Life update!? 


As the summer of things that change continues to roll on, more things are continuing to change. We are now one week away from my brother moving away to college. One. Freaking. Week. How is this possible? I’m not sure, but it’s happening. 

I had a nice three day vacation from work [well, five days if you include the weekend] that was so much needed, I can’t even begin to explain this to you. The day I went back, the phone in my classroom was immediately ringing at 8am and it was HR calling to tell me about my 6-month review [already!?] and that they wanted to offer me a promotion. I could not believe it. So another added change, I’ll have a new class with new kids after our two week break come September. 

Also happening within those seven days since my last post, my boyfriend got a new car, I dyed most of my hair blonde, I actually went out this weekend, and I saw a long lost friend back to town on her honeymoon. 

What does this prove? Honestly, a pretty big point – whether it’s the color of your hair, the make and model of your car, or a new job title, things are always changing, no matter how big or small. It’s our job to take it all in stride. xoxo. 

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 7.0


  1. Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. In terms of shows on Netflix, when I start a new one I tend to binge and binge until I am completely through the entire series [or at least what is on Netflix]. This show, let me tell you, is absolutely hilarious all while leaving you on the edge of your seat. It revolves around self-help author Abby McCarthy who finds new friends, new adventures, and a new life after her impending divorce. Basically, her figuring out how to live life again after 17 years of marriage. It’s a hit, and I can’t wait for more.
  2. It’s Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice. I made it my mission over this “vacation” to look at the list of top-selling books, to buy one, and to complete it either before vacation ends, or before school begins again. At the rate it is going, this book will be done in no time, as I can’t seem to put it down. A memoir about Mr. Fitzmaurice, who after being diagnosed and struggling with ALS, has gotten an entirely new outlook on life. You will go through every emotion throughout this book, as you learn about this young husband and father of five small children. I’ll be sure to write an overall review as soon as I’ve completed it.
  3. Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer. I will scream it from the rooftops, THIS. MOISTURIZER. HAS. SAVED. MY. LIFE. Well, my face, but you know what I mean. Back in the day, I used to have flawless skin. I know it sounds like I am tooting my own horn when I say that, but compared to now, you would think that we weren’t even the same person. I tried, and tried to find a facial moisturizer that will help with the dryness and the redness on my skin and finally, I found one. I checked out my nearest Target to find this moisturizer, sold for around $12. I’ve been using it in the morning and before night everyday for the past two weeks, and I have seen a complete change in the color and complexion of my skin. I am not scamming you. It works. It really fricken’ works.
  4. Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo. It wasn’t until the other day when my boyfriend said “you haven’t stopped using that since you bought it” that I realized how obsessed I was with this product. I just became a dry shampoo user within the last six months after buying a travel size bottle to being with me to Long Island for my brothers State hockey tournament. This bad boy saves me multiple mornings a week when my hair is clean enough to go to work without a full wash, but still needs that extra oomph in the morning. This brand runs for just under $5 at Target and comes in multiple scent variations. I haven’t had any problems with any residue and my hair looks great all day after use! 

This sh*t is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

*SPOILER ALERT* Read the post below to find out why the title choice of those 2004 Gwen Stefani lyrics goes absolutely perfectly.

In my last post I made a slight mention about stopping at Wegmans to grab supplies for a dessert to make to bring to my family reunion. Once a year, my super extended family gets together to have an all day reunion / BBQ at a local town park. Since I am now of the appropriate age, aka not at the age to be bouncing on the bounce house or participating in the children’s activities, I could partake in bringing my own dessert.

Knowing me, you know I strive for simplicity. I am not, by any means, the greatest cook, or the greatest baker, so simplicity tends to be key for me. It’s not so much the lazy-factor, but the the-less-ingredients-involved-the-less-likely-I-am-to-mess-this-up factor. So, surprise, surprise I made my way over to trusty ol’ Pinterest and dove into finding a nice and easy summer BBQ dessert. The options were absolutely endless and I was forced to choose from a list of millions of mouthwatering recipes. After some deliberation, I landed amongst a Banana Split Fluff Salad.

When I tell you this was the easiest thing ever to make, this was literally the easiest thing ever to make. And it was delicious. Not only that, but it was a hit with everyone [my grandma had even eaten it for breakfast!].

