Wednesday, December 21, 2011

out of office.. sort of.

My blogging has practically come to a stop on this blog. Why? Partially because I've become part of other blogging jobs & those jobs are eating up most of my personal blogging time. I'm not deleting this blog, in the instance that when I get married I will want to return to documenting lots of my life's little details :).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Playing Catch-up

this weekend was crazy . As in it's Wednesday and I'm still trying to recover. No, not from drinking ( I don't drink), but just from loss of sleep. Friday night was my bff's big birthday dinner:

it was loads of fun, and we ate entirely too much food. This geeky picture is courtesy of i cannot wear contacts for two full weeks because my eye is scratched. . or something of that nature. 

Saturday was filled with weddingness that was both wonderful and tiring, leaving me in a trance staring at the wall, because I'd just seen, heard and tasted a little too much for my senses in the previous 4 hours. This wedding was the first double wedding I'd ever been to, and it was quite the experience! Everything was so unique and thought-provoking, perhaps that's why I slipped into my little half awake coma for the rest of the afternoon. 

Sunday I got to attend our future church :). I'm so thrilled that the hubby-to-be and I have already selected our new home church. I really can't wait to get involved with classes and ministries as B and I start our little life together!

Rehearsal Dress
The fact that our wedding is only 6 months away has me doing a little freak out, happy, stressed kind of dance. I'm a huge planner, but extremely indecisive. Not joking. I can plan it all, no probs, but ask me to make an on-the-spot decision, and I'm stunned. Choosing the bathroom colors took like forever.  I'm still trying to nail down dress styles and colors for my maids, actually, still trying to choose the maids :/. I'm horrible, I know. At least I have chosen the wedding venue and reception venue, have a caterer, florist, wedding planner, and makeup/ hair artist in mind. Dress and shoes have been purchased:). Rehearsal dress has not, hence the photo pictured above. I absolutely adore this dress, unfortunately I don't have a couple thousand to throw into my rehearsal dress, a true shame, I know. I would like to find something similar to this dress. 

Reception Dress
I haven't fully gathered my opinions on the whole reception dress deal. Obviously, it's a major trend right now, and most brides are slipping into a (much) shorter, more comfortable dress for the reception/ departure. I'm all cool with this, but I don't think I will be able to bid my wedding dress farewell after just a few hours in it. I only get to wear it once, and I don't see myself wanting to slip out of it just to wear something different. My wedding dress is very comfortable and stretchy, and my shoes are fairly flat, so I think I'm pretty much prepared for the long-haul of wedding activities. But, if I did have to choose a dress. . . I would choose either of these:

Add about 2 more inches to this dress and I would consider wearing it to my reception. I love lace sleeves, and the shorter style. I'm just not sure I could wear it at the reception. I always feel awkward in the spotlight when I'm wearing a short skirt. I constantly brush the back of the skirt to ensure that I'm not accidentally exposing myself, which makes for an incredibly clumsy, ungraceful looking me, as I'm constantly sweeping my hand across the back of my dress. (tmi?)

I also really love this dress. Incase you haven't already realized, I'm big into the lace. I like that these lace sleeves existent, but far shorter than the long sleeved dress I pictured earlier. I would really like to try this dress on and just see how magical it feels on.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Party time.

Today is my forever bff's 20th birthday. She's amazing and I could pretty much writer a whole book right here, but I will resist the temptation. We're going to a super yummy place to eat lots of food and socialize ( of course).
I painted my nails all super fancy with a loose glitter coat, but now it's sort of crumbling off :/. Then tomorrow I'm headed to a double wedding with the fiance´
 's fam, then church on Sunday.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I usually try to keep my opinions to a minimum on the blog, since I'm extremely opinionated and could literally rant for paragraphs about almost anything. There is one fashion no-no that has been haunting me everywhere I go. I think the part that absolutely shocks me, is that mot of the women who wear these actually think they are being stylish. Note: just because an item is expensive, it doesn't mean it's stylish.

Uggs ( I call them Ugh-ggs) are popping up everywhere! I totally understand that they are comfortable and warm, but the thick fabric covering the toes up to the calves creates a chubby, cankle like look. Don't get me wrong, I love comfy shoes. I wear my Ugg knock offs all the time- in my house, where nobody can see me! I think that Uggs should retire to function as just that, house slippers. 

