Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stuffed into Shape

So for those of you who know me well- it's no secret that I am not always 100% confident with my body. I have put on some weight this year and find myself farther and farther away from where I would like to be weight and size wise. That being said, recently it's sort of difficult to feel like I look good in clothing. Generally I just chalk it up to "good enough" and call it a day- but I have a very special occasion coming up in a week or two and I really don't want to feel like I look bad in my clothes. I am going to be the maid of honor in one of my best friends' weddings next Saturday. Needless to say it's a little too late for a crash diet, or some sit-ups to start working now, so I was left with one option; one final solution to help end my anxiety about looking fat or lumpy in my bridesmaid dress: the body-shaper. Most women know the body-shaper all too well. We think some spandex pulling on our fat in the right direction will make us feel a little more confident in our own skin: And you know ladies, we are right.

I did the dreaded body-shaper shopping trip today and brought my dress along. At first I was feeling like "Yes! Finally I'll be able to feel like I look a little better in this dress"....then I got into the dressing room. For those of you who have never shopped/ tried on/ or owned a body-shaper- here is the process. Firstly you scour the store for the right section and dig through countless racks of underwear and slips to find the shapewear. Once you find it you are feeling a little overwhelmed because there are so many kinds- and of course all of them look good in the pictures because they are on size 2 models that don't have any extra fat on them! So you grab one of every style- leotard, body suit, strapless, with a skirt, with shorts, with a built in bra and without. Then there is the sizing issue to consider. Some brands mark clearly which one you should go for based on height and weight but most are a little obscure. So you grab a few sizes and hope for the best.

Next comes the trying on- this part is by far the worst. You have to strip down to just your undergarments in order to try one of these bad boys on. So off come the boots, coat, scarf, and everything else. Then you think "OK, this will be easy just slip a few on, get a feel for which is best"- this is where you are wrong. There is no "slipping on" a body-shaper. You have to yank it up onto your body: Packing in all the cellulite, flabby stomach, and lumpy hips along the way, as if you were trying to fit them in a suitcase that's too small. If it fits you, you should be able to sort of breathe, but if you don't have to do gymnastics to get into it- it's most likely too big on you. Once you get one on, you might feel something like a packed sausage. All your flab is just sucked in as much as possible by the poor spandex that's working overtime. My mom was with me during the trying-on process and a few times I was laughing so hard that I almost cried. It feels really ridiculous, especially if you get an incorrect size. Once I got one on, I had to try the dress on over that, and thoroughly examine every inch of my mid section to see if it smoothed me out efficiently.

Then came the taking off- this sort of felt like peeling off a layer of skin. Not quite as painful I imagine, but a similar sensation. There is a victorious feeling when you take it off: being able to breathe freely again. But just as that smile crosses your face- you realize you have 6 more to try on!! So you repeat the process as many times necessary in as many stores as necessary. Each time hating yourself a little more for not sticking to that diet or exercise routine you had promised yourself earlier that you would follow.

Finally you'll find one that works the best. Three good things to look for are: 1. you can breath, 2. It makes your silhouette look like a smooth rolling hill instead of the rocky mountain range, 3. When you put the dress on over the shaper you think, "hey now that's definitely not as bad as before." These three things are clues that you have found the right shaper for you!

Then you go to checkout- feeling more confident in how you will look with the shaper and VERY, VERY happy that this shopping experience is over. When you get to the register, you look at the price. This is when you realize how ridiculously overpriced these body-shapers are. Not only are they targeted for desperate girls with low self esteem, but they are going to charge you loads for this little boost in confidence. And what is even worse, is after all of that (the trying on, taking off, the boost you experienced by wearing it) you are so worn down that you are actually willing to pay this exorbitant cost.

And that is the magic of what acquiring a body-shaper is really like. ;)

For me the cost wasn't all that bad- I got it 20% off and my mom added it to my Christmas gifts! Honestly it's worth every penny because I really feel so much better in the dress now than I did before. This way I will be able to not worry so much about if I have funny bumps in the dress or if I feel like my stomach looks fat and I can just enjoy myself. If this will help me be able to focus more energy on the wedding- and my friends- and just enjoying myself- it's definitely worth it. I am a little disappointed in myself that I need a shaper in order to give me this extra confidence- but to each his own I suppose.

I know I am beautiful on the inside and out- and I know weight is always something I have battled with- but today I wanted to dive into this process and hopefully give you guys a few (relatable) laughs!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bridal Shower in a Box

If you haven't read the story behind this box click here! This post will give you all the details behind how I planned and executed a long-distance-bridal-shower!

