I am in love with the book, She by Kobi Yamada. It's filled with pages upon pages of beautiful quotes meant to celebrate the special women in your life. While it's a beautiful book to give, it is also a beautiful book to keep for yourself. Why not celebrate yourself?

It's important to remind yourself of your value, your strength, and what makes you special. I picked out a few of my favorite quotes from the book to share with you...

[images courtesy of We Heart It. Quotes added by me.]

friday funnies

Having a friend that gets you and laughs along
 always helps when you act afool.
I love awkward moments, 
mostly when they happen to other people. That sounds awfully mean, but I can't help it if they make me giggle. That's probably why Brick Tamland from Anchorman cracks me up so much. Besides movies, I get a little tinge of excitement when anyone starts a tweet or a status with, "That awkward moment when..." That's when I know I'm in for something good. 

As much as I love getting a laugh from others, I sadly provide enough humor to my own life with my silly situations. Usually I am mortified, but lately I'm learning to laugh and embrace my awkward self. Life is a lot more fun when you can make fun of yourself.

I've noticed a pattern in my humiliating situations. They all seem to happen in front of a guy. Isn't that just my luck? Here are a few have happened in the past few weeks...

That awkward moment when...you're dressed up for a night out, kneeling at your doorstep, baby talking your pup into staying home alone when the cute neighbor walks by obviously concerned for your mental health. I won't be borrowing a cup of sugar anytime soon.

That awkward moment when...a bird flies past your windshield so you throw your hands up and scream, while the guy in the car next to you looks at you like you're a moron. Afterwards, he punches the gas to get away from the hazard on the road, meaning you.

That awkward moment when...you think one of the Best Buy employees is good lookin' and you creepily say "Hellooooo," thinking it was more of a whisper, until he looks up and quickly walks away, leaving you to figure out external hard drives on your own.

That awkward moment when...you're at sushi with your gal pal discussing Sex and the City, which causes a guy to look up from a nearby table and ask if you had said his name. For the rest of the dinner you and your friend randomly say, "Sex and the City" every few minutes just to see if he looks up again, while other diners think you should consider watching a different show.

That awkward moment when...you're strolling along and become eye-smitten with a cute guy walking his dog. That's when you walk smack into a parked car, causing its driver to get out and ask if you're okay. Sure, you just have a bruised body and a bruised ego.

What are moments you can look back and laugh on?


the little things

DIY's are incredibly popular. For those who aren't so good with acronyms, like myself, that means Do It Yourself. I love that people share their ideas and creations, and out of it comes something entirely unique and one-of-a-kind. I also enjoy that they typically are budget-friendly. Now that's my kind of friend.

Typically DIY's are in the form of photos and typed out directions, or in the form of instructional videos. When I found Tiger in a Jar I was blown away. Wow! Little did I know that DIY's can be an art form in themselves. Matt and Julie, the couple behind the blog, create these beautiful videos that demonstrate recipes, crafts, and the little things in life. They are so simple in nature, but so mind-blowingly beautiful that it really reminds me to appreciate all of my surroundings.

Take a look at their videos here. Here is one of my favorites...


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Crock pots
My dad just purchased one of these handy kitchen gadgets. These come in handy with a busy work schedule. I can just pop in something tasty, let it slow cook while I am at my job, and have a yummy meal waiting for me when I get home. I'm making the pops roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner!

2. Halloween decorations
It's not even October yet, but I had to put up a few Halloween goodies in my apartment. It's one of my favorite holidays, so might as well enjoy it for as long as I can. I still have to carve pumpkins, bake pumpkin treats, finish up costumes, and wait for the Disney channel to play those classic Halloween movies. Who doesn't love this holiday?

3. Changing pictures
I set out the afternoon to switch out old pictures with new ones. My frames look much better with new friends, faces, and a new me. Out with the old, in with the new, right?

[click on image for sources]

lukie's first birthday

My little nephew, Luke is one year old today. I can't believe how the time has flown. Now he can take a few steps, has a few teeth, and says a few words. It's a few of everything, but it means he's growing up. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing it all because we don't live close to each other, but my sister keeps me updated through photos and videos. I wish with all my heart that I could be in California to celebrate, but I guess a blog post will have to do...

