Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Today is a great day because we all have a little luck to spread, not just today, but everyday!
Today started off with the sight of a beautiful rainbow over Niagara Falls! How beautiful and fitting for St. Patrick’s Day! The only way this could have been better is if there was a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end, spreading the wealth for everyone witnessing this beauty.
St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Buffalo is one of the best weekends of the year, always finished off with the number one parade in the country on Sunday! Everyone should go out of their way to experience the craziness of the St. Paddy’s parade in Buffalo at least once in their lifetime! It’s one of those things that you really can’t believe unless you see it or experience it for yourself. If any of you reading this are going tomorrow, I will be there! Try to find me and come and say hello!
With that being said, everyone stay safe this weekend, and try not to eat too much corned beef and cabbage. xoxo.
In a world of social media, it’s almost impossible not to get inspiration from others on the web. Typically, we go for fashion or beauty inspo when it comes to social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest. However, with a new home now being in my life, I’ve turned to these social media sites for inspiration for home décor! My parents and my grandparents always tell me that I seem to have an eye for color or home décor in general, so I always seem to find myself picking out paint swatches, rugs, or wall hangings for every member of my family. This is great and all, but not everyone always has the same taste as me, so having the ability to act on my own style and buy things that I actually like for my own home is exhilarating!
So, back to the basic idea of this post – décor inspiration. While we all know Pinterest is my number one, go to, ride or die social media outlet, I have found myself turning to another site – Instagram – to get some ideas and spark some brain waves when it comes to styling our new place! I have always gravitated toward rustic over modern, and the new phenomenon of modern farmhouse style sums up everything I love and then some. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want to be Joanna Gaines?
For those of you who have an interest in my style, my inspiration, or what goes on in my mind every time I am surfing the web for a million new things that I love [but don’t necessarily need], look no further. The remainder of this post will highlight my newest fascination with Instagram and the accounts that I am currently obsessed with.
Magnolia | @magnolia | 2.9M Followers
The Stella Blue Gallery | @thestellabluegallery | 114K Followers
Carissa | @bless_this_nest | 38.5K Followers
Elizabeth James Interiors | @elizabethjamesinteriors | 1201 Followers
Graced Designs | @graceddesigns | 22K Followers
Kimberlee | @coloradohousetohome | 1462 Followers
Taylor | @drab.to.dreamy.farmhouse | 1403 Followers
What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration? xoxo.
Point blank period: this shit is hard.
I started this blog looking for a fun hobby; something I’ve always wanted to do but was always afraid to try doing. Do I regret starting this blog over a year ago? Not one bit. But, I do regret not being better at it. I have these dreams where I gain a large following, hoping someone out there likes the stuff I have to say. I feel like there are a lot of kinks that I have to work out, some of which will come in time, but I don’t always find ways to work them out efficiently.
Right now, my following is not large, but I do have people who consistently keep up with me. Yes, most of them are family, but they care the most! Plus, we’ve all got to start somewhere, right? By no means did I expect to start up this website and have millions of followers overnight – that’s not the way life works, and I wholeheartedly understand that. However, at this point, over a year later, I did expect things to be different. Mostly, things revolving around myself. I will reiterate the above point: this shit is hard and more times than not, I find myself not as up to the challenge as I’d really like to be. My planning, most of the time, sucks. It sucks really bad actually. I always find myself saying, “there’s always next week” and then next week comes and I still suck at planning and getting everything in order. My content, I know, is lacking and I am solely to blame. Are most of my blog posts spur of the moment jumbles of words that I try to put together in time? Yes. Actually, not yes. Hell yes is more appropriate here. I thought for sure that once I was done with school and no longer had papers to write and projects to complete, I would have more time and motivation to crank out top-notch content. Yet, here I am, done with a Masters degree, still struggling to make this blog everything I wanted and more. I have faith in myself that I will get better, I just haven’t really figured out how I want to get there. Yet.
