Vacation Mode – ON!

I am finally, finally, on vacation & I could not be happier. I took off this week randomly at the beginning of the Summer, and it feels like a blessing in disguise because it truly could not have come at a better time.  The past few weeks have been hard.  (Hard is an understatement, actually.  They’ve been horrible.)  I really need a break from reality, and to just relax and clear my mind.  My life has been chaotic lately, and I need to center myself and find my zen.  Or is it chi?  I don’t really know.  Namaste.

Anyway, despite the hardships of the past few weeks, I have experienced some good times, such as:

Shopping w/Mel

I know, I know – when aren’t we shopping?  Mel discovered that there was a World Market in Framingham, so naturally we had to check it out.  We were both so disappointed.  It did not live up to it’s hype.  We bounced around from store to store – TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Barnes & Noble – the usual. I really didn’t buy much.  I got presents for my brother (just because), Saul (just because) and Jena (for her birthday), so that made me happy.  (Side Note: I love buying presents! I get so excited.)  I also just had a nice day with Melissa.  I was so happy to see her.  I hadn’t seen her since our IKEA trip, and I just needed a hug from my sister.

Stoneham ❤

Sometimes I don’t realize how much I actually miss being in Stoneham until I’m back there.  (Yeah I know, I only live 30 minutes away, but it’s not the same.  And that’s not counting traffic.)  On Monday I decided to go see Jena.  I went right from work, and I had some time to kill before Jena got home from work, so I stopped at LyLy and got a pedicure.  (It’s the little things.)  Me & Jen ordered salads from Deli Works & just hung out.  I love spending time with my best.

Sakura w/Jamie & TJ

I went out for sushi with TJ & Jamie on Thursday.  I was so happy to see both of them.  They both seemed happy and in good spirits, which made me happy.  We had a nice time.  The two of them are so similar, they have the same silly sense of humor.  It was fun hanging out with them, they’re hilarious.

Jena’s Birthday Dinner!!!!

Saul & I went to Legal on the Mystic for Jena’s birthday dinner with Jena, Am & Bobby.  It was so nice! I had never been to Assembly Row before & it’s beautiful.  There are a ton of great stores and restaurants.  I have also never been to Legal in general (mostly because I hate fish), so I was pleasantly surprised.  Their fried pickles were amazing.  I also had a really good white sangria, and some kind of watermelon martini that Am suggested.  Delish.  We headed over to River Bar after dinner, which is really cute.  It was way too hot for me, but on a cool night it would be really fun to hang outside there.  We took birthday shots for Jen, then I called it a night.  (I get tired on Friday’s, don’t judge.)

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Saturdaze

Yesterday was a “Me Day”.  I got up early (per usual), to go to Target for some cleaning essentials.  Of course, I somehow ended up at Charming Charlie and Ulta as well.  (It’s not my fault University Station has the best stores all in a friggen row.  I’m just thankful that Home Goods is at the opposite end of where I was, because I would have ended up in there, too.)  I got a cute necklace & earrings from Charming Charlie, and I finally bought the Urban Decay face primer I’ve heard so much about.  I wanted to buy a cheap one, but you get what you pay for.  I’m excited to try it.  Saul & I cleaned all day once I got back from my shopping excursion.  And I don’t mean a half ass cleaning – like deep cleaning.  I was seriously exhausted once we finished but I felt a billion times better.  I could relax in peace knowing that the house was immaculate.  A clean home is a happy home.  I didn’t do anything last night, nor did I want to.  I watched Law & Order SVU until I went to bed, and I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing Saturday night.

Now it’s Sunday and I’m getting ready for a fun week ahead of me.  Saul and I are going to North Conway tomorrow for the night, so I’m super excited about that. We are staying at Merrill Farm Inn.  I’ve never been, but it looks really pretty and cozy, and had good reviews on Google, so we will see.  I’ve been to North Conway once before – Saul and I stayed at Adventure Suites for my birthday, which is in the winter.  I’ve never been in the Summer, so I googled fun activities to do.  So far I think I want to go on the Conway Scenic Railroad (it’s a tour), and to the White Mountains.  I’ve heard the White Mountains are absolutely gorgeous, so I’m excited for our trip.  Other than that, I’m not sure what else is going on this week.  I have little things I want to do for me – write more, hang up some pictures, go to the beach, spend time with loved ones, veg out.  We’ll see where the week takes me! 😛

PS: Today is Jena’s actual birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENA!!!! Love you to the moon and back girlfriend.  I hope your day is a fabulous as you are.  Enjoy your Bae, the ocean, your Momma, and of course, blueberry pancakes.  XOXOXOXO.

Jenaaa

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!!

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National Book Lovers Day

It’s National Book Lovers Day for those of you who are unaware, so naturally I had to make some kind of blog post in regards to this lovely day.  I decided to post my Top Ten Books OF ALL TIME (huge deal, I know), as well as my favorite quotes from the story, too.  Picking ten out of a billion books is going to be tough…but here we go….

