To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: June 23


Oh, what a week it's been! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Last Friday, I didn't feel like going straight home after work, so I found the Home Goods near work and hung out there! (I never go to Home Goods, so I don't know what got into me!) I somehow did not buy unicorn + donut wrapping paper but could not resist this little box with what is clearly my spirit animal on it:
Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

I also bought this sparkly amethyst-y rock from the sale rack because I'd been wanting something like it for awhile! (Also, purple sparkles. Need I say more?)

Casual Thursday sparkles ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’œโœจ

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  • Father's Day was super chill and included watching the US Open (๐Ÿ˜ด) and getting ice cream from Pops' fave place. I have to say, Pops is truly the best. When I was a kid, he totally embraced the both-mom-and-dad role that opens up following a divorce (as I lived with him most of the time) and is just the kindest, most optimistic person there is. I can very easily be a Negative Nelly, so I really hope to be more like him one day. 
Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 

Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

  • On Monday, I had a great textversation with one of my dear grad school friends, which was much appreciated after a real Come to Jesus therapy session earlier in the day. Ashley's positivity and commiseration were just what I needed. ๐Ÿ’– 


  • And lastly, a Weird-Ass Movie of the Week! St. Elmo's Fire was randomly on on Saturday, and it's so dumb but somehow way more engaging than I remember. And this line will never get old (as I've texted it to my poor friend Kristin almost every day since): 
Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: June 16


I definitely lost my mind this week, and yet, it contributed to the sparkle!

  • Despite my love of flowers, I am not an outdoorsy person. My fear of bugs and ability to sunburn in two seconds really puts a damper on outdoor time usually. But for some reason, I really wanted to hang out in our backyard on Saturday. And I wanted to meditate! WUT. Totally lost it. And it was delightful.

I just took my yoga mat outside, found a shady spot, and listened to the Calm app. Afterward, I worked on Lavendaire's questions about finding your life's purpose (one of my June goals). It was an unexpectedly great afternoon! 


  • Speaking of the Calm app, the following quote from it really stuck with me, as someone whose anxiety is perpetually at war with the present moment. 
  • I also made it back to the 7 AM hatha class this week! Yay! Maybe the meditation/insanity helped! ๐Ÿ˜‚


  • In addition to not being an outdoorsy person, I'm also not a theater person. Like, I wouldn't know who Patti LuPone is if not for Will and Grace. But when Pitch Perfect was on last week and Pops happened to mention that my boy Benji (aka Ben Platt) was up for a Tony ("How do you know that?!" "Oh, it was in the USA Today!" #duh), I was like WE HAVE TO WATCH! So obviously I was psyched that he won! And his speech was so great!

"The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful." PREACH ๐Ÿ™Œโค๏ธ


  • Lastly, this week's Weird-Ass Song of the Week is a Bee Gees' song I'd somehow never heard before! When I was at the Rite-Aid on Tuesday afternoon getting Peanut M&Ms (as one does), "Lonely Days" happened to be playing, and I was like WHAT IS THIS CATCHY SONG?! I promptly went back to my desk and googled it. And it has been stuck in my head ever since. And the video is morose '70s perfection. You're welcome.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I'm celebrating one year with my lil' babydoll car! โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿš—

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

One year!


May 31st was my one-year car-iversary!! Which is still slightly hard to believe given my previous fear of driving! (You can read about how I did exposure therapy for that here.)

I thought it might be fun to look at year one (and my history with driving overall) by the numbers, so here they are!

1: Number of tries it took me to get my license (...after many driving lessons)

19: Age at which I got my license

29: Age at which I bought my car

23: Age at which I first drove by myself

3: Months of exposure therapy

10: Months between ending exposure and buying a car (๐Ÿ˜ฎ totally did not anticipate that when I started exposure!)

Hop in, Calico Pinky!

Hop in, Calico Pinky!

28.8: Miles to work every day

21: Number of highway miles to work

5:50: Time I used to get up in the morning for my public transportation commute ๐Ÿ˜ด

8:15: Time I usually get up now

2:10: Typical length of my commute via public transportation

:40: Typical length of my commute via car


1: Number of passengers I've had that are not related to me (shout-out to Kate Reynolds!)

66: Miles one way on my longest drive to date

14,976: Total miles driven in year 1 (+ two weeks)

1: Number of times I popped the hood instead of the gas tank ๐Ÿ˜‚

1: Legitimate near-accidents (a number my scared-of-driving-self thought would be much higher!)

12: Months as a car owner ๐ŸŽ‚


Even though I wasn't driving before 2015, I had always thought that I would drive eventually--just some time in the very distant future. So when I got the keychain above as a present at Ring Mass in high school, I put it away because it was so pretty that I only wanted to use it on my future car keys. Fast-forward to me finding it a few weeks ago and honoring my 17-year-old self's wishes by adding it to my car keys. โค๏ธ Those "someday" dreams can definitely come true.

High Five for Friday: June 9


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

  • The therapy garden was bringing its A game on Tuesday, brightening up an otherwise dreary day! 


  • Look who came back to visit this week!! Cinnamon! Eeeee! I accidentally tapped the window while taking pics of her and got this face in response: 
CAN U NOT? Maybe she knew that a poodle had practically followed me home earlier that day (to which I thought CAN U NOT?). ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

CAN U NOT? Maybe she knew that a poodle had practically followed me home earlier that day (to which I thought CAN U NOT?). ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

  • I've started drawing Healing with the Angels oracle cards every few nights before bed. It's every few nights (rather than every night) because I usually need more time contemplate them, as they've been insanely accurate. Like this one from Wednesday, for instance:
PLANTS AND ANIMALS YOU SAY??? Don't mind if I do!

