Tuesday, January 29, 2013


     So let me start off by saying this post is all about some things I love most in life: dresses, mirrors, shopping, and then making my boyfriend take pictures of me wearing my new dress. I mean, who doesn’t love to play dress up and then gush over how adorable you look? If you don’t love to do that, then just stop reading this post now because I’M A GIRL AND THIS IS WHAT GIRLS DO, so don’t judge me.

    Anyhow, I was recently given the opportunity to review a product from a successful independent fashion marketplace called UsTrendy. Seriously, how cool is that? A new place to shop? Hundreds of unique dresses, tops, jeans, skirts, handbags, pairs of shoes, jewelry, and all the accessories I could ever dream of all in one place? YES PLEASE.

    UsTrendy is company that sells a wide variety of fashion pieces from different designers all over the world! It’s perfect for people like me who love browsing new trends and styles! All it takes is a couple clicks of your mouse, and suddenly you are in a colorful dream world of the most stylish fashion items ever. How exciting is that? What’s even more exciting than that is I NOW OWN MY NEW FAVORITE DRESS all thanks to UsTrendy! 

     My favorite part about my new Zebra Print Carrigan Dress by Sassy Dolls is the fact that it’s sexy and chic yet tasteful and classy. It’s everything all in one! The shoulder pads add a touch of sophistication, while the puffy sleeves and skirt remind you that you’re young and ready to take on the dance floor! This dress consists of the perfect amount of stretch to hug your curves, permitting you to breathe and move around comfortably. The unique pattern sets this dress apart from the typical little black dress that you see everywhere you go.

Clearly I was caught off guard in this pic and wasn't ready, but a dress like this is ALWAYS READY to be photographed!!!!
  I could go on and on about how great UsTrendy is, but I don’t want to spoil the excitement for you, so I very highly suggest you figure it out for yourself just by clicking here. You can thank me later.            

P.S. Here's the link to this exact dress.  (<--- click there!) I promise I won’t get mad if you copy me. Well maybe I will, but then I’ll remind myself how you really should never live without this dress, so I’ll forgive you ;) ENJOY YOUR SHOPPING!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Important Cause- 2013 "Run-Walk To Home Base"

Hey readers! I wanted to take this time to shine some light on something close to my own heart, along with the hearts of many others. One of my best friends who also happens to be my little sorority sister---from wayyyyy back in our college days ;)---is participating in an extremely important cause that is not only significant to herself, her boyfriend, but our entire country. I've seen Crystal journey through many different phases of her relationship with her boyfriend from long nights of no sleep because of missing him, being worried about his safety and being able to communicate with him much, being so extremely proud of his courage and passion to serve our country, to tears of happiness for the thrill of him coming home. I'd tell you all about it and ask for your help, but I'd rather you hear it from her. Please read below, and stop to take a minute to really consider helping this out this beautiful cause. Thank you to all of the military, especially Patrick O'Keefe, for being so brave and courageous!!

Remember everyone, any help is better than no help!
Hi All,
It's the third year in a row that I ask for your consideration in making a donation for a worthy cause... The Red Sox Foundation for the 2013 "Run-Walk to Home Base" fund-raising event presented by New Balance. I have signed up for the Run portion of the race again and will be running alongside (or most likely behind) my Marine-turned-Civilian boyfriend, Corporal Patrick O'Keefe.
This time last year as I sat down to start my donation letters I was praying for Pat and all of the 3/7 Marine's safety while they were stationed in Sangin, Afghanistan. I had the fortune of welcoming home my boyfriend unharmed in May of this year. Unfortunately, not all of 3/7 were as fortunate to make it back or to make it back unharmed. The reason Run to Home Base has been a cause near and dear to my heart is because not all 'battle wounds' are visible and easy to treat. The Red Sox Foundation, in partnership with Mass General has taken the task of addressing Veteran's mental health once returning from war. I could sing the praises of this organization for pages, but I encourage all of you to visit their homepage and more importantly to join me in supporting their efforts.
The link below will bring you to my donation page, if you are willing and able to donate it will be greatly appreciated!!
We are indebted to the heroes we call United States Veterans.
Keep posted for further fund-raising events/raffles as the months go by. Below is the link to my donation page or Pat's.
The Red Sox Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Interpretation of a Quote & Finding What Makes You Happy


“Saying YES to happiness means learning to say NO to things and people that stress you out.”

