Monday, December 31, 2012

Everything and Nothing

Totally, utterly random post. Acknowledged. 


We decided to get out of the house on Friday and visit one of our BFFs, Costco. Who doesn't love the shopping cart traffic jams and vacant stares? Then there is the holy grail of bulk shopping: Samples.


When I really think about it, Costco is not such a good friend. We pay over fifty bucks a year just to gain the privilege of walking through their not-so-pearly gates. Then we drop at least 100 bones on stuff we don't technically need in bulk. Except toilet paper. We can get 6 months worth of TP in a single trip. Shazam.

Despite all this, going to Costco is like a wonderful grownup field trip, and we probably won't let our membership lapse anytime soon.

After that, I took a visit to Old Navy and grudgingly tried on all their jean styles. Waaa, waaaa. I usually grab a pair and go, then resent them from the comfort of my home. Not this time.

My husband, upon hearing about my jean woes, suggested we go to "a nice place like Nordstrom so you can try some of those Apple Bottom Jeans." That man knows how to make a girl feel sexy. I kid...he's actually quite sweet to offer. What if I only have half an apple?

But I did score some sweet sweaters on clearance:

Photos courtesy of oldnavy.com

At less than 15 bucks apiece, they were a steal. J. Crew has been spearheading the animal-print sweater over the last several seasons, and while the quality doesn't compare, they are $85 less than the J. Crew versions.

They were stowed away on a bottom rack and only one of each was left...both in my size. It was meant to be. That, or the clothing gods felt bad for my denim fitting room disaster. I would have loved to scoop up the fox sweater and make it a trifecta, but this girl isn't one to bite the hand that feeds her.

J. Crew Tabby Sweater

Then I came home to a new J. Crew catalog with this cutie in it. Oh, you taunt me so Mr. Crew. Who, come to think of it, isn't even a real person. It's more like the "The Man" is conspiring to make me overspend on warm, fuzzy wares that fulfill a deeply repressed childhood need which manifests itself in the desire to wear adult versions of children's clothing. Wow, it just got real. Let us move on, shall we?

 After the Old Navy debacle of late 2012, I decided that I needed the comforting embrace and bloated ankles only carbs could provide. Sushi it was. Mr. Picky actually ate what he ordered without a fuss and we were able to enjoy a nice relaxing dinner. Except for our waitress, who was apparently reprising the role of the Soup Nazi. We kept our heads down and said 'thank you' a lot.

Until the sushi reared it's ugly head later that night. That, or the lobster dip sample that Mario said "tastes yucky" and gave to me. Either way, seafood wasn't my friend that night. Or the next day. Saturday morning I woke up with scorching heartburn and indigestion which stuck around all day.


In a stroke of brilliance (or idiocy), I remembered those late night infomercials featuring a quackadoodle named Kevin Trudeau who claimed that the government was after him because he knew how to cure every ailment with items already in our pantries. He is definitely someone I should be taking medical advice from.

So I downed a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in some water. It burned. Oh did it burn. But I felt better a bit later. In the spirit of full disclosure, I had taken an antacid before that and my relief may have had nothing to do with the vinegar. Then I remembered that Fergie drinks a shot of ACV every day and swears by it. She looks good. Except her face confuses me.

I have a health-conscious cousin who has been taking an ACV shot a day for a while and attests to its wonder. Anyone try this?

Before we headed home that wonderful night, we stopped by Barnes & Noble and picked up The Life of Pi. It is supposed to be the greatest novel of the century (although admittedly we're only 13 years in), and I wanted to read the book before watching the movie.



I'm not sure how reading about a teenager being trapped on a boat with a tiger is supposed to change me spiritually, but I'm willing to give it a go. I'm actually quite eager to see what all the fuss is about. Kiddo and I haven't read a novel together in a bit, and I've been missing that bedtime ritual, so we are doing this together. When I told him what it was about Jared replied, "that's going to be a short book."

I'm halfway through Gone Girl, so I'm feeling very optimistic book-wise. With only one semester to go, I've become quite brazen when it comes to reading fiction. We'll see if that hutzpah holds up three weeks from now.

While pondering my new purchase, I got to thinking on the ride home. I should have named my blog The Life of I. I was still wet behind the ears blog-wise when I named this little digital nuthouse, and didn't think about length or if at some point I'd actually find said mind and it would no longer be applicable. Like when people use the words "newlywed" or "baby" in their blog title. Unless they remarry every so often or have a baby every year, it will become quite dated. Then what? Shut 'er down and start over?