Here is how I created the box:
First I chose a theme. I settled on "Snow and Winter" since she was all the way down in Texas missing out on a pretty northern winter (although we haven't much snow up here yet!) Then I gathered inspiration and ideas. Mostly I was inspired by shopping but once I got the idea I made a secret pinterest board for some inspiration. I unlocked it and you can look at it here: A Box of Winter

Next I went shopping and started crafting and assembling the box...
here is what was inside:

A Banner!
 How to: 
Take Gold Tissue paper fold it in half and cut strips.
Sew a ribbon in the folded part leaving room for ties on either side. 
Take pretty papers and write your message!
Sew a pretty accent ribbon to join the pieces of paper to make a banner.
Use clothes pins to hang both banners together.

Snow Garland! 
How to:
Take paper, Styrofoam balls, cotton balls, yarn, a big needle, and ribbon.
Begin stringing the yarn through paper snowflakes, cotton, and Styrofoam balls.
Add a ribbon at the top in order to tie it to something.
Add a small cardboard snowflake at the bottom to weigh it down. 
This can be hung from floor to ceiling or draped like traditional garland.

A Bride-to-Be Sash
 I looked high and low for a not totally overpriced, tacky, or trashy bridal sash and could not find one. So I ended up making one!
How to: 
Supplies: Pretty fabric, Puffy Paint, Thread
Cut out long even rectangles of fabric (long enough to go from shoulder to hip)
Iron them in half.
Iron down one of the corners on each to create the tail of the sash
Sew together neatly using machine.
Add the desired saying on the sash and let dry! 
(for more detailed instructions contact me)

Food and Favors:
Hot Chocolate! 
 For this I took hot cocoa packets and emptied them into small jars. 
I added chocolate chips and marshmallows to the mix to add some extra fun. 
Garnished with a ribbon and peppermint stick! 
(Bottom Right Photo) shows the left over hot cocoa packets- 
wrapped up all pretty with the instructions carefully cut out and placed inside. 

Other Food and Small Gifts
Some other fun gifts we added (pictured above) include:
Dark Chocolate Peppermint covered pretzels
Hot Chocolate Cupcake Mix
Fake Snow in a can
Pine smelling candle. 

Cupcake Liners
I added a box of winter cupcake liners to go along with the mix! 

Little boxes for the bride and groom.
 Each box included: 
A small bag of chocolate
Candy Canes
A white lovebird ornament
A Stamp
Fake snow and tulle

Packing the Box:
This was where a lot of the snow came in. 
Top Left: Everything wrapped up and ready to go in the box. 
Top Right: First Layer
Middle Right: Second Layer
Bottom Left: Final Layer- Rocking tons of fake snow
Bottom Middle: Bridal sash and note to explain what is in the box.
Bottom Right: An envelope on the outside of the box to tell her she is not allowed to open the box yet and should call me for further instruction. 

Even though this was a bridal shower box- it was heavily focused on snow and winter- I hope this brings you some inspiration for the holidays! 

Throwing a Long Distance Bridal Shower

Hello! I am so sorry it's been awhile since I have posted anything substantial on my blog! In the next few days you can look forward to posts about crafty things, holidays, cats, and graduation! I'd like to kick off this blogging marathon with a brilliant crafty party idea. (this one is a long post! hang in there).

This fall I was asked by one of my best friend's, Danielle, if I would be the maid of honor in her wedding this winter. I was beyond excited to say yes, mostly because I was thrilled to be there for one of my friends during this special time in her life. Among the bridal party- are two of my other best girlfriends: Meagan and Alyssa. You might recognize all of these names-because we all were in Alyssa's wedding this July!

These girls are among my favorite people ever- we all became a group of friends during high school- and since then no matter how many miles separate us we can always know the other girls are there whenever we need them.

Once I was asked to be maid of honor- I started thinking about what responsibilities went along with that. Obviously i googled it- and panic ensued. Google was giving me enormous lists of tasks that are the maid of honors responsibility- so instead I calmed down and emailed Danielle to check what her expectations were. She was pretty mellow saying that she didn't think me throwing a bridal shower or other parties are really possible because she is all the way down in Texas! (I'm up in PA). So since then I had just been doing my best to help out from afar and be a supportive friend. Then it occurred to me- this isn't fair! Just because she is far away from her family and friends does not mean she should have to miss out on a bridal shower- so the scheming started! I contacted the mother of the bride and the other bridesmaid to concoct this outrageous plan.

I created a "long distance bridal shower". My idea started as a box full of cards from family and friends instead of a shower. The box would also include cute things to represent a shower. Alyssa contributed the idea of adding an element of gifts to be sent- and with tons of planning and help from everyone we finally figured it out. This is the email I sent out to all of Danielle's family and friends... (addresses have been edited out and spacing changed for the purpose of this post).

