Friday, April 29, 2016

Have a Relaxing Spring Weekend

Good afternoon, friends, and happy Friday! Are you excited for the weekend? Any plans? Our friends from Chicago are coming out for lunch and to catch up, which is always a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I have some writing to get done this weekend as well and can't wait to share it with you once it's published -- you know, not to keep you in suspense or anything! I hope you have a relaxing weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

These speakers are coming to a graduation near you!

Spring cleaning for your blog.

Interesting: The healing properties of moonstones.

How accurate is this color test?

Wise words on anger.

Yes, there was nothing quite like Jackie's incredible style.

3 types of guys that make bad boyfriends...agree?

We have a new Jurassic World poster...and let the speculation begin!

Set your DVRs for nostalgia: Disney Channel is replaying all their original movies next month.

Need some cheering up? These inspiring quotes might help!

Hahaha, take that, Anonymous.

Yup, the work-from-home struggle is real.

I can't seem to get enough of blogging resources.

Jane The Virgin is one show I've been seriously binge-watching lately.

Taylor Swift's 73 Questions with Vogue is awesome!

Food for better sleep.

How romantic is this vintage bride and groom?

Making a backyard oasis.

Apparently, Tinder is the new Meet Cute.

"I was catfished on Tinder; but it was worth it"

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

[Photo via bippity boppity boo]

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April Beauty Favorite: Springtime Lip Smackers

Picture this: It's a few days before Easter and I'm zipping down the aisles of Target. I'm a woman on a mission. Past the CDs. Past the makeup. Heck, I even zoomed right past the glorious $1 section.

Like I said, I was on a mission here.

I eventually found myself in heaven -- or at least, my version of it.

The Easter section. Shelves and shelves piled high with chocolate and PEEPS and jelly beans and malted milk balls; all these were great choices, sure, but they weren't really what I was after. They weren't what was calling my name. After a few minutes of scanning, my eyes zeroed in on my target. I mean, we're talking laser-pointer precision here. I could have shined a spotlight on them with the way I was glaring at them.

The object of my desire? The Easter-themed/springtime Lip Smacker sets.

Oh, trust me, they were a beautiful sight to behold, all new and shiny in the package. So what did typical "me" do? I may or may not have thrown ALL five kinds in my basket -- you know, NBD. OK, in my defense, just take a look at these pics...

I mean, with names like Squared Marshmallow Treat, Lemon Tart Surprise, Bunny Mint Delight, Choco-Coco Whip and Nutty Brittle, how can you not scoop them all up? No, really, I dare you to try it and leave Target empty handed. It's not easy, I tell you.

Not to mention the fact that the packaging is a-dor-able (picture me saying that!), especially the cute chick and bunny key chains. Now all I have to do is make room for them in my lip balm organizer, which, admittedly, is almost overflowing. Ahh, the life of a Lip Balm Addict, huh?
Have you tried these limited-edition balms, friends? If so, what were your favorite flavors? xoxo

PSA: Never Forget Your Worth...

In light of the utterly demeaning words spoken by a certain someone recently, I feel it's my duty as a LOUD AND PROUD WOMAN to counter those lies with a hard-hitting dose of truth. Because truth always trumps hate -- pun intended!

And, well, the massive amount of truth in poet Della Hicks-Wilson's inspiring words is overflowing. They practically leap off the page, just screaming to be read, heard and understood. They've been ignored far too long and are dying to break. It's all too easy to passively absorb the messages society throws at us every single day -- words of expectation, of how women are "supposed" to be, "supposed" to look and "supposed" to live, words of superficial meaning. Maybe most importantly, though, they're words that serve as a distraction and try to take your attention away from what really matters in life.

