#1989

It’s here! It’s here! Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 has arrived and I’m super happy about it.

1989

I’ve loved Taylor since I was in high school. We’re almost exactly the same age (our birthdays are less than a month apart) so as a 16/17 year old listening to her music I felt like Taylor and I were on the same wavelength. I continued to grow up listening to her music. When Speak Now came out in my junior year of college it instantly became one of my favorite albums. Enchanted is still one of my favorite songs of all time.

I will not be ashamed to admit that Taylor and I had a bit of a falling out with her last album. Red was not my favorite and as I continued to mature, Taylor’s music seemed to be falling a bit behind. She was still singing about crushes and new love when I was in a long-term committed relationship. Taylor started to seem a bit immature and I started to move on from her music.

But no more! 1989 is AMAZING! It feels fresh and new, but also familiar. It doesn’t completely stray from the old Taylor, but the music does seem more mature. She still talks about new love and playing games, but in a way a 24, almost 25 year old would describe them.

Bad Blood is my jam and favorite off the album right now. Blank Space, I Know Places, and Wildest Dream follow closely behind. I unfortunately need to wait until payday on Friday before I can purchase the album (or I need to swipe it from my brother who has already downloaded it). So for now I’m listening to all the songs on Tumblr and YouTube. Not ideal but it will tide me over until I can enjoy the full album!

What do you think of 1989? Like it as much as me?

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Loving My Body

I will continue to say this again and again: I am so so so HAPPY! The happiest I’ve been in a very long time. I’ve made those same sentiments on here before and I won’t stop because it’s the best feeling in the world. To finally feel good about myself. To finally feel positive and strong. To feel content with who I am and where I am going.

Being this happy has put a lot of things into perspective for me. I used to want to wear makeup because I wanted to look pretty to other people. I wanted to lose weight because I wanted other people to think I was attractive. I used to wear sunless tanners because I didn’t want other people to think I was super pale (which I am). I was constantly trying to change my body to make it into something I thought other people wanted. I thought my outward appearance would determine how happy I was. If I could just be pretty enough then people would like me and then I would finally be happy.

Newsflash: that’s not how happiness works! That’s not how your body works. When you love yourself and love your body exactly the way it is, that’s how you become happy. And your happiness allows you to make the changes to your body that are important and meaningful to you. It stops being about appearance, looks, and other people’s perception and instead becomes about your health, well-being, comfort, and confidence with your body.

I’ve been coming to a lot of those epiphanies lately. I’ve never been one for fashion, makeup, skincare or anything like that. Not because I didn’t want to have fabulous skin or amazing makeup or incredible clothes. I would get frustrated with myself that I never looked as good as the people in the magazines. I was a perfectionist and I felt if I couldn’t look exactly like the models, then I would never be pretty and no one would care about me. Super convoluted logic, I know.

Recently though I have been paying more attention to my routine. I’ve picked up a skincare routine that’s low maintenance, but makes me feel good. It’s not about ridding my face of pimples for someone else. It’s about feeling great because my face feels smooth and fresh. I’ve been paying attention to the clothes I wear. What makes me feel good? What makes me self conscious? Makeup too, something I thought I would never get into. I’ve figured out what makeup I can wear that gives me that extra spring in my step without making me frustrated or taking up too much of my time. All of these changes are not about other people but about myself.

My next step in my relationship with my body is dealing with food and how it relates to my overall health. I have a very complicated relationship with food. I love it all and I can never say no. I will eat anything and everything until I am stuffed to the brim. But when I do that I feel down on myself. I get a high eating that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but 15 minutes after I finish it all, I hit a low. I get down on myself and beat myself up. I hate the cycle of overeating, feeling guilty, then overeating again. It’s a huge hurdle in bettering my relationship with myself and it’s the next thing I’m going to take on.

I’ve tried to lose weight before in a variety of unhealthy ways. But this time it’s different. It’s not about other people. It’s about me. It’s about feeling great and energized. It’s about being confident and comfortable. It’s about understanding that my mind and body are one and the same. One cannot be without the other and to punish my body only hurts me as a whole.

Today is the start of a healthy journey that I hope brings even more happiness into my life!

10 Weird Facts About Me

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: thinking of things to blog about can sometimes be pretty tough. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to write about. Other times I come up completely blank (hence the days when this blog has no new posts, whomp). I try to keep a running list of blog ideas in a Google Doc, but sometimes I don’t feel inspired to write the post or other things need to come together before I can get started on it.

