Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday Tunes: Bon Jovi's "It's My Life"

Editor's Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I entered young adulthood at the dawn of the new Millennium. Things were changing big time and I was growing up. Everything seemed new, like you were doing it for the first time, and the novelty hadn't worn off yet or even smudged. There was a palpable freshness in the air; you couldn't help but feel like anything was possible. Simply put, it was quite an exciting time to be alive. Full of hope and promise of great things to come.

Yes, I know that last paragraph read like a high school graduation speech, but I suppose that's only appropriate. I mean, I did graduate high school in 2000 (sounds like a lifetime ago now, doesn't it?) and you really can't get more new-beginning than that. And back then, when I'd think of new beginnings, there was always one anthem that came to mind. I say anthem because I can just picture it blaring over the speakers in an arena during a rock concert. That, or blaring over the CD player as I sing along and do my fiercest poses in front of the mirror. I vote for the latter.

Bon Jovi's "It's My Life"
From Crush

Maybe that's why I thought of this song as I was working on the back-to-school post yesterday. Of course, there were SO MANY killer Bon Jovi tunes to choose from, but this one spoke to a new generation -- my generation -- so it sort of felt like a theme song for the masses, you know?

This ain't a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for the faith-departed
I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice
When I shout it out loud

Youth is nothing if not a time for feeling lost and confused. You're having all these new experiences and just trying to find meaning and purpose in life. It's hard, isn't it? And you think that things are NEVER going to get any easier; you might even think you'll never find your way. So you end up wandering around searching for those answers and sometimes, even before you arrive at any kind of conclusion, you realize something else. You're a young adult. This life you're living?

IT'S YOURS!!!

I know, it can be quite the shocking revelation when it hits you that first time. Sort of like a bolt of lightning or a giant light bulb going off over your head. That's how it was for me, at least. And of course, you're determined to make your voice heard. Loud and clear. To anyone and everyone in your life. Not in an evil or malicious way -- just in a way that lets people know who you are. Because you're starting to see that your voice is a powerful thing and you're going to own it.

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

People say that there's a sense of invincibility that comes with being young, but I also think there's a certain sense of urgency that goes along with it. It's the first time you're really realizing that your life is finite, that you're not going to live forever and that it's what you do with your life that matters the most. You may not know everything, but you know that you want your life to mean something. You want to live it to the fullest, to live it on your terms. But perhaps most of all, you don't want anything to stand in your way. Ever.

This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky
Got to make your own breaks

Stand your ground? What does that even mean? I do wonder about that sometimes, and the older I get, the more I think it's all about tuning out that excess noise. It's not letting people get inside your head -- especially the ones that don't matter. It's about not believing what people say about you, even though you're struggling to just shrug off those cruel and hurtful words. It's about not giving into those inner demons that are all sorts of hell-bent on destroying you -- but you're determined not to let them, though. Most importantly, it's about BEING WHO YOU ARE and not being afraid to show your true colors to the entire world.
This life is hard. Really hard. There's just no way around it. But that certainly doesn't mean that this life can't be beautiful and that you shouldn't shine your light for all to see. After all, remember what I always say?? #BeBraveBeYou

Lilly Pulitzer Is My Spirit Animal

Like many fashionistas-in-training, I discovered the wonders of Lilly Pulitzer pretty late in life. Truth be told, if it wasn't for all my blog reading, I'd have NO IDEA that her bright, colorful and chic clothes and accessories even existed. And, really, what a sad world that would be, right? We all could use some bright in our life, and lucky for us, Lilly is coming to the rescue in the form of her After Party Sale! The two-day shopping extravaganza is a cornucopia of everything from dresses to tops to blinged-out accessories, and although there is a bit of a wait to get it, it's totally worth it.

Even after the sale is over, I intend to keep exploring this treasure trove of a gold mine. Check out a few of my fave fashion go-to items, starting with this navy blue cardigan (fall, anyone?!?), $78, above...

Will you be snapping up any faves, friends? What's your fashion style, if you had to describe it in only a couple words? Are you wild or more traditional? Let's chat! xoxo

(This is NOT a sponsored post; I just get really, really obsessed when I find something new that I like!)

