Friday, October 30, 2009

halloween costume guide

With Halloween right around the corner (and by around the corner, I mean tomorrow) I thought it was only appropriate that I dedicated a blog post to past costumes. After all, I've practically spent the past 5 years of my life playing dress up.

Pop Tart
Leg Lamp
Mike Wazowski
Woody & Jesse
Spartan Cheerleaders
Native American
Gwen Stefani & the Harajuku Girls
Cat in the Hat

Monday, October 26, 2009

room with a view

New life. New view. New blog title.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

real life. take one.

Just a little inspiration from a classic 90's movie...

"Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..." - Hope Floats (1998)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

teacher's pet

Tonight I had dinner with my 6th grade social studies teacher, Mrs. Moss. She is one of my all-time favorite teachers. Ever. It is so crazy that now, 10 years later, I would be going out to dinner with her. Don't be so quick to judge, I am by no means a teacher's pet. To be honest, I spent more time outside of classrooms than inside (ignore this Mom) but there are just some teachers that are so special and go out of their way to make learning fun and she is definitely one of those teachers. It was so fun to catch up with her and laugh about old memories. I owe facebook a big thank you for the mini reunion that took place tonight. My new favorite thing to do on facebook is look up my old teachers. My friends Maura and Domonique can vouch for me when I say that it provides lots of entertainment. In fact, I recently told Maura that I love when teachers have facebook because then they can see that I didn't turn out to be as much of a screw-up as they thought (I'm talking to you Dukie Barner!!) That is all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

i've gone country

This weekend I went up to LU to have a little reunion with my bffs for homecoming. It was so much fun getting to see everyone and catch up. On Saturday, my dream of visiting an apple orchard was finally fulfilled! This is a big accomplishment because recently I have been complaining to my mom about all of the "country" things I have never done before. This list includes, but is not limited to: owning cowboy boots, apple picking, camping in a tent, going through a corn maze, and making a ring out of a peach pit. I am from Virginia, ya know. My mom's response was simply, "I wanted to raise you girls in the country..." Awww don't beat yourself up about it Mom, I'd rather be around the corner from a mall than a corn field any day.

Anyways, Jess & her parents took me out to Bedford for the Apple Festival at Gross Orchard. It was quite the experience. For starters, on the half hour drive over we saw a dead black bear. I repeat, a dead black bear. I think the last time I saw a black bear that close was at the zoo in DC. Sweet. The rest of the day was filled with lots of firsts - I picked an apple off a tree for the first time, taste tested fried apple pie & brunswick stew, and tried out a marshmallow shooter. I loved every minute of it. Seriously, it was great. It kinda felt like I was in a different country. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Mrs. Carniol bought us a jar of apple butter for a souvenir before we left so I got to bring a piece of the country goodness home...yum.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

working girl

First off, read this post with the sound on. I believe the song is highly appropriate and fitting to my latest news. Ok, continue reading...

Well guys, I did it! I FINALLY landed a big girl job! And its a legit job (no fast food or retail for me) and I am pretty stoked. My position is two fold which is short for "I may be in over my head," but in a good way. My professional titles are Editorial Assistant and Social Media Manager. Whoa, I feel so grown up. I move next weekend and I am working with some GREAT, AWESOME, AMAZING people that I am so excited to serve alongside. And even though its bye bye beach I am anxious to start a new phase of life. As with any new phase of life, celebration ensues. This means its time for a few new accessories. New lipstick? Check. New heels? Check check. And my favorite of all...NEW DESK SUPPLIES! I was beginning to get a little sad when Back to School shopping came and went and I did not have a single excuse to buy anything. I will be making up for that this next week. I already found a few must-have desk items...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Whoever decided to combine s'mores and pop tarts is a genius. This is my favorite "twofer" know, two for one.

Toasted: Mmmmmm tastes like a warm s'more off of a camp fire...nice & gooey, just how I like them :) Stick them back in the toaster for round 2 and you'll have an extra toasty tart with a little crisp (please be careful if you do this)

Frozen: Good, but the graham cracker crust gets a little weird when its frozen.

As Is: Delicious!

Pop Tart Fact: Pop tarts were discontinued in Australia in 2005 (that must suck)

Saturday, October 10, 2009


So today on my mini road trip I was flipping through the stations probably about 243943 million times trying to find a good song to sing loudly to (I use alone time in the car to give my pipes some practice) and I could not settle on a station to save my life. If I never hear another Lady Gaga song I think I would die completely content. So the silence that resulted in my radio protest left me thinking about how nice it would be if life came with a soundtrack. I mean, think about it, how much better would a great experience be if it was accompanied by "Walking on Sunshine"? And how much easier would a break-up be if you were blasting "Independent Women"? Yeah, just imagine getting ready in the morning to "Lip Gloss". I know.

