To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: August 26

JessComment

What a whirlwind week of driving adventures, doctor's appointments, and gearing up for CHICAGO! Here's what brought the sparkle:

  • On Saturday, Pops asked me to go with him to a yard sale. I agreed, on the condition that we could look for roaming neighborhood cats afterwards. Yes, my life is sad. But MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Ike is much more receptive to me now that he no longer lives on our street and is not subject to my smothering affection daily lol.

Ike is much more receptive to me now that he no longer lives on our street and is not subject to my smothering affection daily lol.

Look at dis guyyyyy. <3 (I never really noticed his white mustache before!)

Look at dis guyyyyy. <3 (I never really noticed his white mustache before!)

  • Chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream is pretty much my dream come true. (I'm just not a vanilla base flavor kind of gal.) I'd had this flavor awhile ago and legit had not been able to find it at any Giant or even Target. But at the Acme? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED part 2! (Last Saturday was clearly very productive!) 
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  • Then on Sunday, I punched some serious driving stress in the face. While on a long drive, on a semi-familiar highway route, I got caught in a total monsoon. Like, people were pulling over or driving with their hazards on. Like, I had to get out of my car on the passenger side when I got home because our street was so flooded. (Like, WHAT that is not normal.) But as I drove, I had pretty much the same reaction as when I threw up on the el: what are ya gonna do? This situation is not ideal, but I can handle it, just keep going. Everything will be ok. TAKE THAT, ANXIETY.👊 

 

  • I'm still in disbelief that the Olympics are over, so here is Simone Biles freaking out over a bee. Seeing that girl flip a billion feet into the air, I never would have thought we'd be kindred spirits, ha! 
  • Finally, I leave for Chicago tomorrow!!! I can't believe my birthday trip is here already and that I get to see this girl so soon! 💖 
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Hope y'all have a great weekend! Since my birthday is Sunday, I command it! :) xo

What I Wore Wednesday: August 24

JessComment

Wednesday, August 17

Physical therapy and EMDR chic!

What is up with this lighting lol

What is up with this lighting lol

Tee: Target (April 2016)

Leggings: Victoria's Secret (2014)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and "Tomoko"

Thursday, August 18

This look is called, "It's supposed to rain and also jump from 70 to 90 degrees today, so I have no idea what to wear." #fashion 

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Top: Aerie (thrifted; 2015)

Tank: Target (2015)

Leggings: Athleta  (2015) 

Sneakers: Reebok (2014)

Necklace: Chloe + Isabel (2016)

Watch: Target (2015)

BraceletLokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and "Tomoko"

Friday, August 19

This is probably my favorite go-to outfit. I just feel like such a rock star in it! In fact, it's the outfit I wore (minus the Chucks) when I bought my car because it makes me feel all cool and confident. :)

LOVE these jeggings, even though they don't really fit, hence the belt. (I only ever wear a belt when my pants would literally fall down without it nbd.) 

LOVE these jeggings, even though they don't really fit, hence the belt. (I only ever wear a belt when my pants would literally fall down without it nbd.) 

Tank: Gap (thrifted; 2011?)

Cardigan: Old Navy (2014)

Jeggngs: Target (January 2016)

Belt: Old Navy (2014)

Sneakers: Converse (2010)

Necklace: Chloe + Isabel (June 2016)

Watch: Target (2015)

BraceletLokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and "Tomoko"  

Saturday, August 20

Just a casual Caturday cat-creeping ensemble, set against our strangely tropical bushes!

"Band on the Run" and "Jet" were two of my favorite songs when I started eighth grade, no lie.

"Band on the Run" and "Jet" were two of my favorite songs when I started eighth grade, no lie.

Tee: Wings (purchased at the Paul McCartney concert last month!!)

Shorts: Adriano Goldschmeid (thrifted; 2015)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and "Tomoko"  

 

I actually did get dressed on Sunday for a change, but I got caught in a monsoon before I could take outfit pictures :( 

Monday, August 22 

Another day, another band tee! Although I actually wore a hoodie for most of the day because it was in the 60s/70s (wut).

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Tee: The Head and the Heart (purchased at a show in 2011)

Leggings: Forever 21 (July 2016) 

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Tuesday, August 23

Another unseasonably cool day in the neighborhood!

Yeah, these pants don't fit either, but they are PURPLE so we make it work. 💜 

Yeah, these pants don't fit either, but they are PURPLE so we make it work. 💜 

Top: Forever 21 (thrifted; 2015)

Pants: Frankie B. (thrifted; 2015) 

Belt: Old Navy (2014) 

Sneakers: Converse (2010) 

Necklace: Loft (2014) 

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

 

Three weeks down, one to go! Since I'll be in Chicago for part of next week, the last "What I Wore Wednesday" post of Outfit Documentation August (whew that's a mouthful)) will go up in two weeks. Thanks for following along, y'all! xo

I do deClaire
pleated poppy

High Five for Friday: August 19

JessComment

You guys, this is going to be a real talk H54F because it has been a rough week on the anxiety front. Once my anxiety gets triggered, it can be a battle to turn off the spiraling thoughts. BUT! I didn't shop away the anxiety, or ruminate endlessly, or look to others for constant reassurance. I have healthier coping skills now, and they really kept my anxiety from running wild. So here are five things that got me through the week: 

 

  • Journaling. For the longest time, I hated journaling. Sit down and write/think about things in my life? BLEH. But journaling really does help me to slow my thinking and look at things more rationally. Therapy has taught me to "reality test" the things in life that wig me out, but my mind still tends to default into anxiety mode. So until calm thoughts come more naturally to me, the journal helps. 
Bonus if your journal is as cute as this $4 one from Home Goods! :) 

Bonus if your journal is as cute as this $4 one from Home Goods! :) 

  • Treats. I very rarely buy candy when I'm at work, but I allowed myself a little pick-me-up last Friday.
Plain M&Ms are one of those things I never want until I want them.

