The Return of ME!

I am SO sorry for being MIA lately. I felt like I was doing so good at blogging – and I was so proud of myself! – but then the weather started spiraling downhill and raining and/or snowing for days and days. And it was so cold and dreary. And work has been absolutely insane the last month. I just felt like I needed a few weeks to relax and cuddle on the couch and have me time. But I think I’m back now and I have so much to talk about! Where oh where do I begin?

First of all, I officially have my own domain name!

http://www.lovelywanderingthoughts.com

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We’re getting too much of this lately.

Second, I finally caught up on everyone’s blogs.. and you guys are as awesome as ever!! I tried to like and/or comment on quite a few posts (some of you may have been bombarded with both!) but I just wanted to let ya’ll know I haven’t forgotten about you!

Third, I found this awesome recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken Divan on Amber’s blog over at Momma In Bloom. It was so creamy and cheesy and just plain yummy! I don’t have an oven-safe skillet, so I just put it in a 9×13 Pyrex pan and it worked fine. I definitely recommend trying it out!

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Fourth, my beauty products! I’ve been contemplating cancelling my Birchbox, so I didn’t bother writing anything about February’s box. I should be receiving March’s soon. I’ll discuss my Julep box on Friday (for the Friday Nail Files). And that leads me to.. my first Ipsy bag! I actually received it in February, so I’m not going to go into TONS of details – as my March bag should be arriving soon – buttt you can check out this awesome blog called Pearls and Paris and she goes into much more detail (we received the same bag!) AND gives discount codes for all the items. Unfortunately, I’m a little late to update and the codes expire tomorrow.. so get shopping!

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Quick review Black patent leather makeup bag – looks kind of cheap, but still cute for little items. Eye shadow pallette – the yellow looks a little too bright, but I’m willing to try it. Primer – went on super smooth and made my skin feel really soft. Mascara – I’m very, very faithful to my current mascaras but it defined my lashes nicely and didn’t get clumpy. Lash card – I have tried these things before and was not impressed, so I just threw mine out. BUT the winning item in this bagthe gel eyeliner!! I am not a fan of liquid eyeliner and I always have difficulty finding pencil liners that give me the look I want. I used a small eyeliner brush to apply the gel liner.. and I instantly fell in love! Overall, I was super impressed and the $10/mth price is pretty awesome too 😉

Fifth, my BFF from PA introduced me to this jewelry brand called Alex and Ani. They sell bracelets that are like charm bracelets – except they’re bangles! Their prices vary (some are quite expensive!), but most of them are really affordable. I’ve never been a fan of charm bracelets – they’re a little too gaudy for me – but these bangles are seriously SO cute.

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$48 – source

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$38 – source

And lastly, I was tagged by the lovely Mrs. Burnett for a Five Things About Me challenge and I figured.. why not?

One – I have a problem with things that don’t match or things that aren’t consistent. A few examples – I have all 4 books in the Twilight series but only one is paperback and it drives me crazy every time I look at it. I color code all my notes at work and if I write something down in blue instead of green on accident, it’ll seriously drive me nuts until I can either rewrite everything or use white-out to fix it. I can’t think of anything else right now (way too sleepy!) but you get the idea. Is this OCD-like behavior?

Two – I have baby fever to the extreme. Like I really, really, really want a baby. Most people are aware of this. (Mom – are you aware of this?!) The hubby is well aware of this and is – thankfully – on the same track as me. So yay 🙂

Three – I don’t feel like the same person I was before my grandparents died. Sometimes I don’t understand how I’m continuing to live my life without them. I know I was running away when I moved to NC. I know I did it because I couldn’t handle living in the same town they lived in. It hurt too much. Thankfully I love our home and the city we live in, but it’s sometimes hard to know I’m here because I wanted to hide from my fears.

Four – I could watch HGTV for hours and hours and hours and not get bored. Seriously! I love watching shows about people house hunting or renovating their houses or selling their houses or anything! If I even watch 2 seconds of a show, I have to watch the whole episode because I need to find out what happens! I get drawn in so easily!

Five – I got a tattoo my senior year in college. It’s a red rose on my right hip bone. Yes, it hurt. No, I don’t regret it. Yes, I still love it every time I look at it. And yes, I sometimes contemplate getting a second one but I don’t know if I have the guts to do it!