This past year you've brought everyone so much joy, smiles, and laughter. You are adored by many. I hope your first birthday is very special, little guy. I love you so very much. Happy Birthday from your auntie Bink.


take a breather

My mind has been aflutter lately. There are so many things to do that it feels like my brain never gets to prop up its feet and relax. Working two jobs, my dad's visit (not that I don't love having him here), and all of life's other little obligations just add up, leaving me worn me out. On top of everything, my mind is always stirring; questioning and wondering.

Stress is not something to easily escape from, if at all. It's been causing me to lose sight, whether it's of a responsibility, or of the things I love to do for myself. There are times I want to pull my hair out, my hands ball into fists, and my eyes well up in tears. Ever get that way? It's those times that I have to remember to breathe.

While looking for motivation, I stumbled upon this post with the words,

"Sometimes you need to step away, take a breath and start over to get things the way you really want them." 

It reminded me that it's okay to take a break. It's okay to take off on a drive, sit in the park and watch the ducks, or visit someone that makes me smile. I don't have to spend money on a trip, or purchase a new pair of shoes to get some sort of release. Just letting my mind rest, smile, and rejuvenate is all there is to it. 

So don't feel bad if you climb in bed and hide under the covers. Don't feel bad if you take off for a few hours without telling a soul. Don't feel bad if you have to cry it out. Do what you need to do for you, and no one else. Escape for a little bit. If you do, you'll come back to reality with a little more strength, mindfulness, and motivation.


paint yourself fall

I grow tired of nail polish entirely too fast. I am always painting and repainting my tips and toes. Now that fall is here I am curious as to which colors I should be choosing. Lucky Magazine had just the answer. So here they are; the 26 cool shades of the season...

(ordered from left to right)

Zillionaire by CNC Shellac
Purple Purple by CNC Shellac
Blue Boy by Chanel
Schiap by NARS
Graphite by Chanel
Coco Blue by Chanel
Fatigues by MAC
Steamy by MAC
Honk if you Love OPI by OPI
F2 by RGB
Phoebe by Zoya
Vintage Vamp by MAC
Paz by Zoya
Lacey Lilac by Sally Hansen
Seal by RGB
Billionaire by Deborah Lippmann
Very Structured by Essie
Sinble Ladies by Deborah Lippmann
Night Breed by NARS
Mezmerised by Essie
Camp by RGB
Case Study by Essie
Three D by Sally Hansen
Peridot by Chanel
Audrey by China Glaze
Plugged in Plum by OPI

Get to painting, loves.

[photos courtesy of Lucky Magazine]


pistachio crusted salmon

After a long day of work it felt nice to drag my feet up to my apartment and find a delicious, home-cooked meal. This past week, my dad surprised me with just that. After watching the Food Network, we saw a recipe we just had to try. Leave it to Paula Deen to get our mouths watering. Here is the recipe for what I got to gobble down...

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (4-ounce) fresh salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Lemon Cream Sauce, recipe follows

  • Directions
  • In a shallow dish, combine the pistachios, salt, and pepper. Dredge the salmon in the pistachio mixture, pressing gently to coat.
In a small skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; turn the salmon and cook until salmon flakes easily with fork, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer the fillets to serving plates. Serve with Lemon Cream Sauce, and garnish with chopped pistachios, if desired.

Lemon Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour, whisking to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the broth and cream and simmer until thickened, whisking frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, whisking to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour into a serving dish and serve with the salmon.
Side note: While this version of the recipe is super tasty, we found that baking the filets was the way to go. The pistachios were crispier and the flavors were more savory. Try our little take on the recipe by popping the filets into the oven pre-heated at 350 degree. Leave in for about fifteen minutes.
[recipe/photo courtesy of Food Network]


friday funnies

Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with perfect vision. I was doomed to get glasses in elementary school. Of course, my super cool self picked out glasses reminiscent of Harry Potter's, except they were gold. No wonder my first kiss wasn't until the eight grade. Now I know why my mom said they looked cute. She was singlehandedly sabotaging what could have been a sizzling middle school romance.