Monday, November 28, 2011


In anticipation for the approaching new year, I decided to develop a list of goals to tackle in 2012. These goals are not to be confused with my new year's resolutions. These goals are far lighter and more task oriented, yet are things I've been prodding myself all year to do, but just never gotten around to doing them!

1. Learn to speak html. I've tried and cried (okay, not really), and whined about not knowing enough about html to develop my own templates. I can create banners, headers, and collages, but I still don't know html enough to create a full on, personalized template complete with personalized fonts and graphics. This irritates me beyond words. Whether it takes countless hours pouring over tutorials online, or actually attending a blogging class, I will learn to speak html, blogger language.

2. Learn how to use camera. In the spring of this year I finally got a decent camera for picture taking. I purchased my Canon and have been loving it ever since. I must confess that I feel super unequipped using it. I really just tap the button a few times and that's all I know how to do. There are so many different settings and options; I'm afraid to mess with it! With so many books and workshops available, I really want to be able to work my camera by the end of the year.

3. Buckle down to a strict running/ yoga routine. I love yoga. It's relaxing and totally puts my body at ease. Unfortunately, yoga is a timely exercise. I need a good 35 minutes to really calm my body and burn some calories. During the day I feel too much pressure to be doing something more important (my famous last words). I never quite feel relaxed enough, and a million little tasks pop into my head while I'm lying there. I would really love to set aside those worries and dedicate a little portion of time each morning to getting a good stretch in. As far as running goes, I hate running. Hate it. I'm not going to mask this, I'm a total whiner. I whine a lot. I hate that I get out of breath, I hate that I'm bored on the treadmill and all I have to watch is this little lady who is doing one arm curl per fifteen minutes. But, I still run. Why spend 23487394879 minutes (slight exaggeration) on the elliptical when I can pound out a good 30 minutes on the treadmill and get on with my life? I realized that by doing some really hard work for a short amount of time, I'm really getting a lot more out of my workouts and spending less time at the stinky gym. Oh yeah, the point of this goal is to run and do yoga on a regular basis. No exceptions. If time is cut short, go anyway.

4. Eat better. This is a popular new years resolution for most people, but I mean this in a whole different way. In February 2011 I self diagnosed myself with gluten intolerance. I'm not entirely intolerant of gluten, I can eat small amounts each week and still feel fine. My issue is that I have a hard time resisting temptation. When we're at a gross fast food dump and everyone is ordering greasy chicken that smells and looks so so so delicious, I have a hard time saying, "No, I can't eat that." Why? Because I know the questions that always follow. Why? You look healthy as a horse? Oh, I don't believe you can't eat that. That gluten free stuff is nonsense. You'll be fine, just have a bite. You can't even eat bread? That's a joke. These statements may seem silly and dumb, but honestly they hurt. No, I don't have a doctor's slip explaining that I cannot consume gluten. perhaps if I wrote my own then more people would be understanding and not so judgmental and rude. No, that probably wouldn't help. This year I really want to stop caring about what other people say, and eat for my body. i'm the one that deals with the cramping stomach, the dreadful feeling when I don't want to do anything but lie in bed, curled up into a ball. I must take responsibility for my actions. I choose what goes into my mouth, and what doesn't.

5. Find my passion. Warning, this goal is a tad on the more serious side. I've been searching for the right career for some time now. Words cannot express the difficulty of trying to decide which lifepath is the right one. I've set a few options in front of myself, now just praying and researching for the next couple of months until I choose!

6. Embrace Life. A couple of months ago I dotted a little note down to myself, " Worry less, give more". I'm such a worrier by nature, but I'm working to undo that reaction. 2012 is going to be a year of brand news for me. New job, new house, husband, new gym, new bank, new church, and new anything-else-you-can-imagine. This year is going to be nuts. I'm striving to enjoy every part of this year, instead of worrying about all the chaos!

Braided Wedding Hair.

There is something incredibly classy, yet totally laid back about braided hair. The braid’s extremely simple and understated  structure offers an entirely different effect than the pouf or up-do. The simplicity of the design is essentially what gives the braid its wow factor. A braid in itself looks elegant and pulled together, making it a perfect hairstyle for weddings and formal events. With small flowers, jewels, or even fabrics weaved into the braid; the end result is a gorgeous, flawless look.

