Things I’m currently obsessed with | December edition

Let’s address the elephant in the room right away – it has been a loooong time since I’ve done one of these posts. Not so much because I’ve run out of favorite things to talk about, but because I quite literally have forgotten to come back around to this post lately.

  1. Bath and Body candles. I feel like this is the time of year when almost everyone talks about BBW candles. It seems as if every other week they’re on sale and more and more coupons come out as the weeks push closer to Christmas. Do I have a spending problem when it comes to candles? Yes. In our apartment, we have more candles than we know what to do with but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t smell like maple pecan waffles every day of the year. Most recently when BBW had their $8 candle sale, I stocked up not only for myself, but for gifts for others for Christmas. These candles smell great, they last forever, and they are literally never full price. You can’t beat it.
  2. Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk. There truthfully is nothing that I hate more thank milk. Skim, 1%, 2%, whole, you name it – I hate it. I’ve always been one to try to explore my options when it comes to a “breakfast beverage” other than coffee or orange juice [yes, I have a breakfast beverage category]. Most recently, I got my hands on some almond breeze almond milk and I cannot stop drinking it. It is refreshing, tastes great, and goes amazing with a bowl of cereal or handfuls of cookies that I don’t need to be eating.
  3. Apple Watch. My boyfriend and I gave each other our Christmas/birthday gifts early – the Apple Watches we purchased for each other on Black Friday. Before this, I used a Fitbit [which I loved and would recommend to anyone], but there is something about the Apple Watch that I have fallen absolutely in love with. The customizable features, the step tracking, the sleek look, I am head over heels. I will say this, though – if I didn’t get killer deal on Black Friday, I probably would have never bought it and stuck with my Fitbit, however, I am super glad I made the switch and if you’ve got the cash, don’t hold back.
  4. Will and Grace. I’m going to lay this on the table right now – I absolutely hated the new “revival” season of Will and Grace. However, I am on my second spin of watching the reruns of the old series on Hulu and I can quite honestly say that there is not much that makes me laugh as hard as this show does. Currently, I am on the episode [again] where Karen’s husband Stan dies and they spread his ashes overboard on their yacht. The scene where Karen gets pushed overboard by Stan’s mistress is one that makes me laugh so hard that the snort comes out and totally embarrasses everyone in the room. I don’t know what I ever did living a life without access to this show, but I am so happy this exists now.
  5. Christmas. Could you tell? Only 80% of my blog is dedicated to this holiday, especially recently. It’s not so much the holiday itself, but it’s the entire atmosphere surrounding this holiday. People seem cheerier, there is a greater sense of lightness and happiness spreading around. I love buying people gifts and seeing their faces light up when they open them. I love wrapping gifts, decorating, baking cookies – you name it, I love it. Plus, it’s hard to believe that we are only 11 days away. How is this even possible?

What are some things you’re obsessed with this month? xoxo.

Playlist | December 2017

Earlier this month, I posted my all time favorite Christmas playlist for you guys to bop to. But for those of you not really into Christmas music as much as I am, fear not! This month’s [real] playlist is for you!

Sure, there is a slight mix of some Christmas songs that slipped into this playlist, but come on. It is December! Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate the Halsey/G-Eazy duet because I have not stopped listening to it once since it came out, so naturally, it is the first song on this list! And thanks to my recent [today] purchase of tickets to the Macklemore/Kesha tour, they snuck their way onto this list too.

What are some songs you can’t get enough of this month?! xoxo.

DIY Christmas gifts. . kid approved! | Holiday 2017

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas shopping for kids is not as easy as people make it seem. Now, I’m not talking mini’s – they are extremely easy to shop for, I’m talking kids that are of the 7+ age group.

You’d think that working in a school I’d know a little about what is “hip” and what is not in the kid community, but to be completely honest, I see some things on the shelves or that students bring in and I am left puzzled and confused about not only what things are, but why they are even a thing in the first place.

With an over-abundance of kids in my extended family, I didn’t quite know which way to turn. However, after much debate, I eventually got there – a DIY gift filled with candy and other goodies that can be personalized to each kid’s specific likes and dislikes!

To create these presents, the things you will need fall on a list so short you might think to yourself, *wow, I’m not the most creative, but even I can do this!* . . no, seriously.

DIY Christmas Gift Jars 

Items Needed

  • Mason jars – any size!
  • Hershey kisses
  • Gift tags – preferably ones that you can string through a piece of ribbon or yarn, and can write on yourself
  • Ribbon/yarn
  • Small toys/goodies (e.g. nail polish, Chapstick, mini Lego sets, surprise bag sets for different characters. . My Little Pony, Despicable Me, Paw Patrol, etc. – the list really could go on and on and on)

What to Do

First and foremost, take a nice swig of coffee- it’ll really get you going and in the spirit to create!

