Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blogger Blues

For the past few weeks, I've been in a little tiffle with Blogger.

Whenever I try to comment on someone's blog, the little drop-down menu where you select whether you'd like to comment as "Anonymous", through another social networking account, etc. there isn't an option to pick my BlogSpot account, even though I am always signed into it when I try to comment.

I've tried selecting the "Google Account" option, and am always taken to the Blogger sign in page. After signing in, I am redirected to the post with a preview of my comment. However, instead of my Blogger account being used, my post previews as being written by "Anonymous".

Does anyone have an idea as to why this keeps happening?
Please help!

I tried lowering my browser's security settings and that has seemed to work. Hopefully this will only be a temporary fix however, because the low security setting makes me nervous!

Guest Blogger!

I'm terribly late on telling you all about this, but on Friday, I was a guest blogger for the first time for Talk to You Soon, Meghan! 

Here's a little preview of my post about Summer Skincare:

"As the end of May inches closer and closer, we are heading into the absolute hottest monthes of the year. All the sweat, heat, and sun can really take a toll on your skin, so it is essential to take extra good care of it during this time of year..."

If you want to read more, go check out my post on Meghan's blog!

Big thanks to Meghan for giving me the opportuinity for my very first guest post!

Excuse My Absence/ Weekly Happenings

Hey Everyone!
Sorry for my little absence this past week. It's almost the end of the schol year (THREE weeks left!) and so many things are going on right now. Here's a little peek at what my week has been like:

  • Tuesday night, my dance studio's senior ballet company got together with one of our teachers to have a photo shoot! We did some pictures of us individually, and some that will be used in a group picture that we will the woman who is the leader of our company as well as the owner of the studio. She gives up so much time and energy for us, and we really wanted to do something to show our appreciation. The last company picture we took hangs inside the studio's front door, and was taken over 4 years ago, so it's time for an update! We had to wait until the last class of the day was over to use the studio to take the pictures, so we didn't end up getting started until about 9:30. When all was said and done, I didn't end up getting home until about 11:00, after which I had to shower and finish some homework. Not so great when you have class the next day, but a great time nonetheless!
  • On Wednesday, an American dynasty came to an end as ABC aired the final episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. At 4 o'clock sharp, Mom and I sat down and tuned in to watch this momumental event. As Oprah reminisced on the shows past, I found myself getting strangely emotional. Oprah has been on TV all of my life, always airing at the exact same time. Whether watching it with my mom after elementary school or catching it on my own, the show has never failed to entertain, inform, and excite women (and men!) all across America and worldwide. Oprah's final episode proved to be a heartfelt testimony by Oprah of what the show has done for her, as well as for all of the viewers she reached. It was an excellent way to end a show that will most surely be missed!
  • Thursday night, I had my last audition ever for my dance studio's ballet company. I wasn't nervous about it since I've already reached my studio's highest level, but it was a little sad to get a glimpse of how it will be next year when this year's seniors are no longer there. I've danced with these girls for the past seven years, and it will be sad to see them go! Also, it was the first of the many "lasts" I will experience as I enter my senior year. I'm excited for it all to happen, but I won't be surprised if at times I find myself wishing it would go just a little bit slower!
  • For the past three weeks, I counted down the days until May 26th, when College Board would post scores from the May 7th SAT. Finally, Wednesday night came, and I could hardly contain how anxious I was. Before climbing into bed, I pulled up the College Board's website so that it'd be all ready to go check my scores in the morning, only to find that the release day for scores had been pushed back two days. Looking back, it was not a huge deal, but no doubt extremely frustrating. Because of the scores being delayed once, I of course wanted to check Friday night to make sure that the scores would indeed be available on Saturday morning, and that they had not been delayed again. Much to my surprise, the scores were already up! I quickly added up my 680 critical reading, 610 math, and 680 writing for a total score of 1970! My goal was to score a 1950, and I am proud to say that I exceeded that goal! I'm taking SATs again next weekend, and with more studying and review, I am hoping to break 2000!
I hope you all are having a fabulous Memorial day weekend!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Fabulous Review of Something Blue!

I just finished reading Something Blue by Emily Giffin, and I must say, I loved it!

The book is the sequel to Something Borrowed, and picks up where the first book left off. But, there's a twist. Something Blue takes place from Darcy's point of view, whereas Something Borrowed was narrated by Rachel.