Braids are fabulous styles for a whole list of reasons, but especially because they are so versatile. Braids have this fantastic trait that makes them totally unique and custom to the wearer. Small braids, large braids, single braids, multiple braids; the list truly goes on for a while. Braids can be styled into up-dos, worn singly, and twisted into pretty buns. The opportunities with braids are plentiful, and since braids can easily be taken down and reassembled, there is no worry or stress in getting it just perfect the first time.

Braids are appropriate for any style of wedding, but some styles of braids seem more fitting for specific venues or seasons. Naturally, braids are worn more often in the spring and summer seasons, but they can be worn in the fall and winter seasons as well. If your venue were at an outdoor location, a single, long braid with flowers would look beautiful. Your florist may select small, dainty flowers to be woven into your hair. If you prefer fabric rather than flowers, you could weave in a ribbon that matches your wedding colors, or just finish of the braid with a ribbon twisted into a bow, around the end of your hair.

If your venue is located in an indoor, fancier place, look at different braid up-dos. Several small braids can be wrapped into a bun or secured with a hair clip to create an easy, very pretty wedding hairstyle. Also, one large braid can be wrapped around to create a bun or up-do, creating a very sleek, impressive style. If you are drawn to shimmery, sparkly items (even for your hair) try experimenting with glittered bobby pins or make your own decorative pins with sparkly nail color, bobby pins, and loose pearls (slip pearl on until it lands between the two metal pieces).
Whether you prefer the single braid or multiple braid up-dos, you simply cannot go wrong with a braid. You could also use braids for your bridesmaids’ hair and flower girl’s hair. Little girls look especially sweet with braided hair!
Would you wear a braid to your wedding?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the run.

I haven't written about the 5k since it happened, probably because I was slightly disappointed with my performance. We arrived back from the concert at about 2 a.m., then woke up at 7 to prepare for the run. I got up, took a quick shower ( I was absolutely freezing), jumped into my running gear and headed out the door. I stopped by Starbucks for a small coffee, and fished around for my 1/2 banana. I was so nervous about the race, and it was so chilly outside! I think I just kind of drove myself nuts. I didn't drink water because 1) I didn't have time and 2) I didn't want to have to pee during the race. That was my biggest mistake. I was very consumed with getting to the location, getting my number on and warming up. 
I concentrated more on warming up my muscles than stretching really well, and I totally paid for it. When the race began I was feeling pretty good! I tried to keep a slow/medium stride for the first mile. After I reached the first mile, something happened. I'm not really sure why, but I'm going to blame it on my attire. I decided to race in: leggings, shorts, under armour shirt, t shirt, north face fleece jacket, and gloves. All of my gear felt wonderful before I started running, but after the first ten seconds my cellphone in my pocket started to feel like a fifty pound weight and my gloves were making my hands sweat buckets! 
And the story continues... 
After the first mile, I got very overheated and sick! I had to stop on the side of the road and vomit :/. I felt absolutely horrible! I walked for a little bit and started jogging again. The rest of the race went pretty slowly, but I did finish!
My total time was 32:00:00. I whole 10 minutes slower than my fiance´ 's time.
I'm proud of myself for finishing the race, but I plan on doing a far better job next time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

diy randomness

bejeweled birthday candles are so much classier + prettier than pastel or neon numbers!

lovely key necklaces.

Wedding invitation ornament. 

Chalkboard mug.

All of these images via Pinterest 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Taylor Swift!

Friday was quite possibly one of my favorite days ever. We packed it up and headed down to Columbia for the Taylor Swift Speak Now concert!!!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm loving:

I found this precious DIY project on Designsponge today and I have been working on it all afternoon. Mine isn't quite finished yet, and I've only finished 2 months, but it's a working progress. I can't wait to see the end result and record memories each day!

I'm two days away from the Taylor Swift concert! My Friday is absolutely jam-packed with a job interview, lots of little errands, and of course the long drive to columbia for the concert!

This adorable diamond ice mold could be so precious for entertaining! 

