Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Post: Carly from a simple affair

I'm so excited to have Carly here from a simple affair! She wants to be a teacher, just like me! We've been having a great time talking. She's got such a great eye for all things fashion, decor, style, you name it. She's just plain fantastic! Look at what she's got for us today:

Hello there! Carly here from a simple affair! I have had an absolute blast getting to "know" Susan these past few weeks.  We realized that we are both in Elementary Education and both job hunting at the moment.  Needless to say, we have a lot to talk about.

In other news, I would like to take this time to publicly announce my obsession with stripes and polka dots.  There, I said it, and I feel much better. I also l-o-v-e, LOVE scarves.  Pair them with a casual tee, feminine dress, or a button down.  Stripe and polka dot scarves do not discriminate between wide let pants or skinny jeans.  See why I love them so much? You really can wear them with anything.  They are also an easy way to mix patterns if you're not quite sure how to start.  Polka dots on polka dots? Can do. Stripes on stripes? Yes, yes you can, and you should.  Polka dots and stripes? Now we're talking. 

Here is a roundup of some of my favorite stripe and polka dot scarves. 

 I also like to layer my scarves.  I couldn't decide between two scarves one day so I threw both on.  I loved the added volume and the mix of color and prints.  Why not layer two favorites together??

Other patterns to mix: chevron, houndstooth, ikat, leopard, zebra

Do you love scarves, stripes, and polka dots as much as I do? Are you layering prints?

Thanks so much for having me today, Susan!

xoxo Carly

Carly, you're the best! I want to take all those scarves home with me! Literally...all of them! I hope you all go over to her blog and follow along, she's awesome! 

Have wonderful Wednesdays!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So we use our hands a lot, right?

I don't know any blogger, or any person for that matter, who does not rely on their hands on a daily basis. For me, I use my hands for something that I don't really talk about much here on my blog.

That's high school me! Haven't changed that much though :)
I'm an avid pianist. I've been playing the piano for about 16 years now. It is something that I am so very passionate about and I've spent a lot of time lately preparing and using my talents to prepare for a big recital in April. I think, in my preparations, I overdid it a bit. Unfortunately, about two weeks ago, I found out that I have carpal tunnel in both of my hands and wrists (which is when the tendons in your hands are inflamed and rub against one another, causing pain in the hands and wrists). Two weeks ago, it was so bad that typing just for a few minutes was painful, hence why my posts here on the blog haven't been what they usually are. I found out that I couldn't give my recital, something that I had been looking forward to for years, and that I had to take a lot of time off and couldn't work or accompany people, two things that I enjoy a great deal. It's been tough to take a step back from something that has been so natural for me, a part of my daily routine, and all the sudden it's had to take a backseat.

It was a bit heartbreaking, but things have been looking up for me! I've been going to occupational therapy sessions and learning techniques to strengthen my hands. I'm determined to become strong again so that I can, later on, give my recital and get "back to normal." I'm glad I caught it early.

However, despite the fact that I am slowly recovering, I was told to limit my computer time for "work" purposes. As a blogger, I was like what?! So I'm sorry that I have not been commenting as frequently on your beautiful posts as I normally do. Once my hands get stronger, I promise, I'll be back to normal!

That being said, some of my favorite bloggers have been so sweet to provide posts for the week! (I'm still wanting to show you my Fancies on Friday!'s Tangerine Tango!). So tomorrow Carly from a simple affair will be here, I'm so excited. I hope you will be too!

Thanks for being such loyal readers everyone. It really means the world to me that you come to my little neck of the blogosphere, you guys are the best!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Highlight: oh those oscars!

