Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lovelies Must: Thank You Notes



Thanks Yous

1. Letterpress Card 2. Gold Confetti 3. Classic Embossed 4. Monogrammed 5. Banner Note 6. Floral Card



Manners never go out of style. There is no excuse why every lady shouldn't keep a stack of thank you notes in her home at all times. Admit it snail mail is great and is the absolute best way to show your appreciation for someone else. Anyone can shoot an email or send a text, but a classy gal always takes two minutes to write a personalized thank you note. Be gracious and memorable, send the note.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Makeup in a Jiff

5 Minute Face



I wouldn't say I'm great at a lot of things, but one thing I can do really well is natural looking makeup. I don't enjoy caking stuff on my face so my makeup routine is pretty basic and still keeps me looking very much like myself. The only thing I refuse to leave home without having on is a quick swipe of mascara. You can imagine I don't like spending a ton of time to create a natural look (what would be the point?). I have the 5 minute makeup routine down to a science. We're not talking about overly expensive products or tons of fancy brushes here, just a few staples and an index finger and you're good to go!

1. This primer has been a God send due to the icky DC summers and my less than lovely oily complexion. Primer may not seem necessary, but it keeps my makeup on all day.

2. I have been using bareMinerals foundation for seven years and I will never stop. Bonus you can also use it as a spot concealer under your foundation application.

3. I have fairly rosy cheeks naturally so I don't like to do much to them, but for that subtle glow I love Nars the Multiple in Orgasm. It gives just the right amount of color and stays put. You can also use this on your eyes and lips (love a multitasker!). 

4. Mascara is to me as water is to fish... we need it or we die. OK that's a tad dramatic. but mascara opens your eyes and makes you appear alert even when you aren't. I have length but lack volume and Maybelline Mega Plush does the trick sans tarantula eyes.

5. Unfortunately eyeliner has never liked staying put on my eyes until I tried Bobbi Brown's Long- Wear Gel Eyeliner. This stuff stays put... all day... rain or shine. Once you get the hang of painting it on it's a breeze to use and doesn't come off until you want it to.

6. I'm not a huge eye shadow person basically because I'm too lazy to apply it. My go to for day or night is Stila Kitten. It's subtle shimmer looks good on everyone and really brightens up your eyes. 

7. I have a phobia of lipstick being on my teeth so it deters me from wearing lipstick 99% of the time. I'm much more comfortable with a tinted lip balm that doesn't make me paranoid. I like this punch colored balm by Burt's Bees because it gives just the right amount of color without smudging all over the place. 


I'd love to hear about your must have makeup products since most of these were referrals from friends. What do you consider part of your 5 Minute Face?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cleansing for Dummies

I love the idea of cleansing, emphasis on idea. The actual process of going through a cleanse really gives me anxiety for a few reasons namely I like food, hate being hungry, and feeling fatigued during the work week really doesn't sound appealing. It was a total happy accident when I stumbled upon the Team Taralynn Seven Day Cleanse. I know what you're thinking "Seven Days?!? Yea right!" Before you balk and think you or I could never complete this just hear me out. 



The reason so many of us don't do cleanses is because it can be several days of being hungry, uncomfortable, tired and irritable. Unlike most traditional cleanses, this program is designed by nutritionists so that participants should never be hungry or tired while they are cleansing. Already I like this. During the cleanse, your body will rid itself of toxins and waste allowing you to kick-start or re-energize a healthy lifestyle plan. The cleanse is divided into three phases. 



Phase One is two days consisting of: fresh fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, non-fat organic yogurt, and lean protein. 


Phase Two consists of three days consuming only fruit (no dried, canned, or frozen if there is sugar added). Why so much fruit? Fruit require less energy to digest and introduces the body to water rich foods. These three days give your digestive system a rest.


Phase Three consists of two more days of Phase One. Now that your digestive system has been given a rest and has been cleaned out, these two days should be much easier and the food much more satiating. 

Any diet or cleanse for that matter requires discipline and willpower, but be honest have you come across one that sounds more doable? I know I haven't. There is even a really easy cheat sheet for food to consume on the cleanse making this almost foolproof. 