I prepared the dessert the night before, letting it chill and settle in the fridge. I did not, however, add in the bananas until the next morning, as I did not want them to get mushy and brown. I also did not add the walnuts to this recipe due to my dad’s nut allergy. I also doubled the recipe, as it said it only makes 8 cups. But, let me tell you, it was way more generous than I expected, so plan accordingly!

banana split fluff salad

You can find the recipe for this dessert below:

Banana Split Fluff Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 – 3.4 ounce box instant banana pudding
  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple [do not drain]
  • 1 – 8 ounce container Cool Whip
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts + 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 – 10 ounce jars maraschino cherries, halved

Instructions

  1. Stir together the pudding mix and pineapple until dissolved and thickened.
  2. Fold in the Cool Whip with a spatula.
  3. Gently stir in the marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, bananas, and cherries.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to chill.

Notes

  • Stir in the bananas right before serving, or dip the banana slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning too quickly.
  • The recipe states this will make about 8 cups of salad – I got way more than 8 cups. It is very generous!

Maybe she’s born with it.. never mind, it’s probably another post about makeup.

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First off, hey guys! I have three days vacation from work and I am taking these three days to type my little fingers off and get some new blog posts rollin’.

First post of the many ahead are focused on my most-recent trip to Ulta. I went in to purchase some of my trusty Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless foundation, as I had waited too long to pick up a new bottle, and I found myself to be completely bone dry. Much to my surprise, my local Ulta was sold out of my shade *cries* but did that stop me from continuing to shop around? Of course not.

I didn’t quite know what I was looking for, but it had been over a month and a half *gasps* since I had been in there, so I figured, why not? I had some free time to kill to myself, although I really should have been at Wegmans picking up the ingredients for the dessert I was planning to make for my family reunion [more on that later].

If you know me, you know I am a drugstore cosmetic girl. I can never seem to justify spending a lot of money on makeup. Yes, the higher the price the higher the quality, but I could never seem to take the plunge [minus one Tarte liquid lipstick, but that’s only because they had the exact shade I was looking for to match an outfit], mostly because I always had a feeling that once I started on the high-end makeup trail, I would never want to go back.

But, thanks to the show Parks & Recreation, I went into full “treat yo’ self” mode and took a very small plunge.

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My first high-end purchase was the Dream Big palette from Tarte Cosmetics.

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This limited-edition eyeshadow palette has 8 shades destined to motivate and inspire your inner glam-getter [as per Tarte’s website]. The palette contains two matte and six shimmer shades ranging from dark to light, essentially making it a palette that I would reach for on a daily basis due to the unlimited amount of makeup looks you can create.

When I watched the shades in-store, I appreciated the creamy texture of the formula, but it wasn’t until I got home and actually used the palette on my eyes that I appreciated this formula. The eyeshadow shades are super pigmented and super easy to blend out, making me appreciate the difference between high-end and drugstore products. I always thought what I had was incredible, until I tried this, and I haven’t reached for anything else since! This palette runs for $30.

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I also picked up an Ulta brand lipstick on my way out in the shade 254 Rosey Glow, a light rosy pink with slight shimmer. I love Ulta’s lipsticks, and their nude line is absolutely to die for. The shades are soft and neutral and they go with anything or any skin tone. This lipstick runs for $8.50, but since I also picked up a new beauty blender, I was able to use my store coupon!

What are some new makeup items you’ve tried recently? I’d love to know! xoxo.

7 of 12, done. 


I feel like the more I blink, the faster the months go by. July has come and gone faster than a speeding bullet, and I feel that at the pace we are going, 2017 will be over with. My calendar this month was so extremely full that I feel like it wasn’t even really a “summer vacation.” 

This July consisted of: 

  • A Fourth of July celebration 
  • Multiple grad parties between both my family, my boyfriend’s family, and multiple family friends 
  • Family reunions and picnics for both my and my boyfriend’s families 
  • A day trip to Erie, PA 
  • Working a summer camp 
  • Getting my new ‘batch’ of students and beginning the upcoming school year 
  • A day trip to Canandaigua, NY 
  • Beginning and completing a summer class [that I never thought I’d survive] 
  • Many days and nights spent with friends and family
  • Eating copious amounts of ice cream, my favorite part of summer 

August is a month that seemed so far away only a few short months ago. So much is about to happen and so much is about to change this month, that there definitely will not be a shortage in terms of things to talk about on this blog. I will be experiencing new things, and will, undoubtedly, have many things going through my mind. xoxo. 

