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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Costumes.

So, this goes down one of two ways.

One: You actually like Halloween. You know you have plans. You think about your costume a few times, but hey, you're busy. Then, somehow, it's the day before Halloween. You think, "Hey, I should probably go by Party City on my way home from work!" You do, only to find the place has been ransacked by tiny children and people who are planners.

Or, option two: You decide to have no plans. You're too old to go out on Halloween, you're going to be responsible and get a good night's sleep, and you're just going to channel Olivia Pope and stay at home with a bottle of wine and Scandal reruns.

But then.

You overhear people talking about their Halloween plans. You drive past your neighbor's house and it's terrifyingly decorated. All your friends are sending you pictures, asking for your opinion of their costumes. And suddenly, you realize you are boring and life is passing you by and DANGIT YOU ARE GOING OUT. But about that whole costume thing. . .

Don't you worry your pretty little head. There are plenty of things you can pull together in just a few minutes.

Rosie the Riveter.

What you need: Chambray shirt, red bandana or scarf. 

Overdone? Yes. Incredibly easy? Absolutely.

Slap on some red lipstick, tie up your hair, and you're good to go.

Bonus Points: Make a little speech bubble that says "we can do it!" and glue it to a popsicle stick.


What you need: Plaid shirt, floppy hat, boots, eyeliner to draw on your face with. 

Get dressed in what is probably already your standard fall uniform, then draw some stitches on your face. Look how adorable you are!

Bonus points: Put actual hay coming out of your hat and boots.

Beanie Baby.

What you need: Any type of animal ears, felt or card stock to make your tag. 

The party store may be ransacked, but you can probably still find some type animal ears. Buy those and go with it. Make a little TY tag and come up with a creative name and saying, just like Beanie Babies have.

Bonus points: Coordinate your outfit with your animal ears.

Katie Perry.

What you need: The most most girly thing in your closet that you've never found an appropriate occasion to wear, weird toys or candy. 

Put your tutu on, then hot glue a bunch of random things (like lollipops, or children's toys) to it. Bright makeup and a giant smile and you are good to go!

Bonus points: Blue, pink, or purple hair.

What you need: A leather jacket and so much glitter.

Throw a leather jacket on over the flashiest dress you have, don't brush your hair, and make your makeup look like you've been sleeping in it for two days. Then cover your entire body with all the glitter, ever.

Bonus points: Wear an empty bottle of Jack around your neck with a toothbrush in it, or paint a star around your eye.

Jim and Pam.

What you need: Unflattering office attire, a name tag, and a guy who doesn't have a costume plan. 

Get dressed as an unsexy secretary, slap on a "Hi, my name is Pam" name tag, and make googly eyes at your Jim all night.

Bank Robber.

What you need: black clothes, black gloves, a white bag, a mask, and a sharpie. 

Get dressed and draw a money sign on your white bag. And, done.

Bonus points: Have your bag overflowing with fake money.

Woodland Creature.

What you need: Ears/antlers and face paint. 

If you want to get really creative and paint your face, Dana has an adorable fox tutorial and Kallie has an amazing deer tutorial.

So, do you wait until the last minute like I do? Or have you had your costume planned since last year? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

13 Reasons You Should be Listening to Taylor Swift Right Now.

1. She gives you confidence to not care what other people say about you--and to maybe even tell them you don't care. People were making fun of her for being a bad dancer. So what does she do? Releases a music video of herself dancing. Boom. She knows how to laugh at herself, and it's awesome.

2. She gives you creative ways to say mean things about your exes, and to sound really cool while doing it.

"People like you always want back the love they pushed aside, but people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye."

3. She knows not all break-ups are bitter. 

"I wish we could go back and remember what we were fighting for and I wish you knew that I miss you too much to be mad anymore."

"How you kissed me when I was in the middle of saying something, there's not a day I don't miss those rude interruptions."

4. Need to feel nostalgic? She's got you covered. 

"Wasn't it easier in your lunchbox days? Always a bigger bed to crawl into. Wasn't it beautiful when you believed in everything and everybody believed in you?"

"Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home. Remember the footsteps, remember the words said, and all your little brother's favorite songs."

5. No matter who you are, you can relate to her songs. Sure, you may not be 22, but you know you've wanted to dress up like a hipster. And even if you're going to lie and say you haven't, you've most definitely wanted to eat breakfast at midnight.

