Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Favorites

August starts tomorrow and it is time to say goodbye to July. I'm going to try something new and make a compilation of some of my favorite things from this past month. A lot of bloggers and vloggers have started making favorites posts and I wanted to get in on the action.

The Beach Box from Lush. I got this went to Atlanta and it's been perfect for summer. Everything in the box smells like the ocean. The sales associates that talked me into buying this really knew what they were talking about. The box is full of some great products and I haven't been able to get enough of it. The only thing in the box I haven't tried is the shampoo bar; honestly I just keep forgetting about it since it's still in the box.

Another beauty favorite has been Rimmel London's Show Off Lip Lacquer in Stellar. I bought two of these earlier in the month and love them both. Luna is more everyday, but I love wearing Stellar as a pick-me-up pop of color. It's great for going out or on those days you just need a bit extra to brighten your day.

This black button down from Express paired with my favorite blue shorts from American Eagle. I love cobalt blue and the shorts are a fun pop of color to a dressed up warm weather outfit with the top.

My favorite book this month was The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I reviewed last week. I absolutely loved this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves dogs, although as a fair warning it gets a little Marley & Me.

Although a lot of good things happened this month, my favorite thing was seeing The Avett Brothers in concert with my family. I could not have asked for a better birthday present. The night was perfect, it will be hard to top this favorite in August or ever.

What are your favorites this month?


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

August's Resolutions

Get a job - I was trying, but then I got so discouraged I sort of gave up during most of July. I was so down about not having a job that I stopped trying all together. The pity party is now over and it's time to get back to business. My number one priority for this month is to get a job... any job.

Get back into yoga - I'm going to try to take at least one class a week for the month of August. I have classes to use up and it's about time I get back into the studio. Plus I just miss actually doing yoga with other people. I practice at home from time to time, but being in a class and having someone lead you can be a lot more relaxing... or challenging depending on the class.

Make one piece of art per week - I do not make enough art. Whether it's a drawing or a painting or some sort of collage, I will attempt to make one piece per week. The only way to get better at something is to practice.

Finish all three books I am currently reading - I started three different books near the end of July and haven't gotten very far into any one of them yet. The Ocean at The End of The Lane and The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy are both shorter books and I expect it won't take me long to finish either stories. My third book is Angels and Demons, which is 569 pages long and will probably take me a good while to finish.

Meditate for 5 minutes every day - One of my goals a while back was to meditate a little bit each day. I even have an alert set for it on my computer that I am constantly ignoring. I thought 5 minutes would be a good time to begin.

Volunteer somewhere - I never volunteer to do anything and I'd really love to change that. I might try to volunteer one of the days at The State Theater since I absolutely love it there.

Hopefully I can manage all of these resolutions this month. Looking at the list now, there seems to be a lot to do. Just giving myself a reason to get off the couch and keep moving forward.

Do you make monthly resolutions? What would you like to change this month?


Coffee Time

I think I'm going to have to head down to Horizon again today for some coffee. I just can't survive the day without it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grilled Cheese and Birthday Celebrations

Today I got to see a close friend that I haven't seen since graduation in April. Nicole and I met when we lived in the dorms my first year at Western. Over the past 3 years we've done a lot together and I miss having her around to go see movies, make Meijer runs, always make me laugh, and provide me with chocolate bars. It was really great to see her and bf, Brandon (affectionately nicknamed the creeper). Plus it gave me a good excuse to get lunch at The Grand Traverse Pie Company... it had just been too long. When Nicole first suggested they might come over and see me on their way back to Kalamazoo (they were camping in Oscoda), I got a little scared I wouldn't find any place suitable for Nicole's picky eating habits. Then I realized The Pie Co. would have grilled cheese; Nicole pretty much lived off of grilled cheese our first year at Western. She's the pickiest eater I know and it never ceases to amaze me the effort she goes through to avoid anything that might actually be good for her. Being around her is always interesting and entertaining.

Today was also my brother's 27th birthday. This year he requested we go to Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire for dinner and drinks. I had never been to their restaurant, only to their actual brewery, and was excited to finally see it for myself. The place was cool, really laid back and crowded with families. I wanted to try just about everything on their menu, all of it sounded amazing. In the end, I decided to split a pizza with some other people in the group, and my dad and I shared a flight of beer. We were able to choose five different beers to try out, but I'm pretty sure the Strawberry Shortcake beer was my favorite... yum. I love my family and am so blessed to be close to them. They're also a great source of humor; I'm surprised no one peed themselves from laughing tonight.

Happy Birthday Taylor!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I'm trying to make some changes in my life. Mostly letting things go, cleaning up, and simplifying the world around me, including this blog.

The blogs I like best have simple, clean lined layouts. I wanted something that embraced the power of white space to really let the words and pictures do the talking. Hopefully I succeeded in incorporating that idea while still flaunting my love of purple.

