Bonus Post: England

I’ll admit that the Royal Wedding was the last thing on my mind over the past couple months (or however long they were planning). However, I was a little curious about how everything would turn out! To top it off, I like seeing people in love and I like weddings and dresses and ceremonies and rituals and special moments. From what I saw, everything was lovely. But mostly, it made me miss my time in London.

I know, I was only there for two months. Not that long. But man, I miss it. I want to go back. It was so great.


Windsor Castle, Big Ben and Parliament, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey.

Oh, how I long to travel the world.

Another Friday

It’s Friday, guys. This week crawled along at a snail-like pace. And unfortunately, for me, it’s not over yet! I still have to survive a Saturday shift. Okay, so it’s only 4 hours and I’ll get overtime pay but STILL. I’d rather be sleeping in and waking up at my leisure and doin’ my own thang. Gotsta pay the bills, though, ya know? Regardless, I still get a nice day and a half of freedom and relaxation.
When done right, it can feel like I never lost those few hours!

As always, here’s a tune to start your weekend off right. This song came on Pandora while I was at the gym this week. It was a pleasant blast from the past, a song I haven’t heard in a while, and I promise it’ll be hard for you to sit still whilst listening!


Vacation, all I ever wanted.


A tiny heat wave hit NEPA this week, and I found myself daydreaming about summer and my upcoming vacation in July. Granted, I have a bit more than two months of waiting until my paid vacation arrives (5 days paid, 9 days total including weekends…super important!), but the fact that it is coming is comforting. Brad and I scheduled the same week off, and we decided to go half-and-half. We’ll spend the first few days of our freedom in Ocean City, Maryland and the rest will be total stay-cation time. We already have a little spot picked out and dates set…it’s very exciting! I haven’t been to OCMD since 2005, the summer after I graduated high school. I stayed in a little condo with a bunch of boys (none of my girl friends wanted to go, and my boyfriend of the time was part of the trip). I’m excited to go back and experience it again. I grew up with summer vacation at the Jersey Shore (Wildwood Crest to be exact) and OCMD was a huge step up for me. I’ll always have a spot in my heart for those family vacations (and wouldn’t mind going back, especially to Cape May!), but it’ll be nice to get away with the boy for a bit.


I’m so excited to lounge on the beach with a good book, relaxing to the sound of the waves crashing. To roam the boardwalk for pizza and fries and rides and tacky shirt stores. To feel the salty summer air. To forget about everything.


Burger Frenzy


A little more than a year ago, I spent a little weekend in Philly with my sister. I’m sad to say that that was the last overnight trip I took to Philly. Maria is graduating from college in less than 2 months…and I’m not sure I’ll get to have another great experience like this. Granted, I have plenty of reasons to head to Philadelphia, and I plan on using any of them to visit as much as possible.

Anyway, the main point of this post is that I cannot stop craving burgers! And, unfortunately, not just any burger will do. It’s tough to find great burgers. The sandwich itself has become an easily accessible food item. Drive to any fast food joint and you can purchase one by shelling out the change you find in the caverns of your car seat. Mostly they just come off as boring. But if you find a great place to eat one, the burger can become an exciting and new experience with so many options to choose from. Enter Bobby’s Burger Palace, a place I’ve only been to once but still dream about often.

Bobby’s Burger Palace is like a more evolved fast food joint. Order at the register, take your number, pick a seat, and someone brings you your food. There is a great selection of delicious burgers for a great price. To top it off, you can add potato chips (“crunchify”) to every burger…and I highly recommend you do.

The icing on the cake for me, though, is the sweet potato fries. I’m sort of picky about my fries…another food item that has been downgraded to become cheap, easy, and similar to cardboard. I need kick, flavor, good texture. Sweet potato fries are mellow in flavor, but I have yet to taste one I didn’t like. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can easily find in my area.

I don’t know when I’ll get to go to Bobby’s Burger Palace again, but I really plan on it being at some point this year.
And I need to get to Philadelphia more often…and frequently.


Saturday Hipstamatic

On Saturday, Brad’s parents took us to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, a trip that proved to be successful. Aside from picking up a trench coat from The Gap (so excited), we got to take a beautiful scenic route and see a lot of lovely little areas. We also stopped at a garden shop,
and I’m lucky enough to have my little iPhone and the Hipstamatic app to capture things when lugging around
my DSLR is an uncomfortable non-option.




