The Wish List

Hello again, friends! I so wish I could tell you this post was coming to you from a beautiful, peaceful summer place and that I was one hundred percent loving Summer 2014. But, life has its own plans, and why should it stop going on just because of the warm weather? Alas, the past week has brought on mourning, sadness, sleep deprivation, the celebration of a wonderful Mimi, and an unexpected car accident. My first actually, and it landed my bum in the ER late last night, followed by two pain-controlling medications prescribed in my name. The past seven days have been, quite literally, hell. My loved ones have been hurting, I have been hurting, and life is just not ready to give us a break yet. I know there has to be a reason why this is all happening, but I guess I won’t figure that out for a while. Until then, I’ve been rolled out on my bed, ingesting muscle relaxers (any typos can refer back to this point), trying to occupy my mind with anything other than the reality that is surrounding my summer. The one thing that always gets me feeling good? Planning. I planned my new (and VERY improved) big girl budget, I figured out my student loan and future cost plans, and I have some fun plans that hopefully go off without a bang mid-July. But the one thing that has me feeling really good? Making my wish list for the summer. This list is mostly comprised of some fun gadgets and things I need (and some that I just want) to transition from college kid to the new employee/student stage of my life.

The Wish List

[one] Mophie Juice Pack Helium

One thing that comes along with the longer working days is a dead phone before closing time. Unfortunately, when I start school and the days get longer, I will need the extra battery time something fierce. I would carry around a charger cord with me, but I am just not the kind of person who is good with keeping an eye on things. Insert the Mophie Juice Pack. A phone case/battery pack combo? I’m in. SO IN.

[two] Luxe Acrylic Modular System

This beauty will be mine. I swear upon it! My dresser top is looking quite frazzled lately. And by frazzled I mean it is covered in crap and I keep knowing my deodorant down to get to my lotion. (Yes, I keep it all in my bedroom thanks to a bathroom two floors down). This beauty (which comes in multiple pieces) seems to be the answer to my problems. And I can’t wait until it comes home to me!

[three] Lenovo U430p

This should be pretty self-explanatory. The laptop I am currently using, and have been using for four years, has come to its end. The screen goes black more than it says “Welcome!”, it beeps, burns, and breaks down more than a car in a junkyard. So, it is time to bring new life to my life. Enter this beautiful ultrabook by Lenovo. Loving it, so it shall be mine.

[four] Reebok Skyscrape Runaround

Have you all seen these shoes like…everywhere? The commercial is on every two seconds, the ads are on every magazine, and to be honest…I’m loving them! They look so light and comfortable, and I could really use a stylish pair of cute, comfortable sneakers for the home and office. These may be my “back-to-school” purchase!

[five] Valspar Paint

This is, like a few others among the list, also quite self-explanatory. The boy and I are starting to change up the homestead. I’m ecstatic, Zach is less than. But he’s agreed to help, so painting time it is! I’m loving the Central Park palettes.

[six] Remington T/Studio Silk Ceramic Dryer

I have been keeping an eye out for a decent hair dryer for the past year. I don’t know why I have been putting it off (maybe because of the short haircut), but I think it’s time to invest in a great tool. I have been looking through a number of reviews, and this seems to be a fairly affordable and highly rated hair dryer. I have until the fall to worry about this, but it is definitely on my wish list.

[seven] Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes

If there is one type of makeup that I try to swipe on each day as I head out the door, it is mascara. No matter what, it always makes me look put together, regardless of the effort (or lack thereof) that I put into my look! This mascara has seriously been ALL OVER the blog world lately, and with so many rave reviews from so many different women out there, I’ve decided I’d like to give it a try. If I’m putting money into any type of cosmetic, it should be the one I use daily, right?

[eight] Starbucks Verismo Milk Frother

As I have adapted to my adult schedule, I have realized just how much I covet my Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Lattes. Or, well, any Starbucks Lattes. However, my grown up budget does not exactly account for a $345 (and rising) latte five times a week. Enter this lovely milk frother! I already have my own delicious vanilla flavorings, and an espresso-style coffee (made in my Mr. Coffee machine. Oh, Keurig, where art thou?), so all I’m waiting on is a reliable milk frother/steamer. I’m thinking this is the one for me!

And thus ends the wish list. Some may come to be with me in the next few months, while others may remain a simple dream; regardless, this list has helped keep my mind off of the hardships that have come around. Sometimes you just need to avoid reality in order to just stay calm and roll with the punches. Life goes on, so I will, too!

