Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Reasons I'm Ready for Fall...NOW

Fall officially starts on September 23 and I can't tell you how excited that makes me. It’s no secret that Fall is my *FAVORITE* time of year! I mean, what’s not to love right? And yes, I do like summer, for about 12 minutes and then I’m ready for Fall again. Truth is, I never really want Fall to be over. I LOVE IT. Sure, Winter is great, and definitely second best, but Fall is for sure the BEST. I know most people are clenching onto their last days of summer the way I do to Lindor Chocolate Truffles, but seriously you guys, it’s really time we get this show on the road and say sayonara to Summer.

Here are the 10 reasons why I CANNOT WAIT for Fall:

1. Hoodies. Hoodies are my FAVORITE thing in the world. They’re so comfy and cozy and warm. Mmmmmmm… they just put you in the best mood! Not to mention the weather that’s associated with hoodies. Give me cold and cloudy ANY day of the week over hot and sunny. Sweater weather is better weather.

2. The changing of the seasons…in the literal sense. I love when the trees change color; orange, yellow, purple…so many beautiful colors! One of my favorite things in the world is to stomp on crunchy leaves...really, you can never be too old to do this! I love when they cover the streets and everyone’s front yards. It seriously makes me SO HAPPY. The weather is perfect because you're not sweating your butt off and you're also not experiencing frostbite yet. It's the PERFECT medium!

3. Bonfires w/ SMORES, obviously. Sure, you can have these in other seasons too, but it’s not as good. It doesn't even taste as good, I swear! Sitting by the fire in a hoodie and wrapped in a blanket, roasting marshmallows at dusk…doesn't that sound like the *PERFECT* night?? Add in some ghost stories and you have the best.night.ever.

4. RAIN. I love rain. It’s my favorite type of weather. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it’s just perfect. Maybe as the earth gets a nice cleanse, I get a metaphorical one as well? I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but that’s how it feels. And the smell of the asphalt as it just starts to drizzle is indescribable.

5. PUMPKINS!! I love ‘em. I love how they look in our garden in the front yard, I love how they taste, I love the fake “pumpkin spice” flavoring that goes into EVERYTHING. Pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls, cider, muffins, cookies, bread, you name it, it’s going to be sold starting October 1st. Not to mention the pumpkin scented candles! I love lighting those babies every day after work. It’s like a pumpkin wonderland!

6. Apple Hill. For those who might not live near me, Apple Hill is an area of apple orchards (yes, on a hill) that put on like a farmers market, but bigger! They have boutiques set up everywhere, tones of food places, the best CARAMEL in the world, and some pretty bangin’ apple pie using their own apples. You drive around going to different people’s orchards and pumpkin farms (where you can hand pick your very own!) and eat tons of delicious food, buy tons of unique things and enjoy the beautiful fall weather in a little slice of nature’s paradise. We've been going every year since I was young, it’s a family tradition. And one that will not be broken. EVER.

7. Rainy days inside. I love a wonderful Saturday when the weather is “ghastly” outside and you curl up in your pjs with a great book and a warm blanket on the couch with your pup and read for hours. Maybe at night you throw on Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story (personal favorite), or ANY black & white Hitchcock and enjoy it while the rain pelts against the window glass. It’s also my favorite time to listen to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, and you know, Michael Buble. If you're lucky, the power will go out and you can play Clue by candlelight! Which is hands down the best thing in the world.

8. HALLOWEEN. It’s just about my favorite holiday…tied for 1st with Christmas. I love everything about Halloween. And starting October 1st you can start decorating and not stop until the 31st! I mean, it’s wonderful. I always re-read POE during October, because you HAVE TO. And also Practical Magic because it’s about witches and it’s really great, fun, endearing and definitely “Halloween-ey”. Not to mention watching a scary/holiday themed movie every day. ABC family does their 31 days of Halloween where you can revisit Disney Channel classics like Halloween Town. And then on the weekends you can watch grown up scary movies with all your friends! It’s great!

-Runner up is Thanksgiving, because it's a huge family holiday, usually around my BIRTHDAY... and also I love to shop! :)

9. Scarves, scarves, and more scarves! A great scarf is the best fashion accessory in fall/winter. It can take a normally unexciting drab outfit to fabulous instantly. A lot of fall/winter colors are darker, but a great scarf can add a punch of color or print to an outfit and knock it out of the park. Not to mention, a scarf looks instantly chic, perfect for date night or girls night! 

