Nose in a Book Pt. 2


Back in November, I wrote a post about my need to always have a book on hand. My obsession with books leads to scoping out Kindle daily deals, checking out which to-reads are at the library, and scoping out the best prices on used books. This has allowed me to accumulate quite a few books to add to my library…and the best part is…I STILL HAVEN’T READ ANY OF THEM. I looked at the picture of the books in the last post, and I read 0 of those books.
They are still waiting for me, with the addition of the above.

I pride myself in the fact that I often score my books for great prices. The above books were purchased used (both online and at flea markets), on clearance, or at a discount store. While one book (specifically hardcover) can run you close to thirty bucks, I got all of these for around that same price.

And, of course, the Kindle.
After Christmas, I got a couple of Amazon gift cards and went a little crazy buying books at 2-4 dollars a piece.
That changes the number of unread books from 9 to 19.

Last night, I tweeted that there are three things that I’ll never feel guilty about buying.
1. Nail polish
2. Mugs
3. Books

My growing collection of all of these things is proof.


Project Life: Prep Time

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m planning on doing a Project Life scrapbook this year. People do them a variety of ways…a photo a day, constructing pages per week…but I decided to do it every month. I’ve been saving photos in a folder on my computer that I’ll print out at the pharmacy (no printer to do my own, but that’s okay). Once it’s printed, I’ll figure out my layouts per page and write on the journaling cards and embellish parts I feel need a little extra kick.
I’m excited and nervous and ready for the day that I get to put it all together.
In the meantime, I’ve gathered a lot of the equipment I need to get this party started.
I thought I’d show you what I have, since it’s changed since that first post up there.


Instead of the small album I initially bought, I now have a big 12x12 binder for the entire year.
I’m still excited about the small album I purchased, which I plan on using for a more isolated topic.


Once the big binder was purchased, a big photo back was necessary. Design A is pretty common, but since I also take a lot of vertical photos as well as Instagram photos, I purchased these additional pocket pages that will help change up the flow of the album and make room for a variety of pictures.


As previously mentioned, I purchased the Sunshine Edition kit designed by Elsie & Emma. I finally opened it and went through the cards and I’m in LOVE with the designs. I also got these textured cards that were designed for the same kit to add embellishments or smaller photos to. They were super discounted so I couldn’t say no!


Finally, I am gathering a pretty awesome collection of decorative tape and stamps. So excited about these.
The first photo is a rounded corner punch. I love the idea of rounding off some of my pictures so that it flows with the rounded edges of the card. I don’t know if I want to do it to all the pictures or not. Still, I love it!

I can’t wait to share more once I’ve started the actual project!


Recent Reads, 3/40: Actors Anonymous



I have to preface what I’m about to say with the honest statement that I have a love/hate relationship with James Franco. Mostly that I love to hate him. I never had much of an opinion of him until recently. He’s just sooooo weird.
I love Freaks and Geeks, but he’s definitely not my favorite character. I’ve seen the Spider-Man movies, and I forgot he was even in those. He failed epically at hosting the Oscars. He’s in movies with Seth Rogen. He was in a soap opera.
He (famously) went to college. He directs movies. He’s an “artist”. He played Alien in one of my favorite movies (pretty much the only role I like him in), and all the actresses say he didn’t leave character. And now he writes.

A while ago, I saw the “trailer” for this book, Actors Anonymous: A Novel. It is one of the douchiest things I’ve ever seen. Is that how you spell that? It’s true. If you watch that, that’s all stuff from the book. If you think it’s awful…it is.

I was never interested in reading it, especially after that, but the eBook has been on sale for the Kindle for 1.99 for a while. I decided to use the last bit of a gift card for it. So, yay to not spending money on this garbage. But then I found out that I could’ve used the Kindle Lending Library and not paid a cent. Grrrr.

I don’t think this should even be considered a novel. Each chapter tells a different story, if it even tells a story.
Some are just lists of things that actors do or names or whatever bullcrap.
The stories are supposed to intertwine, but there are too many people and too many name changes to actually remember who was from which story.
But my FAVORITE part?
James Franco writes himself it. Both first person and, even better, third person.
That’s right. One of the stories in the “novel” (again, this shouldn’t be a novel, because this story doesn’t get referenced later on, unless I completely missed the link) is about a girl who lost her virginity to James Franco. Yes. James Franco wrote a story about a girl telling a story of losing her virginity to the actor with the “squinty eyed smile”, James Franco. WHO DOES THAT? WHO WRITES THAT WAY? NO. When he talks in the first person about himself, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be fictional when he does, he references movies he’s been in, his NYU classes, his family.
Why not just write a memoir?