I've collected quite the little collection of yummy recipes from Pinterest. This avocado melt looks so delicious!
Also loving these ice cream cupcakes. They look sort of difficult to make, but I imagine they are super yummy. Especially with that fudge coating on top!

I'm not incredibly artsy, but I really like the idea of personalized plates. By using a porcelain pen you can decorate plain dishes! I'm not good enough to sketch anything, but writing clever poems or verses would be such a sweet gift!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

bright lips- how to

       Bright lips are the newest trend this season. From runway shows to department store makeup counters, bold shades are on display everywhere. Wearing a bright lipstick can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you’ve never tried a bold lip before! Not to fear, in a few steps you can sift through that lengthy rainbow of colors and find your ideal, bright shade of lipstick!
Bright lipsticks can be found at almost any drugstore, department store makeup counter, and obviously, beauty retailer. Like any beauty product, bright hued lipsticks can be found in a very wide range of prices. The first step is determining how bold you would like to go. Ask yourself if you will be wearing the lipstick alone, or mixing it to create a softer, subtler look. If you aren’t sure what you want, you can always buy a brighter shade and slightly tone it down for everyday use. For example, here are some similar shades but in different brands and prices.
Covergirl Lip Perfect Lipstick in “hot” can be found for about $6.00 in drug stores. “Hot” is a rich red/pink shade that is very highly pigmented and has lots of staying power. For a really decent price and broad selection of colors, this lipstick is a perfect brand to experiment with.
Clinique High Impact Lipstick in “Peach Pop” can be found in Belk stores and online at the Clinique website. The “Peach Pop” shade has an orange/pink tone. This lipstick is also highly pigmented and is advertised to hydrate and protect lips with SPF 15, a nice little bonus to have in your lipstick. This color lasts 8 hours.
Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in “Funny Face” can be found in store or at the Nars website. The “Funny Face” shade is very rich and pigmented. The color appears to be a red/pink with slight blue undertones. This longwearing lipstick promises to nourish your lips and protect them during use.
Once you’ve determined how bold you want to go, begin to think about your skin tone.
For women with fair skin, usually the most flattering shades are orange -based pinks and reds.
For women with olive skin, typically blue- based red lipsticks will complement this complexion.
For women with dark skin, plum shades make the skin glow!
Keep in mind that any woman, no matter what shade her skin, can easily wear a bright pink lipstick. Pink and red combinations are extremely versatile, and flattering on every type of skin! If you’re unsure of the color you have selected, and the store offers lipstick samples, feel free to try the sample on your hand to test the color. Many women make the mistake of sampling the color on their lips, which is extremely germy and dangerous! Also, testing the color on the back of your hand isn’t very helpful since your lips aren’t the color of your hand. Instead, try testing the color on your fingertips.
Women often get intimidated about wearing bright lips because they’re unsure of how to incorporate the look into their everyday makeup looks. The process is really quite simple. Choose one feature to highlight: eyes, lips, or cheeks. If you chose to highlight your lips, (like with a bold lip color), you would simply tone down the rest of your makeup. Wear natural looking eye shadow, very small touch of blush, and a quick swipe of mascara. The key is focusing on one key feature at a time; highlighting more than one at once can seem over-the-top and distracting!
Once you’ve applied your bright lipstick, you can still make changes to it if desired. If you would like the lipstick to be less severe, blot some of the color off onto a napkin, (be sure to make sure it won’t leave any fuzz behind on your lips!) and apply a little lip balm over the color. The lipstick shade will soften up greatly, and you will be left with a subtle glow of your original shade. If you want to add a little polish to your bright color, you can apply a smidge of lip -gloss in the center of your bottom lip, then rub your lips together to smooth out the gloss.
The Matte finish is very trendy right now, but a very different feel altogether. If you want a matte (non-glossy) finish, look for lipsticks labeled “matte”. Matte lipsticks are an entirely different world of lipsticks! Mattes are much harder to remove, but last a very long time. Matte lipsticks aren’t made to be mixed with glosses and balms, but instead to be worn alone.
Part of the fun of trying out new trends is playing around to see which ones work for you. Whenever experimenting with lip color, always remember to just have fun with it!
                                                             [image via] 

They call it progress.