10. SEASON PREMIERES OF YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS!! Who doesn't honestly wait for their favorite TV shows to come back with new episodes?? Maybe we don't like to admit it, but most of us are eagerly waiting for September to arrive with our Fall favorites! It's been rough waiting for their return, and USA does a great job with their summer shows helping to ease the pain, but my goodness are we ready to get back with our favorite characters every week! I mean, David Clark is ALIVE?? What is Emily (aka Amanda) going to do?? Will she finally realize that she's loved Jack all along? [Revenge] Olivia Pope quit her job and got on the plane with JAKE and Fitz is staying with Milley and what's going on in the White House?? [Scandal] Don't EVEN get me started on where we stand in the Apocalypse and the 4 horsemen. [Sleepy Hollow] It will be SO GOOD to get back to our friends and perhaps make some new ones with all the new shows coming out this year! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Literary Playlist- Elizabeth Bennet Edition

Have you ever thought about what your favorite literary character’s playlist would be like? Or is that just me? I think about that kind of random stuff; I have a vivid imagination and it tends to run rampant. Like, say your favorite book character was a real person today, what would be on their iPod? What sort of songs would fill their playlists? I’m a full believer in the idea that what kind of music you listen to (the genres, artists, and songs) tells a lot about who you are. Your playlists are like diary entries to your life, just someone else’s words. At least mine are. I’ve been thinking a lot about that- because that’s what I do, I’m always thinking. About anything and everything, all at once.

When I read a book, those characters really do come to life; I see them, I hear their distinct voices, they are real to me. Page by page and paragraph after paragraph, they are real. Maybe that’s why I love reading so much. While I’m reading and perhaps while I’m daydreaming about it, I’m in that world, fully invested and living amongst the characters as if I were one of them. Omnipotently* watching their lives unfold and listening to their dialogue.

So a lot times when I’m reading a book, I think about how that character would be like today, in my world, in the “real” word. I guess it helps me relate to them on a higher level. I don’t know, maybe I’m a bit overzealous. But it’s FUN
! If you like that sort of thing…

On the off chance that you do, and you also like music, than you’re in the right place! To start this off, I thought I’d share with you my favorite character of all time, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Inspired by her thoughts and based on her life, as we know it within the pages of Pride and Prejudice, and how I see it in my mind, I give you her playlist, whimsically dreamed up by yours truly. Enjoy!

*Yes, I make up my own words, too.

[Author’s note: by clicking on the title of the playlist, you can listen to it for FREE on Spotify.]


1. Laura Palmer, Bastille
2. You’re So Vain, Carly Simon
3. Penguin, Christina Perri
4. Reason to Believe, Dashboard Confessional
5. Soul Meets Body, Death Cab for Cutie
6. Between Two Lungs, Florence + the Machine
7. Cold as Ice, Foreigner
8. I've Got you Under my Skin, Frank Sinatra
9. Oil & Water, Incubus
10. Somewhere Only we Know, Lily Allen
11. Madness, Muse
12. Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield
13. Just a Girl- Acoustic Live, No Doubt
14. Cold is the Night, The Oh Hello’s
15. Fall for You, Secondhand Serenade
16. I’m Gonna Be, Sleeping at Last
17. Back to December, Taylor Swift
18. Where the Streets Have no Name, U2
19. Clarity, Zedd/Foxes

20. King and Lionheart, Of Monsters and Men
21. Cold Shoulder, Adele

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We are WOMEN, Hear us ROAR!

I used to constantly be concerned with growing up and aging too quickly. The aspects of being a “grown up” never scared me, but aging did. Truth is, I was terrified of those lines, wrinkles, slower metabolism, lumpy thighs, and all the other imperfections we associated with aging. Until now.

I’m starting to get wrinkles. There are lines on my face, dark shadows under my eyes, large pores on my nose and lumps on my thighs where there should be smooth skin. SO WHAT? Who started telling us that those things were to be feared so badly that one would subject themselves to expensive creams, needles, contraptions and highly restrictive diets (which really all sound like forms of cruel punishment) to get rid of them? WHY? What is our fascination with the “fountain of youth”? Why do we NEED to be perfect ALL THE TIME? Why is “perfection” the standard for women?

The truth is, none of us are perfect. We are individuals with character and flaws and personalities and interests. We are daughters and mothers and sisters and aunties and friends…and we are HUMAN. So why do we feel the need to look “flawless”? The instant we buy into the idea that our outward appearance solely makes up who we are and defines our worth is the exact instant that it does. The image of what a woman “should look like” has become so objectified and so highly sexualized that we have completely lost real beauty. We cannot allow other people to treat us as such or allow the media to mandate how we "should" look and how we should feel about ourselves when we don’t. Our bodies are made for so much more than that. They’re made to create little human beings, to hug friends in need, to kiss Grandmas on their cheeks, to love and to laugh and house our intelligent brains that are going to help us run the world! (Just kidding on the last one, I wanted a reason to quote Beyonce…well, maybe not kidding…)

So yes, my face isn't flawless. I have a large worry line forming in the middle of my forehead, but I earned it. Perhaps it came from watching my sweet Grandma pass away surrounded by all her family, or maybe sitting next to my critically ill sister as we watched the doctor administer an experimental medication as a last effort to save her life. I have wrinkles forming around my eyes, but I earned those wrinkles from laughing with my friends so hard I almost passed out and by squinting into the sun as I watched my little nephew score his first soccer goal. I have scars on my nose and on my forehead from playing competitive soccer and on my eyebrow from when I was a child and my puppy was so happy to see me that he jumped up to “hug me” and accidentally got my face with his nail. These are the lines of my face and I’m sure there will be plenty more as time goes by.