Plain M&Ms are one of those things I never want until I want them.

  • Familiar TV.  At least for me, it's super comforting to watch characters I know and love go through things I've already seen (thus making stressful situations like bombs in patients nbd). Of course, I gravitated to season 2 Grey's because George, but I had totally forgotten about this sweet Mer-Der moment after Mer has a panic attack. TV doctors, they're just like us!
  • Coloring. You know the annoying adult coloring craze? Well, it really works! I spent Saturday morning coloring an affirmation and was amazed at how much calmer I felt afterward. It really helped to focus my spiraling mind on something other than freaking out.  
Check out these delightful crayons that Timmi got me!! 

Check out these delightful crayons that Timmi got me!! 

I found this awesome affirmation coloring page on Etsy. (Hooray for instant downloads!) I chose this one because safety has been a theme in EMDR lately.

I found this awesome affirmation coloring page on Etsy. (Hooray for instant downloads!) I chose this one because safety has been a theme in EMDR lately.

  • Distraction. Ferocious little kittens always help! :)
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Of course, my usual Wednesday therapy session was super helpful too, but I had to get to Wednesday, you know? And doing these things helped me to diffuse my anxiety on my own and have a pretty decent week. And perhaps the most helpful thing of all was giving myself the space and grace to watch TV and color, instead of beating myself up for not being stronger or more productive.

I hope these suggestions help anyone else who struggles with getting swept away on the S.S. Anxiety sometimes. (If you need more ideas, Nicole recently posted some of her favorite coping skills too.) Hope you have a great weekend! xo

What I Wore Wednesday: August 17

JessComment

Wednesday, August 10

I love the ridiculous pictures that the iPhone burst timer captures, like this one where I look like I'm just taking a casual stroll nbd.

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Top: Old Navy (2015)

Shorts: thrifted (2013)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet:: Lokai

Nail Polish: Essie, "Warm and Toasty Turtleneck" 

Thursday, August 11

This dress is probably one of my favorite thrifting finds ever, it's just so cute and comfy!

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Dress: thrifted (2011?)

Leggings: Victoria's Secret (2014)

Necklace: Chloe + Isabel (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet:: Lokai

Nail Polish: Essie, "Warm and Toasty Turtleneck" 

Friday, August 12

I almost forgot to snap a pic, and then I hated the ones that I took, sooo.... :-/

Saturday, August 13

What do you wear when the "Feels Like" temperature is 108? Why, a romper, of course! 

Real shoes (i.e. not sneakers)?! What is this madness?!

Real shoes (i.e. not sneakers)?! What is this madness?!

Romper: Old Navy (2015)

Sandals: White Mountain (2015)

Necklace: Francesca's (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet:: Lokai

 

 

Whoops, another lazy Sunday means no outfit pic! 

 

Monday, August 15

I did add a cardigan to this outfit once I got to work, but it was already 80+ degrees at 9 AM when I took this picture!

Watering can photo bomb. 

Watering can photo bomb. 

Top:  Nordstrom Rack (2013)

Pants: Nordstrom Rack (2015) 

Sandals: White Mountain (2015)

Necklace: Chloe + Isabel (June 2016)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet:: Lokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and Zoya "Tomoko"

 

Tuesday, August 16

Remember when I said that I could wear this shirt every day? Well, I wasn't lying! (But I still can't find it on Target's website grrr.)

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Top: Target (April 2016)

Leggings: Old Navy (2015) 

Sandals: White Mountain (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet:: Lokai

Nail Polish: Zoya "Flora" and Zoya "Tomoko"

 

What exciting things will next week bring? Will I actually take an outfit pic every day?! The world may never know (er, before next Wednesday, that is)! :) 

I do deClaire
pleated poppy

High Five for Friday: August 12

JessComment

Hooray Friday! Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • I accomplished one of my August goals last weekend, as I figured out what I'm doing for my birthday: going to CHICAGO for a long weekend with one of my best gals, Timmi! I'm so excited! Timmi is one of those people who is just a bright shining light of awesomeness, so I expect a delightful weekend of flower-creeping, couch-melting, and donut-eating... and maybe some unexpected things like psychic readings too?
MORE OF THIS PLS

MORE OF THIS PLS

  • THE OLYMPICS! I actually forgot it was starting last weekend, but I love me some Olympics, so I have been totally on board. (I only wish I still had my '92 Barcelona and '94 Lillehammer Sega/SNES games to play!) If you haven't seen the swimmers' Carpool Karaoke (combining the Olympics with another thing I love!), that's a must-see, and then, of course, this heart-melting moment! (Oh, and just when you think Ryan Held couldn't get any cuter, per his Twitter bio, he's an "avid watcher of cat videos." !!)
  • On Tuesday, I got to catch up with two wonderful gals, Deena and Sasha! I was super stressed about driving to Philly from work (not to mention the parking, ugh bane of my life), but I was like, "As long as there's a cat at the end of this tunnel, I'll be ok!" haha! Look at this precious angel who apparently devoured her bag of treats while mommy was at work!
Such a sassy "bitch, please" pose!

Such a sassy "bitch, please" pose!

  • Pops showed me this video over the weekend. Surprisingly, with all his busking, he's never done "Kiss from a Rose" with Seal, but there's still time. ;) (Skip to 3:00 for all that. How freakin' cool.)

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

What I Wore Wednesday: August 10

JessComment

Whew, it's been tough getting back into the swing of daily outfit pics! I hope to use my DSLR more as the month goes on, but this is real life, and iPhone shots on the fly were all I could manage for week 1!