PLANTS AND ANIMALS YOU SAY??? Don't mind if I do!

  • In honor of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's being released, the local classic rock station played the entire Beatles catalog from A-Z over the weekend. My bffl and I LOVED the Beatles in college, so I do know the entire catalog, which made this very exciting indeed! I haven't heard some of those deep cuts ("Martha My Dear"! "I'm So Tired"! "You Never Give Me Your Money"!), in awhile, and they definitely livened up my drive to Reading on Sunday! It's funny how all the words come right back to you!


  • And lastly, I was waaay too excited to get 100% on this quiz. I'm basically a doctor, you guys. (I feel like I should get extra points for acing it while sitting in the Starbucks drive-thru line haha!)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

June goals


Only four goals on the white board this month because I inadvertently accomplished goal #5 yesterday! ๐Ÿ’ช


1. I'm realizing that I am not a very future-oriented person. Like, I have a bunch of big bills that are due in the beginning of the month, which means that I tend to have more "extra" money left over in the second half of the month when there are less bills. In theory, I could put some of that "extra" money aside for the beginning of the next month so that I'm not broke then, BUT I NEVER DO. AND I'M ALWAYS SHOCKED TO FIND THAT I HAVE NO MONEY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH. Like, come on, girl. In trying to fix my budgeting issues (one of last month's goals), I realized that I've pretty much just been using YNAB as an online version of how I budget in my planner... which is literally paycheck to paycheck. Hmm. So I want to do something toward breaking that pattern, hence putting aside some of this "extra" money (most likely into an account that I don't use regularly so I can't touch it) to use for those beginning-of-the-month bills.

2. In the name of curtailing impulse buys, I want to try a No Online Shop June. I seem to be much more disciplined when I'm physically in a store these days, whereas online, all bets are off. (And that really got me in trouble at the end of April when I ran amok on Glossier and Sephora's sites.) 

3. Ever since Timmi suggested that I try to incorporate something that makes me happy into my days, I've really been trying to do that, instead of just sleepwalking through routine, as I am apt to do. It seems to be making my days a bit brighter and also forces me to live in the moment more, instead of being five steps ahead because I "know" what's going to happen anyway.

4. Remember when I said that I'm not very future-oriented? Well, I recently started watching Lavendaire's YouTube videos again and doing a few of her worksheets to try to figure out what I want to do with my life/what I want my life to look like. She has a few other vision exercises that seem helpful, if only I would make time for them (hence this goal!).

Now let's see how May's goals went:

1. Use my energy as a guide: Hmm, sort of? I got a little better about not putting myself in the cage of "You must do this," which just stresses me out. The "Do things that make you happy" idea helped with this goal too.

2. Revamp budgeting: Half-Check, thanks to doing it entirely in the last few days haha! I haven't exactly "revamped" my budgeting, but I have noticed some flaws that I was oblivious to before and came up with some goals for this month that may help.

3. AM routine: No. Just no. But I've been feeling better in the mornings regardless, so hey, something is working!

4. Yoga: I only went to one or two classes last month, but that does count as "yoga," so I guess I can cross this goal off! I did legitimately miss a few classes due to illness and appointments, but I also just haven't been wanting to go lately. It's one of those things that I know will benefit me, but I just can't motivate myself to do it.

5. Shoulder exercises: Ehh Half-Check? I did the exercises a few times, but I also started using my trigger point massage balls again, which should help with these shoulder issues too.


What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: June 2


Well, I haven't known what day of the week it was all week, so thank god for this post--maybe I'll actually remember that today is Friday! ANYWAY, let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • I wanted to return the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Subversion Eyelash Primer I'd ordered, as I mentioned here, so I decided to do something a little different last Friday morning and start my day at Sephora! Playing with make-up was a much more fun start to the workday than usual! (I'm trying to get more creative with my work days instead of just sleepwalking through routine all the time!)


  • Saturday was the Hall and Oates show, and it was SO GOOD. I mean, they started with freaking "Family Man" (whaaat)! And Daryl Hall dropping references to Amoroso's rolls meant that the evening could be none more Philly haha! I was also reunited for my dear friend Sara ( for the occasion, which was just delightful!

๐ŸŽถShe's gonnnnnne๐ŸŽถ ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ#hallandoates

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  • But remember how I was excited that it was an afternoon concert? Yeahhh, about that... Turns out, it was a festival-type day, and Hall and Oates were the headliner, so they didn't go on until 9 PM. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Luckily, we discovered this the day before and planned accordingly (rolling in just in time for Tears for Fears' set!), but I was super freaked out about the nighttime aspect. Like, convincing myself that it's safe enough to go out during the day is a struggle, which makes going out at night (in the CITY!) extra challenging! So being able to feel scared but still go through with my plans was ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰.


  • Wednesday marked one year with my car! HOLY MOSES! I can't believe how fast the time went! I was so uneasy about committing to a car a year ago, and now, it's hard to envision life without one. And this time two years ago, driving by myself was the big accomplishment. Time sure flies! 
  • Lastly, on the Dr. Dolittle front... When I got home from Hall and Oates and went to go into our house, I was startled by a jingling bell and somebody with white paws leaping from our porch into a bush! UM, OKAY. I know that Calico Pinky wears a bell, so I was very excited about this development (she wants to live with meeee! ๐Ÿ’–). But then, when I was coming in the next night, I heard the jingling bell AGAIN! It was too dark for me to see anyone, but luckily, Pops was still in the car with the headlights on, and he ID'd CINNAMON as the perp! Of course! She's a nut and also seemingly hates humans! So I have no cat that wants to live with me and clearly not much excitement in my life. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

May 2017 budget


Sometimes, my anxiety gets channeled into a shopping quest, and this month, it clearly went into make-up and skincare!