The Life of I would be a wondrous blog containing posts on spirituality and eating for my blood type and feature gorgeous pictures of my dog and flowing water. That is a lot to live up to. And as of now, the current title is still applicable. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snap to it.


A little intimidated at first,
I finally charged, set up, and tried out my new camera a couple nights ago. 
While I still have a ton to learn about photography, 
it was so simple to maneuver and took effortlessly beautiful pictures. 
It's incredible what a high quality camera can do. 
I can't wait to really stretch it's legs.

For my first subject, 
I chose the newly snow-covered trees on either side of our entryway. 
Lovely.


Mario also gifted me with something called Eye-Fi. 
As I take photos, it automatically loads them into a file on my computer. 
Gone are the days of plugging my camera into my computer to sift through images, 
or emailing photos to myself from my iPhone before downloading them onto my computer. 
Fancy pants stuff in some very amateur hands. 
I hope to remedy that.

I bought a new camera bag yesterday
and found that our local shop offers individual lessons by the hour.
I'm leaning toward that as an option.
The simpler, the better.
If I can learn the bulk of what I need to know from the comfort of my home,
then hone my skills with private lessons,
that would be ideal.
My camera came with a leaflet about Nikon Photo School. 
Anyone have any experience with it or other online courses?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

These Lazy Days

Kiddo was in fine form Thursday morning. We finally left the house after hibernating for two days only to find that Mr. Grouchy didn't want to put clothes on and face civilization. But a warm drink and some lively company transformed his mood. I hope he doesn't grow up to be a shut-in surrounded by stacks of old newspapers. While we talked him into clothing, he has not yet made nice with his comb. Don't sweat the bedhead, I say.


After breakfast we went to exchange a couple of Mario's gifts, but found that the store was closed. Instead, we took a scenic route through town and viewed southern New Hampshire through snow-covered glasses.


Then we came home, watched the newest Sherlock Holmes movie (one of Mario's stocking stuffers), and ate his new [let's use up the rest of the root veggies from our farmshare] invention: Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup. It. Is. Amazing. After some initial griping about having to try something new, Mr. Picky ate two bowls. If that's not a testament to its greatness, I don't know what is.


I also took the mellow evening as an opportunity to catch up on blog posts. There are so many things I have been meaning to write about, and I actually have the time to write about them, but it seems that my attempt to escape the 'real world' has lead to lapses between posts lately.  I put pen to paper, so to speak, and have loads of shenanigans to show for it. Except that I wanted to post them all at once, which would defeat the purpose.


 A little adventure and little lounging. The best of both worlds.

Friday, December 28, 2012

High Five for Friday: A Week of Fridays

So...I can't be sure that I'm thankful it is Friday. I've been free as a bird all week, and as the days progress I come closer and closer to resuming that 6a wake up call. How about this: I'm excited it's Friday as long as it stays Friday for a few more days. 
Totally reasonable, right? 


1. New England scenery. I'm going to miss it when we move on one day. We've gone under this bridge a dozen times, but never like this. Awe inspiring. 2. A thoughtful, funny-as-hell husband that never ceases to amaze me. I still have a crush on him. 3. The world's easiest instructions. Where have they been all my life? My lack of instruction booklet reading makes Mario nuts, but I was all over this one. 4. A white Christmas. We woke up to a couple inches on Christmas morning and have since gotten several more. Well played, Mother Nature. 5. A kiddo who is aggravating, infuriating, and utterly hilarious. I wouldn't change him for the world.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My couch has a dent...

the exact size and shape of my rump.

The days following Christmas are always a little depressing for me. You, too? Oh, good. The presents have been opened, my pants are tight, and there is a "now what?" hanging in the air. Not to say there is a little black rain cloud hovering over this house. It was an awesome Christmas...perhaps the best. But I always find that special blend of post-semester and post-Christmas hangovers a little weird.

The thought of packing up all the ornaments and inviting the most blah month of the year, January, into my life has me dragging my feet a bit. So I'm going to do what any emotionally stable person does on December 27: Close my curtains and pretend it's still the 25th. 
Deny. Deny. Deny.

View from the couch...
and my long lost friend, Fiction.


