Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back On 2013

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With only a few hours left until the end of 2013, I wanted to do a bit of a recap of my blogging year. 2013 is the year I really started getting into my blog and it's been just so great. Blogging is like a time capsule, it was so nice to be able to look back and see what happened ever month, captured in pictures. I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me!

January


 January was my second month of blogging and I only wrote four posts this month. I also started my first semester of grad school, had just graduated college in December, and had just started working at the library so I had a lot of adjustments and life changes all at once. I also started working out more often, the treadmill became my best friend. Nail art was popular this month too.

February



February was another short post month, I really don't remember too much other than school school school. The other memory is that I helped my friend decorate for Valentine's Day but other than that, February was just cold and snowy.

March


This month I started blogging more, yay! I launched the Cinema at Home series that I do where I tell you lovelies about all of the movies I watch, and I actually did two this month so that means it was still really cold out! I also went to see the Hives with my friend Michelle for her birthday and went to the Western Reserve Historical Society for a day.

April


In April I saw Matt Costa for a second time (love him!), got more into yoga and went to some classes, made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with my friend Christina, and finally ventured outside to Squire's Castle. Overall a pretty good month.

May



With May came my most viewed to date post, Let's Talk Lipsticks where I reviewed my lipstick collection. I went to my friend Neil and Michelle's college graduations, I finished my first semester of grad school, bought some books for summer, my family and I  moved, and we had our first knitting circle night.

June


June is my birthday month! I went to karaoke nights, I set my 23 Before 24 list (which I have updated recently!), visited the Cleveland Museum of Art, had some beach days, and enjoyed the summer.

July

 
July marks my very first outfit post! I wanted this blog to deal with fashion from the very beginning but I was so fearful of actually doing it I put it off for almost eight months! Now I'm so glad I did! I also went to visit my friend Abby and her fiance in New York, went to a free show at Wade Oval Wednesdays, went to Columbus with my mom to go to the Ohio Historical Society, and wrote my 100th post!

August


August was a fun month! We celebrated my friend Christina's birthday, went to see Goo Goo Dolls, took a walk through Lakeview Cemetery, went to the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy, and started up class again.

September


Blogtember. This month I did my first blog challenge, which was good and bad. Good because it was fun to participate in a challenge, bad because I was so focused on writing the prompts that I felt like I couldn't write about anything else that month which kind of frustrated me. My favorite prompt from blogtember was the creative writing day, I had fun making up a short story. I also went to a Browns game this month and ran/walked my first 5k, the Color Run!

October


October comes with my second favorite holiday to Christmas, Halloween! I was Lucille Ball and a Pink Lady (Rizzo in my head). I also saw Sweeney Todd performed by a local theater company with my mom, we had our first ice storm, and I tried out some new recipes.

November


The most exciting thing in November was when I was featured on Modcloth! I had known about it since October but it didn't feel real until I actually saw it live. I also dressed like the Doctor, watched the 50th anniversary special during the global cast, and slowed down a bit on blogging because I was promoted at work and school projects were killing me. I also braved the snow for outfit pictures only once before realizing I'm a freeze baby and that winter outfit posts would have to be inside only.

December 


This past month has been busy with the holidays, but a lot of fun! I ran/walked my second 5k (I'm working on actually running more, but it's hard!), I redesigned my blog, finished my second semester of grad school so I'm now officially halfway done, celebrated Christmas with my family, and I had my One Year Blogiversary!

Thank you so much for reading, I can't wait to share my outfits and adventures with you all next year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Break

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Sweater-LOFT//Tank-H&M//Jeans-Freddies of Pinewood//Shoes-Target//Brooch-Titanic Exhibit 

Hello hello, so I took a pretty impromptu Christmas week break and I apologize but I was just sooo busy all week, blogging was not high on my list of things to do, and I'm sorry for that. I didn't even read too many blogs, I just (almost) completely left the blogosphere for a few days, but I'm back!


Christmas was very busy in my house. My mom and I made four different types of cookies: Peppermint Patty brownies, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Toffee bars, and Hershey Kiss Surprise cookies! I have eaten so many sweets in the past few days I think I've been in a chocolate coma.