I find it funny that my blog has developed so many little avenues, based on the things I've become obsessed with. This summer seemed as if life were just passing me by- now I have landed on the other end of the spectrum. Since I have a totally 24/7 alterable schedule I literally have no excuse not to exercise every day, eat everything right and sleep a good 9.5 hours every night. Do I exercise each day? Nope, not every day. Do I eat right? Monday-Friday, yes. Saturday? No. Sleep well? oh, yes. That's the one thing I do accomplish. I definitely get my full 9 hours each night, and I am soaking in all the hours I can get. I realize that come January (or whenever I begin a full-time job), I will not be getting 9 plus hours a night, so I am thoroughly enjoying my open-ended schedule while it's here. 

It's so exciting to write that I've actually become a runner. No, not a marathon-runner (yet), but a runner. I have built up my endurance levels, and am actually able to squeeze out a few miles before feeling achy. In previous runs I would feel my legs beginning to tingle and kill me within the first .50 miles. Now I can make it to about 2.5 miles  at a steady rate, 3.5 milesand higher if I pace myself and don't get too impatient. My hardest hill to overcome has been/ is patience. Even if I'm listening to music, watching television, or just staring straight ahead, I'm always thinking of a million errands I need to run, someone I need to email or some place i've got to get to before they close. I haven't learned to turn off my brain yet. While running feels wonderful and sweating out all those nasty toxins leaves me so refreshed and happy, my natural inclination is to stop. Good job, I tell myself, now go reward by resting for a bit. Clearly I've got a bit farther to go on the mental front of running.

I run on a treadmill. When I usually tell outdoor runners this, they stare at me with a dropped jaw. yep, I said treadmill, not dreadmill. I used to be a firm believer in the elliptical, but one day it hit me that I was just playing around and not really getting down to business, that's when I jumped on the treadmill. Back to the treadmill story.. I do the treadmill because I don't like running outdoors alone. I'm extremely paranoid and anxious and I'd drive myself crazy if I ran alone. Even in a neighborhood. I do run outdoors with my fiance´ sometimes. We like running at parks and downtown, but his pace is far faster than mine. I dislike slowing him down, and he dislikes leaving me in the dust, so it's usually better if we run separately! I really have gotten used to the treadmill and like that I can see my miles tick off as they go. It's a motivator seeing how close I am to the finish line. I set constant little goals for myself as I run, rewarding myself with slight decreases in my speed to rest a little. 

I am 4 days away from my first 5-K race. I'm a little nervous, tiny bit excited, and I'm constantly praying that the weather isn't freezing. I hate running in cold weather. I will definitely move more slowly if the weather feels icy that morning. Even though the race is yet to come, I feel like I've already won it and gotten first place. My goal was to finally kick my butt back into shape after an over-exhausted schedule of too much work, tiny bit of play, and zero care for my body. I've flipped that standard entirely. I am in the healthiest shape I've ever been. Aside from losing 4 pounds of extra weight, I've toned up and feel so much stronger than ever before. I am more energized. I'm even healthier mentally. Those sinful cravings for disgusting but so yummy fast food joints are slowly diminishing as I'm teaching myself to love healthier foods instead. My lifestyle is changing. 

I've already begun working on my 2012 New Years Resolutions, and these are very different than last years. My perspective has changed drastically throughout the past year, and I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the 2012 year. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holiday Party Style Inspiration.

This dress would look absolutely lovely paired with


this sparkly manicure.

thank you note.

During this month of thankful-thoughts, I've been reminded daily of all that I have to be thankful for. Here is a tiny list of things I am most thankful for today.

[1] My fiance´'s patient attitude. My life always has so much going on and I'm often happy, stressed, sad, and nervous all at the same time! My darling fiance´always puts up with my shifting moods and makes me feel so comforted and loved. Even when he just sits there- it's nice that there is someone who will just let me freak for a second and then go on as normal.

[2] Extended family. Though I really don't see my extended family as much as I'd like, they pop into my brain frequently. I'll remember random conversations, notes and moments and they've made me realize that all the little actions really do matter and are remembered.