When it comes to my site, I find myself competing with my own mind. I have not much training or experience when it comes to using technology, so honestly, the fact that I have my own domain and figured out how to get this site hosted, the theme changed, and it be up and running with no fail is a success in itself. But, my lack of understanding technology is seen in its’ full glory when it comes to my pictures. I have never in my life used Photoshop. And when I say never, I actually mean never. I don’t even know how to download it or buy it or what any button even does. The height of my photo editing and taking comes from using a halfway decent camera or simply my iPhone, edits courtesy of VSCO or the edit app that comes programmed into my computer. When I look at other blogs that I follow religiously, I notice how their pictures are flawless. The brightness, the photo themes, the clarity, the setup and staging of images – everything. I get almost jealous when I see others’ pictures thriving next to my sub-par photo taking – mostly because this shit is hard. I admire the creativity of others’ and I admire the planning and overall content that comes along with them seemingly having their shit together. This, though, shouldn’t be an excuse. This should be motivation to get better and I need to take the time to sit and learn and make these doubts and stresses go away.
My hopes of this post are not to scare anyone who is on the fence about starting this blog. I don’t want anyone to think that this is a regret that I have because it is not; it’s actually quite the opposite. I love this blog because it pushes me to hone into my creativity. It pushes me to stay motivated and on top of keeping this site up and running. It pushes me to get out of my comfort zone and talk about things that I might not necessarily talk about in person. It pushes me to get out of the house and do things that I can end up writing about in the future. With that being said, my hope is that this post will make those of you that are on the fence about blogging or are a new blogger feel connected in the sense that this can all be overwhelming at times. My hope is that I can be the person that you can relate to, the person that you know gets it.
My hope is also that by writing this side of blogging that you don’t always see, it will motivate me to change. It will motivate me to get better – to produce better content, to take better pictures, to plan ahead, to get organized, and to make this site everything I ever wanted and more. We aren’t there yet, but I promise we will get there soon.
I have succumb to the winter blues.
March in the 716 really isn’t the best, and it really doesn’t do our area code bubble any justice. I am one of those people who longs for spring; it’s my favorite season – one where it’s not too hot and not too cold – and I wish we had more of it. Buffalo winter, especially, drags on well into the end of March, and I am often left thinking, where is this lamb everyone talks about?
No matter how much I try to run from it, I just can’t hide it anymore. I blame these blues solely on the fact that we have a week or so of borderline shorts weather, followed by weeks of freezing cold, snowy weather. I’ve gone in and out of being sick for what seems like months now with the addition of headaches and migraines thanks to the wacky weather changes. I don’t know why I complain, though, because it’s something that I am so used to. This weather happens every year [thanks Buffalo], so naturally this slump tends to happen every year around this time. I hit these ruts where I don’t want to do much other than stay in the house and do nothing – partly because it’s freezing, partly because I feel uninspired trying to find things to do. I mean, there’s only so many times you can go to Target, right? It’s the little ruts like these, though, that almost make me appreciate my loved ones even more because they are always ready and willing to find new adventures to go on.
For example, I went from having zero plans this weekend to having a jam-packed, adventure-filled weekend in the blink of an eye. Saturday, I went to the Buffalo Sabres versus Vegas Golden Knights game in the afternoon, with a first-time trip to Buffalo Iron Works before the game courtesy of my Dad. Sunday, I had another Buffalo-filled day with an afternoon-long trip to the Buffalo Science Museum, lunch, a quick [non-Buffalo related] trip to Target, and dinner courtesy of Wegmans. On a weekend I wasn’t really looking forward to, I now have memories that fill my mind thanks to my family and my boyfriend getting me excited to be up and out of the house. Something as little as grocery shopping can be enough to get you the jolt of energy you need.
So, as we all patiently await the arrival of the lamb, may we stand up to the lion and conquer it. xoxo.
Throughout the last couple of blog posts, I have made mention to some big life changes that have been going on most recently. Well, it’s time we dive into what’s actually been happening behind the scenes. As I am sure you are able to take away from the title of this blog post, we found our new home!