Monday, August 22, 2016

4 Reasons Back-To-School Is Better Than New Year's

With summer winding down (insert crying emoji), I'm slowly working my way back to my school year work routine. In addition to limiting myself to two episodes of Angel each day, this routine includes heading to the campus library a few times a week. I went a handful of times during the summer, and the scene was calm and quiet -- picturesque, even.

And then, thousands of students descended on my tranquil paradise like flies drawn to a summer picnic. They came back in droves today -- the students, not the flies. Now, I don't begrudge them an education, of course; I applaud furthering your education and am thoroughly pro-knowledge. But between the crowds, scared freshmen and the loud college band across from the library, it was all a lot to take in! Sensory overload, anyone??

Maybe, though, it didn't have to be that way. The more I thought about it, the more I realized something: The back-to-school season is SO MUCH BETTER than New Year's. Don't believe me?? Here are four reasons back-to-school gets an A+ every single time...

It's a new beginning: It's so easy to get bogged down by the stresses of life, but this time of year, everything just feels fresh. It's like you've been given a clean slate and you get to start over. Whatever happened in the past? It's time to put it behind you and LET IT GO!!

It's a chance to learn something new: What about that hobby you've always wanted to pick up? Now's the perfect time. And I bet it will actually make you feel like a whole new person -- an added bonus, for sure!!

It's all about the nice weather: Hello! Who would choose the cold winter over the warm weather of the late summer? OK, my mom probably would, but she's probably one of the only ones! I mean, the weather right now is just so inviting -- crisp air, leaves starting to change color, warm sunshine! It's a summer lover's paradise, I tell you! It's days like these when I actually don't dread going outside.

The school supplies are all over: I'm a self-proclaimed supply-aholic. Some people go nuts during Fashion Week; I'm tempted to drain my bank account every August and fill my room with all kinds of pens, pencils and notebooks. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the Wonder Woman notebook I spotted at Target last week!

Do you love "back-to-school" time, friends? What's your favorite part? Anything you're hoping to accomplish?!? xoxo

[Photo via We Heart It]

Sponsor Spotlight: Glitz & Love

There are two things I'm pretty passionate about: Glitzy things and love. You know, leaving a little sparkle and love wherever you go! Maybe that's why I quickly fell in love with the gorgeous Etsy shop called -- you guessed it! -- Glitz & Love. Honyuet, a jewelry designer from Singapore, is an amazing talent when it comes to what she calls "everyday pretty" and bridal jewelry, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and even jewelry sets!

I love designers that have a clear sense of her they are, and Honyuet certainly falls into that category...

On her shop and work
Glitz & Love is an exciting online boutique full of beautiful bridal jewelry. The collections range from simple pearl earrings, to stunning Swarovski crystal necklace, to deluxe halo style cubic zirconia earrings. All jewelry are hand crafted with Swarovski crystals, Swarovski pearls, cubic zirconia and more. If you love sparkles like we do, then you will swoon over Glitz & Love!

On the design process
Glitz & Love is my one woman show. Everything here is designed, handmade and taken pictures by me. I love what I do, and I hope you love what I make as well.

And of course, I spotted a few pieces I love in her shop! Here are five things I'm eyeing RIGHT NOW...
Name bangle, $13.50
Petite silver comma symbol necklace, $9.90
Personalized anchor necklace, $22
Red cocktail ring, $20
Little stars bangle, $13.50

Be sure to follow Glitz & Love on Facebook and check back often because Honyuet is always adding new gems. You can also score great discount deals on your order...

BRIDAL and BULK ORDERS SPECIAL DISCOUNT:
3% OFF orders Over $50: LOVE50off3
10% OFF orders Over $100: LOVE100off10
15% OFF orders Over $150: LOVE150off15
20% OFF orders Over $200: LOVE200off20
25% OFF orders Over $300: LOVE300off25

Thanks so much, Honyuet! Keep up the AWESOME work! xoxo

Man Candy Monday.