Life.

Keeping in tune with yesterday’s post, today I am including bible verses focused on the sanctity of your life. I’ve found within the last year that looking to the Bible for guidance in times of need has really helped. *Shoutout to Catholic education for making me [eventually] realize this.*

1 Peter 3:10-11 For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Keep on keepin’ on, my friends. xoxo.

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Live like you’re dying.

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Who remembers way back in 2009 when Kris Allen won American Idol? Probably not too many of us, right? But, one thing I do remember [somehow] is his first single after winning the show called Live Like We’re Dying. For those of you who don’t remember, or don’t know what in the hell I’m talking about, here’s a snippet of some of the song’s lyrics:

We gotta start looking at the hands of the time we’ve been given. If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking, if every second counts on a clock that’s ticking, gotta live like we’re dying. We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to turn it all around or to throw it all away. Gotta tell em’ that we love em’ while we got the chance to say, gotta live like we’re dying. 

A lot has happened recently and has changed the way I look at life. Life of a loved one has been lost. Life of a loved one has been given an expiration date. I’ve started to really realize that your entire life can change in the matter of, no joke, one day, so why are we wasting time on the things that don’t matter?

Why are we sweating the small stuff? Why are we holding grudges? Why aren’t we focusing on what really matters to us? Why are we not going for what we truly want in life? Why are we not seizing the day?

It shouldn’t take an expiration date to kick start the best moments of our lives. You should be living your best life right now.

I would love to know what you are achieving, the dreams you are dreaming, and the things you are doing to live your best life. Spread the love. Start the wave. xoxo.

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 6.0

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  1. LANY. I know what you’re thinking, “another band made up of boys?!?!” The answer? Yes. All things yes. This band has been active since 2014, but it wasn’t until recently that I started tuning into their material, and let me tell you, I have become head over heels obsessed. I keep telling everyone I know to listen to their music and have turned into basically their marketing manager overnight??! All I know is, I haven’t listened to anything in my car other than their album, LANY, for about three weeks now. I am undoubtedly hooked. Check out one of their songs here.
  2. Baby Daddy. I didn’t start watching this show when it was trendy, same story goes for most shows I watch, but it popped up on Netflix a while back and my brother and his girlfriend were huge fans. I jumped in a couple times and watched with them, and suddenly it only made sense that I watched it from the beginning of the series. Now, here I am, with a new season out on Netflix that I finished in [not kidding] one day. If you need a good laugh or a little pick me up, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
  3. Chobani Flip Coffee Brownie Bliss. Coffee flavored greek yogurt with biscotti pieces, milk chocolate, and brownie chunks. Need I say more? Personally, I love crunchy items in foods and its no surprise that I drink enough coffee to fill my body head to toe, so I feel as if Chobani dug deep into my soul and crafted this yogurt just for me. In their defense, however, I haven’t had a Chobani greek yogurt I haven’t liked, so there you go.
  4. e.l.f Double Ended Lipstick Duo in the shade Need it Nudes. I picked this up one weekend in Rochester with my boyfriend when I had forgotten a lipstick *gasps* at Target. I thought it was interesting to have two lipsticks included in the same wand, but much to my surprise, this has been the lipstick(s) I have been reaching for first. There were five options to choose from, but I got the nude shade(s) making it go with virtually everything in my wardrobe. The day end is a soft nude shade, whereas the night end is a bit bolder. The formula is sooooo creamy, it doesn’t dry my crusty lips out to the core. And, bonus? It was only $5! [$5 for two lipsticks…that’s almost unheard of].

BuffaLOVE.

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It is no secret that I love being from Buffalo. Actually, I think that’s one thing all Buffalonians have in common, we all are die hard lovers of our city. I mean, come on, our city does smell like Cheerios! So, today, on Buffalo Day (7/16), I will honor the City of Good Neighbors.

