vacuum cleaner

my cats really, really hate the vacuum cleaner. milo finally came around to my hair dryer...in fact, he actually gets really close to it when i have it on but otis hides under the bed. far enough away that i can't get him but close enough that he can watch my every move. but, whenever that vacuum cleaner is pulled out of the closet, they are phantoms...nowhere to be found. except today. i went upstairs after vacuuming the downstairs and this is what i saw:
i like to call this milo's "vacuum cleaner safe house"

he was just chillin'...in the bathtub. no big deal. 

run-ins at the gym

along with my newfound love for shoes [read post], i have a newfound like for going to the gym. not quite love yet, but better than my prior distaste for everything exercise related. i go to the gym for two reasons:

1. i pay a monthly membership so you better believe i try to make that worth my while...or my dollar. and i work out at a very new ymca here in raleigh...so it's really nice.
2. i love dessert and pizza and french fries. there. i said it.

i had a conversation last night with a friend on our way home from bible study about working out and why i do it. my answer: so i can eat ice cream after dinner. seriously. maybe not the best of motivations but it gets me to the gym and makes me a little healthier [before i eat the ice cream].

another reason i enjoy going to the gym? all the interesting stories i get to leave with. you may not think that the gym is the type of place to see people do really strange things, but i assure you, it is.

case in point: trampoline chick
a couple weeks ago i was at the gym on one of the elliptical machines. i hate to run so the elliptical is the closest thing to it. so i'm just moving along, listening to pandora and watching "the price is right" on tv. [i usually try to pick a machine that's not directly next to a person...for the following reason] a girl comes up and gets on the machine next to me. basically every other machine is wide open for the picking, but she picks the one next to me. ok, cool. so she starts going...getting a little quicker...a little faster and then suddenly it's like she strapped moon shoes onto her feet and she started bouncing all over the place. i'm talking hair bobbing, arms pumping, cheeks shaking type of bouncing. with great difficulty, i restrain myself from busting out laughing at how awkward i suddenly feel being next to this bouncy ball. she continues bouncing for a few minutes and then it's back to regular elliptical behavior. i figured she realized that maybe bouncing up and down wasn't the most effective way to use the machine...but no. a few minutes later, she's got her bounce back in her step and is doing work. this goes on at least four or five times until i cannot hold it in anymore and have to walk away from my workout. i later told my sister about it and did a very accurate reenactment which was followed by a burst of laughter. good times.

another case: myspace girl
i was at the gym on a separate occasion and saw a grown woman take a myspace-style mirror picture of herself. i had put my bag in the locker room and was making my way out to the  gym when i walked past the full-length mirror right before the door to exit. there was a 30-something woman standing there, looking all spiffy and checking herself out in the mirror, which we all do from time to time. as i approached her, i realized that she had a cell phone in her hand and was taking a picture of herself! not only that, but she was giggling while she was doing it. the worst part? making eye contact with her after the picture was taken and during the giggling. i quickly looked away so as not to embarrass her, although, let's be honest, if someone is going to take a mirror picture right by the locker room door during rush hour at the gym, she's probably not easily embarrassed. so i quickly exited and am fairly certain she didn't even notice me at that point. i salute her for her obvious confidence and lack of insecurity but would also urge her to take her photography skills to a different mirror...maybe one that wasn't right in the middle of a high traffic area. i felt like i was interrupting a moment...between her and her reflection.

i just got back from the gym, and sadly have no worthy stories to document now. but i'm sure, in due time, i will have more. until then, i'll be enjoying some ice cream.


clothes for your feet

that's right, i'm talking about shoes, people. i've [finally] developed a love for shoes and actually enjoy shopping for them now. it's been a long time coming, really, because i love shopping in general...for pretty much anything...at pretty much anytime. if i could shop for a career, i would. oh wait, i could...hmm. anyways, i never really loved shopping for shoes because i could never find anything the right look, fit, style, etc. oh, and all i wanted to wear were my gold ballet flats from the Gap. which i've probably worn at least 700 times. i love them. they're perfect. but, they have no support. being that i have a job that requires me to be on my feet for six hours [sometimes i wish i could just sit at a desk and then i realize what i just thought and laugh...i would probably cry of boredom] i need shoes with good support and very, very worn-in ballet flats just ain't cuttin' it. so, i put my big girl pants on and made myself fall in love with shoes. and let me tell you, it was an excellent decision. except now i find myself shopping for shoes maybe a little too often. but i restrain myself, most of the time.

i also just discovered a new store online called lulu's. they have GREAT shoes and GREAT prices. my dream. here's some of my faves:
these look so comfy and warm for fall! and they have the perfect wedge for those "just too long for flats" jeans. aren't those the worst?!
love the color and the heel. yes. 
so fun for summer. playful and feminine.

