Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes


I tried another recipe the other day with my friend and this time we made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. I got the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction, she makes the best desserts! I didn't take step by step pictures since I wasn't baking alone, but the recipe is not hard to follow at all. The cupcake part came out really well but I think we did something wrong with the frosting. The frosting is chocolate chip cookie dough batter without the eggs, but when we mixed it up, it really didn't taste that good. I think we added too much flour. Nevertheless, the cookie part was really yummy, and we had a lot of fun baking and making a mess of the kitchen.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Currently #4

Thinking about: Moving. My family and I are moving soon, and I am starting to pack my room. I'm excited and sad at the same time. We've lived in this house since I was 6, so we've been here 16 years. Going through all my old stuff and little mementos I've kept is really fun, you forget how many little things you have and all the little memories that are tucked away in the back of your drawers or in your closet. I am excited about the new house, we aren't moving too far, just the next city over, so it's not like I'm leaving my friends or my normal neighborhood really.

Reading: Finishing up Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella and the From Hell graphic novel.

Listening to: The Violent Femmes. I used to be obsessed with the song "Blister in the Sun" but for some reason I never got any of their cds, and this week I spotted one while I was at work.

Looking Forward to: Catching up with an old work friend later tonight. Since I got a new job in January, I haven't seen some of my old coworkers in a while and I miss them. We're going for sushi, which is pretty fun too :)

Watching: Hulu shows. Lately it's been Dorm Life and 10 Items or Less.

Making Me Happy: At this very moment, sitting here blogging, drinking iced chai, and listening to music.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Sounds #5

So I decided to start sharing music on Saturdays again. This was something I did the first few weeks of blogging and then stopped for some reason, but I love all types of music so I'm bringing it back!
This week I'm sharing Colton Dixon's "Never Gone". I actually heard this song on American Idol sung by Angie Miller. I liked the song so I looked it up and discovered it was a cover from another American Idol contestant, which I didn't know because I hadn't watched last year. I got Colton Dixon's cd, and I have to say I really love it!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Gonna Be a Long Hot Summer!

It's almost May, which means it might actually stay spring for good soon. Our flowers in the front yard are starting to bloom which makes me super happy! Last week it was 80 degrees one day and less than 48 hours later it was snowing (that's Cleveland weather for you). I thought I would share some things I'm looking forward to:

  • Warm Weather
  • Heading to the Beach
  • Wearing Sandals
  • Going to an Indians Game
  • A Trip to Florida in July
  • My Birthday, as well as my Mom's Grandma's, Grandpa's, and Brother's
  • Metroparks
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Fourth of July Fireworks
  • Bonfires
  • Laying in the Grass
What are you looking forward to this summer?
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rainy Days

Today I got off work early and have the house to myself, so I decided to enjoy the rain by reading a new book and drinking some tea.We just got in this new Sophie Kinsella book at work and I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw it. She's the author of the Confessions of a Shopaholic series as well as many other books, which are all really great.

I also tried to take some pictures for this post and geez louise it's hard to take pictures of yourself! I've never used a tripod before and I feel funny posing and ended up just looking a bit silly (and burning myself with tea)! Hopefully I can get better at that so I can share some outfit pictures once in a while.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cinema at Home #4

1. Lord of the Flies (1990)

This was a really random movie to watch. My friend Christina and I were talking about disappearances like Amelia Earhardt and the Bermuda Triangle, and somehow we got on the topic of being lost on a deserted island and it reminded me of the book "Lord of the Flies" that I read in 10th grade. If you have never read it, it's about these schoolboys whose plane crashes and they arrive on a deserted island. The captain is injured, feverish and hallucinating so he is no help. The boys begin by trying to create their own civilized society, but eventually some of the boys break off into a more savage group and a few deaths occur. I remember the book being really disturbing as one of the sweeter characters dies in the end, but it was a story that explained human nature and our choices in a state of crisis. The movie pretty much followed the book from what I remember, and we watched the whole thing on YouTube.

