Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Project Completed!

Remember when I wanted clean up my memory board?

Well it's been four months, but I finally did it! 


It's all clean!


I found tons of movie ticket stubs on my board.
They were from a large variety of movies and from many years ago.
The one on top is from 2007! That's when I graduated high school.
It seems like 2007 was so long ago.

I also found lots of old pictures mixed in with new ones.
It was like walking down memory lane.


Here it is finally updated!
It has a lot of my favorite pictures with a lot of my favorite people.
I like it. The board looks less clutter and it's not as dusty.

Hooray for finally completing this project!


Have you finished a project recently?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: ROOM

ROOM by Emma Donoghue


Summary: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. (via Goodreads)



Review: This book was intense. It took me quite some time to get used to the language of the book since it is told entirely from Jack's point of view.  He has his own grammar style and he enjoys making up words as well. At some points it was a little annoying but I know it was vital to the story. This book was intense to think about a 5 year old spending his whole life in one room, only knowing what has been provided for him and never having stepped outside.  It was interesting to see the world from Jack's point of view. This book pulled me in from the beginning, even the cover art is what had drawn me to the book in the first place. I think I finished this book in a matter of three or four days. This was a very good read, although I was a little disappointed with the ending but overall still worth the read. I highly recommend this book. Because I was disappointed in the ending and had a hard time getting used to the writing style I gave this book 4 out  of 5 stars. 

Book Review: Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin


Summary: Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon.  Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life. 

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father.  After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much. 

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.  (via Goodreads)





Review: I have enjoyed all of Emily Giffin's novels. This wasn't my favorite, but at the same time it had me turning page after page because I just had to know the ending. I enjoyed reading it. The story was intriguing and it definitely pulled me in. The writing was wonderful (as expected). I wasn't happy about the decisions made by Nick, Tessa's husband. I found it interesting to see the reactions and emotions of Tessa as well as Valerie and the way they ended up being connected. I think this book presented a good point, that you can't be sure of what you would do in a situation until you are in that situation yourself. Although I wasn't too fond of the plot, I gave this book 4 out 5 stars.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Engagement Pictures

Yesterday Tim and I had our engagement pictures taken with our wedding photographer. 
It was a wonderful experience and it makes me even more excited for October. 

Here are two pictures from the {Sneak Peek} she posted on her Facebook page.




I loved working with Emma Loo Photography.
Make sure you go check out her amazing blog, and her inspiring Facebook page.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Walk Around the Neighborhood

Yesterday Tim and I went for a short walk around his neighborhood. 
I enjoyed going on a walk with him because we got to spend uninterrupted time together. 

We spotted a few lovely things on our walk. 


We saw the ice cream truck. It played a fun tune and it was very hard to resist buying ice cream. 
I used to love the ice cream truck when I was little. It was so exciting! 


One of Tim's neighbors had a beautiful peach tree growing in their front yard. 
Too bad I don't like peaches. 


There is a beautiful nature trail throughout his neighborhood. 
One of my favorite things about his neighborhood.
We spent some time walking it, taking in the nature and enjoying each others' company. 


Love this message on this sweet garage door. 


What is one of your favorite things in your neighborhood or around your home?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bride and Bridesmaids Bouquets

I love hydrangeas. They are very beautiful flowers. 



Which is why I have decided to carry them on my wedding day. 
I also am going to use silk flowers, because I can keep my bouquet for as long as I want! 
Plus they didn't take a huge chunk out of my budget. (Thank you Michael's coupons.)

My bridesmaids will also be carrying a bouquet of hydrangeas.
These flowers are just so beautiful. 


What did you/would you like to carry on your wedding day?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Favorites!


Happy Birthday to my sweet mother! She turns 35 again today! 
Thanks for always being there for me and loving me. 
I hope I grow up to be as wonderful as you are. 
Love you Mom. Happy Birthday. 


Also Happy Birthday to my amazing husband-to-be.
Thanks for always making me laugh and for loving me. 
You're super and I am excited to celebrate many, many more birthdays with you! 
I love you.


This is a happy day. It brought me two of my favorite people in the world!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Inexpensive Dates

Tim and I have been together for quite some time (five years and counting).
We started dating in high school and through four years of college. 
So we have definitely had dates where we didn't spend very much, if anything at all. 