Watching the oscars is one of my favorite nights of the year! It's so glamorous and the fashion is to die for! I really wish I could just go once, what a dream that would be! I thought the show was really good, Billy Crystal did a great job. It was funny, it was sweet, and I loved the old Hollywood feel of the whole show. And speaking of Old Hollywood, I loved that many of the fashions were so classic and elegant!
Source: via Susan on Pinterest
Source: via Susan on Pinterest
Source: via Susan on Pinterest
Source: via Susan on Pinterest

Also, who thought Emma Stone was hilarious? I would've totally had those same reactions if I was at the Oscars, no lies! Let's be real! Did you watch the Oscars? What did you think of the results? I think I'm going to be doing some renting in the near future!

 Happy Monday!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Oscar's Night Out!

Oscar's Night Out

I have been a devout fan of the Oscars since I was about 10 years old. We used to have Oscar parties at our house where all of our friends would come over, all dressed up to the nines. My dad would put up a bright light in our front yard and roll out a red carpet for us to walk on. My mom would make hordouerves and then we would watch the red carpet looking for our favorites.

 This year, I want to see what Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone, Kate Winslet are sporting! They've been my favorites on the red carpet in years past and I really hope they don't disappoint this year! Will you be watching?

If I were going to go, I'd wear this year's color of the year! (yes, more tangerine! Are you sick of it yet? I still love it!) I love this Calvin Klein number, it's classic with a new color twist! I'd pair it with neutral heels and a clutch, but I'd want to make a statement with that necklace there. Isn't she a beaut? I love it! I'd go neutral with my nails, but make a statement with red lips too. I wouldn't want Joan Rivers putting me on her bad list!

In addition to watching the Oscars, I'm going to a friend's bridal shower on Saturday, and still continuing my job search process. What are you up to?? Whatever you're up to, I hope you find some time to relax and enjoy the biggest night in film!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Wednesday) Thoughts: Fasting and Feasting

Fast from emphasis on difference; feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of life.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on forgiveness. 
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others. 
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth. 
Fast from discouragements; feast on hope. 
Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift. 
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm. 
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire. 
Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity. 
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence. 
Peter Millar. Our Hearts Still Sing

This fasting and feasting is something I grabbed from my church bulletin, but I seriously believe that it is not just a church concept. Lent starts today, so these are my goals for the next forty days, but for me these words sit next to my bed and I look at them daily. They fuel my thoughts on things I can fast from and feast on every day. Because really isn't life so much better when we feast on what is really important and fast from all these little things that tend to take up our time and our thoughts anyway? 

For those of us celebrating Lent this year, I hope that whatever you fast from goes well. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Highlight: a little dance

Sometimes it's just fun to get all dressed up! I put on my new favorite little black dress, a pair of nude heels, and of course a big smile! There's nothing more fun then dancing with friends. Every once and while it's just good for the soul!

Also, I watched Music of the Heart, for about the zillionth time with my little sister Mary. It's honestly one of my favorite movies. If you've never seen it before, then dig at your local library and hopefully you'll be able to find it! It's fantastic!
image via google images

I also did something I never do, play Wii with some friends. It was ridiculously addicting and I didn't even know what game we were playing but it was fun stuff.

On top of having a relaxing dinner at Panera with friends and sipping many a latte while writing a paper, it was a nice weekend. How were yours?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Vamos a la Cabo!

Source: via Shelli on Pinterest
Vamos a la Cabo

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm off to Cabo! If I could just escape right now, I'd definitely want to go there, whether it's exploring some new beaches and hiking or just relaxing, I'd go there right now! I'd want a night out on the beaches, dancing with some fancy drinks! I'd go for a nice little green frock, nude shoes that I could dance all night in and some orange accessories to accompany it. Maybe we should all go to Cabo!

Hope you all have relaxing weekends! What are you up to?

Go check the other fancies over at Long Distance Loving!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Do it all ANYWAY

image via pinterest

It never ceases to amaze me how wise Mother Teresa was.

I know I can't speak for you all, but I think this message is ever so important (especially for those of us who celebrate Lent, it's a good reminder too! Can you all believe it's next week?).

Remember when your mother always told you to "be the bigger person?" This is basically what this is, but even better.