  1. Sephora Collection Total Perfection Sponge: $12 - 10% off Beauty Insider sale = $11 (whoop de doo! lol)
  2. Glossier Phase 1 Set (includes Balm Dot Com, Milky Jelly Cleanser, and Priming Moisturizer): $45
  3. Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation: $28
  4. First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer (Sephora): $28
  5. Travel-size Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (Sephora): $13

Not pictured:

  1. LipSense Glossy Gloss: $24
  2. LipSense Lip Gloss in Icicle: $24
  3. Grey's Anatomy sweatshirt (Etsy): $43 (includes shipping, which was more than I'd anticipated!)

TOTAL: $216

WOW. That's the most money I've spent in one month in a looong time. Since December 2015, in fact! Yikes. I do have some ideas for reining in my spending in June, which I'll elaborate on in my next goals post.)

The most unexciting purchase is the Glossy Gloss, which I had run out of. I don't think I've ever used a whole tube of lip gloss in my life, so my love affair with LipSense is real. โค๏ธ  And I picked up the clear shade Icicle to layer with the two nude colors I have (First Love and Bombshell) and make them even more nude! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I never thought I would feel so passionate about a make-up sponge, but I am completely in love with the Sephora sponge! I've never tried a Beauty Blender, but reviewers on said that the Sephora sponge is similar and a cheaper alternative. (As freewheeling as I was with money this month, I'm still not prepared to spend $20 on a sponge!) The Sephora sponge is really soft and has worked great with every product I've tried it with so far. 

As for the Glossier set, I was intrigued when Fran raved about the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Balm Dot Com, and those are my faves from the set! (Also, I'm pretty sure everything in the set is full-size, which was a pleasant surprise.) The cleanser is sort of thick and feels really nice on the skin. I've been using it both in the morning and at night, and it hasn't bothered my skin at all! The Balm Dot Com is thick too and kind of melts into your lips, so it stays on for a long time--which is perfect for me since I tend to bite my lips if my lip products wear off. I've only tried the primer a few times and am meh about it.

I just bought the Sephora foundation, First Aid primer/moisturizer, and Nars concealer last Friday, so I haven't had much time to try them out, but I really like them so far! I forgot that Sephora has all of those fancy tools to analyze your skin tone and match products to it, and I think they really helped. (Who knew that I have a pink undertone?) Anyway, I was blown away by the foundation the first time I used it--I kept staring at myself in the mirror in shock that my skin looked that good! Now, I had actually ordered the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Subversion Eyelash Primer from Sephora online (along with the sponge), but I wound up returning both of them in favor of the Sephora Foundation, Nars concealer (a better match for my skin tone), First Aid primer/moisturizer. (Despite my initial love affair with the Subversion Eyelash Primer, it got gloopy really fast, womp.)

And if you've been to this blog before, then you know that I love Grey's! This is a purchase I'd been contemplating for awhile (seriously almost a year!), and because I lost my mind this month, I went for it. ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ  I explained a little more about why I was drawn to it here.

In the poorhouse. That's where they might end up.

In the poorhouse. That's where they might end up.

What did you get this month? 

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: May 26


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

  • The Iris Patrol struck again, spotting three new color variations, hooray!
Um, this one was in our backyard, and I had no idea until Pops alerted me to it. I only live here.ย 

Um, this one was in our backyard, and I had no idea until Pops alerted me to it. I only live here. 

  • I'm so totally psyched that Rashad and Emma won Dancing with the Stars!! I always like it when someone with no dance experience wins AND when an unlikely pro wins. (Especially Emma because I โค๏ธ  her. And Sasha too.) So, dream scenario! ๐Ÿ‘Œ 
  • On the Dr. Dolittle front: We occasionally see a chipmunk darting adorably around our back stoop, so imagine my surprise (and utter delight!) to find THREE CHIPMUNKS there on Wednesday!! So unbelievably cute! 

CHIPMUNK KISSES ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜ #yourewelcome #canteven

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I also got to see my gal Calico Pinky! Unfortunately, we were reunited at prime dog-walking time in our hood, and whenever she would see a dog, she would slink away and then come back to me once said dog was gone. SHE'S CLEARLY A GENIUS. #ProudNon-CatParent Otherwise, she just loafed on the sidewalk with me for awhile, which is dream scenario number two!



  • Ok, so I feel like a huge(-er than usual?) nerd for now owning Grey's-related clothing (which arrived this week!), but I just love those characters so much and can always count on Grey's to be calming background noise. So a cozy sweatshirt felt like the clothing representation of a comforting show, you know? And a rainy Thursday was the perfect day to wear it! 
  • Lastly, it's apparently time for me to circle back to watching some Supernatural (as happens periodically)... And with that comes Supernatural cons (which I mostly prefer, as I have no interest in the supernatural!). Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are so wacky and hilarious when rambling about everything under the sun.... and busting out their fave dance moves nbd. 

I feel like these faces pretty much sum up every con video.


Hope you have a great holiday weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: May 19


Let's see what put the sparkle into this week of summer weather!

