Because we all need help smiling on a Monday morning.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop

Let’s face it… it’s Monday and we all feel like crawling in a hole and dying. No…. not you? Well I do. So I thought I would share with the world something that made me smile this morning. It doesn’t make Monday suck any less, but smiles are good.

These are pictures of two white lion cubs that were separated from their mother after Hurricane Hannah. Anjana, a chimp living at Tigers in South Carolina, often helps to raise abandoned tiger cubs. Enjoy a few pictures of the incredible relationship these animals have created. Happy Monday. xo

My trip to Bahstahn

Sorry folks, this post won’t be super fashion-forward. It was cold, rainy, and windy the entire duration of my trip. Didn’t leave much room to play with cute outfits & accessories. I think you’ll live though.

Friday morning Matt & I set off bright & early with our good friends Alex and

Francesca and Me bored to death in the back seat.

Francesca; we were Boston bound. This was my first time ever in Massachusetts. As much as I loathe Boston fans (no offense, kids, really) one cannot deny how beautiful their state is! As soon as you cross the boarder you can tell you’re in MA, it’s really a pretty place. We arrived at our hotel right outside of Boston around 3 in the afternoon. It was about a 5 hour drive all together, not too bad. We showered up and headed in to Boston for dinner. We ended up at the Union Oyster House, which is the most amazing place! It’s technically the original restaurant in all of the US, and!The toothpick was used for the first time at this place…so they say. The only thing that upsets me is they have a giant tub of lobsters all crammed on top of each other clawing around for their lives.

I opted not to have the lobster that night, hah. Dinner was fun, and afterward we explored the city, which was also fun. Anyone who knows Morristown knows Dark Horse... well there’s a ‘club’ called The Purple Shamrock well it’s the Dark Horse of Boston, minus the creepy cerial killer’s basement. Otherwise, same exact place. We also got to visit Cheers!Where everybody knows your name. They did not know our names… in case you were wondering.

Saturday we headed to Salem, which is the perfect place to visit around Halloween! Oh my goodness, it was so much fun! There are haunted houses on every corner, awesome bars every where you turn, and real witches wandering the streets. There’s so much history crammed into one tiny town, it’s seriously so much fun! We had lunch at a place called “Rockafellas” that served a drink so spicy you had to sign a waiver to have one. The Helltini. Matt & Francesca both ordered one. She finished her’s in like 10 minutes, it took Matt about a half hour, lots of water, and a full plate of french fries to get his down. But when they were done they got to take home a super cute t-shirt stating they survived the helltini. Totally worth it! After a full day of sightseeing we ended up back at our hotel around 11 and passed out.

Sunday we ventured back into Boston for lunch and shopping before we headed home. We ate at a little place called Ned Divines, which I suggest everyone should visit if they are every in Boston, the place is awesome. Overall the trip was a lot of fun, I felt like I couldn’t sleep enough when I got back, I was exhausted! These are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

 

Tunesday Spotlight: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

I’ve abandoned you guys again, many apologies! I cut out early last week and headed out to Boston and Salem for the weekend with our dear friends Alex & Francesca. The trip was a blast! I am going to post about it later this week with some fun pictures. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Boston or Salem in your life, I highly recommend it. Especially around Halloween time for Salem. It’s a truly magical place, I loved it.

Anyway! Moving on. I’m doing another spotlight this week for #Tunesday. I think I used one of her songs last week, but I want you guys to get a full taste of Grace Potter. I first saw her on VH1’s You Oughta Know one morning watching early morning music videos. That’s where I discovered Paris (Ooh La La) and I was quite happy. We’re always kind of digging for new music to listen to that doesn’t make our ears bleed, and this hit the spot! I keep missing the opportunity to see Grace Potter live, so let’s all sit and watch her video for “Big White Gate” which was written for her Grandmother… aw. This is my favorite song of her’s & it will be like we’re all watching it live. ;] So enjoy! let me know what you think.

