December 2014 In Review!

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December was not quite as relaxing as I’d hoped — is it ever? — but pretty awesome. Some favorite blog posts…

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You Can’t Choose What Stays and What Fades Away

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My Top 6 Selfies of 2014 Because Hell Yes, Self Love

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10 of My Favorite Books

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Look Up

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My Experience With Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Germophobia, and OCD

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Streaks of Light

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Etsy Loves #6

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Cortney and I

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My Coin Collection

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This Year I…

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My 2015 Resolutions

Awesome Things That Happened:

1. I traveled down to Boston with my good friend Cortney — I got to meet with some repeat clients that I adore (hi, Britni & Ben!), spend time with my love Cortney, have an awesome lunch, buy way too much makeup, AND finally meet her friend CJ.
2. We went to my husband’s work Christmas party and my group won at trivia one of the rounds — HELL YEAH. Nate unfortunately got a bout of food poisoning that night (unrelated to the party) buuuuut I’m going to pretend that never happened.
3. We went to a pottery sale with Nate’s parents and then walked around the area and popped into random little shops with them before heading to Rising Tide Brewing Company and Maine Craft Distilling to cap off the night. They tasted some beer and I tasted some blueberry moonshine and whiskey before enjoying my favorite, a gin & tonic.
4. We spent an evening at his parents’ house decorating their tree (well, watching his Mom decorate) and we had some amazing tacos and I finally got to officially meet her good friend Anissa who was a BLAST.
5. I had lunch with Cortney and our friend Andrew, another photographer — got to enjoy some food at Silly’s (one of my favorite local spots), ordered myself an entire cake as an early Christmas present, and then sat around at Coffee by Design.
6. I finished my entire workload of editing which was the biggest relief I’ve felt in a LONG time.
7. We spent Christmas Eve playing Cards Against Humanity with my Mom, Christmas Day with Nate’s family (waffles for breakfast, presents, baking cookies, and watching Die Hard), the Sunday after Christmas with my family (Cards Against Humanity, gingerbread cookies), and that Sunday night doing a birthday dinner for my brother at Local 188 (deeelicious).
8. We’re about to spend a super low-key New Year’s Eve sipping booze, eating spaghetti and garlic bread, playing UNO, and just generally being old-people-trapped-in-young-peoples’-bodies. WOO! Happy 2015 to you. 😀

My 2015 Resolutions

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I won’t lie, I LOVE New Year’s. Not because I am excited for the year to be over — 2014 was absolutely incredible — but because the idea of starting fresh is so damn awesome. It’s flipping over to a new page on the calendar, literally and figuratively. It’s starting over at one again. A clean slate. The new year is almost upon us and it’s dizzying to think of all of the possibilities — the places we can go, the people we can meet, the things we can accomplish, the steps we can take.

For this reason, I also love making resolutions for the new year. I know some people hate it. Some think it’s too much pressure. It’s setting yourself up for failure. But I personally love attempting to live up to a challenge. Having it here will help to keep me accountable, since I would love to do a recap at the end of December 2015 and tell where I wound up with my goals, and I’d love for my progress to be significant.

I think the biggest thing to remember is that things change. It’s okay if you get halfway through the year (or, ya know, to February) and some of your goals don’t make sense anymore. It’s okay to tweak things. It’s okay to add goals, replace old ones, or change the ones that are there. Life, and us as people, are ever-changing, and that’s a good thing. But it’s also okay to not accomplish everything. Try not to get so distracted by the things that you couldn’t accomplish that you lose your pride for the things you could.

Anyways, here’s my resolutions across the board:

  1. I’d love to follow Kaylah of The Dainty Squid’s lead and do a Project 365a photo a day for the entire year. I’ve been wanting to take more photos for fun and I think this is the motivation I need! An added bonus is it will be great to blog throughout the year and I think that will help keep me on track.
  2. I want to be more active in 2015. I don’t want to limit myself to one thing, ie saying I want to run x number of miles or do x number of workout DVDs. But I’d like to work out a minimum of 3 times per week in some way — walking/running, weight lifting, hiking, playing sports, whatever. I also am not focusing on inches or pounds — my goal isn’t to lose a specific amount of weight or fit into a certain size. It’s just to be healthier and stronger than I am now.
  3. In the same vein of being more active, I want to be more adventurous with Mukow. I admit that we can get stagnant with her and just do the same things all the time — playing in the yard and walks around the block. She deserves better and we would benefit from getting out with her more, too. So I’d like to visit 10 new places with Mukow — I don’t care if they’re all within city limits as long as they’re new to either us or her, and as long as we have fun adventuring!
  4. I want to get up to 300 posts total on this blog. It shouldn’t be too hard — I hit 200 posts just a few days ago. But I really want to keep this blog active, especially when my busy season hits in the spring!
  5. I want to print more photographs. I have a bunch of Instagram photos that I printed over LAST winter and… that’s it. I’ve taken HUNDREDS of photographs this year, both with my camera and my phone, and they’re sadly all stored on the computer. NO MORE. I want to print at least a handful of photos EVERY MONTH so I can display them in my office and around the house. Whether it’s having them professionally printed, getting square prints at Printstagram, or just printing them at Staples… it needs to be done!
  6. I want to spend more time with friends and family. I know this depends highly on coordinating many peoples’ schedules so I don’t want to set the bar TOO high, but I’d like to hang out with friends and/or family AT LEAST once per month. Whether it be hanging out at the beach, having dinner together, going bowling, whatever… I just want to spend time with them and make them more of a priority.
  7. I want to READ more! I only half-finished a handful of books in 2014. I have SO many books I’m dying to read and I just don’t make the time for it. So in 2015 I want to try for a fairly modest goal of reading 5 books. I’m hoping I can do better than that but 5 would be pretty awesome!
  8. 2014 was a big year for parties and I loved it, so for 2015 I’d like to hostess at least 5 parties. They can be any type — outdoor BBQs, murder mystery, dinner, whatever. But I love entertaining and want to do more of it!
  9. This is long overdue, but I’d like to learn how to swim. I know, how am I 27 years old and don’t know how to swim? I never took lessons when I was a kid and as I got older a natural fear of water developed since I knew if I were tossed in a pool I’d just flounder around. My friend Cortney offered to teach me some basic skills so I want to finally jump in (see what I did there?)!
  10. Since I need something beauty-related on here, I’d like to try 10 new-to-me things with my hair and/or nails. I love trying new hair styles and love painting my nails but don’t do either nearly enough. I want to put some effort into finding cool tutorials and getting inspired. I feel so confident and awesome when I put time into getting ready!

HELL YES, 2015. I’m ready for you. 😉 What are some of YOUR goals for the new year?

Wishlist Wednesday! #7

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Oh man. I know I say this every week but THIS WEEK’S WISHLIST is SO GOOD. I can’t even handle it. Apparently I am really in the mood to buy clothes and jewelry because that’s half the list. Welcome to my life. 😉


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#1 Saber Necklace by Faris Du Graf, also available for purchase on Magpie & Rye ($298). I am just IN LOVE with this necklace. Probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever posted. SWOON.

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#2 Canvas Tote from ban.do ($20). I have a whole mini collection of tote bags and this would fit in SO PERFECTLY. I’d have the happiest reusable grocery tote EVER!

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#3 Sequined Bomber Jacket from Forever 21 ($37.90). Also SO IN LOVE with this. Winter always seems to be the time that I am drawn to jackets that are nowhere close to being warm enough to actually be practical. But THIS is too good to pass up!

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#4 Small Scale Maze Dhurrie Rug by Kate Spade Saturday, available for purchase from West Elm (prices vary based on size). I am considering painting my office a lighter color so I can fill it with more bold patterns and colors, and this would be a perfect rug for it!

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#5 Kim Post Earrings by Shlomit Ofir ($46). I just love this geometrical, honeycomb design… such great statement earrings!

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#6 Reassurance Phone Skin by Caleb Troy, available for purchase on Society6 ($15). This is a skin rather than a case, which means it’s an easy-to-remove vinyl decal for customizing your phone. This would be perfect for me since I hate bulky cases but love all of the beauty you can add to your phone. I am completely in love with these colors!

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#7 Sci-Fi Retro Rocketship Earrings from Plasticland ($16). PERFECT. This entire website is killer — such amazing items and everything is damn affordable.