[3] My relationship with Christ. This should actually be number 1. Through my different Bible classes and church services, I really questioned the meaning of my relationship with Christ this year. Was it so that I could get into heaven for free? Was it because I just knew that I should be saved cause everyone else said they were? Did I just accept Christ passively, then forget about it? I think the main reason I struggled so much this year was because I have an extremely strong conscious. I think that if I were still a lost sinner, I would still have these strong convictions because that is just the way I was wired. When I got down to the purpose of my relationship and really started to consider what was going on, I found the truth. I have a relationship with Christ because I need Him. Without Him, I cannot function. When I feel nervous, I pray. When I feel scared, I pray. When I feel excited and happy, I pray. When I feel confused, I pray. I don't find pleasure in praying alone, I find pleasure in the fact that I have a heavenly father who is willing to listen to me 24/7! Whether it's a five second sentence or an hour long prayer, or venting about something in my life that's really bothering me, He is there to listen! It's so exciting to know that whatever I'm going through He will help me through it, and He will listen to all I have to say as I go through it. It's so amazing that I can count on Him with my everything- and not worry about holding anything back.

[4] My jobs. My career went from 0-60 in about 1.2 months. I went from feeling incomplete and useless to almost over extended and anything but jobless. God provided at least 5 great jobs for me to choose from. He brought me the nicest employers, and the jobs are tailored to fit me. It's amazing. Timing is everything. Months ago I was searching for the same thing, but the timing just wasn't right. God knew that by this time my schedule would be free enough to work these jobs!

[5] Choices. I know it sounds silly, but every time I order a water or sweet tea, grab a coffee or even a glass of juice from the fridge, I consider how lucky I am. I'm totally aware that as an American, I have so many options and privileges that most other countries' citizens wouldn't dream of. Even though I've lived here my whole life, God has put a special burden, a special sense in my heart. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that when I go to a restaurant and have 35 + options to choose from, and we take it so lightly! People all over the earth don't even have one option for dinner, and we get angry when our favorite thing is discontinued on the menu. We are spoiled beyond belief. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with expensive indulgences, or even eating out for that matter. I eat out a lot, I buy expensive things. I just think it's important to live consciously. Be grateful for your blessings. Thank God that you have the opportunity to choose a steak off of a pricey menu. Thank God for those gorgeous $500 shoes you just purchased. He gave them to you! One of my focuses this year has been to not just focus on myself. Take a look across the street, across the globe, and try to put yourself in other people's shoes. I do this often. A little weird, and often people glare at me for staring at them, but it's humbling. Part of realizing who I want to be in the future, is understanding who I am today, reevaluating the characteristics I don't like, and changing them so that I won't be a person I dislike in the future.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


     This weekend has been surprisingly productive, afterall. We spent about four hours yesterday scouting out kitchen gear in Bed, Bath and Beyond. All of those kitchen gadgets really put me in the mood to cook more! We chose a ton of practical and indulgent gifts :). I'm so excited; everything feels so much more real now that I can envision our future home together.

This weekend was extremely lucky! My mom won a Covergirl Sweepstakes, and now has 2 tickets to the upcoming Taylor Swift concert! It's always been a huge dream for me to go to her show, and now I have the chance! It's literally a miracle that she won; I'm counting down the days until the concert! I know almost every lyric to every Taylor Swift song, so obviously the concert will not go unappreciated :D. Bummer that the morning following the concert is my first FIVE K run! I'm going to be a little droopy and tired, but I'm sure I'll make it through :).

This week is going to be slightly crazy. My English 102 class is now going full-force with lots of deadlines quickly approaching. I need to start Christmas shopping sometime in the near future. I've got a birthday girl to go visit, a wedding shower to attend on Saturday and the norm, church on Wednesday. This week is going to be packed!

Tomorrow I will finally get my beloved iPhone. I decided to go with the Otterbox case, because I had heard so many great things about it. I got the hot pink impact gel case :). My sweet fiance´ got it as my birthday gift :).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Christmas list.

{Kindle Touch} I sort of went crazy when I heard that Amazon was releasing a lending library.

{initial ring or necklace} I've been lusting after initial jewelry for quite some time now! I have so many favorites

{Nike Spandex}
I've been searching for the perfect pair of running spandex, these are them. So lightweight and non bunchy, plus they are sweat resistant! 