Hello family and friends of Danielle and Sean,
My name is Danielle M. I am the maid of honor in Danielle and Sean's wedding and I have a very important message for you!
I would like to formally invite you to partake in a long-distance bridal shower. We all know that Danielle and Sean are down in Texas, and the wedding is rapidly approaching. Danielle will not be able to make it back up North before the big day. After much deliberation among her bridesmaids, we have decided that Danielle and Sean still deserve to be showered with love (even all the way down in Texas), so we formulated a plan. Instead of having a physical bridal shower for the couple, we would like to gather up all of the cards and gifts and send them in a surprise package to Danielle. The package would be presented as her "long-distance bridal shower" and would include any cards from family/friends and other personal touches to help make them feel showered with love. 
Your Role in the Bridal Shower: 
How you can participate: 
1. Send a bridal shower card with a message of love for the couple.
2. Send a card with an additional gift card or check as a gift.
3. Purchase a gift online or in person to send for the shower.
If you have chosen option 1 or 2, here is what you should do: 
Please address your card/gift to the following address- 
(my address went here)
The card must be received by: November 26
If you have chosen option 3, please follow these instructions: 
Please have the gift mailed to the following address-
(neighbor of Danielle here)
These packages must be received by: December 1
Important Note: We know the holidays can be a financially stressful time of year, and that Texas is far away; you should not feel obligated to spend any money if you are not comfortable or not able to do so. 
Questions you may have:
When will Danielle & Sean get the packages? 
We are still working on negotiating the specifics, but Danielle should be scheduled to open the packages sometime between the 3rd - 9th of December. Please remember that this is a TOTAL SURPRISE! Do not mention anything to Sean or Danielle until after her scheduled "bridal shower!" (PS> the date did change and we had to keep everyone email updated on this)
Where should I shop for a gift or gift card? 
Danielle and Sean are registered at Crate&Barrel. 
Other nice options are: Williams & Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Be creative! 
Who should checks be made out to? 
Please make checks out to either Sean Arnold or Danielle Harmon. 
I can only send a card, is that O.K.? 
Yes! The whole goal of this shower is to shower the couple with love. A simple card with kind words is just as meaningful as a gift. 
I want to do option 1 or 2, but I missed the Deadline, what should I do? 
Contact Danielle M. at (my email here) to work something out!
Whose address are the packages are being sent to?
This address belongs to Danielle's neighbor. They have graciously agreed to accept the presents prior to the shower in order to keep it a total surprise!

If you have any further questions please email me at (my email here) or call me at (my phone number here)
Thank you so much for your time! We hope you are able to participate in showering the happy couple with love and support! I look forward to hearing from you soon! 
Danielle M.

After sending out this email I had many positive responses back. Originally I wasn't sure how people would take it. I didn't want anyone to feel pressured into feeling like they had to contribute or buy a gift if they felt uncomfortable or they couldn't afford to.

The end result was fabulous! We had about 5 people send along cards to be included in the box- and about 16 or so gifts that were mailed to the neighbors. I emailed everyone who was invited periodically to give them updates along the way and I sent along this picture of the box that I sent to Danielle.

Look at my post on how I created this box for more details and pictures! 

While this box was being shipped all the way to Texas- myself and the other bridesmaid were scheming away. We got Danielle to agree to google chat with us to "fill us in on wedding stuff". We even had to move the chat because the box hadn't arrived yet! (I made up an excuse to postpone it). We rescheduled the chat and had to re-coordinate with Sean's mother to have her not move the boxes from the neighbors yet. It was a total miracle but the box made it on the day we had rescheduled the video chat for. And it ended up being flawlessly executed. 

Danielle opened the box when we gave her the go ahead. (Meanwhile Sean's mom was moving all the boxes from the neighbors to their house). It was so fun to watch her open the box and be covered in all that fake snow. When she finished open the box I sent and the cards inside of it. She innocently thought the surprise was over. That's when we had her go downstairs only to find Sean, his parents, and the 16 boxes from more of her family and friends. The couple opened up the gifts and we watched from the video chat. It was so amazing to watch this all unfold and honestly I could not have been happier with the results! I am so grateful to all of Danielle and Sean's family and friends who participated! 

(pictures of Danielle in Texas during the shower soon to come!)

If you are ever thinking about throwing someone a long-distance-party. It can absolutely be done! Don't be afraid to try something new. I think this is probably one of the first long-distance-bridal-showers ever, and I loved it. If you have any questions about the specifics, or any hiccups along the way just comment below and I'll get back to you!

Happy party planning! I hope this inspired some holiday cheer! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


So ever since my siblings got their iPhones I have really, really wanted one. For my college graduation gift my parents agreed to get me one! I decided to go with the 5, since nowadays technology is outdated so quickly! Here is my first post done from my phone! I am foreseeing a major increase in short blog posts in my future. For now enjoy these cute homey pics I took! :) Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 delight

I think it's important to stop every now and then and think about the simple things in life we are thankful for. Since today is kind of a fun date- I decided to make a list of 12 delightful things that happened to me on 12/12/12! Most of them aren't ridiculous or extravagant: they are simple things that happened throughout my day that I am really happy and thankful for!