Unlike my DNF issue, this book was so absurd that I actually couldn’t stop reading. I hated it.
Surely, the only reason it got published was because he is famous.
The worst thing about James Franco is that he KNOWS people are going to pay attention to him. I guess because he’s an actor. BLAH. I can say, right now, that I largely dislike him. But then he’ll probably do something to make me like him again, temporarily at least.

Here’s a clip of Colbert SERVING HIS ASS.


Project on a Whim: Bunting Flags

Like so many people, I adore bunting flags. They are the quickest way to lighten up and decorate a space.
Sure, you can buy them, but what if you want (or perhaps need, for a party) a particular color scheme or phrase?
I searched for a simple way to make bunting (I don’t know how to sew) and found this tutorial.
After that, I immediately headed to the craft store and got felt…that was the only thing I didn’t have for this project.
At .29 cents a piece, this is not an expensive craft at all. I bought 10 sheets, but I ended up using only 5.

craft1 craft2

I followed Lindsay’s tutorial to the tee. I made a triangle template to use for my felt, made holes with a puncher, and tied everything together with some thin yarn (I figure it’ll work as well as string and I already had it). The only difference is that I decided to add letters to the flags. I thought of a couple of things to put on it but finally settled on “Be Creative” because it’s something I want to do in any capacity every day.

craft3 craft4

The finished product, hanging above my bed.
I’m really pleased with it, and especially happy that I was able to do everything, the flags and the letters, with just 5 pieces of felt. I still have scraps and 5 extra sheets, meaning I can definitely make another one, maybe for Brad’s?

Next time, I’d like to make a spacer flag but hindsight is 20/20 and I still think it’s pretty great.
I predict a lot more bunting flags in my future…



Out of curiosity, I double checked my archive to check when my first ever post was.
January 23, 2009.
That means that this blog, this little space of the internet that I rant and ramble on, is five years old today!

I’ve changed several times over since that very first post. It’s a little embarrassing, but I was also 21 years old, still in college, and I had no idea what blogging could mean. In high school, I had a Xanga (we all did) and a LiveJournal. I have always loved journaling…it was something I used to do every night before bed with my headphones in, writing until my hand cramped. When I saw that I could do it online, I couldn’t say no. After falling in love with Rockstar Diaries (now known as Love, Taza…again, how things change and so often for the better!), I settled on starting a Blogger.
I don’t think I knew what I would do, and certainly it’s just been my little online diary. But it’s one of the few things I’ve stuck with over the years with absolutely no intention of stopping soon.

While I attempt to embark on scrapbooking for the first time this year (which will basically be a fancy-fied photo album and journal), I’m so glad I still have some way to look back on times past and remember things that have totally slipped my mind. I haven’t gone too far back in the archives, but I think I might take a gander today, on it’s anniversary, to cringe and laugh and remember the good times.


To those who read my blog, which has gotten a bit more of a bump from some great friends these days, thank you so much! Even though I do it for fun, I love knowing that you guys read and share your stories and inspiration with me.

Some favorite posts:






Here’s to many more years of documenting the little, great things in life and growing all of the time!


DNF: When Reading Goes Wrong…


One thing I’m fairly proud of is that I always finish books, even the ones I don’t particularly care for. Sometimes a story picks up speed right when you least it expect it. Sometimes the end makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes the book really does suck and you just move on to the next one. For as many projects I’ve obsessed over, started, and not finished, books are not a part of that. Except. Except….

Last year, near the beginning of my book challenge, I wrote this post about trying to read the book The Brief  Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I had borrowed it from Brad’s brother/sister-in-law (I still have it and you will get it back!) because the author, Junot Diaz, had another critically enjoyed book released around that time that sounded intriguing. If you click the link to Oscar Wao, you’ll see that the book won a bunch of awards…including the Pulitzer! How could you go wrong? Well…I did. I just…could..not..finish…this…book. I was confused for most of it and I didn’t care enough about the characters to remember their stories and it went back and forth in time and I had to google often to translate some of it. It was a lot of work for a book I didn’t care much about…so I stopped reading it and looked it up on Wikipedia to see how it ended. It’s not a proud moment of mine. It’s been almost a year and I still think about it.