Feel free to join in and write 5 things about yourself on your blog – just don’t forget to tag me! 😉

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Sunday Social #1

((First time linking up with Ashley from Ashley Lately and Neely from A Complete Waste of Makeup for Sunday Social! Feel free to link up!))

Sunday Social

1. What is your ideal way to relax?

A glass of wine, a good book (or my Kindle), and a bath with lavender scented candles or bubble bath.

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2. Where is your favorite place to be?

At the beach! Walking on the boardwalk.. listening to the waves.. looking at the sun or moon reflecting on the water.. it’s beautiful! Not to mention pretty romantic 😉

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?

Definitely my mom. Yes, she’s had her ups and downs in her life.. but she’s conquered everything and she’s an absolutely awesome person. She took care of my grandparents (her parents) right up until the day they died. She did everything she possibly could to make their lives better. And she’s also an awesome mom and my best friend.

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?

Well, hopefully I’m further in my career as a nurse – Nurse manager? Care coordinator? And hopefully we have a little one and maybe another little one on the way?

5. If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?

Honestly, I can’t think of one major decision in my life that I would want to change. The bad decisions we make along the way are the things that make us grow! There’s definitely stupid things I did during the summer that Joel and I weren’t together, but what’s the point of dwelling on that? I’m super happy with where my life is right now.

                                           Source: marylenagbang.tumblr.com via Cybill on Pinterest

 

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?

By the age of 25 I’ve managed to graduate college, get an awesome job, move 500 miles away from my family, marry my soulmate, and buy our first house. I’d say I’m doing okay.

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 17 :  What if you had 25-hour days (while everyone else continued to have 24-hour days), what would you do with the extra time?

Oh gosh, this is a terrible question to ask me. I lose hours of my day on a regular basis. I’d probably end up sleeping it away or watching trashy reality tv and not even realize I had an extra hour. If I was really motivated – I’d say I’d take that extra time to prepare super awesome meals for my dear hubby. Or play with my dogs. Or clean my house. But in all actuality, I’d probably just lay on the couch and watch tv. Not very motivated, eh?

What would you do with an extra hour?

What I’m Doing Wednesday #2

Woohoo, it’s Wednesday! HUMP DAY! And here’s what I’m doing today..

What I’m Reading

“You’re the One That I Want,” which is book #6 in the Gossip Girl series! As I mentioned last week, I’m reading the entire GG book series. It’s still not as good as the show.. but it’s definitely keeping me entertained.

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Book #6

What I’m Missing

PENNSYLVANIA and SNOW! Ahhh. My mom sent me these pictures this morning and it made me so homesick. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in North Carolina.. but sometimes a girl just wants a winter wonderland!

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A Winter Wonderland!

What I’m NOT Loving

Bleh.. this Sleepytime Tea I bought for my Keurig. It has way too many weird flavors going on – and I’m definitely a dark and strong tea person, not a herbal, minty tea person.

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Not my cup of tea.

What I’m Watching

The hubby and I have started watching American Horror Story (Season 1) on Netflix. We’re only up to episode 6, but it’s getting better and better. I was really hesitant during the first few episodes – I’m telling you, this show is WEIRD – but it’s growing on me. So I guess we found another show to watch together!

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From Google Images

And now.. dun dun dun.. time for another edition of What I Wore Wednesday – while linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Mrs. Burnett 🙂

Unfortunately, I have to work tonight.. so my outfit is less than exciting.

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Uh, yes my eyes are closed.

While The Husband’s Away..

The wife will organize.

Yes, it’s true. My husband went out for the night for a friend’s birthday and I opted to stay home.. and CLEAN. Well, to be more exact, to stay home and organize my closet. It took me way longer than I thought it would and I didn’t even completely finish the job, but I’ll post some pictures so you can see my awesome work in progress 🙂 I’m thinking I would love to paint it purple.. and then add black and white and silver/glittery accents. Because you know what? It’s my closet and my space and I don’t have to share! Woohoo!

So on another note, I’m constantly trying to come up with different things to write about and I’ve decided that once a week I’m going to come up with a list of my Top Ten Favorite Things. It might be foods.. or makeup brands.. or products.. or who knows what. And it won’t always be on the same day, just whenever I feel like coming up with a random list. Why did I choose this? Well, I’m sitting here catching up on my DVR’d shows and I realize I have way too many shows set to record and saved up in my list. Like way, way too many.

