Monday, August 29, 2011

I Like: Teen Vogue + Kittens

Sorry for my short absence from the blog. I've been around but just wasn't quite sure what to post about so I took a bit of a break. I hate posting about stuff I think is boring and since I don't think I Like posts are boring, here goes. Hope you are entertained by the things I've been enjoying the past few months.

1. American's Next Top Model - Have you guys ever watched this? You should if you haven't. I guess it's more of a girly show but it's perfect for me because each week, the models (who auditioned to be on the show) have a photoshoot with a very talented photographer and then after the judges pick apart their best photos, one girl goes home. Not only do I love learning about modeling, but it's so fun to see the photos each week and watch the photographer do his or her thing. I definitely recommend this show!! I just downloaded every season. HAHA. I've finished the most recent four, though.
2. Starbursts - They are one of my favorite types of candy. Mmmm. I especially love when they've been refrigerated. I also love making bracelets out of the wrappers. There will be a tutorial coming soon on how to do that.
3. Ruche - Ruche has the most beautiful clothes I have EVER seen. I learned about this store through This Modern Romance's blog because Stephanie takes many of the photos for their lookbooks. And my gosh, those pictures are amazing. I was actually just looking on the Ruche site and saw that Nicole Fox from ANTM had modeled for them!! WHAT?! So cool!
4. Lipstick - I love lipstick. I use a color fairly similar to my lip's skin tone and I adore it. It isn't too bright but makes my lips pop. :D
5. Bloom! Magazine - I am so thankful for Bloom! and the girls on the staff. The creator of the magazine is absolutely amazing. She's only fifteen (I say only because she's already started a magazine!) and even though I've never actually met her, I consider her one of my great friends. I'm just blessed to be on the staff and couldn't be more thankful.
6. Recycled earrings - Sounds awesome, right? I got some recycled, silver earrings from T.J. Maxx a couple weeks ago and am absolutely crazy about them! They are a little different than the ones in the picture but you get the idea. :)
7. Pumpkin spice frappuccino - This is my favorite thing from Starbucks. They only have pumpkin spice in the fall so I always look forward to it when this time of year comes around! Obviously, I'm excited because it should be coming pretty soon!
8. Pretty Little Liars - I know a lot of people hate this show and make fun of it all the time but I'm not ashamed to admit it's one of my favorite shows. By far. I love the actresses, the wardrobe designer (she does an amazing job on the girls' clothes), and the story line. I'm going to start reading the books soon and can't wait!
9. The Workday Release - I only have one song by this band but the one that I do have -- called "Love In a Box" -- is absolutely beautiful. I'm in love.
10. Tumblr - I thought Tumblr might get old after a while but it just gets better in time. I seriously have an obsession. It's the first thing I do when I get home from school or when I'm bored.
11. Teen Vogue - Mom offered to get me the newest subscription at Books-A-Million the other day and I said I didn't need it. WHAT WAS I THINKING? I was in a weird mood, obviously. I love that magazine! I wish more than anything I could actually be in it!
12. Kittens - Lately, I've had this weird obsession with kittens. I can't express how badly I want one right now. I ask mom every day if we can go get one. They're so precious.
13. Reflectors - The other day I wet on a shoot with a photographer and she had a reflector. Yep, I now love reflectors. I just ordered one and I'm hoping it makes portrait photography even more awesome for me.
14. Indigo by Clarks - Clarks. Are. Awesome. The end. 
15. Portable hard drives - I just bought a portable hard drive like the one in the picture and it has made my life much better. I had all my music and pictures on a giant external hard drive that sat on my desk but it was super inconvenient since I always wanted to use my laptop on my bed. But now, I moved everything over and I can sit on my bed and listen to music all at the same time! :D

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Wonder

Sometimes I lay in bed at night during the hours it takes me to fall asleep and I think of things I wished I had changed during the day. Or rather, things I wished I had done differently. That's probably a really bad thing to consume my life thinking about, but I wouldn't say it always is. 

