Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday's Mixtape: The Walking Dead

Now now, don't worry - you won't find any spoilers here. Mostly because I'm a good 4 episodes behind, and am giving myself the next few days to catch up because the season finale was last night! But here's some tunes from one of my favorite shows to setcha up to love TWD a little bit more than you already do :)

1// I See A Darkness by Johnny Cash

2// Turn It Up by Ted Nugent

Y'all, Ted is one of the greatest guitar players - if you didn't already know that. And, fun fact, I once took a Zumba class from his wife! She was really down to earth and SUPER in shape!

3// Oats in the Water by Ben Howard

UGH. I'll never get sick of this song.

4// The Last Pale Light in the West by Ben Nichols

Nevermind that this is considered the Govenor's Theme (ugh), this song is amazing. Ben's voice is so great! I love a good raspy voice.

5// Bad Moon Rising by Mourning Ritual ft Peter Drelmanls

This cover is a complete 360 from the original version by Creedence Clearwater Revival, which you can hear HERE! It's a great "bad guy" song. I love it.

And one final song, because it's too good not to share:

Be not so fearful,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Favorites: A Picture Heavy Post!


I hope you've all had a fantastic week. Mine's been long and I'm definitely ready to get out of town this weekend. I'm seeing the parents and we're going to a food truck party thing - woo!

Some favorites this Friday are:

1// These great DRAWINGS

The artist, Carter Asmann, uses coffee stains for the tires and creates motorcycles from it. So clever!

2// This article, 10 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happier in Life! It's crazy how many of these I battle with constantly and I consider myself a happy person! I have a great life, and I'll always have to work on happiness. It's nice to know I'm not alone in it though - and if you're struggling with any of these, you're not alone. You're not.

3// The details from this WEDDING!

The confetti! The neon! The "If I Do Say So Myself"! All wonderful.

And speaking of WEDDINGS,

this inspiration shoot has me falling in L-O-V-E with the DRESS!


4// Wednesday meant..

spin, fajitas, popcicles (y'all, go to Steel City!), and crazy outfits in Urban Outfitters! 

5// And these oldies, but goodies from FOUR years ago:

I miss these cute girls and college! I hope you're all doing well.

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Weekday Update: Birthday Edition & Some Links!

I feel like it's been so long since I've done a Wednesday Weekday Update! Well here it is - a little bit of birthday fun, sprinkled with some links I'm loving this week and maybe a video or two! Party!


I started off Friday (the day of the birth) with work. I know, I know - you're supposed to take your birthday off, but I figured since my friends were all going to be at work, I didn't really want to be sitting at home all by myself. And I had Thursday off too, so it was just too much - BUT, my manager let me go home early anyway. Before I went home for a glorious nap, I found out that we had just gotten paid AND everything was 50% off at work, so I took advantage:

tights are from Beyond Yoga

Those AMAZE-BALL tights came home to live with me, along with a cute little tank that I'm also incredibly in LOVE with. I took a nap and received a text from my manager saying flowers had been delivered, so I had to go back up to work for them. They're gorge. I want it to be my birthday every day so I can have pretty flowers!

The day was spent napping (again) and just kind of relaxing. I also got to go to lunch with my sister in law! She was in town for a class and we got to spend some time together. I'm so glad at least part of my family was here on my birthday :)

 Austin came over in the early evening, picked me up, and we headed to the Coyote Drive In!

I'm SUPER thankful for that little group of people who joined me for a birthday movie! You people are the BEST. My cute date is named Arthur, if you're wondering, and he's ADORABLE.

We sat in the back of the truck and semi-listened to Insurgent. And it was a good night. It was a good birthday :)

Saturday morning was spent running 20 miles with this lady:

She's a total rockstar - it was a really hard run, and she did so great! We'll be ready for this marathon when it comes!

