Saturday, August 31, 2013

see you in october!

I'm taking a break from blogging in the month of September. For more information on why, click here & here. Hopefully this little break will help me get all my blogging thoughts together, as well as affording me some time to read & interact with you all on your blogs. Oh yeah, & get my you-know-what together in school, too.

Not to worry, The Sunday Currently isn't going anywhere. 
Meet me here each Sunday at noon eastern to share what you're up to. 

If you'd care to follow along with my life while I'm away, a good way to find me is 
on Twitter & Instagram, as I'll be updating regularly from those social media platforms. 

Beyond those avenues, I'll see you in October! I'll miss y'all. I hope you'll miss me too!

Friday, August 30, 2013

august 2013 love list.

As I prepare for my month-long blogging sabbatical, which will start in September & end in October, I wanted to leave you with a little post, the likes of which have been a recurring theme in my posts of yesteryear. If you read the title of the blog post, you guessed it: it's a love list! And I wanted to put one up for August, so that I could let you all know that when I'm back to hardcore blogging in October, the love lists will be back for good!

I blogged about how I was having trouble coming up with a love list for each month, but when it comes down to it, that was just laziness. There are plenty of things to love each month, & I will be sharing them towards the end of each month for the foreseeable future. 

And it's not just the rebirth of the love lists that has me excited: I've also decided to return to doing videos for these monthly favorites. I think I may have a little bit better of a filming situation now [read: no more videos on my macbook, where everything is a mirror image]. I also plan to learn how to edit videos in iMovie, something I've long had my eye on accomplishing! 

As you can see, I'm already excitedly planning post ideas & upgrades for my October return. You can look for one more non-TSC post, coming tomorrow, which will provide ways we can keep in touch while I'm absent from this space. And, of course, The Sunday Currently will be going up every Sunday at noon eastern. Those aren't going anywhere! So, come link up! 

Alright, now on to the love list. Here are the things I've been loving in this birthday month of mine...

1. Coconut Lime Breeze Fragrance Mist from Bath & Body Works.The perfect simple summer scent. 
2. Honey Sweetheart Triple Moisture Body Cream from Bath & Body Works. I stocked up on these during the sale, & I'm so glad I did [And which is a good thing, because it appears that this scent is currently unavailable. Boo.]. This cream is exactly what it says it is: moisturizing. Plus, I really like this scent.
3. Composition notebooks. I've been creating my very own custom planners, & these are the ticket.
4. Long text threads with my friends. Self-explanatory. But suffice it to say, my friends are hilarious.
5. St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. At first I worried this was too greasy, but it's the perfect night-time moisturizer. I LOVE the texture it gives my skin.
6. Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me. I've been wearing this nearly every day. It's just so easy, &  it provides such a flattering color payoff. Not to mention the SPF & conditioning factors. This product is just an all-around win in my book.
7. Organized Jen. I've been so inspired by this girl recently! I love her attitude, her routines, her organizing... she's just a great person.
8. Home-made smoothies. Inspired in part by the girl mentioned above, Justin & I have been replacing one meal per day with these delectable treats. It's been a great way to sneak a little extra fruit into our diets.
9. My brand-new iPad. Thanks Justin, Dad, Mom, & Kara!
10. School. Even though it's stressing me out.

What have you been loving this month?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

a surge of DIY inspiration | Mom's Nurses' Week project.

Back in May, my mom shared with me a DIY she had created for Nurses' Week. In her role as Director, she put a lot of effort into the coordination of this yearly event. She put together the following creation for all of the managers she oversees, to thank them for all of their hard work throughout the year.

frames from Michaels on sale, $5 [search for similar frames here]
stickers from Michaels, $3-$4 [search the wide sticker selection here]
extra graphic details from Michaels, $4 [search for similar items here]
paper, regular from printer

Each one she made cost under $10, so the total project rung in around $60. I think that's a great price for such a cute, hand-made gift! These would be perfect for nursing school graduates, any of your nursing friends who may be reaching a milestone, or just to communicate thanks or encouragement within the workplace.


Speaking of DIYs, I've been getting really inspired lately, while browsing Pinterest. Here are a few projects I'd like to try my hand at, soon:

- Repurposing some empty wine bottles I have lying around, in some manner or other, from these inspirations. And these in particular.

- I've recently begun to learn the art of crochet. Here are some projects I can't wait to try my hand at.

- I'm hoping to make metal stamping my next endeavor. Think of all the cute jewelry you could make from this craft! These are the things I've collected on my pin board to inspire me & steer me in the right direction.

- I've revamped my knitting. Here are some projects I'd like to tackle. 

Have you ever made a home-made gift? What was it? And what DIY projects do you currently have on the docket?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

thoughts on blogging every day.