I broke down and showered last night. Baby steps.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Food, fun, felines, festivities and photography

My cup runneth over yesterday. With all the hubbub building up to it, I was afraid that I hadn't quite reached the peak of Christmas spirit. But it was an amazing day full of bonding, love, and amazing, heartfelt gifts. It was just me, the boys, and our little holiday bubble.

I was so surprised to unwrap a new camera! I always admire blogs with beautiful photographs and have wanted to improve my own for some time now. With this bad boy and some lessons, I think I can achieve my photography goals. It was such a sweet and unexpected gift from a thoughtful gentleman I am lucky to call my own. The fact that I took a picture of the box containing my fancy new camera with my iPhone is not lost on me.


It was a beautiful day filled with food, love, and lounging. It may go down in history as one of the best. 

 

It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness surrounding the holiday season in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, but this moment is what I live for:


I hope you all had an amazing day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

The human soul can always use a new tradition.

Sometimes we require them.

Pat Conroy
An orange in the toe of our stockings. A Christmas Eve movie followed by appetizers for dinner. Opening one present on Christmas Eve.

Despite a rather hodge-podge upbringing, my siblings and I enjoyed some tried and true Christmas traditions. And although Santa often forgets to put citrus in Jared's stocking or we don't make it to the theater, there are a couple of traditions I've held on to and a few I've made for myself.

Although it was a Christmas Eve Eve Eve movie, the boys and I saw The Hobbit at a local community theater. It's tiny and cute. The theater, I mean. And the Hobbits. Three sodas, 1 large popcorn and 2 boxes of candy cost $11.50. And they play old Looney Tunes cartoons before the show, which makes arriving early to ensure a seat a pleasure for a restless kiddo. Now on to those traditions.

1. Appetizers for Christmas Eve dinner: While we were at a movie with our dad, my mom would whip up a finger-food feast. Homemade lumpia, pigs-in-a-blanket, crudites, tater tots...the list goes on. I have no idea how this tradition started, but it seamlessly continued once I had my son; and I received zero resistance from my husband on this one. My sister got her hands on my old favorite recipe for Seafood Rounds, which I will be trying out tonight. I hope it lives up to the memories. Jared is making pigs in a blanket, and Mario chose bacon-wrapped Little Smokies in brown sugar. Deeelish.


2. Opening a gift on Christmas Eve: Just a small one, of course. Mario and I pass, but we love seeing the excitement build after Kiddo opens one and gets a taste of what's to come. It was one of my favorite traditions as a kid.

3. Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning: Another childhood tradition that has carried on. I'm crazy about Pillsbury's sweet orange rolls, and Jared picked out some chocolate rolls from Immaculate to try. The grocery store was out of traditional cinnamon rolls, so I'm guessing this tradition is not unique to us.



4. Watching A Christmas Story all day on Christmas: Despite owning it, we watch the continuous replay on TBS. It may be the single best Christmas movie ever made. A bold statement, I know, but we could watch it over and over again. We also own and watch the classic Christmas movies with the fun claymation/puppets and the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Another contender for best movie is It's a Wonderful Life. It gets me every time.


5. Advent Calendars: I never did these as a kid, but Jared has had one every year since he was old enough. His favorite is the Lego Advent calendars, and he is very specific about opening, building and replacing the figurine back into it's slot. It is hands-down one of his favorite Christmas traditions.


6. Decorating sugar cookies: This is a fairly new tradition, because we are not big fans of sugar cookies in general. The thin, too-crunchy cookies from our youth or the soft, crumbly ones from the store with loads of frosting and sprinkles. A few years ago I discovered the classic Betty Crocker sugar cookie recipe that uses powdered sugar instead of traditional granulated sugar. It's a one-bowl deal and they turn out amazing. Soft but not too soft and amazing flavor. I think the secret is in the almond extract. I make a simple royal icing (1 cup of powdered sugar, a touch of vanilla and almond extracts, and approx. 2 tbsp of liquid...I most commonly use almond or coconut milk so Kiddo can enjoy them). I love to see what he comes up with!

 
Despite never having seen Nacho Libre, Jared's cookie bears a striking resemblance to Jack Black.


Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life is like a snow globe...

it's often prettiest after it's been turned upside-down.

LCD

My ornaments are done. Made. For the most part, handed out. I was a little late getting gifts in the mail this year, so I'm hoping my family and friends have lots of Christmas spirit and aren't all "I'm taking this fire-hazard down December 26". I love when I pay more in shipping than I did on the actual gift. Maybe that's a sign I'm cheap and shouldn't have shared that little tidbit. Oh, well. 

