Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sad Shower

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten in the shower and daydreamed about being in a completely different looking, and feeling, space. Our bathroom, like the majority of this house, was recently redone by the previous owners (who used the space as a vacation home). But the do-it-yourselfers cut corners, especially in the bathroom. It was fine for their time frame and probably this area, but the boyfriend and I constantly dream of bigger and better things.
We were able to paint our formally lavender bathroom a nice, warm tan and replaced the fixtures with a darker finish. This instantly made an impact, but the plastic liner shower with barely functional sliding glass doors is getting old. Lately, like we don't have a million other projects on our plate, we've been discussing ripping out the plastic liner and installing tile instead. This is obviously a huge project and not something we could tackle anytime soon. But it's nice to have a plan and ideas to increase the resale/rental value, which is ultimately what we've decided we're here for.
So I'll share my shower inspirations (I won't say "bathroom" because I have a a few other improvements planned for that entire space that I'll have to share another time).

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Love the colors. Exactly what we're going for. You'll notice that there's a tub- something that we currently don't have. I'm thinking about putting one in, in case a potential renter has small ones that still need a tub.

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This is more along the lines of what we currently have, only instead of gorgeous tile, there's a dinky plastic liner. Tile and the absence of a tub is definitely more sophisticated; might be easier in the end, too.

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Again, love the tile, love the accent around the top, and there's a tub. Something to think about.

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I know this isn't a shower, but it's such a beautiful bathroom and represents the feeling of the shower that I'm looking for. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bedroom layout

While relaxing after two days of painting, I came across a possible bedroom layout. As I've mentioned before, our bedroom right now consists of two matching nightstands (that I plan on painting a gray), a bed and box spring on the floor, a rack full of clothes, a dresser and a couple boxes full of more clothes, blankets, etc. That's it. We are getting closets in the next two weeks in all of the upstairs rooms. Once that happens, we can paint. And once that's taken care of, we can furnish! The bedroom is my first priority. Then the guest room and the office. I knew I wanted some kind of seating area since we have quite a bit of space in front of the bed and right in front of a huge window. I finally figured out what to do when I saw this picture. I was so excited I had to share.

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And that's all I have. Back to browsing!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas

I'm going to keep it simple and share some of my favorite things during this time of year.

Snow
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Decorations
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 Warm clothes
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 The Classics
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And of course, getting to celebrate with family and friends and remembering what this season is all about.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Outfits

So Christmas is coming. Really fast. Yikes! Luckily, experience has taught me to be prepared for multiple celebrations. With my family and his family, there are always at least two functions to dress for. I was fairly prepared for Thanksgiving, except when the unseasonably warm weather surprised everyone so my favorite outfit which consisted of a warm turtleneck sweater was almost all for not. But I wore it anyways.
This Christmas, we're not dealing with finals, driving back and forth from school and a one bedroom apartment/ parents houses, etc. So I'm uber-prepared. And really looking forward to spending time with our families and enjoying the holidays this year. We certainly have a lot to celebrate.
Here are my three options. A trip to Charlotte Russe (including online shopping, which is my new favorite thing-no lines, no stupid people, and my indecisiveness isn't a huge issue) pretty much fulfilled my needs for my winter wardrobe. I not only can't wait to put some of these outfits together, I hope I get to wear all three. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keep Reading.

My mom sent me this link the other night with the following advice:
"Keep reading. Especially the classics. 
It's important that you re-read them at different ages 
because your dreams will be more in focus and will expand."
Such a smart lady. I recently depleted my stash of books and haven't read a good book in a long time. So I'm planning a trip to the local library this week. I'm not sure how much luck I'll have in this town, but in PA, your library card is also accepted at other PA libraries. So I've got options. I'm so ready to have something to lose myself in, especially right before bedtime. I always sleep better and have somewhat better dreams after reading a good book. Can't beat it. This quote beautifully represents reading. (The tumblr it's from is really neat too.)

