Monthly Archives: December 2014

Pursuit of Celebration

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It’s here! It’s time to celebrate the New Year! As I prepare for our little celebration, I thought I would share a few snaps of our soon-to-be festivities! At the bottom of the post, I also shared a playlist of some of our tunes that we’ll be playing tonight via Spotify. Happy New Year all!

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Pursuit of Reflection

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From my desk, I reflect upon the year and all of the things that I learned. This year has taught me many lessons, and I hopefully next year I will learn just as much. I decided to make a list that I can share, of all that I have learned so others can learn too!

1. Working 25-30 hours a week, and going to college full time is difficult to manage but is worth the experience.

I have now officially been working at Anthropologie for more than a year now, and it has been a great experience. I have learned so much about the company, leadership, and work ethic. It is a lot to balance a job  (especially one that requires thought and a little preparation outside of the workplace) along with schoolwork, but I know that when I am done with school, I will value the things I learned while at work. Having a job and going to school full time also taught me how to manage time, really well.

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2. With that being said; coffee and bath time is a must.

My preferred drink in the morning is a double dirty chai, or a humongous cup of coffee. It is the only thing that really wakes me up and gets me going, especially if I was up late studying the night before. I usually go for a green tea latte pick-me-up at lunch or after work. At night, I have found that epsom salt baths are the best thing for my health as a human being. (Hooray for Dr. Teal’s!) Because I work retail, I can be on my feet for up to eight hours a day, with only one break in between.That, along with stress can really take a toll on my body. Epsom salt helps with the muscle aches (also heating pads) and the bath gives me a calm like no other. Pair the bath with chamomile lavender tea and you might as well say goodnight to me!

3. Meal prepping is a wonderful idea.

In order to save time and minimize stress, I find that preparing a bunch of rice, pasta, meat, and pre-made salads at the beginning of the week, can be super helpful. It also helps me eat healthier, because at the end of my busy day, the last thing I want to do is cook.

4. If you work with your hands regularly, and still want your nails to look nice, acrylic is the way to go. (Secret: it’s cheaper to maintain than shellack, lasts just as long, and is more durable.)

5. Wake up an extra thirty minutes early and make yourself a good breakfast, you will be happy about this decision later.

6. That saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life…” I’m not sure I actually believe that, because I love my job, but I WORK my butt off. I think it’s just a fact of life, you’re going to have to work. A lot. 

7. Long Distance Relationships are not fun, but moving in together is.

Until August of 2014, Jason and I were living two and half hours away from each other. Though that is not too far of a distance, it was still a huge burden that neither one of us were pleased with. It was financially draining and was hard to balance with our busy lives. FINALLY August came around and we are now so stoked to have our own place. We make a great team, and I love being able to come home and relax with him every night. Not to mention he is one of my greatest friends, so we have so much fun just hanging out around the house, and watching Netflix. (We are currently watching Once Upon a Time. If you’re looking for a new series to start, its quite good if you’re into that sort of thing.)

8. Cars are expensive to maintain, and there is no way around maintaining them.

9. Hats are good for days that you do not want to do your hair (or wash it).

10. Its okay to splurge on a nice dinner sometimes, its good to reward and treat yourself every once in a while. 

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11. Pets require responsibility, attention, and time, but are also a great source of entertainment and comfort. 

I have had Midas for over a year now, he is the most well behaved, loving, wonderful cat that anyone could ask for. On the other hand, we adopted Albus in September when he was only about three or four weeks old… and he is a little rascal. He is a kitten and is quite curious, and so we really have to watch what he gets into. He also loves to torment his brother, and so we have to monitor that too. Albus is not one to be ignored… As soon as we move the slightest bit in the morning, Albus is right there, ready to cuddle on top of your face (literally) to say good morning! Not to mention, two cats means double the food, and litter (and changing the litter), and vet visits. BUT beyond that, they are the most loving cuddly little creatures in the world. We wouldn’t trade them for anything! They are so great to come home to, and they do keep us wonderful company. They make me the happiest mama of fur children in the universe. Albus and Midas are quite the characters and actually keep us pretty entertained too. When you get Albus playing with his toys, its a never ending stream of cuteness.

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(I have also learned that I am truly doomed to be a crazy cat lady. I am okay with this.)

12. DO NOT cheap out on shoes, your feet will hate you in the end.

13. Also, do not cheap out on alcohol, you will hate yourself in the end. 

14. If you don’t like something, don’t do it.

For the longest time, I thought because I am in college and it is my 21st year, I HAD to go out and drink and party all the time. But to me, that sort of life really isn’t that appealing. So then, I felt like I was missing out on something because I had no desire to go out. Honestly, I would rather have a night at home with a glass of wine and a beautifully cooked dinner. Then I realized, ITS OKAY TO LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE.

15. Call your Mom, I guarantee you, she has the answer. 

16. Best friends are forever. The end.

Becca and I finally moved into our own places (for good) this year, but really nothing has changed. After living with her for two and a half years, we became so incredibly close. Time apart in our own apartments with our significant others only means more stories to tell and more to catch up on when we do see each other. We also still trade clothes, eat each others food, go shopping, and have our weekly TV shows to watch with each other.

17. Take care of your teeth because you won’t be under your mother’s dental insurance for much longer, and dental work is not cheap! (Thanks, Mom!)

