Wednesday, May 18, 2016


On Friday night Brian and I stopped to a new store nearby called At Home. It's the coolest store and we spent over an hour just browsing. I reallyyyyy wanted this awesome backyard umbrella, so that night we decided to join our neighborhood yard sale that was happening the next morning, We scoured the house and threw together a bunch of junk we didn't want anymore. We ended up making $134, went back to the store that night armed with a 10% off coupon, and got the 9.5ft umbrella, a 40lb stand (it is sooo windy around here), and a small table for $133.53. Talk about perfect! So in less than 24 hours from when we saw it, we made the money and got it, I don't mess around when I want something! We don't have much of our outdoor furniture out yet because it's been too cold, but we couldn't resist putting up the umbrella and little end table and bringing out our lounge chairs even though it was 40 degrees.

Even though I'm so sad that all the spring finales are on (and umm they cancelled Nashville and The Family, lame!!), I am so excited for The Bachelorette and Mistresses, and eventually in June, Pretty Little Liars to come back! Apparently my life revolves around TV?

I still feel so sad that our wedding is over. It was 7 months ago yesterday and I can't believe time has flown so fast! It's like, when you're planning the wedding everyone is so excited and involved and then as soon as it's over, it's like you're chopped liver and people have moved on to other exciting things. We probably won't get that much attention again until we have a baby in 4-5 years! Now I sound selfish, geez. these confessions are bringing out all my best sides today haha

Speaking of weddings. I have been being lazy and not really taking off my rings when I shower and stuff lately, and it's been so cold out (bonus confession- I love the cold weather!) that now I have like super dry skin under my rings and in between the fingers near where my ring was. I'm not wearing my rings right now until I can get it under control with the hydro-cortisone and Cerave cream, but I keep looking at my hands and having mini panic attacks until I remember why they're not on my finger.

I think I have a Tarte makeup obsession. I hope they have another 30% off sale soon so I can get the color correcting palette and maybe the rainforest of the sea aquacealer.

More Coffee Less Talky

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Four Things About Me

Kelli totally said we could steal this, so I did! Basically, it's lots of things about me in groups of 4, except when I couldn't follow the rules and changed the numbers.

Four names I go by
1. Jessica
2. Jess
3. Jesse (don't even try it though, only Brian calls me this)
4. PJ (again, only Brian calls me this and it's very rare)

Four things I hate
1. All of these kinds of people
2. Really bad stomachaches
3. The USPS- don't even get me started with how awful our mail service is
4. Mushrooms

Four Five places I have worked
1. Limited Too- in high school
2. Starbucks- the third busiest one in the world, we had like 15 people working per shift
3. Nursing home- as an activities assistant in the Alzheimer's unit when I was in college
4. Two different restaurants- as a server in college
5. Two different law firms- as a clerk/intern during and then an attorney after law school

Four things I love to watch
1. My doggies
2. Orioles games at Camden Yards
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Grey's Anatomy

Four Three (or thirty) places I have been
1. The Bahamas
2. Dominican Republic
3. 28 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (where I live), Delaware, Maryland (where I grew up), Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio

Four things I love to eat
1. Pizza
2. Jolly Ranchers
3. Veggies and dip
4. Nachos at Os games

Four things I love to drink
1. Ginger Ale
2. Moscow Mules
3. Frozen Drinks
4. Gatorade

Four things I cannot live without
1. Mascara
2. Brian
3. My dogs
4. My phone

Four things I am looking forward to
1. Going up the lake soon- not that we will swim or boat of course because until at the least the 4th of July it's much too cold, but it's still super fun to just go up there to hang and 4-wheel and stuff
2. Being done with physical therapy- I actually had my last session today, but I will probably need another surgery this year, boo, and I need to continue exercises at home of course
3. Memorial Day weekend
4. Two other lake vacations this summer!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

April Books

I am waiting on a couple books I have on hold from my library on Overdrive, and I didn't want to start on any other books because my luck always is that all my books come ready all at once and then I run out of time to read them, so that's why I only read two books this month!

4 stars

From the publisher's website:

Dynah Carey knew where her life was headed. Engaged to a wonderful man, the daughter of doting parents, a faithful child of God, she has it all. Then the unthinkable happens: Dynah’s perfect life is irrevocably changed by a rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy. Her family is torn apart and her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life: to embrace or to end the life within her. This is ultimately a tale of three women, as Dynah’s plight forces both her mother and her grandmother to face the choices they made. Written with balance and compassion, The Atonement Child brings a new perspective to the most controversial topic of our times.

What I thought: I really liked this book. It didn't really push a view one way or the other, as a lot of people in the book pushed for Dynah to have an abortion, but others pushed for her not to for religious reasons. I am not going to get into my views on abortion here on this blog, but I think this was a very interesting read about a religious main character who is pregnant because she was raped, and the pressures she faces from various people about the huge decision she has to make. 

4 stars

From the author's website:

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before – before Dara kissed Parker, before Nick lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred.

Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren’t speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.

But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too—nine-year-old Elizabeth Snow—and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.

In this edgy and compelling novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

What I thought: This was definitely a YA book and a very easy read, but it kept my attention and I finished it in a day. The ending was definitely surprising and a bit unbelievable, but that seems to be the way a lot of books are heading because of the shock factor. Either way, I didn't see it coming and I like when that happens. 

Life According to Steph
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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pet Peeves

On Tuesday I talked about all the things I'm loving lately, and so today I thought it was only right to talk about all the things I'm not loving, aka my pet peeves. Plus, I wanted to rant a little so it's only appropriate.

People who whip out in front of you while you're driving and then proceed to go like 5 mph. You were so quick to pull out there, but then you go all slow? Not cool, people, not cool. Also, texting and driving, that's really not cool.

People who brag about how perfect their lives and diet are and how they never even have to take an Advil. Well la-di-da for you, must be nice to feel great everyday and not need medicine. These jerks put people down who need medicine for their health issues and act like maybe if they had a better lifestyle or used essential oils exclusively or whatever, they wouldn't have those problems. Not everyone can live in that fantasy land.

People who think their jobs are so much more important than everyone else's and share memes all the time about how much more noble their profession is than others. I get that some jobs are much more risky than others, and those are not the jobs I'm talking about (partially because those people aren't bragging about how noble they are), I'm talking about the people who act like their job makes the entire world go 'round, when in reality, every single job is important, from the doctors and nurses in the hospital to the custodian who keeps it clean and the social workers to help people to the lawyers who defend (or in the event of a terrible mistake, bring) the malpractice suits or put the criminals in jail, to the cashier at the grocery store to the stock people in the back, to the engineers who help with lights and bridges, to the police who keep the roads safe, to the construction workers..... etc. you get the picture, every single job is necessary to keep society running the way we are accustomed. #endrant #youiskind #youissmart #youisimportant

People who constantly put down lawyers. These people are often the same ones from above, but who ya gunna call if you need to probate a family member's estate or you're wrongly accused of a crime or someone injures you badly in a car accident, or need to buy a house, among a million other reasons? Lawyers get a disproportionate amount of flak from society and it's completely unwarranted.

People who never, ever respond to blog comments. Rude. (ahh I love Bon Qui Qui by the way)

People who give up their pets when they have a baby. C'mon, you know it's so, so wrong. Don't get a pet if you don't see it as a family member.

People who think they have angel kids but in reality they are just plain bad. I know that every parent thinks they have the cutest, best kids, but those terrible, awful kids at the store who are knocking down displays on purpose and hitting people and mommy smiles and just thinks it's so cute? It's not cute. It's also not cute when people think their evil teens are perfect.

People who are constantly claiming on Facebook that they are going to unfriend such and such group of people because of their political choices. Oh stop, it's not a one party system and people are entitled to their opinions and if you want to unfriend someone, just do it and stop announcing it, no one cares.

People who take an event and make it all about themselves. You know these people: "why is your *insert-event-here* outside, it may be cold, hot, windy, rainy, etc." or the ones who raise a huge stink because their kids aren't invited to your wedding. Everything isn't about you.

Okay so looking back at it, all of these pet peeves are actually people who get on my nerves, or "people peeves" as you will, haha. What people peeves do you have?

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Loving Lately

Sooo it's been awhile yet again since I've blogged, but I think that's just how it's going to be: I'll blog when I'm inspired, and apparently I must be inspired this week because I've got 3 posts coming at ya over the next week. I've done this kind of post a few times over the past almost 3 years and since I love reading about the stuff people love, I assume other people do, too. So here are a bunch of things I've been loving lately, besides the fact that I'm getting my first pedicure in over 6 months today, woop woop #footandanklesurgeryproblems Oh and these are not affiliate links or anything, I just really like this stuff.

Tarte confidence creamy powder foundation. You guys already know I love Tarte. I mean, I have their BB primer, palette, mascara (the gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara is my longtime favorite, and I also like the lights, camera, flashes mascara), concealer, bronzer, etc. etc. and I really like them all. I got this foundation when Tarte was having their 30% off sale kind of recently, and I love the stuff. It's definitely my favorite powder foundation I've ever used. I will definitely repurchase this. I also got the Tarte water foundation during the sale, and I like that a lot too, especially because my skin is still drier since it's chilly here.

Benefit boi-ing full coverage concealer. I totally had forgotten about this concealer because I lost it in the bottom of one of my bags like awhile ago, but I recently found it and am so glad I did (I should probably get a new one...). I really like this concealer for under eyes and for dabbing on spots. I still use my Tarte maracuja creaseless concealer and Mary Kay concealer depending on the day, but I think the boi-ing is my favorite usually. Plus it has the best name ever, because it reminds me of one of my favorite movies ever, Troop Beverly Hills (watch this 12 second video to see what I'm talking about, bahaha).

take a deep breath eye

Philosophy take a deep breath eye cream. This is my new favorite eye cream. I have super sensitive skin and eyes and this doesn't burn at all! That's a winner in my book. Has anyone used the take a deep breath moisturizer? I'm tempted to try it because of how much I like this eye cream. 