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Ten Things

Welcome to Monday, friends! I hope you all had the best of the best as far as weekends go. This past weekend was a huge upgrade from the last one; no downsides whatsoever! Spent all day Saturday exploring with my love, and all day Sunday with family and friends. It. Was. Awesome. Here, I have proof:

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Isn’t that just a beautiful family? How great. For now, I’ve decided to start a (n abridged) goal from my 101 in 1001…ten lists of ten things! Today’s ten things are…

Ten things…that will always make me smile

[one] Buzzfeed articles with silly husky pictures in them.

[two] My dad’s impression of anything. Yesterday was an interpretation of the song “Low Rider”. Interesting doesn’t even begin to describe it.

[three] A beautiful view. I snapped the picture below from the top floor of my office building.

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[four] Doggie kisses.

[five] The laughter of a baby. They are just so cute, and so hilarious! Lucky me, there are quite a few new babies expected by friends this fall.

[six] When Zach gives me a frown as I leave for work on Monday’s. It’s priceless, especially because he’s always half-asleep.

[seven] Texts from my best friend. Enough said.

[eight] Pinterest will ALWAYS make me smile. So many different interesting hair styles and tattoos and beautiful living rooms. God bless the inventors of Pinterest.

[nine] Starting the day on a chair in the sun.

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[ten] The Android emoji update The excitement of new beginnings.

What makes you smile?

Fashion, or The Most Versatile Word

Hi there and happy Monday! Today wasn’t a day I had planned on blogging, but a glorious snow day (full of rest and relaxation) has left me with the spare evening hours to write. And to smash in a few hours of studying and reading, because what’s a snow day without extra weekend-procrastination? Today, this entire weekend really, I have been thinking about one thing – fashion. I love clothes, and I love seeing everyone’s unique style. I think that even if you don’t put thought into your appearance, you still do in a way. You choose to wear something for a reason. I love my grey t-shirt because it’s a little loose, and so worn-in that it feels like a feather bed. Some people wear their Chinese Laundry wedges because they complement their adorable cropped jeans and flowing blouse combination. Honestly? I wish i had the eyes (and the wallet) to pull of the latter. My day-to-day attire generally consists of American Eagle skinnies, my black knee-high boots, and some version of my grey t-shirt, whether it be my blue-and-white stripped Express shirt, or an oversized-90s chambray I thrifted swiped from my mom. I really wish I had the eyes to see a piece that I can wear with three other pieces so I could create a complete but reasonable closet full of chic choices. So, today’s post is full of the girls whose style I admire; whether you run around in yoga pants, lie in a Mr. Rogers-esque cardigan, or are the envy of the office in a straight-out-of-the-glossy-paged ensemble, you have a style of your own, and you can always rock it!

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[what i wore] Want a style blog that is full of street-smart, affordable, and ADORABLE outfits? Look no further than Jessica. She has an amazing philosophy about dressing to feel good, not to impress everyone around you. This standard and the endless fantastic outfits she pulls together time and time again have brought me around her blog for years!

[the//style//student] This girl is living the dream, no lie. Well, she’s living her dream, which should be inspiration to all of us! Nicole is a student at FIT in NYC, and does social media for Nanette Lepore (see: here) (also see: REALLY AMAZING FASHION LINE). She takes high-fashion statements and makes them wearable on the streets and in everyday life. She is a true inspiration, and she seriously has her shit together for someone at my age. Nicole, can you just be my guardian angel/muse?!

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[brooke’s nooks] Brooke is a twenty-something whose preppy style is honestly enviable! I love that she brings her own touches to her style each day, not letting the pieces speak over her. She rotates her pieces and brings new life into each of them by changing up the way she wears each dress and top. I love the versatility that she brings to her outfits!

[good life] Jill has an amazing sense of style and she knows how to find pieces that can be used in almost every outfit, which is impressive and honestly something I’d love to bring to my wardrobe. When I first stumbled across her blog I was amazed to find out that she is the mom to two kids! She seriously looks like she is fresh out of college, which just goes to show you that finding your own style can keep you looking fresh and young every day. No need to change who you are or what you look like; just get dress to impress (yourself!)

[sidewalk ready] This last blog is a recent discovery for me, but it was love at first sight/read. Let me tell you about Kayley. Girl has STYLE, and she shares it with all of her readers, complete with tutorials and wallet-friendly fashion-finds. It is seriously an awesome blog for finding outfits that call out to your heart and that you can take to the sidewalk – literally!

Each of these amazing women really bring the idea of confidence and loving yourself into their blogs and their everyday lives, and that is something I admire in each of them! If there is anything you want to change about your style, make sure you have those two accessories by your side at all times. In order to truly be you in anything you wear, you have to love the body the outfit goes on!