In reality, she has been everywhere

Her mind wanders around, always. Whenever she watches a movie or reads a book, the characters come alive in her head and they live there forever after. Whenever she sees a photograph of a beautiful place somewhere on this earth or not, she lives there for a substantial amount of time in her mind. Sometimes these places are energetic, filled with interesting people from all walks of life and full of adventures. She lived in London, Tokyo, New York City even, and Paris. Sometimes, however, they are peaceful, quiet, tranquil, like Rome’s St Peter’s square at night, or the lake of Geneva in the early dawn. The top of the Alps, a small island in the Atlantic. She moves from one place to the other in just a split second, with a look at a photograph. I wonder where she lives these days. Her body is seated in the park under a tree, her mind might be living in a tiny, dirty apartment somewhere in Moscow with all the characters from Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. I would love to come over for dinner sometime, stranger.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Healthy eating, and shopping

In addition to keeping up with my daily workouts, I'm also making an effort to eat better. A lot better. Having my gallbladder removed last summer should have been quite the wake up call, but while I don't eat nearly as much fried food, I still have some room for improvement. For example, we had Mexican for dinner tonight. While it was nice to get out of the house and out together, our meals were less than healthy (and frickin delicious). However, we don't eat like this all the time. With the small changes I've been making, meals like this (in moderation) won't knock me off track too much.

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I've been able to find a lot of inspiration on the web and wanted to share it with y'all. With New Year's resolutions coming up, these might help... or light a fire under some bums to actually make some changes.

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This yummy looking smoothie was invented by a nutrition and lifestyle coach, who has her own blog with more recipes, etc. It claims to give you a "glow" after two weeks of drinking daily. I made my own version the other morning and while I need some variety in my morning routine, it was pretty dang good. And filling! Which is great, since portion control is something I'm also working on. I don't know if I could make myself drink it every single morning, but it's certainly a nice alternative to a chalky diet shake.

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In keeping with the theme of breakfast, I've learned that fruits and vegetables are a great snack, can easily make a whole meal, or become a healthy addition to a larger meal. This morning I had strawberries, bananas, and cantaloupe cut up on a plate. Simple. Small portions, but still filling. And full of nutrition with no fat. There are so many variations and possibilities.

Which brings me to my next find. This website is full of beneficial and informative articles. I've found all sorts of things from hair styles for fall to ways to make working out more fun. But the one I was really excited about was the 50 Healthiest Foods for Losing Weight. Not only do they explain why each food is healthy and can help you lose weight, but they've put together a shopping list to take right to the grocery store. I picked about 40 foods from the list a couple days ago and was able to fill up our fridge and pantry with nothing but healthy food. What a simple but smart way to eliminate the opportunity to eat junk?

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Happy shopping, eating, and working out!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One of those days...

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes the way it should, according to you? Everything makes you grumpy and irritated? It feels like there's a million things to do and you only have the time and resources for maaaaybe one or two? And you end up kicking wrapping paper across the living room?
I had one of those days yesterday and could not, for the life of me, figure out why.

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It lasted all day and ended in yelling and eventually tears. Anyone in this house would've run for the hills and called the men in white coats. But my boyfriend, who continues to amaze me, became a human straightjacket and held me until I was able to stop crying (after a bit, I was crying happy tears) and get a grip.
Needless to say, I felt ridiculous for being so angry about... I don't even know what... when, clearly, I have it pretty good and am truly blessed to be with this man. I fall in love with him all over again and even more every day. Especially days like yesterday.



Blake says it all. (I played this song over and over while cooking dinner last night. I loved this song before, but now, it will always remind me of yesterday's happy ending.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things I NEED

With work not being nearly as busy as it usually is and the boyfriend going hunting every chance he gets, I've had a little (okay, an obscene amount of) time to browse the net. When I started my blog, I called it "research" and "work". But it's become somewhat of an obsession. I just cannot seem to stop looking at pictures. Tumblr and Pinterest should get restraining orders. And while I'm expanding my horizons in many aspects, like home decor, diy, style and beauty, sometimes I feel like I'm doing more harm than good. Because now, I've created a list of things that I feel like I need. Why? To keep up with the trends? To make me feel better? To make me happy? Who cares?! There are cute things out there and I need them.
I'll focus on style for now, because I just got done drooling over the Daybook blog again. Love that girl.
Here's what I'm currently after:

- Longer jeans and/or pants.
Now that I've become comfortable and some days actually prefer wearing heeled boots and shoes, I need longer jeans (and pants- to shake things up) to avoid the high-water affect.
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- Tights and/or leggins to go under jeans or wear with shorts or skirts. And again, something to go with my new shoes. And to have something different to wear in these winter months besides jeans every day.
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- Skinny Belts
This is more of a challenge for myself. If I buy them, I'll have to lose weight in order to not look like a stuffed sausage with one on. And Charlotte Russe just came out with glitter belts. Score.
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- Trench coat and or/ a blazer
Something different for this weather. I had very few (like, 2) winter coats to begin with. Now that they no longer fit, or look relevant, I need something new.
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- Nude heels
I have seen these things everywhere and love, love, love them. They go with anything and everything. And make you look tanner. Hopefully.
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- Sparkly nail polish
Just a simple top coat would do. To update my current stash of nail polish.
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- Self-tanner/ a place to get a spray tan
Ha this is something that I struggle with in the summer. Winter brings out my true ginger shade of pale.
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- To stick to my workout "plan"
Surprisingly, I've done well with this. It's only been a few days, but I've been able to work out for half an hour everyday. Yesterday was my first morning off since the boyfriend didn't got hunting and we were able to sleep in and I'm feeling it. I'm cramping up and want to work out. Good sign. (PS- I've been doing this 30 day challenge every day- it only takes about half an hour. So doable.)

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- To make what I have in my make-shift closet work for now and focus on more important things...
This is ultimately what I will have to settle for, as money is tight during the holidays and I really shouldn't be worried about such silly things. But it's fun to plan dream, right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Best Friend's Bday!

Today is my best friend's birthday. I feel like "best" doesn't even begin to cover it. We met my junior year of high school and, like some kind of fate, ended up being in yearbook class and working at an organic grocery store together senior year. We quickly recognized something in each other and became fast friends. We then went to college together, almost got a dorm together (neither of us regret that decision), went on several family vacations (both of our families excepted the other like another daughter), watched/ stalked several local bands together, dressed up as Lola and Hannah Montana, cooked and ate, gotten through a lot with each other, and have managed to keep in touch even though I moved to PA over three years ago. When she came to visit a couple months ago, I was so nervous. I didn't know if we would still have "it" after not seeing each other for so long. It was like I never left. And while some days, I wished I hadn't, she is my one constant, and no matter how far away, will always be.
She understands me like no one else can, or is willing to. She has stuck by my ridiculous stages in life, my ups and downs, has helped me get over a lot, learn, grow and become the person that I am today. We're silly, serious, dark-humored, mean girls, opposites, the same person, just a couple of kids, too old for our age, beautiful and like no one else.
She is truly my family and I cannot imagine my life without her.
The beginning.

Dorm life.

Eating. One of, if not our favorite thing.

Touring the Colorado mines, in style.

Family vacay in Colorado.

 Her recent visit to PA!



Our song.

It's true.

Have an amazing day! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you but soon enough you'll be a nine hour drive away and we'll have more to celebrate than just birthdays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New 'Do

So my morning is supposed to consist of a trying some new workouts to my long, lost ipod that I found in my sewing stuff last night (no explanation), followed by a new haircut. My hair's needed a trim for a while, but I have so much hair and it makes such a mess, I figured if there's any changes I want to make, I might as well better do it then. I've been wanting to play with shorter layers, while still keeping the length (the boyfriend forbids me to cut my hair any shorter, and I can't argue; I hated having short hair and will never go back). I looked through my "blog pics" folder that I've been adding to since about a year ago, as well as my Pinterest collection of past inspirations and turns out, I've been wanting it for a while. Here they are!

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I've always loved LC, her style, and her hair. She has the contrast of layers, side swept bangs and amazing length (even if they are extensions).

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Another one of my faves- Emma Stone. Her hair color is enough to get you, but those eyes! Gorgeous, and funny gal. Her bangs are good example of what I wouldn't be afraid to try (again-I've had em before).

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I've had this pic of Rachel McAdams for a while. My hair is longer than this, but I love the face framing layers.

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This is such a darling pic in itself, but the bangs are another example of what I'm going for, maybe a bit longer.

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This is probably the best example of the layers that I'd like. Beginning right under the cheekbone. She clearly has extensions, but my hair's only (and surprisingly so) a few inches shorter than that.

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Zooey Deschanel! Love, love, love her. And her new show. Her hair is adorable and so girly. Again, love the bangs. I want my layers to start just a little below those.

Wish me luck! PS- don't worry. This def isn't my first attempt at cutting my own hair. With my mother's training, I've been doing it myself since age 14 after a disaster of a haircut given by a trained professional. 
I got this. :)