DIY: Name Banner

I spent almost my entire college life in a Sorority, where we learn really useless skills for crafting. Since I’m all grown up now, graduated, and my littles are getting littles, I have fewer excuses to craft these days. One of my favorite crafts from DPhiE were the name banners that bigs usually (I say usually because my big never made me one) make for their little sisters. They’re super easy and would even be great for bridal showers or baby showers. Watch and learn.

What you will need:

Paint Brushes
Glitter (optional)
Wood Paint
Hot glue gun
Ribbon
Wood letters

All found at craft stores like AC Moore & Michaels.

Steps:

1. First decide what you’re going to create a banner for. In this case, I made one for Matt’s little sister using her name. If you’re making one for a bridal shower, it can say “Here comes the bride” and for a baby shower it can say “It’s A Boy!” or even the baby’s name. You get the point. There are really a ton of possibilities when it comes to these. So plan out what it’s going to  say ahead of time so you know what letters to get at the craft store.

2. Next, choose a paint and paint each letter. The wood paint dries relatively fast so you won’t have to wait forever to do two coats. If you decide to coat your letters with a layer of glitter, like I did, apply the glitter before the second coat dries.

3. Let the paint and glitter dry. This should only take about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Next, take your ribbon out and create a bow on one end of the ribbon. If you have trouble creating a bow right from the ribbon, cut a piece off, make a bow, and just hot glue it on to each end later.

5. Don’t cut the ribbon off until you know exactly how much you’ll need to be able to fit all the letter. Lay the letters out on the ribbon first. Make sure there is about the same amount of ribbon on each side so it looks even.

6. Once you have your ribbon laid out, start hot gluing the letters on. Just be aware, the hot glue will go through the ribbon so don’t do any hot gluing on a carpet, or anything of major importance like your great great great grandmother’s antique table. It comes off with a little scratching and elbow grease, but still.

7. Once you know you have enough room, cut about an extra foot of ribbon if you make the bow right out of the ribbon. If not, just cut it where it will match the other side in length then hot glue the bow on the end.

And there ya go! It’s all finished. See, that wasn’t so hard was it? Typically these are hung over beds, but they can pretty much go anywhere. Just a tip for my closest friends, I will want one of these whenever I have a baby shower, ok? Thanks! :] haha…. seriously though. I want one. Doesn’t this bring back memories sisters? I bet everyone gets the crafting bug now.


Nail Polish of the Month: October

Typically I am all about sticking with the trends of the seasons. Dark reds, almost maroons, and browns in Fall. Whites and metallics in Winter. I’m all for it. However, I bought these nail decals from Sally Hansen and I could not think of a color I already had in my vast array of nail polishes that I wanted to go with them that matched the fall theme. So, I opted for sky blue instead. Blue Away by Sally Hansen, to be specific. This is how it came out:

I am actually thrilled with how this manicure came out! I mean…how cute does that look? Screw fall colors, I’m in love with this manicure! And it is so, so easy to do yourself at home!

What you’ll need:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail decals. (I chose zebra because I am a big fan of anything animal print, but they have a ton of designs to choose from!)

Nail polish of your choosing.

Steps:

I always apply the decal to the desired nail first before I paint my nails, for obvious reasons.

You can choose which nail you want to apply the decal too and match up the sizes. If one size doesn’t fit your nail just right, they do stretch a little bit. Just be careful, too much stretching will rip them!

Once that is applied go over it a few times to make sure all of the air bubbles are out and it won’t peel back unexpectedly. If applied right, these bad boys can last a couple weeks before they need to be picked off.

Paint one coat on each nail (skipping the nail with the decal).

*If you use any of the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polishes, I feel they can tend to run a little on the thick side. Make sure the first coat is extra dry before applying the second coat.

Wait til nails are completely dry, and go over with a light-weight top coat.

And vio la! Your super cool manicure is finished. The decals are about $9 at drugstores. A little pricey if you’re only using two of them, so try different looks switching up the finger you use on different manicures. Play with different color combinations too. I think this would look excellent with a bright coral or jade green as well. Hmm…. maybe next week!

Try your own and send me pictures! I’d love to see what you come up with!

Give it up.