2. Send Me No Flowers

This cute movie stars Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Hudson is a super hypochondriac who is constantly worried about his cholesterol and catching diseases and going to the doctor.  He goes to the doctor, who tells him he is just fine (as he had only been there just two weeks earlier!), but he overhears the doctor on the phone with  another doctor talking about a man who only had two weeks to live and that they weren't going to tell him. Hudson immediately panicked and told his best friend he was going to die, and he and his friend begin a search for his wife (Day) to have a second husband after he passes. Hudson even buys a cemetery plot for all three of them! It was a really funny movie.

3. Tickle Me

Here's another Elvis movie! Elvis is a rodeo star who needs work in between rodeo season, and he is scouted by the owner of a polishing school kind of ranch. This ranch put girls on a strict diet and taught them how to be more feminine (this is not something that would be acceptable today, by the way). Elvis becomes a farm hand, as well as the entertainment and sings for the girls and staff. There is another staff person named Pam who has a letter from her grandfather telling her that he has hidden gold somewhere in the ghost town near the ranch. A gang of men are after her and the letter, so she, Elvis, and another staff hand end up going on an adventure to find the gold. I honestly haven't figured out why the movie was called "Tickle Me", but other than that it was really good.

4. Harum Sacrum

Elvis graced my screen again, but I have to say this is probably my least favorite Elvis movie. I have tried to watch it a couple of times, and I was determined to finish it this time. The plot is that Elvis is an American actor in a movie set in a Middle Eastern country and he and the movie producers go over to the unidentified country to view it with the ambassador and the court. Elvis is supposed to journey to visit the King and is kidnapped by this group that wants to force him into killing the King. Along the way Elvis meets the King's daughter and falls in love with her. I'm glad I finished it finally, but I just don't think it'll be one I watch a lot from now on.

5. Silver Linings Playbook

I finally saw this movie, I wanted to see it around Oscar time but better late than never! I'll be honest and say I wasn't really a Bradley Cooper fan before this movie, because the only thing I had seen him in was The Hangover, and I didn't like that one at all! I was pleasantly surprised to him in such an interesting role. Jennifer Lawrence has the best facial expressions, she wins at that, her acting was great as well. They both played the roles of people with mental illness really well, and I liked that everyone around them was a little off in their own way. Robert De Niro's football rituals were hilarious. If you haven't seen this yet, please do!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Currently #3

Thinking about: My first semester of grad school being done two Sundays from now!

Reading: The graphic novel From Hell which I believe the movie with Johnny Depp was based on.

Listening to: Music-wise, the same as last week, but I have been catching up on the Nerdist podcast this past week.

Looking Forward to: Two of my friends are graduating in May, I can't wait to go and cheer for them.

Watching: I have been on a Locked Up: Abroad kick. I've seen episodes here and there on tv, but I just discovered Hulu has a few seasons.

Making Me Happy: Earlier I went to breakfast with my mom and grandma at this cute little place called Scrambler Marie's. It was really nice that we all had the day off and could get together.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Fitness Update

Or lack there of, I should say. I just wanted to write about this because I haven't done an update like this in a few weeks, not because I've fallen off the wagon, but because I just haven't been able to do anything because of my foot for two weeks.

I was surprised that during that time I actually wanted to work out and was bummed that I couldn't, that shocked me. Normally when I get on an exercise kick I get excited about it for maybe two weeks and then I start cutting down how many times I do it and then eventually I just stop for months on end.

Yesterday I went for a walk for the first time and it was great, and I also got a new workout video, still Jillian Michaels, but this one is called Shed and Shred. I fear Jillian but I feel like it's such a good workout too. I like doing the videos because I'm too self concious to work out in a gym, I feel like I look weird while working out, but I'm getting over that a little by going to yoga classes.

Hopefully next update I can say I'm back into a routine. How do you stay motivated to work out?

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Matt Costa

I went to see Matt Costa for the second time with my friend, and it was pretty awesome. He is one of my favorite people to see live. Since there weren't that many people there  I actually got to be right up front and I took a few pictures while he was playing.

It always surprises me how tall he is! He likes to come out into the crowd and see everyone, he even danced on one of the tables all the way in the back during Miss Magnolia!