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#8 Skeleton Cat Candle by Pyro Pet, available for purchase from Urban Outfitters ($34). I’m always a fan of a great candle and this just takes the cake. The candle itself is gorgeous enough but then it melts away to reveal this downright mischievous kitty skeleton inside. So awesome.

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#9 Aryn Vegan Motorcycle Jacket from Free People ($168). I’ve been wanting both an awesome denim jacket and an awesome leather or faux-leather jacket for a while now. This definitely fits the bill for the latter. Perfection!

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#10 “Catsuit” Bodysuit from Meowingtons (on sale for $44). Firstly, this is the cutest damn thing ever. The back side even shows a tail — EEE! Secondly, this entire site is all cat-themed items. Where have you been all my life!? They’re also having a crazy year-end blowout sale so… get to it!

On Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s Apparent Lack of Feminism

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There seems to be this fun new trend going on where female celebrities publicly claim to “not be feminists” or “not need feminism”. Björk did it, saying that feminism has a lot to do with complaining. Taylor Swift doesn’t consider herself a feminist because she “doesn’t really think about things as guys vs girls”, missing the point completely. Lady Gaga, though she later revised her statements (kind of), apparently thought she couldn’t be a feminist and also love men. Geri Hallowell thinks feminism is “bra-burning lesbianism”. Carrie Underwood thinks it has “negative connotations”. Dita Von Teese dodges the question entirely. Kelly Clarkson doesn’t think she can be a feminist and also have a man take care of her.

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is the most recent of the bunch, saying “it’s not really something I think about” and that she’s “never really faced inequality”. The article also makes a point to mention her relationship with her husband, quoting Kaley as saying “I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him”, and further goes on to discuss her breast augmentation, as if these things are all somehow related.

In my opinion, if she enjoys cooking for her husband and being a “housewife” in any way she wants, good for her. I am all about people making their own choices that make them happy, and if that’s a choice she enjoys making, so be it. It reminded me of a quote from Ruth Fisher, a character in the amazing series Six Feet Under:

Feminism means being accepted for who you are. I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I never gave anything up to be a mother or a wife. It was what I wanted.

As far as the breast augmentation goes, if it’s something she did for herself and it’s made her more confident and proud in her skin, again, good for her. Women AND men should do what makes them happy and make no apologies for it.

I guess what makes me sad is the obvious lack of understanding about what feminism truly is. It has nothing to do with pitting men and women against each other. It has nothing to do with calling all men evil or misogynistic or sexist. It has nothing to do with making women more powerful than men, or tipping the scales in the other direction. It has nothing to do with lesbianism at all (I’m looking at you, Geri Hallowell).

Feminism is about equal opportunities. Feminism is about bashing gender stereotypes, including those that are placed on men. Feminism is about women being taken seriously, about women receiving fair pay, about women being treated with respect. Feminism is about women feeling safe in all situations, no matter how much they’ve had to drink or what they’re wearing or what neighborhood they happen to be walking in. Feminism is about making the choices that are right for you, not the choices that are forced on you by society’s expectations. Feminism is not a bad word.

Just because you haven’t faced equality doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for equality.

200 Posts!

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It’s kind of unbelievable to me, but this blog reached 200 POSTS yesterday! I posted a whole lot over the winter of 2013/2014 and revived it this winter, so it’s really spread over a full year (with a few posts happening when I FIRST made the blog several years ago)… but damn. It seems like it’s way too soon to hit such a milestone! Here’s to 200 more. 🙂

This Year I…

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I was inspired by Kaylah at The Dainty Squid (I mean really though, when am I NOT inspired by her!?) to do a “This Year I…” post, which she’s done for the past several years. I LOVE any kind of recap post. I love looking back at past years, past events, past photos. I love reliving old memories. It makes me smile to see all of the fun things I did, the amazing food I ate, the people I spent time with. It was a freaking blast to get all of these photos together so I hope you like looking through them! Every single photo was taken with Instagram, naturally — my phone rarely leaves my side and for good reason. 😉

The year was kicked off with an amazing trip to New Orleans with my sister-in-law, Becka. I was hired to photograph a wedding down there and we extended the trip so we could do some sightseeing. It was, in a word, INCREDIBLE and I would go back in a second. We got to sip hurricanes at Pat O’Briens, saw the beginnings of the Mardi Gras decor (which was EVERYWHERE), ate alligator (twice!), went on a ghost tour, and tried some king cake (not a fan).