A while back I pondered the DIY Christmas ornament ideas I'd found this year. My first pick went bust when I couldn't find a single one of the supplies at my local stores. As a result, I found the Vintage Inspired Bell Jar Ornaments Ashlee came up with over at My So Called Crafty Life. She's a genius. It was all very serendipitous...these were the ornaments I was meant to make. They were the perfect project to take on after a rough semester. Idle hands and all.


I picked up some vintage-y doodads from a couple of great shops: Hey Yo Yo, Tiny Things are Cute, and an Etsy shop called UglyDuckling1962. I got the darling bottle brush trees from Love it Shabby on Etsy. They all have the cutest stuff and I got my supplies super fast...this girl has mail OCD. The Loft has taken 8 days just to process my order and I'm losing my mind. I want it noooow. For the rest of this post you shall refer to me as Veruca Salt.

Anywho. I bought a 3.5" scalloped circle punch from Michael's (hello 40% off coupons!) and some cute scrapbook paper. Mario had just made his beloved Chex Mix, so I had a bunch of fun throwback boxes to use. I tried to cut out recipes and fun phrases. I used the same cutout for the scrapbook paper and rubber-cemented them together to form the bases. For the record, I think eating the box is probably a lot like eating the actual Chex. Not enough Worcestershire sauce in the world to cover up the uckyness of those little cubes.

I loaded up on plastic wine glasses from my new BFF The Dollar Store and Husband sawed off the nubs on the end, exposing the hollow stem.

Let the fun begin.


I spread my supplies out on the table and got to work, mixing and matching bases, doodads and trees. So. Fun. Except for the OCD-like perfectionism. I really should seek treatment. I had to trim a couple of the tree "trunks" so they would fit under the dome. I used a hot glue gun to secure the pieces to the base. Easy peasy.

Once I had them all how I wanted them and had ensured the domes would fit, I went about gluing them on. I am not very proficient with a hot glue gun. I'm slow, awkward, and my glue gun is SO tiny, not-hot and cheap-o. I couldn't get the glue around the rim fast or neatly enough and it wasn't working. OCD reared its ugly head. Mario came up with the idea of using my beloved Aleene's Tacky Glue. He's so wise.

I dipped the rims into the glue and centered it over my creation. They dried totally clear and the edges had a good seal so the glitter wouldn't escape. I didn't have to fret about precision or having too much glue...it just worked.


Once they were dry, I used a sheet of paper to create a funnel and poured in some white glitter I had laying around from last year's snowball ornaments. I used just enough to cover the bottom, but not so much that it obscured the little bunny and mice doodads. 

I found some multi-faceted plastic beads from Joann's that covered the stem really well and used some pink jewelry-making cotton cord I also had laying around to create a loop. Then I simply secured them with hot glue.

I tried experimenting with bows and ribbon around the stem, but in the end decided to let them be. The bead was a nice decorative touch, and because we only sawed off the nub there wasn't anything unsightly to cover. Everything I tried detracted from the cuteness going on inside the dome.

We gifted them to the staff at Jared's school yesterday and they raved. I loved, loved, loved this idea, but it's always nice when others share your vision and love for something. They were relatively easy once I got the hang of it (and my glue gun), and turned out so great. These will go down in history as one of my all-time favorites. 

Happy Saturday! May it be full of rest and relaxation!

P.S. If you decide to try these, show me! I'd love to see your spin on this adorable and oh-so creative idea. I was even thinking that non-Christmas themed ones would be fun. Thanks again Ashlee!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Beadhead, Bubbly, and Changing Luck

The world hasn't ended, so it's safe to spend time posting about the minutia in my life. I guess it's time to start paying my bills again.

Since I've been a lazy little blogger, I'm catching you up to speed in nine pictures...thanks to the wonder that is Instagram. Little else can make my nonsense look so, well, vintage.


1. No more of this for 5 weeks. Five. Whole. Weeks. Except for that pesky independent study paper I agreed to write. I'm currently attempting to ignore it. 2. Mr. Vista woke up from a rather long nap with bedhead and a "What just happened to me?" expression. Welcome to my world, Little Man. 3. Cheers to a professor that celebrates the last day of class with bubbly. I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I had a respectable buzz going on. At 10a. Don't judge. 4. I'm not a huge fan of chain restaurants like Olive Garden, but I wouldn't kick their new Moscato Peach Chicken out of bed for eating crackers. 5. I won a giveaway! I never win anything. One time my email address accidentally got sent out as the  winner of a giveaway I was participating in and people thought I'd won for a hot minute. That's was as close as it got until now. Look at my cute little cozy from Luisa! It was tough to pick just one. She was so sweet...you can check out her lovely creations here. Love. It. Is this a sign I should start buying lotto tickets?