1. By midnight I had finished all my assignments for student teaching.
2. I woke up late but still made it to school with time to spare (magical).
3. We had donuts and oranges in homeroom after I had forgotten to eat breakfast!
4. My cooperating teacher gave me a lovely and useful graduation gift.
5. 2 of my classes threw me surprise going away parties.
6. I completed my last day of Student Teaching!!!
7. Derek and I celebrated the end of student teaching by going out to dinner.
8. I took a nap! (it's been too long)
9. Today is the first time in awhile that I am getting to do a blog post.
10. I found out I will be able to make it to the Winterfest concert tomorrow!
11. I can spend the evening relaxing, and have all of tomorrow to get things done.
12. If I want I can totally go to bed early. (I know this sounds lame- but I'm not sorry)

and just for fun...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All that Glitters

Sorry it's been such a long time since I have been able to post. My schedule has been crazy lately (T-minus 13 days until Graduation)! I spent Thanksgiving in Massachusetts with my family- and it was wonderful! I love spending time with them, and miss them all so much when I am away! Ever since Thanksgiving weekend I have had some super intense Christmas spirit. In fact the same day that I drove 7 hours home from MA I decorated my entire apartment for Christmas! (Like I said kind of intense).

Along with winter and Christmas comes a lot of adorable things in the stores. I mean everything from festive holiday clothing to party decorations, or even adorable looking food! One of my favorite trends every year around Christmas is Gold. There is this beautiful sparkle on everything around the holidays and finally once a year you are allowed to wear an entirely sequin dress and no one will care. Speaking of sequins, I have been looking for a dress that I can wear to graduation, Danielle's rehearsal dinner, and for any possible New Years celebration. Honestly- I'd like it to have some sparkle. (Now I am not thinking of a full sequin dress, something a little less flashy and more classy). All this being said- a lot of my mind has been consumed in gold glittery things. And you know what? I don't even mind it. Here are some beautiful pictures of pretty gold things. I hope you have a lovely day!

 Most adorable ever. I love this wallpaper and would even consider using it in my room!
I would love a dress like this for graduation! 

Not the case I am getting, but maybe it'll be the next case I get. 

 I saw this blog post last year about this neat way to make a photo backdrop! 

 I actually already own this nail polish- it's so great! 

I need to incorporate some of this beautiful wrapping into my Christmas gifts this year! 

I'd love to add this to my collection. :)

 I need to try this Gold-Leaf DIY

 Beautiful wallpaper!

Also I am in love with these journals. Just bought them the other day :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something Old, Something New

For the past few years I have been filling up a journal with thoughts about life, love, faith, and everything else under the sun. Whenever I pick it up I feel a sour twinge of regret that I don't write in it more often, but a gladness that I am writing at that moment. Occasionally I will revisit the pages from my last few years. I reread the passages filled with ideas, poems, emotions, and prayers about my life. Recently I was thinking about how much i enjoy writing, and a talk with one of my best friends brought to light a thought I have hid from for awhile.

I was talking to a friend about playing at open mics. He was talking to me about hearing people play their original songs and what a personal experience that is. He also brought up the idea of how people who share their poems at these open mics are so brave: that reading a poem is possibly more personal than playing an original song. This got me thinking. I love writing so much, but generally never share my writing with others: I think it's because I am insecure with my writing abilities. I am afraid that harsh criticism might spoil my interest in writing. But today I have decided to be brave and share some selected writings. Some are old (as old as 4 years) and others are new (the most recent dating back only a few weeks ago).

I don't think myself to be some great author, or even particularly gifted in the area, but I do enjoy it. So here is my humble offering into the literary world. Please be kind with any comments, it's hard to put my writing 'out there' like this.

What is your biggest fear?

don't leave me alone with my thoughts 
they engulf my body in a pool.
It hurts to open my eyes.
Everything is hazy
and the prettiest song of a bird is
swallowed by the water's silence.
I hold my breath
A brilliant light flickers- calling me back
but I sink as the day grows dark
my arms fight and reach out
but there is nothing to grasp.
When will the tide lower?
When will I hear the songbird again?

In those still moments before a storm everything is thick with tension.

The thunder sets the stage, 
the wind chimes stretch before their dance,
and the birds greedily snatch food before they take their seats.

A few drops to start.

Everything is quiet except the rapidly approaching thunder.
Breeze sweeps through the trees.

Suspended in time,

to be released.

Come great Thunder and Rain,
the world waits for its release.