I'm really looking forward to starting this cleanse... weird I know. This is just the thing I need to kickoff the healthy lifestyle that I so desperately want to lead, and there's no time like the present right? What do you think about cleansing, and would this be something doable for your lifestyle?


All pictures and dietary information from Team Taralynn

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Weekending

Jacks!



It's finally Friday! Seriously this week felt like the longest in recent memory. I am SO excited to be moving into my new apartment tomorrow, nothing like a fresh start! I'm taking a few days off from blogging while I move and get situated, but will be back with new content in a few days. What fun things are you getting into this weekend?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bedroom Upgrade

Bedroom Decor


Mirror, Lamp Base, Lamp Shade, Pig Bookends, Sunburst Mirror, Chair Lacquer Tray
Framed Agate Slice, Dresser, Pillows, Crystal Rose Bowl, Candle, Area Rug

I'm am thrilled to be moving into a new apartment on Saturday! Before, my bedroom looked like a white shoe box with not much character or personality to it. This time around I have and decided to finally invest in creating a space I love with timeless, cohesive pieces. I really love neutrals and wanted my room to be a mix of neutrals with accents of soft metallic. I have purchased some and am in the process of acquiring the rest, but I couldn't be more excited for my first ever styled bedroom!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FOMO



In college, everyone has FOMO (fear of missing out) to some degree. It’s probably safe to say a few years after your graduate you still have that mentality. FOMO is something my friends and I used to joke about. Thankfully the “always need to go out” type of FOMO or Social FOMO has subsided a little, but now there different strains of this epidemic. It used to be just social FOMO, but now Gen Y-ers have Digital FOMO, Work FOMO, and Diet FOMO. Overwhelmed yet? You’re not alone. In this article from Refinery 29, Nicole Catanese identifies, categorizes, and breaks down the unhealthy side effects of FOMO. 


The constant need to update everyone on what we are doing at all times, and in turn incessantly checking what everyone else is doing have created this phenomenon. We're codependent on social media. We’re addicted to our devices, fear how others view us in the work setting, worry about missing out on a potentially memorable event, and put ourselves on restrictive non-sustainable diets to fit the mold. I’m exhausted just reading that last sentence.

Is there a cure for FOMO? I think the first step is identifying which type you are afflicted with (mine would be digital), and go from there. My boyfriend and I have a nasty habit of constant device checking and whipping out our iPads at the drop of a hat. I’ve asked myself why I feel the need to know what is going on at all times, and the only thing I can think of is because I can and God forbid I should miss something I really need to know (doubtful).

The only conclusion I can draw from this admission of guilt is that I need to unplug, get off the grid and just recharge. There is always going to be someone doing something more fun, going someplace more fabulous, and living a life that looks more ideal than mine. Honestly, none of those things are going to kill me or negatively affect me long term. Comparison is the thief of joy and while we all now have a lot more ways to constantly compare ourselves, maybe we should just power off and appreciate all the great things we do have.


Photo by Refinery 29

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Skin Care for Atypical Skin

Skin Care


I can almost never relate to articles, features, or blog posts on skincare. I don't have the pesky dry skin people always lament about. I don't know what it's like to need to "hydrate my face" and I certainly don't reap the benefits of piling on thick luxurious moisturizers. I have oily skin, and on top of my oil slick I have super sensitive skin. Fun combination, I know you're jealous.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I do the best job of taking care of my skin. I fall asleep in my bareMinerals, don't always wash off all my mascara, and I probably could clean my makeup brushes more often. What I have figured out is what works well for my troublesome skin without nasty side effects or discomfort.

Daily: I use a Clarisonic face brush to cleanse my face (worth the investment), a mild anti-acne cleanser, and an oil controlling moisturizer with SPF* in it. *Wear the SPF ladies because no one likes wrinkles and melanoma...NO ONE! When I actually take the time to wipe off my makeup I use Cetaphil it works like a charm with no irritation or oily residue.

A Few Times a Week: I like the feel of a gritty exfoliator to loosen up anything building up in my pores and St. Ives Apricot Scrub does the trick every time. After scrubbing, I like to use a very gentle toner to soothe and keep my pores in good shape. If I have already spent that much time on my face, I will typically apply some sort of anti-aging cream preferably for my skin type.