One day we looked up streets that had our names. 
Then we drove to these streets and took our picture in front of the street sign. 
All we spent was the gas money, back when it was a much lower price. 


We also went on a few picnics to our local park. 
Grabbed a blanket, some food, and a deck of cards. 
We talked, ate, and just had fun. 


We also love to visit our local AMC movie theater on the weekdays when it's $5 movie day!

What is one of your favorite date activities?



Monday, June 20, 2011

My Favorite Things

I don't really consider myself to be a high maintenance girl, but there are a few things that make life just a little better. They are some of my favorite items and I thought I would share them with you. 



One. Ponds Dry Skin Cream. This stuff is amazing. I use it mainly on my face as a moisturizer. My face hasn't been dry since I've started using it. Every once in a while I'll use it on my feet or elbows. The best part about this cream is it's inexpensive ($5 to $7) and it will last for a very long time. 


Two. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. I love this mascara. Even if I don't wear foundation, I use this mascara. It's wonderful.


Three. Merona Crossbody from Target.  I love this purse, it was definitely worth the splurge. It's just big enough to hold the essentials; my wallet, sunglasses, camera, and cell phone. I used to carry a bigger bag, but it always ended up full of junk. This bag is the perfect size. 


Four. Pretzel M&M's. These are delicious and my new favorite snack. Love the combination of sweet and salty. 


Five. Real Simple Magazine. I love coming home to this magazine it the mail box. It has lots of organization tips (my favorite), recipes, real life stories and fashion. It's the perfect magazine. I can't bring myself to throw them away because I know I'll find it useful in the future (with my own home). 

These are a few of my favorite things (cue Sound of Music song) that make life more awesome. 

What are a few of your favorite things?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Look!

As I was helping my mom in her flower garden today, we came across a friendly creature. 
Take a look at what we found! 


It was pretty cool to see and I was very excited to get this picture. 

Which bug/critter do you find most interesting?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy List

Things that have made my happy the past couple of weeks:


Beautiful flowers.
Spending lots of time with Tim. 
Getting my room cleaned out. 
Friends on DVD. 


Receiving lovely packages in the mail.
Finally getting my diploma! *happy dance*
The photo book I made with our engagement pictures and my favorite quotes about love.
Finishing two books (reviews coming soon).
The latest X-Men movie (mainly, James McAvoy)


What is on your happy list?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Goals


The summer is just around the corner (if not already here).
I thinking setting goals are important and I love making lists.
Here are some of my goals for the summer:

1. Complete clean out and decluttering of my room
2. Complete at least 5 things on my list of 101 things in 1001 days
3. Read enough books to reach half of my reading challenge.
4. Find a teaching job. 

What are some of your current goals?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Help Nakate Project Reach Their Goal!

Remember when I wrote this post about Nakate Project?

Well they are so close to reaching their goal of $700.
This will allow them to make a trip to Uganda this summer to make a difference in the lives of the women they work with. Right now they are thinking they might have to wait until the fall to make this trip. 

They only need $80 more. 
If every person who reads this just donates one dollar, they will be so much closer to their goal. 
By donating you are helping to make a difference.


Don't you want to help out Nakate and the other women in her village?

If you can't donate you can help spread the word by blogging about this organization, by tweeting or posting about it on Facebook. 

Just copy and paste this:  
Help out Nakate Project make a difference in the lives of women in Uganda.


image via Nakate Project



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bridesmaids Brunch

On Saturday, I held a bridesmaids brunch. 
I invited my bridesmaids over to discuss wedding details, for everyone to get to know each other some, and so they could see my wedding dress. 
It was a lot of fun and it makes me excited for future wedding related events. 


I made the bunting myself. It was fun and definitely an easy way to decorate the room. 



I think other than the bunting, my favorite detail was the cups we drank out of.
We used Mason Jars and I created a name tag for each jar. 
They were so cute.


We used these colorful straws to enjoy our drink of choice (apple juice, orange juice, and lemonade).