What is your go-to outfit? Do you have any fashion blogs that you love to binge on?

Type A Tuesday (Part 2!)

Alright, y’all, Tuesday is the new Monday. Oh you say it isn’t? Well, that’s too bad! I plan to skip Monday’s for good. But not really. Only in my dreams. Basically, my mind is running faster than the speed of light, as is my schedule, on Mondays, making it a lot harder for me to get a consistent post up on the first day of the work week! So, unless I begin to write my posts pre-Monday afternoon, expect Monday to start on Tuesday. Now that that part is out of the way (my non-apology apology of sorts), it’s time to get down to business! If you began to sing the song from Mulan, we may be the same person. And we should become best friends this instant. Back to the point – I started my 101 this Sunday evening with a kick-ass DIY project that sang to my heart. I love English, I love writing, and I love organization (duh, it’s my middle name. Rachael Organization G.). And when I saw this idea for a DIY Moleskine Planner! Mine is pretty much identical, except I am using my empty pages in a different manner…that I maybe am not sure of just yet! These Moleskine hacks are literally the coolest ideas ever; I can definitely see myself doing another one (or five) in the near future! For my 101 in 1001, I’ll only count this Moleskine DIY, mostly because I have some other cool projects that are awaiting the spring time and warmer weather.

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Here is the basic gist of my personal planner. The items I used are:

1 Moleskine Large Squared Notebook (Although large seems to be too big, it is actually the perfect size for writing/purse space)

Sharpie Pens in Black and other colors (I have a serious addiction to these pens. No bleeding through, but they go on paper PERFECTLY)

Washi tape (New addiction? I think YES)

OPTIONAL: A ruler (I’ll explain further)

I decided to pretty much copy the system from the link above; I started on the second page with two empty sheets side by side for my first month view page. I counted down three blocks from the top and drew a line all the way across from left to right, and did the same on the bottom. I chose NOT to use a ruler as it really slowed down the process for me. At first my OCD tendencies came out to play and I freaked out at the thought of a crooked line. So far, the only screw up I made was writing Thursday in a Wednesday spot. Yeah, some of the hand-drawn lines are a little off the pre-positioned line, but I like it. I’m supposed to use the planner, not idolize it!

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For my days in the month, I counted seven blocks from the left, and drew one line from top to bottom border, repeating for every seven blocks. I did the same for the lines down the page; seven blocks, line from left to right. Once this was done, leaving me with 5 weeks a month and seven days a week, I numbered my days for the month and wrote the month at the top of the page.

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For the weekly view pages, I turned the page to two open blank sheets. I counted down three blocks from the top and drew my line again from left to right. This time, however, I placed my bottom line 26 squares down from the top line. I then drew my bottom line from left to right. This leaves you with plenty of space at the bottom for to-do lists, reminders, notes, grocery lists, or whatever else you might have in mind!

From there, starting at the top line, count over 9 squares for Monday through Friday. I counted 9, drew my line from top to bottom, and then continued along from left to right. At the end of the week, I had 6 squares left for Saturday and Sunday, which I collected into the same column. I don’t really have much to do on the weekends except homework and relaxation, so I don’t need as much room. However, If you are a parent or work on the weekends, feel free to switch up the square sizes to open up the weekend area. Then I put the days of the week in each respective spot, and moved on.

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For some months, you will have four weeks per month; others will have five weeks. That is OK. This journal has 192 pages, meaning you could use 15 pages per month and still have pages left over at the end.

I chose to leave two empty (side-by-side) pages at the end of each month for monthly goals/tasks/ideas or really anything that I want to write down. Even with this and every month/week view, I still have 26 empty pages at the end of my 13 month planner (February 2014-February 2015) for whatever I choose to do with them.

I love to color coordinate, so I rotated my Sharpie pens from one color to the next, and bouncing back to the same colors in reverse after August. I also use 4 different colors throughout my weekdays for events (blue)/ to-dos (blue)/ work (light green)/ homework (salmon). It’s my own personal way of categorizing so I know what is mandatory, when things need to happen, etc. You can do it however you like, this is just my way of keeping myself on track!

I still need a way to differentiate between months, and am on the lookout for cute page tabs or some other way of dressing it all up. I put washi tape on the bottom row of each monthly view for some brightening up on the pages, and I also threw a strip on the end of the month note/idea pages to get some color in there (as well as to warn myself that those pages were claimed). I love this tape because you can reposition it a million times and it never rips the paper (unless you tear it off too quickly, duh). Plus it really does give the planner a fun, quirky side!

