Saturday, December 19, 2015

Crafty Saturday #65

It has been quite some time since I have published a Crafty Saturday post, but the truth is that I really enjoy them, so I plan to keep it up on this blog reboot. I'm not sure about the Tumblr Tuesday posts, though. They could be tricky to put together, but I know that some people really liked it. What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, enjoy this collection of festive crafts for the home that I adore (and I think you will too)!

Jingle All The Doorknob, via aunt peaches

Pinecone Fire Starters, via Something Turquoise

Paper Holiday Wreath, via Confetti Sunshine

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Currently: 16 December 2015

Listening - nothing right now. I was trying to load a show, but my internet is really failing me right now.

Eating - I just had some plain pasta. not the healthiest choice, but it could certainly be worse

Drinking - water 4eva

Reading -  I'm currently in the middle of a few different books (and I'm almost done with my 50 book goal!). you can check out all of my books on GoodReads (

Watching - I need to catch up on American Horror Story: Hotel. I've only watched a few episodes, but I'm enjoying it so far

Planning - the weekend of Urban Nutcracker performances. for more information on the Boston-based spin on the traditional Nutcracker that I am performing in, visit

Wearing - my standard sweatpants and flannel (I don't wear much else when I am lounging around at home)

Nails -I should probably consider taking this off of here since I never paint my nails anymore (although I wouldn't turn down getting a mani/pedi if someone wants to take me for one...)

Feeling - like I never have anything to say when I write these posts. do you all like them?

Weather - it has been unusually warm for December (yesterday it was around 60F/15C), but I am cold already

Wanting - blankets and snuggles!

Needing - to finish purchasing Christmas gifts! I think I have an order to place on Amazon and another super secret order to place and then I will be done

Enjoying - holiday lights! they are so festive and always put a smile on my face. this picture is of La Salette, a Catholic Shrine that my family has always visited to see the lights. I have so many memories from there (not by me-click on photo for source)

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

50 Books in 2015: 16-20

I think it's quite obvious that I have neglected this blog for far too long. I am 94% of the way through with my 50 books in 2015 challenge, yet here I am only posting reviews for books 16-20.....

It's time for me to get to work, and bring this blog back up into something I'm proud of!

Now for the reviews for this batch of 5 books:

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with this novel. I'm pretty sure it is a sign of a brilliant novel when you can hate it and love it at the same time, and that it can make you sad, uncomfortable, joyous, and so many other emotions within the one week that you did nothing but read the book. In the end, the book came full circle in a truly splendid way. Not only was the storyline well-written, but I found the poetic verses to be captivating. Each line was a story in its own. It is well worth a read.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering MyselfFinding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who already follows a plant-based diet, I found this story fascinating and inspiring. It is the memoir of Rich Roll, a man in his middle ages, who finds inspiration to switch to a plant-based diet, and become an elite athlete. It follows him along his journey, through both his triumphs and challenges.

The Power of TreesThe Power of Trees by Gretchen Daily
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did really enjoy the blurbs written about trees that were throughout the book, but I was not pleased at all about how irrelevant the photography was (except, of course, that the subject was trees). Sure the pictures are beautiful, but if I'm reading about a magnificent African tree, I do not want to see a scenery of a coniferous forest.

Goodnight Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night's SleepGoodnight Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night's Sleep by Colleen E. Carney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Most books about sleep tend to repeat the same information that all other books have already mentioned. Yes, this book did that, but it also had some bits of information that I had not thought of before. With that being said, I felt that the book jumped around from topic to topic (and then back to another already visited topic) very frequently.

Church of MarvelsChurch of Marvels by Leslie Parry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pardon my pun, but I thought this book was marvelous. I found myself not being able to put the book down at some points. There are many surprising twists and turns throughout the book that the reader would never expect (yet they somehow all end up making perfect sense),

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Ely Watch by JORD

Hey everyone! I'm very excited to be sharing this post with you today. I was contacted by JORD, a maker of hand-crafted wood watches, to try out and share my opinion of their watch, and I am so glad I did - this watch rocks!

The watch that I chose is the gorgeous Ely watch in Green Sandalwood & Maple.

Truthfully, I chose the green sandalwood and maple watch for the gorgeous color, but sandalwood is one of my favorite scents for incense and essential oils, while maple is one of the most familiar trees to me, having grown up in New England.