So for Week 1 of my Top Ten Favorite Things.. in no particular order:

My Top Ten Guilty Pleasure  Shows

1.  Underemployed on MTV (currently watching!)
2.  Vanderpump Rules on Bravo (starring Lisa Vanderpump of RHOBH!)
3.  Desperate Housewives (watching on Netflix)
4.  Gossip Girl (so sad that it’s over!)
5.  Teen Mom 2 on MTV (and the original TM, and most likely TM3)
6.  Awkward on MTV (currently in between seasons)
7.  Snooki & J-Woww on MTV (I’m really ashamed of this one)
8.  Dancing With the Stars on ABC (can’t wait for the new season!)
9.  Extreme Cheapskates on TLC (crazy, crazy people)
10.  My Strange Addiction on TLC (even crazier people)

And two shows that I haven’t watched yet, but I’m sure will be equally guilty pleasures:

1.  Buckwild on MTV
2.  Washington Heights on MTV

So there you have it. And yes, these are ALL currently in my DVR. Whether they’re set to record when the new seasons start or whether they’re currently in there with new episodes to be watched. Of course I watch other shows that are not quite as ridiculous (because there’s no way my husband would watch any of the shows on my list), but those shows wouldn’t be considered my Guilty Pleasures! I love my trashy tv – especially reality tv – and no one can stop me! Hehehe

30 Day “What If” Challenge – Day 7

Day 7 :  What if you could be invisible for a day, what would you do and why?

I have two answers for this one! First, I’d go to all the top secret places like Roswell and inside the White House and Buckingham Palace and who knows where else. Basically every place that ordinary people aren’t allowed to go. Especially Roswell! Doesn’t everyone want to know what big ol’ secret is?! Maybe I’d see aliens!!

Second, I’d go around causing mischief and making people think there’s a ghost! How funny (ok, and kind of mean) would that be to just create mischief – like making inanimate objects move? I can’t think of any super awesome examples at the moment – due to exhaustion – but I think it’d be awesome. Maybe I just watch too many ghost shows?

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

It’s OK Thursday #1

Today is my first time linking up with Amber at MommaInBloom for It’s OK Thursday. I seriously love the idea of it and I’m super excited to be participating in it. Thanks Amber for the awesome idea! 

It’s OK..

That I bought a Brita water filter and pitcher – even though I really don’t need one – because it was only 50 cents. Seriously, who could pass up such an awesome deal?

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It’s OK..

That I seriously plan on making quesadillas every single day because my mom bought me this awesome quesadilla maker. It actually puts little indents on the tortilla shell so you know where to cut for even slices!

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It’s OK..

That our yard is still looking a little rough. We removed a huge playset with mulch surrounding it from the back our yard a few months ago and then got the whole thing fertilized and treated to kill weeds and then had grass seed planted. Yes, I know everything is almost dead because it’s winter, but it seriously looks SO much better already. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in the spring and summer!

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Almost there!

It’s OK..

That our once gorgeous Christmas tree is now looking droopy and depressed. I realize it’s a little late to still have it up but I wanted my mom to see it and then I didn’t want to spend time taking it down when I could’ve been spending time doing something more fun with her. So it’s still up.. and it looks so sad.. but it’ll be taken down this weekend, I promise!

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Sad tree.

It’s OK..

That our 6 month old sectional has two saggy cushions because our dogs like to lay on top of the cushions and look out the windows. I like them to be happy and comfortable and they seem to enjoy the couch as much as we do.. so I’m completely fine with it! And we can replace cushionsright?

dogs

How could you get mad at them?!

It’s OK..

That I’m seriously obsessed with trashy reality tv shows. I can’t even deny it to anyone because it’s pretty much all I watch.. along with other semi-trashy tv shows like Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives. At this very moment I’m watching Snooki & J-Woww. Seriously. I would almost be embarrassed.. if I wasn’t too busy enjoying myself watching this show.

So there you go! Hope you had a super awesome time and don’t forget to check out MommaInBloom!

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 5 :  What If you could ask God a question, what would it be?

Ugh, I’m sorry, I’m just not going to answer this question.
Challenge questions will continue tomorrow, I promise!

