Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome Winter

Winter was a little late to the party this year. The temps were in the 60s right up until Christmas, but when he showed up, he did it in style. We had to cut our trip home a bit short because of the winter storm, which was a huge bummer, but at least we ended up with enough ice and snow to keep us from feeling guilty about leaving early. Bonus--it's gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Daily: Week Three

Better late than never, right? :) Like I mentioned in my last December Daily post, I slacked a little on DD while I was home for the holidays. I'm thinking it would be doable if I hosted Christmas at our place (or if I was dedicated enough to haul a box of scrapbooking materials across an entire state...); maybe next year! Overall, I'm pretty pleased with myself for sticking with this--even if my postings weren't always punctual, my scrapping was!--and I'm a little sad that it's almost over. It has honestly inspired me to do my New Year's resolutions a bit differently this year, but more on that later. In the meantime, here's week three!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Favorite Songs of 2015

This is the yearly post that I look forward to the most--the playlist of my favorite songs of the year. Music has been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and now that I'm driving more during the day for work, it's become an even larger part of my day-to-day. Needless to say, this year's list is a tad bit longer than previous ones I've made; the fact that it was a pretty darn good year for music probably doesn't hurt either (I mean, TWO Beach House albums?!). I limited myself to one song per album, which was a seriously hard decision in some cases.  So here we are--my favorites from 2015:

Monday, December 28, 2015

December Daily: Week Three

I did really well with December Daily until the week of Christmas, when we went back home for a few days; lugging all my scrapbooking stuff along just seemed like too much of an undertaking. So catching up on last week's pages is on my to-do list today. In the meantime, here are the pages from week three (since I didn't manage to get those up either. Slacking, I tell you). Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas

Christmas Day. We're celebrating with my family in southeast Missouri, and also missing our sweet little home & fluffy babies. It's been a weird, hard, and rewarding year, but being surrounded by family always reminds me of how truly good life is. Wherever you are today, I hope you have the happiest of Christmases. <3

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Wanna know a secret? As much as I love Christmas, I actually love Christmas Eve more. The anticipation makes me feel childlike and awed, and all the little details that go into the preparation--wrapping the presents, decorating the tree, hanging the stockings--just build up the excitement. If Christmas Day is about joy, Christmas Eve is about hope; it carries more mystery, more magic somehow. We're spending the day in my hometown with family, which makes that childlike feeling even easier to come by. Wherever you are on this wonderful Christmas Eve, I hope you're safe, loved, and taking in all the hope and anticipation that today brings.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dream Christmas Wishlist

It's been ages since I've created a wishlist, and I figured with Christmas around the corner, what better time to get back at it, right? Don't get me wrong--getting presents doesn't even make the top 25 list of my favorite things about Christmas, but it's fun to look & dream. It reminds me of getting the toy catalogs as a kid and carefully picking out the things I wanted to ask Santa for. So here's my dream Christmas list this year.

1. British citizenship. A girl can dream, right? ;)

2. This adorable print by Emily Martin.

3. Since my craft desk became a computer desk when we moved (our last apartment had a built-in computer desk), I'm on the hunt for a new desk/craft table. This one is simple and sizeable enough to do the job.

4. I bought a rollerball of Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black awhile ago, and it's soooo good. I feel like I have to save it for special occasions because I like it so much! Also, every time I'm in Sephora I put some on from the sample bottle. #oops

5. I am completely freaking out over this Neko Case record collection. She is so amazing.

6. We've been using a hand-me-down couch from my mom since we got married, and we're well overdue for a new one. And if I'm going to dream, might as well dream big, right? This one from West Elm is so gorgeous!

7.  This pretty little necklace caught my eye the other day and I had to add it to my list. I love how simple yet substantial it is.

