Monday, January 20, 2014

Roots and a New Year

Happy New Year Friends. 2014 is here, in full swing. I must say every year continues to come to a close much quicker than the last. 2013 was filled with so many joys; new beginnings, friendships, babies, weddings, you know the whole kaboodle. Along with all these celebrations there always comes the tough times. In my case I was struggling with who I was and what exactly I was doing with my life.  For only so long can one continue down the same path that essentially is leading nowhere. I could have created a wonderful life in Illinois doing things I loved but deep down in the pit of my heart I knew I wasn't meant to be there. Years down the road I would have regretted not taking an opportunity to spread my wings to fly away to a new place. So I did. I spread my wings and flew away. Flew away to God's country and far from the cornfields of Illinois. Don't take it the wrong way. It's not that I wasn't happy with my life in Illinois, because I had the best support system of family and friends a girl could ask for. I knew my town like the back of my hand. I had roots. Those roots were spread deep within my community. I felt comfortable.

So here I am, a few thousand miles away at the base of a mountain range. I love it, every day I am still working on my person and what exactly happiness is. But within 2013 I grew as a human being and did exactly what I had planned to do and that was start a new adventure. I have a feeling 2014 will be the best yet so be sure to stick around! Feels to good to be back in this place. I will try my best to keep it updated more regularly.

//on my window sill\\
//New to me vintage rug for my room\\ 
//this beaut mades its way all the way from Illinois in my carryon & caused us to get searched\\
//new sneaks just so happen to be my least favorite color EVER... but they are reflective... New motivation?\\
//ants on a log are the perfect midday snack, no judging\\

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

::A Break::

My apologies for being off the radar the last few weeks.  I took a job in the middle of October but the official start date was the middle of November and ever since then I feel as though my life has been a whirlwind. From home study and testing, to Thanksgiving travel, packing for a month away from home, Christmas shopping, and then traveling to Atlanta for work I am exhausted.

Last week really was the mecca of all chaos as I thought my brain would never recover from the long days of cramming new information. Arriving to training on limited sleep was not ideal, throw in a time change and non existent sleep schedule which resulted in 16 hours of sleep over 5 days.  Friday I honestly thought the best option would be to slice my head off and search for a new one.

After a weekend of relaxation, retail therapy, sushi and bonding with my new coworkers, the thick fog has finally lifted, all tests have been taken, and now my brain is back on straight. Information overload has been absorbed and processed. Today I felt like a brand new person and that I may actually know what I am talking about.

On that note posts will be very limited the next couple of weeks as I am extremely busy with work. Don't worry I will be back very soon! I am starting to get excited to be back in Illinois with my friends and family. I'm missing all my furballs, my hope is Jack James still remembers who I am after four months. My Idaho crew has been behaving but I sure do miss my three sidekicks. Hopefully everyone is getting close to being ready for Christmas.  Christmas eve is only two weeks away!  If you were asking I'll take a pair of these cheetah pumps in a size 12! Happy Tuesday my friends!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Into the Looking Glass We Go

Hello friends. Now it might look as I have forgotten about this space but . Let me fill you in on what has been going on around here. For those of you who are new around here, in July I quit my job and packed my bags to move from Illinois, west to Idaho. In the process my plans took a bit of a detour as I injured my back and was unable to travel in car for a long period of time. As much of a pain as it was (pun intended), it allowed me more time to spend with my family and friends, and reassured me my decision to relocate was indeed the right one.

Fast tracking a bit, I applied for so many stinking jobs it wasn't even funny. Especially when you put in all the time and effort to personalize your application, only to receive a computer generated, no thank you. I landed a few interviews and a couple had promise. When it rains, it pours. It was really interesting because the process felt a bit like deja vu (enter choosing my college after Parkland).

A quick run down of my deja vu, I was looking at 3 different schools: one was exactly what I wanted, a new, fast paced city on the east coast, beautiful old campus, great teammates, solid business school; the second was located a mile from the beach in Florida and my aunt was a stone throw away, descent volleyball program and business school; and the third was an absolute NO, my dad had graduated from there and wanted nothing more for me to follow in his footsteps and be able to cheer me on at every game. They had a strong conference and business school. The kicker was the east coast school played me dirty and didn't offer me until last minute. Florida beach looked really great after flying home in a blizzard but the school reminded me of a prison. Dad's alum was small and no one thought I would go, especially my father and later on I learned my teammates.