I think if I had to pick my own soundtrack it would kick off with Mary Mary's version of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and be compromised of an eclectic mix of girly pop songs (think Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson), 90s rock (Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews Band, Third Eye Blind), guys with guitars (John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson), upbeat dance songs, Amy Grant, and James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" for good measure. But if it came down to picking ONE song I'm torn between Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the piano sheet music to "Heart & Soul" - both songs put me in such a good mood. So good that I think I might just go change my ringtone. Right. Now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

an apple a day...

You know what they say..."an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and if thats true then I might as well drop my health insurance because I am set for life after this week. I blame the crisp autumn air for my recent apple obsession. It all started last weekend when I made cinnamon apple streusel amish friendship bread (my own recipe!) Yes, I am still on the amish friendship bread kick. I just can't get enough of that stuff. Literally. In all seriousness I ate so much I had a terrible tummy ache. This was my best variation of the bread yet and you can find the recipe right here. I think having it appear on a recipe site makes it seem more legit, what do you think?

Anyways, my apple-icious week continued with homemade caramel apple salad, a butternut squash apple bake, and of course, caramel apple cupcakes! Throw in some real caramel apples, apple streusel granola bars, the new caramel apple hershey kisses, and a few of my favorite fujis and I'd say my next doctor's appointment won't be until well into the year 2016 at least. I wish I could have finished off this week by visiting a real apple orchard. And my efforts failed despite my lack of trying. Apparently apple orchards are few and far between when you live by the beach. Besides, I didn't really NEED any more apples after this week anyways.

You see, I have this bad habit where I find something I really like to eat and it slowly becomes all I want to eat. This is why I had a pb&j almost everyday K-12th grade, and why my dinner request every night in 1996 was Kraft mac&cheese, and why last year I ate pumpkin pie oatmeal everyday for breakfast. Oops!

So this week I am slowly incorporating other foods back into my diet and praying that I will receive a phone call that results in me being back in NYC. They need me there, I'm good for the economy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

true beauty

Being an unemployed recent graduate really takes a toll on your confidence. It starts with your self-worth and quickly seeps into every aspect of your life - the way you look, the way you feel, the things you value. And I often catch myself on this slippery slope and have to remind myself that my life does have a purpose. When did my thoughts get so skewed? This past January I took a women's ministry class that required every girl to create her own bible study. As most already know, I have a huge passion for teenage girls, especially middle school girls where I feel like your faith is tried and tested the most. I chose teenage girls as my outreach and focused on true beauty as the topic.

When I did research for the project I was completely shocked. By age 13, 53% of American girls were unhappy with their bodies. That number grows to 78% by the time the girls reach age 17. What?!? But should I really be THAT surprised? In a world where the media is constantly telling us how we should look, act, and feel...2/3 of American women are overweight, yet stores are full of size 00. Inadequacy has become the new normal. Its sad and terrible and I've fallen victim to it more than once. It is a ploy from Satan to get girls to turn their eyes from God and to look to themselves.

The problem is that women do not see themselves as beautiful. I'm just as guilty as the next girl at feeling this way. In fact, a woman's image of herself has become so distorted that another study I researched revealed that only 2% of women surveyed selected "beautiful" from a list of words to describe themselves. However, Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece." I think that sometimes my biggest struggle is that I KNOW the truth of God's Word, but I don't always believe it. There are mornings when I wake up and look in the mirror and think, "ehhh..." or try on clothes in a dressing room and end up beating myself up about my lack of self control with desserts. What an insult to God! I'd be crushed if I spent time making something I thought was beautiful only to have someone say it was ugly.

I wish I still had the confidence that I had in 6th grade. In fact, I may have had a little TOO much confidence. I was loud and loved being the center of attention, I insisted on wearing my hair in a bun like a real ballerina, and I wore no makeup aside from the massive amounts of glitter that was "cool" at the time. I'm blessed to say my confidence lasted throughout some of the toughest times (aka middle school and high school). I did not wear make-up until well into 11th grade and when my mom asked me if I wanted any I simply replied, "I don't need make-up, I think I look pretty without it." That was a bold statement. And a lie. I look back at those pictures now and wonder what in the world I was thinking.

Anyways, the point is that its not about just knowing that you and I are "fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God" but truly believing it. Lipstick always makes me feel like a lady and cute shoes put a little pep in my step, but those things are only temporary fixes. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you." We don't have to worry about measuring up - that includes being pretty enough, smart enough, or even successful - God accepts us exactly as we are. I, for one, am glad.