Silence calls on the mountain tops
The stillness beckons my soul
I am alive in a world of dreams
I am awakened by pure beauty
A holy contradiction rests in the mountains
I live and die
I am inspired and still
I breathe and lose my breath
Cover me Fog that I might find eternal peace. 
-2009 *Set in a choral piece by Joshua Hartman

Sometimes I wish I could walk the whole world, but I would be so bored after I finished. 

Sometimes I wish I could read your thoughts, but you would lose all your mystery.

I am glad some goals are unobtainable, it means I will always have something to aim for. 

Every time I begin a new chapter of my life I worry that it won't be nearly as good as my last- usually I am wrong. 

had the 
from the ground
up into the 
but three words
like a bright white

The ducks flocked around him like kids at a parade. He doled the bread out as fairly as he could, not neglecting the little ones too small to fight for their food. He continued to toss the bread as he headed over to another area. He stayed until all the bread was gone, methodically tossing the pieces. His feet crunched over the leaves as he reached for another loaf of bread. He passed it off to a father, whose daughter came barreling towards him with giddy delight grasping for the bread. He grabbed another loaf from the box talking casually to his companions. He headed to another spot along the river near the bridge and continued to toss his humble offering into the water. He distanced himself again, entering another world where only his hands, the bread, and the hungry mouths of ducks existed. Somehow he felt more at home with these desperate creatures than he did with his smiling, chatty companions. He threw the last piece reluctantly and headed back to reality. The reality of a life trapped by walls, full of complications, limited to travel only where the bridge would let him pass. 

She shivered and picked up her things as the shade rudely interrupted her daydream. A few more feet over and she would be safe again, at least for a few more moments before the sun slipped behind another tree. She twirled her pen quietly looking around. She took a sip of her iced coffee, full of regret for not choosing a hot drink. Setting her gaze on the water she watched two ducks glide effortlessly across the crystal surface. 'So simple, elegant, and effortless to the world, all the while pumping their feet as fast as they could to stay afloat' she thought with her eyes fixed on their easy movement. She smiled and considered how we as people are just like these ducks: we try our best to appear put-together, figured out, and like we can move through our life effortlessly, all the while hiding away our tired, pedaling feet, working hard to stay afloat and keep up appearances. The wind brushed her cheek coldly and her numb hands told her it was time to go. She packed away her journal and pen and slung her bag over her shoulder: walking away from the park but not leaving the image of the ducks behind. 

That is all I will share today. I am sure that these aren't perfect. Probably full of grammar and punctuation error, but what I am sharing is not supposed to be perfect and polished, but rather raw and real thoughts and ideas. I am feeling scared to publish this post, but I want to overcome the fear of sharing my thoughts and writing. Through sharing and revisiting- I am sure I can make my future writing better. 

*All original thoughts and words by Danielle Montgomery- please do not copy without permission. 

Happy Sunday!

Hello! Just a quick fun thing to share. My post about my smash journal was featured on the *SMASH blog! Go check it out over on there site and leave me some love! Click here to see the post on *SMASH Blog, click here to see the original post on my blog!

Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Chalkboard on the Cheap

This may be my final bedroom update post for awhile. For those of you who remember I have been slowly adding to my bedroom since we moved into the apartment. Yesterday I added an awesome personal touch to jazz up a huge white spot on the wall; a Chalkboard. I have been looking for ideas for this awkward white space foe a long time now and finally it came to me- chalkboard paint obviously. So I started considering my options. I thought about painting the wall, but honestly I felt like it would be so expensive and such hard work for that tiny small space. Plus I've already painted some crazy stuff on my walls, I wanted something I didn't have to 100% commit to. So I decided to do add a chalkboard that could attach to the wall. I looked at decals, but they were so expensive and I probably couldn't use it more than once. So I assessed what I already owned to see what I could come up with. I already owned chalkboard spray paint (which has been invaluable in making some awesome things and only cost about $7). All of the sudden it came to me- I should spray paint poster board! I wasn't sure if this would work but spending a dollar on a piece to try it seemed like a good option. So far so good. Just grab your spray, do a few thin coats of paint and let dry. It's not exactly like a chalkboard, but I can mostly erase it, and write on it with chalk so it totally works for the situation at hand. I hung it up with four tacks (1 in each corner).  Essentially this project cost me $1 and hardly any time. It spruces up the white spot on the wall and lets me use it and change the images however I want.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the chalkboard looks like in my room. :) And a little Maggie Love for all of you!

 Happy Monday! Have a great week!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How *Smashing

Hello everyone! Hope your day has been smashing so far. Mine has been great. I spent the day teaching and had a lot of success in general music and in choir. I even taught a piece on the fly to our last period choir! I am becoming more confident in my musical abilities by the day! But enough about music- this post is about smashing!

