it a nice bed, toys to play with, food, and doctors bills should anything happen to the poor guy/gal. So in the meantime, I can plan and dream about what it will be like to have a ball of fur to cuddle and play with in our new house, and our new backyard!

If I could take the small thing with me to work and keep him/her on my lap all day, I SO would.

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Bath time!

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Nap time!

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Just wants to be held like a little baby!

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I would never get a dog like this, but it's my perfect kind- pudgy, and chill.

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I want a lab soooo bad! But no biting. No matter how cute it is. That's a weakness of mine- I can't discipline yet... I'll learn. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cooking, for...?

I know this post probably isn't a good idea, considering I'm about to talk about and share some pictures of food, and I'm already starving. But I love y'all too much not to. :)
Since I could reach the counter, I've been cooking, and my mom has been teaching me to. My brother and I were always very hands on in the kitchen, and that has carried over into our adult lives, thank goodness. Give me a recipe, and I can make you just about anything. I even have some of my staples memorized (including my guacamole, which I don't use measuring utensils for anymore). I haven't been able to cook for my boyfriend as much as I've wanted to lately with all of my supplies being in storage. But something today made me really want to start cooking again.
I've become a regular on the bus this week, which has been interesting, to say the least. The bus driver this morning was a talker and told me about how he spent his last few days off planting a garden, consisting of the following; 8 dozen tomato plants, 7 dozen zucchini plants, 8 dozen cucumber plants, some lettuce, some radishes, and some green onions. I assumed he sold them for extra income. When his wife asked what the h-e-double-hockey sticks he needed all those damn tomatoes for, he informed her that he had poor people on his bus to feed. I was shocked. his sweet old man, who probably could should have retired by now, is taking his days off to feed others. It was inspiring.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what all I can do with my free time since I won't be in school or have hours of homework to do, and now I have a better idea. Even if it's baking a few things for the people at work (some of which who work way to hard) or volunteering in a kitchen somewhere, there are definitely ways I plan on using my cooking skills for reasons other than feeding myself.
That being said, here are some food inspirations to get y'all in the mood. For piggin' out. Enjoy!

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I actually made 2 bags of these, but chocolate, for my best friend who lived in the dorms freshman year. These are great for a quick breakfast, or anytime.

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Co-workers and I have made dinners at work together and shared, which is one of my favorite perks of having a kitchen in the office. I planned on bringing stuff in pre-made or ready to heat up for the girls for lunches and dinners. Pasta dishes are so easy to make large amount of and just keep in a big pot for everyone.

Baked goods are always a hit and don't last long in my office. These look amazing- just the thing to lift somebody's spirits during a stressful day.

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Peanut and chocolate chips... 'nuff said.

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I really want a shirt that says this. Although, most know this about me already. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Done. Almost.

I know y'all (and I use the term loosely, because who are we kidding- not a whole lot of people really read this thing yet) are probably tired of hearing about my moving. And trust me, it feels never ending to us to. But in light of being almost done, I thought I'd share an insight.
It's been a loooooooong couple of months. With school, work, trying to find a place to live, we're pretty beat. My boyfriend has probably had about 8 hours of sleep- in the past week. I don't know how he's doing it. And with my... emotional tendancies, I know I haven't made it any easier for him. We've driven more miles back and forth to work, class, and taking Jeep loads of stuff and spent more gas money than we care to think about. It's a rough time to be starting out. But we're doing it.
Today is my last day in this one bedroom apartment. My first apartment. Usually I can't wait to move on and get out of the place I've convinced myself I hate. And don't get me wrong-I'm not going to miss the downtown traffic, the noisy neighbors and the break-ins, and I'm out of this world excited to be moving into a real house with my boyfriend, but I'm going to miss this place. I grew as a person, and we grew as a couple here. There are memories in this place that will last forever, that we'll laugh about years from now and have certainly learned from. I may not have appreciated all of it at the time, but I'm glad we starting out living together in such a small space. Like I've been told by friends and colleagues- it's best to live with someone first, before you marry them. That way you know what you're getting yourself into.
Today was also the last day of my first of two summer classes. And I did extremely well, which I didn't think I would with trying to move and cram homework into time around packing and trying to move everything out.
This road has been a long one; one that we didn't know we would both be able to stay on at times. But now that it's coming to an end and we've (almost) made it through this move, I know we can do anything. And I can't wait to see where the next road takes us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moving Week-Part... Aaaah!

So we planned on having everything minus an inflatable mattress and my laptop to do my schoolwork on left in the apartment yesterday. Didn't happen. We have a queen size mattress to haul 2 hours on top of the Jeep and apparently, the rain has decided to stay a while. And no one wants a soggy mattress. That would then sit in storage for at least a week. No one wants a soggy, really smelly mattress.
So we worked on getting everything else out after I got home from school yesterday and while he had the day off. We didn't finish getting back from our last trip until midnight. And my poor, hardworking boyfriend had to get up at 4:45 this morning and drive all the way back to that area just to go to work. And when he gets home from work this evening, we're making one of two more trips we have to make.
This week has been madness. How we haven't strangled each other is beyond me. (I'm kidding.) And how we acquired so much crap is also a mystery (no it's not-it's totally my doing).
But! We're almost done. That's what we keep telling ourselves every little step of the way- we're almost done, it'll be worth it, everything will settle down soon. And God willing, it will.
I've got quite a bit to catch up on today since I chose to do an alternate assignment instead of taking the class field trip to a casino 2 hours away. I figured I'd be more productive if I was at home, around the things that needed to be done, and not gambling. Good call, self.
And to keep y'all interested, here are some more pretty inspirations to look at. Have a beautiful day!

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 Love the butcher block top of the island. Love the island in general. I want one so bad.

