Weekend Success Story

This morning, I had one of the most successful Sunday mornings I’ve had in months.

No, I did not cure cancer. Nor did I finish all my homework for the next two weeks. I didn’t get the interview done that I need to do for the student paper. I did not go to brunch at a fancy place with fancy friends and order fancy (and expensive) eggs Benedict (how does anyone like eggs Benedict anyway? One of life’s great mysteries).

This morning was a success only in the fact that I did nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

I went to bed fairly late last night, after a wonderful evening rushing about town with friends. I ended up taking some benadryl to counteract my evening of petting and cuddling with cats–adorable, but allergy bombs for me–and the medicine knocked me out. 

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Most weekends, I cannot sleep in past 8 or 8:30. The thought of all the things I have to accomplish in the day jolts me up and out of the bed and sends me stumbling to my Keurig. But this morning, I woke up at 8:30…and was completely unperturbed. I rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Amazing. At 9, I got up and ate a little breakfast, checked my email, but I was still feeling really groggy and tired. So what did I do?

I got back in bed for another hour.

I can see how this might not seem like a big deal. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it isn’t. But I live most of my life in a constant state of hurrying about, trying to stay on top of a million and one things, and hardly taking a moment to sit and just be. Every second of the day has to be spent accomplishing something.  This high anxiety personality of mine usually leads to some wonderful successes, but also to quick burnouts where I feel like getting out of bed is a chore. 

So this morning, I changed it. I ignored the pangs of rising anxiety (what about homework? Shouldn’t I be working on a blog post? Or reading! I could be improving my mind!) and simply gave my body what it needed: sleep. And lots of it.

Now I feel happy, rested, and ready to take on this next crazy week. It’s amazing what a tiny bit of change in perspective can do!

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Another Year Older

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I turned 21 on Monday! I’ve been having to remind myself that I am, in fact, now 21 ever since. I love that feeling of birthdays: you always expect to wake up and the world will have shifted, something will be illuminated. You’ll be another year older, and another year wiser. Usually, that doesn’t happen. But with 21, I have to admit, I do feel a little different.

As a society, we build up this birthday so much. Visions of drunken debauchery danced in my head as I planned my quiet, small gatherings with friends.  I even had the thought: am I doing this wrong?  Wow. That is how permeated we’ve become with the idea of a crazy, wild 21st. My friends, thankfully, reminded me that it was my birthday. I could spend it in any way that I saw fit.

So we had a fall celebration, complete with popcorn, candy corn, orange dark chocolate, and homemade dark chocolate yogurt brownies. There might even have been some hot cocoa with Baileys.

I am excited for this year. 20 brought challenges in many forms. 21 is sure to bring more. But I feel like I’m finally beginning to know myself. Even when I don’t know exactly what I want, I can recognize that I’m on a journey, and the present moment is just as important as the coming ones.

I’ll be posting my Bucketlist for Age 21 soon!

Boots Made for Walking

Over the past few years of boot-wearing, I think I’ve tried most of the trends out there. Black weathered suede that collapsed around my ankles? Loved ’em. Uggs? As a Wisconsin girl, I think I’ve owned them in every style and color they’ve got (and let it be known: I stand by the comfort of those boots. Who cares if they’re ugly? I’ll take warm feet over guy’s approval any day.) My new personal favorites are low-heeled, slouchy leather; I have a pair from DSW that steered me through last winter and will, I hope, stay alive through the fall.

But as we’ve moved into the fall season, I have felt an unfamiliar situation developing in my heart: the need for not one, but TWO pairs of new boots. What is this feeling? Having been previously satisfied with one purchase, I’m finding it difficult to justify this new sartorial obsession.  But I can’t help it: my heart is being pulled in two directions, and I must follow both. Eventually.  In the meantime, my eye is continuously peeled for low price options in both my new style favorites!

Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Kessi Crochet Boot - Taupe

These are from Target, and I’ve wanted them for months! Just haven’t managed to take the plunge yet…I wish they were for sale in stores. Added shipping really puts a damper on my online shopping fun.

How pretty are these riding boots from Dillard’s?  I love the shiny leather and the worn look. Can picture myself rushing across the quad, my infinity scarf gently wafting in the breeze, a cup of Starbucks in my hand. These go with just about every sweater/skinny jean combo I have in my head.

 

Falling for Skinnies

Falling for Skinnies

J Crew sweater
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J Crew top
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J Crew j crew shirt
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J Crew flat
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J Crew handbag
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J Crew necklace
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I am absolutely in love with all of the new skinny collections I’ve seen. I cannot wait to stock my closet with chinos and chords in deep, rich colors, and I’m especially interested in the new “coated jegging” trend.  Will I look classy? Or like a Hell’s Angel?  I guess I won’t know until I try! Also a huge fan of the lovely sweaters and long sleeved tops from J. Crew…but will be looking for similar styles at a college girl price tag. Hey, it’s good to dream!

Ode to the Honeycrisp Apple

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I am not sure that I can express my delight upon seeing that honeycrisp apples are now in season. I almost keeled over in Walmart when I saw them nestled, gleaming in their sunset-pink glory, amongst the granny smiths and red delicious.

And then I almost keeled over again when I saw the price tag. At $2.00 a pound, these guys are a little outside of my price range, considering I go through about 9 apples a week. (I feel a bit like an addict: “I can do that, I can make that work! I just won’t buy bread this week; yea, that’s a solid trade off, just give me the apples!!!”)

I forewent them for a few days, rationalizing that it’s early in the season and I can always buy more. But upon visiting our local natural grocery the other day (in search of fresh basil. Which no one has. Sigh.), I saw my favorite natural wonder again, sitting in prominent end cap display. And I caved.

The amount that I savor these guys cannot be compared. It’s almost like dessert: I try and enjoy every single bite, relishing the sweetness and crispness that reminds me, yes, autumn is actually here. And I am in love with it.

Here are a I’m excited to try. The common wisdom is to go with cheaper apples when you’re cooking, but I’m interested in trying some desserts with my favorite variety and seeing if I can taste the difference. Now please excuse me while I go delight in my lunch, in which a Honeycrisp features prominently. Happy fall, everyone!

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Salted Caramel Apple Handpies from Just a Taste

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Crockpot Baked Apples by Skinny Chef

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Upside Down Apple Cinnamon Cake by Behind the Curtain (this looks hard, but is made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Life hacks are beautiful.)

Friday Fancies

Here’s a short and sweet list of things I’m crushing on this Friday. I hope you are having a lovely day!

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1. Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) Interviews from the Levo League. I’m obsessed with seeing into the inspiring lives of working women who are absolutely passionate about what they do, in all kinds of creative fields.  Today’s interview with Samira DeAmdrade was particularly inspiring.

2. These apple cider muffins are happening. I’ve been craving fall flavors, even though the heat won’t seem to cooperate.

3. I’m so excited about attending the state fair! I don’t know why, but I have been determined to go since freshman year and haven’t made it yet. But this year will be different. This year, I will drag my friends if I have to.

4. Date night! The Boyfriend and I will be watching Hot Fuzz while sipping on some brews…not going to lie, it will probably be warm apple cider for me. Or I might go for the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been craving for awhile. And speaking of Arctic Zero and healthy options…

5. I’m heading to Whole Foods for my first real shopping adventure tonight! I can’t really afford to get all my food there on a college kid budget, but I have some specialty items to pick up that you just can’t get at the regular store (for the record: spaghetti squash, PB2, and Arctic Zero are on the list. I’m going to try very, very hard not to impulse buy but. We shall see how that goes.) I feel like Whole Foods is a shopping experience in and of itself. I love wandering around and looking at all the delicious healthy options that I could be eating! Someday, someway.

6. I’m living for this article on College Prepster about the Kate Spade Beau bag. Beau, indeed; I want one in every colour! It’s hard for me to imagine spending a lot of money on a purse, but this one might be worth the sacrfice. It’s gorgeous, luxuriant, comes in colors to suit every look, and it has a HUGE BOW. What more do you need? Be still, my little preppy heart.

7. I’m heading to Waffle Champion this weekend, after weeks of lusting after them.  This cute little eatery started out of a food truck, and grew to such heights of popularity that they’ve opened up a sit-down restaurant. Basically, you start with a delicious buttermilk waffle, and add whatever you like to make it the waffle sandwich of your dreams. They have savory options, but I think I’ll be heading more towards the sweet side. Lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream, anyone?

Late Summer Afternoons

Final Days

Equipment white eyelet shirt
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J Crew j crew mini skirt
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Pull&Bear heeles shoes
$63 – pullandbear.com

I spend most of my school days wearing the acting uniform of black active wear, so the only time I really get to show my style is the afternoons.  This week, I’ve really been glorifying in these last, super hot dog-days of summer by wearing cute short and tank combos, always with some wedges.  Hey, you only get summer for so long…I’m dreaming of an afternoon spent on the quad with a magazine, wearing one of these cute ensembles while sipping a passion tea lemonade.
Fall will be here before you know it; I’m going to soak up a little more sun while I may.

Books to Fall For: September 2013

It’s been hard to find time to read as I ease into the business of school, but I’ve been loving the little moments of relaxation I pick up here and there.  Here are my book recommendations for September!

1) The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Euginedes

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Read It If You’re Craving: sweater-cuddled New England falls accompanied by a stack of Great Literature and a cinnamon dolce latte.

Why I Love It: Oh, this book.  I picked it up by happenstance at the bookstore, and have been able to put it down only reluctantly since.  It speaks to so many aspects of my little creative soul: the characters are all liberal arts students at Brown who discuss the greatest authors of British literature wittily; there are scenes of New England weather followed by beautiful descriptions of European travel; and, my favorite, the author goes deeply into the emotional development of his characters, delving into the weird little ways our mind works out relationships. I don’t want to go into the plot too much, but it’s a love story for the wacked out world we live in today.