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This planner is honestly perfect for me at this moment; I have plenty of day-to-day room, note taking room, weekly list room, blogging room, what have you! I know that in the next few months I will be making some life changes that may require me to track Zach’s activities as well, and for meal planning, and this planner does not have the space for all of that. I think I may make a separate weekly meal planner when the summer comes around and then keep it in mind when I get around to making next year’s planner. I am so confident that I will be using the template again next year because it was cost efficient for me, easy to make, and so easily personalized. I love this Moleskine hack, and I can’t wait to share more ideas with you all!

Other 101 in 1001 checks for the week:

DIY three things (1/3)

Donate unwanted/unworn clothes (This is ongoing, but I did a clothing dump this weekend!)

Go on 20 official dates (1/20)

Subscribe to the magazines you buy anyways (Cosmo) (Self) (Shape) (Women’s Health February 2014) (Redbook February 2014)

Find your beauty routine (Also ongoing, but I found a routine that I really like as far as skin care goes!)

Getting To Know You (Me)

In life, there are certain things that happen. We live, we die, we work, we eat, we play, we learn, we have fun. And, if we’re lucky, we make some amazing friends! So, today, I’ve decided it’s time for you all to learn some more about me! There’s a theory in psychology that says the more you share with others, the more comfortable and open your relationship becomes, so lets strengthen our blogger-friendships!

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The ABC’s of Me

A – Age: 22

B – Birthday: October 20th

C – Color: Purple or blue

D – Drink: Vitamin Water XXX

E – Eyes: Green/Gray

F – Flashback: freshman year of college (so innocent!)

G – Gent: That would be Zachary, you know him 🙂

H – Hobby: Reading, and lately exercising. It’s kind of fun!

I – Indulgence: Gelato. Fun books. Netflix. A million other things.

J – Job: Student/Office Worker

K – Kiddos: I like to watch them but have no time for them (yet)!

L – Love: to many things! Reading, writing, traveling, learning, talking, exploring my city, etc.

M – Music: Anything but country. Sorry!

N – Nickname: Rach

O – One Wish: to pass Italian

P – Pets: none. Hopefully a little puggle soon! (right, Z?!)

Q – Quote: today? “whatever you are, be a good one.”

R – Residence: home….with my parents :”(

S – Siblings: Two! Little brother and sister.

T – Temperature: at the moment, a balmy 40 degrees! (HALLELUJAH!)

U – University: University of Kentucky *SOON TO BE GRAD*

V – Vehicle: A beautiful black Honda Civic. My baby!

 Worst Habit: saying things without thinking about what I mean.

X – X-ray?: 3 years ago!

Y – Yuck: Sick season (aka right now).

Z – Zodiac: Libra

And there you have it! Pretty basic, but I just wanted to let you all in on a little bit more of the personal side of me. Next week will be a few more personal posts as well, and I’m so excited to share them with you! Be on the lookout for some fun posts, and a nice Fitness Challenge post on Monday! Have a great Friday!

Beauty is In the Eye of the Beholder…or in the products she holds?

Lately I have been seeing a lot of people explaining how they keep their bodies from turning into a raisin in this “polar vortex” that is flying through the US. And it really made me want to give you all another look into my (semi) personal life. A little look into my routine, if you will. I love to read all about the different products that these women are using because I am always on the lookout for a new, and hopefully permanent, beauty routine to take up. As a teenager, I seriously – and I mean seriously – struggled with acne. It was horrible, cystic, and red ALL. THE. TIME. In my senior year of high school, I went on Accutane after the recommendation from a friend. It was a very serious medication to be on, so after monthly blood tests and a number of other steps, I began the pills. I was on it for less than the full term of treatment, but I still had felt some serious results! My acne had cleared out, and the redness was gone. It had given me severely dry skin for the duration of the treatment, and it also left my face a bit more sensitive, but it did the trick. I was able to leave my house without fear of being ridiculed and judged. Fast forward 4 years, and I have had messy spots of acne here and there, without any chance of ever being on the medication again (epilepsy, but we’ll save that for another post), and wondering where I went from there.

I have yet to figure out what steps I will take for my dermatological predicament, but for now, I have found a regimen that helps keep my skin looking fresh! We’ll start with that as the foundation of any beauty routine.

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Imageone. I begin my routine with St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub. This is the one product that I have been using religiously since the pre-high school era, and it is one that I think I will be switching very soon. Until then I can rave about it’s power! It always, and I mean ALWAYS, makes my face feel completely fresh and clean, and it’s not too harsh for my sensitive skin. (St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub).

