Hello, For fun, I thought I would try a writing exercise on here where I come up with personality types for different kinds of things. And what kinds of things, you ask? I was thinking… More
Hat: Forever 21
Hair Ribbon: Forever 21
Inspired by my favorite adventurers/naturalists: John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Beatrix Potter, Alexander Von Humbolt, etc. I wish I could dress like this all the time and travel around the world to see the most beautiful national parks.
Here is one of my favorite exploring quotes by my favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson:
“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater
sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country
where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t
read anything. You have only the most rudimentary
sense of how things work. You can’t even reliably
cross the street without endangering your life. Your
whole existence becomes a series of interesting
Yesterday I made a delicious brownie recipe, something that is perfect for these last cold months of winter. Filled with chocolate, coffee, and caramel bits, they are scrumptious when first coming out of the oven, and perfect for a late night treat with a warm drink. You could make this by taking a box mix and adding the coffee, chips, and caramel, but I really wanted to try and make some from scratch. I was so happy that I did!
- 3 ounces of baking chocolate
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons of instant coffee
- Handful of caramel bits (I used Werther’s soft caramels and cut them in half)
- Baking chocolate chips (I bought the chunky kind)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch glass baking dish (or something close to those measurements.
- In microwave safe bowl, melt chopped baking chocolate. Once melted, put aside and melt your butter in another bowl. Add them both together in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the sugar, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the butter and chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs and instant coffee and mix for about a minute until it is smooth (and it is a bit thick at this stage)
- Stir in your caramel bits and chocolate chips. I added chunks of sea salt as well and mixed everything together.
- Pour the batter into your baking dish and put it in the oven. It should bake between 30 – 35 minutes (mine baked for 32)
- Let cool before you serve. The caramels do tend to sink to the bottle, which wasn’t a problem for me, but you want to wait at least 10 minutes before you cut them up, or the caramel will still be liquid and it will make a mess! They are delicious hot, but also serve well when they are cold and you have a nice drink!
If you make these, let me know what you think! They have a mocha flavor to them, the coffee isn’t super strong, so they go well with a nice cup of coffee still. I think this is the perfect end-of-winter treat to warm me up!
I’ve been working on a lot of fun projects lately, which has been making me feel very creative. I came across this quote which I love, and thought I would share:
“The ability to take what is most painful in the human condition and then redeem it in a work of beauty has always been seen as the sacred task of artists.”
— Roger Scruton
Your day of memory making with this cognac crossbody bag concludes with plans to continue tomorrow! The brassy accents edging the corners of this faux-leather purse – paired with a cool press-lock closure – are like photo corners that frame a fun afternoon each time you’re out and about.
I need a warm, light-colored brown bag for spring, and I found the most beautiful one on Modcloth (of course) and I needed to have it. The look that I was going for here is spring naturalist looking for plants to stuff into her trunk-shaped bag. I think it is absolutely adorable, and while it is smaller than some of my other bags, everything essential does fit inside. The detailing on the corners are perfect for giving a vintage feel to the bag, as well as the details on the bottom corners of each side of the bag, which make it look like an old trunk.
I bought this about a week and a half ago, and the first bag sent to me had some broken pieces but I was quickly sent a new one. This bag now feels like my soulmate. That might sound like an exaggeration! But I swear that I’ve worn it out once and I can’t imagine not having it. I don’t believe that the leather is real but it feels beautiful, and after only wearing it once I got so many compliments on the style. I love it because of the old antique-trunk style of it. I have a leather wallet, and iPhone 8 Plus, and many tiny notebooks, and everything fits inside! The only thing that had to be minimized was my ridiculous amount of lip products that I carry around with me (but I didn’t mind that).
Since this is giving me beautiful, springy vibes, I will conclude with an inspiring quote to hopefully give whoever is reading this a little pep in their step:
“The best thing that you could do is master the chaos in you.
You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.“
I am not one to buy ostentatious purses, and one look into my wardrobe will show a plethora of plain black and brown. No detailing, not fancy straps, just plain old purses that do the job.
Not anymore! I made my first purchase from BoxLunch and I’m so happy that I have an exciting new bag to add to my closet that is adorable and celebrating one of my favorite fandoms, Harry Potter.
Besides the adorable purse, I got a pair of comfy pajama pants that have a beautiful graphic of a stag with a wand, and “Expecto Patronum” on the other side.