But those words? Oh, those are the dangerous ones. Those are the lies that somehow get in our head and prey on every one of our insecurities. They make us question everything we've ever thought about ourselves and the very way we view others and the world. I'm always telling Janelle that she needs to stop looking at herself through a fun house mirror -- you know, the kind of mirror that twists and distorts everything into all sorts of unrecognizable shapes. It's a trick and one she, sadly, falls for every single time. I know that it can seem like society throws up one fun house mirror after another as we walk along this path called life, and it's something I'm constantly fighting to push out of my way -- maybe even kick if I'm feeling extra angry that day.

So, what CAN we do, I've often wondered? I certainly don't have it all figured out, but I think it has something to do with celebrating WHO YOU ARE! Stop focusing on those extraneous things that don't matter. Don't limit yourself. And dammit, play that 'woman car' every chance you get because you're strong, sexy, smart, brave and so many other things some people will spend the rest of their lives just wishing they could be. Play the card they're not expecting. After all, that's pretty beautiful, isn't it?

Like the words of the poem, our beauty and worth is as infinite as the sky. Infinite as the sky, indeed... xoxo

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Can You Identify All 44 U.S. Presidents?

With the political season heating up (or maybe it's already on fire?), let's take a little break from all that stress and take a fun quiz, shall we?

Can You Identify All 44 U.S. Presidents?

You know how OBSESSED I am with all things presidential trivia, so I figure this is right up my alley! We'll see how well I measure up, I suppose!

How well did you do, friends? Don't be shy and share your score in the comments!!! xoxo

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.





"I’m a lightweight...Better be careful what you say...With every word I’m blown away...You’re in control of my heart..." --Demi Lovato

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Tunes: Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 AM)"

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

You know those songs that come on the radio (or, I guess more like Pandora these days) and you immediately think to yourself, "Man, I forgot just how much I LOVE this song!" So you listen to it -- maybe more than once -- and find yourself humming it for the rest of the day. Because that song? It's. Just. That. Good.

For me, that song has always been Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 AM)" -- the fact that Nalick is some who has seamlessly flown under the radar only cements my choice even more.

Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 AM)"
From Wreck of the Day

I first heard this song years ago, in an age where I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that people actually stayed up past 9 p.m., even if it was the weekend. What could they possibly have to do, I often wondered? What could possibly be accomplished at such ungodly hours of the night?

2 AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?,
I don't love him. Winter just wasn't my season"
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You're all here for the very same reason

Ahh, yes, those precious dark hours are for the over-analyzing set. How utterly fitting! So that must be why I can now identify with them so much! The late-night hours seem to naturally give way to reflection for some reason. Maybe it's because our defenses are down and we're just too tired to fight it anymore, but a certain light shines in the dark of the night, doesn't it? It's ironic, I know, that you'd actually be able to see things better and more clearly after the sun goes down, but it's true. And speaking of truth, it just somehow shines brighter when it's pitch black.

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

Life goes by fast. NASCAR-style fast. Sometimes, it can start to feel like you have zero control over time and how fast that sand is moving through that hourglass. All you can do is sit on the sidelines of that NASCAR race, your eyes getting dizzy from all the spinning laps of those cars, and it takes effort -- real and honest effort -- to pull yourself back from getting all caught up in it. Calming down has never really been my strong suit, but there is something to be said for the art of learning to breathe and relax. Even if you can only do it for a little bit, heck, that has to be better than nothing, right? I mean, it's definitely better than risking fainting!

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
'Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

And when I heard the above lines? Well, that's when it hit me: I do some of my best "processing" after midnight -- in the form of writing, naturally. Not sure how this ever came to be, but the words just seem to fall out of me and onto the keyboard. Perhaps getting all my emotions out is my way of "breathing" and taking a step back in life. After all, this thing called writing is a truly cathartic experience, one I'm so grateful to have in my life; as I've said a million times, I'm not quite sure what I'd do without it.
And with that, friends, my eyes are getting heavy, so that must mean that slumber is calling my name. Here's to nights spent pondering and pontificating! xoxo

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches



Oh, don't mind me while I get distracted by these dreamy and delicious-looking pumpkin spice ice cream sandwiches, which, even though I don't particularly like fall, have me wishing for crunching leaves and the smell of crisp air.