and that's just a few of the totally cute shoes that they offer! 

some more of my faves from other stores:
i absolutely love every single thing about these shoes. they would be prefect for a party! [wish i knew where they were from!]

these i love for fall, and they're from rack room shoes!

and these, oh boy. i cannot even express my deep love for these beauties. the color, the look, the shape, the designer. yes, yes, yes.


who wants to go shopping for shoes?! i do!




dresser makeover

i don't know about you, but i L-O-V-E to reorganize and rearrange my house...like every 2 months. it's kind of sick. i like to change it up and make things look new and different, usually without buying anything new and different! a couple years ago, i bought a new dresser for my room. i found it at ikea, which is awesome. i love walking through the showroom and picking out which rooms i would have in my dream house and pretending like i live in that dream house, even if for a few minutes. so, i bought this really plain white dresser:
see, REALLY plain. (here it is)

i loved the design of it and the fact that it was a great price for a dresser. so, i decided to buy it. thanks to my mom, i immediately started coming up with ideas to spice it up a little and make it my own. after further inspection, i realized that the plastic panels on the front of each drawer were installed in front of the plastic drawer parts inside (i don't even think that makes sense, but you'll see soon!) i realized that i could probably get some craft paper in there and have it show through the plastic panels. then, i noticed that the drawer pulls had two holes...perfect for new knobs! so, this is what happened:




i got scrapbook paper from michael's, which has an awesome selection. and those adorable knobs from hobby lobby, which were 50% off! what i love about this dresser is that i can change out the paper and knobs and have a whole new dresser!

so, there you have it! a quick, easy and cheap diy project to spice up your furniture...what more could you ask for?!



smoke alarm from hell


pardon the choice of words in the title, but once you read this story you will realize that there is no other way to name it.

setting: my lovely loft-style townhome

start time: 10 pm

plot: gosh, where to begin…i guess i’ll first say that i had a very enjoyable, low-key evening at home last night. i worked on a little homework that i needed to get done, posted some jewelry and hung out with the boys  (cats, not humans). i was pretty tired by 10 so i decided to lay in bed and read. so, i’m doing just that and suddenly i hear a loud beeeeeeep. “what the….? what is that?!” , i immediately think. [it’s important here to tell you that i have never lived on my own before, so all of this “taking care of my own house” thing is new to me] [let me also tell you that i was just thinking earlier in the night that i had gotten pretty good at living alone. although a little intimidating at first, i’ve really become and adult and learned to be independent] back to the good stuff…so i hear the beep and think, oh, it’s probably just the smoke alarm…needs new batteries…don’t care…i’ll do it tomorrow. so, back to reading. about 30 minutes later, beeeeeeeep. oh boy. i foolishly decide to just ignore it, i'll deal with it in the morning, i don’t have other batteries anyways…it’s fine. [terrible, terrible decision] i finally fall asleep amid the intermittent beeps.

cut to 3:15am. that’s right, 3:15am. i wake up to beeeeeeep…one minute…beeeeeeeep. my thought: no. noooo. NOOOOOO! i get out of bed, turn the lights on (which blind both me and my cats, poor little nuggets, they had no idea what they were in for) and walk over to the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in my room upstairs. i take out the batteries in both (after much fumbling around trying to figure out how to get that stupid thing off the wall). whew, that wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be, back to bed. HA! yeah right, the smoke detector thinks. Beeeeeeep. how does it do that?! it doesn’t have any batteries! i finally find the smart part of my brain and realize it’s the one downstairs that has been torturing me, not the two upstairs. i reluctantly and tiredly walk downstairs, grab a kitchen chair and begin to disassemble the little machine that brought me so much rage. batteries out, hanging from the wall. guess what happens? BEEEEEEEEEP. NO. this is NOT happening right now. nope. no.  let me also say, the sound of this little minion is ear-piercing. maybe even ear-drum shattering. it’s so loud. [which, i realize, will be very important in an emergency situation, but at 3:30am when i want to be sleeping…not so much] i take the battery from the upstairs smoke detector, which was fine all along, and put it in the downstairs one, push the test button (which pierces my ears even more) and go to bed. i’m so over it at this point, i don’t care if i have to sleep through the beeps. i put a towel around the detector to try and muffle the sound (which doesn’t work) and go back to bed. the beeps now are about 30 seconds apart. 30 SECONDS! long enough that i forget that it’s going to happen again so it scares me EVERY TIME but short enough that i can’t fall asleep because all i hear is beeeeeeeep beeeeeeeeep beeeeeeeep. i cover my head with a pillow, and by some miracle, fall asleep about a half hour later.