Awhile ago I bought a smash journal, and did a post about it here. That post talks more about what smash journaling is, and shows an up close look at my Sound of Music page (Left column-4th one down). Essentially smashing is a type of journaling that mixes with scrapbooking and other random junk. I've used it mostly to save important things to me in a creative way. Here's what you are looking at to the Left!

Left Column (starting at top):
1. My *Smash Journal
2. Shiprock and Anchordog Page 
3. Travel Page
4. Sound of Music Page
5. Notes Sarah D. left me when she went to AZ. 

Right Column (starting at top):
1. Dream Kitchen/Food Page
2. Quote and Inspiration Page
3. Ken's Promotional Ceremony Page
4. Ticket Stubs etc. Page
5. Sarah's Travel Pages Continued

Below I have a closer look at a few pages that have some interesting features. P.S. If the picture to the left is too hard to see right click and open it in a new tab for a look at the full size image!

 What you are seeing above is my Kitchen/ Food Page. Notice the 2 pockets and the 2 flip tabs. 
The second picture reveals the whole kitchen and shows what pictures were hiding in the pocket!
The third picture shows the large flap which opens up to display some places I have enjoyed visiting for good food and drink, and above it you can see the other pocket containing receipts and a napkin each saved with a funny story behind it. 

 These bright colorful pages above are from this past summer when I worked as a counselor/director for the shiprock and anchordog project. The card is positioned so when you open it you can still see the whole card and see a few other drawings from students tied in with yarn. I have such sweet memories of these kids! 

Although simple the pages above are my favorite. My travel pages. On the left hand side you can see my list of countries and states I have visted (still adding). And on the right side I have created this little book all about different travel experiences. Traveling is one of my favorite things and holds a special place in my heart- I'll be adding to these pages forever! 

So that is just a brief view of some of the smashing I have done. I am happy with how it's turned out, and bought a second book to fill once I complete my first. It's addicting! I encourage any of you to start, the materials are not that expensive. In fact, I just bought a kit at Micheal's the other day and it came with a book and a bunch of supplies being sold for $20. I even got it 40% off with a handy dandy coupon! 
These make great presents for creative friends and family too! 
Happy Smashing!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweens Past

Happy Halloween Everyone! Tonight I am not really doing anything fun to celebrate the spooky holiday. In fact I don't even have a costume this year, it's kind of sad. Some of you might know that when I was a kid I was never allowed to participate in trick-or-treating, or really anything Halloween-like. So when I got to college I started actually dressing up for Halloween. The past four years I have managed to make plans and dress up, but this year no plans, and no dressing up. :(  So in order to commemorate the day with costumes I have decided to post pictures of Halloweens past.(aka 4 years of college)

Freshman year I dressed up as Barbie! (Every little girls dream- haha)
Sophomore year I dressed up as a French Maid (the non-trashy version)
Junior year I dressed up as Baby Spice of the Spice Girls (Left to Right Scary, Sporty, Baby, Posh, Ginger)
And Senior year I dressed up as Daphne of the Scooby Do Gang! 

So as I said before- Happy Halloween to all! Hope your holiday was full of fun and lots of costumes! Crossing my fingers I have an occasion to dress up for next year!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eat. Pray. Love.

Today I watched a movie that I hadn't seen in awhile. Ever since I saw it in theaters I felt like I had to own in, and two years later I finally picked up a discounted copy at the mall. (It's been a long time coming). I am so happy that I watched it today- at this stage in my life. I feel like I know a lot of how the protagonist is feeling- not that I am in my 30's or going through a divorce, but that I am searching. I feel the need to go experience the world and somehow find myself in all of it. If you've never seen it- or just need a refresher here's the trailer to give you a taste. Also important to know is that it's a true story!

I'd like to share a few scenes I really enjoyed from each stage of the journey. Each has one of my favorite quotes from the movie!

Eat: Italy

Pray: India

Love: Bali

The quote she says in the video above really inspired me today- I spent a lot of time reflecting and thinking about my future. I know I need to explore, and take some type of journey to really discover those truths about myself.

If you haven't seen the movie it's definitely worth watching- and I am planning on picking up the book ASAP.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Give Me Some Lovin'

I recently have started using Bloglovin' to keep track of all the blogs I follow- and I would be honored if anyone who reads my blog, would follow me on that site :) Thanks a bunch! Have a great day!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Is this real life?

The past few days have been some of the hardest I have experienced in quite a while. Sometimes when I have bad days like these I feel like, what can I possibly do but attempt to cheer up. These lyrics came to mind "life's a piece of sh** when you look at it"- and so this is the song that is from- it gives a nice reminder to stay positive. Here's hoping it will get easier!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Miss Gumrey

Sometimes on my blog I don't get into very personal things. Mostly because this is the internet, and how safe is it really to post personal information? But feeling like it would simply be unfair to not share, I just have to tell you about my student teaching. And what better day to do it than on World Teachers' Day!