For Unwanted Face Visitors: I really don't appreciate the real estate zits can take up on my face and Mario Badescu's drying lotion is the best and fastest way to get them to close up shop. Yes you will look like a freak when you go to bed with pink dots on your face, but they will be gone or nearly gone the next morning. 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Got 7 Minutes? You've Got a Full Body Workout!

I'm at the particular stage in my fitness cycle where the idea of going to the dentist sounds more appealing than hitting the gym. I know, it's that bad. Even doing Jillian Michaels' "Ripped in 30" becomes daunting to me because honestly who wants to be uncomfortable for 30 whole minutes? Not me.

While exercising my right pointer finger scrolling through Twitter one day, I came across an article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine called "The Scientific 7-Minute Workout." This sounded way too good to be true, but I was intrigued and went ahead and read the article. Quoting a scientific study from the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal the article states that "In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science." 



This sounds like my kind of workout. No gym. No equipment. Just 12 exercises and 7 minutes. Sounds totally doable, right? I'd like to build up a list of options for physical activity for those days when I don't want to leave my couch. What are some of your go to workouts for when you just have no motivation to get a good sweat on? 

Photo by Pop Sugar

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fair Skin at the Beach? I Got You Covered.

Pale Girl Beach Neccessities



Despite popular belief, us pale girls do like the beach, we just have to like it in moderation. I am a total beach bum and I can be out there all day, but I have to be smart about it. I've rounded up some of my must haves for enjoying the beach all day without turning into a total lobster {umbrella not pictured because that is one giant DUH!}.

Clothing: Invest in a great tunic or cover up with decent skin coverage. Not only will this help limit your exposure during dangerous UV time, but you can easily wear it out around town over your swimsuit without having to change. Protect your money maker with a hat. I'm not cool enough to pull off one of those big floppy numbers, but I can sport a baseball cap and keep my face wrinkle-free by doing so. Rock your classic shades. For me the beach isn't the place to whip out my huge Burberry cat eye sunglasses, but my trusty Ray Ban Aviators are perfect for all beach activities. Finish off your look with a pair of classic flip flops and head on your merry way. 

Beach Bag: I don't care if your grandmother, third grade teacher, and/or librarian carry one the LL Bean Boat and Tote bags, it is the quintessential vessel for carrying anything and everything you need for sun and sand. These things are built to last and can be washed. Plus who doesn't love a monogram? In my bag I like to bring a few forms of reading material (Nook & some magazines), a refillable water bottle,  Turkish towel, and a clear pouch to store my phone and smaller items because sand + iPhone = No Bueno. 

Skin/Hair Care: I do not mess around when is comes to sunscreen. I'll spare you the graphic details, but I coat myself head to toe in SPF 30 or higher with water and sweat proof sport lotion... the spray CANNOT be trusted unless you like your legs looking like barbershop poles and then by all means spray away. On my face I use special facial SPF lotion and SPF mineral powder. Your lips have the thinnest layer of skin so it's important to swipe an SPF balm on your mouth because lip burns are no joke. Once I'm done with the beach I like to use an after sun lotion to cool off my skin and rehydrate it. Nights at the beach wouldn't be the same without beachy hair. I liberally spritz towel dried hair with surf spray for mermaidesque locks. Low maintenance hair is so hot right now. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Carry On Essentials

Carry On Essentials



I travel a decent amount for work, and in the three years I have been doing it I have pretty much mastered packing and the art of the carry on. Some things to bring with you are just no brainers. Items like nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, and lots of hand sanitizer should never be unpacked from your bag (if you don't typically bring these do yourself a favor buy one of each to live in your carry on bag). My carry on and toiletry bags stay pretty much stocked at all times except for electronics, makeup, and my Clarisonic face brush. Keeping these ready to go make packing for last minute work trips and getaways a breeze.What do you always bring in your carry on?

1. Kate Spade Nylon Stevie Diaper Bag. You might be thinking "I don't have a baby I don't need a diaper bag." I have this bag and all the bagillion pockets come in quite handy for keeping all travel essentials organized.