Last Thursday, the right people were met, the papers were signed and dated, and we have a new place to lay our heads and plop our guinea pig. After months of researching places, calling around, setting up appointments and viewings, our list was eventually narrowed and we made our final decision. I never believed it to be true, but after this entire experience, I believe it when people say that when you walk into the place you’re meant to have, you’ll know. The instant I walked into our new place, I immediately started picturing how everything would look once set up. I pictured eating breakfast at our kitchen table [check out a sneak peek of our kitchen in the header!], watching TV on the couch, and sleeping in on the weekends in our cozy bedroom. I pictured walking through Delaware Park when the weather is finally beautiful, and walking to local shops up and down Hertel Avenue. When I left after our viewing, I could not stop thinking about how, not only I would decorate this space, but I was picturing us living our life there. It was one of the most comforting feelings in the world. I have never been so excited and so anxious for something in my entire life.
Certainly, this a new chapter for a multitude of reasons. In a very few short months, I will be leaving my childhood home of the past 25 years. Sure, I moved out and lived on campus when I was working on my undergrad degree, but a dorm room is not a permanent home. I knew at the end of each semester, I would be going back to the home I’ve known my whole life. This, however, is different. The likelihood of me living inside my childhood ever again is very unlikely. Sure, some people might say, *It’s about time, Gab. You’re 25 for Christ’s sake* but I don’t always picture myself of actually being that old, or picture myself actually at a respectable age to start my life on my own.
In terms of my relationship, this will be major step for us. There are many roads ahead – like marriage or babies – that are extremely far away, but this is a step in the right direction for us. I’ve never felt the confidence to live with a significant other that I feel now, and a lot of that is thanks to how admirable my boyfriend actually is. He is so responsible and so supportive, and that made this decision an absolute no-brainer for me. It is crazy, though, that if our plans of walking down the roads of marriage and babies are fulfilled, he will be my roomie for the remainder of my life. Again, I still don’t think of us as being at that age where this actually is a reality.
When did life move so fast?
So, to all of my loyal followers and readers of my blog – be prepared. Prepared for updates of our interior decorating, posts about projects that we’ve completed, items that we have bought and loved, and so on and so forth. And, when you’re sick of me and my nonstop apartment updates and blog posts, don’t say I didn’t warn you! xoxo.
Better late than never, am I right?
Some things that I was loving this past month may come as a surprise, others may not be too surprising at all. Nevertheless, let’s dive in and see what I couldn’t get enough of in the month of February!
- Maybelline FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter. This product completely changed the highlighter game for me. I was completely late to the Master Chrome party, partly because I would forget to purchase it, partly because it would always be sold out at the store, so when I finally got my hands on it this past month, I was excited, to say the least. As someone who goes pretty natural with her makeup routine five or six days out of the week, this product adds just enough life to my skin to make me look well-rested and ready for each day. It blends perfectly over foundations and concealers and doesn’t show any texture whatsoever. This has become a staple in my everyday makeup routine. Honestly. All I do is put on some foundation, concealer, and mascara, pop on this bad boy and out the door I go looking alive and ready to conquer the world. And for the low price of $9.99? How could you beat it?!
- Roll Up the Rim to Win. Fellow coffee lovers/Tim Hortons addicts unite! Coffee is by far one of the biggest parts of my life, pathetic I know, so when this contest rolls around every year I feel as if I am justifying the coffee I buy each and every morning on my way to work. I know there is a huge chunk of the world who doesn’t have Tim Hortons [I am so sorry] so for those of you who are unaware, each year around this time, Tim Hortons pours hot beverages into cups that potentially have prizes tucked under the rim. Upon finishing your drink, you roll up the rim to see if you’ve won! Simple as that. This year, I had the brilliant idea to tally my failures *ahm, wins* and if you follow me on Twitter you probably already know this, and are definitely sick of me giving my daily updates. You would think that for someone who religiously buys coffee, I would have outstanding luck in this contest but sure enough, I am wrong. Nevertheless, I will not stop buying my coffee just because I see the words “please play again” almost every morning. So, I guess you win again, Timmy’s.