–Thema Davis

      Not only are these words brilliant, but they are a perfect collaboration of what I need to do, and what I’ve been slightly too afraid to do. You know, sometimes it’s really hard to put your foot down and demand respect or cut ties with someone who isn’t helping you grow. Oftentimes, people like me tend to put the needs of others in the way of their own, simply because it’s easier to please the world than it is to please ourselves.  This is why, after long nights of anxiety ridden restless sleep and listening to the wise words of people who love me, I’ve decided to dedicate 2013 to focusing on my own happiness.

     I’m often told that I have to stop stressing about him/her- that this is my life, so to stop worrying if everyone else is happy, and focus on myself, and worry about my own happiness, and, and, and…. these words truly hit home.

     Happiness can mean something different to each individual person. For me, happiness means something fairly personal. When I’m truly happy, I’m healthy in all aspects of my life. I’m eating right all the time, working out a lot, not drinking much alcohol, getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night, writing poetry, helping animals, and being around people and places that inspire me. My happiness means taking care of myself, and not bringing everyone else’s stress and drama home with me. It means being a good friend to people who are good friends in return. It means giving the best advice I can, but learning to stop when it’s not appreciated. It means growing from my mistakes and not being so hard on myself if I don’t achieve perfection. Happiness means surrounding myself with people who honestly understand me and only want what’s best for me. It means surrounding myself with people who I only want the best for as well.

    Putting myself first doesn’t mean loving anyone else less. It just means that I’m only going to give the best of me to the people who deserve it.  It means that I’ll continue to love the people and places I love as hard as I can possibly love them, and they know I’ll never give up on them.

    So far, 2013 has yet to disappoint me, but I think it’s all give and take. You have to give in order to receive, and I’m willing to give everything I can to stay on a healthy and happy path. I’m hopeful that some of you can grow on this journey with me, learn to really love and respect yourself, follow your dreams, and make choices that may be hard, but will help create the best and happiest version yourself.

So, what makes you happy?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Little Inspiration :: What I’ve Learned In 25 Years

           Just yesterday my dentist looked at me and said, “I can’t believe you’re turning 26 next month. You look SO much younger than that.” I awkwardly tried to smile, but that’s kind of impossible to do when his hands, a long mirror, a light, and other tools are in your mouth, and you’re already dying to just close your jaw and swallow. So, I just giggled and thought to myself, “wow, when I’m 30 or 40, I’m totally gonna love that I look so young!” Then I started thinking, well he’s right, physically I don’t feel as old as 25. Hell, I feel 18. But mentally, I feel a lot more…..I won’t say older, I’ll just say more mature. I feel like I’m not doing what most girls my age are doing, but you know what? I’m doing more. I live in a beautiful house that all of our money goes to, I drive a cute car which the rest of my money goes to, I have the greatest family a girl could ask for, I’ve figured out who my true friends are, and I’ve found the person I want to spend forever with. That’s pretty good for 25, right?

          Although I’m where I want to be in life, and even maybe a little further along than I expected, I think I’m more grown up because I’ve been faced with some of life’s more difficult lessons at a young age. We won’t get into those right now, and there’s people who have been through way worse, but I’ll just tell you, I’ve learned a lot in 25 years---probably the amount of things people learn by the time they’re 40, but that’s okay. Everything I’ve seen and felt has shaped the person I am today, and when I’m lying in my bed at night, I really am content.

What I have learned in 25 years:

1.         You don’t have to be the most gorgeous person on the face of this Earth to be noticed and loved. It’s all about how you portray yourself.

2.         Your parents that knew absolutely nothing about life when you were 15 suddenly know everything, and they are the best people to go to for advice--because believe me, they have been in your shoes before.

3.         Ocasionally fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t mean you aren’t meant to be together. It means you both care enough about the relationship to fight for what you think is right. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t fight.