6. She owns up to making mistakes that we've all made, usually for the same reasons. 

"I'd be smart to walk away, but you're quicksand."

"My mind forgets to remind me that you're a bad idea."

"I thought, "Heaven help me now, nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down. He's so tall and handsome..."

7. Sometimes she can describe what happened in your relationship better than you can. 

"This is looking like a contest of who can act like they care less."

"You held your pride like you should have held me."

8. Exes aren't the only thing she covers--she also gives you song lyrics to blare about the mean girls in your life. 

"Soon she's gonna find stealing other people's toys on the playground won't make you many friends. She should keep in mind there is nothing I do better than revenge."

"It's so sad to think about the good times, you and I...So take a look at what you've done, 'cause baby now we got bad blood."

9. Homegirl can write a heart-wrenching break-up song. 

"After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own, now you mail back my things and I walk home alone. But you keep my old scarf from that very first week, 'cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me. You can't get rid of it, 'cause you remember it all too well." I MEAN, HELLO.

10. But you don't need to linger on those break-up songs, because she's got plenty of songs to make you feel super confident. 

"So it's gonna be forever, or it's gonna go down in flames. You can tell me when it's over if the high was worth the pain. Got a long list of ex lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane. 'Cause you know I love the players, and you love the game."

"But you'll come back each time you leave, 'cause darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream."

11. She can WRITE. Whether you like her music or not, there's no denying she's a freakishly talented lyricist.

12. Sometimes, she just nails how you're feeling. 

 Said every person in their twenties, ever.

13. She changes. In a world where people are quick to judge you when you make changes in your life, or to call you a copycat or ask why you're so different now, it's nice to see someone in the spotlight change so much and own up to it.

Her closing line of her forward says, "From the girl who said she would never cut her hair or move to New York or find happiness in a world where she is not in love." We've all said "nope, never" about something and then done it anyway, and maybe even loved it. Her new music reminds you that's okay.

Have you listened to her new album yet? Are you a fan or no? 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why I'm Happy to be Alive This Week.

1. This new blog design. Can we just talk about this for a second? I'm in love. It's perfect. I'm never going to stop looking at it. Sarah is an absolute genius.

2. Photo adventures with Megan.  She was supposed to do a winter-themed photo shoot for a magazine, so we drove around the sunshine state and made it look like it was winter.  So, so fun. So, so hot. I'm so thankful for adventurous friends!

3. Helene opened an Etsy shop...and it has Friday Night Lights Shirts in it. Okay, so it has Texas shirts in it. But I, along with everyone else who has watched fallen in love with FNL knows that Texas is not just a state, it's the home of Jason Street and Matt Saracen and Tami Taylor.

Now you can wear "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" or "Texas Forever" all day long. Riggins would be proud.

4. Pumpkin carving is happening this weekend. I'm so excited!

5. It's Friday. I'm just going to leave you with this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

11 Quotes That Will Make You Want to Spend All Day Reading

There are few things I love more that a new book, warm coffee, and an empty to-do list. Books are at the top of my list of favorite things, and not so far down that list are quotes about books.

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." -Stephen King

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it." -J.D. Salinger

John Green Quote

"She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live." -Annie Dillard

"I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book." -J.K. Rowling

"Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures anyone could have." -Lloyd Alexander

"Once glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time." -Carl Sagen

"Books may well be the only true magic." -Alice Hoffman

"Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up heart and soul." -Joanne Harris

Are you a reader? What are you reading right now?

Monday, October 20, 2014

NaNoWriMo Checklist: How to Get Ready to Write a Novel in a Month.

If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, click here.

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, you've got 11 days and some odd hours before the madness begins. Until then, here are some things that will help you get ready to write your little heart out. 

Find a coffee or a tea that you like. Buy a lot of it.

Get a brand new notebook. Sometimes, writing on a blank page instead of staring at a computer screen is all it takes to get rid of writer's block. Plus, you want to have somewhere to jot all your ideas down when you're not actually sitting at your computer and writing.

Print out a calendar/to-do list. Write your word count goals on every day. This is terrifying, but do it anyway. Make Fridays your check-in day. That way you can up your word count over the weekend if you've fallen behind that week.

Look into what you want to write with. Do you like writing with a pen and notebook? Word? Ommwriter? Figure it out now so you don't waste your time testing out different programs.

