To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: December 28


What a whirlwind week! Let’s see what brought the holiday sparkle:

  • I was off last Friday and did absolutely nothing for most of the day. WHAT A DELIGHT! But at night, I went into Philly and hung out with Russell. You might recall that he has a Sega, so we played a rousing round of Zombies Ate My Neighbors (!!) before settling on this visit’s weird historical documentary, The Russian Revolution! (Why are we insane?)
  • Also on Friday, this book arrived! It’s by Freddie Smith (Sonny on Days) and his fiancee Alyssa!

The intersection of soaps and self-help?! Sign me up! I pre-ordered it back in November and forgot that doing so meant I would get a signed copy! 😍 Also, I’ve chatted with Alyssa a few times via IG messages, and she is the sweetest!

  • CHRISTMAS! I was actually feeling super anxious leading up to it (and playing this aggressive Queen song on repeat to psych myself up!), but it turned out great! It was super low key, which is fine by me! 
Requisite post-Mass outfit pic 💯

Requisite post-Mass outfit pic 💯


Pops always gives very practical stocking stuffers, and this year was no exception, as you can see! I also got a few gift cards and a Queen magazine! 💃

  • I’ve been off all week and am having a grand old time! Ice skating, Kohl’s, and cookies, oh my! I also started watching The Pacific because, Joe Mazzello (❤️), and he literally cries one minute into his first appearance. Just like Will on Days (who Kristin and I say has “resting cry face”). Why do I always love actors that cry all the time?!


Hilariously, Jurassic Park had been on earlier in the day, so Joe was on a real emotional roller coaster!

At least he knows this is his calling card! 😂😂 

At least he knows this is his calling card! 😂😂 

  • Lastly, an ornament saga. This ornament (a snowshoeing alligator??) makes us go ??? every year.

Who is this guy?! Is he from a show? A movie? We can never remember. The only thing we thought we knew was that he came in a Burger King kid’s meal circa 1990. Russell is my toy expert, but even he was stumped (despite the fact that he apparently has a blue one WHAT ARE THE ODDS). So he posted about it on Reddit, and several hours later, we had our answer! (This is why the Internet exists, right?) This guy is apparently from a Roy Rogers kid’s meal and was featured in the show Gator Tales, a cartoon that only aired in the Midwest—hence why none of us could remember it! WHO KNEW? I think my parents were as excited as I was to finally put this mystery to rest, haha!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo


High Five for Friday: December 21


I don’t know about you, but this week FLEW by for me! Let’s see what brought the sparkle:

  • On Saturday, I traded my ice skates for roller skates and went roller skating with Kristin and a few other friends. I used to rollerblade all the time when I was a kid, but now, I can’t fathom the last time that would have happened. 1997? Surprisingly, it wasn’t too hard, just exhausting! Why is it that, as an adult, you’ll be sore for five to seven days after doing any physical activity you did as a kid?! 
Kristin, serving them sweater lewks 😍 

Kristin, serving them sweater lewks 😍 

  • On Sunday, I saw Bohemian Rhapsody again because I need an intervention! I’m not someone who usually even likes going to the movies, let alone going to see the same movie four times! 🙈 But I’m in love with the music and the cast, so having heart-eyes for two hours never seems like the worst use of my time. Plus, I’m practically celebrating the fact that I could even sit through a movie four times! In August, my anxiety was so bad that I literally went to Maggie’s one day and paced around her room because I couldn’t sit still (but also couldn’t stop crying when I was alone). Not only do I not currently feel like that, but I’ve been feeling almost happy, even! 😂💃


  • How the heck is Christmas four days away?! I have been so behind with my Christmas shopping this year, but luckily, I went shopping for an hour after work on Wednesday and got gifts for TWO people! Annnd also a gift for myself, the best kind of gift! 😂

  • I laughed way too hard at this meme. I am the worst gift-wrapper, so this is basically how I feel during the whole gift-wrap process, haha.


  • And lastly, this lovely calico is really not into these Christmas decorations! (The captions are really 💯.)

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and holiday!! xoxo


High Five for Friday: December 14


Last week was our Disney World trip, so of course that’s what brought the sparkle! 🤩

  • On our first day, we did Epcot on three hours sleep (thank you, 6 AM flight!), and we had quite a time, despite the delirium! We did Soarin’ (one of our fave rides at Disneyland) and Spaceship Earth (which was nice and tame 👌🏻) and visited the little country shops! (Japan was, once again, my fave, although I regret not getting Coffee Crisp in Canada when I had the chance! 😭)
  • On Saturday, we did the Magic Kingdom and met up with my friend Kristin, who just happened to be there with her fam at the same time! (I think finding out she would be there is what convinced Pops to schedule our trip when he did, haha!) We had DOLE WHIPS (!!) and took a nearly heart-attack-inducing ride on Big Thunder Mountain! (This used to be the only roller coaster I enjoyed, and now, it freaks me out too WAH. I was just repeatedly saying, “OH MY GOD” the whole time!)


My FAVORITE ride of the whole trip was Aladdin’s Magic Carpets! You just “fly” on your magic carpet at a reasonable speed, and you can control if/when it goes up and down. PERF. This is how psyched I was on our first magic carpet ride:

A whole new wooooorld! 

