September 29, 2017

Five on Friday | Birthday Wish List

It's almost October, which means it's almost my birthday! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to celebrate birthdays, regardless of age. Of course I'm always happy to spend time with my family, eat a slice of cake (or two), and spend time relaxing. However, I'm always open to gifts ;)

I always have a running list of items I want to add to my closet / makeup bag / purse, but sometimes I find it hard to splurge on fun new things when there are bills to be paid and dogs to be spoiled. Needless to say, I certainly wouldn't mind unwrapping any of these pretties on the 11th!



1 // Penn State Rose Bowl T-shirt
Because lets be real, one can't have enough PSU shirts, especially when there are lots and lots of home games to go to and tailgate parties to attend!

2 // Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
So I've never actually tried this, but all of the reviews, tips, and tricks can't be wrong. Check out this article from Elle UK about it!

3 // Cuyana Leather Tote
I've been looking at these for years, and I probably have it pinned six different times on my Pinterest account! A pretty bag that looks professional, yet fits all of my stuff would be a dream come true, I'm sure!

4 // NYDJ Ami Skinny Jeans
I talked last week about how much I love these jeans, and I'm looking to pick up a black pair. Seriously, they are the most comfortable jeans I own and I'm ready to throw away all of my other denim in favor of only these from here on out!

5 // Kevyn Aucoin Making Faces Beauty Book
How gorgeous is this makeup palette? I spend waaayyy too much time visiting the Sephora website, and I came across this pretty on the section holiday gift sets (too soon, though, amirite?). It's so perfect for stashing in my purse - or perhaps my new Cuyana tote?!



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September 22, 2017

Five on Friday | Pinterest, Clothing, Essential Oils

Happy Friday! We made it through another week and I think that calls for a celebration, right? So to celebrate, I'm linking up with Five on Friday to share what I'm loving right now.



1 // Pinterest
That's right, I'm back on the Pinterest wagon. Although, to be honest, was I ever really off of it? I had some kind of resurgence and organized my boards, so now I'm able to actually find all of those delicious-looking meal ideas and closet cleaning hacks when I need them. PS - come follow me on Pinterest!

2 // The Limited
Guys! The Limited is coming back! Online, I think. My boss sent me a snap of the website where it says "Coming Soon" and I'm so excited! My most favorite work pants all come from there, and I was so bummed when all of the stores shuttered, but hopefully I'll be able to stock up again soon!

3 // Essential Oils
So, I think I'm on the EO bandwagon now. I love diffusing peppermint or orange in my office, I swear it helps keep me awake and able to concentrate. Plus, all of my coworkers always comment on how nice my office smells. What are some other good scents to diffuse?

So I ordered these back during the Nordstrom anniversary sale, and they have quickly become my new favorite jeans. They have just the right amount of stretch, look great with sandals or boots, and are the most perfect jeans for casual Friday at work. 

5 // Weekend!
Enough said! This is the first weekend in quite a few that I have absolutely zero plans and I'm not even sure what to do with myself. I imagine there will be lots of reading, walks with Kinsey and probably more Pinteresting ;) What's everyone else up to this weekend?

September 20, 2017

Planners | ECLP, ELSP, Lilly and Plum Paper

I've always been the type of person who needs to write everything down to remember it, so planners have been my jam for a while. I try to use my iCal to input appointments when I'm out and I've been getting better about using my Outlook calendar at work, but in the end, I do much better with a paper planner that I can write everything down in.


For 2017, I've been using an Erin Condren Life Planner - the vertical hourly layout. It's been good to me, but I've come to realize that the hourly layout isn't the best fit for my lifestyle. I fully admit that I do love the stickers and decorating my monthly and weekly layouts on this planner, though. It adds a little more excitement to my weekly allergy shot appointment notes and conference call reminders!

Prior to that, I used the Emily Ley Simplified Planner which was just too much space for me. Doesn't that sound ridiculous? Too much space! But it's true, and it also features and hourly layout that doesn't always work with my schedule. And if we're being completely honest, I'm so glad I paid half price for my 2016 SP. It just didn't seem worth the exorbitant $58 price tag, plus shipping. 

