10.30.2011

sunday spark

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
-Mary Anne Radmacher
[click on image for source]

10.29.2011

saturday sillies

My apologies for not posting a "Friday Funny" yesterday. It's been a busy, busy week! So just this once I will do a "Saturday Silly."

I've been sitting around with Charlie watching frightening movies on AMC. Her eyes get as big as mine whenever the boogie man is on screen. I've been nuzzling my face into her neck to avoid seeing anything too scary. I even cover her eyes. I embarrassingly discuss with her the stupidity of some of the characters who just don't have any survival skills. It's been one heck of a Saturday. We are silly.

Even sillier? These pups. The ones that look like they are standing up kill me.
[click on images for sources]

10.26.2011

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. DIY Costumes
I think it's so much fun to make your own costume. So, after a trip to the fabric store I got to work. May I say that a hot glue gun is an amazing invention. Here's to the Roaring Twenties!

2. Growing up
It's always wonderful seeing my little nephew. He's grown so much since I last saw him. He's walking, has teeth, talks, and loves to eat.

3. Vito
Sometimes our companions are taken from us much too soon. We lost a wonderful pup this week and it has broken a lot of hearts. May he be running wild with his favorite ball up in the clouds. The memories of him will always be warm.

10.25.2011

costume change

Halloween weekend is full of parties, outings, and fun. I am so excited for it to be here. Two years ago, Kristen and I went full force. We had three different costumes for three different nights. It was one of my favorite Halloweens ever.


Night one: Lady bug and bride

Night two: Jane and kitty

Night three: Mermaid and single lady

If only she were here to participate in our usual shenanigans. I'm hoping this year's celebrations will be just as fun. I need to wrangle up a couple other costumes, or recycle...

What was one of your favorite Halloweens?



10.24.2011

pup-or-treat

I think dressing up pets for Halloween is just the funniest thing. I still need to get Charlie a little costume, although she's not really a fan of dressing up. Usually, if I put any type of clothing on her, besides her cool bandanas, she freezes up and stares at the ground. She'd probably stand there for hours if I let her. I'm hoping it will be different this time around because there are so many adorable costumes for her to wear. Here are some of my favorite from PetSmart...







[all images courtesy of PetSmart]

10.23.2011

sunday spark

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
-E.Y. Harburg
[click on image for source]

10.21.2011

growing up

Growing up is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I've learned, and still am learning, the ins-and-outs of life and the inner workings of myself. I think, better yet I know, that I grow every day. I don't feel that anyone stops learning lessons, stops getting to know themselves, or stops evolving.

The most beautiful thing about growing up is that no one does it in the same way. Everyone's life is their own; with their own upbringing, own lessons to learn, and their own obstacles to either leap over or fall in front of.

Looking back, I realize just how much I've grown in the past five years. There is so much I would have wanted to know back when I was eighteen. There is so much I would want to tell that girl. Here is what I would have said...


Live a little. Take a risk, leap, go out on a limb. There is a beauty in being scared. You won't learn anything about yourself if you let fear hold you back. Step outside your boundaries, so you can set boundaries.

Let it heal. Don't slap a band-aid on it and keep going. Take the time to acknowledge whatever wound you have. Cry, write, paint, sing, walk. Anything that helps the process. Don't rush into the next thing with an open gash or a broken heart. Take as much time as you need because the only one who can fix you is you.

It's okay to be the "good girl." There will be those who make certain decisions, and who encourage you to follow. Luckily, you haven't made any poor choices with drugs. Peer pressure can be an ugly thing. Some will poke fun at you for being the "good" girl, but it's an innocent, beautiful, and healthy thing. Always pride yourself on that.

Study, study, study. As much as you want to go to that party, stay in your dorm room and hit the books. As much as you want to sleep in, get up, grab a coffee, and go to class. Exercise your brain. Feed it knowledge. Teach yourself priorities. Believe it or not, you will miss college one day.

You can't stop change. You can dig your heels into the ground. You can put your fists up. You can clench your teeth, but life doesn't stop shifting. Nothing good can stay forever, just as nothing bad can stay forever. It's a delicate balance that isn't easy or even possible to grasp. All you can do is embrace what life throws at you and know it's happening for a reason.

Be you. You're beautiful because you're you. While you're still searching for who you are, don't look to others for assistance. Stop trying to look, talk, and act like those girls you look up to because of their glittery facade. You'll come to realize they are just like you underneath it all. Remember that being unique is what makes you special, and the right people will love you for it. I promise.

Stop searching for "the one." You think this is part of the plan, but love isn't something you can plan. So stop taking it all so seriously. Have fun, go on dates, and enjoy the ride. You're going to make some mistakes, and there are little and big heartaches coming your way. Just know, you will get through it. Trust in timing and don't lose faith in "the one." He is out there.

You chose the right path. You are pursuing what you love: writing. You are following your heart, rather than little green paper. However, it's going to be tough after you throw your maroon grad cap up in the air. No matter how tough of times, don't ever feel like you made a wrong choice. Keep at it. Keep following that passion. Keep following your dreams.

Put yourself first. Being selfless all the time is no way to live. You're one to let people walk all over you. You put others before you. Your happiness isn't number one. Stop this nonsense. You can't please everyone, so start pleasing the one person you can: yourself. Find your worth, use your voice, and stick up for yourself. You are important too.

While I wish I could have told you all of this five years ago, I love you so very much for not knowing. Not knowing meant you had to learn, which shaped who you are today. I am proud of who you've become, and the girl that led you to be a woman.

Love,
Thank you to Lauren Nicole of Lauren Nicole Love, who inspired me with her own letter to her eighteen-year-old self.

friday funnies

As Halloween is quickly approaching, the time to do Halloween activities is coming to a close. While I have the eating candy part down, I still need to carve pumpkins and go to a haunted house. I have been watching scary movies, though. I've been really proud of myself because I can watch them and still go to sleep alone at night. It's a feat that I've never been able to do.

When I saw Jaws at a young age (thanks, dad) I believed my twin size bed was a boat and if I stepped off that bed then my legs would be ripped off by a blood-thirsty shark. I also believed that any pool of water, whether it be a bath tub or a pool, was unsafe. I definitely stayed away from the deep end at kiddie pool parties.

When I saw Alien (thanks, yet again, dad) I was sure that there was a little alien living inside everyone, just waiting to explode out of their chests. That scene still gives me the goosebumps.

When I saw Paranormal Activity (thanks again, dad) I couldn't sleep well for weeks. Someone had to be home and all the lights had to be on for me to even close my eyes. I was living with two roomies at the time and I would call them on weekend nights asking when they would be home from a night out. Looking back, it's a little embarrassing. 

When I saw Devil, Stephanie decided to mess with me and say there was someone in my closet. I clutched onto her for dear life just staring at my closet door. Then it opened! At that point we were screaming and she was clutching onto me too. We always forget that my little pup can open my closet with her nose. I bet that taught Steph not to mess with me!

Driving to Vegas one summer, Kristen and I were convinced that the mutant zombies from The Hills Have Eyes were going to slash our tires, kidnap us, and eat us. Every little shack we drove by I would press down on the gas, while Kristen came up with what was inside. Needless to say we had wild imaginations...and an even wilder time in Sin City.

As you can tell, scary movies give me paranoia, but they are also just so fun to watch. Maybe I grew up to the point I'm not that scared anymore, or perhaps there hasn't been a really good horror movie that's come out recently. Either way, I love curling up on the couch, hugging a blanket and Charlie, and screaming my head off.
[click on image for source]

10.19.2011

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Taylor Swift
I am beyond excited to see this lovely gal in concert on Friday. I've been tapping my feet and singing along to every song for quite some time. A big thank you to my mom for surprising me with tickets. Stephanie and I can not wait.

2. Lana del Rey
I have been itching for this songstress to finally release 'Video Games,' the song that I play over and over again on YouTube. It was finally available on iTunes this past week so I snagged it. The harp and that haunting voice are just too good, and with two remixes I won't get tired of it.

3. Silence
Whether I have a lot going on or no stress in sight, I still like to sit in silence and push out all my thoughts. It's a difficult process, but one my dad encourages. I'm beginning to see that I get more in touch with myself.

[click on images for sources]

10.18.2011

flatten that belly

It's been awhile since I've posted a workout, probably because I've been slacking in the fitness area. Whoops! I have to remember that just because it's getting colder and layers are being piled on, doesn't mean I should forget about my health. Now that I'm back on track, here is a great tummy workout from Women's Health. It only takes three moves and fifteen minutes, so stop saying you don't have time! 





STABILITY BALL PELVIC TILT CRUNCH


Grab a five- to 10-pound medicine ball (or dumbbell). Lying faceup on a stability ball with your upper back and head pressed against the ball and your feet together on the floor, hold the medicine ball against your chest (a). Brace your abs and crunch up until your shoulders are off the ball. Then reach the ball toward the ceiling (b).Lower it and return to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 rep








STABILITY BALL MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
Assume a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball (a). Draw your right knee toward your chest (b). Hold for one second, then return to the plank position. Repeat with your left knee. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.









THE MATRIX
Grab a five- to 10-pound medicine ball (or dumbbell) and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Keep your torso upright and hold the ball against your abs (a). Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees planted (b). Hold the reclined position for three seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps.



[images courtesy of Women's Health]

10.17.2011

moths and butterflies


My mama is always sending me bits of inspiring words, which honestly brighten my day and make me think. Here is one she sent me today...




"One of abundances many corollaries, is that the brighter your light, the more you attract... everything. 

Moths and butterflies. 

At which point you begin learning what to celebrate and what to let fly on by. 

Or who."



The universe is always bringing us different opportunities, things, and people into our lives. It's a learning process that can bring about a lot of pondering and perhaps some pain, but in the end it brings about happiness. The best part about that happiness is that you chose it. You experienced, learned, and ultimately decided what was right for you. 

Over time I've noticed that I've become much more selective in deciding what and who stays. At this point in my life I am celebrating all the decisions that have brought me to this point in life, whether they be huge or miniscule. Whether they be mistakes or feats. Whether they meant holding on or letting go. 

The what's and the who's that I've come to know, love, and keep are so worth celebrating.

[click on image for source]

crackin' down

On the elliptical today I glanced around to see the gym was swarmed with people. They were there for the same reason I was. Halloween. It's quickly approaching and everyone wants to look their best in whatever costume they choose. It's like swimsuit season for the fall. I have a few costumes up my sleeve, so I'm putting down the T-Bell and hitting the gym while I can.

Why, oh why can't cute costumes go hand-in-hand with all the tasty treats that come with fall? I baked carrot cakes and gave them away so I wouldn't devour them whole. I hope my mama and my hunny enjoyed them. To visually satisfy my sweet tooth, here are some drool-worthy edibles that I can look forward to once the spookfest is over.


[click on images for sources]

10.16.2011

sunday spark

"Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies."
-Carrie Bradshaw
[click on image for source]

mama's birthday

How amazingly pretty is she?


Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother. 

You've taught me an incredible amount about life and love. You are an amazing woman who I look up to immensely. Your beauty, strength, and wisdom make me proud to call you my mom. You've always been so incredibly giving and your thoughtfulness is of that I've never seen before.

Your silliness makes me giggle. Your cooking makes my mouth water, especially your Sopita. Your purse and shoe collection is drool-worthy.. I am still waiting for you to pass that vintage Gucci bag onto me. Hint, hint. You are a master at yoga. I wish I had your balance!

You are a combination of so many fabulous things. Things I hope are ingrained in me. Thank you for being such a huge part of who I am. I wish you nothing but happiness for your birthday. I love you.



10.14.2011

friday funnies

I'm not really a fan of discussing politics. The conversations tend to always get too heated, but it's so much different when kids talk about it. I couldn't help but giggle at this. Kids really do say the darndest things.


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