  • On Monday, I came home to a lovely surprise package from Timmi! And it included TRIFORCE SOCKS. How amazing. Just looking at them makes the Zelda overworld theme pop into my head!
  • Coincidentally, I had been feeling pretty meh on Monday and had had a great text-versation with Timmi, who urged me to do more of what makes me happy in my free time. So on Tuesday morning, when I happened to stop for coffee in a neighborhood full of gorgeous flowers, I took full advantage! A warm sunny (post-therapy) morning, caffeine, and flowers?! Who could ask for anything more?! I was practically skipping! I got into work later than I'd wanted to, but I tried to remind myself that it was worth it to do something that put some sparkle into my day. (Also, I don't have set hours, so it's not like anyone cared what time I showed up at the office!)
This is totally what you picture when you think of Philly, right?ย 

This is totally what you picture when you think of Philly, right?ย 

The iris patrol strikes again!ย 

The iris patrol strikes again

So many pretty pansies!ย 

So many pretty pansies!ย 

  • Energized after prancing through the flowers, I finally decided to go to the Hall and Oates show in Philly next weekend. (I had been wrestling with this decision for at least a month. Crowds! Driving! PARKING! Oh my!) But I'm definitely going now! And I even found a friend to go with me!! And she is equally excited that the show is in the afternoon because we are two grandmas in a pod (or a retirement home)!


  • You know how sometimes there's just one dumb show or movie that you really want to watch, but it's somehow not on On Demand, Netflix, OR Amazon Instant Video? And then it miraculously happens to come on TV exactly when you want to watch it? Oh right, that never happens... except that it totally DID happen last Saturday with She's Out of My League, and I was WAY too excited about it, haha!
The "Branson Bound!" shirts will never not crack me up.ย 

The "Branson Bound!" shirts will never not crack me up. 

  • Finally, "Guac and Grey's" has become a Thursday night tradition in our house, so it definitely had to continue for last night's finale! 
Guac, frenzied Mer, and Alex's 15 second cameo--what's not to love?ย 

Guac, frenzied Mer, and Alex's 15 second cameo--what's not to love? 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: May 12


What a wing-ding wippie this week has been! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • One of my oldest friends (since first grade at least!) turned 30 last Saturday, so a bunch of us got together at our grade school's annual carnival to celebrate! While it was weird to be back (and to see people DRINKING in the gym and to buy a funnel cake from our former principal), it was great to see everyone!
  • I just happened to catch Beth Behrs promoting her new self-help/cookbook The Total ME-Tox on Kelly and Ryan last week and was shocked when she, stunning Hollywood starlet, started talking about her once very unhealthy and childlike diet. I too have the diet of a five year old, so I was intrigued. People like Pops (a known health nut) are always urging me to eat better, but I just can't seem to do it. It sort of feels like they're so far ahead of me on a path that I can't possibly get on from where I am. So the fact that Beth was once where I am now gave me hope, like, maybe a healthier, more adult diet is attainable, even for me. She also mentioned that changing her diet helped her anxiety, which I could definitely use! I had been looking for a lighthearted read anyway, so I promptly bought her book (thank you, leftover gift card from Christmas!), and I'm really enjoying her chill, funny, self-deprecating approach to healthy living--it's very encouraging and low-pressure.
  • In fact, I made the pesto from the cookbook last weekend, and it's SO GOOD. I've eaten it with veggies, pasta, chips, pretzels... can't get enough. Any time I make something involving the food processor that doesn't turn out disgusting (like most of my attempts at smoothies, wahhh), I feel so fancy and accomplished!


  • The one office I sometimes go to for therapy has a lovely garden, and it seems like something new and beautiful is in bloom every time I go there. Like this bunch of irises! (I had actually wanted to go flower creeping in my 'hood last weekend, specifically for irises, but didn't because the weather wasn't great... so I was doubly excited that the therapy garden came through for me!)


  • And an obvious highlight of my week was a reunion with my fuzzy bffl! I just love her so much, and she isn't even my cat! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ฉ (So imagine how much I would smother a cat of my very own!)

Hope you have a great weekend! (Especially if you're recovering from last night's insane pre-finale Grey's, like I am!) xo

High Five for Friday: May 5


A prelude to the sparkle: Yesterday morning, I got walloped with anxiety at work. Not because of anything actually happening at work, but because the thought of having to be there for eight hours practically had me hyperventilating. (This has happened to me, periodically, at every job I've ever had, unfortunately.) I managed to journal about it, and then, before I knew it, an hour had passed. And then, soon enough, I had survived the day. In the words of Walt Disney and Meet the Robinsons: Keep moving forward. The anxiety will pass, just don't give up. (This is a lesson I relearn on a daily basis!)

Now, let's see what put the sparkle into my week!

  • As I mentioned in my Goals post, I went ICE SKATING last Friday night! By my damn self! Truly a momentous occasion! ๐ŸŽ‰ For some reason, when I was at work on Friday, I felt like going ice skating, and because my therapist is urging me to pay attention to the things that give me energy, I didn't just push that impulse away as I normally would. I already knew of a few rinks near work, thanks to Pops' hockey coaching days, and one was having public skating on Friday night, so I went! And I was the oldest person there by about 15 years! (I was basically a chaperone like Miss Cuthbert in A League of Their Own--minus being called "a gorgeous stack of pancakes.") But I persevered and actually did pretty well! I didn't fall once, and the things I learned in my childhood ice skating lessons came right back to me! 
One bad-ass girl was skating backwards like a champ and playing on her phone, whereas I had to come to a complete stop near the boards to take this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‚

One bad-ass girl was skating backwards like a champ and playing on her phone, whereas I had to come to a complete stop near the boards to take this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • This cranky gal graced us with her presence once again! 