DNF: Did Not Finish
This is something I started to see frequently while looking for book reviews on Goodreads. I didn’t know what it meant, so I looked it up. Seeing that a lot of people do this, I have less guilt. Still, I hate the idea of giving up.

I’m reminded of this again because, on a whim, I bought the book Breaking Glass when it was a Kindle Daily Deal. It sounded like an interesting read…a YA psychological thriller. Plus it was super cheap. I started reading it almost immediately. But then…well..I didn’t like it. It is poorly written and it’s slow moving. I’ve read and finished 5 books since I purchased it in November. It’s been on my carousel forever. I’ve finally made the decision to give up.
I’m embarrassed but…no. It’s just not happening. (Sidebar: The first review on Goodreads is a 5 star review…from the author. THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK RATED HER OWN BOOK. HOW IS THAT OKAY? )

I can name the books I’ve never finished because this rarely happens. One of the books I truly gave up on was Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. According to my Goodreads, I “read” the book. And yes, I read most of it. But I actually skipped pages and tried to read bits and pieces to finish the story so that I would at least knew how it ended.
It’s not really fair, I know. But I hated it. It was recommended by Entertainment Weekly for people who loved Bridesmaids, so I expected humor and coming-of-age with a little bit of drama. Nah. TOO MUCH.
And now, looking at the reviews, 3.3 isn’t bad, but it’s not that great, either.
I also very quickly gave up on The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones because, again, it was slow-going. I also didn’t like the third person writing…it didn’t jive with me. It also hopped right into all this storyline and action and there was so much to learn and I didn’t care enough. I ended up just watching the movie and found it fairly enjoyable.

I’ll finish this post by saying that DNF isn’t always the end-all, be-all because I have the proof that it isn’t.
Maybe one day I’ll read Breaking Glass. I’ll cross whatever hump is in the way and it’ll be smooth sailing and I’ll actually like it. And that’s because…ready for a shocker?…I almost DNF The Hunger Games!!!!!!

I started to read The Hunger Games the summer of 2011. I had heard good things about it and it was set to be the next big YA novel-based movie phenomenon (and duh, it was). In the summer of 2012, I was an extremely anxious and miserable person. I was having panic attacks and ruining my days by worrying. Reading a violent book about young people killing each other, starving, and nearly dying from dehydration (those who read the book might recall the brown urine Katniss experienced while struggling to find water…yeah, that stuck with me). So I gave up, right before Katniss and Rue teamed up. It was making me upset and it wasn’t worth it for me.

The following year, I was finally on some medication for my anxiety and the movie was set to be released in March. I still had the book so I thought…let’s do this. I started from the beginning and right when I hit the part I stopped at, I realized I missed out on such a great story. Post-Rue, things got SO INTENSE. Ultimately, I ended up loving it and reading Catching Fire  (favorite) and Mockingjay and crying when it was all over.

Sometimes, it’s just not the right time for a story. Maybe you’re not strong enough to handle the emotions. Maybe your mind wants to laugh instead of cry, or vice versa. Maybe you need a thrill instead of a quiet novel.
But I guess, ultimately, you can’t be ashamed of the DNF.
There’s always another book to fill the gaps.


Today, I’m Thankful For…

…getting out of work earlier than scheduled because everything got done ahead of time.

…the free Caramel Latte I got using my Panera Bread card. It was delicious and much needed.


…the fact that I always have to have my cell phone on me because I locked my keys and purse in the running car while brushing off the snow which also means…

…my father, who helped me get into the locked car by having the pin on hand (and having a car that uses a pin). Apparently, last night he found the pin and knew he should have it on hand just in case. That “just in case” happened today, and my cell phone was in my pocket. Disaster averted.


…my new bathing suit from ASOS, which I bought on discount, fits like a glove, and reminds me that my trip to Mexico is less than a month away!


…the internet, for allowing me to catch up on all the shows I don’t always get to watch on air.

…cheap wine because…duh.


…gas money when I desperately needed it, taking a huge load off my back.

…my sister’s homemade halushki…yum!

…New Girl and Mindy Project on tonight! It’s Mindy’s “Winter Finale” and the show is in danger of possibly getting cancelled. If you can, watch it (you won’t regret it, it’s getting better each week!) or sign this petition!