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While there I got my photo taken with a REAL LIVE BANKSY OMG.

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We also got to witness a wedding parade while we dined on the balcony of a fancy restaurant. Even more awesome than you’d expect.

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We also walked all the way up (down?) Bourbon Street which was… well, exactly what I expected, honestly. Lots of titty bars, lots of neon signs, street performers, dive bars, pizza joints, and tons and tons of drunk people.

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I got to see my brother’s very first art show at Bonobo. They provided pizza and drinks and he got to mingle and schmooze a bunch of family and friends while we all admired his paintings. So awesome!

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I made some mostly-awesome-but-sometimes-questionable purchases.

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We spent so much time outside and going on walks. We went to the boulevard, played in the snow, tossed balls, chewed on sticks (okay, Mukow did), ran like crazy, had fun with the neighbor dogs, explored through the woods, and played at the beach.

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I spent a few days in Brooklyn with my brother, Gray, and his girlfriend, Esther. Again, I was hired to shoot a wedding there so we made a fun trip out of it. We explored on foot, ate some incredible food, saw the Brooklyn Bridge, went to the craziest Chipotle I’ve ever seen, considered getting some gold teef, and enjoyed the city life.

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I also got to see the view of the skyline at night from Brooklyn Bridge Park, which deserves its very own photo. Incredible.

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Nate and I played 328 games of UNO. It’s one of our favorite things to do together to unwind after a long day. We’re currently tied 164 to 164. 😉

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I took SO MANY photos of animals — both our own and our families’.

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We spent a ton of time with our families. Dinners, drinks, holidays, parties, farm walks, BBQs, projects, walks, and just plain lounging around and playing board games.

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I sipped SO many amazing beverages, alcoholic and non. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Gin and tonics, bloody marys, milkshakes, fancy cocktails, hard cider, hot cocoa, and all kinds of deliciousness with sugared rims, foam swirls, and garnishes galore.

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I traveled to Washington DC (for the second time!) with my mom and Nate. We got to see some family as well as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Air & Space Museum (including the space shuttle Discovery!), Georgetown, the US Capitol, the National Cathedral, the National Museum of Health and Medicine, plus SO MUCH MORE AMAZINGNESS.

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I saw (and captured) SO many insane sunsets.

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Our friends at Bonfire Films filmed a scene for one of their projects, Tongue Tied, in our livingroom. It was pretty crazy to have this huge crew in our house — setting up cameras, moving our furniture around, having their home base in my office — but they are the nicest bunch of people in the world and it was such a cool experience.

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I ate a truly insane amount of DELICIOUS food. Macaroni and cheese, BBQ, sundaes, tacos, BLTs, lobster, homemade pickles, noodle bowls, farm fresh strawberries, sushi, pizza… the list goes on and on. If you can’t tell… I LOVE food. 😉

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I took SO MANY SELFIES. I really got some newfound confidence this year and decided why not just put it out there? I love the way I look, I’m happy with my body, and I want to show the world.

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I also took a TON of selfies with friends and family, and seem to make the same face in (almost) every single one…

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I spent a few days in Philadelphia with my good friend Cortney (and visiting my friends JJ and Scout). We were there for a wedding but decided we’d also have some fun with the trip — we snuggled with kitties, saw the LOVE Statue, walked around downtown, visited the Mütter Museum, and took SO many photos.

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We also attended a book signing with HILLARY CLINTON and I got to shake her hand and chat with her for a minute. One of the highlights of my whole life, for sure.

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The Philly skyline gets its own photo, too…

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I got SIX tattoos between April and September, 5 of them thanks to Sam at Almost Famous Tattoo and 1 thanks to Gemma at Gemstone Tattoo!

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I saw this crazy Transformers dude made out of old gears and screws somewhere in New Hampshire…

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I visited Bar Harbor, which really needs to be a yearly tradition!

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I added SO many new stickers to the back of my car. 🙂

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I went on my first gondola ride at a wedding. It was SLIGHTLY terrifying but we lived. 😉

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I did a boudoir session with the amazing Darling Photography, and had QUITE the wardrobe to choose from. Who knew I owned so much awesome underwear!? (I did.)

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I went to several “Head Shot Days” with some local photographer friends and colleagues and have SO MANY awesome photos of myself now!