4.         Your actual, genuine, true friends are the ones who call you and show up when your world is crashing down right in front of you. They’re the ones who don’t even need to ask if you need a glass of wine, a coffee, a hug, or an “I really care. Your problem is now my problem.” They just simply know when you need something, and they will provide.

5.         Eating healthy (in my opinion vegetarian) is so extremely important, as is staying fit. Your body should be your temple, and as cliché as this sounds, you need to worship it.Your health is not only vital to you; it is to your loved ones as well. Go to your doctor, keep up with your health. Promise me you will??

6.         As much as you love your friends, family, and boyfriend/girlfriend, sometimes you need to put yourself first. It’s important to find something that relaxes you and showers you with peace. Stress can do terrible things to your body. Sometimes you need to just let go of what is weighing you down and put yourself on the top of your importance list.

7.     If you have a goal, do everything you can possibly do to achieve it. Never give up because someone tells you it’s not doable. Instead, just feel sorry for them, and keep on trucking.

8.         Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone. The people who really love you will support you.

9.         Take good care of your pets. They don't have a voice, and their whole relationship with you is built on trust. Keep up with their health too.

10.         This one’s important, guys…. Never, and I repeat NEVER EVER google something when you’re sick. If you’re anything like me, you will diagnose yourself with every type of fatal condition in the world, and then you’ll get stressed, and I just told you how bad stress is for your body. Just don’t do it, okay?

11.      Be nice to strangers and everyone else you meet. You never know what someone is going through and what kind of struggle they are dealing with. A small gesture can really change someone's day.

12.       Finally, JUST BE YOURSELF. You’re only on this Earth for a short while, so make an impression everywhere you go. Let the world know just how vibrant you shine.

Remember, everyone smiles in the same language.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

That's What Makes It Love


     Knowing that the last night of 2012 was approaching, I promised myself I would watch it go with dignity. I’d be proud that I’m alive and in good health. I wouldn’t dwell on the larger trials and tribulations I was hit with that year. I wouldn’t focus on the little ones either.

     We were having people over for New Year’s Eve, and I had been cleaning for days. The house was close to spotless. The couple crumbs on the counter and cat hair on the rug we JUST vacuumed wouldn’t bother me because it was the last night of 2012 and I needed to be excited and eager and constantly smiling, right? That was true until one little thing set me off, and I went on a rampage – exactly what I promised myself I wouldn’t do. Luckily for me, my sister and Stephanos let me shout, cry, and stomp my feet like a child, and they just accepted it. They knew I would get over it within an hour, and after realizing how foolish I was, I did exactly that. They joined forces and pulled together, we finished cleaning and cooking, and by the time the first guest arrived, we all had a drink in our hand and cheerfulness in our hearts. I guess that’s what makes it love.
     I kept apologizing all night to my sister and Stephanos for being so over-the-top with my cleaning and organization OCD. They just grinned and told me I’m not crazy at all- it was just something I needed to work on. I sipped my beer and fully agreed. After a few more guests walked into our house, I suddenly recognized that the washing and scrubbing for hours beforehand didn’t matter anymore. The mere fact that all these people we love chose to come to our house, instead of some thrilling party with fancy dresses and bright lights in the city, made me realize that they care about us for us – not because there was no cat hair left on the rug. I guess that’s what makes it love.
     Between laughing, taking shots of Ouzo, many games of flip cup, and beginning stories with “remember when…” and “I really miss you, we need to see each other more often...”, I realized I was at the only place in the world I wanted to be for the last hours of 2012 - in the comfort of our home, with some of the people I love most, at the young age of 25, all tied together with excitement for many more midnight kisses with Stephanos in my future.  I guess that’s what makes it love.

     Waking up on New Year’s Day without a hangover was a miracle. Seeing my boyfriend lying next to me and my cat curled up in a ball on my stomach was pure reassurance that even though I’m not in some huge city with busy streets or tropical town with palm trees, I am where I’m meant to be. When Stephanos finally awoke, I turned to him and said “Happy New Year, I’m sorry for being so crazy about cleaning. Thank you for everything you do for me.” He just smirked and said, “It’s ok, I understand. You can work on it in 2013.” And for him, I will do just that. I guess that’s what makes it love.