{Bath and Body Works Candles} 
I adore Bath and Body candles. Since I work from home, I burn candles constantly. I've actually burned all of my candles up! I think I have one left :(. I am in dire need of candles this holiday season.

{Essie nail colors} 
I've always been into manicures. Essie polishes are one of my favorite brands. 
Carry on ( pictured above) and Wicked are two on my hot list this year.

That just about does it for this year! Of course, I'm getting my long-awaited iPhone on Sunday, so I'm kind of counting that as my Christmas gift to myself :)

Have a delightful weekend! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I started experiment cooking about two months ago. When I came home from working 60 hours a week, I promised myself that I would finally make myself learn how to cook- before I get married in June. I got off with a running start. Flipping  through cookbooks and clicking through websites, I bookmarked all the yummy recipes I wanted to make. Of course, since I'm primarily gluten-free, I'd have to learn to cook that way too, but seriously, it couldn't be that hard. Some of the first things I tried to cook/ bake were embarrassingly easy, yet I flunked. Everything came out burned, dry, or not-finished. Being the anxious person that I am, whenever an item isn't finished on time, I nervously wait at the oven and check every .5 seconds to make sure it isn't smoking yet.

Chicken was my first real adventure. I love chicken, and I knew that I would have to man it a lot, so I decided to master the art of pan searing chicken on the stove top. Experience 1- horrifying. I swear cooking appliances hate me. The hot oil kept jumping out of the pan and onto my skin, the chicken looked incredibly burned on the outside but completely raw on the inside. I must have turned the chicken over and back about 50 times in 5 minutes. the end result was a very dry, edible piece of chicken. Even though I never saw any smoke, the house reeked of smoke. My hair smelled like smoke, and the kitchen was growing  a little dim.

Experience 2- slightly better. I decided to add some spices to the meat, perhaps that would make the difference. I coated the raw meat with a yummy fiesta lime chicken rub and tossed it into the pan. The coloring was much nicer, but it still looked a little burned and dry. I ate this batch with lots of salad dressing, and it wan't too horrible. Some ugly smoke situation- but the alarms never went off :).

Experience 3- After consulting a few housewives about how to cook chicken, I realized what my problem ways. I didn't have enough liquid in the pan. The next time, mom poured almost the entire bottle of olive oil in the pan. yuck. I love olive oil, but a gallon soaked into one little chicken breast is not really what my taste buds were looking for. I like subtly flavored things. Too much going on with flavor is really a turn off for me. I'm a salt and pepper kinda girl. Anyways, surely enough the chicken didn't burn me as much, and it didn't seem to be smoking or burning as usual. I kept rotating between high and medium low temperatures because the closer the liquid got to the top, the more anxious I became. The final result was good tasting chicken, with way to much olive oil.

Experience 4- At last, I know how to cook chicken ( on the stove-top at least). I grease the pan with a little olive oil, and combine a nice mixture of water and olive oil. I rub my chicken in whatever seasonings- I used pistachio last time, and place the chicken into the pan. The water bubbles and I let it do it's thing for about 2 minutes, then I flip sides. I continue doing this little routine for a long time, until the chicken looks done. I check the middle and then let it go a little longer. I guess I was getting a little too comfortable in the kitchen this week, yesterday I went to rinse out a glass and just as soon as I turned my back the chicken over boiled. Yikes. I grabbed that thing off the stove top, wiped the water away and put it back on, under close watch and a slightly lower temperature. The result was phenomenal. Like phenomenal. I'm telling you, best chicken ever. I was pretty pleased with myself and actually have been enjoying the chicken for 3 meals.

I have a lengthy list of new items to cook, but there are two I am going to attempt in honor of the thanksgiving season ( I should probably test-cook these before thanksgiving day... hmmm)

These look easy to make, and would be a nice, healthier dessert option for thanksgiving and Christmas parties :)

Sweet potato casserole. My favorite ingredients to put in: marshmallows, brown sugar and pecans. Yum!

Bacon wrapped chicken. This amazing recipe mentions a honey dijon mustard glaze over the top. yum! I definitely want to try these for Christmas

I'm such a fan of brie, but a lot of people aren't. I think sneaking it into this dip, disguised by lots of bacon would be a good try :).

Of course, all of these lovely images came from Pinterest

What is your favorite thing to make around the holidays?