In 2015 I used a Lilly Pulitzer planner, which was so pretty and colorful but lacked the space that I need on the calendar pages and on the weekly inside pages. It would've been great to have in college, though!

For 2018, I'm leaning toward purchasing a Plum Paper planner. They're very customizable, and I'm really fond of their horizontal weekly layout with notes page. Plenty of space for my to-do lists, ideas, and keeping track of random things I'll need to remember later. There are also lots of options for covers and naturally I'm leaning towards one that is navy + white! Plus, the prices of the PPP are completely reasonable at $32. 

Has anyone used a Plum Paper planner? Would you recommend it? I'm reealllly tempted to buy it as a birthday gift to myself, so I'd love to hear some reviews!

September 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Kinsey!

Happy 3rd birthday to my most special, most wonderful, most perfect little dog! I can't imagine our lives without her drippy water face, crazy zoomies, and need to be touching one of us all the time. She can be terrible, that's for sure, but I love her all the same. She's sleeping right next to me as I type this and I'm so glad she's mine!


To celebrate, we're having a little pawty this weekend with her dog friends! My mom is making doc ice cream and there will be plenty of cake for the humans, too. Before that, though, it's time for our third PSU game this month! Penn State takes on Georgia State tomorrow night under the lights and I can't wait to spend the day in State College again. It's going to be such a fun weekend - what do you have planned?

September 13, 2017

Where in the World ...

... Should I go on vacation? I haven't taken a single vacation day yet this year (by choice!), and I'm really feeling the urge to start planning a trip. I'm lucky enough that my employer has gifted me (and all of the other employees) with two free round-trip tickets to anywhere that American Airlines flies. I'm so thankful and and so excited to have the opportunity to put those two tickets to good use for an amazing trip, but I cannot decide where I want to go! 

Some of my top vacation destination dreams right now are:



Australia / British Columbia / New Zealand / The Netherlands / Greece / Hong Kong

I honestly cannot decide where I want to go and what I want to do! I have until the end of next year to use my tickets, so I have a little bit of time to think about it. But with this itch to travel soon, I should probably get planning now! Any recommendations of a place that is an absolute must visit? Let me know! 


September 11, 2017

Weekending

Oh my gosh, this past weekend just flew by! I'm guessing it's because last Monday was a holiday, but wow, I feel like I went from Friday night to Sunday night with the snap of my fingers. Why can't a trans-continental flight seem to go that fast? 

Anyway, my fast weekend was quite a good one! Friday night, my dad and I took the poodles on a nice walk to exhaust them as best we could. Kinsey spent the night at my parents' that night because Saturday morning I was up bright and early to head to State College for the Penn State game with Anna, Dan and my friend Kim! It was the most perfect day for a football game in Central PA, so we wanted to be sure to have plenty of time to tailgate before kickoff. We played charades (yes, really), grilled, mixed drinks and had so much fun before we even headed in to the stadium.

Kim is always such a good sport about coming to Penn State games with us (this was her third year in a row!) so of course I had to invite her to come to the game vs her alma mater, Pitt, on Saturday. Fortunately for us PSU fans, we managed a pretty convincing win this year and are sitting pretty at #5 on the AP poll! 


Sunday was another absolutely beautiful day and all I wanted to do was go out to lunch somewhere that had a patio. I threw out the suggestion to Jason, Anna, Dan and my dad and we all ended up having a great lunch outside while occasionally checking out the NFL scores on all of the outdoor TVs. I've been trying to eat much healthier lately, so having an amazing vanilla porter beer and a perfectly made panini with a few fries was the most perfect splurge. It was just too nice to be indoors, so I spent plenty of time playing with Kinsey in the yard, too. 


This week is shaping up to be a busy one - catching up on some work, three Junior League meetings and finally getting my act together to take some clothing to consignment! 

September 7, 2017

5 Books to Read This Fall

Well, hello again! Is anyone still out there? Regardless, it's time for a few more book reviews! Even though the pools are now closed and vacation time is dwindling, there's still plenty of time for reading! Here's what I've recently read, in no particular order.

5 books to read this fall | line up and wait blog

June by Beverly Miranda Whitmore
(disclosure: this book was given to me for review by bloggingforbooks.com)
The premise of this book sound so promising - a modern-day, down-on-her-luck girl named Cassie Danvers is shocked when she is told that she is heir to a fortune of the late, great Jack Montgomery, famous actor. Cassie can hardly believe it, and nor can Jack's famous-in-her-own-right daughter, Tate, who heads to Cassie's crumbling Ohio home to get a DNA test, prove they're not related, and take the money that's rightly hers. But why does Cassie get everything? Because Jack states in his will that Cassie's grandmother June was the one true love of his life, and that Cassie is also his grandchild. Phew! Affairs and old Hollywood glamour? That's what drew me in! What I didn't like as much much were the flashback chapters told by Lindie, June's neighbor. I loved the description of the 1950s movie set, but I didn't love it from Lindie's perspective. It's hard for me to even describe why this story was hard for me to get in to - the fact that it was just a little too far-fetched, the personification of Two Oaks, the home June grew up in and where Cassie is currently living...I just don't know. I feel like I'm probably an anomaly here, though, because Whitmore's other novel, Bittersweet, was so much better. Borrow this one from the library, or if you'd like, leave a comment below and I'll send you my copy!
American War by Omar El Akkad
Wow. This story takes place in the midst of America's Second Civil War. Yes, another war between north and south, this time over the use of fossil fuels. The landscape is vastly different than we see it today; the coastal cities (New Orleans, Charleston, most of Florida) we love are all gone. The protagonist Sarat Chestnut and her family are forced to flee their home for a new life in a refugee camp, filled with Southerners who have many different beliefs. This novel was rough to read, because although dystopian, there's more that rings possible than in other fiction I've recently read. Climate change is real, people, and we need to start doing something about it so that in 2080, our children's lives aren't like Sarat's. Okay, off of my soapbox. But read this one. You'll grit your teeth and cringe, but read it.
The Passenger by Liza Lutz
A thriller, something that I usually read a lot more of! This one follows Tanya Dubois as she crisscrosses the country after the death of her husband, shedding one ID after another. I can't even call the protagonist Tanya, because she's constantly changing her name and identity in an effort to stay one step ahead of the past that haunts her. But why can't she go back home and start over? This was a pretty easy read and I finished it quickly because I needed to know how Tanya ended up. I recommend this if you're looking for a quick psychological thriller.
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter
So when I picked up this book, I didn't realize that it's part of a series by Slaughter. I loved Pretty Girls, so when I saw this one at the library, it came home with me immediately! Despite the fact that I haven't read any of her other detective Will Trent novels, I dove into this one. It can be a stand alone book and it has the same twists, turns, violence and mindf*ckery as Pretty Girls. But because I don't know where this novel fits on the spectrum of the other Will Trent novels, I'm going to pick up the first one and give them a chance as the series they are meant to be. It doesn't feel fair to give a little plot summary or real review until I check out some of the others!
When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mahew Whalen
(disclosure: I received this book from netgalley for review and it is scheduled for release on 9/12/17)
This story takes place in the small southern town of Worthy, where football rules and the community attends church each Sunday. One moment in time rips the community apart when three high school cheerleaders are killed after their car is hit by another high school student's. Equal parts heartbreaking and mysterious, the story is told in alternating voices by those left behind: the girls' parents, a teacher, and Leah, the cheerleader who should have been in the car with them. With so many voices telling the story, I was left trying to piece together exactly who was to be trusted and why Leah wasn't in the car with them that night. This book was more emotional than I expected, and left me shocked at the end.
Next up, I'm expecting Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker to arrive in my mailbox soon! It's from Book of the Month, which I'm still loving and highly, highly recommend. If you're interested in signing up to choose one of five new hardcover books to be delivered each month, you can do so {here} using my affiliate link to get your first month for $9.99!

I've also been in to natural beauty/skincare type books (I recently finished Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore and loved it), so if you any good natural beauty books to read, please let me know! Until next time, friends!

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