2. Two Words: Tide Pen. You can thank me later.

3. Henri Bendel Makeup Bag. This is the perfect size bag for all your go to makeup essentials and is virtually impossible to ruin due to spills thanks to the plastic lining. Keep anything you need to look put together in here, and put the rest in your suitcase.

4. Bobble Bottle. Bring an empty water bottle with a built in filter. Airport bottled water is $$$$.

5. Large Pashmina Scarf. This is one of the most versatile things I carry in my bag. It works as a blanket, pillow, and accessory. Get one.

6. Dry Shampoo. This product is a miracle worker. If you don't have time to get to your hotel to clean up a bit, spritz some dry shampoo on your roots for fresh hair with a little volume boost.

7. Lip Balm. Nobody like dry, cracked lips. Do yourself and everyone a favor and keep it close and apply often. My go to is Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.

8. Hand Cream. Dry skin isn't just irritating, it's also kind of icky. Keep your hands looking nice because all that hand sanitizer you're hopefully using will dry out your mitts like crazy. I like L'Occitane Cheri because in a pinch you can place it strategically and it doubles as perfume. 

9. Face Wipes. If you are like me your eye makeup likes to smudge and your face sometimes "glistens" a little too much these are essential. I keep these handy to freshen up, but also wipe the airplane airborne gunk off my face.

10. Document Holder & Eye Mask. When you have to keep schedules, hotel confirmations, rental car info, and airplane tickets organized and easily accessible a clear pouch will be your savior. I keep an eye mask tucked away for when I need to catch a few zzz's on the plane. I am a horrible plane sleeper so anything that could help I'll try.

11. iPad. This serves as my all in one entertainment station. I always have two books, a movie or two, and some music ready to kill time on long flights.

12. Earbuds. Invest in a decent pair because these will come in handy for watching movies, listening to music, drowning out screaming babies, and are the universal travel sign for "please don't talk to me."

13. Cord Bag. I keep all chargers, cords, and extra headphones in my handy cord bag. The only purpose for this bag to corral everything I need for my electronics. This little beauty does wonders for an organized travel bag.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Confessions of a Former Social Butterfly

I have always considered myself to be a very social person. I’m as extroverted as they come, and always had plenty of friends through each stage of my life. But now here I am at 27 and while I have several really good friends, even a few best friends, I’m without a go to. What I mean by a go to is that one friend you can call up at any time to go grab a drink, get a pedi, meet for brunch on a whim, or just have over to watch something embarrassing like Pretty Little Liars with. My closest friends are spread along the east coast, but the occasional phone calls, Gchats, emails, and group texts really only get you so far. Who doesn’t want a Laverne to their Shirley? I feel like now more than ever I want that go to person.

I didn't realize how much I was missing out for many reasons, but one in particular is having a serious boyfriend. He is my best friend and with that comes a lot of time spent together. I wouldn't trade him or the time we get to spend together for the world, but I know something is missing and that’s girlfriends. We work pretty hard to not be isolated and do our own thing weekly, but at the end of the day usually most of our week is spent with each other in some capacity.

I’ve come to the fairly harsh realization that I just don’t have as many friends anymore, at least not in close proximity. I have been trying to boost my social life by reconnecting with old friends, coworkers, and anyone who may even seem like they would be interested in hanging out. These “catch ups” have been fun, but they still never turned into those blossoming friendships that occurred when you met a random girl in your dorm and she asked you if you wanted a beer. So what gives? Am I the only 27 year old without a crew? I didn’t think so since I have asked other friends and a few are in the same boat as I am. I did a little research and found a really poignant article from the New York Times on the subject. In the article, Alex Williams explores why it’s so hard to make friends after a certain age. Williams writes:

“As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends. No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now.”

While it was comforting to know that this is pretty normal for people and I could relate to becoming pickier in what you want in a friend, it just made me realize that I now have to put in effort to make friends. Ugh. Now begins my quest if you will to create meaningful, lasting friendships. I am trying fairly traditional routes to meet new people: book club, joining a ladies service organization, and setting up couple dates in the hope that I hit it off with someone’s significant other. I’m not at the point where I want go the route of Rachel Bertsche in MFW SeeksBFF, but who knows maybe I will resort to going on “friend dates.” I’m not ruling anything out at this point.