Saturday afternoon meant a nap and finding this little number on my porch:


 and a hockey game with my love:

I donned Chicago Blackhawks gear to watch them take on the Dallas Stars - and the Stars whooped up on the Blackhawks 4-0. It was super fun, but I was super, super pooped during the 3rd period. 20 miles can sure wreck you!

All in all it was a great weekend and I'm so super blessed by so many people! Thank you all for your kind words and such - and just one more birthday thing. Everyone's card game was on POINT this year:

I love cards :) I love my birthday.

And ever since then I've just been working and trying to finish a painting for a family friend. I'll post that later. But here's some fun links I've been loving this week:

1// Luke and Cat are some of my favorite wedding photographers! They shot this wonderful wedding of Vanessa and Chris that I adore. Especially those bridesmaids dresses - looove.
2// The Jealous Curator is this great little blog that showcases artists and I'm super into her post for Katte Geneta and her little paintings. So simple, so beautiful.
3// And I love these shots my photog friend, Allison shot of other friends, Wes and Hannah. They're really wonderful people and the Dallas skyline was just beautiful! I'm so glad they turned out so well.

And this video, from Ellen's show is just perfect:

Little Heaven is just FOUR YEARS OLD and can rock better than most people three times her age! I wish I had those kind of skills.

I hope y'all have a great rest of your week,

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

No offense to Jenny, but I didn't like this book. Not really. It's not the worst thing I've ever read, but it definitely doesn't crack the top 100.

Harsh? Maybe. But:

via pinterest 

Even though I definitely wouldn't call this book a peach.


I'm going to give it a good ol' review anyway though. 
First, let's talk about the synopsis and then go from there:

"What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. 
One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all.
When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.
Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control."

I feel like I need one of those noise making machines to go "dun dun duuuuun", ha. 

My first thought was "this is going to turn out exactly the way I think it will" - and as the book went on, it mostly did. Laura Jean (hate that name) is the quintessential YA fiction, beach read protagonist. You'll probably hear/see me say beach read a few times to talk about this book, because that's exactly what it is - its just one of those fluffy books that you buy because it doesn't take much to process it and you want a feel good kind of story.


Sorry, rambling. Laura Jean (yuck) has two sisters - one older, Margot and one younger, Katherine (whom everyone calls Kitty..also, gross). The "Song Girls", as everyone refers to them, live with their father in a made up neighborhood that sounds exactly like every other neighborhood in every other fiction book. Safe, secure, and boring. The girls and their father lost their mother a few years ago, so Margot has decided that she needs to become the mother of the house. She's the responsible one. Laura (I refuse to call her Laura Jean anymore, or I might puke) is the flighty one, and Kitty is the hot mess 11 year old. Margot goes away to college in Scotland (because that's what people do) a few chapters in and Laura is suddenly shoved into a role she never had to play: mom.

Laura begins to struggle with the role - and gets herself into a spot of trouble, but eventually it irons itself out. (which makes it sound juicier than it is, but she gets in a car accident, that's it)

I forgot what happens (I was a tad bored), but you're introduced to the real "juicy" part of the story after Kitty (sorry, spoiler alert..but you totally see it coming) sends 5 letters out to "every boy Laura's ever loved" (clever title, yes?) and it causes some drama. One letter (spoiler alert) goes to Margot's ex-boyfriend.

To hurry this along, I'm going to skip some details and go to the point that I found interesting - aka the one quote I liked from the book:

"I think I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see the up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you."

Through the chaos that has ensued in Laura's life from her letters, she is practically forced into some situations she herself probably wouldn't have gotten into - love, namely. She was always the one in Margot's shadow - the one that really gets overlooked/stays in the background. But it's really not like she ever gets herself out of the background - until the letters. Until she's forced to. Until everyone's giggling behind her back about one boy, and one kisses her - it's like all of these things she wasn't prepared for suddenly come crashing in her life.