Like the amazing Lauren Bacall said, “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” And we should be. Each of these things have impacted the person I am, why shouldn't I embrace them? I have lived my life and experienced great emotions, both positive and negative, which left in their wake, wrinkles and lines, each with a story, each adding another layer to the person I now am. Our faces tell our story and our bodies help us live it, why on earth would we want to erase that? Does a line free/pore free/wrinkle free face actually make us happier? Not a chance.

We should live our lives in ways that make US feel beautiful. Beauty should not be defined as a certain size or a specific shape. Working hard to be healthy is SO DIFFERENT than working hard to be skinny. We should love who we are, inside and out. That love, confidence and happiness from within seeps out of every pore and makes you the most beautiful you that you could possibly be! No diet or botox shot could do that! 

Our appearance does NOT provide merit for who we are- our hearts, minds, and souls do. We are unique and flawed and beautiful. All of us. 

We are women, and by golly, you’re going to hear us roar!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Best Friends...You CAN have more than one!

I know that "best friend" is a title that we hold VERY near and dear to our hearts. We all have a best friend, but most of us have more than one. I know what some people are thinking right now, "How can you have MORE THAN ONE best friend, isn't that the point of having a 'best friend', because they're the BEST of your friends?" I hear you, I do. But I whole heatedly disagree. You may have an ultimate "best friend" but you also may have 3 or 5. The point is, there are different types of "best friends", and they are ALL important to us!! I totally believe that your heart has room for more than one BF, and it's okay! You love them as individuals for a reason, and you shouldn't feel bad about that love! Just realize that no one is REPLACING ANYONE, your friends are different and you're different from your friends' other BF's.

Emotionally, we get certain things from certain friends. If you're having trouble sharing one of your BF's with another BF, remember that they love YOU, and your relationship is separate and different from their other relationships. Don't feel threatened, just realize that you both give and take certain things in your friendship, and make the time to find out what that is. When you know that, it doesn't feel as threatening, ya know? I've just gone through this recently and at first I was CRUSHED. You know, I was really affected by it. And then I realized that me and the other person provide this specific BF different things, and that's okay! As you get older and your lives become more complicated, this becomes more and more pertinent to know.  

Types of different Best Friends:

1. Your "Best Friend Forever"; Your life long BFF; i.e. Your Soul Mate

This is your best friend that you've had since you were in diapers. You seriously CAN NOT remember a time before they were your best friend. You have pictures with each other at every stage of life. You may have gone to different schools or lived in different states, but you've been together since the beginning and that will never change. EVER. Because you're soul mates and nothing could ever come between you. You may have some rough patches, but what relationship doesn't? This person is YOUR PERSON. You've shared everything together your entire lives. Heck, you've probably been planning your "grown up lives" together since you were five!

2. Your Childhood BF(s) from School/Your College BF

You went to the same middle school or high school or college together and you've experienced the same things together with those friends/enemies. These bonds are very strong because you faced puberty or mean girls or crushes on the most popular guy in school with them. You sat next to each other in so many classes, you can't even count them all. And every class was spent passing notes and writing to each other in your "notebook". (Yup, even in college!) They know everything about you and you still laugh (hard!) about the same inside jokes since you were 12. They never get old! And either does your friendship. 

3. Your Sister/Relative/Mom BF

 Yup, this (these) gem(s) were lucky enough to be related to you by blood, which means you share more than just love and friendship, you share a genetic bond that is unlike any other. They're the ONLY people that can really understand the quirks of your family or things you've gone through growing up. They're the ones that while they HAVE to love you, CHOOSE to have that friendship also. They're the ones that have seen you at your worst, you've seen them at their worst, and it doesn't even matter. They know your "family secrets", and even better, share in the burdens of the rough times together. They are your support system. 