Btw, I just want to make clear that I do use ShopStyle affiliate links whenever possible. This means that I get a few pennies per click. I think I've made like $2 over the past six months, so I'm not Scrooge McDuck over here rolling in the dough or anything; I just wanted to be open about it, since there are a lot of links in these types of posts. 

On to the outfits!

Monday, August 1

Forget a "Day to Night" look--this is "Physical Therapy to Work" chic! ;D

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Top: American Eagle (July 2016)

Leggings: Athleta (omg they have POCKETS you guys) (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Nail polish: Essie, "Lapiz of Luxury"

Tuesday, August 2

Hooray, I actually got my DSLR + tripod out for this one... but it looked like rain, so I didn't want to take it outside. :(

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Sweater: thrifted (2014)

Leggings: Target (July 2016)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

BraceletLokai

Nail polish: Essie, "Lapiz of Luxury"

 

Wednesday, August 3

Ugh, I'm sorry for the weird lighting in these outdoor selfies. I was trying to take them quick before one of my neighbors came along, haha!

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Top: Target (2016)

Leggings: Victoria's Secret (2014)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Thursday, August 4

Oh god, what on earth is my hairdo all about?

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Top: Gap (2012?)

Jeans: Articles of Society (March 2016)

Necklace: Chloe + Isabel (June 2016)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Friday, August 5

LOVE. THIS. SHIRT. I want to wear it every day. It's a drapey tee from Target that I unfortunately have not been able to find online, but I did just buy it in April, so it may still be out there in stores.

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Top: Target (April 2016)

Leggings: Victoria's Secret (2014)

Sneakers: Reebok (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Saturday, August 6

This look is called "I only changed out of my pjs at 5 PM because I realized I had to pick up a prescription at CVS." (#goals) Clearly, this is one of my go-to summer outfits... just like last year!

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Top: Gap (2015)

Bralette: Free Press (2015)

Shorts: thrifted (2013?)

Sneakers: Reebok (2014)  

Not that you can tell with the weird lighting here, but the sneakers are white with a grey zebra stripe that doesn't seem to be available anymore. :(

Sunday, August 7

I stayed in my pjs all day and did stuff around the house, whoops.

Monday, August 8

A go-to physical therapy outfit!

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Top: Target (2013)

Tank: Target (2015)

Leggings: Athleta (2015)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Nail polish: Essie, "Warm and Toasty Turtleneck" (which doesn't appear to be available anymore?!)

 

Tuesday, August 9

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Top: Target (2015)

Pants: thrifted (2015)

Belt: Old Navy (2014)

Watch: Target (2015)

Bracelet: Lokai

Nail polish: Essie, "Warm and Toasty Turtleneck"

Hooray, week 1 is in the books! :)

I do deClaire
pleated poppy

High Five for Friday: August 5

JessComment

Happy freakin' Friday! :) Here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • True confessions: I've been having trouble getting myself out of the house on weekends, as my anxiety is typically like, "Nope, that's a bad idea, that's a bad idea, that's dangerous/scary," etc. I think I'm still adjusting to doing things alone, as opposed to with the constant companion (and perceived protector) of a boyfriend. BUT! Last Sunday, I actually tagged along to one of Pops' gigs, which happened to be in my old hood in South Philly. (Aw!) The neighborhood hosts a car show and craft fair every summer, and Pops and his band were among the street performers. So in addition to seeing them play, and getting out of the house (woo hoo!), I got to revisit some of my favorite little shops on the "Avenue" I once called home. It was a great day!
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I love this picture so much.

I love this picture so much.

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  • And one of the guys in the band has cats! (You might remember them from this post.) Two of the cats were smart enough to hide from me, but Spats the tuxedo got nabbed. He was unsure of me at first and then proceeded to follow me all around the house. He even let me pet him!! Finally, a tuxedo cat friend!
He would totally leave some gold fish in my Neko Atsume yard!

He would totally leave some gold fish in my Neko Atsume yard!

  • Sister Act was on over the weekend. Did anyone else watch this movie religiously (ha!) as a kid?! It's even more hilarious than I remembered. The Reverend Mother flipping her lid about "BOOGIE WOOGIE ON THE PIANO" and snapping at the Monsignor after this epic performance totally cracked me up.

We actually did this version of "Hail Holy Queen" in our church choir in college! I had Sister Mary Lazarus' part (mater ad mater inter marata)!

 

  • Did anyone else catch The Hills marathon/reunion on Tuesday? I saw a little of it, although honestly, I was way more into Laguna Beach than The Hills. I watched the first episode of Laguna Beach season 2 like a million times while recovering from getting my wisdom teeth out in '05, haha! Does anyone else remember the CLASSIC scene where Kristin and Stephen meet up on the beach as "Ghost of a Good Thing" (by the angstiest band ever, Dashboard Confessional) plays in the background?! IT'S SO GOOD and tragically not on YouTube. :( So we'll have to settle for this gem from Lo instead:
  • Finally, in what has become High Five for Flashback Friday, my favorite book series as a kid turned 30 this week! I totally forgot that The Babysitters' Club debuted (like me!) in 1986 (probably because it was another 8 years before I started reading it?). I loved the BSC sooo much. I had tons of the books and most of the dolls. I distinctly remember being a kid and choosing to read Kristy's Big Day over playing or watching TV and LOVING IT. (I wish I still found reading that enjoyable!) Say hello to your friends, Babysitters' Club!
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Well, this week's a wrap! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

August goals

JessComment
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Ugh, how is the summer already almost over?! :( Here's what's on the white board for August:

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1. I turn 30 (!!) at the end of the month, and I want to do SOMETHING to celebrate. Nothing big or crazy, but something. Celebrating my last birthday exactly how I wanted to definitely kept anxiety at bay (as I mentioned in this post last year), so I need to figure out what I'd like to do this year! 