On the menu, we had; 
Blueberry muffins
Chocolate chip muffins
Strawberries
Watermelon
Grapes
Blueberries
Fruit dip
Chocolate covered strawberries
And Chicken Minis from Chick-fil-a 


The food was delicious!
And the company was amazing. 


I really enjoyed planning this and putting all the details together. 
We used some flowers from my mother's garden in the centerpiece. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: Safe Haven

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks


Summary: When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. (via Goodreads)


Review: I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, I've read all of his books. Although I find most of his books pretty predictable and they all follow a similar pattern, I am still drawn to them. I started this book, and his writing style pulled me in as it always does. Katie had a secret but was looking for away to start over and leave her secret behind. Her secret kept her from letting her guard down and to be able to fall in love again. A typical plot line for Sparks but I still wanted to know what happened. I remember at one point thinking, "I know what will happen in the end." Although I did to an extent, I was surprised by the ending. The last few chapters had me on the edge of the chair, it was so intense and I could not stop reading. This was such an amazing book, I highly recommend this one. It was well written and definitely pulled me in from the beginning. I gave Safe Haven 5 out 5 stars on Goodreads. 




Have you read it? What did you think?

Book Review: Chasing Harry Winston

  Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger


Summary: These three very different girls have been best friends for a decade in the greatest city on earth. As they near thirty, they're looking toward their future...but despite all they've earned — first-class travel, career promotions, invites to all the right parties, and luxuries small and large — they're not quite sure they like what they see...
One Saturday night at the Waverly Inn, Adriana and Emmy make a pact: within a single year, each will drastically change her life. Leigh watches from the sidelines, not making any promises, but she'll soon discover she has the most to lose. Their friendship is forever, but everything else is on the table. Three best friends. Two resolutions. One year to pull it off.  {via Goodreads}


Review:  I found this book entertaining. It definitely was not a challenging read, would be perfect as a beach read. I had a difficult time relating to the characters who almost all have the "perfect" life. I thought the characters were a little ridiculous and over the top.  Especially the way Adriana became annoyed when her parents would visit their penthouse when they paid for all her bills, the apartment she lived in and all her other expenses. It took me awhile to get pulled in to the book, and I had to concentrate to finish it. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if I read it on the beach and had gotten a tan out of it. ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


Summary: Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. (via Goodreads)


Review: I had heard wonderful things about this book, but was still a little skeptical about it. As soon as I got past the first few pages, I was hooked. This book pulled me in. I love the way Jacob narrated the story. I thought the way the book went from the present day to past was written very well. It was not distracting from the story. I enjoyed following Jacob's character and the relationship he developed with Marlena and Rosie. I thought this book also showed an interesting look into the circus world in the depression. I could not put this book down, I was desperate to find out what happened on the next page. This is one of best books I've read lately. There was a little more foul language than I care for, but the story was still amazing. I highly recommend it. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


Have you read this book or seen the movie? What did you think?

Pin Away

Have you started Pinning?

It is amazing and inspiring as well as fun! 
Here are some of my new favorite quotes found via Pinterest.










All images found via Pinterest


Hope you have had a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Organized Bride

I am a huge fan of organization. 
It keeps my stress level way down. 
Here are a few things I've done to stay an organized bride (so far).


My sister gave me this bag. I love it. I love that I was able to customize it with our pictures. 
I keep all my important wedding information in it to keep from losing it. 


I think one of the first things I did was create a Wedding Binder.
I use this to keep all of my ideas together.
This binder holds my lists of things to do in one spot (I think I have four or five right now).
I also added in dividers for specific details. 


The dividers are pockets, so if something isn't hole punched I can just keep it in the pocket. 
I have a section for Budget, Bridal Party, Vendors, Guests, Ceremony, and Reception. 
This helps my binder stay organized and I can easily find what I am looking for. 


I also created these folders to give to my bridesmaids. 
I just used extra folders we had around the house and some scrapbook paper I had lying around. 
Inside the folder is a list of important phone numbers, Tim and I along with the rest of the bridal party. 
Also the dates and addresses for the rehearsal and wedding. 
They can use the folders to keep up with any other wedding information, that way it is all in the same place. 

These are just a few things I've done to help keep me organized and remain sane. 

How do you stay organized?