18. Even though you want them, you can’t have all of the clothes in Anthropologie, its just not financially possible. (Plus, there is physically not enough room in the closet for that.)

19. Spend money on music and concert tickets.

20. It’s good to check in with yourself every once in a while.

Life can get hectic, trying to balance everything from relationships, to kittens, to school, to work. Its easy to loose track of what you’re actually doing, or if you are really taking care of yourself.  It can also get mundane if you are doing the same thing over and over again, and life can become discouraging.  Sometimes you have to spend some time with yourself, a cup of coffee, good music, and your bed. Its truly the best medicine, sometimes all it takes is for you to stop and listen to yourself.

21. Life is to be treasured and taken in, it is a beautiful thing to be alive. 

I apologize if this post is a bit scatterbrained, but these are truly some valuable things (along with mini rants) that I have learned this year, plus some.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Pursuit of Holiday Entertaining

Getting my own place with Jason has been one of the best decisions. One of the many perks is that we can now entertain in our own space. We soon realized that setting up for a holiday party can be more stressful than it appears. To make our little apartment special, festive, and party ready, quite a few little projects needed to happen.

IMG_1551I started with the dining room table. Setting the table for any season can be a really easy way to spice up your home, without going overboard.

IMG_1547I used some decorative plates as my starting point for the spread. Jason and I recently purchased these gorgeous plates from Anthropologie with beautiful artwork by Starla Michelle Halfmann. We thought it would be a waste to keep them stored up in a cabinet, so we decided to keep them out for decor.

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The plates were a great starting point, but now for a centerpiece, and a little more decor…

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IMG_1549I am a sucker for fresh flowers and candles…and so you have our centerpiece! I found this gorgeous bouquet of holiday flowers in Trader Joe’s and I knew it was going to be the perfect addition to the table.  I split the flowers into three parts. I used a vintage white vase for the taller flowers, and little DIY vases for the shorter cut flowers.

IMG_1555For the shorter vases, I actually cleaned out the glass jars of my favorite candles after they had  burned out, and they made for some beautiful amber colored vases/jars. To give the table some glow, I placed a holiday scented Capri Blue candle in a gold mercury glass jar in the middle, and fun little ornament tea lights within the decorations.

IMG_1550I scattered pine cones, and leftover gold and red ornaments along a red table runner to fill in the space with special details, and the table was complete.

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The next project for holiday entertaining was stocking up our bar cart.

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One of my favorite pieces in our apartment is our bar cart that was handed down to me from my grandmother. It was so lovely to finally be able to use it! We loaded up the cart with favorites, and Jason became the mixologist for the night. We had a lot of fun finding fun holiday recipes, and trying new things.

IMG_1566 IMG_1568 IMG_1569 (Yes, that is a penguin shaker.)IMG_1560 IMG_1562Jason and I both really love Christmas, and so our apartment was decorated for the season long before our plans of entertaining. So, the only thing left to do was turn on some tunes, and let the celebrating commence!

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(Poinsettia up high so the kitties don’t get into them. They are poisonous to cats)IMG_1577 (Presents that are half opened because Jason and I can’t wait)IMG_1576 IMG_1575 IMG_1573(Kitties need stockings too)
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Pursuit of Being Festive

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Happy Holidays! Its that time of year again, and I am loving it. There are so many reasons to get all dressed up and fancy around this time of the season. Holiday parties are in full swing, and I am taking every opportunity to wear my favorite tulle skirt.

IMG_1529Tulle skirts are so much fun, and can make for a really special elevated outfit for parties and dinners. I found a couple of skirts that are similar to mine here, here and here.

IMG_1525Tulle skirts are actually pretty versatile, and can be outfitted a handful of ways. I love to wear mine with a simple chambray tied at the waist, and flats for a more casual look. Another favorite of mine is wearing my black Dolan turtleneck tucked into the skirt with opaque tights (and to dress it up I can add a sparkly belt like this or this).

IMG_1542For this outing, I chose to outfit this skirt more casually. I love the look of tulle with a flannel, but I wanted this look to be just a bit more elevated than that. This top from Anthropologie was the perfect in-between. The pattern and colors made the look very festive, and because of the material, it made the outfit look a little more polished than a regular old flannel.

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To complete this ballerina-esque look, I paired it with my favorite camel colored lace-up flats from Urban Outfitters.

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My best friend Becca and I did a little adventuring for this shoot. There are some really beautiful spots around Tampa Bay this time of year. The Henry B. Plant Museum outdoes itself for the holidays, and we thought it to be well worth the trip. Plant Hall was used as a hotel until 1930. This grand hotel boasted 500+ rooms, and special treasures collected from around the globe. The building was built in 1891 alongside railroad tracks, and housed plenty of famous names including, Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, Sarah Bernhardt, Clara Barton, Stephen Crane, the Prince of Wales and Babe Ruth, to name a few.

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This building is loaded with amazing history, and it is beautifully preserved with all of its Late Victorian furnishings.

IMG_1536For the holidays, the museum makes the tour a very special experience with beautiful decor throughout. It really is a sight to see, and if you live in the area and have not been, I strongly encourage that you see it. (That’s not just the History major speaking, it really is just plain beautiful)

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