Most of the time I wonder what I would do if I had the chance to rewind parts of life or parts of my day. I wonder how sparingly I would use that so-called power if I had the chance three times in my life to do so. I wonder if I would use it at the appropriate times or if I would use up all three chances in the same day -- spur of the moment -- on things that were irrelevant.

It's funny to think how often we mess up. Obviously, I mess up every day and as I try to forgive myself for the things I've said and done that I regret, I struggle. It's not hard for me to accept that I screw up on an hourly or even minutely basis, but I don't have such an easy time letting it go and moving on. I'm always wishing I had done things differently or wondering if I made a mistake. And really, all of that comes down to insecurity -- being afraid of what people think. 

Today I will try harder to forgive myself and know that all things happen for a reason -- that all mistakes are learning experiences for my life so I can change and be the better me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Nice to Have My Teeth Back

Sooooo, today has basically been the best day of my life. You know how I mentioned that today would be amazing in my post a few days ago? Well, it's because......


Yeah, I can't contain the joy inside me. I just wanna do a little jig and start singing show tunes. Haha. I went to school for an hour or so this morning and then headed over to the orthodontist to have that terrible, uncomfortable metal removed from my teeth. I've had my braces on for about five years so having my teeth back is a miracle. I'm still in complete and utter shock.

They finished scraping that gross glue off, got molds for my retainers, took x-rays, and I was happily on my way out the door. I just got home, ate a meal, and then proudly brushed my smooth, slimy, white teeth while keeping a huge smile on my face the entire time. I'm a happy girl, that is FOR SURE. :)

The best part about this is that I finally get to whiten my teeth, floss, and give a real smile in pictures. :D I CANNOT WAIT FOR THESE THINGS. Oh em gee. 

Okay, I'm done. This was far too much information for a post about my braces coming off. But anywho, obviously I'm excited and just HAD to share a picture. Now it's time to go run.... Buhhh.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Butterflies, Barking Puppies, and Exciting Things

The first week of school literally went by in a blur. That may be because I have quite a few study halls, but that's the best part. I'm able to eat lunch at home this semester and my English class at Blue Ridge that starts on Tuesday is only once a week. I don't know if I should be celebrating that, though....

Unfortunately, Thursday put a downer on my week. It seemed like everything was going wrong and it was just one of those days. You know? Everyone has them. I was glad when it was over, especially since I legitimately faceplanted off the back of the swing while taking a picture that day. Haha. I'm a champ.

After I fell off the swing, collected myself, and laughed out loud, I saw a gorgeous butterfly gathering nectar from our nearby butterfly bush. I was thrilled because I have always wanted to get a picture of a butterfly. I ran to my room to get my camera and went out to capture this Monarch's beauty.

And thankfully everything turned around after my bad day on Thursday. This weekend has definitely been spectacular. The cooler weather at night and the shorter days make me long for fall and wearing layers. I am absolutely stoked to be able to wear my boots, as well. :) I'm also considering buying a pair of Clarks heels since all my jeans are too long. The pair I might get is adorable. That, too, makes me jump for joy at the fact that fall is so close!

As I'm realizing the rest of the season is going to fly by and it will be cold in a jiffy, I'm trying to convince my family that we need a fire during the winter to keep us warm. We haven't had a functional fireplace in years and our frigid den is calling for the gas logs to be fixed.

Today is dreary and rainy but that's okay because mom and I are going to see The Help in just a few minutes. I am really looking forward to it. I haven't read the book, which is super lame, but I cannot wait to see this movie. And I love Emma Stone, so that makes it even better.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Beginning

Before the summer ended, mom and I decided to take one last trip to North Carolina to visit my grandparents. We had gone once already this summer but it's always refreshing to get out of town and go see those you love. Their adorable house welcomed us after the four-hour drive on Friday.

My favorite part of arriving in Wilson is always the smell of pines and the cooler breeze after a thunderstorm. It doesn't rain much in the summer there but it surely did right before we came. My papa said he prayed for the heavens to open and pour buckets over their city. Who knows whether that was a coincidence or not, but everyone was happy.

We got there, received our many hugs, and one of the first things I did after that was get out my film camera. I had been wanting to use it all summer but never did until last week. I think it's always more exciting to photograph in a place you don't visit often. There's more to be creative with. So as I packed up my things at home before we left, I decided I would only take my film camera so I'd be forced to use it.