S'ip by S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle. I have the dachshund one (duh) but they have lots of cool prints and they're easy to find at Target and it really keeps drinks COLD for a long time. Totally worth the money. I use it all day, everyday. 

Kate Spade New York Small Square Studs

Kate Spade glitter square studs. I wear these all the time. They come in all different colors and though the multicolored glitter are the only pair I own right now, I totally want more. They look so much prettier in real life, and I think they are reasonably priced too, especially when Kate Spade has a 25 % off sale and you can get the gold glitter pair for your sister as a graduation present! I also love my Mrs. pair, they're adorable. 

LulaRoe. I've mentioned this before, but yea, I really like this company. I have 3 pairs of leggings, 3 classic tees, and a maxi skirt. It's all so soft, especially the leggings, and is sold by independent distributors who either sell in Facebook groups or pop-up shops. They only make a limited amount of each pattern, and some are really funky, so that's fun. 

Ivory Ella tees. These tees are cute, super soft and comfy, and the company donates 10% of their net profits to Save the Elephants and other causes. Seriously, get some. They also sell some other stuff, so check it out! 

Well that's all the stuff I can think of right now that I've been loving lately. Oh and moscow mules, but I think I'm like 2+ years late to that train. But seriously, they are so refreshing! What having you been loving lately?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March Books

So apparently I haven't been reading all that much, since I only read 3 books in all of March. Anyway, I can't wait to see what everyone has been reading lately! I have a few books on my waiting list on OverDrive, so hopefully I get to read those soon!

4 stars

From the author's website:

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

What I thought: Ok I know, this book sounds creepy. But it's somehow not. I think the last sentence of the description just makes it sound weird. I could barely put it down, I needed to know what happened next, and I kept putting myself in Anna's position and trying to imagine how it'd feel to know I may be stuck on a deserted island forever. It's a quick and easy read and I recommend it.

The Things We Keep
3 stars

From the publisher's website:

Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.

With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won’t forget this book.

What I thought: Well, another book with a main character named Anna, but it's completely different. I liked this book generally, but it was kind of confusing and the story just wasn't as good as I expected. Plus, I don't know what "humor" the description is talking about. ***I definitely think that the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a much better early dementia/early Alzheimer's read because it seemed more realistic, gave more character development and background, and was just better writing overall. So yea, I'd say skip this book and read Still Alice, since I'd give that 5 stars (I read it like a year ago before I started doing these posts).***

4 stars

From the author's website:

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re 16.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
“I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

What I thought: This book was really cute, about two teenagers with completely different home lives who fall in love under difficult circumstances. The only reason I took off a star was because the ending wasn't very clear/definite, and I like crystal clear endings to the books I read. #highmaintenance

Life According to Steph
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Five

One. I am getting so impatient for the Gilmore Girls: Seasons revival. I'm assuming it's going to come out sometime this year, and I keep debating having a viewing party when it comes on. I think I probably won't though since I want to be free to cry alone in my living room, because embarrassingly enough I know I will. I mean, I cried when it was first announced and teared up last night when I heard they FINALLY got Melissa McCarthy locked in to play Sookie, so obviously I will be an emotional wreck since I already am one.

Two. I may or may not be paying my younger sister to clean my bathrooms this weekend. Brian is currently away at the Frozen Four (college hockey finals) in Tampa. I hate when he is away, I don't enjoy being here all alone, and I also don't enjoy cleaning bathrooms, especially with bum ankles/feet, so I don't feel guilty paying my sister to do it!

Three. I am excited that it's supposed to snow all day tomorrow. Long live winter!

Four. I have developed an obsession with LulaRoe leggings. About two weeks ago at physical therapy, I saw this woman wearing really cute leggings and so naturally I asked her where she got them. She explained she had gone to a LulaRoe party and told me how soft they were, so I went home and found some LulaRoe seller groups on Facebook (they are sold like how Scentsy or Mary Kay are, through an independent consultant). I already bought two pairs of leggings and I just ordered a maxi skirt and a shirt. Some of the patterns are way too funky for me, but they are all so cute and comfortable! Now I need to hide my wallet though before I go broke.

Five. Miracles are real! Our family friends' daughter's dog ran away from her dog walker almost two weeks ago, and they did everything they could to find the dog, like Dogs Finding Dogs (I might have the name of the group wrong but you get the point), flyers, posts in Facebook groups, calls to all area shelters and vets, searching everywhere, and putting out food, toys, beds, etc. Well, early Thursday morning at 4:30am the dog randomly came home and was barking at her front door! After 12 days! I never met the dog and I haven't seen the girl in years, but I am always terrified of losing my dogs, so I was so happy to hear some good news!

Have a great weekend guys!
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