Fast forward to now, last week I went to the eye doctor to get my eyes checked because I felt it was necessary to update my prescription. There were four awkward moments that led me to make that appointment. Here they are...

Stealing someone's dog. When it was time for Charlie and I to leave the dog park, I spotted her across the grassy field and started jogging towards her. I yelled her name over and over, but she wasn't coming. I figured she was being her bratty self, so I ran faster with her leash in hand, flailing in the air. I finally grabbed the little beast, but it wasn't my little girl. His owner gave me a strange look and commanded Jack to get away from the crazy lady.

Finding my future husband at a bar. I bumped into him at a dark, crowded bar. It was love at first (blurry) sight. We exchanged numbers, but my friends quickly dragged me away. The next weekend, mystery man and I met again, but the lights were on this time. He was about a foot shorter than me, had greasier hair than Danny Zuco, and probably had a fake ID. Sigh. He wasn't my future anything. The worst part is I was designated driver the night we met, so beer goggles weren't an excuse.

Getting concussed while working out. I like to read magazines while I'm treading along on the elliptical.  It makes time go by a lot faster. I was having trouble reading the juicy articles in Cosmopolitan, so I leaned in closer. I probably looked like Quasimodo trying to get his fitness on with how hunched over I was. I still couldn't see clearly, so I leaned in a little closer. I lost my footing and wapped my head on the machine. A very smooth move in front of all the muscly hunks.

Cheering for the wrong team. It was the first football game of the season. We were all at a crowded bar rooting on our Sun Devils. Everyone was pretty into it and there was maybe one fan for the opposing team. When we scored, I screamed for the touchdown, clapping my hands, and throwing my hand up for a high five. That one opposing fan enthusiastically slapped his hand against mine. His team had scored, not ours. Whoops! That's what I get for pretending I understand football.

Thank goodness I have my new prescription. Now I won't be known as a dognapper, I can use beer goggles as an excuse next time, I won't need a helmut for cardio, and I won't be forked by my fellow Sun Devils.


penny lane

I absolutely love the film Almost Famous. I sometimes wish with all my might that I could travel back in time and live in that decade. There was so much culture, so much to delve into, so many dreams. Besides the fact the movie is based on a young journalist trying to make it, I am incredibly drawn to Kate Hudson's character, Penny Lane. She is so easy-going and free. I've got to be more like her, taking one day at a time with a carefree spirit.

Free People just got in a coat similar to the one she wears in the movie. That coat is famous in itself. I say, what better way to bring out my inner Penny Lane than to wear this fabulous, shaggy coat?


fresh air

I braved the outdoors for today's look! I still hid in the corner of my patio, but I'm making progress. My neighbor across the way was wondering where the shutter noise was coming from. Poor guy was left scratching his head.

As you know, I've been a bit sick lately. When I'm not working, I'm cooped up in my apartment. Well, today this chicky had to leave the coop. I thought maybe stepping out for some fresh air in this shade of yellow and my favorite pair of JC's would help brighten up my day and my immune system. Crossing my fingers.
Dress: Urban Outfitters, Vest: Forever 21, Belt: Anthropologie, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, Necklace: J. Mundo Designs, Rose ring: thrifted, Watch: Bulova, Bracelet: Target, Stone ring: David Yurman

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Bridesmaids
It's finally out on DVD. I've been anxiously waiting to add it to my movie collection ever since it came out in theaters. Now it sits with my other favorites. This is definitely a movie that will bring me laughter any day.

2. Tea
Throughout this icky sickness, I've been sipping on so much tea. Thank goodness I have a tea jar that's full of different flavors. The yummy stuff has definitely made my throat feel better.

3. My readers
Sharing my story in my 'i used to be fat pt. 2' post was very therapeutic, but definitely scary. I've received so many kind words, support, and messages on how I've inspired. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing group of readers. I love each and every one one of you. Thanks for making this blog so worthwhile.

[click on images for sources]


lc lauren conrad collection

I've mentioned my adoration for Lauren Conrad numerous times before (here, here, and here). She's just so put together, stylish, and seems truly genuine. My sister e-mailed me some of her new goodies from her LC Lauren Conrad Collection that is available at Kohl's. Surprisingly, I still have yet to purchase any of her items. I'm slackin', but I'm also broke.

I meandered on over to the website to look at some of her new additions. That intro video of hers is adorable. Can we be best friends already?

Here are some items that make me love her even more...

dad's pieces of advice

My pops comes in town today and I'm so excited. I'm trying not to let this cold get in the way of us spending time together. If you remember in my 'me-hee-co' posts, I just went and visited him in Mexico last month.

We have our little traditions when he comes out here. We go to the movies, and always get our necessary movie snacks; peanut M&M's and popcorn. There's just something about that salty and sweet combination that makes it so gosh darn good. We go to the grocery store. He understands my struggles with bills, so he helps out when my fridge is bare. He also makes these delicious meals that I would never think of putting together myself. We watch Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, and Ghost Adventures. We are mildly obsessed with the supernatural. I can never watch them without him here, though. It would break tradition. Oh, and I'm also the world's biggest chicken.

My favorite tradition of ours is our heart-to-hearts. We are really close, which is what I love most about our relationship. He listens. Whether it's about my hopes and aspirations, or it's about petty drama, boy problems (his favorite), or my struggles in landing a career. With his open ear, he lends a shoulder to shed a tear or two, and offers counsel.

Here are little treasures of advice he's given me when I needed a pick-me-up...

"Remember life is just one big school."
"Try to find the positive amidst all the negative."
"Keep your head up and know that something good always comes to people with big hearts. I promise."
"Remember a coin has two sides, you cant have one without the other."
"Keep your head up and stay balanced."
"If it's not difficult it's not worth doing."

I wonder what he will teach me this time.


i used to be fat pt. 2

This post is a follow-up to my 'i used to be fat' post back in February. It's a wee bit personal, and I'm slightly terrified to share, but sometimes people need to see others have courage in order to speak up or make a change.

I've received tons of e-mails asking about my little weight loss journey and asking for motivation. It's been quite a surprise. I never thought writing about such a personal issue, such as my weight, would receive so much feedback. I, by no means, think my body transformation is one for the record book, but I'm flattered to have heard from so many readers. I'm always open to answering questions or giving encouragement, so keep the e-mails coming.

Back then, I was so terrified of putting that post up because I was afraid. I was afraid of the jokes that might be made. I was also afraid of the criticism from those who believed I didn't have it that bad. I am fully aware that my body wasn't in the worst shape it could have been. However, the body I was in was slowly killing the girl within.

I'm about to be incredibly embarrassed, and you're about to see a photo I swore I would never show anyone. It was the biggest I had ever been. I took it when I first started my journey, in order to mark the progress I made along the way.

This was when I was thirty pounds over weight. That weight not only held my body down, but it held my spirits down too. I had no self esteem. I had no confidence. I despised what I looked like, and I despised myself for letting it get that far. I was starting to lose the girl I had always been.

Despite my own putdowns, I was in a relationship where being called "fat" was a regular occurrence. I struggled with intimacy because I was ashamed of my body. When I tried to get healthy and on track, there was little to no motivation from my boyfriend. I got comments like, "Should you really be eating that?" or "That's all the time you spent on the treadmill today? That's nothing." I was crushed, and fell back in my old ways.

I found comfort in what was making me gain weight; food and alcohol. I would sit in front of the TV and mindlessly eat a bag of chips. Later I would beat myself up for doing it. When I went out with my friends I would get too tipsy. I was unhappy and drinks made me forget that for a few hours.

I don't know when it hit me that I needed to make a change, but slowly I mustered up the strength to let go of the mentally harmful relationship I was in. Once I did, I began the journey to start loving myself again. The first step was getting healthy. I surrounded myself with motivating people, even if they were just in the fitness magazines I purchased. I was determined to get my old body back. Counting calories and going to the gym became a regular part of my day. I started dropping pounds. I looked better, but most of all I felt better. I was able to run longer and I didn't feel sick from junk food. 

It took over a year, but I lost the thirty pounds. While I lost the weight, it took awhile to lose the old attitude. I still struggled with being confident. I still felt ugly, even though I had physically changed. I was looking for reassurance in the wrong places, especially in dating. I struggled with finding love for myself, and so I tried to find it from people who were unable to give it. Being alone is what led me to find that confidence again. I got in touch with myself and all the things I used to immerse myself in; writing, painting, reading, all the things that made up me.

I'm living a healthier and happier life now. I still go to the gym and I still eat healthy. I do it because it makes me feel good, and because there are always things I could tighten up! I stopped going out so much, and drinking isn't very appealing anymore. It's been nice waking up early, without a hangover, ready to take on the day. It's also been nice to stop drinking empty calories. 

There are those weak moments, but whenever I feel like I want that whole bag of chips while I'm watching 90210, I think of this quote, 

"Don't trade what you want most for what you want at this moment."

So, for those who want to make a lifestyle change, stay motivated! It takes time, but you'll get there. I promise. And if you ever find yourself in a relationship that is unhealthy and makes you unhappy with yourself, leave. It's not worth it. No one deserves to ever feel put down. Don't lose the love you have for yourself. Hold onto it tightly. And if you do lose it, fight to get it back. The strongest relationship you have should be with yourself.

Stay healthy and happy, my friends.

sicky poo

I've been coming down with a cold. My throat is not happy and my nose has been running like it's on a track team. I've been overdosing on vitamin C and tea, but I'm convinced that pistachio ice cream is the key to getting me better...or perhaps I'm just craving the sweet stuff. Feel free to bring me some.

Most people head to the doctor when they're coming down with somethin' icky, but I don't. It's not that I'm scared of the doctor's office, I just like to cure myself the natural way. Vitamins and rest are my medicine. So, after struggling through a workday, I am in my favorite, oversized tee (Charlie is in hers too), posted up in bed with my sick day goodies. What are those, you ask? Today's are...

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
Martin Scorsese flicks
Cozy socks

While it stinks being stuck in bed, sometimes a girl just needs her rest. Time to myself reminds me of the simple things I love, and surrounding myself with those things makes me feel better. The only thing I am still missing is that pistachio goodness. Really, feel free to bring me a tub of Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio. I will love you forever and then some.

Oh, and my apologies for the hairdo. Wet hair in a bun is really never a good look, but give me a break. I'm dyin' over here.
Shirt: Urban Outiftters (customized), Socks: American Apparel, Bow ring: H&M, Other ring: gifted, Nail Polishes: Master Plan by essie, Glove You So Much by OPI (on ring finger)

the "it" cards

I mentioned the wickedly funny cards of Story of My Life in my 's.o.m.l' post. Their fabulous line of cards is blowing up. They were just featured in the goodie bags of the Josie Loves J. Valentine launch party. Read up on the party here, through the pretty eyes and witty words of Annie.

The beautiful gals, Amanda and Annie, just came out with some brand new cards to make us giggle and feel a little bit better about the silly moments in our lives. You have to snag a few. Surprise a friend. I promise she'll love it. Click on the photos for ordering information!


couch potato

So now that I have my mom's trusty tripod to prop my Canon on, it's way easier to do mini photo shoots. It's always fun to play dress up, so expect oodles of outfit posts. I wasn't quite ready to venture outside and take self-timed photos in front of my neighbors, so I stayed in the comfort of my living room. I will brave the outdoors soon enough to give you readers a change of scenery.

Bear with me as I'm a little camera shy. I am no model. As you can see, I could only muster up enough courage for one shot of lil' ol' me. It's a lot more comfy when I'm surrounded by my girlfriends posing for a picture, but shooting solo is a little lonely and feels a little silly. I'll get the hang of it soon enough.

Headband: H&M, Blouse: Free People, Necklace: Forever 21, Wedges: Cooperative, Ring: David Yurman, Nail Polishes: OPI's Onyx and Black Shatter, MAC's Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer, Shorts: Urban Oufitters, Belt: H&M
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