Can’t stress enough how much I will always love this app. It surprises me every time.




I know I’m almost 24, but it’s still nice to wake up to a little bunny basket filled with the best candies on Easter morning. Add delicious ham and asparagus dinner and my family into the mix, and you have an excellent Easter Sunday (and just an excellent day in general).
Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Mine went too fast! Time is actually going too fast…next week is MAY! How did that happen?



Wishing you all a happy weekend! And Happy Easter, if you celebrate!


United States of Tara


I am so glad I decided to give United States of Tara another try. I tried to watch it last year but sometimes, you’re just not in the right place. It’s pretty much everything I like and want in a show: funny, touching, intense, dramatic, all with a bit of mystery. I am floored by Toni Collette’s amazing acting which she won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for (it’s so well-deserved). Every actor is fantastic, the relationships are wonderful. It’s great to see a character who has a serious mental issue (Dissociative Identity Disorder – the picture above showcases her alternate personalities) that interferes with her family and her life, but who has an excellent support system.
I’m only on the first season, but I can’t wait to see more (there’s only 2 out on a DVD right now).

unitedstatesoftara2unitedstatesoftara3UNITED STATES OF TARA

If you’re contemplating watching this show and need a little push, I highly recommend it!


When the going gets tough…

It’s been a rough week so far. Goodbyes, grumpiness, aches and pains, bad news, rainy days (all day EVERYDAY). What better to do during the downtrodden times than to make a happy list? So, without further ado, the things that are making me happy despite everything else…:

  • United States of Tara on DVD.
  • Tribe hummus (I stick with the original flavor) with multigrain Tostitos
  • My copy of Bossypants by Tina Fey waiting to be read
  • Throwing on sweatpants and laying in bed after work
  • Homemade peanut butter eggs (courtesy of a co-worker)
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats straight out the box
  • Radiohead’s The King of Limbs and Casiokids’ Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar
  • Going through old photos and blog posts and remembering fun times


Above is a random picture from last September, and reminds me of warm evenings, fair food, and fun double dates with Brad, Maria, and Josh.



My last car ride and sing-along with Ed for a while. La Tolteca. Burritos. Margaritas. Drinks at a new Irish pub. Sleeping in. Home-cooked brunch. Staying indoors ‘til 7PM. Last-minute hibachi dinner. Scream 4. Planet Fitness. Grocery shopping. Cuddling.




It was a relaxing weekend, which is just what the doctor ordered. I had full intentions of spending most of Saturday in pajamas and it was the perfect day for it. It rained (very badly) for the majority of it. When we finally did get out for dinner, there were tree branches on the roads and many traffic lights were out. I was thankful to be safe indoors for all the craziness.



I never thought this day would come. I mean, I knew it would…but it seemed so far away. So distant. So unbelievable. One of the most important people in my life, for so very many reasons, is leaving NEPA for Texas (Air Force/Boot Camp/School) today. It is, for me, the end of an era. I know we will stay in touch, and I’m separated from the majority of my best friends, but he has been a constant in my life since 2004 (I’ve known him since 2002). And, even though two of my closest friends live in NY and NJ, they are no more than a 3 1/2 hour drive away. Regardless, it’ll be sad not to have him around for our TV nights and La Tolteca trips, Hickory Run lake days or photo adventures.


I have too many pictures. I can’t narrow it down.
I just wish him all the best, hope for his happiness and safety.

It’s not “Goodbye.” It’s just a “See ya later.”


It’s Friday! (Damn you, Rebecca Black)

I don’t know about you, but expressing  joy about the arrival of Friday was ruined a little by this stupid song. Catchy? Sure. But very similar to torture. I can’t get excited about the weekend without feeling like I’m quoting the lyrics! Anyway, Friday is here! (I worked last Saturday, which means I have the next two off and I’m very thankful indeed for a full two day weekend) This Friday in particular is bittersweet…I’ll be heading to my favorite Mexican restaurant with my dear friends for margaritas and burritos and all-you-can-eat chips and salsa, but it’s one last hurrah before one of my best friends departs for Texas on Monday (I’m sad, to say the least). More on that later…

The rest of the weekend has yet to really unfold. All I can hope for is some nice weather, relaxation, and good food and drinks.

I send you off to have a lovely weekend with this fantastic song by The Cure! It’s one of my dad’s favorites and became a Spring anthem for me back in high school (and eventually one of the reasons I became a huge Cure fan).
The Cure are largely known for their gothic and melancholy music in the 80s. And that stuff is fantastic.
But when Robert Smith gets happy…he really gets happy. Love them.