When I committed to blogging every day in August, for Blaugust, I was excited. I had blogged every day in May alongside Jenni, & although it was a little bit stressful from time to time, it was a good experience. It produced feelings of productivity & pride in my work, & it pushed my limits of cranking out some writing each day. I liked the challenge, a lot.

So, naturally, I thought Blaugust would go the same way. But, y'all, it just hasn't. I spent the first half of this month absolutely loving blogging every day. I was putting out quality content, I was loving the results, & I felt proud of myself at the end of each day.

Then, I started school. And, you know, that threw a bit of a wrench into my plans. Suddenly I'd look at the clock, & it would be nine p.m., & I hadn't put up a post for the day.

Uhhhhhhhh..... I'd stammer, to myself. What should I put up? A single photo? A list of some sort?

All of these were cop-outs. All of these were attempts to just get something up in the space. Quality wasn't taken into account. Real thoughtfulness was not part of the equation. It was all about just getting something up into the space. And that's not the kind of blog I want to have.

If you've been reading my posts lately, you'll know that I'm taking a break from blogging for the month of September [except on Sundays... The Sunday Currently will still be going live at noon eastern each Sunday & will be available for linking up]. And really, Blaugust is probably the main contributing factor to that.

I embarked on Blaugust to inspire me, to push me, to challenge me to create quality content each day, but all it's really done is completely burn me out. And that's why the break in September is absolutely necessary, among a whole host of other reasons, one of them being school work, & another of them being that I want to reformat this space.

I wanted to share this today in the spirit of being completely transparent. You may very well have noticed the lack of quality in my posts. And that's ok, because it's the honest truth. And I fully intend to fininsh out Blaugust, putting up a post every day for the rest of this week. And I can't promise they'll be great posts, but I don't think they'll be horribly terrible, either.

And when I'm back in full swing in October, I will be blogging for quality. Never quantity, ever again.

Have you ever challenged yourself to blog every single day? How did it go? Do you plan to ever to it again? It really impresses me when blogs are set up to crank out content each day. I wish this blog could be one of those blogs, but I just plain don't see it happening.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a tiny piece of advice.

choose to forget about the past & move forward. 
this is your chance to live the best life you can. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

getting through monday.

a photo i took last week before one of my classes

This morning, I rose at 6:30. My alarm went off at 6:15, but my eyelids refused to stay open, even though I was trying to read emails. The longer I laid there, the more I told myself I had to get up. And at 6:30, I popped right out of bed to get on with the day. 

Even with the morning I've had since the moment I got out of bed [a wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese, a cup of coffee in my favorite mug, the viewing of my favorite vlog channel, a couple of workout videos, blog-reading]... Mondays are still a little bit hard. Especially after being wrapped up in the comfort of home for the past couple of days,  I think it's necessary to supplement Mondays with a spot of good reading. 

And in the spirit of that notion, here are some things I think are 'a spot of good reading' worthy:

+ Megan shared a bit about being homesick this weekend. As someone who is no stranger to this particular emotion, I found this post comforting, especially the quote she shared at the end.

+ Betsy is married! I loved reading about a tiny glimpse into her wedding day.

+ Sometimes I just really like looking at simple - but beautiful - photos. Rachel certainly offered some up in this post.

What have you stumbled across today, that made Monday a little easier? I'd love some more inspiration for the week. Please do share.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 49.

favorite breakfast lately

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G Elementary Statistics, today. That whole I'm not reading for pleasure until my classes are over thing? Yeah. That means I'm currently reading a math book. Prayers, please. Math is not my forte.
W R I T I N G TSC posts each week in September, & that's it. Read more about why here.
L I S T E N I N G to Justin tell me about the goings-on on le Facebook as I type out this post. 
T H I N K I N G that I really do need to get my stress levels under control. I've been letting my worries get away from me, & they've been manifesting themselves as a pretty nasty case of stress. This week, it is my intention to slow down, relax, & just do the best I can. Freaking out about every little thing isn't getting me anywhere.
S M E L L I N G the fresh pot of French Vanilla coffee that's waiting on me for when I complete this post. I woke up late this morning - at eleven - & jumped out of bed to get my post done. See? This is what the stress is doing to me.
W I S H I N G I had savored every last minute of my two weeks off. They zipped by, & now I'm in this stress mode. Y'all. I wish I wasn't complaining so much, too. 
H O P I N G to get my routine running smoothly this week. 
W E A R I N G the largest t-shirt I own.
L O V I  N G homemade smoothies, coffee, & tea lately. 
W A N T I N G a long workout in the gym today.
N E E D I N G to get this post up! It may not be 11:49 a.m. - like last week - but it IS later than I'd like to be writing this out.
F E E L I N G like my neck is sore. I'm not sure what's going on with my pillows, but something's gotta give. 
C L I C K I N G the Sunday Secrets

Tell me: what are you doing? Link up below!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

i've decided...