Ahh, Monday -- how I love and loathe you all at the same time! Please be good to me this week, alright? I hope you all have a great week to, and to kick things off, today's guy is a rather interesting pick. It's not exactly a person, but more like a TV character; you can even probably guess which show he's on based on the last few weeks. Anyway, he's fun. He's got a snazzy sense of style. And he's extremely perceptive and intuitive...

LORNE FROM ANGEL!!!!!!!!!!





"Well, first there was the welcome home parade thrown in my honor, ticker tape, streamers. Honestly, I was so touched I almost wept."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Have a Terrific Weekend

Happy Friday, friends! Are you excited for the weekend? I took one of my classic shopping trips to Target today and found myself overcome with excitement over all the school supplies! If you ask me, RIGHT NOW is the most wonderful time of the year. We're also getting together with friends tomorrow, which will be fun! I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

The cutest behind-the-scenes photos from the U.S. women's gymnastics team!

What a hilarious JCPenney catalog from 1977...oh, those were the days!

Now this is a trend I can get behind.

What city should I live in?

Aww, Zac Efron is so cute!

This is me every time I watch a scary movie.

Is this generation losing the ability to be in love?

Barb from Stranger Things is now a Barbie doll.

Billboard's all-time top 100 songs.

Oh, yesss -- a live-action version of The Little Mermaid is coming!

How adorable is the googly-eyed purple squid?

Thought-provoking piece on how the media prevents us from empathizing with disabled characters.

10 amazing gymnastics routines.

Oh, '70s musical heartthrobs.

Can you name all of these romantic comedies?

These songs will make you cry uncontrollably.

I heart this iPhone case.

How delicious does this strawberry shortcake look?

Childhood lessons from unlikely teachers.

The USPS is releasing Star Trek stamps. #LiveLongAndProsper

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Bloglovin! See you there, friends! xoxo

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Love Lounge: Thoughts on Broken Hearts

I know I must sound like a broken record about this subject, always prattling on and on about it, but I feel the need to vent about it today. I've just had all these questions swirling in my head lately, and frankly, they're starting to over stay their welcome. It's not the type of questions like, "What do I want in a relationship?" or "Why is he being so stupid?" I know the answers to those questions. My real, soul-searching question...

Can your heart break when it's never even been broken in the first place?

I know, it sounds like some cheesy country ballad, but just hear me out for a hot second. I want love. I want that passion that comes with finding The One and even though I haven't found said One yet, my heart still feels broken sometimes. Does that make any kind of sense? Is it some kind of preemptive strike, a way of shielding my own heart from letting anyone else reach it or even get close to it?

If I'm being honest (and let's face it, when am I NOT honest on this blog??), guys have succeeded in breaking my heart in the past, even if they weren't aware of it. There have been guys who have found their way into my heart and pretty much just took up residence there. To their credit, I'm pretty sure all of this was in no way intentional; heck, they probably had no idea that they were having such an effect on me, but alas, the emotions were intense. They ran rampant. On my end, at least. And yet, there was really no justifiable reason to feel like my heart was shattering into a million tiny shards of glass -- what had these guys even done to me? Nothing, really. I'm the one who got attached, probably too attached, too soon, and I was probably thinking with my heart more than with my head -- you all know that I have a tendency to do that on occasion.

From the outside, it looks like my heart is full and perfectly intact, and on most days, it is. But there are certainly other days when that protective shield isn't so, well, shield-y. It's on days like this that the "flaws" begin to peek through. Because in my heart -- and probably in everyone's heart, for that matter? There are cracks. There are scars. And there are bruises that may never heal, no matter how much time has passed. Maybe every beat of my heart has a story to tell, a past that made it what it is today. Does that make any sort of sense?

I suppose it doesn't help that I'm listening to Sheriff's "When I'm With You" on repeat as I type this -- seriously, I can feel the beginnings of little teardrops forming in my eyes. Must. Not. Cry.