So who did I choose?

I chose my instinctual last choice after many pro's and con's list only to find it really was the best choice and I couldn't have made a better decision. I was officially a Purple ACE.

Back to the present job hunt. I had two interviews lined up. After the 1st interview I knew I belonged there. End of story. No need to fly all the way from Boise to Philadelphia for an interview. My mind was already made up. Long story short, I completely changed my mind on what I thought I wanted. I took the second position. I was very fortunate to be job searching for a month and a half before I found a job. (I don't count my down time rehabbing). The position just started last week with a home study program. In the meantime I took on a position at a clothing retail store to pass the time and earn some cash.

So there is it. A recap on why I have been absent. The past two weeks have been nuts! Looking back it has been a bit of a blur! My store had its official grand opening which meant lots of long days getting the store into visual perfection! Last monday my home study started which was a complete 180 from the creative styling I had been doing to studying the anatomy of the heart.

Photos are from a few things that were keeping me inspired. I grew tired of using a book as a coaster and I realized I had these beautiful tiles I purchased from Habitat for Humanity that I wasn't using. I have them strewn everywhere around my place and I must say I really like them! I've also been doing a lot of journal writing just to have a place to keep my thoughts as well as have a place to document my feelings down the road in the future. It's a place where I jot down ideas, emotions, stories, whatever is on my mind. I really recommend it, as I have gone back and read some of my entries from a few months ago and it's really refreshing to see exactly what was on my mind.

The next month promises to be one full of new adventures, new people, lots of learning and hopefully a lot of fun! So glad to be back on the grind again! Can you believe Thanksgiving is upon us this week?

This is the first year I will be away from my family on Thanksgiving. Usually I am always together with my mom, dad, and grandmother with the exception of one year in college when I had conference tournament in Wichita Kansas. I plan on celebrating with my roommate, her fiancé, and his entire family. I will miss my own but I am excited to be sharing the holiday with a great group of people. I plan on eating my weights worth of Thanksgiving feast so I plan on being prepared with my expandable waisted pants and a long flowy tunic to conceal my thanksgiving food baby.So heres to starting new traditions with new friends!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Monday, November 18, 2013


When I first arrived in Idaho I was shocked how basically no one has basements. Born and raised in Illinois I've never lived in a home without one. Living on a hill in the country I've seen the winds whip around, swirling, low dangling clouds, storms coming up out of nowhere. You better believe I high tailed it into the basement. I never lived in fear of a tornado, I just knew they existed and could happen in a moments notice. It's always better to be prepared and respect a storm. Living in Idaho, thankfully we don't have to worry about tornados. But yesterday really put things into perspective as my family and friends had to endure a very trying day of tornado alley.

A quiet morning in the west soon turned into a devastating one for the Midwest. November tornados are very rare and yesterday proved to be the mecca of them all with 80 tornados being spotted, hundreds now homeless, thousands without power, and 6 having lost their lives. This storm hit close to home as many of my friends and family were in the line of impact. My best friends grandparents weathered the storm from their crawl space. When they emerged, the place they once had called home was completely destroyed. Thankfully they came out unscathed, their home destroyed, their possessions pretty much contained in the wreckage. Yesterday I had no idea what was occurring back home until I got on social media. I quickly texted many friends to find out everyone was safe.

Trees that were planted years ago and we watched grow were uprooted from the ground. Homes and businesses that took years to build destroyed in a matter of minutes. Lives once simple and uncomplicated now depend on the help of others. The thing I do know is in time of need people pull together and help one another out.

A few years ago, we had a November tornado scare. A small twister touched down between my neighbors homes, demolishing their barns, throwing the wreckage around like confetti. Our community of neighbors came together. Helped finished harvest, took in homeless animals, cooked meals, helped cleaning up the debris. Thankfully no one was injured, including animals. I have faith from that disaster the citizens of Illinois will pull together and help each other out!

We can't take anything for granted, in a matter of minutes our lives as we know it can change! Be sure to tell the ones you love, " I LOVE YOU" because it could be your last.

Sending my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by yesterdays events.

**These are some random snapshots from around town last week**

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Daily Beauty Essentials

Rachel's Beauty Favorites
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(Scroll over numbers and click to find link)

I wanted to share with you my daily beauty essentials because let's be real, as women we are obsessed with buying new beauty products. I know I have an entire bag of makeup I purchased on a whim that I thought I needed. So I figure why not share the products I love that have been my standbys.