Enjoy yourselves!!!


Joan Jett


I just watched The Runaways again. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the greatest, but I still pretty much love it. The music, the clothes, the overall BADASS-ness…oh how I long to be so tough and cool and rebellious. I don’t know why I waited a year since I originally saw it, but I finally got Joan Jett’s greatest hits. Brings out the tough girl in me (haha). Here are a couple of favorites.


My Hair and Me

Any frequent (2) readers out there may have noticed I am usually having issues with my hair. I’ve done quite a few posts about it overtime, mostly about my indecisiveness towards growing it out versus cutting it (here’s a good example). I guess I kept thinking I either had to keep growing it super long or cut it all right off. I didn’t think about doing anything  in between. But it hit me suddenly. Last Spring and Summer held some of the greatest times of my life, and not just because I was spending it by the pool and around friends and falling in love again. I had the perfect hair for my low-maintenance and length needs. I didn’t have to stress about it 24/7.


I think once I get past a certain point, I just can’t handle the ‘do anymore. I’m at that point. Granted, I haven’t had a haircut or trim or anything since before Christmas. But it’s just falling flat. The bangs I once had just don’t do it for me anymore. There’s no shape…no punch or POW. I’ve always been one for layers, something to mess with. And I remembered my hair around this time until the end of summer and it hit me: I should go back to that look.

It may seem like nothing special…and it’s not. Just a lot of layers (mostly because I was still in the process of awkwardly growing out some old pixie layers) and bangs that would eventually be long enough to bobby pin and twist off to the side, something I’m really hoping to do soon enough. I enjoyed having longer bangs. There’s a lot more versatility, and many ways to make them look shorter than they are.


I know, you’re like WHY DID I HAVE TO LOOK AT HER FACE SO MANY TIMES? But there’s a common thread here…I’M SMILING! Ok, maybe not so much in the top picture, but I love my hair in these photos. It’s silly, I know, but I’m so glad it hit me. I’m a little nervous about cutting it and shedding a few inches, especially since the looks above only really came from a couple of shape-up trims that were already at the length. I don’t know if it can be matched. But this is what works for me. It’s long enough that I feel feminine and I can style it in many ways. But it’s short enough that it doesn’t have to be under the hair dryer or in the irons for very long, saving my hair the dreaded fried and dry look. Also, because my hair can get thin, having a bit of a shorter length plumps it up. It’s the perfect solution, especially with humidity and heat just around the corner. Not sure when I’m going to schedule the appointment, but I’m glad I’ve finally decided what to do. I may not be able to do milkmaid braids or complicated up-dos afterwards (like I’m even doing them now…), but I know that I will feel like me.

And that’s the most important thing.


April Showers…



Things are finally starting to bloom around here. It’s going to take some time, and Lord knows the weather will still be fickle, but my camera and I are both very excited for all of the happy changes to come. We are both so sick of bare branches and gray skies.


Outfit Post: Closet Classic

Now that the weather is warming up (slowly but surely), I am able to say “howdy-do” to some of my favorite articles of clothing.
Since I bought this dress/romper/whatever-it-is from Salvation Army in 2009, it has been a front runner in my wardrobe.
I dread the day I will not fit in this piece of clothing. It is perfection.


I bought this at a time when rompers were just starting to come out into the mainstream, and it was difficult to find them in the stores. Rompers, along with dresses, are a favorite of mine for spring and summer. Why wouldn’t they be?
Lightweight, easy and breezy. One piece makes the whole outfit.


I have a true affinity for polka dots…you should see my bathing suits! It’s a classic print, a retro throwback, that is still very relevant today. The shape of this piece, along with the navy color and white dots, reminds me of The Notebook for some reason. Or perhaps just that time period. I have worn it with and without tights and I adore it with both. But since it’s still chilly, I had to opt for another favorite of mine, my American Apparel shiny stirrup tights. I’ve had these tights since 2009, and they have held up well over many wears and washings.


Top it off with a vest (I have no idea where I got it from, it’s quite old) and some lace-up boot from Forever 21, and you have one of my favorite go-to outfits. As long as my dress/romper is the main piece, it’s a no-brainer.

Thrifted romper/Button-down vest/AA stirrup tights/Forever 21 booties