I know that the pressure of others sometimes makes me feel like I should put away all of my efforts and not give of my gifts, my forgiveness, my kindness, or even my happiness. Though that's the easy way out, that's not the way I want to live my life.

I strive to live my life like this, and do all of this anyway. I think it's the right thing to do. Plus, I do not think that any of us should sacrifice our gifts because of pressure from others or the world around us. Do you?

Happy Thursday friends! That weekend is so close!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sometimes when life gets tough...

...I wish I could just pack up a take a trip! Maybe here?

Source: via Brandi on Pinterest

I wish I could just stop whatever I'm doing and just knit for awhile.

I wish I could just go out with friends and just have some coffee and maybe a croissant! (or cookies, those work too!)

I wish I could just read a book, any book! (although from what I've been told, I really need to read this!)

Some days I wish I could just magically check everything off of my to-do list, stop life for awhile and just be. If you could just be right now, what do you wish you could do?

But unfortunately, we can't always do that. Life's not always that way. Wishes are always good things to hold onto and it's fun to think about those little things. With Valentine's Day come and gone, it's time to set our sites on the next little thing worth celebrating! Whether it's some more love, a birthday, a promotion, or an end to a difficult week, I'm going to try to keep my eye on something set to celebrate by the end of this week. When did more celebrating ever hurt anyone? With job apps, projects, and never ending research, sometimes it feels like I just want to run. But I won't. I'm going to stay put and keeping pushing through! (and maybe one of my little wishes can come true! Probably the coffee one. No complaints there!).

and I'm sorry for the venting, and mindless thoughts in this post. Sometimes a girl just needs to get it out there!

I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Days!! Keep that love going everyday, you never have too many chances to tell all those people in your life that you love them!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day friends!! I hope this day finds you in the spirit of love, whether you have a Valentine or not! I did get a few gifts from my Valentine's: ghiradelli chocolates from my Gran and Grandpa, a new West Elm makeup bag from Mom, a cozy sweater to make the day festive.

I was sitting in Whole Foods yesterday, in awe of the flowers and the flower arrangers. I loved all the men who were busily rushing to get bouquets for the ones they loved. The bouquets were gorgeous and the people ordering them were so happy. It just put me in a good mood! It kind of reminded be of that scene in the movie Valentine's Day (though I wasn't a huge fan of it, it was a good scene!). I love seeing people happy, especially on a fun holiday such as this one which brightens winter just a bit.

What are your plans? I hope you'll all allow me to show you some love today! I love you all for visiting and reading and commenting. You always make me smile!

 Enjoy your days with your loved ones, near and far! Happy Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Highlight: good friends, good food, good music!

Hi friends! I hope you all had wonderful weekends, I have to say that I definitely did! Here's something that sums up what a great weekend it was:

We celebrated that gorgeous girl in the green! She did such a beautiful job, and I was so inspired by all of her work to work even harder. That concert was a great start to the weekend.

After getting my test over and done with (thank goodness!) I had a little rest and relaxation. I caught up on my world events, including saying goodbye to Miss Whitney Houston. What a legend. My hairbrush and I Wanna Dance with Somebody will never be the same. But seriously, I hope that her memory and her talents will always be respected for future generations to come. She was a rockstar.

I must have been on a music kick because I caught up with both The Voice and Smash! I have to say, both have me hooked and wanting more! I know, I know, I'm sort of lame, but really I don't mind. I love TV like this! I've been a music reality show fan ever since Idol, but I love how they have evolved into more now. I LOVE The Voice! (and again, I love me some Blake Shelton!)

Also, because I did catch up on my TV this weekend, what do we think of The Bachelor? I'm wanting Kacie B all the way! The girl obviously has a thing for him and he is definitely attracted to her. Here's hoping Ben doesn't get sucked into Courtney's wit on tonight's episode! If Kacie doesn't work, Lindzi is also a nice option too!

What shows are you currently hooked on friends? I'd love to know!!