Keeping your face hydrated is the key beautiful skin. I have found a good cream which really works wonders. It took me some time to find this one as I hate when your face feels as though you've lathered a pound of lotion on. I also have sensative skin and this cured all my redness problems.The First Aid Beauty Cream is light but has the perfect amount of moisture to keep my skin glowing.

I used to be a drugstore mascara kind of girl until I found this Smashbox one at Ulta. It was on special for $10 bucks so I randomly tossed it into my basket. Ever since then I don't use anything else. It has great coverage and doesn't shed by the end of the day!

In March I was in Chicago visiting my lovely volleyball besties for a birthday party when I ran into a friend of theirs at a cocktail table. She worked for L'occitane and honestly had some of the most beautiful porcelain skin I had ever seen. Of course, Nicole and I had to ask what her secret was, which cream did we need to buy, blah, blah, the whole ten yards. Her recommendation was always wash your face at night and be sure to hydrate the skin. Her secret weapon, a Clarisonic. I had heard about them before but hadn't really given them much thought. (They are a little pricey) I let Nicole purchase her's first, so she could give it a whirl before I invested in my own. She raved about how great it worked and how her face felt so much cleaner. I pondered about another month and when I went into grab a mascara I ran into my trusted makeup advisor. Of course I had to ask his opinion and the rest is history. I love this thing. I only use it about once or twice a week but I can see great improvement in my complexion and my face feels much cleaner! I am still waiting for that porcelein skin....

Love the lightness of this Marc Jacobs spray. Randomly picked this up at TJ Max, unfortunately the scent is no longer current! What will I do when I run out???

I really didn't have a good regimen for every day face makeup until I started using a BB cream (beauty balm for all of you newbies). I would describe it as a cross between a cream and a foundation. It is very light and fresh feeling with a bit of coverage. It never feels greasy. I wear this everyday and apply with a brush.

Chanel Chance. My old standby. This is my go-to. Love this scent. I even got my mother stuck on it!

Usually when I head into Sephora for one thing I walk out with 2 or 3. I've tried numerous shadow primers but never really loved any of them so I gave up. I started applying my eye shadow on my lid naked. For a while I had a spurt where I didn't wear eye shadow at all unless it was a special occasion. I wore my BB cream, blush, eye liner, and mascara. By the end of the day I always had an eyeliner line in my crease where it had bled. Super frustrating, until I was recommended this shadow insurance. Problem solved and you don't even realize your wearing it.

Naked. This palette is awesome! Last year I stopped wearing shadow with shimmer in it almost all together. I experimented with a couple of other matte palettes but nothing came close to this one. The matte finish is beautiful and subtle. I can make my shadow dramatic or neutral. Can be used for everyday or as a showstopper on the weekends!

Update:: During a trip to Chicago when I was in high school I came across Nars blush, it is the only blush I have ever used. It's a peachy matte that could easily work for so many different skin tones.

I used to use Nars dark brown eye liner until I didn't want to pay $22 a pencil. I tested out many different ones and stumbled upon Sephora brand eye liner. Their hues have dark pigment and stay in place and have a great price tag, $9. I use dark espresso and egg plant!

So there you have it! My beauty essentials! I like to keep it simple but look polished and put together!

Monday, November 4, 2013

In Bed with Brewster + Molly

There is no way I could keep these photos to myself. Every day these two blondes become more loving and affectionate to one another. Friday the pups decided it was a lazy morning. The two of them hopped in bed for a quite morning of napping. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mom Don't Judge Me



I've always wondered what it would feel like to have dark hair. My entire life I've always been blonde. Not platinum blonde but a warm blonde. For years I had thought about taking the plunge but either my mom or my hair dresser talked me out of it. Or everyone else was doing it and I didn't want to follow the crowd. This year things transpired a little differently. On an educated whim, I booked an appointment. Last winter I had wanted to cut my long hair but could never pull the trigger. Then at the last minute when I was getting my hair done I changed my mind. I chopped off 8 inches. No big deal!! Usually I freak out if I get 2-3 inches cut off. This time was completely different. It was freeing. So come full circle and now you understand my quick thinking. I was able to get in quickly and my blonde hair is history!

Isn't this fur collar amazing? I picked it up at an antique shop in town and couldn't set it down! I've already worn it twice and have a feeling it is going to become a staple in my winter closet.