Sunday, January 18, 2015

Goals for 2015 - better late than never

Well, two weeks into 2015 and I finally have some goals set for myself.  Unlike last year, I wasn't actually sure what I wanted for myself. I have some big obvious goals, like...get a job, but as for the little things, I only have a few things I want to focus on this year.

But first, let's look at how far I've come in accomplishing my goals from 2014...

1. I definitely improved my fitness. I worked hard on deadlifts, planks, and my running with some pretty significant progress on all of them.

2. I didn't run a race this year - none of them worked with my schedule this year, but I think I could actually manage a half marathon this year.

3. I ate clean for the majority of the year, but fell hard near the end of the year when I got really stressed.

4. Traveling to Europe - my biggest accomplishment of the year.  I enjoyed 5 weeks of traveling and adventure, and it was an amazing time of my life.

5.  In terms of taking risks, I think I was pretty fair. I applied and tried to take risks on things I wouldn't have done before.  I was successful in some cases, and not so much in other terms, but the important part is that I actually took risks. 

I'm happy with what I've managed to accomplished in 2014.  I did start and finish many things that I'm proud of, but let's at what I want to do in 2015, shall we?


Monday, January 12, 2015

Hazelnut cookies with Cinnamon Sugar (GF possible)

So the holidays have come and passed. Or for me, the season of baking and cooking non-stop has come and passed.  There's nothing like some free time and a huge kitchen at my parent's house to get me in the mood to bake.




While last Christmas seemed to be all about peanut butter cookies, this past Christmas was all about shortbread and hazelnut cookies.  I really got into the art of the slice and bake with  some real tests of patience in waiting for dough to freeze and thaw out again.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette FOTD

 I told myself I didn't need the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette ($42), but alas, I found myself picking this up in ULTA...and not putting it back down again.  The warm neutrals in both warm and cool shades paired with the silky smooth texture had me in love at first swatch.


First, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. 




And it gets better when you open it.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Chloe - the perfume of my dreams

It's funny and also wonderful how certain scents are such strongly associated with memories.  For this reason (among many others), that Chloe is my favorite perfume.  I received it as a birthday present from a friend a few years ago, and brought it with me when I went to Germany for the first time to study. That's four straight months of using this perfume everyday, and four months of fantastic memories. Everytime I wear this scent now, all of those memories come flooding back to me.  Memories of cold, icy mornings walking to the U-bahn stop in the mornings, minutes after rolling the scent on my wrists.  Memories of late nights out at bars with friends, adventures wandering around Berlin....this along with Chloe being one of my most lusted-after scents before I had this perfume.  




So when I saw this trio on sale at Sephora, I knew I had to get a replacement for my now almost empty rollerball.

While this particular set is not available anymore, I snagged it awhile back when it was on sale for $30, an absolutely steal for three rollerballs including one of my favorites of all time - Chloe Eau de Parfum, which is $25 on its own.  It also includes two other signature Chloe scents - L'eau de Chloe and Love Chloe.




They are both beautiful scents, with L'eau de Chloe being slightly more green and woodsy, while Love Chloe is slightly sweeter and more floral scent.  I'm so excited to wear both of these new scents in addition to a fresh new rollerball of Chloe.

I don't talk about perfumes much on here because I tend to stick to my favorites, but it's about time that I talked about my favorite perfume of all time!  While I'm not the type of person to have a certain signature scent, I do tend to have a few go-to scents, all of which are slightly florally with a musky amber or vanilla or jasmine base.  Chloe fits in perfectly, being sweet and florally, but also fresh.  It's unlike any other scent I've ever smelled

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - the year for me



2014 was an interesting year for me.  I hit a lot of highs and lows; in some ways it was the best year of  my life, and in other ways, the worst. But in the end, one this is clear.  I made this year about me.  While I've never been one to really worry about other peoples' opinions, I finally shook off other peoples' influences over me and I focused on myself.  I focused on what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and didn't let anything or anyone get in my way.  I know I said this about last year, but this year was a year of huge personal growth for me.

I started off the year not so great, then it got bad - mostly with the exhaustion that finishing college and simultaneously being in graduate school left behind, before I finally stepped back and focused on myself for a few months before starting again. Spring semester was one of the most mentally trying few months of my life; I was pushed to the limit mentally and emotionally.  I nearly thought I wouldn't be able to finish the semester and I also had more mental breakdowns that anyone should have over a three month period. Thanks to sleepless nights, endless papers, my senior thesis, and far more than a normal person should juggle.  I actually remember when my last paper was handed in, my friends dragged me out for celebratory drinks, and I had approximately one glass of wine before I crashed and nearly fell asleep on the way back home. Yeah, that was interesting.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Adventures in baking: Christmas Stollen edition

I hope you all had a great Christmas!  This whole week has been a glorious week of relaxing, TV watching, and sleeping (following a not-so-fun beginning of the week where I suddenly got sick).  I didn't even workout until finally getting the strength to go for a short walk/jog this afternoon.

Baking cookies is easy enough for me, but bread....well bread is something I do less often.   Yet that didn't stop me from doing some Christmas baking because my family all loves any bread-related food...leading me to tackle a Christmas Stollen recipe.  


Keep reading for the recipe!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Empties: December 2014 Edition

I have a confession: these empties have been building up for a long time.  Some of these products are from August or September, and I have just honestly been too lazy to talk about them.  But a perk of being lazy is that I now have lots of empties (including makeup) to show....