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” –Buddha

I hope everyone really paid attention to the rules on giving up I posted yesterday. Study them and live by them! And when you’ve mastered them… move on to these 25. :]

  1. Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving!  Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program like the P90X workout.
  2. Give up junk food. – You are what you eat.  Read The 4-Hour Body.
  3. Give up eating as a means of entertainment. – Don’t eat when you’re bored.  Eat when you’re hungry.
  4. Give up foolish habits that you know are foolish. – Don’t text and drive.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t smoke.  Etc.
  5. Give up relationships with people who bring you down. – Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
  6. Give up being shy. – Network with people.  Meet new people.  Ask questions.  Introduce yourself.
  7. Give up worrying about what others think of you. – Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  8. Give up trying to control everything. – Life is an unpredictable phenomenon.  No matter how good or bad things seem right now, we can never be 100% certain what will happen next.  So do you best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.
  9. Give up doing the same thing over and over again. – In order to grow, you must expand your horizons and break free of your comfort zone.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  10. Give up following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t find the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  11. Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.
  12. Give up thinking others are luckier than you. – The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  13. Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities. – It’s okay to be alone.  It’s okay to do nothing sometimes.  Think.  Relax. Breathe.  Be.
  14. Give up making emotional decisions. – Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
  15. Give up doing the wrong things just because you can get away with it. – Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.  Think bigger.  Keep the end in mind.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  16. Give up focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  17. Give up taking yourself so seriously. – Few others do anyway.  So enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.
  18. Give up spending your life working in a career field you’re not passionate about. – Life is too short for such nonsense.  The right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing.  So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.  Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
  19. Give up thinking about the things you don’t have. – Appreciate everything you do have.  Many people aren’t so lucky.
  20. Give up doubting others. – People who are determined do remarkable things.  Remember, the one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one doing it.
  21. Give up fussing with every beauty product on the market. – Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  That’s when you’re beautiful.
  22. Give up trying to fit in. – Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not.  Be yourself.  Oftentimes, the only reason they want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.
  23. Give up trying to be different for the sake of being different. – Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity is conformity.  When people try too hard to be different, they usually end up being just like everyone else who is trying to be different.  Once again, be yourself.
  24. Give up trying to avoid risk. – There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  25. Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now

Now… I know some of these are not as easy as this person wants to make them out to be. Give up junkfood? Who do you think you are!? But hey, they’re at least worth a shot right? Pick one and perfect it. Then move on to the next one. The one I’m going to start with is #25 from yesterday, give up drama. There are only a few hours til the weekend, start then! And report back on Monday. :] Next week I’m going to have an awesome DIY post for all you crafty ladies out there. So have a wonderful weekend! Until next time. xo

Sometimes it’s ok to Give Up.

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” -Hermann Hesse

My coworker sent around this e-mail this morning and it is truly inspiring. After reading each one of these you’re like, oh, duh! But sometimes we tend to lose sight of what is actually important and so often we dwell on the things that hold us down. I know it’s not as easy as we want it to be to move on from certain things that we find so important, and someone can give you advice til their face turns blue. Unfortunately, in the end, if it’s not what you want to hear, you’re probably not going to listen to them. And that’s ok. We’ve all been there, we know how it is. When you’re feeling low please refer back to these and check each one off your list. Life will eventually start to get a little better. There are fifty of these, and as much as you want to I don’t think anyone will sit here and read each one of them. So I will break it in half and post the rest of them at a later date. We all need to take baby steps anyway. Enjoy xo

  1. Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  2. Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
  3. Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.
  4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
  5. Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
  6. Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
  7. Give up lying. – In the long-run the truth always reveals itself.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  8. Give up trying to avoid mistakes. – The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  9. Give up saying, “I can’t.” – As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  10. Give up trying to be everything to everyone. – Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Start small.  Start now.
  11. Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  12. Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail.  Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.
  13. Give up trying to do everything by yourself. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you work together, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
  14. Give up buying things you don’t need. – Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
  15. Give up blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  16. Give up making mountains out of molehills. – One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  17. Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others. – Work on it for real and exceed your own expectations.  Everything else will fall into place.
  18. Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality. – There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well.  No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.
  19. Give up making promises you can’t keep. – Don’t over-promise.  Over-deliver on everything you do.
  20. Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.
  21. Give up beating around the bush. – Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Communicate effectively.
  22. Give up avoiding change. – However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
  23. Give up your sense of entitlement. – Nobody is entitled to anything in this world.  We are all equal.  We breathe the same air.  We get what we give.  We get what we earn.
  24. Give up waiting until the last minute. – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  25. Give up being dramatic. – Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.