8. Matilda was my favorite childhood book. I'm beginning to think I need tattoo form (don't tell my mother).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winter Break Reading List

Winter break is just around the corner; it starts in 2 1/2 days, to be exact....not that I'm counting or anything. I've got a crazy-long list of things I want to do with my little vacation, but  I also want to sneak in some reading over the next couple of weeks. Here's a little peek at what's on my list (not pictured: the Game of Thrones books that have been sitting on my Kindle since last Christmas!).

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott: I'm in a weird spiritual funk lately (I say "lately," I mean, "for the past few years"....) and I'm kinda done being miserable about it, and I'm just going to do something about it. What that something is, I'm not quite sure yet, but Anne is a really good place to start. 

The Women of the Cousin's War by Phillipa Gregory: I started reading this one weekend when I was still taking classes, but my schoolwork picked up and I never finished it. Phillipa Gregory's fiction is sort of my guilty pleasure reading. This is her first venture into non-fiction, but I really like it so far. I'm looking forward to picking it back up. 

The Discovery of King Arthur by Geoffrey Ashe: This is basically an examination of the bits of truth behind the legends of King Arthur. It's  a total nerd read, and I can't defend it. :)

Anyone doing any fun reading for the holidays? I'm looking for inspiration for my 2016 reading list!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Daily Week Two

Another week of sticking with December Daily! I'm honestly so proud of myself; it seems like such a small accomplishment, but when I perpetually have a mile-long to-do list, taking time to do something fun for myself doesn't always make the cut.

I did cheat a little, and finish up Saturday's page on Sunday. We went to Liberty Memorial, Union Station & Crown Center Saturday evening; after hiking all around downtown in heeled boots, and getting all the pictures edited and formatted, making a late-night run to Walgreens just wasn't happening! Of course, life taught me a lesson about dedication, because it rained ALL DAY Sunday, which meant I got to pick up my pictures in the rain and try to get decent photos of the layouts with dreary lighting.  Lesson learned.

5 Favorites: Christmas Entertainment Edition

Let me just preface this by saying that this was the hardest series of lists I've ever had to make in my life. I love Christmas, and narrowing down these into five selections was tough. I think nostalgia influenced a lot of my choices, but not always. I mean, the child in me really wanted to include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Mickey's Christmas Carol in my favorite movies, but Love Actually is my all-time favorite movie, period, so it had to be in there! At the same time, Frosty beat out ELF by a narrow margin, because of pure sentimentality. You can tell me how wrong I am in the comments. :)

1// Love Actually
2// A Charlie Brown Christmas
3// A Christmas Story
4// How the Grinch Stole Christmas
5// Frosty the Snowman

1// White Christmas: Bing Crosby
2// Christmas With the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, & Sammy Davis, Jr.
3// A Charlie Brown Christmas: Vince Guaraldi Trio
4// Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Gene Autry
5// Home for Christmas: N*Sync (JUDGE ME!)

1//  "Christmas Time is Here" Vince Guaraldi Trio
2// "White Christmas" Bing Crosby
3// "Carol of the Bells" John Williams
4// "Here Comes Santa Claus" Gene Autry
5// "Frosty the Snowman" Jimmy Durante

What are your favorite sentimental Christmas favorites?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas at Union Station

A couple years ago, while we were up in KC visiting family for Thanksgiving, we went to Union Station to see the Christmas decorations. Once we knew that we were moving up here, I decided to make it a KC Christmas tradition. It is just so beautiful. It's been a little hard for me to get in the Christmas spirit, since the weather has been so unseasonably warm, but we went Saturday night, and it sure did the trick.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Playlist

I love Christmas music. I've even been known to sneak a listen to some holiday tunes in the middle of summer. So when I set out to do a holiday playlist, I made a playlist, you guys. It's got all the classics (you want Bing? You've got Bing. And Frank, and Dean, and Jimmy, and Nat.....) and some more recent tunes as well (I see you, Civil Wars). Also, if you think I left N*Sync outta this equation, you would be dead wrong, my friend. Alright, I'll stop going on and on about this playlist and just post the darn thing already. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Holiday Eats: Confetti Scalloped Potatoes

There are a few recipes that I always associate with childhood holidays, and confetti scalloped potato casserole is one of them. I'm not sure where my mom got this recipe, or if she just made it up one night, but either way, it's a keeper. I thought I'd pass it along in time for the holidays.