To sum it up I just want it all; the friends, the bestie, the boyfriend, the size 2 dress size… I’ll save that for another post. That sounds incredibly idealistic, but I’m still under the assumption that I can have an awesome social life and a great relationship. TBD…

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's All Good

I love cookbooks. There is something almost "zen" for me when I sit down and thumb through big, beautiful glossy pages of a new one. If I had to list calming activities, flipping through a cookbook or three would be high on my list. Every now and then I come across a special cookbook that really inspires me, and that is exactly what happened when I picked up It's All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow. It's All Good was born out of Gwyneth's need to clear out her system, heal, and reset (something I'm pretty sure many of us need to do). With the help of Julia Turshen, they created a collection of healthy comfort food recipes but without sugar, fat, and gluten. 



No sugar, fat, or gluten? Bare with me for a moment. While I am intrigued by people who willingly give up those three lovelies I just listed, until I develop an intolerance or allergy to them, I am most likely never giving them up fully. What I would like to do is cut back on all three. I am trying to figure out what works best for me and my body, but that means a lot of trial and error on my part. The golden rule of "all things in moderation" seems to be the key, but for me (a carb-o-holic) how do I moderate a fresh baguette or a side of truffle fries? Sometimes the answer for me is to have none at all, or just on special occasions. 

Anyway back to Gwyneth. The book is broken down into many sections listed by meal or ingredient group, followed by a great weekly menu section with different goals in mind (think detox week, or family-friendly week). The pictures in the book are stunning and drool-worthy even for "Millet Falafel" (I used to feed my parakeet millet when I was six so pardon me if initially I was not chomping at the bit to eat a mouth full of bird seed). What I took away from this cookbook was the concept of truly clean eating and how easy it can be to implement it into my diet. Am I going gluten-free? No. Am I giving up butter? Heck no. Can I cut back on both those things? The answer is yes I can, and I can do it without feeling deprived. I am excited to try some of these recipes out, but I am actually really looking forward to cleaning up my diet. Weird. 

Below are two recipes from It's All Good that I'll be making ASAP!


Chicken Burgers, Thai Style

  • 1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, very finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon very finely minced red chili 
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil)
Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, cilantro, shallots, red chili, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burgers, each about ¾ inch thick.Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both sides with a bit of the safflower oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.

Carrots with Black Sesame + Ginger


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil       
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger 
  • 4 large carrots cut into matchsticks (4 cups)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • A couple of drops of hot toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over high heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring it into the oil, until it becomes fragrant, just 30 seconds or so. Add the carrots and stir to combine them with the gingery oil. Add a big pinch of salt and ¼ cup of water and turn the heat down to medium-high. Cook until the carrots just begin to soften and the water evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Becoming Accountable

We've all been there. You've had a long day, you are mentally and physically exhausted, and all you want to do is couch surf and zone out when you get home from work. But what happens when this becomes a pattern of behavior? Weight gain...that's what happens. I won't pretend that I have too much going on, or that there are not enough hours in the week to accomplish everything I should on a regular basis. What I will tell you is I have gotten lazy and unmotivated when it comes to working out. 

I, like many, go through regular cyclical phases where I am super active, love the gym, and can't wait to dive into a salad. Unfortunately, there is an ugly side to that cycle where I don't move nearly as much, eat crap, and generally just don't want to work out. I work a desk job which makes it even easier to slide into this "comfort zone." What I needed was to become aware of my lack of inactivity and to find a way to become accountable. I have a coworker that started using a FitBit to track her steps, activity, and make her more aware of how little she was actually moving. This sounded like a great idea because what's more motivating than seeing you have only walked 20% of the steps you should be walking in a day? I finally pulled my head out of my butt and bought one last week. 


 What you get in the box:

- FitBit One Tracker
- Sweatproof silicone clip
- Wristband to track sleep/silent alarm use
- Wireless dongle to sync the tracker 
- USB charging cord
- How to download the user interface & app













FitBit One Screens:

- Steps Taken
- Distance Walked
- Calories Burned
- Not pictured : steps climbed













So far one of the things I like most about the FitBit One is the online interface/app that easily depict your progress through the day. The clean interface and graphs help to see what you have accomplished and how much more you need to do. 





Hands down though, the coolest feature of the FitBit One is the sleep tracker & silent alarm. You wear the wristband provided and slip the tracker onto it. This tracks how long it took you to get to sleep, the amount of time you were asleep, number of times you wake up, periods of restlessness, and takes all that information to calculate the actual time spent sleeping. The silent alarm feature allows you to set an alarm and be woken up by gentle vibrations from your tracker rather than jarring loud beeping first thing in the morning. 




I am really excited to start using this thing to it's full potential. All ready I feel like I have to answer to this little machine for not moving my derriere enough. How do you stay motivated and accountable? I'd love more ideas on staying active!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Reading

Summer Reading


Summer is officially here which means countless hours laying out and reading. I get most of my reading done in the summer, and rather than scrambling to find a book to quick download before the weekend I thought I would compile a list now. 

Call me a traitor, but I can't read much chick lit anymore so it can be challenging to find recommendations I would actually be interested in. I'll admit it other than the "50 Shades Series" and all the books from the writer of "Gone Girl" not much has been able to hold my attention in terms of story line.  Does that mean only really messed up thrillers and smut holds my attention? Am I a creep? Maybe. Probably not though. My tastes and preferences are evolving, and unfortunately I'm growing up. I set a goal to broaden my genre horizons by including nonfiction in the mix just to see what I was really missing out on. I'm always up for new recommendations so please feel free to share!


1. The Glass Castle - Gossip columnist Jeanette Walls dishes the dirt on her own troubled youth in this remarkable story of survival against overwhelming odds. The child of charismatic vagabonds who left their offspring to raise themselves, Walls spent decades hiding an excruciating childhood filled with poverty and shocking neglect. But this is no pity party. What shines through on every page of this beautifully written family memoir is Walls's love for her deeply flawed parents and her recollection of occasionally wonderful times.

2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailThe plan that Cheryl Strayed hatched wasn't just naïve or foolish; it seemed almost suicidal: Without hiking or even backpack experience, this callow 26-year-old set out to walk the entire Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,663-mile wilderness route from the Mexican border to Canada, across nine mountain ranges and three states. This solo project had been born less from a passion for nature than a deep sense of desperation.

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

4. Defending Jacob - Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber is blindsided when his teenage son, Jacob, is charged with murder. Jacob insists he is innocent, and Andy believes him. But as the trial intensifies, damning facts and shocking revelations surface.

 5. Bossypants - Fey's entertaining memoir shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

6. The Happiness Project - { Currently Reading } In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

7. Dare MeThe raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power.

8. The Night Circus - The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing.
9. Beautiful Disaster - The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Going Live

I'm taking the plunge... and blogging again. It's been about three years since I last blogged and although I have toyed with the idea for over a year now, I finally got the balls to just go for it. Does anyone care what I have to say? Probably not, but I'm going to write anyway... for now.

My hope for this blog is to be my creative outlet where I can post, teach, learn, engage, and even rant if I feel like it. There are hundreds of thousands of "lifestyle" blogs out there and while I enjoy those, I hope that I don't fit the mold of that type of blog. While I read many lifestyle blogs and appreciate their purpose, I saw a void in the "LIFE" part of lifestyle. For those bloggers that get to play dress up and have fabulous very full social schedules, I think that is awesome and I am pretty envious of you. But for me, and my lifestyle for that matter, that's not how it goes down at all. The fact is I am pretty unglamorous, and I think a lot of people can relate to that.  Sure I am interested in clothes and home decor, but I am also really interested in whole living, food and cooking, and finding overall balance in my day to day life. I don't know about you, but I haven't really found a place where all of those topics come together in way that I can relate to. Out of that search came the idea to make a place where I could make that happen.

My goal is to live happier, healthier, and more consciously and that is exactly what I intend to write about. Maybe I can inspire someone and hopefully many will inspire me. Overall it's about living with purpose, and to living life a little lovelier.

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