If you've never heard any of his songs, here's a little playlist I've put together:

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Squire's Castle

One of my favorite things to do when it's warm is to go to the metroparks. I don't go very often but there is something nice about just wandering through the woods. I have so many memories of getting lost with friends by going off trail. My most visited spot in the metroparks near me is called Squire's Castle. A few days ago  when I was still wearing my boot from hurting my foot, I decided to head out and read a magazine and enjoy the fresh air.

Squire's castle has a really interesting history behind it. It was being built to be a gatekeeper's home behind Feargus B Squire's home which was never even began. Squire was one of the founders of Standard Oil Company. This project was never completed and was sold to the Cleveland Metroparks in 1925. The castle is actual just a shell, when you walk through you can see that there was supposed to be a second floor but it was never put in, and my favorite room is the round one on the right side of the picture. There is a huge fireplace inside.

Squire's castle is also supposed to be haunted by Squire's wife Rebecca, who it is said tripped and broke her neck in the castle. This has been proven wrong because I found while I was reading about this that she passed away in another city, after the property had been sold. I remember in high school my friends and I would sometimes sneak out here to see if we could find Rebecca, and we would quickly be caught by park rangers and sent home! Even though it has this haunted history, it's a place where a lot of people come to walk the trails behind it, and take pictures (I took my prom pictures here) and have barbeques and parties.

Do you have any metroparks or haunted places near where you live?

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Currently #2

Thinking about: Those poor people in Boston, my prayers go out to the victims and their families. There are so many reports and updates, I just can't stop watching and feeling so sad for them. There are a lot of reports of many people having amputated limbs, which means that these people have lost their limbs and also the ability to do something they loved, and that is run. I am truly so sorry if you have any friends or relatives in Boston today.

Reading: Still reading the Rick Geary graphic novels, I just finished one called "The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti".

Listening to: A lot of Avett Brothers. I just got their cds "Emotionalism" and "The Carpenter" so they've been pretty much non stop. I also got an Akron/Family cd, which is pretty awesome too.

Looking Forward to: School being done and summer being around the corner! My friend and I have already planned to go a baseball game next month.

Watching: Season 3 of Star Trek: TOS and The Real World. I have watched The Real World for a long time, I know it's kind of mindless but I can't get enough!

Making Me Happy: The sunshine! It's in the 70s today and I took advantage of it by perusing thrift shops and drinking iced coffee :)

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

I tried my hand at cooking again! This time I tried a recipe from Taste of Home's website which you can find here.

Here's what you need: cheese, sour cream, bacon, red potatoes, and chives. 

First, you have to fry/cook the bacon. This was an event in itself, because I'm afraid to cook bacon, but I survived!

Next, you're supposed to bake the potatoes the first time. I cheated a little and microwaved them, but it came out just fine.

Then you cut up the potatoes into little pieces, and start layering. Layer the potatoes, salt and pepper, bacon, the cheeses, the sour cream, and then repeat. I forgot to take pictures in the middle of this process but this is what it looked like before cooking.

Finally, after baking, this is the finished result:

This went over really well with my family, there was just a little corner left! I'm definitely going to have to make this again.

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easter Shopping

This is a bit late but these are just some things I got when I went shopping for something to wear for Easter with my mom. The dresses are from New York & Company and the shoes are from Target. I love Target so much, it's my favorite place to shop for everything! I always go in for just one thing and end up with an armful of stuff (I never take a cart, that's way too dangerous!)

What are some of your favorite places to shop?

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cinema at Home #3

1. Anna Karenina
This was a beautiful movie. I loved the costumes, the actors, and the whole story. Keira Knightly is beautiful in everything she does, and I found it amusing that Jude Law's character seemed so weak by allowing his wife to continue seeing her lover and still be married to her, it's just a completely opposite personality from anything else I've seen him in. I have not read the book, so I don't know exactly how close the movie stayed to the actual story, but I thought everything was amazing. Now I just need to read the book!