Sadly, I accidently read a spoiler before I actually began the book, but it was a big shocker, and it made me that much more excited to get started on the book! In addition to that, several other revelations in the book literally made me gasp out loud! Expect to see a VERY unexpected turn for Darcy's love life, a BIG surprise regarding her pregnancy, and how she begins to deal with her broken friendship with Rachel as we watch Darcy attempt to get a handle on a life that was seemingly turned upside down in a matter of minutes.

Overall, I loved the book. It was juicy enough to keep me interested, but not so much that it was unrealisitic. Sometimes I wanted to cry with Darcy, and sometimes I wanted to yell at her. I went on both a literal and fiurative journey with her, and saw her grow and change along the way, all leading up to a much anticipated ending that I was extremely happy with!

For those of you who have only seen the movie of Something Borrowed, you will most certainly react differently to certain aspects of Something Blue than if you were only to have read the book. If this is the case, I highly recommend reading the first book before beginning on the second.

And if you haven't seen OR read this series? Read it now.
You'll LOVE it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Homemade with Hannah!

Confession Time:
I'm obsessed with watching Martha Stewart OnDemand.

Weird, I know. But I aboslutely love to bake, and the little segments that are up are always relevent to whatever holiday or season is coming up. Plus, the segments are from as early as the 90's, so there's always TONS of different types of videos to watch and get ideas from!

My favorite Martha segments to watch almost always have something to do with dessert. I have a major sweet tooth, and love to make little treats for people.

When serving baked goods, I always try to do as much as I possibly can from scratch. I almost feel like using a mix or something pre-made would be like cheating, since I know how to do so many things myself! One thing you'll see Martha make from scratch in a lot of her dessert segments is whipped cream. I love the idea of doing this! Martha always makes making her whipped cream seem so simple, so I picked up what I needed and decided to try it on my own!

The ingredients are simple:
heavy cream, white sugar, and vanilla extract

The serving size for the cream is listed as 1 tablespoon at 16 servings per container, but I found that about 1/2 of the 8 fl. oz. carton (4 fl. oz.) made enough whipped cream for 2 people.

The sugar and vanilla have no specific measurements and can be added to your preferences.

To make the whipped cream:
1. Pour your desired amount of cream into an appropriately sized mixing bowl. Remember, the cream will become lighter as it is whipped, so don't worry if it looks like there's a little too much at first.

2. Whip as much air as possible into the cream. This is what will give it its consistency. You can use a whisk for this, but the process takes a while, so I recommend using either a hand mixer or stand mixer to save yourself both time and effort.

After beating for several minutes, the cream should begin to look like this:

3. Continue beating until the cream is at soft peaks (meaning it is soft, light, and does not run, similiar to the texture of eggs whites for merangue cookies).

4. The cream itself is not expecially sweet, so add white sugar and vanilla extract to taste.

5. Transfer the whipped cream to a covered bowl or sealable container, chill, and enjoy!

 Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Since My Paleness May Have Blinded You...

I picked up a bottle of this today:

I've heard good
things, and a lot of bloggers swear by it, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I tried it once a few years ago, and let me just say, I was not impressed. But I think that might be because I:
A. Picked medium skintone instead of light. Wishful thinking.
B. It was a mini bottle in the travel section. Not sure if this really made a differece.

I noticed it built up a lot in the lines on my kness and ankles, and it looked like I had little orange stripes. No bueno.

Hopefully this time it will be better, because my ghostly legs are just screaming for help!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coming Attractions

Right now, life seems like a waiting game. Things are pretty relaxed right now, but so much is coming up.

Senior Portraits
I had my sitting for my senior portrait just about two weeks ago. The proofs should come in next week and I cannot wait to see them!

SAT Scores
In 10 days, my score will go up online. My goal is to score between 1900 and 2000. God help my refresh button when May 26th rolls around.

My area gets out of school pretty late- my summer doesn't start until June 17th this year. BUT we don't go back until after labor day, so I guess it evens out. Either way- I officially have 1 month and 1 day left!

College Road Trip
My dad and I will soon begin planning for a little road trip this summer to check out a few colleges I'm applying to. I've already visited one of my schools, so we'll be heading to Virginia and North Carolina to check out the other three. Also, my dad is a huge NASCAR fan, and mentioned that if he could go to a race at any track, it'd be Bristol, TN, so I was thinking of trying to plan the trip so we can make that happen!

Summer Work
This summer, I will definitely be applying again to volunteer at my local library. I did it last summer and really enjoyed it. Also, I will keep my usual steady babysitting job throughout the summer, with other charges here and there. During spring break, I also applied to work at a local stationary shop. I haven't gotten a call yet, but I plan to call THEM soon to check on my application. Can't hurt, right?