1/2 cup butter
1 package frozen potatoes o'brien
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk (approx.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Dash of pepper
1 cup Cheez'it cracker crumbs, divided

Monday, December 7, 2015

December Daily: Week 1

It took me about a full week, but I think I've found my groove with December Daily. This is my first year doing the scrapbooking challenge, and it definitely was a challenge to start! I think one of my biggest frustrations with scrapbooking in general is that I don't really have a defined style--I like a little bit of everything. I like minimalism and monochrome, but I also like a lot of glitter, embellishments, and color. As a result, my albums are usually a little bit all over the place. But this is where December Daily is actually easier in my mind--it's easier to pick and stick to a style for a month than it is for a year. I still struggled with some layouts initially, but I re-did them and I'm really happy with how it's going so far. Take a peek!

If any of you are doing December daily, leave your url in the comments; I'd love to see what you're doing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Westport Wanderings

Last weekend, Tyler and I met up with our pals Sarah & Scott, who were in town visiting Sarah's family for Thanksgiving. We spent most of Saturday running around, checking out the remaining Black Friday weekend deals and just generally enjoying each other's company. (Excuse the crappy iPhone photos--we were too busy having fun to take *real* pictures--or many pictures at all!)

I wish I could say that we spent all of our time at small, local shops, but honestly--I don't know that many local shops here yet. (Finding some favorites is on my ever-growing list of New Year's Resolutions.) We did wander down to Westport, though, to make a quick stop at a local vintage shop and my favorite little record store on earth, Mills Record Co.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello, December.

Whoa. December. When did that happen? It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas around here, finally. Usually our tree is up the day after Halloween because I'm a bit of a Christmas nut, but for some reason this year has been a bit slower. Tyler surprised me by putting up the main tree while I was at work a couple weeks ago, but we didn't do much else until this past weekend. It's still not exactly as festive as usual, but it's getting there.

For some reason, I've had a harder time getting in the Christmas spirit this year; I think part of it is that I'm still readjusting to post-grad life, and also the fact that it was still in the 60s, temperature wise, just a week or so ago. We did manage to have a nice batch of freezing rain this past weekend, but that's more annoying than Christmas-y. If you have any ideas for getting in the holiday mood, I'm all ears. For now, I think I'm going to light some candles, put on some Bing Crosby, and finish decorating.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Playlist

Just another little monthly playlist to start your week off right! All I can say is, you all are suuuuper lucky that "Hello" is the only Adele song on Spotify. :) Hope your Monday is relatively painless!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving + a Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving! I am extra thankful this year that I work in a school system and can take full advantage of the holiday schedule. :) We're having dinner with my sister-in-law and her family, so I thought it would be a good excuse to whip up my go-to quick dessert: Butterfinger Pie. (Don't worry, we're having pumpkin pie too!)

When I was in high school I had one of those weird best-friend/boyfriend relationships; we were both from small towns where there really wasn't much to do, so apart from swimming in ponds (ick ick ick, what was I thinking?) and discussing the great mysteries of the universe as only teenagers can, we spent a lot of time with each other's families. His grandma was one of my favorite people on the planet, and she gave me her super-secret recipe for Butterfinger Pie. I have no idea where it came from--I only know that this was a world pre-Pinterest, and I got it from a grandma. So you KNOW it's good, right? Bonus: it's also quick and easy to make, and only requires 5 ingredients. So if you're a procrastinator, I've got you covered.

1 block cream cheese (8oz)
1 tub of whipped topping (8oz)
1 cup sugar
2 Butterfinger candy bars (you can get king size if you're feeling naughty)
1 graham cracker crust

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Feeling: Tired. It's 6:30 pm. #grandma

Drinking: Sweet tea. I seriously need to stop keeping it around, because I can drink a gallon in less than a week.