When I originally updated this blog the first time to the pink ink dripped background from before I thought that would help show off my artsy side. It wasn't long though before I realized it was a rather distracting background. Although I love a certain level of chaos in my artwork, I am happy to have something a little less chaotic as framework for this diary-like space of mine on the internet.

After almost three years on this blog, I still have no idea what I want to talk about on here. I'm always shocked when people besides me or my ever supportive parents even read what I've written. I've been in major life crisis mode ever since graduating college and I'm hoping this blog will help me figure out where I want to be. I just keep reminding myself that it's not about the destination but the journey, besides there really is no person that has their entire life figured out. I could be as down as I want to be about my current situation, but that isn't going to help get me somewhere new any time soon.

Anyway, the new layout is just the start of the changes I have in mind for the rest of this year. I feel like I've already spent half of the year laying around doing nothing (which really I haven't, but I still feel that way) and I don't want to spend the next five months doing the same exact thing. I'll let you know the plans once I've got them laid out better (list making is my friend), but hopefully today will be the start of some positive changes in my life.



I thought I'd try something new and put this on here. You can definitely tell I'm new at using Polyvore for my own creations and not just looking at other people's pretty things. This is just a few of the items I've found in my search for the perfect transition from summer to fall closet.


Free People sleeve dress

DV by Dolce Vita laced shoes

Free people jewelry

After fooling around with creating this set I don't know if I'll create anymore, but who knows what'll happen.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Outfit of the Day

There's nothing too special about my outfit today but I really love everything I'm wearing, so I thought I'd share.

I am absolutely in love with this sweater I got from Madewell when I was in Atlanta. It's light weight, perfect for cooler days in the summer or, I can imagine, layering in the fall/winter months. The sweater is also baggy and so, so comfortable. The fabric is slightly see through, so I opted for a white cami underneath. My jeans are from back when I worked at GAP Outlet two summers ago. They're destroyed flares and one of the most comfortable pairs of jeans I own; they're also unfortunately wearing out in the inner thighs, so who knows how much longer they'll last.

Links Worth Sharing

I hope everyone finds these links helpful or entertaining in some way.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Hair Cut Ideas

I finally made an appointment to get my hair cut and have been looking through ideas all day. I definitely want to go shorter... I just haven't decided how much shorter. I would love to chop it all and go for something along the lines of Ginnifer Goodwin or Carey Mulligan, but I don't know if I have that much courage. I'm a little afraid I don't have the right jaw line or face shape to pull such a short cut off well... and I really don't want to end up looking like a 10 year old boy. I'm just looking for something brand new that I can look sophisticated but also edgy with.

All pictures courtesy of Pinterest.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reasons I Love Old Films

I'm no expert on old cinema, but I have discovered a great appreciation for films made back in the day. I have really been taking advantage of my free Wednesday mornings recently by going to quite a few of the 25 cent classics shown at The State Theater. Today they were playing "Woman of the Year" staring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The movie was made in 1942 and was in black and white.

I love black and white films because they are forced to rely more heavily on lighting. The lighting in "Woman of the Year" was flipping amazing; I just could not get enough of it.

I also love the softening affect old films can have. I'm sure much of it is due to lighting, but I've noticed at times there is a lack of sharpness that adds a certain level of romanticism to an old film. The softness of femininity is enhanced on slightly blurred out close ups of actresses, especially when they're crying.

Part of me gets annoyed that even when there's a strong female character they are always portrayed as somehow "lesser than" or subservient to a man, but then I have to remind myself that life was different 60 (or however many) years ago. (Actually I can argue in some current movies this is the case, but I won't go into that now.) Also just as a note, there are plenty of female characters that challenge those beliefs as well as those that fulfill them.

Oy with the poodles already. Stop grabbing her like you're trying to shake a doll.

Just the same, there's something about a man whisking a woman up into his arms to kiss her that just makes me so happy. Seriously some guy needs to come along and kiss me like that one of these days. Speaking of kisses, those really meant something back in the day. Since there were no sex scenes in old movies, every bit of passion was stuffed into those kisses. On screen smooches were pretty next level electrifying in old films.

Now on to one of my favorite topics, fashion. Oh the fashion, how can I even express in words my love for vintage fashion? From the dresses, to the skirts, to the shoes, to the jackets, to the hats and the gloves, I just can't get enough. It's all so pretty. Seriously with the polka dots and the stripes, the velvet and the beautifully structured jackets. Plus the gorgeous silhouettes of Katharine's ball gown in "Woman of the Year," or her wedding dress. And lets not forget all the spruced up men in suits, always topped off with a hat. There was just a different level of quality that was upheld when someone left the house 60 years ago compared to today's society.