College Applications
August 1. The day most colleges release their applications. I. cannot. wait. Unfortuanately, none of my schools accepts Common App, which means I will have to fill out four different applications. But honestly, I just can't wait to get them started and sent... then the wait begins to see where I get in!

Senior Year
On September 6th, I will officially start my senior year of high school. This is crazy. The last three years have flown by, and I don't even want to begin to think about how fast my last year will go. As of now, I'm excited, but I imagine at least once I'll find myself not wanting it all to end so quickly.

The list could go on and on.
I already know this is going to be a crazy time in my life- but a really great time too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wear Your Whites!

It's official: Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start is Summer, is less than TWO weeks away!

For us ladies (and men too!) it also means something else. Unless you live under a rock, you know the old rule that you should not wear white before Memorial Day, or after Labor Day. Basically, white is a summer-only color.

In honor of this classic rule of fashion, I found some gorgeous whites appropriate for any and every fabulous occasion you may have this summer!

This dress would be wonderful to wear to brunch or luncheon. The a-line skirt will flatter any body type, and the delicate embroidery adds a touch of luxury to this classic dress.

This lightweight shift dress is perfect for the office on a hot summer day. The short sleeves and high neckline keep it office appropriate, while the linen fabric keeps you nice and cool. A grosgrain belt around the waist adds definition and a little bit of contrast.

These long, relaxed fitting shorts would be great for everything from running errands to relaxing by the pool, and the subtle stripes add just a pinch of prep!

This light loose sweater will be perfect for keeping the chills at bay on lazy, long, summer nights.

These versatile sandals are a preppy staple that would complete almost any outfit!

What are your white summer staples?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

A few days ago, a friend mentioned an activity she did in one of her classes where they discussed the importance of a name and the way people react to certain names. This of course got us on the topic of names we liked, and the question so many girls cannot wait to answer someday: What will you name your children?

So, here a few of favorite of my current favorites:

For Boys:

For Girls:

I also love the idea of using the last name of someone special for a child's name.

What are your favorite names?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

It may be 51 minutes after the fact, but I just wanted to wish you all a happy, happy Mothers Day!

M and I decided to give Mom a little surprise:
The card sang "Perfect Day" by Hoku- aka the theme song from Legally Blonde!

This is the bracelet we got for her:

Why do I love my mom?

She's supportive.

She's driven.

She's caring.
She gives great advice.
She's a good listener.
She's understanding.

I could go on and on.
To make a long story short,

My mom is amazing!

I Love you Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Something Borrowed

Last night a few friends and I went to the movies to see something we'd been waiting for for monthes: Something Borrowed!

We'd all read the book by the same name and loved it!

Overall, I thought the actors and actresses they chose were pretty similiar to the way I imagined each of the characters in my head. The only exception to that was Ethan. I pictured someone like Adrien Grenier playing him- but I ended up loving John Kransinski in the role!

Making up the starring cast was:

Ginnifer Goodwin as Rachel

Kate Hudson as Darcy

Colin Egglesfield as Dex

John Krasinski as Ethan

Steve Howey as Markus

Our expectations for the movie were kind of high (maybe too high?), and I wouldn't say they were totally fulfilled. On its own, the story flows pretty well , but there were some diviations from the book that we just couldn't ignore. The biggest of these has to do with Ethan. I don't want to give anything away, but his role is significantly bigger in the movie than in the book. Also, a character named Claire is made out to be a lot weirder in the movie than she ever was in the book- probably to add some comic relief.

Another thing that was interesting about the movie was it's ending. While the story was ended up a little differently than in the book, there were a couple loose ends that diviated from the book which weren't really wrapped up at all.

Overall, the movie was a fun, feel-good romantic comedy- great for a date night or a girls night!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


A lot of people are about to finish up with school for the year, or have finished in the past few weeks, but this week marked the end of something different for me: my mom's chemotherapy treatments.

About 6 monthes ago, on November 9, 2010, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no symptoms prior to calcifications showing up on a mammogram.

On a friday, I remember her telling me about the mammogram, and that she'd gone in for a biopsy. My initial thought? It's going to be nothing. This kind of thing just wouldn't happen. I barely thought about it all weekend. I'd almost completely forgotten about the biopsy until my mom picked me up from dance on Tuesday night. As I walked to the car, I noticed she was crying. My initial thought- she must have had an argument with my dad, or something of that nature. The words I heard next were some of the scariest I've ever heard in my life. I don't remember precisely what she said, but I remember exactly how I felt: numb. I didn't know how to respond. Then, it hit me: what if I lost my mom? At that moment, I felt terrified. I wasn't ready to lose her. However, it also made me feel really thankful for the wonderful relationship that I have with my mom, because I knew that, if anything were to happen, I would have great memories to hold on to. In the 5 minute drive from the dance studio to my house, I went from "having a pretty good day" to an absolute nightmare.