That's what I tell myself, at least, about the whole crying thing. It works well some days and not-so-well on other days. It's a work-in-progress, though, and I'm sure that has to count for something...right?
So, friends, where do you fall on this issue? Can your heart break even when it feels invisible to those around you? Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? Can we commiserate together, please?? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

These Are The Most Incredible Dice I've Ever Seen


So I was just going to include this in a Friday Link Love post, but it's just too amazing not to share -- and, I think you'd agree! My Yahtzee-obsessed heart is mesmerized by the D120 die, which, as a 120-sided die, claims the distinction of being the largest mathematically fair die possible.
"The D120 is about five centimeters across and can stop fairly quickly if you don’t roll too hard. The opposite face pairings add up to 121, and the numbering is a 'perfect numerical balance,' which means all sorts of combinations of number groups are consistent throughout the die. The important thing about that is the numbers are spread evenly spread out, so big numbers aren’t clumped together for example."
I'll let that sink in for a moment. Mind blown yet? Yeah, I know. My mind is still reeling! The even cooler news? You can order these babies online -- right here, actually?

How cool is that? Who's up for inventing a new hybrid of Yahtzee?? Oh, it could be quite a fierce game, don't you think, friends? xoxo

P.S. A new Love Lounge is coming up shortly! :)

[Via Nerdist]

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Power of Childhood Imagination...

When my sister and I were teenagers living in the ho-hum of the Midwest, we invented a fictional character to add a small ounce of excitement to our lives. His name was Jack Sally.

His story: He was rugged and reckless and on the run from the CIA and The Pentagon for divulging certain information to the wrong people.

For the next couple years, we'd write 'anonymous' letters to each other, supposedly penned by Jack Sally himself. He told us of his plight hiding underground to escape persecution, how he was a wanted man and how we must never speak of his existence...or else.

In fact, we became so enamored with Mr. Sally that we even started 'looking' for him ourselves: in malls, on Google, but mostly in hotel phone books.

It was our mission to save Sally from the evil clutches of The Man.

Well, that's how we saw it anyway. It was a bit odd for a couple of teenage girls, but it was fun.

A cute little diversion to keep us smiling, and I often wonder now: Are we, as 'adults,' forced to give up our imaginary friends once we come of age?

What's the harm in keeping the fun alive a little longer?

Janelle and I don't have an exact recollection of how Jack Sally came about because it seemed like he'd always been a part of our lives. Janelle has always been the more artistic, creative one, so I suppose I'll give her credit where credit is due.

But he'd show up one day in the form of a harmless note tapped to the fridge or left on the edge of a dresser, His words spoke of freedom. He was on a quest to seek justice for himself, and each note provided cryptic clues to his whereabouts; but, as he assured us, the tyranny of government would never squelch his spirit.

We could never quite decipher what exactly he was trying to tell us, but to our young eyes, it was better than the most beautiful of poems and far more exciting than any action movie we'd ever seen!

Those words rang as sweet elixir to our unformed, impressionable minds. Before long, even our parents were screaming SOS -- Save Our Sally.

It had truly become a family affair, albeit a bit of an odd one, but then again, my sister and I had always been a bit quirky. It worked for us.
It's rare that sisters have something of that nature that they can share with each other, so when we found that rare opportunity, we held tight to it. We laughed together. We searched hundreds (maybe thousands?!?!?!) of telephone books together. And of course, we remained ever mystified together.

We, sadly, haven't heard from Jack Sally for years now. His letters continually got shorter, and he, sadly, stopped making an 'appearance' in our lives.

This greatly disheartens me. He's just vanished, which brings me to my point. Just because something is socially deemed for kids only doesn't mean you have to follow those rules. In my book, rules are made to be broken, and if that means keeping Jack Sally in my life, well then that's just a risk I'll have to take. Oh, and on that note, I'm probably taking a very big risk even speaking of him in this post.

Whether you're special childhood friend was a scarecrow or a hippo or even a dinosaur, I encourage you to take a step back in time to those carefree days. Remember that comforting feeling, that sense that nothing mattered but having fun and having a tea party with your stuffed giraffe who walked 1000 miles just go arrive at your doorstep. Welcome him (or her) again with open arms.

P.S. Jack Sally, if you're reading this, please come back. There are still people out there in this big, bad world who need you!

[Photos via We Heart It]

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.





"I can't stand the way you're smiling...I can't stand the way I'm lying..." --Carly Rae Jepsen

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]
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