cut to 7:30 am. Beeeeeeeeep. Are you serious? Come on! i didn’t think it was possible, but waking up to a smoke alarm beep at you because it’s unhappy is 10,000 times more annoying than a regular alarm clock. i throw the covers off me like the house is actually on fire, and stomp over to the smoke detector on the wall upstairs. sure enough, now this one is having a nervous breakdown and letting me know all about it. i finally figure out how to unplug the thing from the wall and set it on my dresser. sweet relief rushes over me because i think that i have solved the problem. too soon. the little zombie of a machine keeps beeping. HOW DOES IT DO THAT? i shove it in my dresser drawer under some clothes and walk away. otherwise, i will chuck it out the front door. [feel bad about my night yet? It’s not over…] i go downstairs. it’s as if these little hellions can sense when i’m at the end of my rope because as soon i get to the kitchen…beeeeeeeeep. NO FREAKING WAY. yep, that’s right, another minion on the loose. this time, the carbon monoxide detector is flashing red and begging for new batteries. i rip it from the wall, tear the batteries out and not-so-nicely put new ones in. it beeps one more time, but  it was just a “thank you” beep because that was the last I i heard from it.

silence has never sounded sweeter. i sit down on the couch, not knowing whether to laugh at how ridiculous it is that ALL four of my detectors would need new batteries at the SAME TIME or cry at the fact that i didn’t get enough sleep and i wanted to throw a temper tantrum. i decided to do a little bit of both, while praying that the day would only get better from here.

[footnote: the only bright spots in this whole fiasco are that i learned how to do something i’ve never done before AND i have full confidence in all of my alarms and their ability to warn me of an emergency.]

earthquake

today is a historic day for me...i just experienced my first earthquake! 

here's the story:

i'm sitting outside on the patio at school, enjoying the sun and beautiful weather today while working on some economics homework. i suddenly feel the ground start to shake, but assumed it was just someone pushing a cart or some machine in the building causing the movement. other people at other tables start looking at each other, "did you feel that?", "what was that?!". i didn't even think twice about it, just continued on doing my homework, like the good student that i am (ahem, *sarcasm*). 

[two minutes pass, still working on homework]

my phone rings and i answer to my sister frantically saying, "hi, where are you??" immediately i know something is wrong because that's an unusual greeting from her. "at school, why?" i say. she proceeds to tell me that we just had an earthquake here in raleigh. she was sitting on the couch and it just started shaking, like someone was behind it and running into it. she said her walls started creaking and she actually thought she was in danger. i immediately start to laugh because i can't believe that i didn't even know there was an earthquake and i sat right through it! then i know it really did happen because i hear and see the news helicopters in the sky. craziness!

this is now my second natural disaster i've experienced here in raleigh. although i thankfully was not around for it, the tornadoes of april 16th caused a lot of devastation here in raleigh (had i been here, i wouldn't have lived through it because i am absolutely and totally terrified of tornadoes...think breaking into a cold sweat and uneven breathing patterns) 

and, rumor has it, good ole' Irene (hurricane) is headed straight for the carolina's this weekend. chances are her route will change over the next few days, but you never know. she may be a stubborn girl. two natural disasters in one week? i don't know if i can handle it. 

on a lighter note, aren't my boys totally precious? i love them :)
meet milo. (i think the flash was a little bright)

and otis. 

hope they're holding down the fort while i'm at school! i'm sure they held the pictures to the wall and made sure my dishes stayed on the counter...

french braid [hairstyle]

for those of you who don't know, my sister is an ah-mazing hairstylist. i was lucky enough to be born into a family with someone who does my hair for free! (i would be in SERIOUS trouble if i had to dish out the dough for my hair every 6 weeks at a real salon) she's also really creative (we get that gene from our mother) and has become an avid blogger. check her out here. seriously, do it. you won't be disappointed.

since she's such a talented stylist, she's started posting great, easy tutorials on her blog. i'm telling you, anybody can do these styles. which is why it's great. it's not red carpet, celebrity hair that you have dreams about but real people, real hair that you can do!

she just posted her new wrap around french braid style on her blog. look at how cool it is! (she used my head as the model. excuse how dark my underneath hair is...it's actually a very light brown, but we kinda got the skunk effect going on in the vid)

here's a sneak peek at the style:

so, go to her blog (yes, i'm talking to  you!) and check it out, along with all the other cool things she shares.

happy braiding! :)

someday sunday

someday, i would like a home with this bathroom in it.