Less Than $10

Here’s the deal. I am very aware and open about the fact that I’m broke.
While I’m currently working part-time, I had to live paycheck to paycheck even when I worked full-time.
I’ve always had to be a penny-pincher (splurges here and there required every once in a while) and it’s taught me a lot about frivolous purchases and buyers’ remorse. It still happens, but I’ve learned a lot in the process.

Today, I wanted to get out of the house. Sure, window shopping is always an option, but sometimes you need a little pick-me-up. I was able to pick up some things just-for-fun and have a little breakfast all for under $10!
Here’s how I did it, as well as some additional tips I find useful for saving money but still enjoying some treats.

Don’t Ignore Those Receipt Surveys!

I’ll be the first to admit I usually toss the receipts once I’ve marked them down (or I paid cash), but I had stashed away a Dunkin’ coupon from the other day and finally decided to go ahead and do the survey. It took about 2 minutes to do and I was able to have a donut and coffee for less than 2 dollars! Sure, donuts aren’t the healthiest breakfast food.
Still, it’s enjoyable on the go every once and a while.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Clearance Section!

When I head into any store, the first place I tend to go is the clearance/sale section. This mostly goes for clothing stores, but every store tends to have a place where prices are so good on hidden gems! I’ll admit that the photo above, from craft store Michaels, is a little frightening. But once I started digging through it, I found some really great items…and they ended up being even cheaper than the clearance price on the sticker!

I bought three sets of clear stamps, something I’ve seen around for a while but never found at a good price.
On the back, it said that you should stick them to a clear block in order to actually the stamp. I figured I would be okay just sticking it to some other object, though a clear block helps you see where it’s going…thus the point of a clear stamp. A little more digging and I found an acrylic block made just for the stamps, and it cost .50! I also grabbed a roll of washi tape because I’m obsessed with it and it is the easiest way to decorate pictures and scrapbooks.
As you can see, the total was $3.46 altogether! SCORE.

Use Your Membership Cards to Their Full Extent!


As you know, I am obsessed with nail polish. I have been avoiding Ulta recently because I haven’t had the money for my usual polish splurges. Luckily enough, I haven’t really enjoyed any of the most recent holiday collections and that helped me stay away! Out of curiosity, I walked in and started scoping random things out. I found this polish, Butterscotch, which I’ve wanted since I saw The Dainty Squid use it multiple times. I also purchased a Nail Art kit from Sally Hansen because I have never had studs, and I’ve wanted them for a while. Though both items weren’t necessarily expensive, I still had to be careful. I remembered the last email I received from Ulta saying that I had 9$ worth of redeemable points to use in store or online. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I asked. They said they aren’t switching over to that program until February, but they were able to use 100 of my points, meaning I only spent .61 cents on what will basically be a full manicure!
Of course, I wouldn’t have gotten such a great deal if I hadn’t asked, but don’t let those points on cards go to waste!
I know a lot of people sign up for membership cards (they are so often free) but then never actually remember to use them when making purchases. They really are beneficial, though. You’ll have access to coupons that non-members don’t. You’ll get points for making purchases you would’ve done anyway. You’ll get secret savings for treats!
Other cards I recommend: Panera Bread (free bakery items, free beverages, and discounts on the Pick 2 meal, which is my favorite), Sheetz and/or Turkey Hill (at least .03 cents off per gallon, but more if you make purchases inside the store, like coffee and food), and my Rite Aid Wellness card (I get all my prescriptions filled there, so I get 10% off every purchase, money for certain purchases that can go towards my next bill, and points that add up to Rewards like free magazine subscriptions or Restaurant.com coupons!)

Free is GOOD!