On Christmas my family went over to my grandparent's house for Christmas dinner which is always fun and tons of food.My mom and grandma have a running Christmas decoration competition where they try to one -up each other every year. This year my grandma definitely won some points, she had some really cute Christmas curtains and had a really pretty china set. However, we are not defeated and already have a few plans up our sleeves for next year when Christmas is at our house! **insert evil laugh here**


**Sidenote** My mom and I went to see the Titanic Exhibit that came through town, it was so amazing! They had a lot of artifacts from the ship and gave us boarding passes when we went in so we could see if we lived or died. I lived, but my poor mom and her husband both died. We weren't allowed to take photos, but I did get this really cute teacup Titanic pin!**


I still can't believe that the New Year is just two days away now! That's just so crazy! I'm debating if I want to actually make New Year's Resolutions. I always feel as if I'm making them to break them. I think the only one I really have is to read more, especially now that I was given a Half Price Books gift card for Christmas and bought a LOT more books to add to the to-read pile!


Do you make New Year's Resolutions? If so, what is your resolution this year? See you in the New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Getting Back Into Reading

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Dress: Ebay//Sweater: Old Navy//Boots: Target

I have always been a reader, reading has always been one of my favorite past times. I even keep a journal that I list all of the books I've read in the past year! However, over the past few years I feel like I've slowed down because of school and work and blogs (gasp!) as a distraction. Since I was reading so many books for school and reading so many blogs since I started college in 2008, I put reading my own books for fun on the back burner, and began to read less and less.



The past few years I've only read about 10-15 books for myself, and despite this I've continued buying books so my to read pile has grown tremendously high. This year I made it a point to make reading a priority again, as much as I could. In this past week since I've been on winter break I have read 4 books and it was such a great feeling. I had forgotten how a book can suck you in for hours and you just get lost in the characters and scenes and different worlds (depending on what you're reading ;)).



I set a goal for myself to read 25 books this past year, and as of this post I'm up to 27. For 2014 I'm setting the goal even higher and going for 40. I think it'll be a good challenge and maybe I'll finally finish my ever growing to read pile. I can't guarantee I won't buy more, but I can at least get through the ones that I bought from Border's before they closed in 2011!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bravery

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 Dress-Ebay//Sweater-H&M//Hair Scarf-Hey Viv!

So this post is going to be on bravery, but not in the way you may be thinking. I want to talk specifically about bravery in terms of personal style; wearing what you want to wear and not being afraid of people's comments or odd looks. This came to mind this morning because of this particular dress. I bought this dress back in the summer, and I have never worn in ANYWHERE except for in this post in my backyard. I don't dislike this dress, it's quite the opposite! It's bright red, has polka dots and bows, it's the right length, and has a beautiful neckline. My fear was that it was too much for a day to day dress, even though I have a few other dresses that are similar length and style.


My fear comes from not wanting to stand out too much or stand out in a negative way. This seems silly to me as I love retro styled full skirts and dresses and bright red lipstick with everything. I don't feel like myself without dressing this way and it makes me happy, but it also makes me feel a bit awkward like I'm the odd one out. I don't have vintage/retro loving friends "in real life" (which is one of the reasons I love blogging!), so I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb when I'm "too dressed up" and my friends are wearing casual (and always cute) modern clothes. This has prevented me from getting rid of all of my more modern styled clothes just because sometimes I just want to dress "normal"and blend in.


At work I try to dress more retro pretty often, except for really lazy days (that's what corduroys are for!), but even then it's awkward. I am constantly complimented on my outfits, which is sweet and I appreciate everyone's compliments, but then I worry that people think I'm fishing for compliments by dressing this way (sidenote: I could say the same about blogging, but I just love clothes and love sharing outfits with others and seeing others' outfits, I do not do it for compliments). I don't know if anyone actually does think that way but it's something I think about probably too often.



I guess the point of my post is sometimes I feel weird for dressing differently and "dressing up too much". But I love retro style and I have become more comfortable wearing these kinds of styles. One of my goals for next year is to stop holding on to so many modern styled clothes, donate the ones I have left, and only buy retro styles from now on. I also hope to stop feeling so embarrassed by standing out when I'm just dressing for me.


Does anyone else feel this way? You don't even have to specifically dress in retro styles, just do you judge your outfits based on what other people will think of you and perhaps maybe not wear that outfit just because of that? I'd like to hear what you think, let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

365: One Year Blogiversary!

