The significance of a best friend.

“Because of you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a lot more.”

My best friend is the best friend anyone could ever have. And, yes, you should totally be jealous.

I met my best friend all the way back in sixth grade. Considering I am now in grad school, approaching the big 2-5, sixth grade was a long, long time ago.

Throughout those long, long years, many, many memories have been made. From school dances, to sleepovers filled with chicken wing dip, binge watching ABC family, to family parties, to conversing in only memes, to endless moments of laughing until we cry, to getting drunk off one beer. From heartbreak, to Facebook stalking, to immeasurable loss, and everything else in-between, the one thing that has always remained constant in this crazy thing called life is this girl.

It’s no secret that life is a tricky thing. Sometimes we find ourselves shattered and unable to get back up after we fall. When we think all hope had gone, our best friends are the ones that are always there to pick us up, dust us off, and tell us that everything is going to be okay. That right there is the definition of a real, true friend – someone who is the glue that holds our million pieces together when we feel like we are falling apart. They are the anchor that keeps us grounded when life is trying to blow us away. That right there, that’s my girl.

The last few years alone have been decently trying for us. Some of the things that we’ve experienced together are unimaginable, but, hey, we’ve conquered. There is one thing, though, that has always given me hope – it’s the sheer fact that at the beginning of each morning and at the end of each night, I will always have someone there to support me.

The amount of thanks that I have will never, ever be enough. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have found my soulmate in someone that is more like a sister to me than a friend at all.

jenna

Things to pack | Weekend getaway edition

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This Saturday through Sunday, my boyfriend and I will be spending the weekend at Pillar and Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake for our anniversary. Looking ahead, I am so thrilled to see the forecast for this weekend in front of me. Low 70’s makes for a great time exploring this little quaint town and the wineries that come with it.

Of course, being the person that I am, I am worried about what the heck to pack with me for this weekend trip. I believe I’ve discussed this previously on this blog, but if not, we will address it again – I am a severe over-packer. In all honesty, it’s quite bad.

As of now, I have formulated a packing list that is absolutely perfect for a weekend in wine country.

  • Comfortable shoes | I personally have never in my life done a wine tour, but if there is one thing that I have learned through research, it is not to wear heels, but something comfortable and easy to move around in.
  • Flowy tops | Perfect for layering under jackets or sweaters.
  • Skinny denim | The perfect pairing for flowy tops.
  • Sunglasses | I am not the sunhat-type-person, so for me, sunglasses will be a go-to.
  • A light sweater or jacket | For when it gets chilly at night time.
  • My camera | I have a “professional” camera [aka a camera that is not my iPhone] that I don’t find much use for anymore now that my brother isn’t home and we aren’t going to sporting events or school dances every weekend. Wine country is sure to make for some Instagram-worthy shots and I definitely don’t want to miss out.
  • A swimsuit | The hotel that we are staying at has both an indoor and outdoor pool that is absolutely to die for. I kid you not, the images of these pools make me feel relaxed and I am not even in them yet.
  • A neutral handbag | One way to avoid overpacking? Avoid packing more than one handbag. I have found that for any vacation, a neutral handbag has become my go-to for the sole fact that I don’t have to switch purses to coordinate with my outfit of the day.
  • Neutral makeup | This can directly relate to the idea above – the more neutral the makeup, the less of it you have to pack! One great way to switch up your look from day to night, or even one day to the next, is to swap out your lipstick color. Much lighter to pack than five eyeshadow palettes!
  • Presents | One of my favorite parts of anniversaries is giving my boyfriend gifts. Anyone that continues to put up with me year after year is worth spoiling rotten!

What are some of your must haves for a weekend getaway? xoxo.

Weekend recap?!

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This past week has been jam-packed with school work and exhaustion ensuing from my job. It seemed to have flown by in the blink of an eye, though, because I had a hard time this morning believing it was already Monday.

Saturday, the majority of my day was spent in West Seneca at a certification training for my job promotion. Once those six hours were complete, I headed over to Allentown for their Fall Festival. This festival was held on Allen and Franklin Streets and was filled with live music, local artists, food, craft beers, hard ciders, and children’s activities. Lunch was had at Don Tequila paired with margaritas. The evening was spent at Bath and Body Works buying way too many $2.95 hand soaps and watching Will and Grace on Hulu.

I could not wait to finally sleep in Sunday morning. Granted, my “sleeping in” is really waking up at like 8:30/9:00ish, but still. Anything is better than my usual 5:00am. Sunday my boyfriend and I went to, not joking, basically every store in Buffalo. We went from the Lexington Co-Op to Whole Foods to Target to Best Buy to PetSmart to Wegmans to Dash’s and back home again. Through text, it seems as if the day was crazy busy, but it was really one of the most relaxing days I’ve had in a while.