Weird, no? What are you daydreaming about today, friends? xoxo

P.S. This week's Tuesday Tunes is coming up soon! :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Family Photos: Polo Shirts and Patios!

There comes a time in every public figure's life when they must apologize for their transgression, and, well, that time has come for Yours Truly. I must say "I'm sorry" because my conscience won't let me off the hook on this one -- thanks for the super-developed sense of guilt, Mom!

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from reader Linda...
Hi Melissa!
I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a little over a year. I look forward to reading it each morning. I do have a question, though. What is going on with your polo shirt season? I started watching for it April 1st and have yet to see any mention of it. Please don't tell me you stopped sporting polos?!
I hope you don't think this is too strange of a question (even though it is!), but I couldn't let another day go by without asking!!
(Im)patiently waiting your reply!
Linda
As you can imagine, this email filled me with both an overwhelming joy and utter shame. Joy because it's just another confirmation that people other than my immediate family read my blog, so maybe I'm doing something right here? And shame because you all know how I hate to disappoint and it looked like I had big time here.

So here's the deal, as I wrote to Linda. I didn't forget about Polo Shirt Season -- you should know by now that I have the memory of an elephant -- and, in fact, I was very excited about it. But then, during my spring break, I found myself sidelined by that annoying cold. Add to that the fact that April 1st occurred on a Friday, and, well, HELLO to a recipe for disaster.

All this to say that I am here to mend the error of my ways! I wore my first polo shirt last Monday and snapped the above photo of myself. The shirt, my red hair, the morning spring sun glistening in the background -- the perfect ingredients for a photo, don't you think?


And then last weekend, my mom and I christened our patio for the first time this year with our first game outside. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. You know, one of those lazy ones when you have the whole day ahead of you and are grinning from ear to ear because you...are...just...soooo...relaxed. It was glorious, even if I did lose most of the games of rummy that we played. Oh well, as I always say, I'm here for the social occasion.

Does anyone else think my mom is copying me?? She's wearing a polo too!!!

How's your spring shaping up, friends? What FUN things have you been doing? Feel free to share your adventures in the comments! xoxo

Man Candy Monday.

Good morning, friends, and a happy Monday to you! It's springtime, the weather is starting to feel beautiful and, well, I couldn't be happier about that -- though, if I'm being quite honest, that just might be an understatement! Anyway, I suppose I owe you all an apology for letting these guys slip through the Man Candy cracks all these years. After all, I was pretty in love with them during my teenage years. They're a double dose of romantic goodness. They sing from the heart. And they just ooze foreign intrigue...

SAVAGE GARDEN!!!!!!!!!!





"Ooh, I want you...I don't know if I need you...But, ooh, I'd die to find out..."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Have a Lovely Weekend

TGIF, friends! Are you excited for the weekend? What are your plans? I've been working really hard lately to up my freelance writing game and get back into the groove of pitching. The good news? It just MIGHT be paying off, as I just turned in my first piece for POPSUGAR Love yesterday! I can't wait to share it with you! I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Why you should go to the movies alone.

Wow, what enlightening facts (sorry, couldn't resist the pun!)

Decoder ring, FTW!

10 indoor pools with incredible views.

Loving this cat tote bag.

On the power of '70s rock 'n roll.

"When you misuse the word insane, I'm going to judge you"

How cool are these hyper realistic food drawings?

On self-esteem.

Awesome 1920s-inspired house on the Met's rooftop!

Miniature scenes of your favorite horror movies.

Who remembers these early 2000s songs?

Can I have a lifetime supply of donut ice cream cones, please?

What a sweet professor!

SO EXCITED to see Harriet Tubman on the new $20.

You go, T-Swift!

Can you pass this color test?

These peacock feathers under a microscope are AMAZING!

Are you as annoyed by mansplaining as I am?

This is the kind of husband I want...

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

[Photo via bippity boppity boo]
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