- wayfair.com. My addiction to looking at this website all started with my Mom, who thought it would be a brilliant idea to look for a new chandelier for over our dining room table. She had seen a commercial on TV for Wayfair [I mean, who hasn’t?] and decided to give this website a try. Well, she just opened up a giant can of worms because I cannot stop looking on this website! With some big life changes coming up, my need and desire to decorate the interior of a home has skyrocketed, and the prices on this website are out of this world phenomenal. Another perk? Their outstanding customer service! When she purchased her new chandelier, she noticed the following day that the price had dropped $13.00. She decided to give it a try and email customer service, and they ever-so-nicely reimbursed the money to her account that day! They then followed up to ensure it was added back smoothly. When the product dropped again a few days later, they without hesitation, credited her account with more than $30 to spare! The customer service department is one of the best I’ve experienced, and has definitely turned me into a loyal customer!
- Super-Long Open-Front Sweater for Women from Old Navy. I love this sweater. I cannot express this enough! This sweater has honestly become a staple in my wardrobe, as it goes great with everythiing. I’ve paired it casually with leggings and a t-shirt, and dressed it up with denim and a blouse. Boyfriend denim, skinny denim, colored denim, dressy shirts, long shirts, casual shirts. Literally anything and everything goes with this sweater! Another thing I love about it is that it is not too heavy, so if you want to wear it on warmer days you can, but can also layer it for those colder winter days as well. I don’t tend to shop at Old Navy too often, as the closest one isn’t all that close to me [however, an Old Navy is coming back to the Outlet mall this summer!!], so when I do go, I tend to buy items that I can wear and pair with anything. I have it in the shade Palomino, which is a lighter tan. It was a toss up between black and tan and I am happy that I chose the shade I did! However, I foresee the purchase of the black in my near future!
What are some things you couldn’t get enough of in February? xoxo.
**Many big changes have happened this past week, and I am going to make my lack of following a M-F schedule up to you buy gifting you with three consecutive posts this weekend! Yep, you read that right; in addition to this post you will have a new post tomorrow, and another new post on Sunday! I know, let’s all try to contain our excitement here.**
What a whirlwind the month of February has been! February always seems to go by in the blink of an eye, probably much thanks given to its’ shortness in length. This past month was the start of many big things to come; you will hear more about these things in the coming weeks and months. A large majority of my time was spent planning, organizing, perfecting, and stressing over a vast amount of details, both small and large. Mix this in with my typical daily/weekly/monthly routine and it’s sure enough to drive almost anyone crazy.
The month began with my cousin’s bridal shower. This was a highlight, as having her in town from Arizona always makes for a great time. That first weekend is one that was memorable, as my entire family was together for a solid 24-hours which does not happen often, as we are spread across various parts of the country. Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite holidays each year, but there it was, plopped in the middle of the month. Cookies were baked, love was spread, valentines were handed out and Chinese food was eaten. Romantic, no. But everything I could have asked for and more? Yes. [EXTRA BONUS! My gift was a cover for my KitchenAid mixer!! Could that be any better?]
I feel as if I spent the entirety of February waiting patiently for mid-winter break to come and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. My break was by far the highlight of an extremely jam-packed month. It felt great to relax and take some time for myself. But, although relaxing, my break week was filled with a multitude of events. I got to spend time with my brother, which was remarkable, as I don’t get to see him much anymore. On his long, four-day weekend home, we went to some of his favorite restaurants, the Sabres game, shopping, and catching up on life. When he had to go back to Ohio, it was sad knowing I wouldn’t see him again until Easter; when he’s home I always get back into the swing of seeing him everyday, so the first couple days after he goes back is always a little awkward. The remainder of my week was spent visiting and going to lunch with my family, visiting my boyfriend’s family in Rochester for his mom’s birthday, going to the eye doctors for the first time in three years [oops!], going to my dad’s surprise birthday lunch at his work in Medina, and having a mini family birthday party celebration for him.