I cannot stress enough the wonders of the library. To be honest, I neglected it for the longest time. Once I started reading more, I made it a point to go their often. I absolutely love making my own library filled with my favorite books and favorite authors. But usually, I can’t afford it. Enter the LIBRARY! The library is awesome because you pay $0 for the newest and oldest books you want to read. If you need to be put on a wait list, they will contact you as soon as it’s available. I’ve done this several times with buzz books. The only time you have to pay is if you are late returning the book (depending on the newness of the book, you’ll either have 2 or 3 weeks to finish it, and you can renew it for free at the library or even online!) or if you lose your library card.
Of course, the library isn’t just for books. They also have a great selection of movies. Nowadays, we all use Netflix, but how often do you look through the lists knowing you’ve already seen something or don’t want to see it? Redbox is great too, but it sometimes takes a while for new movies to be made available and it can cost a lot if you keep it more than one night. At the library, you can rent movies (old and fairly new) for .50 cents for the entire week! Again, if you need more time you can renew it for free without worrying about fees! That way you can stock up on more than one movie without racking up a bill or feeling guilty if you never get around to watching it that night.
Finally, I am aware that some people would rather just own the book. We have Kindles or Nooks or reading apps on our iPads and need instant gratification. If you have a Kindle like me, you can sign up to receive a daily newsletter about the deals of the day for Kindle books. There are usually 5 books, and they are very often bestsellers or popular books. Sometimes they sell each book in an entire series for a discounted price (though I haven’t read them yet, I bought 4 of the Beautiful Creatures novels for less than $10 through this deal). They also have monthly deals that cost less than 3.99. And when prices drop, you can sign up for BookBub, a daily newsletter that lets you know the latest cheap or free books for your chosen device and your favorite genres.

I hope these little tips from my personal experience help you to treat yourself on the cheap!
At the end of the day, it’s all about utilizing and staying connected to the right resources.

What do you do to save money while still entertaining yourself?


These Things Made Me Happy This Week

As I write this, I’m trying to get myself out of a self-induced funk. I’ve decided to do what everyone should do when they are sad…remember the good things in your life! Here are some of my favorite moments from this past week.

I watched the Golden Globes with my sister.

I love the Oscars…they are my favorite award show. I’ve only just started watching the Golden Globes last year. The best part about watching award shows is watching them with my sister. Wine, snacks, and celebrities!
I’m especially glad I watched the Golden Globes this year because HOLY CRAP what a sh*tshow it was!
I guess that’s what happens when everyone can drink cocktails and champagne while struggling to walk to the stage ton accept their GGs. It was so awful and so good.

I got crafty…twice!

On Tuesday, I worked on several pages of my very first Smash book/scrapbook project ever! You can read about it here.
Yesterday, my friend Paulina and I got together to work on some crafts! Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a new crafty chapter! It seems like it will be. Paulina brought over pony beads that we baked in the oven to make cool sun catchers.
It feels so good to sit down and work on something…the issues seem to disappear.

I sent my first little bunch of snail mail.

A week or so ago, I asked for some of my friends to give me their addresses so that I could start sending snail mail. I know there are things like Facebook (where I asked for the addresses), Twitter, IG, and text messaging…but getting mail is so much fun. Not long after I quit my job, my friend Jenna sent me a congratulatory card. I wasn’t expecting it at all and it made my day. So I’m excited to get the ball rolling on some happy mail that will hopefully brighten up the piles of junk and bills that we all seem to get instead of cards and letters.

Other notable moments:
Double date at La Tolteca with Ed and Jenna, getting a hair cut, and using my DSLR more than I have in weeks!


Recent Reads, 2/40: Fangirl


Late last night, I finished book 2 of 2014. I realize I have this tendency to finish books right before bed and then I can’t sleep because I decompress from the ways things ended and, even if I am content with it, I toss around all the emotions and the fact that I have to say goodbye to the characters and it’s all very tragic and complicated and I don’t sleep.

Book #2 was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (a Christmas present from my sister…books are the BEST gifts, in my opinion). This is her 3rd novel, and I’ve read and enjoyed all 3. This is a good thing.
If you are not sure whether you should introduce Rainbow Rowell into your life, read this interview.
Seriously, she has Spotify playlists for her characters and books. That is just…yes.

Fangirl tells the story of Cath, who is just starting college with her twin sister, Wren. The only problem is, Wren is ready to let loose and insisted on them having separate roommates (in separate dorm halls, nonetheless). Cath just wants things to stay the way they always have been. Her and Wren as tight as always, taking care of their father, and working on fanfiction for their favorite book series, Simon Snow. Of course, things are bound to change.
As Cath tries to navigate collegiate life while dealing with the distance Wren has put between them, a coarse and cool roommate, a boy named Levi who never stops smiling and is always around, a fiction-writing class that becomes too much for her, the need to please thousands of fans who read her fic, Carry On, Simon, and her manic-depressive father. Much of her first semester is a storm of stress that comes with the new situation. Some thrive off of change, but Cath is not one of those people. Still, she eventually allows herself to open up to those around her while staying true to herself and her fandom, and it’s then that she can finally come to terms with the various challenges in her life.

As always, there’s so much more to the story, but I hate spoilers and it’s hard to write a good synopsis.

I really enjoyed this book. Rowell writes these simple yet magical stories about figuring yourself out, young love, real life family issues…I suppose it’s because those moments really are both extraordinary and ordinary at the same time.
She knows how to get deep and then make light of things, and isn’t that what we all do?
Fall apart and then try and pick those pieces back up as best we can?

I also applaud Rowell’s use of third-person narrative. I’m used to reading in a first-person perspective, really getting into the brain and heart of the protagonist. In fact, the third-person of Perfect Fifths bothered me after the journal-esque and super personal first and second person storytelling of the previous books. There was a slight disconnect.
Rainbow Rowell does it right. I never felt like I didn’t get to know the characters. I was aware of Cath’s feelings throughout, because it was still focused on her life. Rowell’s writing is admirable.
Also, when I looked her up on Amazon, I saw she has a 4th book coming out this year.
She’s turning out to be mighty prolific.

If you’d like to check out my review of her novel Eleanor & Park, click here!


Scrapbooking: In-Between and Outside

Last week, I mentioned my enthusiasm about starting a Project Life scrapbook.
It’s all I can think about, and I’ve been lucky to score a bigger binder and a 60 page photo pack (along with the Kraft Edition core kit, for the future I hope) while A.C. Moore stays open for it’s last month. The awesome thing is, a lot of the stuff ended up being “free” compared to online prices, and I think that’s ultimately what pushed me to just do it.
I’ve decided to take it one month at a time. Some people do a photo a day or scrapbook a week at a time.
I’ve been stashing my favorite photos from the month so far in a folder on my computer titled, simply, January that I will batch print at Walgreens and construct at the beginning of February. I’m worried about remembering certain details, things I want to write on the journaling cards, etc….but that’s what the photos are for. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick look to remember the feel of the moment. So I’m not too discouraged. Nervous as heck, but not discouraged.

In the meantime, a huge part of me is dying to get the ball rolling. And sure, I’m doing something by taking pictures. But I’m not constructing anything. Nothing is coming together. That’s when I found Smash book. After work on Saturday, I walked through TJ Maxx. I was looking for some cheap and cute stationary, since I’ve also decided to start corresponding with friends via snail mail. (Like…I’m doing a lot of stuff right now to stay distracted while my life sometimes feels like it’s falling apart…save that for another time.) I happened upon a ton of these cute, pre-designed scrapbooks and fell in love. I bought the Mod Design and grabbed a roll of their washi tape and some page tabs (all of it was under $10, even with the $1 I donated to charity at the end of the transaction, proving why I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls forever). The next day, I was wandering around Michael’s craft store and saw that their Smash products were on clearance! An 80 piece set (tape, a list notebook, different fun phrases and stickers to put in the book, etc.) including another book was $6. So…yeah…I needed it. I was SO EXCITED to actually be able to start doing something crafty and scrapbook-y before I started Project Life.  And yeah…I was scared, too.


Cut to today. After cleaning a great portion of my room last week, I have photos and ticket stubs and all those good things from the past several years all organized. So I grabbed everything I wanted to use, pulled out all the craft supplies I’ve gotten so far, and sat down to start a Smash book. I don’t think I could’ve done it without the help of Lorde…I listened to her album and EP 3 times through while doing it.
It’s nowhere near done, of course. I completed seven pages, but I’m proud of what I’ve done so far.
Doing it gave me a sense of accomplishment that I can’t wait to experience when doing Project Life.
At first, I had a great fear of screwing up pictures and pieces of my life that I’ve held onto for a while. Then I realized that this was way better than hiding them in bins and boxes and allowing them to collect dust.
As I got further in, I started to actually cut some photos (reassuring myself that there are copies on my computer and/or phone as well) and get a bit more creative. It was a really fun experience, and it kept my mind off of all the junk that’s been wanting to get in there because I was surrounded by all of the wonderful things I love.
Here are some photos I took while I worked:

When I cleaned my room, I finally put a gift Brad got me for Christmas in 2012 to use: a craft organizer.
It’s fun to open it up and see all the goodies, and I set up at the kitchen table to spread out and work.
Coffee in the cutest fox mug provided the fuel.


Finally putting ticket stubs to good use. I wrote about the little experiences that went along with the concerts or movies, if I could. Don Jon wasn’t a favorite movie, but it was the first (and only) time I ever went to the movies by myself, so it’s something I will never forget.


Some of the layouts. I made sure to write special memories, my thoughts and feelings, and lists of my favorite things that I’ve shared with these people. The pet page is a particular favorite. None of these dogs are mine, but I get to play with and love them…they deserve such a big space.


I’m excited about the page holders, because it will be fun to open to exactly where I’d like to be when looking back.

Basically, I’m excited I did this. It gave me the boost I needed to realize that, as long as I dedicate myself and follow-through, I can achieve this little goal of mine. It’s overwhelming and satisfying.


Books For Fun

Okay, so most books are fun in my opinion, but I understand that not everyone loves to dive into a huge novel as much as I do. Still, the great thing about books is that it doesn’t start and end with chapters of words. As kids, we read (or are read to) small books with pictures about talking animals and stories that end with lessons about sharing and doing chores. Pictures make books fun. Lists make books fun. The ability to hop around, to open to any page and just read that…it’s all fun! So this is a post about “Just For Fun” books that I recently got for my mom, sister, and I for the holidays. All of these books were purchased at Marshalls for great prices. I’m obsessed with those stores.


Each one of the books above have fun topics that don’t require constant dedication.
If we had a coffee table, they would sit there.
I’ve always loved being able to go over to a family member’s house and grabbing a magazine or book to skim through.
I want that to happen when people come to my home one day.


The first book, Bright Young Things, was the book I purchased for myself.
I thought it would be great since I have an appreciation for the aesthetic of the Roaring 20s.
It’s all about modernizing that look and that passion. There’s even a list of cocktails to make for a themed party, classic songs and slang, and the perfect movies for a 20s movie night!


The second, Let’s Bring Back, is an encyclopedia filled with things past and present that aren’t appreciated as much as they once were or should be. I can’t wait to give this more attention, but things I’ve spotted are tea parties and Bing Crosby, and various words or phrases (such as nail lacquer, seen above, which is just fancy).


I know that cookbooks (even for drinks) are in a whole other category, but The Fashionable Cocktail is a fabulous and fun take on a mixology book. Trying new cocktails is always fun (and I happened to open up to the French 75, which is one of my favorite drinks, served at the 20s party and first enjoyed in Boston by recommendation of my love for gin). I got this for my sister because the drawings are fun and cute, and she also loves to experiment with different cocktails.
Just need to stock that bar!

I’ve been working on a post about why I love to read so much, but I feel like this post covers a topic I didn’t even think to write about. Books don’t just entertain or help you escape, as they do with fiction. They also provide inspiration. They teach you, which might have seemed boring when you had to buy textbooks but is awesome now that you can choose anything you want to learn and find a book that correlates with that. They can be pretty things that decorate the free spaces on your shelves and end tables. And sure, most of these books are available and can be appreciated in             e-format, but they are just so much better when they can be decorative and informative.


Clean Up


As much as I would love to organize my life and keep it that way, I have a terrible time doing it.
The first problem is procrastination, of course. I put it off and I have to dig in the moment the mood strikes, otherwise I will never do it. The second problem is a lack of places to put things. My life is compartmentalized into a bedroom at my parents’ house with a twin bed I’ve had since I was 13. I have to work with a very small space. Even the things I keep at Brad’s, it’s all one room. And since I’m 26, my collection of things has grown a lot.
I think I’m getting better with having places to put things. Today was the first day I’ve felt healthy since last week.
I brewed up a big cup of coffee and set to trashing, organizing, dusting and clearing out my room for a good 8 hours.

One of the best parts about these big clean ups is remembering the little things I have.
I got to look through old pictures and notebooks.
I got inspired to do things just by seeing what I have to work with.

Of course, I had to take pictures.


I am so proud of the progress I’ve made.
And I’m excited that I found those cute note cards…I’ve decided to start sending random mail to friends, happy little things to receive aside from junk and bills. I hope it starts a fun chain of cute mail.
I also found some great pictures of my friends and of Brad and I, from the very beginning of us.
It’s so nice to know that next time I want to go down memory lane, I’ll know where to look.