And on Wednesday, I followed up actual therapy with some cat therapy courtesy of Calico Pinky! She sat with me sunbathing for awhile, and I was obviously in heaven!! 

  • We also had a new and exotic visitor to our backyard this week: 

A TOAD. My response to Pops when he sent this picture was just "WUT" about five times. We live in a very suburban area, so HOW IS A TOAD IN OUR BACKYARD?!? Sadly, I never got to see him, as he had moved on by the time I got home from work, but what a weird development! 


  • After reading Fran's rave review of it, I added Urban Decay's Subversion eyelash primer to my Beauty Insider sale order from Sephora last week. I was half doing it just to get free shipping, convinced that it would do nothing for me and I would return it, but damn if my eyelashes don't look crazy long and full!!
Ok, firstly excuse this face: ๐Ÿ˜ ย But seriously. That's a layer of Subversion + freaking Cover Girl mascara. And no eyelash curling because that whole idea scares me. Like WHOA.ย 

Ok, firstly excuse this face: ๐Ÿ˜  But seriously. That's a layer of Subversion + freaking Cover Girl mascara. And no eyelash curling because that whole idea scares me. Like WHOA. 

  • And finally, instead of a Weird-Ass Song of the Week, here's a Weird-Ass Dance of the Week! Actually, David and Lindsay's "sci-fi salsa" is probably my favorite dance of this DWTS season so far! 

Also, this may be my new favorite song! So catchy! 

Well, that's a wrap! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

May 2017 goals


So fun fact: I think my depression came back a bit in April.  ๐Ÿ‘Ž  But my recent therapy sessions have been really deeply helpful in addressing the negative self-talk that just crushes me and makes me want to hide from life--stuff that would make anyone depressed!

So with that in mind, here's what's on the white board for May: 


1. Use my energy as a guide: I want to act more in response to my energy levels than my fears and feelings of obligation this month. When nearly everything is a "should," you're basically always forcing yourself to do things, and that isn't very fun. So I'm trying to change my perspective. Instead of forcing myself to be productive (which makes me want to rebel and be totally UNproductive), I'm going to try to notice what gives me energy and take cues from that. I've tried it a little bit already, and re-orienting myself from "Ugh I have to do this thing" to "I am choosing to do this thing" has been really helpful in alleviating anxious feelings of trapped-ness. And I don't have to plan five steps ahead if I know that I can just tune into my energy level at any time and see which available option I feel most excited about. 

2. Revamp budgeting: Another fun fact: I made a real budgeting boo-boo last month. I'm still not entirely sure how it happened, because I even double-checked my account and confirmed that I had available spending money before buying approx one million things online, but in the end, I did not have as much fun money as I thought I did. Eek. In addition to that budgeting blunder, I tend to go through a deprivation-binge kind of spending cycle each month. I don't have much disposable income at the beginning of the month, so I don't really spend any money for fun, and then I go overboard in the second half of the month. So I want to see if I can find a different approach to spending that helps me to avoid that tendency.

3. AM routine: I've started implementing a few small mindful gestures into my morning, and I want to keep it up. Just a few gentle stretches, setting an intention, and drawing one of Doreen Virtue's online cards. I am not a morning person, and this has been helping to keep me from being Major Buzzkill all day, and it's also a small enough change that I haven't immediately rebelled against it.

4. Yoga: Keep going to classes. 

5. Shoulder exercises: My posture is pretty terrible, especially re: my shoulders, and I tend to have a lot of shoulder and neck pain. Well, now that I've been doing yoga again, I can see just how frozen my shoulders are. Like, when we're instructed to stretch out long on the mat, I can't even do goal post arms. Yikes. So I want to try to loosen up my shoulders some this month!


And how did my April goals go?

1. Be curious about how things like sleep, diet, caffeine, exercise, water intake, etc. make me feel: Hmm... Honestly, I kind of forgot this was a goal! I mostly noticed how transitioning off of one medication made me feel exhausted. And I occasionally noticed that my questionable carb-centric eating habits made me feel sluggish or gross. 

2. Keep going to yoga: CHECK! The morning hatha class continues to be my favorite, despite forcing me to get up at 6 AM. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

3. Try chanting as a way to practice my breathing: Nope. Any sort of designated breathing practice makes me reallllly not want to do it.

4. Pay attention to when I order stuff from Amazon: Check! As I said before, I tend to have less disposable income at the beginning of the month, and sure enough, I didn't order anything from Amazon until 4/15. I didn't think I went too crazy with my Amazon buys, but apparently, I spent over $100 on there last month (mostly due to one bigger-ticket item, but still). Hmm. It's also interesting that I largely avoided Amazon until I had money to spend. And that that first Amazon purchase on 4/15 was totally fueled by anxiety and wanting to shop it away.

5. Go out on the weekend: LOL I forgot this was a goal! Well, I went out to a scary shopping center! AND last Friday, I went ice skating! By myself! At night! At a place I hadn't been to in ages! Totally a HUGE accomplishment! (And really fun too!) This goal also ties in with my Word of the Year "Out of Hiding." (I did go out during the workday to Nordstrom Rack and to get a massage, but there was still a lot of hiding in April.)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: April 28


Happy Friday! We made it! Here's what put the sparkle into my week: 

  • If you had any doubts about my childhood BSC obsession after last week's H54F post, behold: 

Ok, ok, I did initially get one wrong because they repeated Kristy before cycling to Mallory. UGH MALLORY, STILL RUINING EVERYTHING.  