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 This is a little extravagant, but I was drawn to the counter tops and lighting. Plus the neat fridge!

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 Love the chandelier here, which I know I've mentioned before. Diggin' the stainless steel appliances too.

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 LOVE this backsplash and the barn-inspired design on the island.

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 My mom and I saw this years ago on one of our gazillion favorite design shows and I've wanted to do it ever since. Maybe not a full wall but a portion. So ingenious and functional.

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This is way too girly for my boyfriend's style, but I really like the hardwood floors- those are pretty manly, right?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moving Week-Part 1

First off- I apologize for the lack of posts, again. I started my first summer class this week and have to be out of my apartment by Friday so things have been a little crazy around here. We are also waiting to hear a move in date. So really, we're moving twice because everything we're moving now is going into his parents storage-which we're so thankful for. Anyways, I thought I'd take a break in between packing and making dinner (so it's ready when my hard working boyfriend gets home from work tonight) to share some inspirations.
Moving this week has been an eye opener. We have So. Much. Crap. And while some of it has been accidentally thrown away (including my boyfriend's $60 pair of jeans-whoops.) and some has been broken in transit, we still have a nice foundation to decorate our new house, which is about 4 or 5 times the size of this one bedroom apartment. I'm sure once we get there, it'll seem like we don't have enough (that's what I'll be thinking anyways.) So in the spirit of getting ready to decorate and it being one of the few things getting me through this week, here are some of my inspirations.

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As you see, I'm gonna have lots of shopping/antiquing to do this summer!!! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Manis!

Now that my two management/cooking labs are over, I can finally paint my nails again! It was a sanitation hazard to have them painted and if they were painted, you had to wear smelly gloves for the whole five hours. Ew. Over winter break, my boyfriend's grandma got all of the girls nail polish sets from OPI and I found a new infatuation with having my nails painted. Then the spring semester started and I had to put it on hold. I'm so excited to get back to giving myself a manicure every (other) week, especially for work. Here are some inspirations!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

That's all.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in everything else going on around us that we forget about the people around us. Recently, I've been a little overwhelmed and have been taking my frustrations towards school and work and our living situations out on my boyfriend. I just wanted to take a minute, and remember what really matters. Always. Forever, and ever.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lovely Tresses

This week has been pretty casual as far as my hair goes. I haven't really done anything to it besides throw it in a ponytail to get it out of my face as I run to a final or clean the apartment. But I'm getting bored with this, and with work starting to pick up, I'd like some cuter up-dos to help keep my hair out of my way, while being more professional and less of a hot-mess. So I found some that I'm looking forward to trying these next couple of weeks!

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I love this twist to a traditional bun. If I could only figure out how to french braid my own hair...
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These bangs would probably get pinned back after about 2 or 3 hours minutes but it sure would be darling, much like Jess herself!
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Again, gotta learn how to french braid. Luckily, I've let my bangs grow out this semester so this 'do is actually do-able. Ha.
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I'm not even really sure how she did this one- I want to say it's a long, single braid just twisted into a bun. But it almost looks too good to be done that way. Guess I'll have to try it!
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I love this one. So pretty and simple. Love it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grown Up Wardrobe

Being that this week is finals week, I've had a little extra time to begin cleaning up, and out, the apartment. One of the millions things I've got to get done before moving is going through my clothes and getting rid of those that I don't or won't wear anymore. And I've realized that I need to update/mature my wardrobe a bit. (I think the fact that I'm calling it a "wardrobe" shows some hope, right?)
I was lucky enough to be able to wear the same clothes since high school- unfortunately, some of them look exactly like that- like I've had them since high school. And with my looking like I'm 16, I could use all the help I can get. While the clothes I've purchased lately (which hasn't been a whole lot since my budget is a bit tighter) have been much more grown up, about half of my closet is filled with things that I just don't wear anymore, or don't fit me anymore (sad face). So in the interest of not lugging them to our new house, I'm purging. Big time. But wait! Doesn't that warrant a few new purchases, to help fill the gap the old ones will leave?! I believe it does. And as soon as my wallet allows it, I'll "update" my wardrobe some more.
Here are some inspirations.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Success

Today, and throughout my college career, there have been times where it seems like I can't do anything right, get anywhere I want or need to be, or get done what I need to get done. I felt like even though I knew what I needed and wanted to do, I just couldn't do it, for whatever reason. No one would let me and my hard work in! It felt kinda like this-

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And it was extremely frustrating. Well, I had a meeting today with a professor (if you could even call her that) and I got that feeling again. I'll spare you the details, but it felt like this woman and her ridiculous... expectations, or theories? I don't know what you would call them really- could stand in my way of things like graduation, my self esteem staying at the levels it's been at, etc. But the more I thought about it, the less and less it bothered me. Which is rare (I tend to take things pretty personally and dwell on them for a while). Instead, I thought of all the wonderful things I've been able to accomplish in spite of this particular teacher and her need to make everyone in the class feel worthless. All of my other professors have had nothing but nice things and encouraging words for me throughout the semester. My co-workers are supportive. My boyfriend, best friend and family are my number one fans and support me through anything and everything.
I've done a lot of good things. I've had some slip ups and made mistakes, but learned from them. I've gone through 5 years of college and have come out the other side with a job, a place to live, and endless opportunities, which, sadly, is not something many of my peers can say. I have many talents that range from violin playing to cooking and sewing. So while some people seem to be set on putting you down, don't let them. Focus on what you have done, even the small things- I made dinner and cleaned the apartment today. Therefore, today was a success. If we take a step back and look at our lives this way, instead of letting those negative people around us (who are more than likely miserable with their own lives) bring us down, we can choose to be happy and successful.

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And today, I am successful.