But I guess that's life. We write letters, we make mistakes and we are forced into situations we don't like all the time. We fall in love - almost by accident, but we kind of find out who were supposed to be in the process. I'm not sure if Laura ever really finds herself completely (her character story was lacking), but she falls in love and that's the happy ending we all wanted for her. Nothing against happily ever after. I like happily ever after.

via pinterest

So, if you're ever in need of a beach read, I'd recommend it. If you're into the cheese ball, everyone wins in the end kind of story, I would. Otherwise, I wouldn't. 

Be brave, and pray my next pick is better than this one
- C


Ah! Hello! 
I'm all recovered from the birthday extravaganza-ness, and not quite ready for a new week - but I'm going to try anyway..because we have something else to celebrate::

The ALBUM of my CHILDHOOD turned FIFTEEN yesterday! We're going to listen to my favorite songs from the album, reminisce and just have the BEST time!

But first, the music::

1. Bye, Bye, Bye

This song was/is/always will be my JAM.

2. It's Gonna Be Me

Oh this video - with the plastic dolls. Genius

3. No Strings Attached

Y'all. Even the good guys get burned.

4. I Thought She Knew

There are two reasons for this one: 
1. I like it.
2. Chris got his solo moment. Homeboy never got his time. 
And for that, a Chris shout out:


Hey boy heyyyy. Dem dreds doe.

5. This I Promise You

If you would have asked me in 6th grade what song I was going to do as my first dance at my wedding, it totally would have been this one. It's one of my favorites.

And I definitely remember trying (desperately) to learn the Spanish version as well. I definitely tried to croon this song. It was magical..what can I say?

If you don't quite remember the Spanish version -
listen here all you Latin speakers lovers::

If you didn't listen to this CD, I really don't know how you survived your childhood.
I really don't.


And a few more things to get you through this celebration:

For all of you Sons of Anarchy AND NSYNC fans.
Everything this author needed to know, courtesy of No Strings Attached.
A list of Chris's solos - they're important.
A No Strings Attached t-shirt that's been cut into a crop top.
And the HBO Special concert. (you're welcome)


Friday, March 20, 2015


First off, YAY. Second, thank you for your kind words and messages so far! All of you get gold stars! I was supposed to work for most of the morning, but they let me go home early..which gives me some time to relax and sleep! This weekend is jam packed, so that's important!

I thought since today is

I thought I'd do 25. I know, that was expected..right? 

1// I'm getting to sit on my couch and am watching Beauty and the Beast. And it's raining outside. Kind of the most relaxed I've been in a while.


Because Beauty and the Beast = life.

2// Getting to run with my dad. Now that life has picked up a little bit, we don't get to hang out as much - but when we do, a good 10+ miler is the best.

3// Buying yourself birthday presents..and not worry about them taking your whole allowance. I really think this is the only perk of being an adult. That and no school nights.

4// Movie theaters. I love everything about movie theaters - and movies. Popcorn, a dark theater, and getting to be involved in another reality for a while? I'm all about that.

5// Juice. My manager actually bought me a juice this morning & I thought I was in hog heaven.

6// I love spring. We're getting to the point when I can sleep with my fan on again and a just a blanket - and that's my absolute favorite thing. Warm, but not too warm. And there's flowers again!

7// Cereal at any other time but breakfast. Cereal has never filled me, so it's best at 9 pm.

8// This video from "So You Think You Can Dance":

I've never watched a whole season of this show, but I've seen episodes - and I really do love it (so it's funny that I don't watch!), but this dance has always killed me. Gives me HUGE goosebumps. People are so incredibly talented!

9// Corny jokes. Anyone who knows me at all - even a little, knows that I love a good corny joke.

10// Watching "The Amazing Race" curled up next to my momma. 

11// Puppy bellies. I love everything about little baby puppies and their fat tummies!

12// Thursdays. I have no idea, but Thursday's are my favorite day of the week. There's nothing specific, but for a while it was my day off at one of my jobs, and so it's always stuck out in my mind.

13// Old people. The only thing I enjoyed about my job at the senior living center were the people who lived there. Every single one had the greatest stories and they were always kind. Kindness goes a long way in my book, my friends.