  • Spring is hurrr! Hooray! My neighbor totally busted me taking this picture of his gorgeous tree whoops. #worthit 
  • I may get into this more in a future post, but I have not been feeling great emotionally lately. Just really anxious and generally unhappy. Bleh. So on Tuesday, after a great therapy session in the morning, I booked myself a massage! It gave me a delicious break from the workday and was just what I needed. And then I pulled the following cards while sipping on tea post-massage: 

I'm always blown away when I pick cards like these, as they always seem to be perfectly-suited to whatever is going on for me that day. 


  • In other self-care news, I went back to restorative yoga on Thursday night! I just felt like I needed alllll the calming influences this week. โค๏ธ


  • And finally, in this week's installment of Weird-Ass Song of the Week, the song that I've had on repeat in my car: Joe Cocker's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends." I hadn't listened to it in ages, but Pops was on a Joe kick last weekend ("Delta Lady" greeted me when I came downstairs on Saturday morning--welcome to our house), and then he started trying to figure out "With a Little Help from My Friends" on guitar. (Sidenote: how did I not know that Jimmy Page plays guitar on that?! I feel like a total fraud of a Zeppelin fan!) It's so so good... and not just because I loved The Wonder Years as a kid!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

April 2017 Budget


Well, April has been shop-a-palooza! Not only did I buy the things listed below, but I also went nuts this past weekend and bought approx one million things online. (None of those things have arrived yet, so they'll be included in next month's budget post.) But I can honestly say that I love the things that I got, and if you're going to spend money, it should ideally be on things you really like and think you'll get a lot of use out of, right? I've already worn or used all of the items below, most multiple times!



  1. Alternative Dolman 3/4 Length Sleeve Tee (Nordstrom Rack): $48 on sale for $13
  2. Me Too Zinnia Bootie (Marshalls): on sale for $32
  3. Pixi Glow Tonic (Target): $15
  4. Sweet Romeo Open Stitch Sweater (Nordstrom Rack): $58 on sale for $9
  5. Born Helen Boots (Nordstrom Rack): $240 on sale for $36

Not pictured:

  1. Slouchy tee (Marshalls): $13

TOTAL: $118

All of the tops are all comfy and cute... and they're actually all shades of blue, now that I think of it! (I just couldn't find thumbnails for them in blue.) I had seen and liked the Sweet Romeo sweater before, so once it was $9, I couldn't resist! It's warm and cozy, long enough to wear with leggings, and has somewhat overly-long sleeves, so I can pull them over my hands (which is ideal when you're cold all.the.time).

The tall Born boots were probably my most responsible purchase of the month, as they will replace my totally beat pair of tall black boots... while also being massively on sale! And the booties, GAH. Serious heart-eyes over them still. I always thought perforated heeled booties looked so cute but had yet to find a pair that worked for me. Well, these are IT. Sooo cute, reasonable heel-height, and pretty darn comfy. When I found them at Marshalls, their original tag was missing, so I had no idea how far marked down $32 was. So I was PSYCHED to find them retailing for $99 on Zappos! I was a total boot shopping genius this month, if I say so myself! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

And then that cult fave Pixi Glow Tonic. It's something that I'd picked up and put back a bunch of times at Target, and I'm so glad I finally bought it this month because I LOVE IT! My skin is pretty sensitive, so I introduced the Glow Tonic slowly (using it maybe two times the first week), but I didn't have any issues with it. Now, I use it every day. I broke out a bit at first, which seems to be a normal side-effect when you introduce glycolic acid, but continuing to use the Glow Tonic has helped the zits to heal really quickly. (Gycolic acid is also supposed to be clutch in healing acne.) It's only been a few weeks, so I'm curious to see how the Glow Tonic changes my skin moving forward. In a similar vein, I've also been using and loving this drugstore product for the past few months, and it's been helping to heal random zits and fade acne scars. I can't believe costs less than $8!

What did you buy this month?

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: April 21


Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday, I actually went out by myself, HOORAY! And I went to a nearby shopping center that I usually avoid because the parking lot configuration and general crowdedness freak me out! (This was my first time driving there ever!) AND I put back a few shirts I considered buying! So this was a major accomplishment on many levels, haha. These booties were probably not the most responsible choice (didn't I just get boots??), but I just totally fell in love with them. 
  • Pops and I celebrated Easter with a friend of his who plays the drums, which meant that Pops brought his guitar so that they could jam... and I got in on it too with my first-ever turn on the drums! And I LOVED IT!! I basically just played ~a~ drum and ~a~ cymbal but still! I felt so bad-ass! 


  • My friend Deena sent me this tweet, which pretty much sums up my life in grad school:

Well, except for one little change: 

๐ŸŽถSay hello to your friends, Babysitters' Club!๐ŸŽถ

๐ŸŽถSay hello to your friends, Babysitters' Club!๐ŸŽถ

  • Guess what turned up on our doorstep this week!!!! 

The Cinnamon saga continues! She is just the biggest pile of fluff ever. Apparently, I'm willing to overlook allegations of involvement in Birdgate if you show up on my doorstep looking cute. Too bad she wants nothing to do with me!