(Synopsis for the books are from Amazon! I have a hard time describing my favorites because I tend to get into too much detail.)

 

1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

 

 

 

2. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

rebeccaWith these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

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3. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

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At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle…

 

 

 

 

4. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

twiIsabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

 

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5. Dear John – Nicholas Sparks

dearAn angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life–until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. “Dear John,” the letter read…and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love–and face the hardest decision of his life.

 

 

6. Valley ofthe Dolls – Jacqueline Susann

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Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight—for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry—only to find that there is no place left to go but down—into the Valley of the Dolls.

 

 

7. The Girl Who Chased the Moon – Sarah Addison Allen

chasedEmily Benedict has come to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, not only wishing to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also dreaming of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in

“I spent so much time telling myself that this wasn’t home that I started to believe it,” she said carefully. “Belonging has always been tough for me.”

“I can be your home,” he said quietly. “Belong to me.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon

8. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

beaThe new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

 

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9. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

MorrieMaybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.

It’s been ten years since Mitch Albom first shared the wisdom of Morrie Schwartz with the world. Now–twelve million copies later–in a new afterword, Mitch Albom reflects again on the meaning of Morrie’s life lessons and the gentle, irrevocable impact of their Tuesday sessions all those years ago.

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10. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

meeThey had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

 

 

 

What are your favorites?

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Motivational Monday

I’ve never been one to be a fan of Mondays.  In fact, I actually hate Mondays.  When Sunday night rolls around, I feel myself becoming anxious, thinking of starting a whole new week again.  The weekend, as always, feels so far away.  Dreading Monday though isn’t helping me in any way, shape, or form.  I’ve decided to try to put a positive spin on it – it’s a new week! It’s a new day to start fresh, to be whatever I want.  It’s a blessing to just be alive.  So screw you, Monday, and all of the anxiety you usually cause me.  I’m going to begin embracing Monday, and all that it brings.  And I’m going to start doing small, little things for myself on Mondays, too.  That way, it won’t seem so horrible when Sunday night comes creeping in.

 

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday.  Here are a few words of wisdom to get you through your day!

 

 

 

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TOP TEN | Favorite Females

 

 

  1. Britney Spears

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“I’m miss American Dream since I was 17” – need I say more? Brit is absolutely fabulous.   For someone who is constantly in the spotlight, her every move being scrutinized and critiqued, she is so sweet and modest.  Brit is known as the “Princess of Pop”.  She has won a plethora of awards – a Grammy, six MTV VMA’s, MTV”s Lifetime Achievement Award, ten Billboard Music awards, the Billboard Millennium Award, and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Brit has sold 100 million albums worldwide, and over 100 million singles.  Talk about an accomplishment!

To See Brit struggle in 2007 was heartbreaking. I’ll never forget seeing her picture on the front page of some stupid tabloid, shaving her head.  My heart broke for her. She was clearly going through some personal struggles-  couldn’t everyone just leave her alone and let her be?  I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life under a microscope like that.  It makes me anxious to even think about it.   Despite her hardships, though, Brit bounced back, like all of her true fans knew she would.  Even while she was going through her own issues, she released Blackout in 2007, her fifth album.  To this day, it’s still my favorite album of hers.  It’s like a “I don’t give a fuck” album.  She was at rock bottom, and she still slayed.

Since 2007, Britney has only risen and grown in everything she has done.  She has full custody of her children, who are adorable and clearly love their wonderful mom.  She’s released 3 more albums, with a 4th on the way! (You can pre-order Glory on iTunes now!  It comes out 8/26/16!)  Her Vegas Show has been nothing but extremely successful, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier for Brit!  She’s amazing.  I admire her strength, her ambition and her dedication.  She is truly an inspiration.

 

 2. Ashley Graham

 

 

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I didn’t really discover Ashley until the Fall of 2015, though she has been modeling since 2001.  In 2016, Ash was the first “Plus Size” (hate that term!!) model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  Since I started following Ashley, I’ve been a little bit obsessed.  She exudes self confidence in everything she does.  She promotes self-love and body positivity.  She is exactly what this generation needs.  She looks fabulous in her bikini, and she shows girls everywhere to be proud of your body, regardless of your size!  Love her!  Fuck yo thigh gap. 😛

 

3. Iskra Lawrence

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Like Ashley, I recently discovered Iskra Lawrence through Instagram, though she has been modeling since 2008.  Iskra is most famous for modeling for Aerie, American Eagle Outfitters Lingerie Line.  I love Iskra because she is all for Body Positivity, and has no problem calling out body shamers.  She refuses to retouch her Instagram photos – they are Au Naturale, just like her.  I love how real she is.  She doesn’t refer to herself as “plus sized.”  She’s beautiful, confident, and she doesn’t pretend to be anything she’s not.  Iskra is a refreshing face in the modeling industry!