Watching: an Unsolved Mysteries marathon. Seriously, I am turning into my grandmother.

Reading: a book on Old English. Learning to read Anglo-Saxon documents is sort of a nerdy goal of mine.

Thinking about: Getting this apartment in order (and decorated for Christmas!)

Loving: having a 5-day weekend. Seriously, a school work schedule is the BEST.

Excited about: Sarah coming to town this weekend! Hopefully I'll finally get to explore KC a little!

Listening to: SO MUCH ADELE. My white girl is showing.

Worried about: whether or not I passed that dumb test. I honestly thought I would be relieved that it's over, but not knowing is KILLING ME.

Obsessing over: this Neko Case record collection. Anyone have an extra $200 laying around? It's the stuff my dreams are made of.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Hope you're having a nice relaxing evening. <3

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vinyl Love// Daughter: If You Leave

If You Leave by Daughter.

In 3 words: ethereal, emotive, balanced

Favorite tracks: Youth, Amsterdam, Human

This record became one of my favorites immediately after it came out a couple years ago. Even though it's old news by now, I decided to post it anyway, because I rediscovered it recently and I've been spinning it nonstop again. It's perfect cold-weather music, and is equally enchanting whether you're zoning out in your apartment or driving around in your car with no destination. I think it's a delicate balance making a record that is cohesive without every song sounding too much the same, and Daughter achieves that balance very very well. They have a new record release just around the corner (in January), and you better believe I'll be pouncing on that one the day it comes out. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Catching Up

I don't know what is more embarrassing: the fact that I have so many months of absence to catch up on, or the fact that there really isn't much that happened in those months. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably think that all I do is study, pet my cats, and take Lush-sponsored baths (Note: Lush doesn't actually sponsor me, but Lush, if you're reading this, you can totally sponsor me). To be honest, that's not been far off the mark, but a few things have happened around here since I stopped blogging consistently. So here's a quick catch-up.

01// I studied. A lot.

02//We moved to Kansas City in September. I wrote a little bit about this before and shortly after my move, but it was quite the process. Rental hunting was, adventure, and I ended up living with my very generous sister-in-law and her family for a month before we officially "moved." Honestly, I loved staying with them and had a blast, but my brother-in-law is probably glad to have his "man cave" back. :) Thankfully, we--and all our things--have our own place now. Confession: half our stuff is still in boxes, two months later. That's my next project....

03// I started a new job. It's so funny; I swore in high school that I wouldn't be a teacher or work in a school because my mom was a teacher and I saw all the struggling, bureaucracy, and general BS that she had to deal with. I saw how hard she had to fight just to be able to do what was right for the kids she taught. Well, it's 2015 and I'm not a teacher....but I do work in a school district. **Life tip: never swear you won't ever do something.** The thing is, though, I really really really love my job now. There are a lot of things about the move to KC that have been less than ideal, and there are a lot of things I miss about Springfield, but this job is one thing that will definitely keep me here. I could see doing this for a very very long time.

04// My grandmother passed away about a month ago after a long battle with Alzheimer's. I debated about whether or not to even post about this here, because I have a lot more to say about this than can be captured in a paragraph embedded in a catch-up post. It also seems to flippant to just casually mention it in a list of life events. I decided to, though, because it happened, and it affected me--probably more than anything in recent memory. It's still affecting me, and I'm still processing it.  I may very well be for a very long time.

05// I turned 30. That is so weird to say. Cognitively I know it, but there is nothing about me that feels 30. Maybe it's because there was so much going on around my birthday that we didn't really celebrate it or maybe that's just the way it is with getting older now. But hey, I'm in the 30 club. No shame.