The next day we tried to visit my great aunt but because of even more torrential rain, we had to turn around. There were plenty of road blocks causing you to detour and the flooding was quite severe for just a day of rain. And trust me, driving in rain that's pounding on your windshield so hard that you cannot see three feet in front of you in not as thrilling as it may sound.

We eventually made our way over to her apartment for a chat after the rain stopped. We stayed, talked politics, laughed, and got up to leave a few hours later. The funny part is that it took us another hour to get from her front door to our car because on our way out, we saw many of my great aunt Peggy's new friends. She's been in this apartment for a few months now, due to her house being destroyed in a tornado, and it was just plain hilarious seeing all these characters in her life. Every single person is so different and makes life worth living -- at least for her anyway. We were talking kind of loud out on the porch and one of her neighbors popped out of her door in her nightgown, looking unhappy. Peggy defensively said, "Oh no! Geraldine, did we wake you up?" Geraldine then jokingly replied in her southern accent, "Yeah, you woke me up." The fact that it was around 5 p.m. made it all the greater. Mom and I chuckled and wished someone could write a comical story of what goes on in those apartments. We finally got out of there when we had officially met just about everyone taking up residence at Briarcliff Apartments. 

After spending time talking in the sunroom back at my grandparents', after messing up my grandparents' brand new flat-screen t.v. (and frantically trying to fix it before my grandpa woke up), after eating a lovely meal, after knitting a scarf, after listening to my papa's stories, after riding around town looking at gorgeous cottages, and after getting a free venti frappuccino at Starbucks, we headed home to what was reality for me: school.

Although saddened by the fact that I had to wake up early today and start my senior year, I still tried to stay positive and think of all the great opportunities ahead of me.

The first day of my senior year was as laid-back as it could've been but I'm glad I can put those little first-day jitters behind me. Hope everyone else has a great first day of school, whether you started last week, today, or you start next week! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I had a whole post typed out, saved, and almost ready for publishing, but I couldn't make myself post it.

I had written about how I had a weird and just plain bad day the day before yesterday but then I quickly realized that no one wants to read a depressing post like that. I was at a huge loss for words when I was writing and it frustrated me so much. I didn't have any pictures to share and I was angry with everything. I wasn't being the uplifting, encouraging person that I wanted to be, that's for sure.

Although I had a bad day and everyone has bad days, I don't necessarily need to share about it. That's life, unfortunately.

I started thinking about how I didn't want to publish that post yesterday morning when I woke up and I'm glad I didn't. That voice inside me telling me not to became even louder later in the day.

I've been working on a lot of projects lately for various things, one being for Bloom! and I had to take a few pictures relating to article topics. I ended up going into our city's laundromat to take a few photos and was completely and utterly put back in my place after seeing an older man folding his newly washed clothes. I had been complaining all morning about stuff that was so minuscule in the big scheme of things. It hit me as I walked out of the laundromat how incredibly unthankful I am. I realize I'm lucky, but rarely do I sit down and thank the Lord for the gift of life I have been given. I'm so blessed to have a warm bed to sleep in, a stove to cook on, and a washer and dryer in my very own house.

A lot of times I don't feel creative and that's what drives my anger and unthankfulness most of the time but you know what? Everyone's different. And that differentiation is what makes the world go 'round. I need to stop comparing myself to others and live life like it could end tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So you know how I mentioned I wanted to make that pasta recipe in this post? Well, I did!! I definitely need to modify parts of the recipe but honestly, it was amazing!! I recommend you make it right this instant. Okay, that is all. I just wanted to share the pictures of the ingredients and the final product. :D

The final meal. Bread, oil, and vinegar + this pasta recipe = delish.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just a Day

It's just a day. Nothing boring, but nothing too exciting, either. I woke up at 6:30 this morning after not sleeping very well, got on Tumblr, spent a couple hours reblogging photos, and then went on a walk with mom. For some reason, my body gets terribly angry at me when I don't do some form of exercise, so the two mile walk made today much better than it would've been otherwise.