This summer and many months leading up to student teaching I was a nervous excited ball of energy. Much of me was filled with doubt: I somehow didn't believe that I would enjoy teaching, or find it fulfilling, or be any good at it. (trust me I thought of every excuse in the book to give up). I think sometimes when we face a big step we tend to want to turn around and hide for fear of failure. Well, as my days of student teaching approached I decided I would just need to dive in head first. I made up my mind that there is no way I would know if I liked it/was any good at it until I was in the thick of teaching.

My first day, as I headed to school, I was so anxious. A million questions zapped through my mind; doubts, excitements, fears, anxieties. I didn't know what to expect. Would I be any good at classroom management, would the kids be receptive to my teaching, would I be good at taking over the classes: all of these questions and more kept running through my brain. The first day I met my co-op she asked how I was feeling. I was honest and said "nervous and excited." She laughed and said "you have no reason to be nervous, it's going to be fun!" Knowing that she had that opinion from the get-go was really helpful in calming my nerves.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."- This famous Shakespearean quote has stood the test of time, and quite frankly raises a good question. How much does a name really mean. I am not sure why but very randomly I just started noticing peoples' names, and nicknames. Think about it- a kid in school's name is George but everyone calls him Frankie- Why?! But it's not ridiculous- situations like that really exist. In middle and high school usually kids try on different nicknames, or some kids have them from birth: Named William but always called Billy. It's just really strange the whole naming thing, and what people refer to themselves as. Sometimes I hear other peoples' names and I just think they sound way more interesting than mine does. Like a blog about "the Life of Lulu", or "Everyday Elsie".

From when I was a little girl I always was called Danielle. When my parents chose my name my dad made sure it was know that he liked the whole name and not a shortened down nickname. I didn't really have an issue with that at all, and I think it's the reason why I never got a nickname from birth. But in middle and high school I started to get some nicknames: Nelly, Nell, Elle, Yellie, Danielley, DL, and Bonnie. I never minded any of them at the time. However I absolutely HATE it when people call me

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Places I'd Rather Be...

This evening I had been planning for a few weeks now that I would be going to Philly to see one of my favorite music artists:Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Well here I am sitting at home- not on my way to Philly. (totally bummed). I would be except I had no money for gas- I hate how money lack of money can ruin a lot of things. So in honor of the concert I so desperately wish i was at.... here is a post with some of her beautiful music- and although I am sure live is even better, for everyone who can't make it to the show, happy listening! 
 (PS. I'd be "that guy" at the concert who knows all the words to every song including made up harmonies)

 5 Reasons why I like Danielle Ate the Sandwich:

1. This is obvious but her musical talent- stunning voice great ukulele player- and beautiful harmonies! 
Listen to this song- It's just great. I always sing along with this one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

7 Ways to Wear It!

Today I am blogging over at Second Hand Solace
Don't miss out on the post
And make sure you read her guest post on my blog it's all about thrifting!
Have a nice evening!  

Thrifty Tips from Second Hand Solace {A Guest Post}

Hello everyone- today I'd like to introduce to you Brittany of Second Hand Solace. I am really excited to have her share with you some amazing thrifty tips. Definitely stop by her blog she has so many wonderful posts (Not only on thrifting but a ton of other great things too- including primal recipes!) Enjoy the post!

Hello i like boring things readers!  My name is Brittany and I blog over at Second Hand Solace.  I originally started SHS in May 2012 as a means of sharing my journey as I only buy second hand {thrifted} clothing.   Since then, Second Hand Solace has expanded to include posts on music, primal/paleo lifestyles, fashion and college life.   I'm super excited to be guest posting today on Danielle's blog today! I thought I'd go back to SHS's roots and share some thrifty tips and tricks.

More often than not, after telling somebody that I thrifted the outfit I'm wearing, I get this response: "I never find anything good when I go thrifting".  Not every thrifting trip will be a success, but I thought I'd share some of my favorite tips to hopefully help make your next trip a good one.


A thrift store is a direct reflection of the area in which it is located.

I think that the location of the thrift store is often overlooked by thrifters, yet it plays an important role in your success.  For example, the area where I go to school is very rural.  The closest malls are 30 minutes or more away and even those are very limited.  Back home, I live in a suburban area where there are an abundance of shopping malls, including one of the biggest on the East Coast. I am also in close proximity to a major city where I'll also do some thrifting.  The difference between the thrift stores in each of these areas is very noticeable.  Many thrift stores in the suburban areas focus on buying gently used, brand name clothing.  The thrift stores where I go to school accept older donated clothing.   

The Indian dress pictured to the right is originally from  Anthropologie but I found it at a thrift store back home at a greatly reduced price.  If you are into brand names, pick a store and location that best reflect the brand you are searching for. If there's no Urban Outfitters within 50 miles of you, don't walk into your local thrift store and expect to find all UO brands.  Don't be afraid to travel more than you normally would if you're on the hunt for a specific item or brand.