Next, open the Mason jar and fill with Hershey kisses and little goodies. Then, simply close the filled Mason jar.

After the jar is filled and closed, take a gift tag and simply write the child’s name followed by “Merry Kiss-mas!”

String the tag with decorative ribbon or yarn and tie around the Mason jar.

Find your kiddo and give them this easy, cute gift! (Names crossed out to keep a secret until Christmas!)

What are some DIY gift projects that you absolutely swear by with each passing holiday season?! xoxo.

Really, another Target haul?!

Yes, you read correct. Another Target haul.

This post is to make up for my lack-of blog post yesterday due to me finishing all of my school work late last night and into this morning for the rest of my life! What better way to celebrate the forever-end of school than waking up at 5:30am to finish up final assignments and taking yourself to Target at 8am to celebrate?! [If you think I am totally psychotic. . your answer is correct].

Truth be told, my Christmas shopping was done on Black Friday. However, I woke up this morning exhilarated by the fact that, “holy shit, it’s almost Christmas!” and was way too excited and overjoyed that it is the holidays that I couldn’t even contain myself. Honestly, as lame as it sounds, I felt like I was jumping out of my own skin and had to be a part of the Christmas shopping madness, even though I was done. This annoying over-excitement could be due to either the fact that I was up at 5:30am, or the fact that I used my free Starbucks drink on a venti Carmel Brulee latte.

Anyways, I went to Target on a mission to find things for a DIY gift [SPOILER ALERT: find this on the blog next week!!]. Naturally, I got all that I needed and then some – what is it about Target that just sucks you in and makes you think that you need stuff that doesn’t even logically belong in your life?!

If you are interested to see in what the heck I bought during this caffeinated Target blackout, scroll right on down because the remainder of this post is for you!

Grocery

  • Christmas Rice Krispies
  • Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee
  • Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Kraft Marshmallows
  • Hershey’s Kisses (Milk Chocolate/White Chocolate Hugs, White Chocolate Candy Cane, Holiday Milk Chocolate x2, Milk Chocolate Santa Hat, Holiday Dark Chocolate Mint)

Health-Beauty-Cosmetics 

  • Up & Up Makeup Remover Wipes
  • Wet ‘n Wild Lipsticks x2
  • Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
  • e.l.f. Translucent Powder

Home

  • 12-pack Quart Size Mason Jars *on my way to the checkout, I saw the box was on sale and replaced the jars in my cart with the box for a way cheaper price*

Seasonal

  • Gift Tag Set
  • Stocking x2
  • Gift Bows
  • Blank Write and Tie Gift Tags

Stationary-Office

  • PaperMate Colored Marker Pens

Toys-Sporting Goods

  • My Little Pony Surprise Gift Bag
  • Disney Aurora Tsum Tsum
  • Lego Friends Building Set
  • Lego Ninjago Building Set

I was going to end this post by asking if you’ve been to Target this holiday season, but I already know the answer is yes. So, what are some things you’ve gotten?! xoxo.

 

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree. . literally | Holiday 2017

Let’s be real here, I have been playing Christmas music for quite some time now. I’d be lying straight to your face if I said that I wasn’t listening to the Glee Christmas album on repeat over and over and over again throughout my ride to work.

Keeping this in mind, it only makes sense to craft, in my opinion, the most perfect holiday playlist. With a mix of some classics, some can’t live withouts, and some new favorites, I have dipped into everything making for a jolly good time. So, buckle up, grab your egg nog, and listen by your Christmas tree or while wrapping presents.

What are some songs you can’t live without during the Christmas season?

xoxo.

Monday motivation.

Guys, I am three assignments/exams away from a Master’s degree.

That being said, today’s post totally didn’t get pre-written, totally didn’t go up on time, and totally is about to suck because I am stuck in the whirlwind that is my life on the road to graduation [finally].

So, for this Monday [evening], I will leave you with my most current motivator that is pushing me through every single moment that I want to rip my hair out [aka every moment of my life as of recent]:

“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.” 

xoxo.

11 out of 12, done!

Happy December, everyone!

Yesterday was so insane that I didn’t realize it was the final day of November until around 8pm. [I did not even realize until close to 11pm that my scheduled blog post did not go through as anticipated – so look for that within the coming week!]. However, when I did finally realize it, I got way too excited for my own good. December is my favorite month of the year, mostly because of Christmas, somewhat because of how pretty the snow looks.