  • And let's end this post with some pretty flowers that Pops got me for Easter! ๐Ÿ˜

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

How I journal


Because I mentioned in my Rebirthday post that journaling has been hugely helpful in my recovery from suicidal thoughts, I thought I would expand on my journaling process a little. But it's not a "process" at all--it's surprisingly unstructured for a type-A person like myself! Here's how it goes (in case you want to take notes ๐Ÿ˜œ):


1. Have an intriguing or emotionally-charged thought.

2. Write it down.

3. See what happens.


Seriously. I just write when I think of/realize something interesting or insightful (especially something that could possibly be explored more in therapy). And I just write for however long it takes to spit out that thought. And a lot of the time, magic happens--I get another, sometimes completely out-of-left-field thought or insight, which is pretty darn cool and often more interesting than the original thought I'd had! Or if I'm writing because I'm freaking out about something, in time, I'm usually able to start taking off the anxiety goggles to see the situation as it really is. 

I don't journal every day, and I never aim to write either a certain number of pages or for a set period of time. I also usually journal on the fly (while sitting on the couch, while on the train, etc.), which keeps it from becoming just another pressurized thing on my to-do list.

I've gone through a few journals since 2013... ๐Ÿ˜ฌย 

I've gone through a few journals since 2013... ๐Ÿ˜ฌย 

I have a hard time sitting still, and certainly sitting still with my emotions, but the act of journaling seems to make the "sitting still" less still and therefore more tolerable, you know? But full disclosure--journaling was a tough habit for me to get into. My first journal, which was just a marble notebook given to me by one of the nurses when I was inpatient, was more like a diary of what was going on each day in the hospital than how I felt about things. 

Where it all began. This quote from My Darling, My Hamburger really jumped out at me as I was working on my MA thesis (which I had just finished a few months before inpatient).

Where it all began. This quote from My Darling, My Hamburger really jumped out at me as I was working on my MA thesis (which I had just finished a few months before inpatient).

But once I started exploring deeper, "scarier" thoughts in writing, I started to understand myself and the seemingly incongruous things I did and felt more. Some things finally started making sense. The writing also helped to "tame" some of the scariness of the thoughts, as writing forced my brain to slow down and actually consider the truth of a situation or thought, rather than just believing it without question. And, on a purely practical level, the act of writing helped me to actually remember said thoughts to bring them up in therapy! 

So yeah, that's it! A super chill habit that's really paid off for me. โค๏ธ

High Five for Friday: April 14


Friday sure snuck up on me, which I guess is the sign of a good week? Here's what brought the sparkle:

  • We had a cat stakeout on Sunday morning when Pops spotted a cat suspiciously returning to the scene of the injured-bird crime... none other than THAT DASTARDLY CINNAMON! Pops had seen her outside our back door but lost track of her upon alerting me, so like any good detective duo, we split up. While I had the overhead view covered from my bedroom window, Pops opened the kitchen door, which sent Cinnamon out of hiding. This sight led to me shrieking and Cinnamon fleeing. I'm a fine undercover cop.
I then went out into the backyard and found a camouflaged Cinnamon next door. YOU WIN THIS ROUND.

I then went out into the backyard and found a camouflaged Cinnamon next door. YOU WIN THIS ROUND.

  • On Monday, I had a different kind of animal encounter--with an adorable, waddly groundhog! I was legit standing in the parking lot at work, squeaking, "You're sooo cuteeee!!!!" the whole time. (Don't worry, I edited that commentary out of the video.) 

โค๏ธThe return of Groundhog Atsumeโค๏ธ #HiFriend ๐Ÿ˜

A post shared by Jess (@jessie_face4) on

  • On Tuesday, I went a "mixed-level" yoga class, which is waaay out of my comfort zone! (I usually try to stick with "beginner" or "gentle" classes, given my complete lack of physical strength.) So I was already a bit nervous when I got to the studio, and I then I found out that the class would include "partner poses." YIKES. My intention for the class was literally "Don't panic cry"! But I did manage to stick to that intention LOL! Aside from the partner pose, it was actually a pretty fun, rejuvenating class!  


  • After three years, I'm finally bringing myself to watch season 9 of How I Met Your Mother. (I saw a few episodes and the finale in real time and then promptly boycotted that season.) I'm still not thrilled with it (ugh, stupid wedding format), but as a huge Karate Kid fan when I was younger, I LOVED this moment (which I sadly can't find on YouTube):
I hated Johnny Lawrence SO MUCH and totally would have booed/thrown popcorn at him.

I hated Johnny Lawrence SO MUCH and totally would have booed/thrown popcorn at him.

  • Finally, in this installment of "Weird Ass Song of the Week," we have the soundtrack to the delightful SNES game Earthbound, in which you save the world from alien take-over (natch) with your pals while wielding a baseball bat and using a teddy bear as a shield. Totally normal. I'm not sure what possessed me to start listening to it again, but the music is as cute and catchy as it was in 1995! It actually helped me to get through a ton of work this week! Who knew?

Hope you have a great weekend! xo


High Five for Friday: April 7


Holy April, Batman! Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • Most of last weekend was consumed with cleaning out our basement, the theme of which was "What IS this??" (And in the case of some family photos "WHO is this??" Oops.) Per my request, Pops had to open every box or bag first, lest any bugs or Bradlees bags jump out. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The only reason this is a highlight is because it felt really good to get rid of old crap we don't need anymore!