On their site, JORD explains the inspiration behind the Ely watch:
Our hometown of St. Louis has a downtown dotted with historic brick buildings. Varying in size and structure the modest designs have remained relevant to the modern day businesses and homes that now inhabit them, like the Ely Walker Warehouse - now lofts - that our Ely is named for. Its classic styling and construction has stood the test of time. Time honored style will find no lack of appreciation in the present day.

In order to show off my beautiful new watch, my friend, Jen, and I went out for a walk around Gammino Pond in the town that I grew up in.

I really wanted to take pictures with this watch out in nature to showcase the beauty of its natural elements.

The JORD website also includes some interesting information about the materials of its products.

Did you know that the average tree height of a maple tree is 90 feet? They also include information on wood sources, sustainability, and more for each of their products, as well as information on the watch movements and glass.

"Sustainable, efficient, simple, and influenced by experiential living, JORD owners don't just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go."

Unique Watch

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Crafty Saturday #64

I've been storing up lots of awesome craft/DIY projects on Pinterest to share with you (and to try for myself). To see just some of the crafts I like, follow me on Pinterest (

DIY Fruit Coasters | DESIGN IS YAY!
Fruit Coasters, via Design is Yay!
Rhinestone Bracelet, via Hello Natural

Sand Candle, via Taste of Home

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Friday, July 17, 2015

50 Books in 2015: 11-15

So I'm behind on posting my book reviews, since I am already through 25 books, but they are on the way! Here's numbers 11-15.

1. Three Bird Summer, by Sara St. Antoine
average GoodReads rating: 3.92/5 - my rating: 4/5
my review: This was a cute middle-grade book about a summer of adventure at a lonely summer cabin between two unexpected friends, Adam and Alice. The storyline took me by surprise, and would be a thrill for children to enjoy.  

 2. Some Kind of Fairy Tale, by Graham Joyce
average GoodReads rating: 3.56/5 - my rating: 4/5
my review: A women mysteriously reappears after being missing for twenty years, convinced that she was away in a 'fairyland' of sorts. This story is captivating and leaves you guessing throughout the story (and afterwards!). 

 3. Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga, by Benjamin Lorr
average GoodReads rating: 3.96/5 - my rating: 4/5
my review: This book was an interesting look at a side of yoga that vastly differs from the peaceful 'om' yoga such as Vinyasa, that many people think of when it comes to yoga. Exploring the controversial Bikram and his following, this book proves just how far people will go to turn just about everything into a sport.

 4. The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, by Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman
average GoodReads rating: 4.08/5 - my rating: 4/5
my review: This book takes the valuable lessons learned in the Forks Over Knives documentary and expands on the importance and how-to's of following a plant-based diet. The only information I found questionable was the lack of healthy fats in the lifestyle plan. It also includes recipes, many of which I cannot wait to try out.

5. Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, by Maria Rodale
average GoodReads rating: 3.92/5 - my rating: 4/5
my review: Maria Rodale, of the renowned Rodale Institute, shows us in this book just how essential it is to eat organic whenever possible for a variety of resons, including for our health and the health of the planet that we so desperately need to work to mend. This book read a bit slow for me, but as an environmental professional, I already knew a lot of this information (but rereading it doesn't hurt!).

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

15 in 2015 Halfway Point!

  1. Read 50 books - I am exactly halfway through with this. I have read 25 books so far this year. Follow my progress on GoodReads (
  2. Bike everywhere - I have only biked a bit so far this year. I really need to start biking to work. The hills in my area can be a pain, but that's no excuse
  3. Take advantage of YMCA membership - I've been doing pretty well with this one. Before I got sick last month, I was going to the Y at least once a week. Time for me to get back at that 
  4. Get back on pointe - Success! I am finally back on pointe, now I just have to keep practicing, so I can become better than I was before
  5. Start a home yoga practice - Other than some infrequent stretching, I'm pretty sure I've only done yoga at home once or twice
  6. Pick clarinet back up - I have literally done this once.... 
  7. Meditate more often - Just in the past few weeks, I have been spending more time at my alter. I've really been enjoying it so far, and I excited to keep it going
  8. Journal more often - Meh. I could be doing a lot better with this
  9. Create more - Can't say I've done much in regards to this either. I need to get better in touch with my creative side
  10. Write letters - I haven't done this either. I do have a few friends I want to become pen pals with. I should just do it already. There's no real reason why I haven't
  11. Keep life simple - I went into the year not knowing how I planned to keep life simple, and I honestly still don't know, but it's definitely something I think I would benefit from. I will be moving by September, so I hope to get rid of a lot of my possessions, which will help me 'simplify'
  12. Keep my space more clean/organized - I definitely have not gotten anywhere with this. I'm going to make this my goal when moving into my new place!
  13. Become more productive in the AM - I've found that if I make appointments in the morning, I will get out of bed earlier, but I still struggle to wake up before 9 AM. 
  14. Grow blog - Clearly this has not happened since I have been posting irregularly. (How many times will I say that I'm getting back on track before I actually do?)
  15. Start saving money - While I am still making a very small amount of money, I have been able to put a little bit in my savings account since the beginning of the year. It's small, but it's still progress.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring is in the Air