What I’m Doing Wednesday #1

Let me begin with some background information.. Amber from MommaInBloom was my first friend on WordPress (and is actually a real life friend too!). I keep finding all these awesome ideas from her blog, so pleaseee go check it out. I’m borrowing some of my ideas from the section of her blog titled “Loving and Pinning,” where she talks about the things she’s currently loving and currently pinning. She linked her Pinterest/pinning idea to a blog called The Vintage Apple that has a section titled “Oh, How Pinteresting!”  – you should definitely check that out also.  I ALSO discovered “What I Wore Wednesday” from The Pleated Poppy, which another fellow blogger (MrsBurnett22) linked up with here. (PHEW!!)

Now that THAT is out of the way.. let me introduce you to What I’m Doing WednesdayIt’s going to be an (almost) weekly update on random things that’s happening in my life at that current time. It might not be the same things every time. It may be only 3 things.. or maybe 7 things.. I really have no idea. It’ll pretty much be random (of course), but feel free to join in and link up! So here we go!

What I’m Reading

I Like It Like That,” which is book #5 in the Gossip Girl series. I loved watching the TV series and now I’m heartbroken that it’s over, so I felt like the obvious next step was to read the books. It’s a little bit weird because there are definite differences, but it’s a quick, easy read – I’d definitely recommend it!

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From Google Images.

What I’m Wearing (on my nails)

I’m not allowed to have my nails painted when I’m at work so the first thing I did when my mom came to visit (and I was off work for a week!) was get a manicure. I think the design is supposed to be zebra print. Either way it’s super adorable and I’m going to be so sad on Friday when I have to go back to work and back to ugly nails. Bleh.

nails

It’s really hard to take a pretty nail picture.

What I’m Buying

We have a local spice shop that sells all sorts of spices for really reasonable prices. I happened to come across this yummyyyyy Dill Dip spice. You’re allowed to taste everything while you’re there and this stuff is so so good. You can add it to sour cream for a dip, cream cheese for a spread.. or you can just sprinkle it over some cooked vegetables like we did for dinner. Seriously, so good.

spice

Blacked out the address, don’t want stalkers, lol.

What I’m Looking At

I recently discovered this website called Reddit. It’s full of hilarious pictures – sometimes I almost cry because I’m laughing so hard – but it also has a lot of drug related and perverted pictures, so look at your own risk. Anyway, I came across this insanely awesome picture of a bookshelf that someone uploaded. Not only do I LOVE bookshelves, but this one is seriously a piece of artwork. Gorgeous!

shelf

So awesome.

What I’m Pinning

I’m still trying to figure out how to embed these directly from Pinterest, so for now.. they will not be centered and I haven’t figured out how to add any additional words.. so I’ll write my little notes up here.

1. Glue wooden letters to canvas and paint. Super pretty and seems super easy!

2. A Jack Daniel’s bottle as a soap dispenser? Pretty sure my husband would not only approve of this, but would also LOVE it. Maybe for our downstairs bathroom??

Anyway – let me know what you think of What I’m Doing Wednesday

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Ugh. So I broke my promise to you guys. I’m sorry! What kind of blogger am I that I go away for a week and a half AND THEN I don’t update for several days after I get home! Well, I seemed to have come down with yet another sinus/respiratory cold.. so I’ve been laying around and doing nothing but reading my Kindle. Which means that my house is currently in a state of disaster and my mom will be here in exactly ONE WEEK so I better get my life together!

Anyway, how was everyone’s Christmas?! Did Santa give you everything you wanted??

My first wish that came true was spending a week and a half in PA with our families and finally getting to enjoy time with them. We haven’t spent any substantial amount of time in PA since our wedding last October, so it was super awesome to see everyone. One of the best parts.. my mom’s homemade cookies! NOMS!

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Also, my mom and I attempted to make deviled eggs. “Watch out for the paprika, it comes out fast.”

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I convinced the hubby to let us give the dogs their gifts on Christmas Eve.. they got tons of stuffed toys (to eventually destroy and scatter cotton all over the house) and lots of yummy dog treats. Roxie – our Boston Terrier – loves tennis balls, so we stocked up on those. And Layla – our Boxer, who’s a rescue – finally got her own doggie bed! She’s been sleeping in it every night! I took some videos of them playing with their toys but I haven’t quite figured out how to insert them yet.. I’ll keep working on it!

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And then as for me.. well I got (almost) everything on my list! Santa was SUPER AWESOME to me this year.