That’s why Carly’s post today is beyond perfect. The College Prepster was the very first blog I started reading regularly. I discovered it when both Carly and I were sophomores in college. I loved how organized Carly was (I fawned over color coordinated notes and agendas). I loved the pink and green style of her blog. I especially loved how we were the same age and as I grew so did she. I always start my day by checking my email and reading Carly’s blog and today’s post was a godsend. 50 Ideas for Blog Posts. Something I really need as I seem to always be lacking inspiration.

After reviewing Carly’s list I already have ideas churning in my head. To start though I’m going to share 10 weird facts about me (#11 on Carly’s list!).

  1. I can quote the entirety of Mean Girls. That 4-way calling scene in the middle of the movie? Yeah I have repeated that word-for-word more times than I can count.
  2. The first time I ate McDonald’s french fries I ate them so fast I bit my own fingers. That’s how good I thought they were.
  3. When I was younger I would pretend to be a dog so much I would get holes in the knees of most of my pants.
  4. I can sing the alphabet backwards.
  5. I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series about 7 times. I also used to listen to the Harry Potter podcast Mugglecast at least once a week.
  6. I can listen to Christmas music pretty much any time of year. I’ve been known to listen to my favorites in June.
  7. I love Aly & AJ. Who now go by 78Violet. Loved them since their Disney days. Love them now.
  8. I don’t really like the beach all that much because I don’t like sand and I sunburn way too easily.
  9. I’ve written at least 4 different research papers about Hawaii and Hawaiian culture. I have never been there though.
  10. At 24 years old (25 next month!) I still love to play the Sims and Nancy Drew computer games.

Please share with me a few weird facts about yourself! I would love to hear them.

College Reunion

I had a really amazing time this past weekend! My four best friends from college all reunited in DC for about 24 hours and it was great. We all live in different parts of the East Coast and we all have our own jobs, friends, and lives, so it can be extremely difficult to get all 5 of us together. But we did it! These are the girls that I consider my absolute best friends. I know I can count on them for anything and it was so nice to finally get us all back together in one place.

It’s kind of crazy to think that just two and a half years ago we were graduating from college and had no idea where our lives were headed. That almost feels like a lifetime ago. We’ve all been through so much and experienced a ton of new things. We’ve gone through the job search, quitting, breakups, new relationships, moving, new roommates, new friends, everything. So much has changed, but it’s nice when we get together to feel like so little has changed with us. We can still pick up right where we left off.

College was super fun, but we have all moved on. I have so many great memories from college, but I would never choose to go back. I feel so grateful for where my life has taken me. I am so abundantly happy right now and I am eagerly anticipating what life has in store for me next.

Retail Me Not?

Warning: I am going to sound like my dad in this post.

I read an article the other day stating that Macy’s will begin their Black Friday sale at 6pm on Thanksgiving evening. Last year the sale began at 8pm on Thanksgiving. Many other stores follow the same path opening in the evening on Thursday or at midnight for Black Friday sales.

While I am all for a great sale, doesn’t this whole idea seem counter-intuitive? Thanksgiving is supposed to be about exactly that, giving thanks. To be thankful for what we have. To be thankful for more than just the material stuff. To be thankful for the loving people around you, for the roof over your head, for the food on your plate, for the warmth of your clothes, for the life that you lead. But we cannot even allow this festival of thanks last for a full 24 hours. We are instead encroaching on that one day with the prospect of buying a flat screen TV for 50% off.

Macy’s stated that workers were more than happy to work on Thanksgiving for the time-and-a-half pay and to have some time off on Black Friday. They said most of the shifts for Thanksgiving evening were filled voluntarily. I don’t blame these workers. Some people really need the money. Some people celebrate Thanksgiving early in the day and the festivities are completed by 5pm. Some people just don’t do much for the holiday period. But this is more than just some people working on Thanksgiving, let’s face it many jobs require work on holidays.

To me having the Black Friday sales begin on Thanksgiving speaks about our societal priorities. We cannot wait to buy that new jacket, or sound system, or couch. We need to get out to these sales as quickly as possible. We cannot satiate our desire for material goods. Can we not wait a full 24 hours to truly express how thankful we are for the lives we live?

I for one will not be out on Thanksgiving shopping. I will eat some amazing food. I will watch football. I will spend time with my family and loved ones. Because that is what Thanksgiving is about and it deserves a full 24 hours.