The most iconic part of Buffalo, to me at least, is the over-abundance of amazing food. It might seem like I am lying when I say that every corner you turn brings you face to face with a great spot to eat, but I am not. Whether your stomping grounds are North Buffalo, South Buffalo, or right in the heart of the city, you’re sure to never go hungry. Wings from the Anchor Bar, beef on weck from Charlie the Butcher’s, hot dogs from Ted’s, subs from Jim’s Steakout, donuts from Paula’s, sponge candy from Watson’s, beer from Resurgence Brewery, loganberry…the list goes on, and on, and on.

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And if restaurants are not enough, holy cow, do we have a ridiculous amount of festivals. Taste of Buffalo, the Italian Festival, Allentown Art Festival, the Music is Art Festival, so on and so forth. These events make Buffalo not only diverse, but fun. [In true Buffalo fashion, I was at the Italian Festival just today!].

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Another highlight of Buffalo is one that people don’t always think of, the architecture. The Darwin Martin House, City Hall, the Prudential Building, the Central Terminal, the Ellicott Square Building, and Hotel Lafayette surely don’t make this city a sight for sore eyes!

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New to one of my top favorites of the city is Canalside. Every single time I go down to the waterfront, I am still amazed at how far this area of Buffalo has come over the last few years. Between HarborCenter, kayak rentals, an outdoor ice skating rink, outdoor concerts, free movie nights, there is always something to do. And, it’s family friendly! On the topic of family friendly, Buffalo is also home to a cute little zoo right in the heart of North Buffalo.

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“Buffalo, the sports town with a drinking problem.” It’s also really no secret of my die hard love for all things Buffalo sports. I have been a season ticket holder for the Buffalo Sabres for my entire life. Most of my favorite childhood [and adult] memories revolve around this team. If hockey really isn’t your forte, we have the Buffalo Bills or the Buffalo Bisons to help float your boat. And to address the elephant that I know is in the room, yes, yes, our sports teams are not the best. However, I’ll be damned if Buffalo sports fans give up on the hope that this year will be our year. We have some of the best fans in the league – we’re crazy, we love to party, and we’re over the top loyal. It’s hard to explain how we keep coming back each year unless you’re from Buffalo, but it’s something we just do. [It helps that our bars are open until 4am!]

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So, there you have it. Some of my favorite things about my city. I really could have this list go on and on, but if you’re not from this area, I don’t want to bore you. If you are from the good ol’ 716, I shouldn’t have to add on. You just know, there’s more to Buffalo than 15 feet of snow. xoxo.

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Splish, splash.

 

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I am currently packing for a mini-semi-staycation though these next couple days, and I am racking my brain thinking about what to bring to a day to the beach, what clothes to wear to work, etc. etc. The normal, everyday stresses, really. When thinking of what to bring to Canandaigua tomorrow for a beach day with my family and boyfriend, I am trying to rack my brain about what I brought last week to the splash park in Erie which then spiraled my mind into thinking, *holy crap I never blogged about this day trip* so, here we are.

Eight days ago, my family took a day-cation down to Erie, PA. This trip all came about after the rain [go figure] ruined our plans to go to Darien Lake, a local amusement park,  for the day. We chose Erie because it is home to Splash Lagoon, an indoor family water park that would get us out of the rain while still packing on the fun.

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I had not been there since my 8th grade class trip [10 years ago…], so I was somewhat excited to get back there and see if it lived up to my adolescent hype. On this particular day, the Friday before the 4th of July, we were expecting this place to be booming with people, squishing us into the park like sardines. But, what we got was the exact opposite! There were people there, yes, but not enough to make you want to lose your mind.

Erie, PA is about two hours-ish from my house, but it’s like a whole other world down there. That little city has so many things that we, in Buffalo, do not have such as Steak and Shake, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Creme, tax free shopping, rustic beaches, and so forth. So being there for the day was fun and I left full.

By late afternoon, the sun came out so we drove down to Presque Isle State Park, home of the most gorgeous, rustic beaches I’ve seen. Plus, there even was a mini lighthouse! The state park literally has ten beaches you can go to, like what?! On the way there, we drove through the cutest little town, a water park, and an amusement park that had a rollercoaster that went over top of the roads underneath. Crazy.

All in all, it was a great day trip and I am more than excited to get away tomorrow and go to the beach on my last day of summer before school starts on Monday.

What are some of your favorite places to go for a day-cation? xoxo.