Monday, September 24, 2012

4 Simple Goals: Photography

If you remember a little while ago I posted about 4 simple goals I wanted to accomplish before 2013. Here is one of what I am sure will be many follow up posts to come. Since I started these goals I have spent a lot more time just enjoying life. Taking photos of the beauty that surrounds me, and even trying new recipes(post on that coming soon). I highly recommend setting a few goals to complete before the new year, so far it's been nothing but rewarding! Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

DIY: Chevron Wall (with slanted ceilings)

In my last post I introduced you to my new wall in my bedroom. I painted it a chevron pattern  with two colors. All the how-to articles online were for square/rectangle walls and none accounted for slanted ceilings. So here is how I did it with going totally insane. (I apologize in advance for the wordiness of the directions it's sort of tricky to explain).

First Check out the before and after to see if this How-To will help you.

RIP white wall.

Awhile ago I did a post on all the updates we have made to our apartment. If you remember correctly I said I wasn't quite thrilled with the 'final product' of my bedroom. And since I believe the space you are in greatly influences your mood I decided to make a few more changes. Here is what my bedroom looked like before we moved in: Pretty plain, long, boring and white.

Monday, September 10, 2012

4 Simple Goals (Before 2013)

Sometimes it seems like the only time to set new goals is at the beginning of a new year, or new time in your life, but why not decide smack dab in the middle of life to set a few goals. I was inspired by the blog, A Beautiful Mess to think of some easy to accomplish goals for the end of the year. The original idea behind this project is to pick things easy to do, but not terribly essential that you accomplish them, and also things that will bring joy to your life. For example instead of saying lose 10 pounds, say eat a little healthier everyday focus less on result and more on the activity itself.

1. Take time out of each week to take some photos
2. Make all handmade or personalized Christmas gifts
3. Try out a new recipe every 2 weeks
4. Learn to cover at least one song on my Ukulele

We are never ever ever getting back together (like ever)

I haven't really expressed my sheer love for Taylor Swift in awhile, it's true I love her. I love her music, her style, and everything she stands for. She's just adorable! I've been totally digging this song lately. And I am really in love with the music video: mostly for her stellar taste in clothing, and the neat set design. I also really enjoy that she released a lyric video. Nice move. Watch out though, this song is super catchy...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Day for Dad

A few days ago on August 31st I celebrated my Dad's birthday. Most of you know he passed away when I was younger, but I still like to take time throughout my year to think about him and celebrate his memory. What better day than his birthday? I asked my mom if she had any suggestions on how I should celebrate: she suggested taking some photos, eating strawberry ice cream, and watching Star Trek. I decided to try and do all three things!

First I tackled photos... I remembered he took tons of photos of nature and fireworks, there were no fireworks in sight so I decided to go spend some time outside with my camera. I drove down the road a bit to Bald Eagle Stat Park. It was the first time I'd ever been there, and it was really nice, I'd like to go and explore more. Maybe do a few trails! When I first got close I found a small boat launch area and decided to explore there. I began walking around and found a big black snake! It made my heart jump... I am clearly terrified of snakes, mostly because I don't know how to tell what kinds they are or if they are dangerous. I didn't get a good picture of it, but it was about as thick as my fist. It slithered away and I snagged a few pics then searched for a more safe place to eat my packed lunch.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Home Sweet Home

The moment of truth is here!! I am finally going to post some apartment pictures. I will go into some details about each room, and all the pictures are numbered for easy understanding of what's what. If you missed the earlier post on the apartment check it out, it has before pics of the kitchen, living room, and my bedroom! 

Welcome to the Living Room!

No Hair Dryer Required

The past week or so I have been at my apartment with no internet (until 2 days ago) and with not too much to do, except fix up the apartment. I even ran mostly out of money meaning I couldn't drive anywhere because of gas cost... which left me stuck. It's not all bad however. The house really came together quickly and I have tons of time for crafts and other projects, which brings me to the point of hair. I haven't felt like blow drying my hair lately seems like a waist if I have nothing going on- but I haven't liked how it looks down either... it's too long and heavy to look nice scrunched and wet... so I have been experimenting. This is my favorite so far. It's similar to other things I have done with small braids in front of my hair, but this one used up the whole front half of my hair! :) I liked the results and it will be an excellent look for a not super challenging hair style that requires no blow drying or product and keeps your hair off your face! 

How to: I started the braid at my right ear and divided out the front portion of my hair all the way across. While braiding pull in the direction you want it to go, i started pulling straight over like a headband then mid left side i pulled back to where my bun would be, but still used all the hair to my left ear in the braid. Then take the end of the braid and the leftover hair and style it in a messy bun.