Make sure you have a way to back up your work. Because you know what's not fun? Getting almost halfway to your goal and having your computer crash.

This can be as simple as emailing your work to yourself every few days--just make sure it exists somewhere other than on your desktop!

Establish a homebase. Yes, you will write snippets of your novel everywhere in November. Coffee shops, your couch, your desk at work, your bed, and random stoplights will all become a part of your book. But 50,000 words is a lot, and I'm guessing you'll be doing the majority of your writing where you live.

If you have a desk, awesome. Hang up your calendar and to-do list, get a pumpkin candle, and print out some writing quotes and tape them above your desk. If you don't have a desk, get a basket where you can keep your computer, your notebook, your calendar, and all other writing necessities together.

Make a writing playlist. If you're like me and can't write to songs (seriously, I just end up listening to the lyrics!), then make a writing playlist to inspire you before you write, or to inspire brainstorm sessions.

Get inspired! Thank you, pinterest. I have a writing inspiration board that I know will inspire me when I just need a little extra boost. What inspires you? Taking pictures? Painting? Running? Whatever it is, do it. It's time to get your creativity flowing!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What are you doing to get ready?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday! 5 Reasons I'm Happy to be Alive This Week.

linking up with Karli for Oh Hey, Friday!

1. I had no idea so many of you would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year! I'm so excited to see how everyone does! There's really just something about trying to reach a goal while knowing so many people around you are doing the same. It's motivating!

2. This is a weekend that is really, truly off. No deadlines, no projects, just a weekend off! 

3. I finally found the pumpkin spice creamer. My no-creamer diet was going great, but then...October. We can revisit this in January.

4. Cool(er) mornings and nights. Hey, when you live in Florida, you take what you can get.

5. Feeling inspired. Which has a lot to do with it being October and NaNoWriMo coming up! And the cooler weather..and the pumpkin spice coffee..fall is just inspiring all the way around!

Why are you happy to be alive this week?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 Reasons You Absolutely Need a Puppy.

Okay, so you're trying to decide if you want to take the leap and get a dog or not. You've made a pros and cons list and you're just torn. No worries, I'm here to solve this dilemma for you.

You need a dog. 

I've compiled a list of reasons why. You're welcome.

1. Your happiness depends on it. Let's just go ahead and get this one out of the way. Such great happiness awaits you, you have no idea.

shiba inu puppy

2. They think you're amazing, no matter what. Miss a deadline? Screw up at work? Fail a test? It doesn't matter to them. Fill their food bowl up? Trophies! Oscars! All the awards for you!

3. You automatically have something to blog/instagram/tweet about. Had a bad hair day for the last four days? No worries, your cute pup always looks good. Instagram away.

shiba inu

4. They teach you responsibility. Forget getting a job. You want to learn responsibility? Get a puppy. It turns out, keeping something alive, happy, and comfortable actually takes a lot of effort.

5. They understand that sometimes you don't want to talk. And sometimes you want to talk a lot. I have a husband. If I come home happy and talkative, or sad and quiet, or angry and very talkative..well, his mood is going to change based on that. Dogs don't care. "You had a great day? Here, play fetch with me. You had a terrible day? Here, play fetch with me."

why you should get a dog

6. They give you something to look forward to. I have a pretty long commute home from work, and my husband usually works later than I do. Instead of coming home to an empty house, it's so much fun coming home to someone who's been waiting all day for you and acts like you just won best person of the whole year by coming home to them. Sloppy kisses all around!

7. Built in snuggle buddy for life. I mean, come on.

shiba inu

8. They're good practice for kids. My dog has started this really cute thing where he wakes up at 4:00AM and starts barking until you get up. If I thought I was ready for a kid, this would be a real quick smack back to reality.

9. They make a great excuse. Don't want to go out tonight? "Oh, sorry. I would love to, but I need to let my dog out."

shiba inu pup

10. They just make your life better, it's as simple as that. Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that your life is just happier when there's a little furry friend involved.

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Novel in a Month? Tips For a Successful NaNoWriMo.

nanowrimo how to

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? 

"National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel." 

Anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Does that sound like you? If so, November is the perfect month to get started!

NaNoWriMo is great because it gives you a set goal to complete in a set amount of time. It helps you avoid burnout because you have an exact deadline for when writing like a crazy person will end. It's incredibly challenging, inspiring, and overall an experience that every writer should have at least once.