 2. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
This movie was so good, I've been waiting to see this one for a while. The story is about the few weeks before the world is guaranteed to end by an asteroid hitting. Steve Carrell and Keira Knightly, who are neighbor, end up going on a roadtrip to say their last unsaid things to important people they love, and they end up forming a relationship one could only find in the time leading up to the apocalypse.

3. Magic Mike
Haha okay so this one is embarrassing that I even watched it, but I did. I love Matthew McConaughey, I'm sorry. This was exactly what I thought it was going to be. Lots of male strippers, unexpected amounts of drugs, and a very unexpected sort of love story...there's not really much else to say about this one.

 4. Hysteria
This movie was interesting to say the least. I picked it up because it had Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Hugh Dancy's character was a doctor in Victorian England, just around the time when science was discovering new medical things such as germs, and Dancy's character had a tough time trying to convince older doctors of this, resulting in him being fired over and over again. He then meets Gyllenhaal's father, who runs a practice curing women of  "hysteria". Dancy's character and his friend invent the "electric massager", which aids with "hysteria". Dancy and Gyllenhaal's characters clash through majority of the movie, as Gyllenhaal is running a women's shelter and gives all sorts of equal rights speeches, which was looked down upon by the men of the time. I recommend this movie for an older audience as it is a bit inappropriate for younger viewers, but a good movie nonetheless.

5. Safety Not Guaranteed
I picked this movie up because I was checking it in at the library and noticed that Nick from The New Girl was in it! I had no idea what it was about and I was definitely pleasantly surprised. The story was that this really awkward girl worked as an intern at a magazine, she and another intern were chosen to help Jeff (Jake Johnson) on a story about a man who put out an ad in the classified section to find a time travel companion. The entire movie you have to decide for yourself whether the man is crazy or telling the truth about traveling through time.

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Monday, April 8, 2013


Thinking about: Actually getting my first tattoo. I have been wanting to get this tattoo for years, I just was too chicken/too broke to actually do it. I have saved up and am confident that I won't be afraid I will change my mind, because it has been the same concept for so long already. I want two lilies, black and grey, on my left shoulder. I've found a place and an artist I really like, and so I'm hoping to make an appointment sometime this month!

Reading: I am actually reading a slew of graphic novels by Rick Geary, all relating to Victorian murder cases. I don't normally read graphic novels, but I read his Treasury of Victorian Murders Compendium Vol. 1, which had stories about Jack the Ripper and H. H. Holmes, and so I picked up a few of his other books. The one I'm reading now is about the Borden murder.

Listening to: Local Natives and Hunter Hayes are the two cds I keep rotating in the car, but in the house I've been listening to a lot of Colton Dixon  and The Avett Brothers this week.

Looking forward to: Not having to wear this orthopedic boot anymore! Last Monday I ran into my bathroom door, and hit my foot so hard I actually went to the hospital to make sure it wasn't broken. Luckily it's not, just really terribly bruised, and so I got this amazing boot to wear for about two weeks.

Watching: Mad Men premiered yesterday so I recorded it and am watching today. I'm of course watching plenty of movies still, and I just got the first three seasons of Criminal Minds so I'll be starting those too.

Making me happy: This spring weather! It's finally hit the 60s here in Cleveland, and I'm going to enjoy it. However, the weather forecast is showing flurries for Friday, so this may be short lived.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Liebster Awards!

So I have something very exciting to share! Aimee of Miss Owl B has nominated me for a Liebster Award! This award recognizes new, small blogs and helps yours and others blogs to get more promotion and recognition. This was such a sweet thing of her to do, I'm so excited she chose me as one of her nominees, go over to her blog and check out her other nominees as well!

Here are the rules for the nominees:
1. Post 11 things about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions created by the person who nominated you
3. Create 11 questions of your own to ask the bloggers you decide to nominate
4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on your blog post
5. Bloggers must be notified of their award!
6. No tag backs!