4. Your Work BF

You spend at least 40 hours a week with them and you still love them. That's a major thing right there! You might only see them at work and that's okay! Or you might after seeing them 8am-5pm, choose to go out after and basically see them for almost the entire time you've been awake. These BF's are important because they understand this part of your life. And they might be the only one! You share co-workers and clients and bosses and they're the most understanding and sympathetic listeners when it comes to work-drama, because they're in it too. They ease the everyday work stresses and make every day more fun/bearable/interesting. They're the ones that randomly bring you a Red Bull first thing in the morning or bail you out of that 2:30 slump with some chocolaty treats

5. Your Guy BF

This is a very unique type of friendship. The dynamic is just slightly different than that of your girl BF's, because of course it is. And not in a bad way, in a really really good way! You talk about most everything and give each other advice about relationships and offer support when things aren't going their way. You watch sports/scary movies/action flicks together that your girlfriends don't want to see. Best of all, when you're scared that there might be a serial killer outside your house or you know, you get a flat tire, there's someone you can call on to help you. You go to them with your guy problems because they always help you figure it out, but they're also ready and willing to beat someone up for you, should the circumstance arise. They just make you feel safe and you can always count on them for a laugh.

Monday, August 4, 2014

23 Reasons why Emma Stone is the BEST!

Emma Stone is seriously one of my favorite people. If I could pick a celebrity to be my "best friend" that was actually my age, it would be either Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence. (or BOTH and my entire life would be complete! Just kidding. Sort of. But as I've already blogged about the reasons I love JLaw (here), I thought it would only be fair to also blog about my Stone love. Because THERE'S A LOT OF IT. She's so humble, down to earth, quirky and completely hilarious. I will always watch her movies because I have no doubt that she'll be amazing in anything she does. She's a great actress, but not just that, she's an excellent role model for younger girls.

23 Reasons why Emma Stone is the BEST: 

1. She has such a great outlook on life. She's always so positive and you know she'd always be the one to make you feel great about yourself when you're feeling down. She'd remind you that those things you hate about yourself are actually beautiful and make you, YOU.

2. The girl loves cheese. I mean, if this quote was all I knew of her, it would be enough. 

PS- Grilled cheese is like the number 1 best food in the world. Just sayin.

3. She understands me on a cellular level. She's goofy and fun and I think that we would probably have a freaking blast just flipping through magazines together, eating muddy buddies and gabbing all day.

4. Yup. See what I mean about understanding me? She's girlie and feminine without being overdone. She would understand my love of makeup and would never give me crap for wanting to put mascara on before we went out shopping on a Saturday afternoon. 

5. She calls her boyfriend "buddy", in the most charming way possible. I don't know why this is a reason, but it is. A good one

6. I completely agree with her, 100%. A woman who accept herself and LOVES herself exudes beauty, confidence and strength. That's something we can all aspire too, heaven knows it's not easy. And you can tell this comes from a real true place in her heart. She doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk too.

 7. She's such a free spirit, in the best possible way. I feel like her attitude would do me a world of good. She'd be the one to remind you when you get too panicky about the future to just relax and let the chips fall where they may. It's good to be responsible and have a plan but it's also good to let go and enjoy life without worrying about everything all the time.

8. See what I mean about being a role model? I couldn't agree with this any more. There is so much hate and negativity in the world, it's time we stand up and be a force of good positive energy and love. Our first instinct should be to build ourselves and each other up instead of tear down. This is the ultimate goal for me, this is the way WE change the world. I hope this is what our generation is remembered by. 

9. Emma Stone, ladies and gentleman. Who we actually are is the most important thing in the world. A lot of times we forget that our insides affect our outsides. We should stop placing so much emphasis on looking a certain way and put more effort into becoming better people.

10. Follow your heart. Go your own way. Trust yourself and be true to who you are. She's the type of friend who'd always be your cheerleader, no matter what. And we need people like this!

11. If I could hug or fist bump Emma for this statement, I would. We should treat ourselves the way we treat our BFFs/daughters/sisters! If everyone loved themselves, the world would be a better place. Proven. Fact. 

12. Because of this.

13. And a thousand times for this.

14. She understands and doesn't sugar coat how it feels to have your heart broken. Could she be more relatable than this??

15. She gives great advice! Listen to any interview with her and you'll understand. When you fall, you've got to learn how to pick yourself back up!

16. Because nothing is better than this gif.

17. Except this one.

18. And maaaaybe this one.

19. And probably this one.

20. But most DEFINITELY this one!!! She's the most gif-able celebrity there is and I couldn't love her MORE for it!! She just has the BEST facial expressions. EVER. 

21. I love when celebrities love to sleep, it makes them seem so real, so normal! Like, we can't all be Jennifer Aniston on the beach doing yoga at the crack of dawn. 

22. She empowers us to be exactly who we are and who we want to be. There are so many quotes like this from her, and that's a compliment. It seems to be 'her thing' and I'm so happy it is! 

23. But this is probably my FAVORITE thing about her. She's a wicked lip syncer and she's not afraid. She attacks it head on and because of that we get the BEST 7 minutes of TV, EVER.