  • MAN OH MAN it's been a cat bonanza this week! On Sunday, I found Whitey, who I've only seen once before, and also this ragamuffin, who our elderly neighbor refers to (with great disdain) as "that CINNAMON cat!!" So when Pops and I spotted her, we are both like *gasp* "Cinnamon!!" THAT DASTARDLY CINNAMON. 
  • And then on Monday, I found CALICO PINKY sitting on our steps!!! I literally greeted her with open arms! But she only gave me a few bumps because she was apparently late to a very important meeting with Greyie here: 


  • I rarely feel compelled to go out during the workday, but for some reason, I was actually excited by the thought of going to the Nordstrom Rack near work this week and trying to find some boots on sale. I'd say I had a successful trip! 


I got $240 Born boots for $35, and two tops for $9 and $13! Now I might finally be able to get rid of my six-year-old boots that are literally falling apart! 


  • Lastly, in this week's installment of "Weird-Ass Song of the Week"... The Eagles are one of those bands that I always forget I like. So while this week's song is definitely not as weird-ass as, say, Oingo-Boingo, it's weird for me to think to listen to the Eagles. And this particular song is a weirder choice from their repertoire than, say, "Hotel California." (Timothy B. Schmit on vocals whaaaat?) BUT IT'S JUST SO GOOD AHHHH.

Here's to a great weekend! xoxo

April 2017 goals


Let's see what's on the white board for April!


1. Be curious about how things like sleep, diet, caffeine, exercise, water intake, etc. make me feel. Because trying to change any of those things tends to make me react like a freshly awoken piranha plant in Mario 64, I'm just going to try to pay attention to them and see what I can learn this month.

2. So that I keep going to yoga, even though my first-month trial period is now over (wahh!).

3. I've had a hard time sticking with a breathing practice, but the vibrations of chanting have a similarly calming effect while also giving my mind something to focus on. (And my usual word of choice is "om.")

4. Similar to goal #1, I just want to pay more attention to when I order stuff from Amazon, and what I order, and why. Having free two-day shipping makes it too easy to order anything under the sun, and I just want to be mindful of that this month--rather than trying to stop using Amazon altogether, which might drive me to spend even more money on there!

5. Oh, the weekend. The thought of leaving the house on the weekend often strikes me as laughable, as in "Why on earth would I do that?!" which I think really means "Why on earth would I tempt fate by going out when I don't HAVE to?" Especially since I have no problem going out on the weekend if Pops is with me (and driving). Hmm. Going out by myself for a non-obligation won't feel normal unless I do it more and see that the world doesn't end, right? (Bleh.)

Whew! Ok, so how did March's goals go?

1. Do taxes: CHECK, THANK GOD. Getting my taxes done was such a pain in the ass, so I'm really glad they're over with! 

2. Go to yoga: CHECK! I went to six classes in March and want to continue with the early AM hatha class! 

3. Morning Pages: A big nope. I did it a few times, but sitting quietly and forcing myself to write three pages really stressed me out. I had no problem doing my regular journaling, though, so I suspect the structure of Morning Pages is what kept me from doing it more.

4. Write two non-link-up blog posts: Half-check. I got up my Rebirthday post, in addition to the usual link-up posts.

5. Do it now: CHECK! I did think of this phrase often and then go "UGH" and actually do whatever it was that I was about to blow off, which I guess is a good thing?


As for my phrase of the year ("out of hiding"), it was a rough month, as you might have gathered from April goal #5! I did manage to go to the mall near work (at night! gasp!), and I did start going to 7 AM yoga, but other than that, I did a lot of hiding. We'll see how it goes in April.

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: March 31


Well, this week just flew by! Let's see what put the sparkle into it:

  • On Saturday morning, I went to a yoga workshop at the studio I've been going to lately, and I had a great time! The teachers there are SO nice. And I surprised myself with how chatty and friendly I was able to be (since anxiety usually gets my tongue!). 
The yoga studio also has a cafe, and the smoothies are pretty bangin'.

The yoga studio also has a cafe, and the smoothies are pretty bangin'.

  • I haven't watched General Hospital in ages, but because I adored Liz and Lucky (but only Jonathan Jackson... why do I still have strong feelings about this?!) when I was younger, every so often, I'll start cycling through old clips of them. Who needs Netflix when you have 20 year old soap opera clips and a new Smart TV?!
My 12-year-old self was totally in love with Lucky. ๐Ÿ˜

My 12-year-old self was totally in love with Lucky. ๐Ÿ˜

So many of these ridiculous stories/characters came right back to me (and also to Pops, who accurately remembered Jason as "that guy who always wears a black t-shirt" lol). BUT... as much as I love LnL2, once I started going down the rabbit hole of Liz scenes post-Lucky's alleged death (as you do), I could actually see the appeal of Liason (Liz + Jason). Gasp! My 13-year-old self would slap me right in the face for saying that. 

  • On Saturday night, I saw the fam (and Paulina, yay!), and my mom gave me an Easter gift. As soon as I peeked into the bag and saw this face, I squealed!! I love Pusheen naturally because, cats, and I guess my mom remembered that I had a Pusheen Christmas ornament because when she overheard someone mention Pusheen while looking at the plushies at the store, she sprang into action, haha!
  • Paulina stayed over on Saturday night, and we ended up listening to Russian folk music with Pops because that's normal.


  • Lastly, Facebook Memories reminded me that my first ever trip to Chicago with Timmi (to visit the law school she eventually went to) was this past week FIVE YEARS AGO. WAHHH. I decided to accompany her on a whim and had such a fantastic time. From seeing a matinee of Goon with six dudes while Timmi went to a school event, to getting lost in Water Tower Place, to pouncing on the Bean... truly the makings of a wonderful trip!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo