Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Merry October

"October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins." -rainbow rowell (attachments)

A few October goals/plans: 

1. GET A HAIRCUT. This sounds like a ridiculous goal, but I'm not a huge fan of going to the salon. I usually only get my hair cut 1-2x a year so it's not too big of a problem for me, but my hair is insanely long right now and it's way too hard to manage.  

2. Apple Picking. I think we've gone almost every single year since I've lived here- so it's definitely a fall tradition. 

3. Less TV more books. I got obsessed with watching The Wire, which really put a kink in my reading progress. I really do prefer reading to watching TV, I just get lazy. 

4. 5k/running training: see post here.

5. Bake 1-2 new recipes-- preferably something with apples.

6. Plan for the holidays. This is vague, but I mean everything from figuring out our holiday plans to beginning to look for gifts. I want to stay on top of everything this year so I don't end up stressed out or disappointed when I run out of time.

September went by so incredibly fast, it's just kind of a blur when I look back. I'm hoping to make October a month of productivity.

What are some things you're looking forward to this month? 
Even though I have like twenty-five books to read right now, I feel slightly out of the book loop-- what have you read recently? 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014



The Beginning. 

Growing up I did dance, swimming, and soccer for a few years but I was never dedicated or motivated to really care.

I ran track in middle school and it started off as being something I did because all of my friends were doing it-- I still kind of remember the moment I realized I had a little bit of speed, when playfully racing a friend at one of our first practices.

As it turned out I was actually pretty decent at sprinting and would go on to run the 70m and 100m and usually place. I was never the fastest girl on the team, but I was up there.

Entering high school I continued sprinting running the 100m, 200m, 4x100 and 4x200. For a while I was on the a team with our 4x100 relay team, which was great, but the truth was I just couldn't keep up-- I really just wasn't good enough, and once again I just wasn't competitive enough to really care.

It's funny how specific moments stick out in your mind. I can pretty vaguely remember the moment when my coach decided to tell me they were going to move me back to the b team-- it was the same moment my mom showed up at the track with my new inhaler (I could never breathe and had recently been told I had exercise-induced asthma). I'm sure I cared more than I ever let on, but truly I wasn't competitive, and after 10th grade I quit track all together.

Looking back, I wish I would have stuck with it-- 11th grade was the start of a difficult time for me, as I think so many people have self-esteem issues when they're 15/16 years old, but that's another story for another day.

Needless to say after 10th grade I wasn't active at all. In college we were required to take three gym courses, I took tennis, tap dance, and an intensive cardio class-- all three were surprisingly difficult. I went on "runs" with friends, but they were never very serious and I'm sure I could never keep up.


If you've been following my blog for a while you might know I started the Couch 2 5k program twice. Due to different life happenings, something always came up and I was never able to see the program all the way through.

While I was using it, it really seemed to work-- it was hard- but it worked. There were weeks I was so embarrassingly excited about my minimal achievements. The furthest I got was up to jogging 5 minutes without stopping-- I know that doesn't sound very impressive, but when I started I could hardly run for 60 seconds without stopping.

As far as exercising goes, it has never been that easy because, 1). I'm out of shape and 2). the whole asthma component. Plus, I'm not good at pacing myself. Even though it has been years since I was on a track, whenever I run I want to go full speed ahead-- that clearly doesn't work when you're trying to run for distance!

So here we are at the end of September, and I'm ready to start again. I guess I would classify myself as a wannabe runner.

I'm so excited that Tracy and Alyssa created this linkup each month to help hold me accountable.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites 9/26

I don't know why I haven't linked up for Friday Favorites in so long but I'm excited to share a few favorites today.

The Danger of Measuring our Worth in Numbers
(read here)
I came across that article on twitter earlier this week and it sums up exactly how I feel about blogging most of the time. Even though I'm a really small blog, it's easy to get caught up looking at the number of comments, followers, or page views.


I feel like I've been waiting forever to talk about this candle, it's the best candle scent ever made (and I loooved the original pear candle so that's saying a lot). The only thing I dislike about it is the packaging- not a fan of that font, but I either peel off the label or put it in a candle holder so I don't know why I'm even commenting on that. If you like fresh scents, stock up on this candle now! You won't be sorry!

This crock pot casserole recipe-- it didn't photograph well, but it was delicious! It's not the healthiest, but it was a nice change from the typical salsa/chicken crock pot recipes I tend to make. I was not a fan of the yellow rice. It made it way too salty, so in the future I'll use white or brown rice, and I think it would be really good with fresh broccoli in addition to the corn.

I can't believe this is already the last Friday in September-- I didn't think it was possible for a month to go by faster than the previous months, but this month feels like it completely flew by!

Linking up for Friday Favorites, Little Friday Linkup, and H54F, and I'll leave you with this quote via pinterest:
Happy Friday! I hope you make the most of your weekend wherever it takes you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Matte on my Mind (mini review of Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon)

I've dabbled in matte foundations, bronzers, and a few eyeshadows, but matte lips were something that never appealed to me... until now.

Nars Pure Matte Lipstick & Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick: The Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick is really the first Matte lipstick I remember hearing about and it's rated pretty highly. However, the packaging of the Pure Matte Lipstick is definitely a bit more appealing to me as you can just twist up the product. However, as someone with small lips the point of the Velvet Matte lipstick would probably be a better option for me.  Both products come in 14 shades varying from nudes to deep pinks and reds.

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon: Bite Beauty has been pretty high on my list of brands I want to try and I really love the size of this product. I have small lips, so a smaller pencil makes it easier to be more precise. Sephora offers 12 different shades, but you can also choose from three shades at J. Crew. For fall I'm loving brandy, a deep raspberry color.

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick: I tend to have pretty good luck when it comes to Clinique and I think they're a great mid-range brand. Considering how much I love the chubby lip pencils, I would definitely be willing to try out this line of matte lipsticks for $16. From what I can tell pink chocolate is my shade of choice- a nice brown pink.

The drugstore is usually pretty on point with its lip products, so I'm interested to see how the matte lip products compare to the higher end brands.

NYX Matte Lip Cream: I'm still completely obsessed with frappuccino & I love the butter glosses so I definitely see myself giving these a try in the near future.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm: I'm a big fan of the glossy version of these, and I tend to have pretty good luck with Revlon lip products in general, so I definitely want to give these a try.

Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon: As far as packaging goes this is most similar to the Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick, I mean even the name is pretty similar.

I picked one up at Target recently in the shade blossomy nude*, and while I wasn't a fan of the color the overall feel of the lip crayon was pretty impressive. The product went on smooth and actually felt quite moisturizing. It did feather a bit, so I need to use a lipliner when wearing it just to be on the safe side.

I wasn't crazy about the packaging, I could see the top coming off in your bag since it doesn't click or snap on. It's also a little bit of a hassle that you have to sharpen the product, the other lip crayons I've used twist up, which is obviously more convenient.

If I was a bigger fan of the color, the pros would outweigh the cons, but since SK is only available at Target and you can't return opened cosmetics, I probably won't try another one.

*I thought it would be more nude and less pink

Shop the products:

Are you a fan of matte lips? What are your favorite matte lip products?

One last thing! I'm sharing my bookshelf on Sarah's blog today! I'd love if you stopped by :) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Recent Reads & Reviews

I apologize for this post being so incredibly late. I had the entire thing done by the end of August but was waiting to finish The Rosie Project so I could add in the review... I never ended up finishing the book, and I had already made the graphic so I didn't want to post until I was done. I haven't read at all this month, so I never finished the book & decided I would just share this post anyway. (sorry, longest ramble ever!)

When The World Was Young was set in NYC in the 1940s & 1950s which is what initially drew me into the book. I really enjoyed this book up until the very end-- I felt like Gaffney ran out of time or lost interest when she got to the end of the book. There were so many big changes & twists in the second half of the book and they were all crammed into a couple of chapters at the end- or simply not mentioned at all. It almost felt like two different books because the first half of the book is full of so much development and description. Overall, it was a lovely story but I was disappointed it seemed so incomplete in its final chapters (3 stars) (c/o netgalley)

I'm going to be honest, I loved Me Before You so much that I was a little disappointed with the first half of this book. I found it to be a tad slow and dragged out, but once I got about halfway through I was completely hooked and read the entire thing in a single day. The story follows Jess, a single mom, who has has a difficult life- she always sees things on the bright side and has a positive outlook in life, despite being dealt not the best hand. Both of her kids are bullied and I loved how one of them end up using blogging as a positive outlet. The bit about her love interest is predictable, but still well written and I was definitely attached to them and rooting for them to get together throughout the entire story. It isn't as good as Me Before You, but still one of my favorites this year. (4 stars) (c/o netgalley)

After seeing this book on almost every single summer reading list I felt like I needed to read it before the summer was over. I don't know if I had my expectations set too high or what the problem was but I really was not impressed with this book. I actually forgot I even read it until I went back to look at what books to add to this post! The one redeeming factor for me was that I actually read it while on a family vacation, so that was a little fun. Otherwise, I felt like there were too many characters and story lines going on at once and not enough time to really fully develop any of them. One of the saddest things about reading a book is when I don't connect or like any of the characters and that's exactly how I felt while reading this. I honestly didn't care what happened to any of them. Every once in a while there would be a good one-line of dialogue that was thought provoking, insightful, or funny, but other than that I was bored. (2 stars) 

After hearing so much talk about this book that I figured it was worth requesting from the library-- I didn't think it was worth all of the hype. I liked the story quite a bit, but I didn't care for the writing style at all. The ending caught me completely by surprise, which is always nice- but that wasn't enough to sway me to like the book overall. This is a book people either seem to really love or really dislike. I gave it 2 stars but it's all a matter of taste! (2 stars)

This was my first Rainbow Rowell book and it didn't disappoint! It switches between email correspondence between two girls and the narrator Lincoln. I wasn't really a fan of Lincoln through most of the book, but I loved the relationship between Jennifer and Beth-- reading the emails between them felt so REAL, Rowell did an amazing job giving them both their own voice and making it feel like a conversation you would literally have while emailing your BFF. The story takes place right before/during Y2K and I'm with Kristen on loving all the 2000s references. (3.5 stars)

Quirky is the one word that comes to mind when I think back to this book. I tend not to care much for books that have male narrators and I read this right after Attachments, so I was on the fence about that...(that's as far as I got! I liked it enough to finish it once I get back into the swing of reading)

ICYMI: I shared the BookSparks books I read these past two months in this post.

Have your reading habits changed now that fall has hit? What have you read recently? Any recommendations?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fragrance Collection

Perfumes are my favorite-- and I kind of wish they weren't because they tend to be on the expensive side. I also do this thing where I don't like to use my favorites very often because I want to save them-- but then I realize life is too short! 

As you'll quickly be able to tell I prefer floral scents, so if that's not your thing you probably won't care for any of these scents. I have a hard time choosing a favorite, but Coco Mademoiselle and English Pear & Freesia are probably tied for my top two. Both were gifts from my husband, I wore Coco Mademoiselle on my wedding day so that will always be special and English Pear & Freesia just smells so good! 

I got the Michael Kors as a deluxe sample from Sephora and was obsessed with the scent. It's definitely the least floral of the bunch.

Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet is my most recent fragrance. It was a gift from my aunt after one of my other cousins wasn't a fan of the scent. It's an eau de toliette spray, so it's not very long lasting, but it just means I can spritz it on all over for a nice, light floral scent. This is definitely a fragrance that smells much different on my actual skin as opposed to just smelling it in the bottle.

Gucci Envy Me was the first fragrance my husband picked out for me, and after this picture it went into retirement in my perfume bottle box.

Are you a fan of floral scents? What are your favorite fragrances?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The s word

I have a legitimate phobia of spiders. I know most people don't care for them, but for as long as I can remember I've been horrified of them.

I'd like to say I've got a little better with age... I'm now able to spray them with just about anything, as long as I can kill them while staying at a safe distance. 

Yesterday was a different story. And it's the kind of thing that happens when you're by yourself, so no one believes how big the spider really is, and they just think you're being dramatic and crazy. 

I had gone into our basement to print something and as I was coming back up the stairs I see it... the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. At least in person. Or at least in a lot of years. (I do have some pretty bad spider stories from camp.)

Anyway, I went into complete panic mode. I called my husband and started crying, I'm talking red and blotchy kind of crying. After I calmed myself down with some self-talk techniques, I realized it's ridiculous to be that scared of a spider. 

It took a lot of building myself up but eventually, with my husband on the phone so I didn't feel totally alone,  I was able to use our swiffer to smash it. There may have been a lot of screaming and more tears involved, but I was actually embarrassingly proud of myself when it was over. 

(I apologize for the poor grammar of this, but it was too good not to share)
On the bright side, along with this fear, I've developed a lot of compassion for others when it comes to their own fears. Sometimes I think it's an important lesson or reminder in never discounting someone else's feelings. 

How do you deal with your phobias? Is anyone as scared of spiders as I am?