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Half Price Will Be The Death Of Me//Mixing Up the Seasons//Blogtember//Stairway to Nowhere//Wide Eyes//I was featured on Modcloth!

Today is a very special day. It is my One Year Blogiversary! One year ago I started this blog with this little post, and here I am today. I'm so happy, this is such a huge accomplishment for me, as I have started a blog before and quit after a few months (maybe even a few weeks). I love blogging and the sweet, supportive community that comes along with it, and I will gladly continue to be part of this awesome group!

So I would love some feedback from my lovely readers, what would you like to see in the next year happen here on Teapots and Belles? Would you like me to add some features or perhaps do something differently? Let me know in the comments below!

I also would just like to thank any and everyone who reads my blog, you guys are the best and whenever I see a comment it makes me smile. Here's to another year and I hope it's just as amazing as this one!

Friday, December 13, 2013

C-C-C-Changes

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Wednesday night I was staring at my blog, staring and staring and staring, and I finally was like "I'm going to do it!" and change my blog design. I've been wanting to change it for a while now, but was worried about changing it too many times (it's been changed three or four times....oops!) but I'm not really a web designer, I've never tried to do anything like this before blogging so there's a big learning curve. I really like it so far, I think you can actually read the text a lot better and it looks cleaner. Let me know what you think of the new design in the comments below!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mixing Up The Seasons

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Dress-Ebay//Cardigan-H&M//Belt-Modcloth (came with a skirt)//Shoes- Famous Footwear

It's currently snowing buckets outside but I wore this floral dress today to remind myself of warmer times! Last week was my last week of class, hooray! My final projects took me a day each to finish but they are done and I'm happy! Just two more semesters to go and I'll by done with school forever (for now). I haven't been all schoolwork and no fun, over the weekend I went to Olive Garden with friends and we had a really good time and a really funny waitress! Last night my knitting group and I went to the library I work at because one of the librarians hosts a knitting club there and it happens to be on the same night and time that we usually have ours. They were having their holiday party so we brought treats and had a yarn swap! I made peppermint brownies, which were super quick and easy. I just used boxed brownie mix and bought some Andes peppermint/chocolate candies and cut them up, mixed some in the batter, and sprinkled some on top. They were really yummy, peppermint is my favorite. I'll eat all of the candy canes off of our tree by myself! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jingle Bell Run 2013!

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Hello! Yesterday I did another 5K, this time it was the Jingle Bell Run which supports the Arthritis Foundation with my friend Theresa! It was so much fun but it was freezing at 21 degrees. They encouraged people to wear Christmas attire and gave us bells to put on our shoes so we would all jingle through the course which was really cute. I did something kind of silly though, I wore those green tennis shoes because they matched my Christmas theme.The problem is they are terrible running shoes and my poor feet were in pain. I definitely should have worn my nice running shoes! Doing the actual race went pretty well, Theresa left me in the dust but she is an avid runner, and I am still working on that skill haha! She finished in about 27 minutes and I finished in 47. After the race there were snacks and free goodies for us, overall a pretty great morning!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cinema at Home #12

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1. Romeo and Juliet (1936)

  This version of Romeo and Juliet is much more traditional than my favorite Baz Luhrmann version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Most everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet so I won't bother rehashing that. The costumes were gorgeous 30s pieces and sets were beautiful as well. The acting was a bit dramatic but it worked for the storyline. Overall I thought it was really great, I had never seen a different movie version of the play, but I have seen it live before which is always fun too.

2. Boardwalk Empire: Season 3

  This show is pretty out of character for what I normally enjoy, but I am addicted. I initially started watching because I knew it was set in the 1920s during prohibition, and that time period has always interested me. The characters are based off of real well known mobsters, like Al Capone, and it deals with mob life and who got to control Atlantic City's monopoly on illegal liquor importing. There is a lot of government corruption, violence, and sex (it's an HBO series) so it's somewhat explicit, but the storyline is great. A lot of my favorite characters die early, but that's mob life. It also goes into dealing with WWI veterans and their suffering, how children were treated, and has plenty of scenes on the boardwalk. I don't want to give actual storyline away in case you want to watch, but I recommend it if you aren't opposed to the warnings I gave about it already.

3. Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

  Does this count as a movie? I'm counting it as one. OH MY GOSH!!!! Spoilers! I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! I loved seeing 10, 11, and the Warrior all together, I loved Bad Wolf, I loved seeing Tom Baker (I had a sneaking suspicion since his scarf was shown from the beginning). The only thing I wish was different was that it was longer. I know it was long, but there were scenes that seemed a bit rushed, like when 10 and 11's Tardis' both just show up when the Warrior was about to push the detonation button. Where did they come from? As far as everyone's complaints that Eccleston didn't show, I don't know why anyone really expected him to. He has never been quiet about how much he hated being on set and dealing with DW anything, so why would he come back. That being said, I really love Eccleston's Doctor, he might be my favorite of the New Who, even though I'll probably get booed and hissed at for it. As for the actual story, I don't know how I feel about Gallifrey not being destroyed anymore. I know this was done so that there would be new storylines, now the Doctor and Clara are going to be on the hunt for wherever they sent the planet, this will bring new characters and so on. But I feel conflicted, as I started watching Doctor Who at the reboot, after Gallifrey was destroyed, so I see it mainly from that perspective. I have watched some of the classics, but not all. So I'm tentatively excited to see where this heads. Sorry that was probably the most incoherent nerd rant ever, but I love Doctor Who. I'm also excited for Peter Capaldi (bring on the boos and hisses there too), but I'm sad to see Matt Smith go. What were your thoughts on this one?

4. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

  I have been on a bit of a Hugh Grant kick so I was happy to re-watch this movie, it's one of my favorites! This movie is based on the Jane Austen novel about a family of girls and their dealings with courtship, marriages, and all the customs of Victorian England. The eldest sister Elinor Dashwood falls in love with Edward Ferrars and her younger sister Marianne does not approve because she feels he isn't "passionate" enough. Marianne falls madly and quickly in love with John Willoughby who sweeps her off her feet, all the while Col. Christopher Brandon is in love with her and comes to her rescue more than once. I won't give the whole story away but if you love Jane Austen and haven't seen this one you should!

5. Pride and Prejudice (2005)


I just love love love this movie! After watching Sense and Sensibility I had to follow up with the other Jane Austen movie I own! This has to be my favorite Jane Austen book and movie. The story is about a family of girls (the Bennets) whose mother is determined to marry her daughters off well and is so excited when a very charming suitor Charles Bingley comes into town. He brings his friend Mr. Darcy who is gruff and very unsociable. But...Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy begin to butt heads and eventually come to enjoy each others company and fall in love. So good.

6. Atonement


This movie is great but so very depressing, hence the title. It is adapted from the Ian McEwan novel. The gist of the story is older sister (Cecilia) and boy (Robbie) are in love. Younger sister (Briony) likes Robbie and is upset that he likes her sister. Briony intercepts a very scandalous note, and then blames a rape of another girl about her age on Robbie when it was really someone else, and he is sent to prison for a number of years, devastating Cecilia. Years later Robbie is in the army (WWII) and Cecilia is a war nurse. Neither has spoken to the family in years, and they haven't really seen each other often. They are never to be fully reunited for reasons I won't give away if you've never seen it/read the book but it's very good if you are okay with the somewhat disturbing parts of the story.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

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 Dress: JCPenney//Sweater: Too Old to Remember//Shoes: Payless

Our tree has been up since last Friday, but Monday afternoon my mom and I finished up decorating the rest of the house, complete with table city scenes, reindeer on the mantle with our stockings, signs in the front yard, and red foil decorating the door. I cannot express how much I love Christmas!

Other than decorations, I have been on a reading and movie watching frenzy since it's chilly out again. I've finished up The Last Tycoon and have started Wuthering Heights and This Side of Paradise. I'm trying to catch up because I'm behind on my Goodreads goal for the year and I'm only three books away.

I've also been a knitting fiend the past few days, I've made about 16 little hair flowers with button centers and a cowl. The sweater I was working on seems to be thrown to the wayside. I think I just am too impatient to work on really long projects so I should stick to smaller things.

Well, I need to go work on a few more final projects for school, it's the last week! Have a wonderful Wednesday!