2. I really enjoyed chronicling my outfits last August and can't believe that I haven't done it since! So I'm going to give it a whirl this August, also in an effort to stop wearing basically the three outfits all the time. Putting some thought into what I wear always seems to boost my mood, so that should be a nice perk too.

3. Even though I was more mindful of them last month, I didn't make many changes to my AM and PM routines (aside from getting back into the habit of putting on face and eye cream before bed and diffusing a calming scent). So here's hoping the second time's the charm! I seem to have a harder time with the morning routine, as nothing motivates me to get out of bed until the last possible second, and then I have to rush to get ready for work. Any suggestions??

And how did my July goals go?

1. Get an EZ Pass--CHECK! And I love it, as evidenced by my last H54F post, haha!

2. Get back to reading--CHECK... for the first half of the month when I was all into the first Game of Thrones book. As I said in my July goals post, I hoped that reading would "keep me from staying up too late watching Grey's before bed during the week," and that wish sorta came true... except that now, I've abandoned the reading and am staying up too late watching Supernatural! FAIL. 

3. Work on AM and PM routines--uh, no. Hence trying again this month! :)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: July 29

JessComment

I feel like I've been sleep-walking through this week and have no idea how it's Friday, but I'll take it! Here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • The ever-elusive Tuxedo Cat made an appearance last Friday! I first spotted him sprawled out on the sidewalk by his house, casually bathing himself with one white leg sticking up in the air (seriously), but as soon as I got closeish to him, this happened:
Master of disguise

Master of disguise

He went directly into hiding! What an adorable jerk! He's basically this guy IRL: 

I have no idea why he's holding a spoon??

I have no idea why he's holding a spoon??

  • On Saturday, I popped into Ulta and what song comes on but Whitney's version of "I'm Every Woman." I recognized it immediately and was like YASSSSS Ulta Dance Party! #ChakaKhan
  • Fun fact: I have a terrible sense of balance. So, of course, that's something we've been working on in physical therapy, and this week, I was actually able to do a full set of kicks (10 to the front, 10 to the side, and 10 to the back with each leg) in this contraption without stumbling!! Hooray! All excited about my accomplishment, I hopped on the leg press, and that felt damn near impossible! Afterward, my physical therapist casually said, "Oh, did you notice I bumped up the leg press for you?" Huh, I had no idea! haha At least I'm not getting weaker!

 

  • One of my July Goals was to get an EZ Pass for my car, and I did it! It arrived last week, and it is SO NICE to just breeze on down the highway without having to stop for a ticket or to pay the toll (which inevitably takes forever). I never ever thought I would see the highway as something that I could "breeze on down" all chill, but wonders never cease!  

 

  • So the DNC is here in Philly this week. (WHAT?! NO WAY.) I didn't check out the festivities in person because crowds  + traffic = HARD PASS. (Pops and his group did busk on Wednesday, though, and were apparently photographed by the New York Times!) I'm not into politics, but I do like the Obamas and was disappointed to miss Michelle's speech (and the Bachelorette *gasp*) on Monday because our power was out. UGH. Luckily, I read up on both on my phone and kept Pops informed of the latest developments:
Note my profession of love for the EZ Pass here too LOL.

Note my profession of love for the EZ Pass here too LOL.

I did get to see Obama's speech on Wednesday, and I really enjoyed it. While obviously relevant to the "big picture" of the election, his call to reject fear and cynicism resonated with me so much in my own struggle with anxiety and dysfunction. I was like, "FOUR FOR YOU, POTUS! YOU GO, POTUS!" And then seeing the first female presidential nominee in US history speak the next night? Damn.

 

Hey, it's the weekend! Hope it's a good one! xo

 

July 2016 Budget

JessComment

I felt like I spent a ton of money this month, but apparently, that's because I dropped like $70 on the Athleta semi-annual sale, and then didn't keep any of the items I ordered. #winning

I also bought a few things to replace products I had used up (such as Make Up Forever Sens'Eyes and DevaCurl One Condition), and I'm unsure how to count them in my shopping budget. The goal of my budget is to track and limit higher-end and frivolous purchases. So if I used drugstore make-up remover or conditioner, I wouldn't even think to count them against my budget. And as they are two unexciting necessities, I'm annoyed that I have to spend money on them at all. My thought process when I realized I had used up all my make-up remover was literally NOOOO UGH NOW I HAVE TO GO TO SEPHORA AND SPEND MONEY ON THIS STUPID CRAP, as opposed to being all giddy at the prospect of getting a new fun thing. Because I already know I like these products, the thrill is gone. That's great in terms of taking the emotion out of shopping, but it's problematic for my budgeting style, since "exciting" (and usually impulsive) buys are the ones I originally set out to track.

It also feels like a cop-out not to count higher-end beauty products, since I would definitely include them if they were impulse buys. Arg. Maybe I need to break my budget down into categories, like impulse buys vs replacement items, and then include all of them in my monthly spending total. Hmm. It's a work in progress, so if you guys have any tips for further budget breakdown, let a sister know!

It's probably a sign of growth that I'm even thinking this way and counting MORE things against my budget, as opposed to finding loopholes so as to squeak under budget with a ton of purchases. I would be under budget this month whether I counted the replacement items or not, so woo hoo!

Anyway, here's the fun, the frivolous, and the annoying things I got this month:

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  1. Aerie Real Soft Legging Tee (American Eagle): $25
  2. Gilligan & O'Malley Fluid Knit Pajama Legging (Target): $15

Replacement buys:

  1. DevaCurl One Condition (Ulta): $23
  2. Mini Make-Up Forever Sens'Eyes (Sephora): $12

Not pictured:

  1. Classic Cotton-Blend Legging (Forever 21): $4

Total: $79 (Not too shabby! Having a car payment definitely takes from my potential shopping money, and that's not a bad thing.)