While it has 'technically' been spring for over a month now, it is only just starting to feel like spring here in Boston. The trees haven't turned green yet, but I am ready to start my outdoor garden (I have been growing seedlings indoors since early March).
The gorgeous weather has inspired this Etsy treasury that I put together. I can't think of anything that screams springtime more than these gorgeous items! Click on the image to be brought to the treasury on Etsy.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Crafty Saturday #63

Guess what!? I'm actually doing a Crafty Saturday post. It has been at least a month since my last one. I apologize for that, but I'm working on getting everything back on track (yay!)
I hope you enjoy this post! (And the return of Crafty Saturday)

Nautical Mirror, via Sas + Rose

american eagle outfitters keds glitter diy step 6
Glitter Keds, via American Eagle Outfitters Blog

Beaded Chandelier, via Dollar Store Crafts


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

50 Books in 2015: 6-10

As with all of my posts, I've fallen behind with updating my book challenge (in part because I've managed to mess up my blog coding and cannot make the pictures smaller).
I am currently at 15 books read, so expect another update soon!

Tiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself: 40 Ways to Transform Your Inner Critic and Your LifeTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself: 40 Ways to Transform Your Inner Critic and Your Life by Lori Deschene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of various stories, articles, and insights that help motivate the reader to appreciate life and all the lessons it brings. I felt inspired after reading Tiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself: 40 Ways to Transform Your Inner Critic and Your Life to address some of the challenges I was facing, and to share this information with friends. It was a quick read, and I particularly enjoyed the style of it being broken up into 40 different lessons.

The Raw Food Lifestyle: The Philosophy and Nutrition Behind Raw and Live FoodsThe Raw Food Lifestyle: The Philosophy and Nutrition Behind Raw and Live Foods by Ruthann Russo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been a vegan for 3 years now, but I only knew the basics of what a raw food lifestyle was about before reading this book. I found this book to be a great introduction to the principles of raw veganism. The author quotes many different doctors and authors, which I found to be beneficial because it only helped to back up what the author was saying. Ruthann Russo also includes some very valuable resources for continuing researching the raw lifestyle. After reading this book, I have been including much more raw food into my already vegan diet.

Fruit of All Evil (A Farmers' Market Mystery, #2)Fruit of All Evil by Paige Shelton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The only negative thing about this book was that I could not put it down. Paige Shelton delivers again with the second book in her Farmers Market Mystery series. I am particularly fond of the farmers market setting off the series, and I am growing very fond of the characters (despite the overly persistent nature of the heroine).

Starting Seeds: Vegetables * Herbs * FlowersStarting Seeds: Vegetables * Herbs * Flowers by Barbara Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a very comprehensive resource for anyone who is new to gardening, or at least to growing from seeds. I found a lot of useful information that I will be using this growing season. I would also suggest this to seasoned gardeners because there is always more to learn!

Year of No SugarYear of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I certainly enjoyed and appreciated the premise of the book, as well as the author's writing style, I do not agree with how the family played out their 'year without sugar'. The author was constantly referring to fructose as "bad sugar", and would use other sweeteners such as xylitol (which is a sugar alcohol) since it does not contain fructose. This and some other rules that the family had created for their experiment did not make sense to me, which made the book less interesting.

View all my reviews

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tumblr Tuesday #78

Apparently the only blog posts I have the discipline to put up are my Tumblr Tuesday posts, and it's probably because I am constantly receiving good feedback on them! Hopefully, I will start picking up the pace with other posts, and you will all love them just as much! :)
Enjoy this week's post!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tumblr Tuesday #77

I really appreciated the feedback I received last week about how much you all enjoy my Tumblr Tuesday posts. You all inspire me to keep posting - so thanks!! :)

Here is this week's pictures:

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