When I came home, I ate a delicious breakfast -- a delicious breakfast indeed. It was kind of strange but a few days ago when I was in the grocery store, I really wanted Lucky Charms. It was quite random. Haha. So you know what I did? Well, it's pretty obvious: I bought a box. I'm thankful for Lucky Charms and the fact that since the last time I had them -- a few years ago -- there are more marshmallows. :)

After spending loads of my life on Tumblr and Pinterest, admiring all the magnificent photos, I got the urge to spend some much-needed time with my camera. I am especially incredibly inspired by Tumblr. So many beautiful pictures.

I scavenged the house for anything I could possibly photograph since I didn't have a person I could force in front of my lens. Webb's old room is where I spent most of my time. I don't usually go downstairs to where his room is so the different scenery (can I even call it that?) was more fun.

I've also been deprived of good meals lately (I mean, I eat Lucky Charms...) so I've been wanting to cook something yummy so badly! I think I'll try to cook that recipe tonight. If not tonight, definitely in the next week. You have to look at the link! Doesn't it look amazing?! Gahhh. I love pasta.

I'm excited about tomorrow because I get to have my first -- and probably last -- sleepover of the summer with my best friend who I miss so much. I'm so thrilled about our time together because I know next year will be chaotic for both of us and our time will be limited.

I hope everyone's weekend has been lovely and that you are enjoying the last bit of summer. I'm trying to forget that, though, so let's pretend I never said anything.

Tumblr and Pinterest

Ya wanna know what's awesome? You can probably already guess from the title. I am officially a new user of both Tumblr and Pinterest, which I am SO excited about!

Both have occupied my time like crazy lately. I'm officially addicted. I had always wondered what the big deal about Tumblr was; I never could understand why people used it and what the point of reblogging random pictures was. Buttttt, I decided I'd give it a try and it's magical!!! Oh my gracious. Seriously, it's so fun. Although most people probably don't upload their own pictures and use their own creativity too much, it's a great place to find inspiration. :) I'm enjoying it so much! It can be quite confusing at first -- especially finding and downloading a theme that looks nice -- but it's not hard at all once you get past that.

Also, I had glanced over the Pinterest site a few months ago but didn't understand that at all either. Haha. I knew it was the new thing and a lot of people were using it as a virtual inspiration board, but I didn't take time to explore. Pinterest and Tumblr are very similar so once I got the hang of Tumblr, I understood Pinterest much better. I got myself a username, started following some great boards, and now I'm pinning my own pictures! It's great fun, as well. Definitely, definitely check it out if you haven't already. It will be something you'll have to pull yourself away from, but it's so worth it! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Good to Be Home

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. As I briefly mentioned a few posts ago, I spent the last five days at my neighbor's house dogsitting. I stayed there overnight, got a feeling of what it's like to live alone, and took great care of their two precious babies. And by babies, of course I mean dogs. 

One of the dogs is a golden retriever who is incredibly outgoing and has enough energy to power an industry. Yes, I believe that's true. Her name is Princess and she truly is one. The other dog's name is Duke. He's older and I'm not sure what kind of dog he is but he's the most laid-back, loving doggy ever. I love them both.

I'm home now and although I've never been happier to sleep in my bed, I so totally enjoyed getting to hang with the pups this week. I watched plenty of Shark Week, rewatched a few Harry Potter movies (I finally saw the new one tonight, which was beyond BRILLIANT!), and finished one of my books, so I was pretty pleased with these days away from my computer. :) It's good to be back in the internet/blogging world, though; I've missed it so. I hope everyone had a wonderful week and I hope your weekend is equally as wonderful also.

Now you can sit back, look at these pictures, and wish you were me this past week. Unfortunately, just posting these photos is making me miss the dogs. I no longer have Princess's soft fur to stroke as I watch t.v. or Duke's cute face to look over at when I wake up in the morning, but on a positive note, these pictures do make me smile! :D I'm really sad the few photos that I took of Duke were blurry but hopefully all the ones of Princess will make up for that loss. Enjoy the overwhelming cuteness.