Here's to a great start to the week! I think it's going to be a good one!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday's Fancies: LOVE Edition

Love: Out or In!

Happy Friday friends! Who has been ready for this weekend? I definitely have been! This week, {av} suggested pink and red, and I've got that going on in bits here! Who has a big date for Valentine's Day? I hope some of you do! I do not, but if I did I would definitely want that dress, those heels and that simple necklace. What a look right? Or if you're like me, you might be spending Valentine's day either with friends or with a good chick flick and some chocolates (not that I may do any of the following...). This heart sweater, black skinnies, along with some cozy slippers, and why not, throw on a statement necklace for good measure (It's pink after all!)! I think that you should wear clothes that make you feel amazing, no matter the day or where you're headed. This would definitely do that!

 Hope you all have good weekends! I'm headed to an orchestra concert tonight with friends, spending Saturday having to take a wonderful state required teacher exam (sarcasm! those are such a pain, I digress! My last one!) and then off to see family and have a few meetings. It's going to be busy and I still have a lot to accomplish as well. Hopefully it'll all get done, right? Always does...What are your plans? Any big Valentine dates coming your way?

Go check out some gorgeous pink and red fancies over at Long Distance Loving! 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Smile!

image via pinterest

Happy Thursday friends! I hope you are all having wonderful weeks. As winter, or whatever we're calling this season, progresses, we often find ourselves in a lull. It gets tough at times, and yes a little depressing. But I hope we're all finding reasons to smile this week! Here's a few reasons why I'm smiling (little things count!):

a smile from me to you!
I got a new nail polish! Essie olĂ© caliente! Hot huh? I love it! It's going to be my essential spring color (I've already decided!) It's the perfect mix between orange and pink! I'm in! (although it looks red in  this picture. It's not)

I got to hear the wonderful and inspiring Sr. Helen Prejean speak about her journey counseling criminals on death row (the movie Dead Man Walking was based on her book, Susan Sarandon played her in the movie). She is truly an inspiration and I am so lucky to have heard her speak about social justice and her thoughts on the world. Here's some more words that she left that really struck me: "We are all worth more than the worst thing we ever did in our life." It was powerful ladies.

I'm in full swing getting ready for my half marathon! Stephanie has been so supportive and has given me so much advice :)

I'm catching up on Pan Am! Such a good show! Does anyone else watch it?

One of my best friends' birthday is today! We're celebrating a little bit later :) This same friend is also going to be playing an amazing beautiful piano concerto in a big concert tomorrow and I'm so excited to see her shine!

So many wonderful people have been aiding me in my job search! From all of the emails and everything that people have been helping me with, I think things are looking up!

Emails with Carly about teaching!

Though I am making most of my cards, I did find a few that Hallmark had me beat! I hope these people like them :)

Hot chocolate for dessert!

What has you smiling this week ladies? I'd love to know!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life Goal: Half Marathon!

Ever since I started running 8 years ago (and I am not a very fast one by any means, but I can hold my own and go for awhile!) I have wanted to run a half marathon. I have thought about it and thought about it. I feel I'm in the best shape I've been in in years and my mind is ready to tackle the challenge as well.

But there's a catch. I'm not registering for any half marathons.

I know, all the motivation for actually completing one comes with the fact that it's a big "race" and that lots of people are there and there's a real course.

My little sister Mary and I have decided we are just going to go for a "13.1 mile run" which I have gracefully deemed our half marathon. Neither of us want to, at this point in our running careers, register for an actual half, so we're creating our own course with which we are comfortable with. Ellen's boyfriend Cody has also decided to run with us, so it's going to be a good run!

We set a date and are going to stick to it: June 23rd! I'm very excited!

Has anyone ever gone on a "13.1 mile run?" Have you ever lots motivation to complete it? What has kept you motivated?

Just because it's not a "real" race, we still have a date and are motivated for the challenge. She's in track right now, so she's going to be really ready. I'm going to be looking up training tips online and have been sticking to my regular workout routine.

Of course, I wouldn't be able to do this by myself, I'm glad I have Mary and Cody for support. It's going to be a lot of fun training and working hard together for this!

I know a lot of you have run them before and your stories are so inspiring! What has kept you through it? Was it worth it?

Time goes by so quickly, and there will be a day where I will not be able to run. I am so excited to embrace this and keep working as hard, even if I'm not the fastest, I do have endurance!

I'll keep you guys updated from time to time on my progress. This has always been something on my bucket list and I'm so excited that I'm going to be able to check it off in just a few short months!

Have wonderful Tuesdays!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Highlight: Super

I will admit, I barely watched the Super Bowl or the commercials! I had meetings and work and other things. The only thing I really saw was this beautiful man at the end! He's always so happy, and I think that's why he's so well liked. All of my friends were happy the Giants took the victory! So intense at the end, I thought.

Is it just me, or is anyone bound to get sucked into The Voice again this season like I was this past summer? It's such a fantastic show and to me the premise of it speaks volumes. (plus getting to watch Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in action for a few hours=perfectly ok by me!)

Other than making my way through job applications and trying to accomplish little tasks, this was a pretty good weekend!

Hope you all have fantastic weeks! I need to start making my Valentines and hoping that I can stay ahead!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Spring Fever!

Spring Fever

Happy Friday friends! Miss {av} at Long Distance Loving deemed this week Spring Fever, and boy I think I have it! Since the weather is truly already in spring mode, I'm just about ready to get there myself. I'm loving the fact that jean jackets are back! I haven't had one in years (my sisters tend to go through my closet and throw out what they don't like. They said my last jean jacket was a "mom" jacket. So I suppose they did it for my own good!). Anyway, it's so perfect with this tunic! I'm loving the spring colors too. And I don't think it's too bold to pair this turquoise with this gorgeous kelley green shoe, do you? It's all about mixing and matching colors this season and I'm definitely on board! I would definitely sport all of this this spring, would you?

 Have a lovely weekend everyone! I'm not up to much. A friend and I are making soup tonight, can't wait! Other than doing job things and reading, and practicing, hopefully I can relax a bit! What are you up to? Thank goodness the weekend's here! This week felt so long. Glad the end is in sight! Happy Friday! ~Susan

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: I'm Possible!

image via pinterest

Has anyone ever seen this before? I really don't know why I've never heard of this, noticed it or even seen it before. But I think it's very true.

Some of us have probably gone full force on our New Year's resolutions already and probably some of us are thinking that they've gotten the better of us. Has this happened to you? We're probably thinking that some of them are impossible. Or even the tasks that this New Year has brought us. Let's face it, we all have our challenges and our "impossibilities."

We can't let ourselves get sucked into what is impossible, although I know how easy that can be (I felt this way just last week). We have to remember that we are possible and worth enough to handle whatever is put in front of us. We are possible in order to conquer feats, help others and even help ourselves.

Remember that you are possible! It may be difficult and though it is easy to doubt, we have to remember that we are here to be the possibility!

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Song

Happy February friends! I seriously thought that it wouldn't come (ok I take that back, January actually went by quite quick, don't you think?) With these most bizarre winter that we have going on here in the midwest, I don't know what I am lusting more for: the winter we didn't have a lot of or the spring that we are seeming to have (sort of!)? But I love this month of love! I do!

I need to start on my Valentine cards! I love making them homemade because, not only is it fun but it's also special. Valentine desserts are also one of my favorite parts of the holiday, as well as the half price candy at Walgreens the next day! (ok, for those of us who do not have Valentines, like me, this is actually very exciting!)

Here's some inspiration that I have been seeing for this beautiful month we call February:


And of course, I wanted to leave you with my favorite, Mr. Josh Groban singing February song. Gotta love it all! Hope you're having a great start to your February!

Happy February everyone!