Hope you all have a great Monday (is there such a thing?)!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Morning Playlist

Just a little playlist from last month to start off your Monday. I've been trying to start a new one monthly; this one is from October, but November is in the works. Now that I spend a little more time in front of a computer for work, I need some good tunes to keep me sane productive. I'll probably post them here as I finish them, but feel free to follow along with me on Spotify if you want to listen ahead. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

One week

In exactly one week, I'll sit for my behavior analyst certification exam. Honestly, I'm relieved and terrified all at once. The pass rate right now is hovering around 60%, and I wish I could say that I feel confident about being in that top 60%. I really wish I could say that. What I do know is that I use behavior analysis every single day at work, I LOVE what I do, and that I am good at my job--good enough that my boss has already assured me that regardless of whether I pass or fail, and despite the fact that BCBA certification is in the job requirement, my job is safe. What I'm not so sure of is whether all of the months of classes & studying and the years of working in ABA will translate to a passing score on what is undoubtedly the most intimidating test of my life. I hope it does, but I'm not sure.

Like most every weekend in the past few months, I've spent this one studying. I woke up around 7:30, and started in on study modules. I took a break around 9 to eat breakfast....while reading study materials. I just got out of the bathtub...and I even took my iPad in there to do modules too. Writing this is literally the only break I've taken today. It's weird to see how consuming this process has become, and to realize that a lot of it has been driven by anxiety and fear masquerading as dedication. It hit me at work the other day when someone asked when I was taking the exam, and I hesitated; if I failed, and someone knew when I was taking it, I'd have to admit that I didn't make the cut.

  But you know what?

To destroy fear you have to admit it, and then face it.

So this is me admitting it--publicly. I'm afraid of this exam. I'm afraid of not making the cut. I'm afraid that I won't be able to compartmentalize failure if it happens, and that I'll struggle with not incorporating it into my identity. I'm afraid of what people will think of me, and I'm afraid that my consultations at work won't hold as much weight. I'm afraid of having to repeat the study process, and of losing several more months of my life to this.

I admit it.
I face it.

  Next Saturday, I'll kick it in the freaking face. Study Thanks for reading my ramblings tonight guys. I can't wait to be finished with this process and to get back to caring for this little space again. We have so much to catch up on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Leaving Springfield

I've been a KC resident for a grand total of 17 days, and it has taken me every one of those days to be in a place where I could write this post. I think there has been a certain level of denial happening about the fact that I don't live in Springfield anymore. I've been crashing in my sister-in-law's downstairs den, so it's been easy to pretend like this is some sort of vacation instead of my life....but this weekend we're moving for real, we'll have an apartment, all my stuff will be here, my husband will be here, my cats will be here, and it will be a lot harder to pretend like I still live in Springfield. This all makes it sound like I'm unhappy, and I'm really not. I'm excited to live in Kansas City, I absolutely love my new job, and I can't wait to explore the city and fall in love with new favorite local spots. It's just that Springfield will always hold such a large piece of my heart. So many of the best bits of my life happened there, and even though Springfield wasn't my hometown, it feels very very much like home to me. I think part of that has to do with memories, and the other part has to do with this:


God, these girls. I don't even know where to begin, except to say that each one of them has very literally changed my life in ways big and small. They are inspiring, encouraging, supportive, caring, loving, talented, humble and genuine. When I think of my Springfield friendships, I am absolutely blown away. I think a person would be lucky to have one friend with all those qualities, and I'm surrounded by them.


These photos were taken by my friend Michelle, who put together this going-away for me (because she's amazing and I love her). I think a lot of times, things on the internet are portrayed in a more perfect light than they really are, but this evening was an exception for me--it really was perfect. When it was over, I cried all the way home, and not because I was sad about leaving. I cried because I realized how fortunate I was to have so many people who loved me, so many people I would miss, so many people in my life that it was difficult to say goodbye to. Springfield will always have a special place in my heart...and so will these girls.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Late Summer Spotify Playlist

Just a little taste of what I've been listening to lately. Late summer in Missouri is so weird, because you get teases of fall here and there, but not enough to really get your heart set on it. This playlist represents that pretty well--a few sneaks of fall staples like Iron & Wine and Nathaniel Rateliff, but still pretty dominated by infectious summer sounds. Hope it's a happy addition to your Wednesday!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kansas City, Here We Come.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know this, but I have some rather big news to share (nope, not pregnant--sorry mom).