Also this:

I love them.

14// House hunting. I love looking at houses. Even the ones I can't afford and just think about the day when I'll own my own little one.

15// Cheeseburgers. Ya'll, I'll never stop talking about how much I love them, so stop trying to get me to! I think I dream about them too.

16// Big scarves. The bigger and fluffier the better!

17// Sitting in my chair by the window reading. Right now I'm reading:


There will be a review, so keep your eyes peeled!

18// Thank you notes from my niece and nephew. Kids really do say the best and darndest things - and I love re-reading them time and time again! They just make me smile.

19// Looking at old pictures! I think when you're about to turn a new age, or have a big change in your life, you think about old things - and pictures remind me what a great life I have had and will have in the future! 

20// Football season. There is really nothing I love more than Friday Night Lights - especially in Texas. #texasforever


21// Jimmy Kimmel's "Tonight Dough" Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Y'all, it's everything I've ever wanted in an ice cream. Caramel and chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookie swirls, and chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. I NEED MORE.

22// Printed pillows for the living room. I love having a plain colored couch and have the brightest pillows on the planet!

23// Athletic clothes - I haven't worn real clothes in months! I love having a job that I can wear yoga pants/tights every day. Comfy cute is the best, anyway.

24// Naps on my couch. They're everything.

25// Words. I love everything about the written word. Even my Pinterest board of quotes and things has 3 times the pins that everything else does. I'm obsessed.

I hope you all enjoy my birthday. I know I will.
- C

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

25 Things About Me.

It's Wednesday and I normally give you an update on how the week is going - but, sadly (in keeping with the theme), I don't have 25 Things that have happened this week. So, you're going to get to read 25 Random Things About Me..because..I said so.

1// I was thinking about this yesterday - but I once dressed up in all green in middle school so that no one could pinch me. I was like deathly afraid of being pinched - we had just come back from living overseas, and I didn't really know the etiquette of St Patrick's Day (i.e. ONE item of green clothing..or the fact that you could wear something that HAD green on it instead..) so I wore my whole closet. Winning.

2// I finally feel like an adult because when I order a burger, I don't take every single vegetable off. Just the pickles, because pickles are gross.

3// My dream job is to be a movie critic. Or to just watch movies everyday and get paid for it. You can pay me in snacks too. That would just be a bonus.


4// When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up in kindergarten, I told them I wanted to be a cheerleader or an ice skater. I never even tried to be either. Dreams are wasted on the young.

5// In college, while on a date with a guy, he sang to me. I was sitting down and brought my knees up to my chest, put my head on my knees, and silent laughed until he was done. Needless to say, it didn't become a second date.

6// I've had the same best friend since I was eight years old. She's the best person I know. (hi Mal! Love you!)

7// I think about running at least once a day. #obsessedmuch

8// I think my sister is the coolest girl in the world.

p.s. my sister in law is also cool. Just in case she sees this post ;) 

9// The scar on my forehead is from falling into a corner of a couch when I was 2 years old. Or from Voldemort. You decide.

10// One of my favorite parts of the day is getting off work and the first few minutes in my car. When it's silent and I feel like I can breathe.

11// I don't think I'll ever finish my "to read" list. There's just too many books. I can't wait to be retired and I can spend my days at the library.


12// One of my biggest dreams, since 4th grade, has been to own a horse.

13// I have painted my own mural in the town that I graduated high school in. It's something I'm incredibly proud of.

14// Chris Brown is actually one of the best concerts I've ever been to. My other favorites have been James Taylor and ZZ Top..all for different reasons!

15// My brother has always been my hero.

16// I got talked into pledging a sorority in college by a girl who eventually dropped out of pledging. It was one of the best (and worst) experiences of my life. I love my sisters, but 50 girls in one room can be tough sometimes.

17// Every year for the past few years, around February, I get the urge to cut my bangs. But I'm terrible at upkeep, so I have to tell myself that they aren't worth it.