Weekend Recap (Part 2)

Kinda funny how I’m finishing up my weekend recap and it’s already Thursday, right? But that’s fine with me! Means last weekend was so great I’m willing to relive it for a few days and it also means this weekend is all the closer.

After saying goodbye to my parents’ home and doing some shopping at Terrain on Saturday, Greg and I decided to go berry picking at a local orchard on Sunday. Actually we had decided to go apple picking, but by a happy mistake we pulled into the raspberry field instead. I had no idea raspberries were still in season and because they are one of my favorite foods I just knew we had to pick some.

Raspberry on bush

We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous day. I wore jeans, long sleeve tee, trench coat, and scarf and eventually had to put the coat in the car because it was much too hot!

Feild

This was the field we picked the berries. I’m not complaining about that view or those blue skies.

Raspberries

Part of our berry haul. These raspberries were the best I’ve ever tasted. So sweet and juicy. Warm from the sun. I think I put just as many berries in my mouth as I did the box.

Me

Can’t you see how happy I am to be in the middle of a raspberry field?! Not only did they have raspberries in that part of the orchard, but also blackberries and concord grapes. We didn’t pick either of those to come home with us, but we did try a few straight from the plants. The grapes were the most flavorful things I’ve ever tried! I’m normally not a grape person, but these were amazing. Note to self: go back to Milburn Orchards to pick concord grapes.

Pumpkins

After raspberry picking we of course had to check out the pumpkins.

Greg and pumpkins

Greg decided to pick up a couple of the ginormous pumpkins in the field. But in the end I settled on purchasing a few small pumpkins and gourds for the dining room table. And of course some cider doughnuts.

Apple

We never did end up picking apples that day (whoopsies, but sometimes the best things happen with a change of plans). We did spot some apple trees on our way back to the car though and I was able to snap the quintessential autumn apple-on-a-tree shot.

All in all it was an amazing day and I was able to cross something off my 101 list! If you can get out these next few weekends to an orchard I would highly recommend it.

Weekend Recap (Part 1)

This past weekend was jam packed! I was extremely lucky to have Monday off (who knew Columbus Day was even a real holiday?). Since my parents are moving in just a few short weeks, I needed to go home to clear out my remaining items from my childhood bedroom. It was certainly a walk down memory lane. I was looking through old pictures and yearbooks. Old letters and cards I had saved. Little trinkets and jewelry. I kept a good amount of stuff, but I had to toss a lot of things too. It was hard to say goodbye and it’s strange to think this chapter of my life is ending.

It’s been an amazing house for the last 14+ years, but it’s on to the next now. I know my parents will be really happy in their new place and we will all make new memories in the new house.

HouseI’m going to miss pulling up to this when I come to visit!

After saying goodbye to the house, I needed a little pick-me-up, so I decided to drag Greg to one of my favorite places, Terrain!

Terrain is a home and garden store owned and operated by the same company as Anthropologie. And seeing as Anthropologie is another one of my favorite places, it’s only natural for me to fall in love with Terrain as well.

Terrain shedI’m a tad bit obsessed with flowers and plants so browsing around the grounds and seeing all the unique ways Terrain displays their plants is really a treat. Note to self: take up gardening!

Orange pumpkins

Purple flowers

Autumn is my favorite time of year! I loved seeing all the oranges and yellows throughout the store, but these bright purple flowers were a nice surprise.

Pumpkin candyThe indoor area of Terrain is filled with all sorts of unique products for your home. They have cookbooks, plates, candles, jars, and anything else you could think of. My favorite section though is the food. Shown above is a table full of little fall treats such as pumpkin chocolates, pumpkin spice caramel sticks, pumpkin butter, and artisan smore kits. Yum.

Terrain cafeAnother great thing about Terrain is the cafe. It had a really lovely cafe and restaurant right in the store. Greg and I didn’t sit down for food this weekend, but we did stop to have some coffee and tea. He had an authentic macchiato and I had their mint tea au lait. Oh man, was that drink DELISH. Seriously it was like heaven in a cup. I have to scour the internet to find the recipe so I can make it at home it was that good.

Pumpkins in windows

 

I loved this window display in the cafe area. It had all different types of plants, pumpkins and gourds highlighted in the windows. Perfect for fall.

All in all it was a good day and I think even Greg enjoyed himself at Terrain (even if it is a bit girly).

Stay tuned for the rest of my weekend recap because I went berry picking!