Did anything really exciting happen to me this weekend? Other than the make your own peanut butter station at the Lexington Co-Op, not really. But, hey, it was a good one to be had.

How did you spend your weekend? xoxo.

What’s in my bag | Volume I

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I come from a family of purse hoarders. Not solely in the sense of purchasing bags, but filling these bags with items that are not really necessarily for everyday functioning, leaving said bag weighing 35 pounds and causing back problems.

With that being said, welcome to a new thread of posts hilighting the things I carry around on a daily basis. While my bag does not weigh 35 pounds, I hope that shedding light on all of the unnecessary things I carry on a daily basis will help me to eliminatesome of this clutter in the near future.

The bag: 

Kate Spade Emerson Place Small Ryley Black Quilted Leather Handbag | I got this handbag as an absolute steal amidst my small stint working at the Kate Spade Outlet during last year’s holiday season. We would get select merchandise from the retail stores sent to us from time to time and were able to use our insane employee discount on these ridiculously gorgeous, expensive bags. This specific bag lasted a whole, I’d say, 3 minutes on the shelf in the stockroom before I made it mine.

What’s in it:

  • Kate Spade Cameron Street Lacey wallet | Again, a purchase during my short stint as a Kate Spade employee. This wallet is my absolute fav due to the fact that a) it holds everything, and b) it’s big enough to use as a clutch in times where I don’t feel like lugging a bag around. And, extra points, it holds my phone!
  • Bath and Body Works Shea Butter hand cream in the scent Cucumber Melon | With the changing weather comes the cracked, dry hands. This travel size shea butter hand cream is a god send for those days when my hands don’t quite feel like they can make it through another moment! And cucumber melon? Brings me straight back to the ’90s!
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Exposed | My go-to nude lip. It goes with any possible look and compliments my skin tone perfectly. I keep this in my bag at all times for those days that I either forget to put on a lipstick, or when later on during the day I am questioning my sanity as to why I didn’t wear a lip color in the first place.
  • Vera Bradley Breakaway Lanyard | aka home to my work I.D. and a Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer in the scent Energy, another favorite of mine from BBW.
  • Chapstick Total Hydration chapstick in the scent Sweet Peach | I apply this to my lips every morning before work and every night before bed, and sometimes a few hours in-between. This scent is apparently specifically made for Target, so naturally, I own it. And the formula? Feels like butter. Can’t get much better.
  • e.l.f. Mattifying Setting Powder in the shade Translucent | For those afternoon pick-me-ups that are needed after chasing kids around a classroom all day. It’s cheap, the packaging is durable, and it does its’ job.
  • A pen | Can’t leave the house without one. Mostly because the thought of touching everyone else’s germy pens really grosses me out.
  • Checkbook | Yes, I am old school. Yes, I have a checkbook. Get over it!
  • Vera Bradley Soft Eyeglasses Case | aka home to either my glasses or my sunglasses, depending on which one is currently on my face
  • Orbit gum | To kick the post-coffee breath.
  • Ibuprofen | For mid-afternoon headaches, or casual aches and pains.
  • Asthma inhaler | For when I really want to breathe but really can’t.
  • Headphones | For the semi-rare occasion I go to the gym.
  • Keys | To either enter my home or drive my car, both essential to living.
  • iPhone | Can’t leave home without it.

What are some of the essentials you carry with you daily? xoxo.

The power of prayer in times of despair.

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With a heartbreaking loss of a dear family-friend yesterday, I will do so much as leave you with a prayer to aide those experiencing the loss of a loved one. xoxo.

Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You,
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.
I pour out my grief to You
And praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall walk together again.

October recipes | Pinterest edition

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I’ve been going pin-crazy on Pinterest with all things fall before the season even began. So, imagine me now that we are right in the midst of my favorite season of the year! Between home-decor inspo, costume ideas for Halloween, desserts, and other fall recipes, I have found enough to last me through every fall for the rest of my life!

Some of my favorite recipes that I am dying to try this fall, I have included below in this blog post to, both, share with you, and to motivate myself to actually make these within the next 31 days! I’ve taken my top 10 most desirable – here you go:

  1. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
  2. Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
  3. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
  4. Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans
  5. Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Vegetables
  6. The World’s Best Baked Honeycrisp Apples
  7. No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkins
  8. Smoked Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
  9. Slow Cooker Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
  10. Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

If you’re interested in seeing all of the other fun things I find, follow me on Pinterest, here.

What are some recipes you love making in the fall? xoxo.