Imagetwo. Now we welcome the one thing that has kept my blemishes under control for the past two years. Zapzyt is a really gentle, effective, and cheap acne treatment that I like to put on immediately after cleaning my face. It doesn’t burn, isn’t bad smelling, and really controls any breakouts that occur. (Zapzyt Acne Treatment Gel)

Imagethree. For the absolute favorite part of getting my face ready in the mornings, welcome the best moisturizer EVER. I absolutely love Simple Skincare Protecting Moisturizer. It is light, fresh, and hypoallergenic, making it a Godsend for my skin. It also has a light SPF which is something everyone should be using! Protecting your skin means youthful look for LIFE. (Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer)

Imagefour. To top my face off with a light, gentle touch, I like to use a simple powder to help keep my skin one even tone. I absolutely adore Covergirl’s Clean Pressed Powder for sensitive skin. It’s oil and fragrance free, making it the perfect pal for my face, and keeping me looking fresh and clean all day. (Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder, Sensitive Skin)

And that’s it! I’ll leave it at my most basic, early-morning routine for now, and maybe next week we can move on to hair, nails, and my rarely-touched makeup. I know that everyone has a different setting and uses different products, but if you are anything like myself, then I know you like to hear about the simple things in another person’s life, and maybe even finding a new favorite product!

If you have any suggestions or any favorite products, please share! I love to hear about it all.

[And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just love the products I’ve got!]

Back to the Basics Means Back to the Books

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This is a lifestyle blog of sorts…ya know, in the way of me posting whatever is on my mind when I decide to write. Obviously some of you have become interested because you’re here and reading away, even though I have no idea why you’d be interested in my ramblings (really though, I bore myself quite often!). So here’s the topic on my mind today: books.

Obviously, I LOVE BOOKS. If I’ve written anything about myself and my interests on this blog, reading has been thrown out there. I’m an English major mainly because I love to read. Well, pretty much only because I like to read…but I’m a decent writer when it comes down to it, so that helps as well. Any who, I’ve decided that while I love to plan and organize and give myself life goals, it’s high time to give myself a required reading list (or recommended, just depends on how crazy the semester gets!). I wanted to read at least two books over my break, which turned into me FINALLY reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (amazing, amazing, AMAZING! You all have to read that novel. Blew my mind), and then simply buying The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Sadly, the only reason I have yet to read TFIOS is because I don’t want to be sad. Is that pathetic, or what?! I’ve heard nothing but fantastic words about the novel, and I was ecstatic when it finally found its way into my hands, but I just can’t bring myself to crack it open. Maybe I’ll tackle it this weekend.

One reason I want this list to happen is I have to rediscover my love for reading. School has seriously disenchanted my avid reading lifestyle, and that CANNOT happen. I have to keep my hobby alive! Another is, I’m kind of a text-to-film snob. TFIOS is coming out in theaters this year, and I adamantly refuse to see the movie before reading the novel. This list includes many novels that have film adaptations coming out this year, and genuinely interest me, but some are just loosely recommended by various bloggers, websites, articles, what have you. So, without further ado (and serious ranting…where did all of those tangents come from?), here is…

The Ultimate Reading Experience, 2014 Ed.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [heard nothing but amazing reviews, film adaptation expected 6/6/14]

2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn [new favorite author for sure, film adaptation expected 9/1/14]

3. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway [I’ve always been captivated by his history, why not his literature next?]

4. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert [Eat. Pray. Love. Need I say more?]

5. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri [I’ve only read a short story of hers, but it was stunning.]

6. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson [Simply put, the plot sounds captivating.]

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman [Stardust was my childhood, so this should be my adulthood, right?]

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan [Loved the movie…never read the book. Oops.]

9. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer [thank you, Cosmo book suggestions!]

10. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian [My interest requires a pretext. I watched “The Business of Being Born” and became obsessed. Future blog post? I think so.]

11. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach [Sex made scientific, historic, and hilarious? Count me in!]

12. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn [See #2 above.]

13. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman [Angsty book about a “sensitive guy”. I’m down.]

14. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt [Nicknamed “Harry Potter and the Priceless Work of Art”. Um…YES.]

15. Bossypants by Tina Fey [LOVE TINA FEY. ‘Nuff said.]

At 15, I think I’ll be well stocked for the next few months. Reading is my passion, and I think that passions need reigniting from time to time; for me, that time is right about…now! No matter where I go in life, reading will always be my dependable happy place, so I think I can find time to keep it close by. For now, I think it’s time to start the challenge.

I love to read, and I love to hear about new books so PLEASE feel welcome to give me all of your suggestions!