Fall Favorites: October

Oh my goodness, I have not posted since September?! I feel like I have abandoned you guys! My apologies. Well we’ve moved into another month… adios September, hello October! A lot of people love September because it’s still warm enough to not make us depressed but cold enough to break out the Fall wardrobe we all love so much. I must admit I am one of those people, but I love October and November too! With October comes pumpkin picking and leaves changing and there is something about the cold Fall air that I love! November, well November includes my favorite Holiday, Thanksgiving! And so, I mosey on to the chillier months with a smile on my face.

I have some new favorite things that you should all get your hands on for the Fall. New smells, new looks, new shiz. Check it out. ;]

1. Chunky knit infinity scarf: They are still my favorite. But as it gets colder you need to amp up the warmth a little bit. Trade in your skimpy infinity scarf for something much more durable. I found two that I absolutely love at Forever21.

2. Frye Boots; Dorado Riding: Um… I don’t know what else to say about this boot except YUM! The color, the height, the embellishments. I don’t even have to justify why this is perfect.

3. Say Yes to Blueberries Facial Towellets: As we all remember from September, I had these in cucumber and they were fantastic. I switched it up this month to give my skin something new so it doesn’t get too used to one thing. As well as removing makeup, dirt, and oil from your skin’s surface, these are ‘brightening’ cloths. Not exactly sure how, or if it’s just in my head, but I’m 100% they are brightening my skin after only 2 uses already. Go get some!

4. Essie Nail Polish in Power Clutch: This color scared me at first. It looks so hard in the bottle and I already have 20 shades of black I don’t use. But when applied it’s a magical mix of greys, and greens, and blacks… I don’t know, but it’s perfect for fall. Well done Essie!

5. Faux Fur Vest: I have a faux fur coat from last year and I’m almost tempted to cut the sleeves off (don’t worry, Matt, I won’t actually do it!) Grab yourself a faux fur vest before it gets too cold and you need to put the sleeves back on. HAH they are adorable and look so chic with everything. The perfect accent to any outfit.

6. Knit Beanie: I cannot lie… I’m not a huge fan of hats… considering I have a head the size of a pea and those “one size fits all” hats are complete bullshit. They never fit me. I need to keep my head warm too, ya know! So knit beanies are the perfect solution. To me they almost always run on the small side so they always fit my head and they look adorb!

7. Yankee Candle in Fireside: Every fall I get sad that we don’t have a fireplace. There is something about the smell of a fire burning in someone’s house that just makes me happy, I miss that smell! So thank you, Yankee Candle, for producing a candle that smells like a fire, you are angels.

8. Linea Pelle boho bag; Dylan Medium: Linea Pelle is one of my favorite handbag & accessories designers. She sticks to interesting yet not over the top colors and most of her items are lined with a zebra print fabric. How can anyone not love that? Across-the-body bags are big for the fall so her Dylan in red is one of my favorite things this fall. Unfortunately when I told that to my husband his response was “I think you have enough bags.” Silly husband… you’ll get it eventually. ;]

So those are a few of my favorite things this month! I forgot to add a comfortable flannel, but I think that kind of goes without saying. Here is a picture of me from last weekend at Long Branch’s Pooch Parade! I’ve combined a few of my favorite things from this month & last. But seriously, how cute is my dog? He’s the best! He’s being stylish as well with his “Link News” t-shirt. Unfortunately he’s not exactly coordinated enough to participate in the parade, but he was a good mascot anyway.