What are you trying to do to me people? This dress is too perfect for my eyes. Ugh.

On top of everything, most of my favorite old films are musicals. Maybe it's not true, but I feel like there's more emphasis on music back then. All actors and actresses seem to know how to play an instrument or have impressive voices. Movies really showcased all of the person's talents.

I guess all of this stuff can be applied to movies that are made today. Modern movies still harness the power of lighting, provide plenty of women with gumption, help showcase other talents, and give us amazing wardrobe and costume designs. Despite all the similarities, there's still something that provides a different level of excitement and romantic feelings for old Hollywood films.

That look ladies and gentlemen. 

Do you like old films? What's your favorite film made before 1960?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Quotes from The Art Of Racing In The Rain

As a follow up to my review on The Art Of Racing In The Rain, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes from the book. Here they are in no particular order.

1. “To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.” 
― Garth Stein

2. “People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are generally not satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”
― Garth Stein

3. “That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”
― Garth Stein

4. “People and their rituals. They cling to things so hard sometimes.”
― Garth Stein

5. “Did he understand, as those interminable minutes ticked by, that being alone is not the same as being lonely? That being alone is a neutral state; it is like a blind fish at the bottom of the ocean without eyes, and therefore without judgement. Is it possible? That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me. Is it true? Could Denny have possibly appreciated the subjective nature of loneliness, which is something that exists only in the mind, not in the world, and, like a virus, is unable to survive without a willing host?”
― Garth Stein

6. "So much of language is unspoken. So much of language is compromised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication.” 
― Garth Stein

7. "Any problems that may occur have ultimately been caused by you, because you are responsible for where you are and what you are doing there.” 
― Garth Stein

8. “The human lanuage, as precise as it is with its thousands of words, can still be so wonderfully vague.” 
― Garth Stein

9. “There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” 
― Garth Stein

10. “We too, must shatter the mirrors. We must look in to ourselves and root out the distortions until that thing which we know in our hearts is perfect and true, stands before us.” 
― Garth Stein

Monday, July 22, 2013

This Post is About Macarons

All I want is to eat macarons in a bathtub in Paris. I don't know why that hasn't happened yet.

(Honestly I don't even know if I like macarons because I've never actually had one before, but I can imagine enjoying them.)

Will someone help me make this happen?


Sunday, July 21, 2013


I feel you Sheldon. I feel you. One of these days I'll finally be able to go.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain Review

I finished The Art Of Racing In The Rain a few days ago and I can't say enough good things about this book. I already recommended this book to my dad and brother (and my mom too), since I immediately thought of them while reading the story.

The book is written from the perspective of a dog, Enzo, who is reflecting on his life the night before his death.  His owner, Denny, is a race car driver who shares his passion for racing with Enzo, often bringing Enzo along for races or watching the Speed network together. The story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions from happy, to sad, to mad and around again. Obviously the book was actually written by a man and not a dog, but I loved the uniqueness of reading from a dog's perspective and really feeling that dogs are not much different than humans. Pets can be so comforting and such a part of their our lives. I know my life would be very different without my cat around.

When I first picked up this book from a family friend, I didn't really have much of a desire to read it. I didn't know anything about the plot, and I put off reading the book for a long time. Once I finally started reading, I sat in wonder as to why I waited so long to start reading. One habit I have is to pick out quotes from books; usually, the more quotes I can pick out from a book the more I love the book itself. The Art Of Racing In The Rain was riddled with perfect quotes about love and life. Garth Stein had a great way of comparing car racing to the challenges one faces in life. He melded a simple way of writing with deep philosophical thoughts. Stein also mastered the frustration of the inability to communicate, knowing something and yet being unable to tell anyone. Even though I do not own a dog, drive race cars, have a child, or have lost a significant other, I really felt connected to the story line. I felt like I could relate to what Enzo was thinking.

The book made me:
1. Want a dog.
2. Never want a dog because they will eventually die.
3. Watch Senna.
4. Really hate that people actually act like Eve's parents did.
5. Cry.

Now go read this book!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Take me to...

"Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers."
- Margaret Atwood, Good Bones

Being alone isn't hard. Being alone is lovely. It's being lonely that's the difficult part.

- - - - - 
Today was a good day, much better than I was expecting it to be. The day started very romantically, reading while eating a pastry and sipping iced chai at an outside table downtown. Then came the family reunion, complete with many of the same questions and judgmental looks that come with my not so carefully constructed answers. For dinner I met up with a friend and went to a little downtown restaurant called Poppycocks, followed by frozen yogurt at Sugarkissed. Now I'm just finishing off the day by watching Before Sunset.