Yep, you read that right. If this all seems very sudden, it's because it is. We had talked about moving to KC a few times, but it was always in the "someday" sense. There's a better market for both of our jobs up there, Tyler has family in the area, and I've grown to love it more and more as we visited over the past few years. Recently, though, there have been aspects of my current job that have left me feeling very unhappy and ethically uneasy. After one particularly rough day that resulted in coming home in angry tears, I started looking at jobs in KC that require the licensure that I'll be sitting for in November. I found some great jobs, and even though I wasn't fully qualified yet, applied for them. My thought was, even if I don't get a call right away, they'll have my name and information for the future--and in the meantime, I feel some forward motion, like I'm doing something to put myself in a better position. I applied for four jobs.

I got four phone calls.

I got four interviews.

I got four job offers.

My mind was blown. I was anxious, panicky, and wondered what I had done. Then I was excited, and things started make sense. I talked with Tyler and some of my friends, made pro/con lists for each job. I ended up taking a lower-paying job that is still leaps above what I make now, and that will allow me to work less and have summers off. And I'm so excited.

Not everything has gone according to plan. Tyler was hopeful that his current job would transfer, since the company he works for here in Springfield has an office in Kansas City. We got word last week that his regional manager is not going to allow that to happen. So he'll be here until the end of September, which will mean a few weeks apart for us, and a job search for him as well. (If anyone knows of any good marketing jobs in the Kansas City area, send them my way!) We had a terrible time finding a place to live too--every house we had on our list was snatched up before we had a chance to look at them. We even got a text message the day we were driving up to look at one saying that it had rented that morning. We spent a good portion of Friday just driving around aimlessly though Waldo, looking for "For Rent" signs, and finally giving up and going back to Johnson County to look at apartments closer to where I'll be working. Ultimately, though, we found a place. It's pretty cookie-cutter, doesn't have much (read: any) character, and isn't actually available until about three weeks after I start my new jobs, but it's safe, close to family and my work, and it's got our name on it!

So today I'm feeling grateful. Grateful that my first-world problems aren't really problems, but inconveniences. I'm grateful that frustrations are temporary and that we have amazingly supportive family who will let me crash on their couch until we can move into our apartment. I'm grateful for the amazing friendships I've developed in Springfield, and that KC is only three hours away. I'm grateful for change, even when it's scary, and adventure, even when it's hard.

Kansas City, here we come.

Monday, August 17, 2015

National Thrift Shop Day!

Somebody hide Macklemore's keys, because today is National Thrift Shop Day (terrible joke, I know--but how else are you going to introduce a post like this, hm?). I've slacked quite a bit on my thrifting lately out of general busyness, but I've been known to come home with a few gems in my time. Sometimes these gems make it to the blog and other times, they're photographed and then sit in my Flickr account for six months or more (oops) like this one:


Tyler calls them my Mork & Mindy overalls (and generally refuses to be seen in public with me while I'm wearing them); I call them awesome.


To be honest, they aren't the most practical piece of clothing I own, but they very well may be one of the most fun...and I'm not the best thrifter on the planet. I have friends who are thrifting queens, and always manage to come out of the store with amazing pieces at amazing prices. Cases in point--I have a friend who seems like she finds Pendleton stuff ALL.THE.TIME. and once picked up a pair of Frye boots in an antique store. Of course they were her size, because she has the best luck ever. (You know who you are Danavee!). Another friend of mine thrifts the best outfits consistently and managed to snag a pair of Minnetonkas at the local DAV. I'm just not that lucky, but once in a while, I find something I really, really like. Maybe in honor of National Thrift Shop Day, I should hop back on the wagon and see if I can improve my luck. The perfect set of Pyrex may be waiting for me.


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