Also, I forgot to add my Tune yesterday, so feel free to check it out today! Have a great day, peeps. xo

Look for Less; Going Green

Recently I posted about my favorite fall trend being the amazing mix of jewel tones that are being found everywhere this season from head to toe(see post here). Two of my absolute favorite things found in this shade are Christian Louboutin pumps. But let’s be realistic, who can actually afford to just buy a pair of these beauties every time there’s a new trend? Quite sadly, I know I can’t. But that does not mean we shouldn’t be able to enjoy this trend!

Well the other day I was strolling through the mall on the hunt for a dress to wear to a 40th birthday party (to which I regretfully found nothing! Ugh). As I was about to give up on my endeavor all together I stopped in Charlotte Russe on my way out to fish through their accessories. If I can’t find a pretty dress, a new necklace, ring, or pair of earrings can always cheer me up. To my surprise I stumbled across these jewel toned treats! I can’t account much for their comfort because I didn’t have time to try them on, but historically any shoes I’ve purchased from Charlotte Russe have actually been pretty comfortable, so I have high hopes for these. Plus, they don’t cost an arm and a leg, so what’s better than that?

Ankle-wrap metallic trim heel $42.50
Velvet bow-front platform heel $32.50

 

I found a few pairs on Bakers’ website that are also definitely worth stopping in the store to try on as well. They aren’t as bright as the ones from Charlotte Russe but they mingle in the same color family and are equally as striking!

Are you bold enough to try these bright hues with a little black dress this weekend? I think I might have to. Forget the dress for this 40th, I found my shoes!

 

Tunesday spotlight: Stage

I usually just update my Tunesday page every Tuesday but I feel inclined to do a little write-up on this band today. Way back in the day when I used to go see Matt’s band play all over the place with my friends there was this venue, Birch Hill. It was everyone’s favorite place to go to shows. It was way back in the middle of nowhere and gigantic. Aside from Sudzert [the hubb’s band] I got to see one of my absolute favorite bands at the time play, which would be SR-71. This was seriously, waaaay back in the day when I was like a freshman in high school if not younger. At the time the world of live shows was completely new to me and seeing my “favorite” band play was such a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, it still is, but now I can pretty much see my favorite bands whenever I feel like. Aaaah the good life.

Anywho. One night at one of these shows while waiting for Sudzert to come on we headed over to the ‘front’ stage to catch the opening bands on that side and that was the first time I encountered the band Stage. This guy’s voice seriously paralyzes you, I had never heard anything like it. They were handing out CD’s so I quickly snatched one up. Unfortunately it only had 3 or 4 songs on it… which was enough to hold me over because at least it had the ones I liked the most. Or did I just like them so much because they were the only ones I could listen to afterward? Nevermind. Not the point. Fast forward 5 or 6 years later and I’m interning for Broadcast Music Inc. [BMI] At one point I had a box of CD’s my boss asked me to upload onto the company’s iTunes. Mindless activity so I would copy CD’s while doing other work and one day I went to pick up the next CD in the pile and guess who it was? Stage! And it was their full CD. More than 3 or 4 songs that I’ve overplayed an obnoxious amount over the years. I literally looked around my office as if a little music fairy would pop out and grab the CD from me and disappear with it. As I uploaded it onto the hard drive I just sat there and listened to every single song about 3 times in a row. Sweet musical heaven. I have to admit also, that I stole the CD… I don’t think Samantha will miss it, but in case you’re reading this, I have your CD and I’m never giving it back! haha :] I can’t find the video or any such clip of my favorite song “The Scientist’s Canvas” but I would like for you all to read my favorite part of the song;

You look like the one my life is about.
The truth won’t kill me, it will just knock me out.
See I fell in love when you were too young.
Your canvas was set but the colors were wrong.

UGH, such an amazing song. I wish I could play it for you guys but I think the band has long since parted ways and Ryan Star (the singer) has since started a new band, way before Youtube was a big deal, so unfortunately I cannot seem to find it. For now, please enjoy my other favorite, The World has Come Between Us.Some of his lyrics are a little….. dark and twisted, we’ll say. But his voice and that music together, well I can deal with the dark and twisted. Enjoy. Oh and Ryan Star, if you’re reading this too, bring back Stage. Please and thank you.

Stage – The World Has Come Between Us