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My good friend Brandon and his fiance Mika visited all the way from JAPAN! I sadly had to miss their wedding, but thankful that we got to enjoy dinner with them one night! MISS YOU NEENYO! And welcome to the family, Mika. 🙂

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My grandparents and two of my cousins came to visit and we had such an awesome time showing them around, eating delicious food, playing arcade games, visiting the beach, building a deck at my Mom’s house, visiting the islands, and just generally enjoying family time!

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We did an insane amount of prep work for my sister-in-law’s wedding. They had the whole celebration at their house (in their barn and back yard) so we did a ton of DIY. We painted trim and doors, mowed the lawn, raked, dug up stumps, built a deck, and countless other projects. It was good family bonding time. 😀

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I had a photo shoot that I did become the Set of the Day on the Suicide Girls front page. One of my goals for the year and I was proud to accomplish it!

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I went for my first full eye exam and had my pupils dilated. Weirdest feeling ever.

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I was drawn by an incredible talented Redditor.

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My Mom and I went to a rally with Mike Michaud and Bill Clinton and we got to meet Bill (for the second time!) and got a photo with him. I can now die happy.

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I attended my sister-in-law’s wedding! It was 10 years in the making (literally, they got married on their 10-year anniversary) and the whole day was INCREDIBLE. A laid-back backyard celebration with DIY details, homemade food, a taco truck, and tons of Jack Daniels flowing…

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We started a massive bathroom remodel (which still isn’t finished but that’s a story for another day…).

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I dressed up Mukow as a pretty flower for Halloween…

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I brought the bangs back!

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We threw a killer Halloween party and I dressed up as Lydia Deetz.

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My Mom and I attended another Mike Michaud rally, this time with BARACK OBAMA in attendance, and… I shook his hands. There are no words for how awesome it was.

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My friend Tina and I went to An Evening with Ira Glass and I learned that my love for that man truly has no bounds.

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I took my very first bath in our new JACUZZI TUB, a gift from my way-too-amazing husband. ❤

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And to cap off the year, I had my hair changed up a bit to a sort of “dip dye” thanks to Tasha at O2 Salon!

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Productive at Being Unproductive

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Today is one of those days where I look at the clock and see that it’s 5pm and wonder… where the hell did the day go? It’s like sometimes Nate leaves for work at 9am and then I blink and the day is over. I know part of the feeling comes from it getting dark at 4:30pm (what the hell?) so right now I feel like it’s time to curl up and watch TV for the rest of the day. It’s just damn hard to be productive when it’s PITCH BLACK OUTSIDE.

Ultimately I need to be okay with the fact that some days are just a wash, especially with running my own business. I am responsible for myself and my time 100% of the day. This means that while some days I edit or do back-end work and I cross things off my to-do list left and right, some days I fall into the black hole of Tumblr/Pinterest/Reddit and I don’t return until it’s dinnertime. I only need to be worried when those black hole days outnumber my truly motivated and productive days, right?

Makeup Review! Covergirl Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Rose Twist

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I was at CVS recently looking for a more natural lip color and stumbled upon a selection of Covergirl Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balms ($7.99 on the Covergirl site). They had a great array of colors but I chose Rose Twist (#225). I’ve been really into the jumbo pencil-style lip colors lately so I hoped this would fit in nicely!

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The packaging is nice — very sleek and attractive, easy to just toss into your purse or glove compartment. The color itself is a bit more bubblegum pink than I expected — not the most flattering for me and not something I would wear regularly. The consistency of it is so nice — a cross between a lipstick and a balm, truly. You don’t need to put any kind of lip balm or gloss over it unless you’d like a much more shiny/glossy finish — it’s very moisturizing. It takes quite a few swipes to get it as pigmented as I’d like — good if you like the freedom of having a more sheer color or a bold one, but could be frustrating if you’re usually going for a richly pigmented look. One big downside is that this color didn’t last hardly at all for me. It comes off like CRAZY — I sipped some tea maybe 30 minutes after applying it and my mug is now covered in 50% of my lip color. So I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for long-lasting power, but it would be good for a more casual look if you don’t mind applying it multiple times throughout the day.

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Ultimately I’d give it a 5/10 — the lack of staying power is a big downside for me, but I’d be willing to try some more colors!