2) The September Issue(s)

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Read It If You’re Craving: a high-fashion infusion without the $5,000 dollar price tag, or a front row seat at Fashion Week.
Why I Love It: As a fashion lover/college student, I’m constantly embattled in the struggle for high style at a low price. Not to mention the fact that I spend most of my days clothed in some assemblage of Lycra/Spandex composites.  I love the little luxury that fashion magazines provides: gorgeous spreads, plus well-written editorials about creative subjects? I’m always ready. With the September issue, there’s always more to love.  Like, 800 pages.  I was so excited to get my Vogue that I had my mom send it cross country. You know you’re in love when…(Note: my favorites are Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, but with the wealth of fashion tomes on the market, there’s something for every taste!)
3) Joy the Baker
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Read It If You’re Craving: tons of delicious recipes for comforting sweets, all with little twists to keep life interesting.
Why I Love It: This one’s on my wish list, but I had a chance to page through it at the bookstore and developed a deep love affair with the recipes in here. Joy has such a natural and friendly approach to baking, and injects humor into it–I love that in a cookbook!  Very reminiscent of The Pioneer Woman. Her pictures are also beautiful to look at.  I love getting a little photography style with my desserts. I get my daily treat from Joy’s blog, but I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf…and I’m sure my friends can’t wait for all the delicious treats in their future, either.

Baubles, Bangles, and Beads…

Let me indulge myself for a moment. Rue La La is currently having a Tacori sale. Which means $5,000 items on sale for $1,000. A steal, I am sure, but still a steal far, far beyond my current price range. Or even, you know, “ever” price range. That being said…sometimes you just gotta dream a little bit.  I had to post my favorites on here because these earrings are too perfect to be true. Full disclosure…there were also some engagement rings that might have ended up on my Pinterest wedding board. Do I want to get married at the moment? No, thank you. But are those rings that I would scream “YES!” for? Indubitably. Hope you’re having an indulgent Saturday of your own! For me, that means a couple of pieces of candy corn and possibly another cup of coffee.

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TACORI “Blushing Rose” 18K Pink Gold & Silver 9.63 cttw. Diamond & Gemstone Drop Earrings
The pink. Oh, the pink. Be still, my little girlie girl heart.

The Healthiest Ways to Start Your Day

I am a great believer in breakfast. It’s almost like a belief system.  Because I tend to eat smaller dinners, by the time my alarm clock goes off in the AM I am starving, so I usually tend to try and do something a little more special with my first meal of the day.  As my boyfriend found out when he suggested skipping breakfast in favor of a big lunch, I don’t do well when forced to skip out on an energy boost to my day.  Extra perks: it’s a moment of quiet time before jumping into a morning full of crazy. I like nothing more to sit with my cup of coffee and ease my way into the stress of the day. Here are some healthy and quick options to get you started!

My Go-To’s: sometimes, you don’t have a half hour to luxuriate over brunch.  On busy mornings, I have a few meals that I can throw together in a pinch and without a lot of thought–a good idea when I’m just as likely to pour milk into my coffee as into my cereal.

-Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and half a banana
-A cup of rice chex with milk and halved strawberries
-Danon Light n’ Fit vanilla yogurt with cinnamon Life cereal, berries, and banana
-Whole wheat English muffin with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and an apple
-Raspberry Faje greek yogurt with a little bit of Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal

When to Indulge: indulgent does it have to mean caloric! Here are some healthy options that take a little more time to cook, but provide a delicious and nutritious start.

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Vegan Banana oatmeal pancakes from Colorful Palette.

These are the easiest healthy pancakes I’ve found. Plus: they’re made from items you can find in your kitchen! No random flax or hemp seeds here.

Power Muffins with Yogurt, Blueberries and Oats from Domesticated Academic

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Another easy breasy beautiful recipes.  These are easily portable, too, meaning you can take them for snacks or lunch!

Healthy Greek Yogurt Lemon Blueberry Pancakes from My Recipe Magic

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Usually, interesting flavor combos in pancakes equals an unhealthy mix of sugars and carbs.  Not with these guys.  Anything lemon is an instant hit with me!

Good for Your Soul Choices: Sometimes, you gotta live a little.

Several Cinnamon Roll Recipes from the Pioneer Woman

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Though I may stray a little, I always come back to Ree Drummond for delicious recipes with great directions. All of these are decadent, creamy, rich, and will probably change your life.

Lemon Blueberry Drizzle Bread from Good Life Eats

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I made this this summer, and it was an instant family classic. Remember my love of lemon? It comes back full force with this guy.

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal from the Yummy Life

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This one is the perfect start to a chilly fall morning. Instant plus: you don’t have to wake up and get it going! And the delicious smells will be redolent in your apartment/home all night long.