November flew by, which is somewhat shocking considering I did not have much to do throughout this past month. Normally when I don’t have much on my calendar, it seems like the months last a lifetime, however this was not the case. November was one of the only months out of this year that I actually had some time to relax after work and on the weekends and, let me tell you, it was refreshing.

Some things I did throughout the month of November include:

  • Surprising my Mom for her birthday by bringing my brother home from college for the weekend; the first time he’s been home since he moved to Ohio back in August.
  • Getting inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, the honor society for graduate education majors.
  • Getting my fourth tattoo in memory of a friend at a fundraiser event with the proceeds benefitting mental health, suicide awareness, and crisis services.
  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family in Rochester, New York.
  • Going Black Friday shopping for the first time!
  • Going out to various dinners with friends and family, spending time with the ones I adore most.

What are some of your favorite things you did during the month of November?

What I’m thankful for | Family +friends

I have been blessed with the largest, loudest, craziest, kindest, perfect family.

I am thankful for the fact that my family is so close; that it is not out of the ordinary to “pop in” to an uncle’s house or my grandparent’s house on any given day at any given time. I am thankful that I live exactly 3 minutes away from both sets of grandparents. I am thankful that my family has my back through everything.

I am thankful for my parents, who raised me to be a strong, independent, take-no-shit kinda girl. I am thankful for my brother, who inspires me every single day to be a better person. I am thankful for my grandparents, for loving me unconditionally and supporting everything I do. I am thankful for my aunts, uncles, cousins, and beyond, without whom, my family would not be loud, or crazy, or large. I am thankful for my boyfriend’s family, who has welcomed me into their [even larger] family with open arms and a loving heart.

I am thankful for the friends that have turned into family. The best friend that I cannot live without. A boyfriend who brings out the best in me and supports every single [insane] thing I do. I am thankful for new friends, who are becoming my ride or dies, my go-to’s.

I am thankful for every single person in my life that has come and gone. If you’re still here, thank you for still being here. If you’re not, thank you for helping me to learn important life lessons and figure out what I deserve.

Spend time with the ones you love this holiday season. And be forever grateful. xoxo.

What I’m thankful for | Education

While this is often the source of most of my complaints, it is one thing that I am the most thankful for: education.

It has taken me 24 years, 10 months, and 19 days to figure out that education is the most important and most valuable thing you can have in your life. Money, houses, cars, they don’t mean a single thing. It is the knowledge, character, and success that comes from education. It has taken me this long to also appreciate the success and preparedness that goes along with receiving a quality education.

A little fun fact that you might not know about me, is that I am a Catholic school girl. Pre-K through 12th grade, I donned a uniform every single day of my life. During these years, mostly high school, I didn’t know how to appreciate how much of a blessing Catholic schooling was. I was extremely well-prepared for college. I [would like to think I] am a well-rounded individual. I was challenged academically and pushed forward to success, even at an early age. I didn’t really realize the toll that this expense took on my family and that sending my brother and I to Catholic school for all those years was actually a huge deal. A deal now that I wonder about for my future children.. *How will I be able to afford this? Can I support this? Is this even possible? Why am I thinking about kids? I’m only 24 jeez slow down.*

Again in these 24 years, 10 months, and 19 days, I have learned about the importance of not only furthering your education but furthering your education in the right institutions. There is an extreme difference between a low quality and high quality institution, both support-wise and emotional-stability-wise.  Another little fun fact? I have gone to three colleges. I graduated with my Bachelor’s from one. Tried grad school at the other. And am about to graduate with a Master’s from the next.

That school in the middle? Hated it. I felt extremely uncomfortable being there. I didn’t feel supported. I didn’t feel as if I was learning adequate information, let alone adequate information that would actually pertain to my future. I felt lost, uninspired, and unmotivated. But what was even scarier? Coming to terms and accepting the fact that I needed to move on.. an opportunity that, again, I am thankful to have had. If I had never chosen to better myself and better my education and better my future, where would I be today?

I am thankful to have been raised going to Catholic school, an opportunity many do not have. I am thankful to be able to go to college, a blessing that some people unfortunately do not have. I am thankful that I have had these opportunities, and I wish that everyone else could say the same.

Education is something that I will fight for every day of my life. I believe that quality education paves the way for our future leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, you name it. Every kid deserves a shot at high quality education. Every kid deserves a shot at graduation. Every kid deserves a shot at success.

Education.. I thank you. xoxo.