18// I've never broken a bone. I got really close in high school with my ankle, but it didn't - and really, it's been a little off ever since.

19// I've always been proud that I could tell you what my favorite movie and song are. Most people have to think about it for a while. (it's Beauty and the Beast and "Free Fallin"..if you wanted to know..)


20// Part of my heart will always be in the Philippines. We didn't live there long, but it made an incredible impact on my life.

21// I was awarded "Most Cub Spirit" for senior awards in high school. Mostly because I used to make cool tshirts with my friends names on them. I loved it.

22// I've played 3 instruments in my life - piano, guitar and banjo. With banjo being the clear winner. Obviously.

23// Two of the greatest days of my life were when I saw the Denver Broncos in person for the first time (beat the big deal) and when I ran my first marathon! I can't wait to do both again sometime soon.

24// I could eat burgers every day for the rest of my life. Also queso. Also donuts. Also bananas. Because I'd be really fat if that happened. Thankfully I like vertical running.

via Pinterest

25// I would not be the woman I am today without my people. You know who you are and I'm so very thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for believing in me and caring about me. You da, you da best. 

- C

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review : Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

What? A post on Tuesday? I know. I realize I'm a little off on my posting, but I finished "Eleanor and Park" just a mere 12 hours ago, and figured I needed to speak about it IMMEDIATELY.

via Rainbow Rowell's official website

Well, if you know nothing about "Eleanor and Park", here is the summary (straight from the author, Rainbow Rowell, herself!):

"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under."

Juicy, right? Ha. Let's just say, Rainbow Rowell knows how to write a good love story. You're quickly pulled into a high school romance. And, from my experience as a high schooler (many moons ago..), all I can really remember about love at the time was that it was urgent. Every kiss felt harsh or quick - because inevitably, someone's dad was going to walk in. Every hug felt embarrassing or forbidden - because, most likely, it was in front of your mother, who had come to pick you up from church or something. And that's how Rowell's E&P made me feel. It brought back those instances when you had to make everything quick because you didn't know how long you had before someone else walked in the room. 

(if my mother happens to read this, I didn't do anything I wouldn't tell you about..just so you know!)

Rowell introduces the characters and they're as different as they come, which is always a little off putting to me. Every YA novel tries to pair the geeky girl with the cool boy - which hardly happens in real life, but she did it subtly - and with the maturing of her characters. Much like people grow up and change in real life, she grew Eleanor into someone. She grew Park into someone else. And they complimented each other - much like many of her YA counterparts do. I'm not complaining, because in real life, I know that opposites attract. They do. I believe that.

Eleanor is seen as this large character. She has bright red (fire engine!) hair, an eclectic wardrobe (which happens in part because of her poor home life), and walls thrown up. She isn't one that you get to know right away. She's the outsider. (oh how authors love a good outsider!)

Park is smaller. He, a Korean-American, is seen more on the feminine side of the spectrum. He reads comic books and keeps to himself - but is still in the high school mix of popularity - just because he has lived there his whole life. 

They don't mix. They're not supposed to, but in some way - they're attracted to each other like magnets. And everything seems forced..urgent, like I said earlier. Well, as urgent as anything can be, with Eleanor's off putting personality and her almost critical need to put up walls. Which you'll eventually come to realize that some of those walls are justifiable - but not always needed. 

And coming from the girl who has, for a few years now, become a person with walls - not all are needed. But, all it takes is one person to try scaling those walls - and they come down. Brick by brick..slowly..but they come down just the same.

With Park, Eleanor lets him in. Situations arise and he has the chance to become the knight in shining armor. But one of my favorite things about this story is that Park is changed as well. They save each other. Which, yes, sounds incredibly cheesy and unreal, but it happens. Deal with it.

All in all, I loved it - and would very much recommend it to anyone. Everyone. And some of my favorite quotes (just to tease you into reading!) are:




Do me and yourself a favor and read this one. You won't regret it.

- C