Before you knew it, I was back to work again this past Monday, getting re-acclimated to my daily routine again. Mid-winter break was over and I was excited to see my co-workers and my students again. The final days of February were spent wishing for a snow day and a long weekend, as there was supposed to be a wicked nor’easter headed our way. Let’s just say they weren’t wrong and it did not disappoint, because here I am on a Friday morning typing this post in bed, coffee in hand, and Will and Grace on the television.
What are some of your favorite February memories? xoxo.
Well, here we are again. It’s Monday. And this Monday seems a little harder than most because it’s my first day back to work after nine days off. Thanks to mid-winter break, I was getting extremely used to being off and having not really much of anything to do. I’m sure all my teacher friends can relate to this on an extremely high level. Sure, I didn’t sit around the house day after day, but I most definitely took it easy. My days were filled with shopping, looking at apartments, visiting with family and friends, going to lunch, visiting the eye doctors – some pretty exciting stuff, I know. But as yesterday was winding down, I really didn’t want to face the fact that this morning I would have to get up and get back into my normal routine.
I am a very routinized person. I tend to like everything to follow a certain pattern as the days and the weeks go on. I am sure this week, for the most part, will seem as if it is going slower than molasses, but knowing me, by the time Friday rolls around, I will wonder why I ever was so happy to break free from my life’s pattern. No matter how much I try not to admit it, I am one of those people who always likes to keep busy. Sure, yesterday I spent the entire day at home in my pajamas, but that’s so unlike me that I am sitting here looking down at myself thinking, *wow, you really haven’t moved.* Even on days off, I tend to go-go-go. I hate feeling like I’ve wasted priceless hours away for nothing. Even if I only do so much as walk around the mall window shopping, I like feeling like I am actually doing something meaningful, even if it seems extremely insignificant. But, I will admit, that veering off the typical, routinized path is a great break every once in a while.
I liked having time to myself, going through my day at my own pace, not having to worry about getting places on time. I liked taking the time to have that second cup of coffee in the morning instead of rushing out the door. I liked taking the time to actually get ready – to do my hair and makeup and wear my nicer clothes that I don’t always feel comfortable wearing to work. I liked being able to go out to lunch instead of eating the same things everyday, and taking the time to eat it instead of worrying about getting back to work in 30 minutes. I liked having the freedom to spend time with my brother, someone who I don’t see much anymore. There is no doubt that I do not live a hard life. I am fortunate and thankful that 99% of the time, things are running smoothly. But even for those of us that tend to have things a little easier, it’s rewarding to take a step back.
So, as this Monday goes on just remember, there’s almost always another break waiting right around the corner. xoxo.
Today is my dad’s birthday. While, yes, today is a day to celebrate all things him, I am thankful for him every single day of my life. He has shaped me into the person I have become. We have the same thoughts on just about every single thing in life, have the same exact personality, and hey, we even look pretty much the same. Thank you are two words that mean so little when spoken in regards to someone who holds so much precedence in your life.
My dad is hands down the most important person in my life, and means more to me than I will ever be able to express in any words or blog posts whatsoever. There is no better supporter, advocate, or love than that shared with your parents, and this is no different for my own father. On Father’s Day, I shared an essay on this site that I wrote in high school/ This essay ended up being my college application essay, ultimately getting me into college and the program(s) of my dreams. The words written in this essay become more and more true with each passing day; I say this with confidence. If you don’t remember this post, you can find it here and see for yourself just how amazing my dad is.
My father has worked his ass off to give me and my brother the childhood that we could only ever dream of. He has taken care of not only me and my brother, but my mother, in ways that not everyone is fortunate to experience. His success and his drive to be the best at everything he does is something that I wish to mirror with each passing day of my life. If there is one thing that I am not quite good at, it is expressing my feelings toward the ones that I love the most. So, today I will say this: Dad, I love you more than all of the stars in the sky and fish in the sea. And I am forever indebted to you for all you have done for me, all you have supported me through, and the example you have led.
Happy 52nd birthday. xoxo.