check out this beauty here

isn't it lovely? not only is the color palette one of my faves (grey & yellow) but i LOVE a claw-foot tub. i love that they are useful and decorative. especially since you can paint them and make them pretty like this one! also, i adore the idea of a small chandelier in the bathroom, like this one:

look for it here

beautiful, right?

someday, maybe. someday.

procrastiNOT

i don't know about you guys, but i tend to procrastinate like it's my job. especially when it's something that i don't want to do. and especially when it relates to  school (dum dum dummm). hands down, the WORST day of the semester is the first day of class. yes, you only spend about 20 minutes in each class and yes, there's no homework or any responsibility BUT you get pounded with syllabi (<-- i've just started using this word...and i like it). one after another. some short (which i love) and some about 8 pages long (which i loathe). mostly they just go over course policy, attendance, what's expected, blah blah blah. but then you get to the last page and you see the schedule. ugh. the worst. all the assignments, projects, exams, and reading. (which, by the way, did you know there's some "rule of thumb" that says you should study at least one hour per credit hour of your classes?! how absurd?! that would mean i would spend at least SEVENTEEN hours studying outside of class. yeah right. more like the "rule of wrong") anyways, i had the terrifying task last night of going through each syllabus and writing due dates and exam dates for each course in my planner. not a wise choice. especially when you're already tired. i literally could feel my back and shoulders tense up and my social life slipping through my fingers...you'd think i'd be used to it by now, seeing as i'm in my fourth year of college, but it never gets easier seeing all of the tasks i have to accomplish in a short 15 or so weeks. whew. bring on the stress.

after filling up my planner, i made a resolution with myself that i am going to TRY to do my work early this semester (it will likely only last about the first two weeks). i'd like to try and actually enjoy my classes and what i'm learning, instead of feeling like it's always a bummer and i always have a ton of work. we'll see how it goes.

i do, however, love my new planner! i got a lovely moleskine 18 month planner.
isn't she a beauty?!

let's just hope she keeps me on task.

here's some other creative ideas for procrastiNOTing:



happy planning!

earring makeover

a couple days ago i decided to take a little trip over to one of my favorite little stores, Francesca's. i was on the hunt for a new bag for school and some fall clothes, so i thought i'd see what they have. as i approached the store, i saw a "buy one, get one 50% off" sign. uh oh. this could be dangerous, i thought. i mentally prepared myself to not buy everything in the store, and walked in. there was SO much cute stuff, it took me about 5 rounds through the store to finally make my decision about what to buy. i ended up with this awesome bag for school:


i also found some great earrings. now some of you may think "wait, doesn't she make jewelry?" well, yes, i do. but when i see something like these beauties, i can't resist buying them. plus, they were bogo 50% off, so i just HAD to! here's the first pair, and they're perfect as is:


however, this second pair of earrings, although beautiful, were a little too long and a little too heavy for my ear so i decided to do a little earring makeover on them! here's what happened:
this is what i started with


i disconnected the top post from the rest of the earring...

and added gold earring hooks to the bottom part of the earring. this way, they're still very similar to the original earrings, but not as long and heavy!

then, i wanted to do something with the post part of the earrings, so:
this is what i started with and then i cut off the post: 
so now i just had two earrings that i could add hooks to: 
and this is what happened!
so now i have two awesome pair of earrings!

so, that's my earring makeover! don't be afraid to buy jewelry that needs a little tweaking. sometimes i see things that are really great except one little thing, so i buy it and make it my own. 

some of you are thinking, "i don't know how to make jewelry or fix it!" never fear! if you have some jewelry that you need adjusting or changed, my sister or i would LOVE to help you out. just check out our etsy shop and let us know what you want done! we can do custom orders for a very reasonable price and would love to help you love your jewelry.

happy makeover-ing! :)

craving fall

i don't care what anyone says, fall is the best season. ever. it has the best weather, fashion, and food. three things that i love. and i cannot wait for it to arrive. sadly, i have awhile to wait for it...seeing as i live in the south now and summer likes to stick around through september. but, never fear, i've already prepared myself for fall fashions by constantly searching online and finding my favorites. i'll share a few with you.

i'm really into lace this summer and cannot wait for it to carry into my fall wardrobe. i've been dying for this scarf, and may even attempt it as a diy project!
you can find this here.

i'm really loving these watch/bracelet combos that are becoming more popular
isn't it to die for?! shop here.

i'm a huge fan of layering, especially when it includes leggings, boots, and a cute dress
check out her blog

if you know me at all, you know i have a fierce love for handbags, like this one
from here 

i love bangles and these are no exception
 from ruche

how can you not love this season after seeing all these great things?!