 

4. Selena Gomez

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I love Selena Gomez. I’ve loved her since she played Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverely Place.  When she began her singing career, I quickly fell in love with her music, too.  After listening to Revival, I realized how much I truly admired Selena’s talent.  Revival was raw – she just let it all out there.  It was beautiful.  I think that she is a great role model for younger girls.  I look forward to seeing what else she accomplishes in the future.

 

5. Chrissy Teigen

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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 10: Model Chrissy Teigen attends Variety’s 2014 Power of Women Event in LA presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Variety)

Chrissy Teigen is someone I would want to BFF’s with.  She’s hilarious – she tells it like it is, and holds nothing back.  Her relationship with John Legend is so cute – absolutely love that pic of them when they’re in the pool, and Chrissy’s balancing a plate of chicken wings on her butt and John’s eating them.  Could you guys be any more perfect?  Their daughter, Luna, is adorable too.  They’re just such a cute little family!

Chrissy is best known for her modeling career.  She’s also a great cook, and her cookbook, Cravings, was released this year.  It was instantly a NY Times Bestseller.  I also really admire Chrissy for how open she was during her whole process with IVF.  It’s not an easy topic to talk about.  She slammed any judgemental haters as eloquently as possible.  Her bravery for speaking up for herself is truly inspiring.

 

6. Jennifer Lawrence

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I have loved JLaw since I first laid eyes on her in The Hunger Games.  Not only is she an amazing actress, but she is so real and genuine off-screen, how could you not love her?  She’s very outspoken, down to earth, and funny.  She doesn’t take herself too seriously.  She’s like the girl next door that everyone is able to relate to.  She is a huge advocate for feminism and gender equality, which is amazing.  She has openly admitted that she is pro-choice, which gives her more points in my book. She is the founder of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which supports various charities and organizations.  She uses her fame for good – she truly wants to help people.  If more women were like Jennifer in Hollywood, the world would be a better place.

 

7. Emilia Clarke

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Emilia Clarke is best known for her role on Game of Thrones, as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.  It wasn’t until I saw her play Louisa Clarke, however, in Me Before You, that I truly noticed her.  Emilia was amazing in the film, and I was surprised I hadn’t really seen her before.

Emilia has debuted on Broadway on Holly Golightly, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in 2015.  She was also named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive the same year.  She was offered the role of Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey, but she declined, due to the amount of nudity that was required.  I believe that fact alone says a lot about her character and the kind of person she is.  Emilia is beautiful, inside and out.  She’s a fabulous actress, and I’m excited to see her in more films in the future.

 

8. Reese Witherspoon

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Reese Witherspoon has been acting since 1991.  I feel like I grew up with her, though she’s 13 years older than me.  Majority of my favorite movies star her, however, and I’ve always thought she was just the cutest, sweetest, Southern Belle.  Not only is she a fabulous actress, but she’s a wonderful mother, too.  Reese owns her own production company, Pacific Standard.  She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Critics Choice Award for best actress, along with others.  She also has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Not only is Reese extremely successful, but she is really involved in children’s and women’s advocacy organizations, which I love and admire.  She is an avid reader, which just makes me love her more.  Reese is adorable.  She is always looking for ways to help.  Her positive attitude is refreshing and lovely.

 

9. Lana Del Rey

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I started listening to Lana Del Rey’s music in 2013, and I instantly fell in love.  Her voice was phenomenal, her lyrics were beautiful, and they had so much power and meaning behind them.  Growing up, she wanted to be a poet, which is something I can relate to, and immediately made me like her even more.  Lana has volunteered at homeless youth and drug & alcohol outreach programs, which I also find admirable.  She is kindhearted.

Her musical style is unique, and her songs really speak to me.  I can listen to her music no matter what kind of mood I am in.  I’ve said before, I feel like I relate to Lana on a spiritual level.  I read quotes of hers from magazines, and I just get her.  She’s a sad soul, in a way.  But it’s beautiful.  I adore her. She had a quick rise to fame, but that fame never got to her head, the way it does to so many others.

 

10. Lady Gaga

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Last but not least, is the Lovely Lady Gaga.  Lady Gaga is an absolute Queen.  She does whatever the hell she wants, and she doesn’t care what you think.  She wears her heart on her sleeve.  She’s real, she’s genuine.  She is passionate about her beliefs.  I went to her concert in 2014.  I was so inspired. I love how much she promotes gender equality.  Listening to her at her concert, I realized why so many people loved her so much. She was just so amazing, so understanding.  She truly loves her fans!  It was so beautiful to get to see that.

Not only is she an amazing singer, but she absolutely slays at acting. She killed it in American Horror Story last season, and I cannot wait until the new season premieres in September!  She recently broke off her engagement with Taylor Kinney, and she posted the saddest Instagram shortly after, about how they believed that they were soul mates, but they were going through some stuff.  She’s human, like the rest of us.  She’s not afraid to share her feelings or show her sensitivity.  I think that is a truly beautiful trait in person.  Lady Gaga is entertaining, a fantastic performer.  You’re crazy if you don’t like her! 😛