1. A carpet steam cleaner and shampooer. Yes, I seriously ask for this and yes, I’m seriously super excited to use it this weekend!

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2. A super awesome printer that also prints pictures. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but supposedly I can print WIRELESSLY from my phone! I take way too many pictures on my phone and this printer is supposed to be one of the best!

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3. An awesome countertop makeup organizer and makeup brush set! Can’t wait to show pictures of the final, organized product! You can buy the makeup organizer here and the makeup brush set here.

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4. Another thing I got (which hasn’t been delivered yet) is the complete Gossip Girl book series. The series finale just aired on TV and now I’m super stoked to read the whole series and see how it compares! Hopefully it’s equally awesome!

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From the series finale.

There’s still one thing else that I wished for.. it just hasn’t happened yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Holidaze

This cloudy, cold, windy, dark weather has been KICKING MY BUTT. So here I am blogging in the attempt to keep myself awake since I have to work tomorrow night and can’t be going to bed at 10pm!

First – TV show updates! – The hubby and I finally watched the mid season finale of The Walking Dead – wooo, things are getting crazy! Then after he went to bed (way early because of not feeling good) I got myself caught up on Teen Mom 2, Gossip Girl (oh my god!!) and now Toddlers & Tiaras. I can’t even begin to talk about how crazy some of these shows are getting! Mainly Gossip Girl. I’m pretty sure I still have chills. Wowwww.

So anyway, the main reason behind this update is Christmas and the holidays! Or holidaze – considering my current mindset. My family is not the type to have elaborate or expensive traditions. Honestly, I can’t even think of too many. We would always have a huge family dinner on Christmas Eve, but other than that.. I can only think of two traditions that we did every year.

One – Christmas pajamas. On Christmas Eve, everyone gets a new pair of pajamas that they’re supposed to wear that night so when we wake up to open presents on Christmas Day.. we all have our awesome new pj’s on! I saw a pin on Pinterest about doing this when you have children – you can include pajamas and favorite snacks for everyone and then a holiday movie to watch before going to bed on Christmas Eve. I love it! Also, I found this.

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Our new pajamas

Two – the pickle ornament. I actually had to look this up on Wikipedia because I never really knew the meaning behind it. We just always had a pickle ornament and we always had so much fun looking for and hiding the ornament. Click here to read the meaning behind this tradition.

And this year I’ve decided we’re going to start a new holiday tradition for OUR family. It’s our first holiday in our first house so I figured it’s the perfect time to start finding new traditions. Since we don’t currently have any nice or original ornaments, we’re going to buy a new ornament every year to add to our tree. This way we can start getting rid of the cheap, crappy ones from Walmart and Target and start building our ornament collection. As of right now, our first (tradition) ornament is the pickle.. but we’ll see if I find something else before Christmas because our pickle was only $5 from Target lol

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Our pickle ornament

Well I guess I’m done because it’s been 3 hours and I can’t seem to focus and I have a furry little dog sleeping on my left arm. It’s quiteee difficult to type with one hand!

What traditions do you do every year?

Music Makes Me Cry

For just this morning, right there on her pillow

Was the cruelest of any surprise

And she cried when she gathered it all in her hands

The proof that she couldn’t deny

And Sara Beth closes her eyes.

So I’m sitting here watching Couples Therapy on VH1 – yes,  I’m a reality show junkie – and they had this couple make a guest appearance to talk about their experiences and how they managed to overcome struggles throughout their marriage. This couple had a teenage daughter named Sara Elizabeth and she was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died from her disease. A songwriter wrote a song called “Sara Beth” about this young girl which was eventually picked up by Rascal Flatts. I posted some of the lyrics above, but it’s seriously the sweetest, saddest song ever. I was sitting there listening to this couple talk and watching this video about their life and their daughter with tears rolling down my face. Seriously, this made me cry like a baby.

It always amazes me how emotional I get from listening to certain songs, but I think that’s what is supposed to happen. These people put all their heart and soul into making these songs and they want us to feel connected, right? Well, I think so. There are so many songs that make me have such a strong emotional reaction.. another one is “The Moment I Knew” by Taylor Swift. But I’ll get into that another day. Do you have any songs that do this to you??

UPDATE: Apparently the song by Rascal Flatts is actually called “Skin,” but the original title from the songwriter was “Sara Beth.” Sorry for the confusion!