A whole new wooooorld! 

I also loved the teacups (although maybe not as much as Pops... 😂), and my beloved Jungle Cruise was the “Jingle Cruise” for the holidays! (A slow moving ride full of corny jokes?! Yes please!) 

  • On Sunday, it RAINED until like 3 PM (😮), so we hung out in our hotel room and chilled for awhile. I actually very much appreciated the chance to rest after such an exhausting few days! Plus, Father of the Bride (I and II!) happened to be on TV, so I was happy as a clam!


  • Once the rain stopped, we went back to Epcot because that was the park open the latest that day. This time around, we did the new Frozen ride, which was cute, and Soarin’ again, and got a giant pretzel in Germany! #yolo
  • Let’s end the post with this guy that Pops bought me in Japan! HOW. STINKIN’. CUTE. I think it’s a bear dressed up like a calico cat with another lil cat friend?!? 😍😭😍 How could I resist?!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo


High Five for Friday: November 30


Happy Friday! Let’s see what brought the ✨ this week:

  • Let’s just start out with this gif. Timmi found it this week, and it never fails to crack me up:


  • So last weekend, I saw Bohemian Rhapsody again… twice actually. Whoops. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie three times in the theater before! One viewing was with Pops, and the other was to combat anxiety. I was feeling super anxious on Sunday for no apparent reason (possibly “rebound anxiety” from lowering one of my medications WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS), so spending two hours with heart-eyes didn’t seem like the worst idea. And, in fact, it was not. 10/10 would recommend this coping skill. 😂


  •  Thanks to Bohemian Rhapsody introducing me to Ben Hardy, I decided to check out a few clips of him on EastEnders. Silly me, I didn’t think I would get sucked in, but it is a soap opera after all! His character’s sister was murdered, his gf is an alcoholic, their families seem to hate each other, so naturally, I’m just over here like GIVE ME MORE. 😍
  • My friend Russell (Inspector Gadget) has a band and was saying over the weekend that I should take up an instrument and join them. I would really like to play the drums, but they already have a drummer/we don’t have drums at home, so my options (i.e. instruments we already have around the house) were limited to guitar, bass, and keyboard. Obviously, with my love of John Deacon at a fever pitch, I picked the bass. (Plus, being a female bass player seems totally bad-ass, no?) So Pops tried showing me a few things this week, and I can now very slowly almost play the first 8 notes to “Another One Bites the Dust”!! What a virtuoso! 😂
  • Lastly, Pops and I are going to Disney World next weekend! What the what? He literally booked this on Tuesday, haha! We’ve been to Disneyland a bunch of times, but I’ve only been to World once and Pops has never been. I’m super pumped for Epcot! 

This also means no H54F next week (☹️), so I’ll catch y’all in two weeks!


PS BLOGGER FRIENDS: Let me know if you want to exchange Christmas cards this year! 😘


Have a great weekend! xo


November 2018 Budget


I thought I bought more things this month, but these are the only receipts I could find, so YAY, I guess! Also, let it be known that I bought NOTHING on Black Friday, WOO HOO! I’m such a sucker for sales, so this was a big win! Even better: I didn’t even WANT to shop! Do you guys ever feel super grabby at times and apt to buy everything in sight, and then super meh about shopping? Because that definitely happens to me and did this month. I bought two of the things below within days of each other… along with a few decorative things and self-helpy-type books. And then nothing. OKAY. *shrug*

So what did I buy this month?

  1. DevaCurl One Condition (CVS, but found online at Ulta): $22

  2. Dr. Scholl’s Original Collection Lane Gore Leather Bootie (Marshall’s, but could only find online at Amazon): on sale for $29

  3. Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm (Sephora): $38

TOTAL: $89

I needed some shorter black boots after finally bidding my six-year-old pair adieu last year. These ones by Dr. Scholl’s may look dressy, but they’re pretty darn comfortable, and that’s really all I ever want in an article of clothing.

I’m especially lazy when it comes to eye creams for some reason, so when I saw one in a tube form, my internal lightbulb went on. I’ve already used it way more than a traditional eye cream because it’s so easy to just swipe on and be done with it. Is it working? Eh, who knows, but at least I’m actually using it! #knowthyself

And the DevaCurl is just a boring ol’ replacement. I swear by it for my super thick, coarse hair!

What did you buy in November?

High Five for Friday: November 23


Happy Black Friday! Hope y’all had a great holiday! Here’s what brought the ✨ this week:

  • Over the weekend, I actually did some creative writing! I have all these scenes scribbled down for a story I want to write, but I always talk myself out of working on it. A come-to-Jesus therapy session has changed all that for the time being, though! Writing again was freaking FUN! ☺️


  • I was off on Wednesday, so Pops and I went ice skating! He used to play hockey, so he had a lot of good tips for me. Even though we had to dodge 8,000 kids, it was a lot of fun, and I feel like my legs are getting stronger!
  • On Thanksgiving, I kept negating all of Pops’s answers during a rousing game of Scattergories (because if you put the same answers as someone else, you cancel them out, and Pops and I apparently share one brain), annnd I accidentally got low-key drunk, so it was obviously quite a time!

  • Otherwise, it’s been 2008 around here, because I’ve been listening to Jupiter One nonstop for no apparent reason! Did anyone else listen to these guys in college? Full disclosure: one of their songs was on the soundtrack to NHL ‘08, that’s how my bffl and I discovered them hahahaha. “Countdown” is so good!

  • Lastly, YOU GUYS, I am now fully in love with the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody. (Poor Timmi has borne the brunt of this all week haha. Truly #rideordie) The guys who play Queen all seem to genuinely love each other and get involved in hijinks together, and my heart can’t handle it. 💕💕

Like, one dude couldn’t go with them on their press tour to Japan, so they brought around a CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF HIM. (Which later escalated to this. 😂😂)

These guys are everything I didn’t know I needed in my life!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo



High Five for Friday: November 16


Happy Friday, everyone! ☺️ Let’s see what brought the sparkle:

  • On Saturday, I got to hang out with one of the YTT gals! Jamie is hilarious and super easy to talk to and just GETS IT (about everything), so it was delightful! Bonus that, because she’s trying to get some more experience doing reiki, I got to add some reiki to my day! It was super calming and much-needed. ❤️


  • While I was on my way to meet up with Jamie, I passed by this gorgeous backdrop! I happened to have my DSLR with me that afternoon (what luck!), so this worked out perfectly!
  • But on Sunday, I was really out of sorts. Thankfully, I was still with Pudge, who is an excellent emotional support cat, but I was just… sad. I don’t know. Luckily, I managed to get myself out of the house to see Bohemian Rhapsody and I LOVED IT. (Although I could have done without so much creative license being taken with certain things. 😞) It felt like being at a Queen concert, especially because they recreated the Live Aid performance, and y’all know that’s my jam!
I went to the movies by myself, which I think means I crossed a goal off of  Bri’s  list, haha!

I went to the movies by myself, which I think means I crossed a goal off of Bri’s list, haha!

I love John Deacon, and I totally had a crush on Joseph Mazzello back in the day, so the fact that he, of all people, played John Deacon was basically 🤯🤯. And he is so good! Why can’t he be in more things!?

  • Switching gears to a different movie! Because I love Milo Manheim on this season of DWTS, I made Pops watch the Disney movie that he’s in, Zombies, with me this week, and it’s pretty darn cute. It’s basically High School Musical with zombies. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  •  Lastly, I’m obviously Team Witlo, but I did love Alexis and Alan’s jive this week. Ridiculous ‘80s exercise video vibes, a plethora of sequins, and “Yes” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack?! HERE FOR IT.

Hope you have a great weekend! xo


High Five for Friday: November 9


Happy Friday! Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • Saturday night was the Halloween party I’d mentioned a few weeks back, and my “brilliant” Halloween costume idea was a huge success! I enlisted my friend Russell to be the Inspector Gadget to my Penny! I’m pretty dang happy with how it turned out! Cheap eBay trench coat ftw!

We also made some pretty sweet props! (Sidenote that Penny was WAY ahead of her time—she basically had an Apple Watch and an iPad in the ‘80s!)

Possibly the most unique usage of Gretchen Rubin’s  Better Than Before ! 😂😂

Possibly the most unique usage of Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before! 😂😂

  • Also on Saturday, I busted out my DSLR and took some pictures of pretty leaves! (One of my November goals! ✔️) Pops accompanied me, thinking we were going on an actual walk and not a “stop and gawk”—whoops! #PoorPops
  • Speaking of goals, you might have noticed that I’ve been very meh with my goals posts for the past few months. I don’t know what my deal is, but I just am not excited about those posts right now. I do still want to set some small goals though... enter Instagram. I shared a few goals for October on there on a whim last month, and it really did help, so I’m back at it this month! Also, Gretchen Rubin liked this post!! (If she only knew I turned her book into a “computer”! 😂)


  • I’m staying with my beloved Pudgie Princess for a few days! Look at this precious angel I’M DYING. (Also from cat dander, tragically. WHY WON’T MY BODY LET ME LIVE MY BEST LIFE? 😭😭)
Working hard, or hardly working?  

Working hard, or hardly working?  

  • Lastly, this has definitely been the song of the week. It’s so ridiculously catchy. And it was apparently the B-side to “Last Christmas,” so if that doesn’t sell you on it (besides the fact that it’s, you know, WHAM!), I don’t know what will! Go ahead—choose life.

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

High Five for Friday: November 2


I hope your week had some sparkle! Here’s what put the ✨ in mine:

  • Somehow, Pops convinced me to stay up and watch when World Series game 3 went into extra innings last Friday night. Since it wasn’t a weeknight, and I thought the game would go til maybe midnight, sure, why not?

HAHAHAHAHA IT WENT TIL 3:30 AM. OH OK. Pops, lover of all things Cali, is pro-Dodgers, so I was cheering for them too, and after about 1:30 AM, I had to pace whenever the Red Sox were up—I WAS SO STRESSED. Thank god the Dodgers won! Even though they ended up losing the series, I don’t think I could have handled them losing that game!

God bless you, Max Muncy!

God bless you, Max Muncy!

  • Is anyone else pumped for Bohemian Rhapsody?! Seeing the commercials has got me listening to a lot of Queen, especially their iconic performance at Live Aid. My parents taped Live Aid off the TV when it originally aired, and I watched it in high school while working on a research paper about U2 (who also had an iconic  performance there). I was mesmerized by Freddie Mercury dancing with the microphone stand during “Radio GaGa.” So if you’ve never seen it, you’re welcome!

  • I’m starting to realize that I will do fun things (or just basic things, like leaving the house) on the weekend if I give myself chill time too. My introvert self really needs that balance. So after this past Saturday got away from me, thanks to getting out of bed at 11:30 (see above) and then having family stuff at night, I gave myself Sunday to regroup at home—get the wash done, get myself organized for the week etc.—but I also lit a fun candle (who even am I??) and took Days breaks so it didn’t feel like a total grind.

  • I had a delightful fall morning on Tuesday! My one therapist’s office is tucked away in the cutest neighborhood, so after therapy, I walked around and soaked up some of the beautiful foliage! Somewhere over the past few years, I’ve become a fall person—didn't see that one coming! And then I stopped at Starbucks on the way home and picked up a PSL. I’m not their biggest fan, but I do need 1-2 a year in celebration of the season! #basic

  • Lastly, you might recall that, in August, I set out to document my daily outfits, as I have for the past three Augusts. But some stuff happened this August that brought up a ton of anxiety and emotion, and I just couldn’t post cute, smiley Instagram pictures when I was dying inside. (I did eventually start commenting on my emotional state in my Instagram posts, but that wasn’t exactly an enjoyable exercise either.) I just wanted to speed up time so that things would hurt less. Well, here we are, two months later, and that bad stuff hurts way less. I feel like I’m dealing with a normal, non-incapacitating level of anxiety these days. When I was in it, I thought it would never end, but hey, here I am. “This too shall pass,” I guess. Anyway, here’s one of my favorite pics from the second half of Outfit Documentation August (aka October!)!

Hope you have a great weekend and had a great Halloween! (My super health-conscious dad ate a fun-size Snickers AND a mini Baby Ruth, so it was a wild time here! 😂) xo

h54f logo square.jpg

October 2018 Budget


October was a v low-key spending month, especially compared to September! I only bought two things, both from Glossier:

  1. Milky Jelly Cleanser (Glossier): $18

  2. Lip Gloss (Glossier): $14

TOTAL: $32

I had racked up quite a bit on my credit card in September, so I definitely needed to avoid shopping (for the most part) in October! The Milky Jelly Cleanser was just a replacement (it’s been my go-to cleanser for over a year), and I threw in the Lip Gloss (which I’d had my eye on for awhile) to get free shipping. The Lip Gloss is… okay. Although it’s supposed to be clear, I feel like it somehow makes my lips look this nice shade of pink. My main issue is how sticky it is. I actually like a thick, sticky lip gloss, but this one is REALLY sticky. Like, to the point of feeling weird or unpleasant. I don’t know. I haven’t used it a ton, but that’s where I’m at right now. If you’re contemplating a Glossier lip product, I’d say go with the Balm Dot Com—I love the cherry one and use it all the time.

What are your favorite lip products that I need to try?

High Five for Friday: October 26


I hope your week had some sparkle! Here’s what put the ✨ in mine:

  • On Saturday, my aunt got married in a lovely ceremony! And I had the honor of doing a reading, aww! The dinner afterwards was on a beautiful golf course, and I immediately seized upon that for my OOTD, haha! 

The shoes are the only part of this outfit that’s new, and they only cost $10 🙌🏻

The shoes are the only part of this outfit that’s new, and they only cost $10 🙌🏻

  • Equally exciting for this introvert was being home in my pjs watching Days by 9:00 PM! 😂 I’m not a high-energy person by any means, but I was super wiped out (annnd I ended up having a fever on Monday, so I guess this was a portent of things to come!). So I spent Saturday night lying around watching old Will Horton scenes, and it was DELIGHTFUL. I started watching WilSon because I thought Sonny was cute, but unfortunately, Sonny is also perfect and boring! I’ve totally fallen love with Will because he’s such a mess, and Chandler Massey imbues him with such realness and humor and raw emotion that just kills me. I also love EJ and Sami now too, and boy are they a hot mess! I guess that’s just my jam!

So on trend for fall

So on trend for fall

THIS POOR KID 😭😭 (seriously, he is the best crier)

THIS POOR KID 😭😭 (seriously, he is the best crier)

  • After yoga on Sunday, I met up with Kristin and her bf at an outdoor market a few blocks from the yoga studio. Even though it was freezing (ok, it was only in the 40s, but I busted out my big winter coat and it was not enough!), we had a lot of fun, and Kristin gifted me a Gritty pin! 😂😂 #philly

  • In my feverish haze on Monday night, the perfect Halloween costume came to me in a flash of brilliance! I’m not a Halloween person at all, but I need a costume for a party, and I’d been totally stumped. Now I’m in business—I just have to find all the necessary clothing items!


  • Lastly, I’ve finally moved away from Justin Bieber this week and right into the arms of Demi Lovato. “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Tell Me You Love Me” have been getting me through the work week. Her songs are always so sassy and confident. I want to channel that! 💃💃

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

How Five for Friday: October 19


I hope y’all had some sparkle in your week! Here’s what put the sparkle in mine:

  • I ended up teaching yoga in the yurt on Saturday! Although the yurt is a lovely setting, it was out of necessity—I found myself locked out of the main building when I got there! AH! So I immediately ran around trying all the doors and then I spotted the yurt—which thankfully was open! And had a handful of mats and props, hooray! The experience reminded me that, despite all of my anxiety, I’m actually usually ok when things go awry—I can handle it, and I do find solutions. (Just like when this happened.) I expect myself to fall apart, but in reality, I usually don’t. Like most of us, I’m stronger than I know. 💪🏻


  • After yoga, I drove back home and went to Benihana with Kristin, her bf, and another friend of theirs, and it was so much fun. I mean, of course it was—commemorative cat glasses were had!


And we stood around freezing in the parking lot for an hour afterwards taking pictures and personality tests! Kristin and I often joke about this Simpsons moment, and after our big night out, we were like “Lou and Wiggum would be jealous!” 😂😂

  • On Sunday night, I rearranged my room a bit, and it has made my life 100 times better. I repositioned my desk and now can get around my bed without bumping into things—WHAT A THRILL!

  • I went ice skating again on Tuesday, and it was a total blast! It was the first time I went by myself and felt like the fun outweighed my self-consciousness or fear of falling. I used to love ice skating as a kid, and I felt like I got to really reconnect with that part of myself this week. ❤️

PS I’m documenting my OOTDs on Instagram now through the end of the month, if you want to follow along: @jessie_face4! 😘 

  • You guys, I think I lied last week when I said I wasn’t a Belieber... because I’ve been listening to “Sorry” and “Let Me Love You” nonstop. 😬 And also Maroon 5 songs from Red Pill Blues that sound Bieberish (namely “Don’t Wanna Know” and “Wait”). I guess this is just my vibe right now. Is it too late now to say sorry?

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

High Five for Friday: October 12


Let’s see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • Yoga and sushi with Maggie! I hadn’t seen my dear Maggie since she graciously let me pace around her room when I was super freaked out in August, so a meet-up was way overdue! I invited her to the recovery yoga class that I sometimes go to, and dream of dreams, no one else showed up! (Sidenote that I was also a wildly anxious mess the last time I took a class with this teacher, and I’ve been feeling a lot better lately, so that was a nice benchmark/reminder!) So Maggie and I got a super-chill private yoga class and then caught up at my favorite sushi place. What a delightful start to the weekend! ❤️

  • Ice skating! I used to love ice skating when I was a kid, and even though it’s infinitely more terrifying (and tiring) now, it’s still so exhilarating! I had a great time skating with a grand total of seven other people to some Beatles tunes on Tuesday (aka John Lennon’s birthday).

It took great effort to stop at a spot away from the boards! I was still moving in my first several attempts at this shot 😂

It took great effort to stop at a spot away from the boards! I was still moving in my first several attempts at this shot 😂

  • Days, Wendy’s, and cats with Kristin! Kristin is just the best. A true gem that you can blather to about anything under the sun and then watch soaps with. Bonus that this guy sat on me (!!) for awhile but was not impressed with John’s explanation for why he switched comatose Marlena with Hattie. 😴

So over the Jarlena drama

So over the Jarlena drama

  • Reading! I started Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before again, and I’m really enjoying it—and enjoying reading in general, which is not typical for this burned-out former English major! I think it helps that it only takes like 20 minutes to read a chapter. And that there are a lot of “ohhhh” moments. 💡

  • Music that was popular three years ago! Apparently, I’m all about the throwback jams right now, although we’re not going back to 2005 this time. I’m no Belieber, but I loved this song in 2015 and am back to listening to it on repeat! “What do you mean” indeed.

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

High Five for Friday: October 5


Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • I had a lot of boring stuff to do last Saturday night, so I spent the afternoon on a bit of a shopping spree at Target with my birthday gift cards! 😍
You can find more info/links to the clothes in my  September budget  post!

You can find more info/links to the clothes in my September budget post!

  • Kristin sent me the link to this quiz, and it low-key blew my mind (even though I had started Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before eons ago).
I’m an Obliger, which is basically a people-pleaser. 😣

I’m an Obliger, which is basically a people-pleaser. 😣

I am the worst at fulfilling inner expectations, and I always feel bad about myself for it. So these results were really helpful in showing me that a.) maybe I’m not the worst (🎉) and b.) maybe there’s a way to work with this tendency of mine! Because of all this, I’ve started listening to Gretchen’s Happier podcast again, and it’s been very eye-opening and enjoyable!  

  • On Sunday, I went to a baby shower for one of the YTT gals! It was so nice to have a little reunion with some of those lovely ladies! Bonus that it was held in a gorgeous barn, and that there were cupcakes galore! 
  • The weather hasn’t been particularly fall-like, and I am loving it! Give me pretty leaves with 70 degree weather, and I’m a happy camper!
  • Lastly, I’m really enjoying the new season of DWTS! Everyone is so good and amazingly not annoying me yet! (And it’s been two whole weeks! 😂) This dance is crazy good, but I’ve also been playing this song nonstop ever since! 💃 (“New Dorp. New York” by SBTRKT)

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

September 2018 Budget


Between Timmi being here and me having a bunch of birthday gift cards, I went a little nuts with the shopping in September! 😬💸

  1. Xhilaration Sleep Sweatshirt (Target): $17 on sale for $12 - gift card = $0

  2. A New Day Skinny Utility Chino Pants (Target): $20 - gift card = $0

  3. Mario Tee (Old Navy): $17 on sale for $7

  4. Space-Print Pocket Tee for Boys (Old Navy): $13  on sale for $8

  5. Amethyst bracelet: $14

  6. Chakra bracelet: $22

  7. Plant tank top: $13

Not pictured:

  1. A New Day V-Neck Cardigan (Target): $23 - gift card = $0

  2. Brash Naomi Block Heel (Payless): $30 on sale for $10

  3. Printed Tulip Short (Primark link to similar): $8 on sale for $2

  4. High-Neck Tank Top (Old Navy): $13 on sale for $3

  5. Blouse (H&M): $18 - gift card = $0

  6. Jorts (H&M): $12 on sale for $7 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $79

WOW, that Visa gift card and four Target gift cards really paid off! I’m sorry I didn’t link to a lot of things—they were either sold out, or I just couldn’t find them online!

Let’s start our chat with the plant tank top because it makes me so happy! It was such a random find—Timmi and I spotted it in a co-op two blocks from my therapist’s office! I very much associate plants with Timmi (peep her IG to see why!), so it’s really the perfect thing to remind me of her. Actually, all of the things I bought when she was here make me smile and have been great reminders of how much fun we had. She actually bought the bracelets for me because I had to sprint off to therapy! And she likes to play with gender constructs in fashion, so she urged me to go out of my comfort zone and explore the boys’ and men’s sections at Old Navy, leading me to the satellite t-shirt! (As we saw with that lunar tank top last month, I’m really into a space vibe these days!) 🚀

As you might have seen on my Insta Stories this past weekend, I went HAM with four of my Target gift cards! I’ve been looking for olive pants foreverrr, so I was pumped to finally find a pair that were the right color and fit pretty well! (I feel like I must have weird proportions because pants are often snug in the legs and kind of loose in the waist? Is this a typical thing?) I kept on this green theme with my new cardigan too. Almost all of my cardigans are grey or black—I needed some color! And the sweatshirt is super-soft and a little bit bat-wingy (surely a technical term), which is a look that I’m into (🤷🏼‍♀️) and makes it a little different from my other sweatshirts.

Lastly, I had been on a quest to get new shorts this summer but only found one pair I liked... until those fall sales started! 💃 I found both pairs of shorts above on my shopping trip for a wedding dress and shoes that was otherwise a bust—which is why I ended up buying the Payless shoes. I think they could work with any of the dresses I currently have, and it’s seeming likely that I’m just going to wear one of those to the wedding. Plus, $10 is about all I ever want to spend on dress-up shoes, haha!

Did you find anything fun this month?

High Five for Friday: September 28


Happy Friday! Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week:

  • On Friday night, I stopped by the mall near work to look for a dress and/or shoes for an upcoming wedding. Naturally, I came home with a blouse and two pairs of shorts! I’d only been looking for shorts all summer. 🙄 At least they were $9 total, holla! On my drive home, I had a grand ol’ time belting out Dua Lipa’s “Blow Your Mind” — it was legitimately cathartic to be so sassy! 💃


  • On Saturday, I got a long overdue haircut! I’ve been getting Deva Cuts for a few years now, and they work really well for my super thick, wavy hair. I love how it turned out! The stylist also gave me some ideas for idiot-proof wedding hair styles, which I definitely need. If you have any suggestions, let ya girl know!
  • Afterwards, I hung out with one of my grad school friends who I feel like I’ve known for ten lifetimes. Our friendship has evolved in such wild ways since he showed up in Postmodernism class in 2010! Anyway, he was very supportive and helpful when I was a mess last month, so I wanted to treat him to “Thanks for listening to my bullshit” ice cream. 😂 After that, we partied like it was 1993 and played some awesome Sega Genesis games!
I still can’t get past the Cave of Wonders 😭

I still can’t get past the Cave of Wonders 😭

  • After skipping my usual yoga class two Sundays ago because I was coughing uncontrollably, I went back this week and was shocked by how tight my muscles were! I mean, I’m not a flexible person (like at all), but yikes, I didn’t realize what a difference just missing a week would make! I was also happy to be back because I love this class—it’s Trauma-Sensitive, which is my fave type (no touching ftw!), and it’s so gentle that I can do a lot of it with my eyes closed, which helps me to kind of forget about the outside world and tune into myself.


  • Lastly, I’m still powering through the original WilSon storyline on Days, and this moment made me giggle:

I was like, Why the heck does Will have this random Band-Aid on his stomach? Oh that’s right, he was just shot like five minutes ago. The medical care in Salem is clearly top-notch. 😂 God love ya soaps, never change.  ❤️

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

High Five for Friday: September 21


I think I’m finally on the mend, so let’s see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • I still wasn’t feeling great on Sunday, but after spending the morning watching old Days (a great series of scenes in which people are trying to steal evidence and naturally end up hiding in closets and the like), I managed to be productive! I went to Target and bought only what I came for (😱), I got my poor, filthy car washed, and I sorted through like two months of mail! Even though I was just doing dumb errands, the act of being productive and sort of “adulting” definitely helped me to feel better, at least anxiety-wise!
Seeing  The Baby-sitters Club  books at Target made me so happy! Yay that another generation will get to befriend these girls like I did!

Seeing The Baby-sitters Club books at Target made me so happy! Yay that another generation will get to befriend these girls like I did!

  • In case you were worried, I’m still having random encounters with soap actors on IG! 😂 On Tuesday, I woke up to see that Lilly Melgar (aka Sonny’s first wife Lily on GH) had followed me! She also liked a bunch of my pics, so we’re clearly BFFs now. I think she’s the first soap related person who’s followed me, so I’m moving on up! C’mon Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey! 🤞🏻🤞🏻 (Perhaps flowers and Elton John are not relevant to their interests? haha)
  • I’m also still having close encounters of the cat kind! On Tuesday night, I got a phone call from Pops when he pulled up at home: “There’s a white cat loafing around out here for you!” 

Oh, Snowball. (Which is not her actual name of course.) We think she lives with Cinnamon and Brindle Pinky, but she’s been turning up in our driveway lately, for some reason. This was my first interaction with her, and she did eventually come over and rub on me for like .5 seconds before I somehow spooked her and sent her running. 😭


  • Darren Criss won an Emmy! I couldn’t actually watch more than one episode of the Gianni Versace mini-series because it freaked me out too much, but he was so good in the pilot. Did I ever mention that I went to a concert of his back in 2013 and it was hilariously terrifying? Yeah, I was supposed to meet my roommate there, but coming late meant that I had to shove my way through a crowd of furious teens! They would literally block my way and yell at me! Like, I get that it’s annoying to have someone show up late and try to get near the stage, but I was at work! I’m sorry, kids! I just kept apologizing profusely the whole time and then finally found Deena, thank god! 


  • Lastly, this song has been in heavy rotation since last week because I apparently want it to be freshman year of college again! (And I didn’t even love this song back then! 😂) It’s just hitting me in the feels right now.

Oh, and I shared what I bought in August on Monday—lots of stuff from Target! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

August 2018 Budget


Well, I went a little nuts in my birthday month! 😬 It was also an emotional rollercoaster of a month, and I was not as disciplined with the retail therapy as I have been in months past whoops.

  1. “Introvert” t-shirt (Target): $15

  2. “Love you to the moon and back” tank top (Target): $15

  3. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (The Ordinary): $7

  4. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (The Ordinary): $8

  5. Glycolic 7% Toning Solution (The Ordinary): $9

  6. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (The Ordinary): $6

  7. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (The Ordinary): $6

Not pictured:

  1. A New Day Heartly sandal (Target): $20 on sale for $14

  2. High-Waist Moto Leggings (Target, sold out): $15 on sale for $7

TOTAL: $87

In comparison to the months where I spent hundreds of dollars shopping, $87 ain’t bad. And I LOVE the Target shirts and have already worn them several times! I usually try to wait for sales there, but the “Introvert” shirt just spoke to my soul, and I’m really feeling a space/lunar vibe these days (plus purple—how could I resist?). I also really appreciate that the text “Love you to the moon and back” is really small (it’s not my favorite saying)… although that has caused several people to go “Wait, what does your shirt say?” and make more of an effort to read it! Kind of opposite of the effect I’m going for haha!

It’s a shame that the moto leggings from Target are sold out because they are super soft! I legit tried them on last September and had self-control for 11 months! 😂

The sandals were an unexpected purchase back when Karuna and I raided Target’s shoe section! They’re… okay. I wanted a flat black sandal, so they definitely fulfill that need, but they’re not the most comfortable, and they’re a little big—I probably should have gone a half size down. (My feet are super narrow, so I’m only a 7 in theory haha.)

Lastly, I had been wanting to try The Ordinary for awhile, and I feel like the last time I looked them up, they would have been shipped from another country. But now that they’re on Beautylish, they’re so easy to buy! The products I picked were all geared to my skin concerns: redness, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, and dark under-eye circles. I don’t know that I’ve noticed much in the way of changes, but I have sensitive skin, and no product has irritated it or made anything worse, so that’s a win! And none of the products has an annoying smell, which I deeply appreciate!

What did you buy last month?

High Five for Friday: September 14


Well, this was an interesting week! I got sick on Sunday, didn’t leave the house for a few days, and now am in the sounding-like-death-and-coughing-up-a-lung stage of my cold. EVERYTHING IS GREAT. Seriously, though, here’s what brought the sparkle:

  • On Wednesday morning, Pops and I bought tickets to see Elton John… that night! He really puts on a great show. (I mean, he’s 71 and played for 2.5 hours straight! I can’t even get off my couch half the time!) So many of his songs are woven into my life in heartwarming ways. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” was one of my first favorite songs when I discovered the classic rock station in seventh grade. I’m pretty sure “Tiny Dancer” was played at our junior prom (and I think I even danced with my date to it!). My bffl and I love “Benny and the Jets.” “Your Song” was played at that retreat I went to in January. “Philadelphia Freedom” played on the news the morning after that epic Flyers-Pens five overtime game in 2000. “Take Me to the Pilot” is a more recent jam that I love, and I was super pumped that he did it. GAH sorry to babble, but it was just a great great time. ❤️

#mood ✨🌈🦄

#mood ✨🌈🦄

  • Guys, a new soap opera has captured my heart! (gasp!) A few weeks ago, my friend showed me this ridiculous wedding episode of Days of Our Lives in which some chick’s fake teeth get knocked out in a melee and land in the bride’s bouquet. (Seriously. God, I love soaps.). But the other big thing happening in this episode, two dudes in tuxes crying the whole time, eventually stole my attention. (The one guy had just gotten his memory back, of course, hence the waterworks.) We quickly learned that they are Will and Sonny, a Days supercouple (!!). I’ve been catching up on their original falling in love story, and my heart can’t take it. They have such great chemistry, Chandler Massey is an amazing crier, and he and Freddie Smith are both v cute. To quote Cynthia Rose in Pitch Perfect: I’M ALL IN, BITCHES.

hilar but also #tooreal

hilar but also #tooreal

  • Back to classic rock... this has been the song of the week. I love Led Zeppelin and somehow had never heard “Bron-Yr-Aur” until this week. (What a fail!) It’s such a cute, jaunty acoustic instrumental!

  • Since this week is National Suicide Prevention Week, I feel like I need to say something on that topic... although it’s really something that I talk about and think about all the time. I mean, I struggled with suicidal thoughts for years. The first one I can remember happened in September of my freshman year of high school. I was going to my first-choice school, with a lot of good friends, but the emotions and anxiety that this life change brought on completely overwhelmed me. (9/11 had just happened too, and for a such a sensitive kid, that couldn’t have helped.) All I wanted was for the feelings to go away; I couldn’t live with them. Enter suicide. Once that option presented itself and brought relief instead of fear, it was an open escape hatch for the next 12 years… until I accidentally told a friend about these thoughts in a very triggered moment. Today, after five years of therapy, and inpatient, and healing retreats, I can honestly say that suicide no longer has the same allure. Yeah, I still get triggered (… a lot) and struggle with a great many things, but I’m still here and have other ways to cope. It IS possible to disentangle yourself from suicide. ❤️❤️

  • And if that doesn’t bolster your spirits, this inspirational message surely will! 😂

I’m glad that everyone else is is equally passionate about the correct spelling of the album haha!

I’m glad that everyone else is is equally passionate about the correct spelling of the album haha!

Have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg

High Five for Friday: September 7


My oh my, what a whirlwind week! I think Timmi and I lived ten lives in four days! 😂 Here’s what brought the sparkle:

  • On Saturday, I was introduced to the Irish sport of camogie, the real reason Timmi was home (to play in a camogie tournament). Like the good Irish lass I am, I had no idea what was going on at any point. You can catch the ball, and throw it and hit it, and run with it, and balance it on your stick, and score goals, but also field goals too? 🤷🏼‍♀️ All I know is that Timmi played, and then we ended up in an accidental rave afterparty, and I found myself dancing to “Barbie Girl” with a lot of drunk girls. (I was completely sober and couldn’t understand how other people were resisting the siren song of terrible 90s jams!) It was WAY out of my comfort zone and also a blast. 
  • On Sunday, I took Timmi to my fave yoga class, and then we went to a BBQ with her extended family... and I beat them all at Apples to Apples! Whoops. 😬
  • On Monday, I continued to be Timmi’s adopted sister, and we continued our trend of accidentally going to cultural events by attending the German festival in the Northeast with her fam. 

We followed that up with a game of Cards Against Humanity that I did not win, so I’m allowed to come to future family events lol.


  • Then on Tuesday, Timmi’s last day in PA, we basically lost our minds and crammed ALL THE THINGS into one day! We started out with ice skating, then I had therapy, then we had a delicious ice cream sandwich break (if you’re in Philly, Zsa's is amazing), then we went to Play It Again Sports so Timmi could get elbow pads (she started playing ice hockey this week) and I ended up getting hockey skates (#yolo), then we popped into another cool crystal shop and I went to therapy appt #2, and we finished up the day by finding some steals at Old Navy before crashing at her place with Whole Foods’ chicken clusters (also delish) and House Hunters International. I have the energy level (and temperament) of a 90 year old woman, so I’m amazed I survived! But it was such a fun day, and I was basically like, TIMMI, PLEASE DON’T LEAVE! 😩


 “Well, I guess this is happening.” 

 “Well, I guess this is happening.” 

  • I'll finish with this IG post (sorry for reposting some of the pics above), since it really conveys my feelings on the week, and I'm about to crash because, like I said, I'm a 90 year old woman! 👵🏻

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

h54f logo square.jpg