 

I LOVE the Aerie top. (I mean, it's purple and long enough to wear with leggings, what's not to love? The tag on the inside even says, "Just add leggings." DON'T MIND IF I DO!) It's also super soft, just like the Gilligan & O'Malley leggings. I've worn them IRL and don't even care that they're really "pajamas" because they're so comfy and look as presentable as leggings can look. (And are perfect for physical therapy!) Speaking of comfy things, I was at American Eagle in the first place because I needed some new undies (TMI?), and their Seamless Boybriefs are super comfy and go great with leggings! (Someday, I'll wear real pants again... maybe...) If you're in the market for some new underpinnings, they might be worth checking out, I'm just sayin'... ;)

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

 

High Five for Friday: July 22

JessComment

TGIF! Let's see what put the sparkle into this uneventful week:

  • On Saturday, I went to Target for the first time in awhile and miraculously spent less than $50! Among my purchases were some cute things from the Dollar Spot and a few travel size items. (I'm always impressed with Target's travel size selection. I know that travel size things aren't very economical, but I like them because they're a low-commitment way to try out new beauty products!)
A mini micellar water?! What is this sorcery?! Also, I really like the Pond's moisturizer so far. It soaks right in and doesn't feel greasy, which is ideal in the summer humidity! 

A mini micellar water?! What is this sorcery?! Also, I really like the Pond's moisturizer so far. It soaks right in and doesn't feel greasy, which is ideal in the summer humidity! 

  • Another highlight of this lame week was cleaning my room, especially organizing my nail polish collection and weeding out a ton of polishes I don't like or use. (I swear this is more minimal than it used to be!) There's a box of pinks/purples/reds, a box of blues/greens/other colors, a box of textured glitter polishes, a Caboodle (!!) of Sally Hansen Triple Shines (they have my favorite brush and so are my go-to when I can't decide on a polish), and finally, a container of top coats and base coats. Whew!
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  • On Tuesday night, I had the house to myself, and all I wanted to do was eat ice cream and watch a show with pretty boys. (That was seriously my thought process.) Hellooooo Supernatural!
She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends...

She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends...

OBSESSED with this flavor (and these single-serve cups!) lately. 

OBSESSED with this flavor (and these single-serve cups!) lately. 

  • Remember our pinky-purple hydrangea? Well, part of it is still lavender, but the other side is now BLUE! Like, what the what?! FLOWER MAGIC. 
Jess and the Amazing Technicolor Hydrangea!

Jess and the Amazing Technicolor Hydrangea!

  • And finally, a moment from Grey's season 10 that made me legit LOL:
NICE ONE. Although I guess McDreamy does need to be a sharp-dressed man since Obama is courting him for his brain-mapping initiative!

NICE ONE. Although I guess McDreamy does need to be a sharp-dressed man since Obama is courting him for his brain-mapping initiative!

Have a fantastic weekend! xo

What's in my bag?

JessComment

I don't think I've written one of these before, which is shocking because I love What's in My Bag posts! (I'm so nosy!)

More specifically, this will be What's in My Current Work Bag, the Kipling "Sansa" (eee like Sansa Stark!). I've had this bag for awhile, but I only recently started using it again, as having a car (aka a place to leave stuff and hide from the elements) has allowed me to downsize from my (massive) Longchamp Le Pliage Neo. The Sansa is nylon, light-weight, has lots of pockets, and comes with a crossbody strap that I detached.

So, with no further adieu...

Ta-dahhhh!

Ta-dahhhh!

Here's the main interior pocket (complete with awesome hot pink lining!). It's not a huge bag, but you can still fit a lot in it.

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Here's the essentials that I keep in the front zip pocket:

*Extra long iPhone cable and plug *Mongo Kiss Lip Balm in Peppermint *L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Gloss in Rich Pink *Advil (natch)

*Extra long iPhone cable and plug

*Mongo Kiss Lip Balm in Peppermint

*L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Gloss in Rich Pink

*Advil (natch)

There's also a slip pocket right behind the front zip pocket, and that's where I usually toss my phone and keys, even though there's a very convenient key clip holder thingy in the main compartment. (There's another slip pocket on the back of the bag that I always forget about and thus don't keep anything in!)

How pretty is my phone case?! (It's from Paper Source and under $30 which is basically inconceivable!)

How pretty is my phone case?! (It's from Paper Source and under $30 which is basically inconceivable!)

The two side pockets in the main compartment are where I keep my beloved Skullcandy ear buds (which I've raved about before), and a million pens that I clearly need to have with me at all times. (Can you see why the large Longchamp Le Pliage was once necessary? Ha)

I wonder what my favorite colors are... ;)

I wonder what my favorite colors are... ;)

And then these are the things I keep in the main compartment. I usually have a plastic bag or two with me in case, you know, I have a few extra things to carry... or I get sick in a public place... (It's been a year+ and I'm still not over it!) ~insert see no evil monkey emoji here~

*Vapur Shades Water Bottle *Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Dots Journal (aka my planner) *Paper Source Mint Foil Confetti Journal (which is apparently sold out, but is still available as a planner) *Wallet *Weekly pill organizer (which all of the day labels have conveniently rubbed off of!)

*Vapur Shades Water Bottle

*Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Dots Journal (aka my planner)

*Paper Source Mint Foil Confetti Journal (which is apparently sold out, but is still available as a planner)

*Wallet

*Weekly pill organizer (which all of the day labels have conveniently rubbed off of!)

So that's the stuff I carry around on a daily basis! What are the things you guys can't live without? What is your go-to purse? I'm nosy, remember? ;)

High Five for Friday: July 15

JessComment

I actually had a pretty exciting week, for a change! (And I didn't even play Pokémon Go!) Let's see what put the sparkle into it:

  • Who needs Pokémon when you've got real cat sightings to freak out about! Calico Pinky tends to keep a low profile, so I legit started squealing incoherently in my car when I spotted her on Friday night! She's just so flippin' adorable.
Casual Friday. But seriously, how pretty is this darn cat?!

Casual Friday. But seriously, how pretty is this darn cat?!

  • On Tuesday night, I went to the Paul McCartney concert in Philly!! I can hardly believe I've seen a Beatle twice now! This time, I got to see him with my college roommate, Paulina! (Anything Beatles-related was in heavy rotation in college... so much so that Paulina and I were basically the only two people PSYCHED that Paul did "Temporary Secretary" on Tuesday haha!) The show was absolutely amazing. I have a hard time being present, but there were times at the concert when I was totally swept up in the music. 
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I'm not a huge fan of "Live and Let Die," but it's really fantastic live. 

I'm not a huge fan of "Live and Let Die," but it's really fantastic live. 

  • Being reunited with Paulina was a great treat! I tend to do things by myself because being around other people can stress me out, but spending time with Paulina reminded me how fun company can be. In addition to Macca Night, we also watched a lot of HIMYM and saw Pops and his band play in South Philly!
We were often mistaken for each other in college, so of course my neighbor promptly thought Paulina was me!

We were often mistaken for each other in college, so of course my neighbor promptly thought Paulina was me!

  • Real talk: 95% of my Instagram feed is cats and bunnies. So a bunny + ANTM reference is just perfection. #Smize #WeWereAllRootingForYou
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  • And finally, To Sparkle Punch turned 2 this past Wednesday! I'm so glad I've stuck with this blog--it's a great creative outlet, and it's brought me some delightful friends (like Mattie, Nicole, Ashley, KatieTif, and Mica, just to name a few!)! Thank you to anyone who has stopped by over the past two years! You've all added some sparkle to my life! :)

Happy Friday erreybody!! xo

High Five for Friday: July 8

JessComment

Thank you, four day week, for getting Friday here so quickly! :) Here's what put the sparkle into my week:

  • I had no plans to do anything especially "Fourth of July"-like, but Pops and I did happen to stumble upon a great vantage point for fireworks in the Giant parking lot on Sunday night!
Stay classy.

Stay classy.

  • Over the weekend, I found out that neighborhood celebrity Ike has a new home! We hadn't seen him in awhile and had begun to fear the worst, but it turns out that a new family had taken him in and moved him around the corner! (I picture him packing up his bowls and heading for greener pastures!) Well, once I knew where to look, I had no problem finding him again! He came right over to me AND let me pet him for awhile! He must really be losing it! 
I'm a model, you know what I mean...

I'm a model, you know what I mean...

  • I've been working on my July goal of reading and even took it outside over the weekend! I'm now like 100 pages into GoT book one and am very impressed with myself! :)
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  • Does anyone else remember the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Three Little Bops," starring the Three Little Pigs as a swinging jazz trio and the Big Bad Wolf as a lame trumpeter that wants to sit in? It's so clever, and way more hilarious now than when I was a kid! Pops is a musician, so he especially loves it! 
  • I had to do some new exercises in physical therapy this week, including using a leg press! Eek! When I first saw the machine, I was like, "Uh yeah, that ain't gonna happen!" but I was able to do twenty leg presses! I felt so strong and bad-ass! Actually, doing the leg presses turned out to be easier than doing kicks in this contraption! 
HALP.

HALP.

Here's to a good weekend! xo

July goals

JessComment
Not only is our hydrangea alive, it is also ridiculously gorgeous these days!

Not only is our hydrangea alive, it is also ridiculously gorgeous these days!

I haven't done a Goals post since April. B and I broke up at the end of April, and the thought of coming up with goals for May (let alone actually doing them) made me want to stick a fork in my eye (or something thereabouts). So it's for the best that my only "goal" for May and June was "self care" haha! But lately, I've been feeling a bit aimless, which makes me think I'm recovering from the break-up and ready to take on a few small goals this month!

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1. I keep meaning to look into getting an EZ Pass, since the Turnpike is the quickest way to get to work, and I take it almost every day now that I'm driving.

2. Get back to reading--largely a provision to keep me from spending half of my Saturday watching Grey's on Netflix (and then staying up too late watching Grey's before bed during the week. I'm up to season 10, you guys! It's officially a problem.). 

3. Having to get up at 6 AM and take four modes of Septa gave my mornings (and nights, since I had to get up so early) a lot of structure, and I generally do well with structure. But having a car (and a super-flexible job) means that I can now get up and go to work whenever I want--so my old morning and night routines have gone out the window. Time to create some new routines! (Hence goal #2, to avoid staying up too late watching Grey's!)

What are you guys working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes like a Girl!

 

High Five for Friday: July 1

JessComment

I spent most of Thursday thinking it was Friday, so it must actually be Friday if this post is now live, haha! Here's what put the sparkle into my (apparently confusing) week:

 

  • On Saturday, I drove to Reading for the first time, my longest drive ever! (Ok, it's only a little over an hour, so it's not that much longer than my drive to work BUT it's on mostly unfamiliar highways/roads so I had to rely a lot on Google Maps. Eep!) I planned to take a route that avoided toll roads (getting in those cattle shoots kind of stresses me out), but I must have hit the wrong option in Google Maps, as it directed me onto toll roads... and everything was totally fine. I guess I'm getting better at handling whatever driving throws at me! *confetti horn emoji*

 

  • On Sunday, I got to see my dear gal pal Timmi, which was delightful as always! Even though there was a pretense of "making flower crowns" at her little gathering, she took the liberty of making them for us! What a champ. Getting to be a pretty princess with zero effort on my part is truly living the dream! :)
Snapchat filter IRL.

Snapchat filter IRL.

I want that boo to be me, I want me to be that boo...

I want that boo to be me, I want me to be that boo...

  • I also made a new friend at Timmi's! Her pup Biene just burrowed in my lap and thawed my icy, cat-loving heart a bit. She's pretty adorable! (As long as she's not climbing over me and giving my internal organs an unwelcome massage, that is!)
Such a precious pupcake.

Such a precious pupcake.

  • I don't even know what to say about the GoT finale, other than "that shit is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S." I actually watched it on Sunday with Timmi and her fam, and then rewatched it on Tuesday with Pops, who legit freaked out when I told him he'd have to wait until April 2017 for the next season, haha! ("But you have five other seasons to catch up on in the meantime!" "Oh... yeah...") In total nerd news, I a.) actually made Pops a chart showing the relationships of all the people who would be in the finale and b.) finally bought the first book! (I had gotten like 300 pages in before returning it to B.) NERD ALERT!
Sam is a square like me... no wonder I love him!

Sam is a square like me... no wonder I love him!

  • Speaking of huge TV moments this week, The Bachelorette. OMG. First of all, Wells was by far my favorite prospective Future Mr. JoJo, thanks to him being brunette and vaguely dorky and looking like he's at least ten years younger than he is. I was bummed he was eliminated this week, but we all saw it coming--Wells isn't enough of a bro to win JoJo's heart. He's too good for this world!
Like, come on. <3

Like, come on. <3

Luckily, I was able to console myself with the second half of the episode, which gave us all the treat of a lifetime. As soon as I recognized "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," I started hyperventilating, shrieking, and laughing all at once. So yes, this montage made me lose all control of my faculties, in the best possible way (if there IS a best possible way for one to lose control of one's faculties).

I can't believe it's the 4th of July already! Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend! xo

June 2016 budget

JessComment

Remember how I was cutting back on shopping in order to save for a big purchase? Well, shortly after my last budget post, it finally happened: I bought a car! And although having monthly car and insurance payments for the first time in my life has me more stressed about budgeting than ever, I actually bought more in June than I did in February through May. Whoops! I blame the newfound ability to go places. ;) At least my clothing/shoe purchases were limited, thanks to physical therapy! (My wardrobe choices these days are largely dictated by "ease of movement while riding a recumbent bicycle"--hence picking up the Target shirt below to wear with leggings!) But of course that didn't stop me from buying other things, so here's what I got this month:

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  1. Pur Cosmetics Correcting Primer Redness Reducer (Ulta): $33
  2. Hobo Briar Crossbody Bag (Nordstrom Rack): $228 on sale for $110 - 25% off for Clear the Rack = $82
  3. Portico Petite Convertible Necklace (Chloe + Isabel): $48 - party-hosting credit = $0
  4. Faux Stone Tassel Necklace (Forever 21): $6
  5. Mossimo Supply Co. Drapey Knit Sharkbite Tee (Target): $15
  6. Pave Curved Bar Necklace (Chloe + Isabel): $42 - party-hosting credit = $0

TOTAL: $136

It was totally love at first sight with the Hobo bag, and then I spent a week agonizing over whether or not to keep it. $82 is a lot to spend on just one thing!! But I had been looking for a roomy but smallish crossbody bag with a front flap for MONTHS, and this one is perfect.  Plus, it's real leather, so it should hold up well, AND it has a cell phone pocket in the back. For someone who wears leggings as pants way too often and thus doesn't always have access to pockets--GAME CHANGER.

I also went a little necklace-crazy this month! I'm intrigued by every blogger's pretty Kendra Scott necklaces, but I am not ready to spend that much on a long necklace. (I have a few long necklaces and definitely wear them less than others.) But a dupe for $6? SOLD! And I had never spent the $100 C+I credit I earned last fall because I could never commit to anything until now! (So.many.items have been in and out of my shopping cart in the past eight months!) I love the two dainty yet architectural pieces that I got, especially the Pave Gold Bar Necklace--it's like a more understated version of the C+I Geovista Collar (which I also love).

With makeup, I'm always looking to cover up my natural blotchiness, so we'll see how this green primer from Pur works out. I'm not sure that it does a whole lot, but it feels really nice and satiny when applied, and according to the lady at Ulta, it should improve my redness over time. Here's hoping!

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

 

 

High Five for Friday: June 24

JessComment

Was this a fast week, or am I delusional? Either way, TGIF, and let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Pops and I celebrated Father's Day with two of his favorite things: the movies and ice cream! We saw Me Before You ("When I was lit-le, I had a pair of bumble-bee tights..."), which actually wasn't as super cheesy or wildly depressing as I feared it would be. (It was wildly depressing at times, but not the whole time, thank god!)
As soon as we got out of the movie, I was texting my friend Kristin, and Pops goes, "Hey, does she want to meet us at Handel's?" And I was like, "Wait, we're going to Handel's? You didn't even invite ME to Handel's!" haha!

As soon as we got out of the movie, I was texting my friend Kristin, and Pops goes, "Hey, does she want to meet us at Handel's?" And I was like, "Wait, we're going to Handel's? You didn't even invite ME to Handel's!" haha!

  • Because appointments are the only thing getting me out of the house on weekends lately, I decided to go with it and make a fun appointment at the massage place I like near work! Then, I hit up the nearby mall because it's home to my favorite Nordstrom Rack. But most exciting of all (sadly) was that I discovered an easier way to get on the Turnpike as part of this outing! #adulting #sadtrombone
Cue the choir of angels.

Cue the choir of angels.

  • If you watch GoT, then I hope you read the recaps on Verge because they are freaking hilarious. This week's really took the cake for me, personally, thanks to the Ygritte, "Formation," and Final Fantasy (!!) references. (I loved Final Fantasy VII and VIII as a kid, and, no joke, have thought about the death of Aeris in FFVII in comparison to major character deaths on GoT. Nerd alert!) It was seriously like the Verge recapper looked into my soul this week. <3 I also stumbled upon this brilliant mash-up of Parks and Rec quotes and GoT scenes, which had me legit lol'ing. Clearly, I need my intense dramas with a side of ridiculousness.
Sick Leslie is my favorite.

Sick Leslie is my favorite.

  • When a random song gets stuck in your head, and all you know is that it's from a show you've seen nine seasons of, well, you're screwed, right? This tale of woe actually started six months again with a random morose song from Grey's that I just could not place--UNTIL NOW! I put on the season 2 episode "Yesterday" as background noise this week, and when the following scene started, my jaw dropped. It featured THE SONG!! Which is "Everybody Needs a Fence to Lean On" by Headlights, aka a song never would have found on my own.
  • One of my fb friends posted the following quote this week, and it was definitely something I needed to read after a rough EMDR session (and general sense of malaise lately).
PREACH.

PREACH.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo

Confessions: Physical therapy and Beanie Babies

JessComment
  • At my last podiatrist appointment in May, the doctor decided that he wanted me to start physical therapy. But he wouldn't say "physical therapy," rather, just "therapy," as in "Let's see where we can get you in for some therapy..." This probably isn't a source of confusion for most of his patients, but then again, most people don't have a roster of mental health professionals that they see regularly. Like, I was 99% sure he meant physical therapy, but I'd never heard it with the "physical" dropped before, and thus the seed of doubt was planted. So after the doctor said just "therapy" a few more times, I finally went, "Ok, you do mean PHYSICAL therapy, right? Because I already do the other kind, so that is covered!" Of course he meant physical therapy, but at least he got a chuckle out of it. "Yes, yes, physical therapy! Although I hope the other is going well for you too!" #ClearlyNotWellEnough #FacePalm
  • So per his instruction, I started physical therapy for my foot a few weeks ago, and one of my exercises is to pick up marbles with my toes. I wish I were kidding. People around me are doing full out stretches, and there I am, awkwardly trying to pick up marbles with my toes. #NothingToSeeHere
  • One of the cats I follow on Instagram (halp) looks exactly like the black and white Beanie Baby cat. Somehow, I couldn't for the life of me remember that one's name... but in the process of trying to remember, I was able to recall all the other Beanie Baby cats' names and colors! "Is it Flip? No, he's white. And Snip is Siamese... I'm pretty sure Nip was brown... DAMMIT IT'S ZIP! THAT'S THE BLACK AND WHITE ONE!!" #BeanieBabyCatLadyProbs
Battle of the Beanie Baby Bastards

Battle of the Beanie Baby Bastards

  • On my first city driving adventure with my car, somebody beeped at me for not capitalizing on a split second break in oncoming traffic to turn, and I literally yelled, "Who is driving this car?!?" at no one, because I'm 80. #I'llTurnThisCarRightAround
  • Speaking of driving, my recent car jams are a very eclectic lot, including but not limited to "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (love a dramatic 80s ballad), "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO (again, halp), and "Call Me" by Blondie. As bizarre as they all are together, "Call Me" makes the least sense (believe it or not!) because my life motto is pretty much "DON'T call me." Ignoring phone calls is like my Olympic sport--in the car, the only phone-related button I know is the one that declines calls when you're connected via Bluetooth! Thank god "Call Me" is a pretty rocking tune--that helps me to forget that I'm encouraging a ringing phone in song form. #GoldMedalistInScreeningCalls

What wacky things have been going on in your lives these days? What everyday things do you avoid like the plague?

#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
More Coffee Less Talky

High Five for Friday: June 17

JessComment

I really struggled with the idea of doing a High Five for Friday post during such a tragic week. How can you acknowledge the good at a time of so much sadness? But I decided to go ahead with it because I have welcomed reading "normal" posts on my favorite blogs this week (and last week too, when I was in a rage spiral reading every article about the Stanford rape case). So I hope that this post/blog can be a safe, sparkly space for those who need a break from the news right now. <3

 

  • Although having a car has really put a dent in my real-life Neko Atsume, I spotted this guy lounging around as I drove down our street on Saturday morning! Pops happened to be outside at the moment, so I pulled up to our house spluttering, "EEEEEEE Tuxedo Cat is out, let's go see him!!" I think Tuxedo must be chilling at his house here because he didn't run away from us (yay!), but he was still not wooed by kissy noises and cooing (boo!). HOWEVER, like two minutes after Pops and I left, we saw the guy who lives at this house come home, and Tuxedo totally ran over and flopped for him! The nerve!
What a playa.

What a playa.

  • Last weekend, I got my hair cut for the first time in nearly a year and cannot even convey how psyched I was about it. It's truly the little things! My hairdresser gave me a Deva Cut with a million layers, and my crazy thick hair feels about ten pounds lighter!
Requisite post-salon selfie. "Becky with the good hair" must have just left the salon because no one's hair is that good on their own!

Requisite post-salon selfie. "Becky with the good hair" must have just left the salon because no one's hair is that good on their own!

  • So we've had this hydrangea in our yard for as long as I can remember. It stopped blooming a few years ago, possibly due to overzealous gardening, but now, it's back, baby! Look at these pretty lavender blooms coming in! Hooray! 
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  • I've seen Parks and Rec all out of order, so I caught this episode for the first time the other day, and the following exchange between Joan Callamezzo and Jean-Ralphio had me (and Pops!) busting a gut: 
  • And finally, one last cat pic. This is my gf Sasha being ultra adorable. When her mom informed me that Sasha had been scratching her up, I was like, "Not this little angel!!" INCONCEIVABLE! (Except yes conceivable because she's basically still a kitten lol.)
Squeeeeee <3

Squeeeeee <3

Here's hoping for a peaceful weekend. xo