The following weeks were a flurry of tests, complicated medical terms, and more information that anyone should have to process.

We found that the cancer was in its beginning stages, and that, thankfully, she would most likely be fine. On December 3, she had her first surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from her breast. Later that month, she had another procedure to remove more tissue as a precaution.

On Monday, January 17, 2011, my mom began a regimin of chemotherapy every three weeks, with another drug, Herceptin, on the off-weeks. She was to have 6 chemo sessions overall, for a total of 18 weeks of treatment.

I was addmittedly scared for my mom to begin chemotherapy. I had a picture in my head of a gaunt, sickly person constantly sick to their stomach.

Thankfully, she tolerated the chemo fairly well. Her worst days were the first 4 or 5 right after a day of chemo, but, surprisingly, she never once vomitted.

This monday, May 2, 2011, was her last chemo session, and a big day for us. I took the day off school to be with her for her treatment. We kept it low key, but I could tell how happy she was to have crossed this hurdle in her treatment.

She will now go for Herceptin treatments every three weeks for a year. This medicine is less intense than the chemo because it has little to no side effects and is given in much smaller doses. After that, she will have to take a pill for five years. Within the next month, she will have a mastectomy in order to prevent recurrence.

Over the past several monthes, I have learned firsthand many life lessons that had been told to me before, but that I had not necessarily been able to truly embrace. The first is just how precious and fragile life is. I realized that life can be taken in an instant, and that every day should really be treasured. At the moment my mom told me about her cancer, I thought about the little things I do, like saying goodnight and I love you to both of my parents every night before I go to bed. I knew this was important before, but it has taken on a new meaning now. I don't mean to say that I am paranoid about my parents dying, but I have come to realize that it is important to emphasize your love and appreciation for others daily. I have also learned about the importance of taking life one day at a time. Monthes before my mom's chemotherapy even started, I weighed myself down with thoughts: How sick would she be? What would it be like when her hair fell out? Will she lose lots of weight? One day, I had a realization: The time was going to come. My mom was going to go on chemo. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen, and my constant worrying was doing nothing but bring me stress. It was at that moment that I realized what I needed to do, the only thing I could do, and that was to take each day as it came, and deal with what was, not what I thought might be.

Through everything, I have been so proud of my mom. She has been incredibly strong, both physically and mentally. She was the first one to make sure that the rest of us were feeling ok about everything, while she was the one going through everything firsthand. My family tends to use humor as a coping method, and she was the first to make a joke to put everyone else at ease. I aspire to be half as strong as she is when I am grown, and I am so proud of her for finishing up!

Congrats, Mom!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend ChitChat

  • I made a run to CVS yesterday to pick up some pressed powder. This is what I cam home with:
I promise I am not a compulsive shopper or a hoarder. They were all things I've been wanting to try and at least two of the things were on sale, right!? I admit, the face wash is kind of a novelty. But don't lie, you know you were at least tempted by the Scrublet too! I got the Lash Blast Fusion hoping it would be even better than the original Lash Blast. Sadly, while it did lengthen really well, it didn't do much in the way of volumizing. And the eye shadow? I really have no way of justifying that- I just wanted silver eye shadow.
  • It hit me this weekend that I am taking my senior portrait this Tuesday. This is crazy. It's just the beginning of all the "senior things" I will be doing for the next year, and before I know it, it'll be June 2012 and I'll be graduated.
  • I edited the settings on my blog so that anyone can post a comment- even people without a Google account. So if you're reading this and you don't have an account, feel free to leave a comment!
  • I found this picture on Tumblr yesterday and laughed because it is so true:
(Fact: I am obsessed with the idea of Harry and Pippa getting together. Wouldn't that be too perfect!?)
  • I came in today and found my mom on the couch with my cat, watching Napoleon Dynamite. One more reason why I love this woman.
  • As I'm writing this, I have a horrible horrible sinus headache. I get them all the time and they are just no fun. Usually a couple Advil do the trick, but today I opened the medicine cabinet and guess what? There was only ONE advil left. Of course. So I took a generic ibuprofen, which helped until it wore off well before I could take more. Ugh. Thank goodness I only have about an hour left until its been 6 hours...

Have a fabulous week!