Here are the links for the items I purchased:
I’d love to know anyone else’s experience with BoxLunch. The products got here relatively quickly and were packaged very nicely. I am in love with the graphics and details on both products, but the bag has completely stolen my heart. I immediately moved my things inside it and started using it, and while it is wonderful for any Harry Potter fan, the color allows for it to match with most outfits! I will definitely be ordering from them again in the future.
And now a quote from our favorite headmaster, Albus Dumbledore:
“Happiness can be
found in even the darkest
of times if one only remembers
to turn on the light.”
I have been wearing a glittery eye lately with a berry lip for winter, and I thought I would recreate that look for a blogpost. Spring will be approaching quickly, and that will mean a much more subdued and dewy look, so this is my last chance to showcase a winter one!
Winter makeup is usually a bit heavier with glitter and liner and pops of color on the lips. While I’ve been wearing red a light, I’ve been reaching for deep berry tones lately, which are a fun twist on the classic red for winter. I’ve also been layering many different glitter and shimmer eyeshadows to give a glowing effect around my eyes, especially the inner corners. This goes pretty well with most of the outfits I wear, and since a lot of it is shimmery, it blends easily. Even my lip color was applied with lip balm first, and I blended it with my finger to soften the appearance.
Before I get into it, I want to give a big shoutout to my Anastasia Contour Kit. I use this literally every single day. It warms up my face easily and is super easy to layer colors if you haven’t applied enough. The lighter colors are perfect for setting my face and adding a slight highlight. I actually started my makeup off today by using a light BB cream and concealer, and then set it with the top right power in this palette. The colors I used today in the palette are the two far right ones.
After that, I used the bronzer on the right to fill in my eyebrows with a MAC 266 brush.
From my Banila palette, I used a sparkly pink color which was barely pigments, it was mostly glitter. I used my finger to put this into my inner corner. I find this captures the light beautifully and really shows off the glowing effect.
After that, I used my Lorac Pro palette with the color Champagne which is less glittery and more of a cream shimmer shadow. I put that in my corner too, but blended it further into the middle of my lid and underneath my eye, close to the inner corners. After, I used the gold chunky glitter from my Banila palette and put that all over the rest of my lid and blended it to make it even.
There is a buttery, shimmery brown in the Banila palette that I lightly put on my pinky finger and concentrated under my eyes towards the outsides. This gave a bit more definition so the look was a little bit darker.
I used my Rimmel London liquid eyeliner in black to make wings (and I shockingly did it evenly!) I then used Maybelline’s Falsies mascara only on my top lashes to make them as big as they could be.
I went in with the same bronzer from the Anastasia Contour Kit and concentrated that under my cheekbones. Bronzers really does make all the difference in the world, it sculpts your face and warms up the edges!
I used a Revlon cream blush stick in the color Berry Kiss and blended it in with my fingertips. After that, I used a cream highlighter and focused it on the tops of my cheekbones, but I also dabbed some on the very tip of my nose.
My lip color is actually a gloss by Hikari in the color “Merlot” and I focused it on the centers of my lips and then blended it out with my fingertip. The effect is nice and soft, and you don’t have to worry about it moving around or being ruined because the formula is so light!
Let me know what your favorite winter makeup has been this season, and I can’t wait to see how things will change once the weather warms up!
This past weekend, in the bitter cold, I spent a wonderful weekend with my dear friend in her cozy cabin home. The wood fire stove kept us nice and warm while we had many days of soup-eating and visiting with family and friends.
When you haven’t seen a friend for a long time, it is so lovely to reconnect again and spend time with each other making new memories and remembering past ones. Many times, we laughed our hearts out and talked late into the night. Other times, we watched our favorite shows and ate ice cream until we were full and content.
I’d love to hear your experiences from a happy weekend with friends. This one is one I will remember forever, a nice and warm time that was full of happiness. It certainly made my winter slump much better, as I feel refreshed and much more myself again.
It reminds me of a quote by John Steinbeck:
“If it is right, it happens–The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away”
The time after the holidays is always strange, as there was just so much chaos and commotion, and then there is stillness. Of course, many people are now bustling, because once the new year arrives there is a push to do better, to do more, to be your best. But I haven’t felt that bestowed upon me this year.
We have had record cold temperatures this past week, and the chill has still not left my bones, even when I am as I am right now, which is curled up in my bed with many blankets as I watch the blizzard outside my window. The lack of sun has taken a toll on me, and I find my inspiration completely lacking. Winter is usually my favorite time of year, but this bitter cold has taken not just my warmth but my usual buffer against the normal complications in life. I have a great amount of tolerance usually, but lately, I have only felt exhaustion.