If you're thinking about joining in this year, here are some tips that I've found to be helpful.

nanowrimo advice

Just because the technical goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000, that doesn't mean you have to either do all that or nothing at all.

The point is to make yourself write way more than you normally do, no matter what that looks like. You can only write 5,000 words and still have an extremely successful NaNoWriMo. You have no idea what good ideas may come out of those words!

nanowrimo advice

Some people decide to write 50,000 words by the end of November and just go with it. That's fantastic, but if I did that, I would land on November 29th with 39,000 words to write.

Decide on a schedule based on your goal. Do you want to write for a set amount of time each day? Or do you want to write a certain amount of words per day?

My goal is the big 50,000 this year. That translates to roughly 1,666 words per day. However, I know that I probably won't be able to write on most Saturdays, and there are five of those in November. So that brings my goal up to 2,000 words a day.

Look at your lifestyle and schedule, and then make a writing schedule. Be realistic, but also push yourself. It will be incredibly hard, but that's part of the fun.

nanowrimo advice

Do not try to hit all 1,666 (or less, or more) words all at once. Yes, there will be days when you can sit down and pound out far more than your goal, and those days are magical. But on the not-so-magical days, trying to hit your goal all at once will make you want to cry forever.

So break it up! Have two daily goals instead of one. If your goal is 1,000 words, then have two goals of 500 words. Taking a break in between finishing the first goal and starting the second will give you a chance to reboot your creativity. Plus, being able to cross one of those off when you're halfway there feels awesome.

nanowrimo advice

It would be really freaking fantastic for everyone to have a writing partner that lives in the same town as them. Then you could spend days together in a coffee shop, writing the next great American novel and keeping each other from burning out. But this is real life, and that's not always an option.

Still, tell someone. Get an email partner. Blog about it. Just make sure someone other than you knows that you're being a psychotic person and trying to write a novel in 30 days. Sometimes all it takes to keep writing is knowing that someone is going to ask how your book is coming, and wanting to be able to be proud of your answer.

So, are you in?!

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo before? Are you planning on doing it this year?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things You Hear When You Get Married Young.

I got engaged at 19 and married at 20. Apparently, this was confusing to a lot of people, because I got a lot of these reactions.

NOTE: I still get some of these comments, and we've been married for almost two years. 

1. Are you pregnant? 

Every. Single. Time. #RUDE.

2. But I'm're like, a baby. 

Ironically, this was most often said by people who were a whopping six months or so older than me.

3. But do you even know how to be married?

I'm pretty sure no one knows how to be married until they actually get married.

4. But how do you know that's what you want forever?

This is always a thinly veiled, "but how do you know there's not someone better out there?" And no matter how I answer it, we end back up at: "BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?!"

5. Wait...have you never had sex with anyone else? 

And this matters to you because...?

6. How are you going to have money to live?

I'm pretty sure it costs money to money to live no matter if you're married or not.

7. Do you know that people who get married young are more likely to get divorced?

Do you know that people who spend their time telling other people statistics about their life are more likely to end up with zero friends? 

8. Do you even know what you want to do with your life yet? 

Not a clue. But I know I want to get married, so there's that.

9. Do your parents know about this?

Nope, my parents have no idea, but I'm telling you, random stranger. Nailed it. 

10. I would never get married that young. I mean, your life is basically over.

Anyone who thinks that their life is over once they get married should probably just not get married, no matter how old they are.

11. Why the rush?

I mean, I didn't know three years was rushing things, but that's cool.

12. But really...are you pregnant? 

Okay, bye. 

Get married, don't get married...I think everyone should just do whatever they want. I wanted to get married, so I did.

I think that meeting the person I wanted to marry so young is the luckiest thing in the world. It means we get to grow up together. Instead of telling my husband stories about things like my first real job, or my 21st birthday, or my first car wreck, I can just say, "hey, remember that?"

And I think that's pretty freaking cool.

Have you ever been asked these questions?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christmas is a Sneaky Little Thing.

I have a very firm rule that I live my life by: No Christmas before Thanksgiving. No decorations, no music, no movies. I think each holiday deserves to be celebrated, and if you start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving, then you cheat yourself out of a holiday and Thanksgiving just gets skipped. 

The only exception I have when it comes to this is Christmas presents--because, depending on how many people are in your life and what kind of gifts you want to get them, the days after Thanksgiving are not going to be enough time to plan and shop. Especially if you're trying to be frugal. 

What usually happens is the day after Thanksgiving I think, "Okay, time to start Christmas shopping!" And then all of the sudden it's three days before Christmas and I'm panicking over my lack of gifts. 

I love to give creative gifts--something unexpected, or something that someone never would have bought themselves. And, of course, I love supporting small businesses, especially when it means I'm getting a unique gift--it's a win-win for everybody. 

I saw so many gift guides last year, and they were all wonderful, but they didn't start until December... and that wasn't really enough time for me to browse/decide/buy/wait for it to ship before I needed a gift. 

So this year, I'll be putting together a gift guide that will start November 1st and will run every Saturday and Sunday through November and part of December, which will give you plenty of time to shop and pick out creative gifts in these categories: 

So, if you have a shop and sell gifts that fit any of the above categories, let me know! I'd love to include you!

Just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll reply with what you need to know.

Now--back to celebrating October and all of it's goodness!

What about you--do you start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving? 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday! 5 Reasons I'm Just Happy to be Alive Today.

today is a happy day

1. It's October. The best month ever. Coming soon: November and December. We're on the up and up, guys.

2. It's the weekend. This really needs no explanation.

3. I have a puppy (fox?) who likes to watch the sunrise. And it's just the sweetest thing. My heart is happy.

shiba inu puppy

4. I'm spending my morning under the covers, drinking coffee and making to-do lists.  If you're a to-do list junkie like me, you need to go download these immediately. If you need some ideas for your to-do list this month, click here.

5. In a few hours, the love of my life will be home. And I don't want that to ever stop being something I get excited about. We dated long distance for a long time, and I would be so incredibly happy whenever he came home or came to visit me. And I'm still happy--I'm happy that I have a person who will come home, exhausted from working, and will sit and have coffee with me and pretend he cares about the to-do lists I'm showing him. That's pretty lucky.

Why are you happy to be alive this week? Link up with Karli to talk about it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spending your October: A To-Do List.

October is my favorite. Really, today is one of my favorite days of the entire year, because it kicks off my three favorite months. Nothing makes me happier than October, November, and December. 

There are thirty-one days in October. Thirty-one glorious, pumpkin-filled days that are going to zoom right by you if you don't decide how you want to spend them. So how should you spend them?

I have some suggestions. 

1. Listen to the Autumn in New York Pandora station.

2. Make hot apple cider and drink it under a blanket outside.

3. Read a thriller. (I suggest Gone Girl--I just read this and it shocked me so much that I dropped my phone in my coffee cup.)

4. Bake something that's been on your Pinterest forever.

5. Take a picture every single day of something that makes you happy, so you'll always be able to remember October 2014.

6. Make a list of ten things you're thankful for. 

7. Make caramel apples.

8. Buy someone sunflowers.

9. Look up fall fairs or festivals in your town and make plans to go!

10. Take a day off completely off. No to-do lists or work. Just a real day off.

11. Start writing down Christmas gift ideas.

12. Watch a movie set in the fall--like Remember the Titans.

13. Throw a "make your own Halloween candy" party.

14. Write down all the reasons you love October.

15. Go for a walk with a pumpkin coffee. 

16. Buy a hat, or some headbands. Fall is the season of not having to do your hair.

17. Go look at all of the terrible and hilarious Halloween costumes at Target. Bonus points: The dog costume section.

18. Go to Bath & Body Works and pick out something pumpkin or apple scented.

19. Eat dinner outside.

20. Go on at least one spontaneous adventure.

21. Say yes to something when your first instinct is to say no.

22. Write someone a thank you note.

23. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone at least once. 

24. Read a book you normally wouldn't pick up. I can help recommend a few!

25. Surprise someone with cookies.

26. Stay up too late talking about your dreams with someone you love.

27. Rock some red lipstick.

28. Set a goal for yourself. It's a brand new month, you have thirty-one fresh, new days to achieve it.

29. Listen to this song and turn it up as loud as it will go. "I hope that you spend your days, but they all add up. And when the sun goes down, I hope you raise your cup." 

30. Carve pumpkins.

31. Celebrate Halloween however you want to. Dress up and go out or stay at home and handout candy or have a movie marathon or go to dinner. Just celebrate.

How are you planning on spending your October?