1. A certain young man left his mark on my frosty car. It was quite darling, actually. Until the ice melts and I have a sticky jam-hand mark on my windshield. 2. Tomfoolery at the dollar store. By the way, how am I just discovering dollar stores? There's some good stuff there! 3. After Jared got out of the car I looked down and saw this. Only my kid. Peace. 4. Our dog apparently hasn't heard of the naughty list. He's on it. For. Sure.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.

Cookie Monster

It has been a Christmas cookie bonanza 'round these parts. Kiddo's class had a bake sale after their holiday program last night to raise money for their annual trip to Washington D.C. When it comes to baking, my OCD rears its ugly head. Oh, and a few hours before the bake sale probably isn't the time to try "stained glass" cookies. They looked like a prop from an episode of Dexter.

Still, I made some tried and true tasties. I used the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Drops recipe from the back of the Baker's chocolate box and modified it to make it more festive (and dairy-free for Kiddo). These always go over like gangbusters. And don't require that I haul the KitchenAid mixer down from the top of the fridge. There's always that moment of "is today the day I suffer a head injury?" when performing that precarious task.

I also reconfirmed my desire to have a kitchen with an island. A girl can't churn out cookies when they are cooling on every surface in her house. I'm also hoping people will see the occasional dog hair as "charming". Appetizing, no?


 Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Drops

  • 4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter (I use Earth Balance or Fleischmann's unsalted margarine)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 6 squares Baker's semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
  • hard peppermint candies, crushed

MICROWAVE unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
HEAT oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I use my mini ice cream scooper thingy to portion them out and then roll them in my palm); place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 8 min. or just until set. Cool on baking sheet 1 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

NOTE: They will look rather raw...don't freak! Once cooled completely, they are chewy nuggets of awesomeness. Also, don't wait longer than a minute or so to transfer them to a cooling rack, otherwise they start to stick to the pan.



GLAZE: Melt the 6 squares semisweet chocolate and 2 tbsp of shortening in a saucepan over low heat; stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract (optional). Once cookies are completely cooled, dip the top half into the chocolate mix. Immediately sprinkle with the crushed peppermint candies.

NOTE: I like a little peppermint extract in the glaze sometimes, but they are delicious without it so don't run out and buy a flavoring you won't use again. We were out, so I didn't use it this time. Mario suggested Peppermint Schnapps, but Mommy doesn't like to share her liquor.


Easy peasy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

 Friedrich Nietzsche

Holy moly! This girl has been MIA. Sorry about that. I had a full-blown meltdown last week and needed a break, I suppose. Even though this humble little blog is my creative outlet, I didn't feel like putting finger to keyboard. I find that when I force myself to post even though I'm brain-fried, the content is rather uninspired. But I have to be careful not to let a hiatus drag on too long because I'd hate to lose my mojo. So here I am. Inspired. Rested. Less nuts.

Last Wednesday was finals day. Starting at 8a I had three nearly consecutive exams. I woke up anxious but prepared. Husband was in California golfing working hard, so I was flying solo. Instead of sensing my need for a smooth morning, Kiddo took 35 minutes to get dressed. Then halfway through our morning commute he informed me that he'd left his homework on the table. You know, the one that took 2 hours to get through the night before. 

I can't say for sure what happened, but I broke. There were sobs that sounded like they were coming from someone else. Or a wild animal. There was a profanity-laced tirade. There was so much mascara streaking down my face, I looked like I was on my way to a Marilyn Manson concert. It was ugly. And disappointing. But it was also a very real moment. Sometimes real life is unattractive.

That empty shell of a person made it through that rather hellish day. I picked Kiddo up from the library and issued a tearful and heartfelt apology. He was so sweet and sincerely apologized for making my morning rougher than it had to be. We went to dinner and reconnected.

Mario got home on Friday night and I started to feel a little more normal. But the dam broke on Saturday and all that unresolved stress, guilt, shame, and self doubt resurfaced. He listened. Patiently. I'm not a crier in general, and Meltdown 2.0 went on for 30 minutes, so I think he was a bit afraid. He's a good guy.


In the end, you live and learn. Have I forgiven myself for losing it like that in front of my kid? Not completely. It wasn't my finest moment, sure, but it also doesn't make me a bad mom. Just a human. One who can be pushed to her limit by demanding professors, a grueling schedule, and a kiddo who couldn't step it up just because I needed him to. But most of all by the insurmountable standards I set for myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm a much better [mom/wife/student/fill-in-the-blank] when I don't try to be everything to everyone all the time.

So here I sit, unsatisfied with the mere 12 dozen cookies I made for tomorrow's school bake sale. I can definitely make 10 dozen more! I just got a late start because we had a meeting with the staff at Kiddo's school this morning. Followed by carpool duty. No biggie. Except none of this resembles a vacation. Or a break from the things that pushed me to the brink. Have I learned nothing? That's a mom for you. But a better, wiser one for having found the light at the end of the tunnel. Again.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Free as a Bird...


I'm alive. And mostly unscathed. Yesterday sucked, but today is a new day and this week will be behind me soon enough. Now it's time to enjoy my family, friends, and the free time that will allow me to do the things that fall by the wayside during the semester. 

It has been an arduous semester, and too many days were stress-filled and overwhelming. But I am so grateful to be where I'm at. It has all been worth it, because now a single semester is all that stands between me and a college degree. I have a lot to be grateful for:

  • Gone Girl has been tempting me since my husband got it for me as a birthday gift back in October. I'm picking it up today.
  • Husband comes home tomorrow and will be home for several weeks. Mine. All mine.
  • All the cute little doodads necessary to make the globe ornaments I love have arrived and are awaiting my imagination. 
  • Gifts are overflowing out of my closet, so I am going to catch up on my DVR and wrap away. 
  • I got to wake up and have a relaxed school morning with Kiddo for the first time in months. It was awesome.
  • I can breathe out of my nose for the first time in a week! Yahoo!
  • I saw my house for the mess it is this morning, and I actually look forward to tidying up! Well, not the actual cleaning part, but de-cluttered surroundings are a beautiful thing.
  • I have never shopped at Loft before. Is that weird? While looking for a gift for my mother-in-law, I decided to peruse their website. As luck would have it, they are having a flash sale today: an additional 60% off sale prices. Yes, please! I scored these cuties for less than I would have paid for comparable pieces at Target.  

Loft Feather Print Bow Neck Blouse
Loft Bow Print Tie Neck Blouse
Loft Kitten Print Cardigan

My wardrobe has been feeling a little tired this fall/winter, so I'm thinking cute yet sophisticated prints are in order. 

Also, the days of wearing jeans and t-shirts during the week will be over soon. I have a year between graduation and grad school, so I hope to be working as close to full time as possible. More hands-on experience means a better chance of admittance into the program(s) of my choice. This means interview and work clothes. I'm not going crazy and buying a whole new wardrobe, but it is definitely in the back of my mind when look at clothes these days.


I ran across this craft on Pinterest the other day. Last year I made string snowball ornaments, so I have the technique mastered and the supplies on hand to pull this off. It would be so fun to do with Kiddo! I will use the white string I have left over, and find a way to color it so we are left with a rainbow of pastel trees. Retro and cute like the bottle brush trees I'm infatuated with right now.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ten hours. Three finals. No words.

Just this:

Source: hotspring.com via Hot on Pinterest

and this:



For every challenge life can throw at you, there is an Emerson quote to put it all into perspective.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When you come to the end of your rope...


 tie a knot and hang on.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Day 5 with my nemesis Virus. Three finals tomorrow. A gross lack of prep time. Random Pinterest loves after allowing myself a break from studying. 

The holiday break shines like a beacon, guiding me through this rocky week. Dramatic, I know.

Source: weheartit.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Oh, books. How I miss you. Soon. Promise.

Source: flickr.com via Sarah on Pinterest




Kiddo's class has a bake sale next week. They ran out in just a few minutes last year, so I want to bring a couple different types so they get the most out of the sale. These are never going to happen, but a girl can dream. How cute are those Snoopy cookies?! I am definitely attempting these York Peppermint Patty Fudge Cookies:


Above all, I'm trying to stay inspired...and resist the urge to be overwhelmed and disheartened.




I needed this Emerson quote today. I will be reciting it all day tomorrow. It is just one day and three exams...neither will define my future indefinitely.