I fear that the biggest problem with this is that I am unable to pull myself out of this slump, which I am falling into continuously every single day like I am slipping down a landslide. Even as much as I love the snow, I’m watching it harass the poor mail person who is bravely walking up our driveway to deliver to us as the wind batters them in the face, and I find that I’m thinking of the snow as the enemy. This is truly the first time I’ve felt like this, and I am constantly looking for a sunny spot on a couch to lay on like a lazy kitten, even if the spot will only remain warm for a little while. I try to write, but there is nothing inside of me. I have no appetite for reading either, even when I hear about a delicious plot in a book. I find that I pick up a novel and start reading, but it reads like a technical manual, and I am bored, and I place it to the side with a sigh.
I am hoping others are feeling similarly, as this is certainly a winter blues situation. I want to be able to interact with people again and really hear them, to be inspired, to create something, and I hope those things will be coming to me soon.
Shirt – TJMaxx (Men’s section)
Sweater – Primark
I found this fragment of a thought, and it reminded me of how I’ve been feeling lately, more in a dream state than anything else:
“We didn’t listen to each other’s words.
We heard only the melodies in our voices.”
–Kurt Vonnegut, from Mother Night; “Romance…”
I went to another greenhouse, this time, the ones at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. I was overwhelmed by the intense beauty of this place, it was a cluster of glass houses that were filled with life in the middle of a chilling winter day.
It truly feels like I am visiting many different areas of the world when I explore a new botanical garden, since there are endless amounts of plants from regions so far from where I live. To think that I lived so close to this place and never went before is mind boggling, and I can’t wait to keep going back again and again. My favorite kind of greenhouse is the one that isn’t very tidy. I love seeing moss covering stones on the floor and ivy crawling through the cracks in shelves. This one was full of wonders.
There was a wall of ivy that was between greenhouses, in a hallway that we walked down before removing our jackets. It’s impossible to go through this place quickly, as I want to stop and see every single plant. I want to check in with them, ask them about the many things they have seen. It’s a world all on its own, filled with lush life and interesting shapes and sizes.
I was trying to put into words what the beauty of this place means to me, but it is very hard. Walking through it was like feeling poetry, like traveling through a book of knowledge that you can only grasp at. Plants are alive, yes, but we are sometimes quick to write them off. There is a special kind of wisdom that they hold, there are things we can learn from them.
It is beauty unlike anything else.
It reminds me of a quote from Dead Poets Society: “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering: These are noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for.”
Walking through here was one of the precious times, a beautiful experience where time is lost on you because you yourself are lost in wonder. It is those experiences that I believe are what we stay alive for.
I’ll be back soon,
Blood Bank – Bon Iver
20 Years – The Civil Wars
For Emma – Bon Iver
Delicate – Damien Rice
Youth – Daughter
Brother Sparrow – Agnes Obel
I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
When We Were On Fire – James Bay
Dead Sea – The Lumineers
Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons
Red Eye – Vance Joy
Big Black Car – Gregory Alan Isakov
bones – Lewis Watson
Angela – The Lumineers
Let me know if you like this playlist, since I’ve been compiling it for a little while! There are some new things I’ve been listening to that I’ve included. All of these make me feel so cozy, especially on the cold days we’ve been having lately. Putting this on with my headphones at night is so comforting, especially with all of my candles lit. I also play it in the car in the early morning when I’m driving to work and there’s still frost on my windows. I thought it would be nice to share!
I felt the impending winter air and decided I’d better get some photos out with the beautiful fallen leaves before we have snow. That’s right, snow. It seems that we’ve completely skipped Autumn weather this year and went straight to 30 degrees.
I’ve been wearing berets all over the place, but the classic black one is my favorite. I bought one at Primark, but then I found one that was given to me as a gift from Paris! It really gives a finishing touch to my fall-into-winter outfits.
After getting a second job, I’m finding that when I can have a slow morning, I take all the time I can get. This time of year is when things get bustling, and it’s wonderful to wake up slowly and enjoy a nice breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate before my day really gets started.
Jacket – Guess
Dress – Thrifted
Tights – Target
Boots – Bon Ton
Beret – Gifted
Scarf – Stolen from my mother 😉
Gloves – Target
I also just had my hair recolored and it is a much deeper and more vivid red. Everyone has been saying it matched the leaves outside! I’m delighted to have a photo that displays this. The forest this time of year is blazing and bright and giving us a beautiful display before winter.