11 things about myself:

1. I love watching really sappy romantic movies that everyone on the internet seems to hate. Give me a Nicholas Sparks movie any day! Also 500 Days of Summer makes me cry every time.
2. I love shoes, I actually couldn't walk in heels for majority of my life, and about two years ago I forced myself to learn because I always loved how much cuter heels were than flats.
3. I love board games, especially monopoly. Monopoly games are intense in my house.
4. My favorite Harry Potter book is "The Order of the Phoenix".
5. I cannot cook at all, but I love to bake!
6. I love old crime stories like Jack the Ripper or the Borden murders, but I can't stand the sight of blood and am terrified of horror movies.
7. I have a garden gnome collection.
8. My favorite color is any shade of purple, but I despise pink.
9. I'm 5' 3" but I wear I size 10 shoe, I'm sure was supposed to be taller, haha.
10. My favorite Disney princess is Belle, and I think I secretly still want to be her! Super jealous of her library, I just need to find a Beast!
11. My favorite flowers are lilies.

11 questions from Aimee:
1. If you could be at any major moment in history, what moment would it be and why?
This is such a good question, and such a hard one! I guess if I had to choose one moment, it would have to be sometime during the Tudor dynasty with King Henry the VIII, when he divorced Catherine to marry Anne. The Tudor era is so interesting to me, and that moment changed so much with religion and politics.
2. What is the one item (not a person) that you could not live without? 
 My glasses! I'm practically blind without them, I would definitely be bumping into everything!
3. Do you have anything that you keep just for memories sake?
 Oh gosh, tons of things, I keep old notes from middle school and high school, movie and concert tickets, and pamphlets from musicals or art shows or graduations. I love holding on to very sentimental things that remind me of special memories.
4. Where would you go if you could go to just one place for the rest of your life?
 I would go to England, I would want to live in a little cottage out in the hillside and work in a beautiful, old, ornate library.
5. What was the first concert you went to? 
 The first concert I ever went to was Britney Spears. It was the "I'm a Slave 4 U" tour, and I pretty much just sat quietly in amazement the whole time. I even still have the black and sepia colored tshirt of her with the snake around her neck! 
6. What is your favorite fast food? 
 My favorite fast food has to be Jimmy Johns lately. It's a sub sandwich shop that has all sorts of cute signs and I'm addicted to their Turkey Tom sandwich.
7. If money wasn't an option, what would you want to learn to do?
I would love to learn how to fly an airplane! Not a commercial huge one, just a small plane. I worked at an Air and Space museum and it was attached to the airport and there was also a flight school and I would always see all of the flight students milling about.
8. What TV show is your favorite? What shows are you watching currently?
I have a lot of favorites but I think  if I have to choose I pick Doctor Who (as you can see in my previous post). Lately I've been watching Star Trek: The Original Series, The Real World, Big Bang Theory, General Hospital (I'm secretly a little old lady at heart), and plenty more!
9. Do you have a favorite letter of the alphabet? Why?
 I've actually never thought about it before, but maybe "A" since it's 50% of my first name :)
10. Do you know any other language? Can you keep a conversation? 
 I took 4 years of Spanish between middle and high school. I cannot hold a conversation much further than Hi how are you, what's your name?, but I can read a bit and get the gist of what is going on. Definitely not fluent.
11. What is your ideal first date?
 My ideal first date would be coffee at a place that was having an open mic or a local band playing, and then maybe going for a walk. I like pretty simple things, give me coffee, music, warm weather, and maybe froyo and I'm a happy girl :)

Questions for My Nominees:

1. What is your favorite movie? Why?
2. If you could be any person for a day at any point in history, who would you be?
3. What is your favorite book/s?
4. Are you really outgoing or really reserved?
5. Favorite childhood memory?
6. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
7. Do you have any secret talents?
8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
9. Do you ever wish you could live in a different time period? If so, when?
10. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
11. Why did you start your blog?

 My 11 Nominees!

1. Nina Saiful of Lemon Kitty
2. Shayla of Shayla Lilian
3. Celyn of Curly Purplepig
4. Rebekah of Finding Inspiration
5. Marilyn and Kaleb of Brewed Together
6. Veronica of Veronica Vintage
7. Catie of Lady a la Mode
9. Katelyn and Laura of Relatively Offbeat
10. Kristina of Eccentric Owl
11. Kylie of Midnight and Dawn

Make sure to check out all of my nominees blogs and I want to thank Aimee again for nominating me!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Doctor Who?