Currently Watching: Before Sunrise

Surprisingly it's my first time ever watching this movie. Now I know what all the hype is about. Two minutes in I already knew it was my perfect movie. One of those movies that are just comfortable to watch, as if you're watching a day in the life of your friends. The story line centers around this very romantic notion of chance meetings and two people sharing a moment of time and space in one another's lives. So glad I now have two more movies to watch after this. I have a feeling these characters will stay with me for a while.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have such great chemistry. I just can't stand it. I want to spend a day/night roaming around a European city getting to know someone who was a stranger at the beginning of the day. It's one of those things that everyone seems to hope for, but would never actually happen in real life, or it happens very rarely. I won't be holding my breathe waiting for the Jesse to my Celine.

"I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it look my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?"- Celine


Friday, July 19, 2013

Today Is Lazy

Sometimes I just need this song in my life.

"I wanna have friends that I can trust, that will love me for the man I've become not the man that I was. I wanna have friends that will let me be all alone when being alone is all that I need."

It's another disgustingly hot day in Traverse City. I went downtown and got iced coffee and read Ender's Game in the bookstore again. Then I came back home to cool off in the air conditioning and to play around with my new "Wreck This Journal." I finally broke down and bought one and have been loving it.

Plus the necklace that my brother's girlfriend got me for my birthday, which is basically my new favorite piece of jewelry. It's the perfect length for me to play with and twirl in my fingers, which I have the horrible habit of doing all the time.

The One Where I'm Chandler Bing

This is basically me right now.
(Well, I am pretty much Chandler Bing 97% of the time.)

Me any time my family or friends try to take pictures with me in them.

I ask myself this more than I care to admit.
Yep... right there with you buddy.

I am guilting of being occasionally (or all the time) sarcastic and cynical. I just hope at the end of the day I find myself married to someone I love and who loves me for better or worse. That and a group of close friends I can count on to get coffee with me.

I need to pick back up on my Friends marathon. I left off somewhere near the end of Season 7,  right before Monica and Chandler get married. I wish that show could have gone on forever. Such good TV.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts On: Celeste and Jesse Forever

Thanks to Celeste and Jesse Forever, I have had the song "Open Your Eyes" by Bobby Caldwell stuck in my head for the past two days.

On a side note, I had so many mixed feelings about this film. Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones are two of my favorite actors, but I was just so disappointed by their characters in this movie. It left me with the same feelings as The Breakup did when I first saw that movie. Great actors, but the story was too real for me to actually want to watch it more than once. Realistic story lines can definitely be a breathe of fresh air, but for me they tend to be a one time is enough sort of thing.

If you like more realistic type movies, then this is definitely a film for you. If you don't, do not waste your time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 23rd birthday... never a more appropriate time for this song.

Nobody likes you when you're 23...

I spent the morning downtown. Since it's over 90 degrees and sunny outside I was a puddle of sweat by the time I got down there. I should have taken my mom up on her offer to drive me down. Oh well it was a nice walk anyway and there was a nice wind by the water.

I went to see the Wednesday Classic at the State Theater this morning. Today's movie was The Long Hot Summer with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

They sure made one great couple. On and off the screen.

Well hello there Paul. Seeing this site on the big screen wasn't a bad way to spend my birthday morning. Boy is he attractive in this movie.

I did find it ironic though that I was watching a movie about a 23 year old woman who's father was trying to marry her off because she was getting old. I guess I'm glad I live in a different time and don't have a father like that. Although if I was supposed to marry a man that looked like Paul Newman maybe i wouldn't object.

After the movie I walked over to Horizon Books to get an iced coffee at Cuppa Joe. I'm pretty sure I have gone there every day this week for an iced coffee... so good. I love mine with soy milk and a packet of raw sugar. I sat inside for a bit reading Ender's Game and relaxing before walking back in the heat.

On the way back I stopped by the water. It looked so beautiful today.

Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful summer day!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Birthday Buddies

This may be a little late in the day, with less than an hour left, but today is one of my best friends and birthday buddy's 23rd birthday. My birthday is tomorrow and it's weird not having her around to celebrate. Last year Sam came down to stay with me in Kalamazoo for a few days and we made delicious birthday cake pancakes and Liberty (Cherry Republic's Cherry Sparkling Wine) mimosas. It was one of the best birthday breakfasts I've ever had.


This was while wine tasting this last spring.

So glad Sam has her dream job, but I miss her dearly. Especially when my parents, grandparents and I all went out for dinner tonight so I could get sushi. There's a restaurant in town that does half off sushi on Tuesday night, so for my bday dinner I requested that option. Man, was it good and so filling tonight. I was stuffed afterwards. Normally I have no problem finishing a whole roll by myself.

Tomorrow should be a pretty relaxing day. I don't have a lot planned other than going to the Wednesday Classic at the State Theater in the morning and birthday cake with the family tomorrow night. Still can't believe I'm going to be 23... when did I get to be an adult?