Doctor Who began again this past Saturday with a new episode "The Bells of Saint John", and I couldn't be more excited! If you've never seen Doctor Who I definitely recommend watching, here's a few things you should know:

  • The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey who travels through space and time, and saves Earth and human kind more times than one can count.
  • The Doctor has two hearts, questionable fashion choices, and is a bit kooky overall.
  • He generally travels with a human companion who always teaches him a lesson and assists in all of his adventures.
  • The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) is his spaceship. It is in the shape of a blue 1960s Police Box.
  • The Daleks are his worst enemy, and the Weeping Angels are the most terrifying (in my opinion).
  • The Doctor can regenerate, so when his body dies, he comes back with a new body and personality, but still has the same memories and same intent. This can happen 13 times, and currently the Doctor is on his 11th regeneration.
  • Bow  ties are cool 
Does anyone else watch Doctor Who? It's one of my favorite tv shows!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Press Wine Bar

My friend and I tried out a new place called Press Wine Bar. It was really nice, they have these fried risotto cheese balls that are sooo yummy! I quickly took some pictures before I left, and I actually just bought a tripod so maybe I can take better outfit pictures, I'll definitely have to play around with it.
Have you tried any new restaurants lately?


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 Things

So I saw this post on Chelsea of Tea Talk's blog and I thought it was really cute so I decided to share my 5 things.

1. I am addicted to Coffee. I have a Keurig, with which I will make a cup in the morning, and then probably sometime in the afternoon I'll grab a coffee or Chai from Starbucks (I'm actually a Gold card holder!) or Phoenix Coffee. I also really love tea as well, when I work a full day I will make a cup when I get there, have another at lunch, and then make a cup for the final hour. I get so excited when seasonal specialty drinks come around, Pumpkin Spice lattes are my absolute favorite. I just really love hot beverages :)

2. I have a (probably unhealthy) obsession with my hair. When I was very young until middle school, my hair was very very long, and then I hit high school when I decided to cut and color my hair all varying shades (browns, blacks, reds, once blond highlights). All of these things ended up damaging my hair horribly and I ended up with very short red hair, a little above my chin, that was crumbling off by the minute. Two years ago I stopped dying my hair, and became obsessed with  conditioners, keeping my hair up almost always, not using heat too often, and I constantly am googling new ways to keep my hair healthy.

3. When I was a kid I wanted to be either a teacher, a writer, or a zookeeper, specifically working with penguins, when I grew up. I used to write a lot of short stories, I loved the movie Titanic so a lot of my stories revolved around ships and love stories, but they usually also involved pirates. It's fun to go back and read some of them now.

4. I love to knit, but my passion for it comes and goes. Some months I'll be really inspired and make so many things or tackle a big project, and then I'll let six months pass without picking up a needle or yarn once. Right now I'm in a knitting frenzy phrase, I'm currently working on a a new throw for my bed.

5. I have always been really neat and organized about certain things, but look like a complete slob at the same time. For example, my room can look like a tornado hit it, but my books, cds, and dvds have to be alphabetized, I have a bunch of storage containers which are all really neatly labeled, and my iTunes is organized  in a strange way to others, but it makes perfect sense to me. Is anyone else like this?

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Monday, April 1, 2013


This past Wednesday I finally went to my first yoga class in the newly renovated yoga studio. The class I went to was called Mid-Week Yoga, which was a Hatha Yoga class. I was surprised that there were only five people total. I liked that it was a small class, I was kind of nervous going into it. Everyone was really nice, and our instructor Maureen was the sweetest. The class went really slowly and it focused a lot of restorative breathing and focusing on your body. I was afraid I was going to walk into a really complicated class by accident! There was also another instructor from the studio taking the class, her name is Heidi and she was telling me about some of the other classes she teaches, her Slow Burn class seemed interesting so I might go to that one next week. I'm really glad I finally decided to go to an actual class instead of just following the dvds in my basement!