+ i'm in control of this semester. it's not in control of me. and i will do everything in my power to succeed. even taking september off of blogging.

+ afternoon coffee must be used in moderation. sometimes all it does is produce evening anxiety. 

+ there's a balance between being self-sufficient & leaning on family & friends. swinging too far in either direction is detrimental. 

+ there is such a thing as being too organized. 

+ sometimes all you really need is a hot shower. 

Tell me: what have you decided?

photo: evening view \ iphone

Friday, August 23, 2013

september: embarking on a cleanse of sorts.

a tiny snippet of the geeky school lists i've been scribbling out lately

I'll admit this is a somewhat awkwardly-timed post, & I'll also admit that I had other plans for my post today, but those plans just haven't panned out on my end.

I'm going to admit something to you, & it's something I'm not happy about. I let school overwhelm me so much yesterday evening, that I spent the night-time-part of my birthday close to tears, in a heap of frustration, & just generally in a state of unhappiness. And I wasn't pleasant to be around. I know I wasn't.

Twenty-seven was such a great birthday. There was a pouring out of love & gifts coming at me from all directions, & I was beyond grateful for it all. The fact that I let school dampen my spirits & manifest itself in a negative way, in my thoughts, actions, mood, treatment of others, etc. kind of sickens me. I went to bed last night, after brainstorming schedules & plans of action, vowing to get in control of everything, figure out my priorities, & devise a plan of success for this crazy semester. 

And that's what I did today. 

I'm coming to you from a place of such increased clarity & ease of mind that I'm actually really excited about what I'm about to tell all of you. 

I am taking the month of September off of blogging. 

First of all, let me clarify: I am taking the month of September - other than Sundays - off of blogging. The Sunday Currently has been going on for almost an entire year now, & I have no intentions of stopping - ever, really. As long as things continue going on in my life [which I hope is always, obviously], I will continue wrapping it all up in my weekly post. And I will enthusiastically invite all of you to continue linking up with me. I know I don't always comment, but I do always read. And I will continue to tweet all the TSC linkers each week.

Now that we've got that clarified, I have a few things to say about my blogging cleanse. In the two years I've been blogging in this space know as siddathornton, my purpose has changed multiple times, my layout has changed multiple times, my attitude toward blogging has fluctuated immensely, & - I believe - the content of my blog has fluctuated immensely. Blogging is a fluid thing - all of the components I mentioned above are constantly changing. And sometimes I find that to be an exhilarating thing. And sometimes I find it to be an overwhelming - in a bad way - thing. 

So, for September, I am going to practice the art of observation. I'm going to observe what I love about the blogging world. I'm going to observe what I don't like about the blogging world. I'm going to observe my feelings toward certain subjects & toward certain styles. And at the end of September, I'm going to come away with the knowledge of where this blog is headed in the future. Whether it's a blog that runs solely on The Sunday Currently postings... whether it's a blog heavy on makeup reviews... whether it's a blog that's updated every single day... whether it's a blog that is updated only when I have put together a post that has been picked apart & obsessed over... I can safely & almost completely confidently say that this blog will go on for the foreseeable future.

Blogging is something I see myself always taking part in. But for the month of September, I will be observing. 

And throwing myself into school. And finding a school routine that is conducive to success. 

And once that routine is found, I will feel confident in integrating blogging back into that routine. 

Well, this post is already miles long, so I'll go ahead & tell you this, too: I am also giving up reading for pleasure. But I'm not just giving that up for September, I'm giving that up from this point forward, until all of my classes are complete this semester. I have too much to read for school - it needs to be given my undivided attention. So, rather than diving into the Game of Thrones series this fall, as I previously intended, I will be diving into my Statistics book... or Anatomy & Physiology book... or Ethics book... or whatever else school book each night before bed. This isn't a decision I'm necessarily thrilled about, but it's a decision that I know will be more conducive the to type of grades I'm hoping to achieve this semester. 

So, there's that. 

Rest assured: when October rolls around, I'll have a plan for this blog up my sleeve. When mid-December rolls around, I'll be posting my Winter Reading List. And when Sundays roll around, there will always, always be a The Sunday Currently post going up at noon eastern.

Of those things, you can be sure.

Until then, I will be finishing out Blaugust strong, with a post each day. I don't know what those posts will be, but there will be posts.

Tell me: what do you do to keep your priorities in order? Have you ever taken a blogging break? Please share any anecdotes or advice. Here's to taking control of our lives, knowing our priorities, & doing whatever is necessary to get those priorities in order.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

me, at twenty-seven.

this is what the first day of twenty-seven looked like me for me

Yes, I'm doing that thing where I basically missed a day of posting here [gasp, Blaugust] but have decided to do some retrograde posting & pretend like it happened in real time. I've decided this is ok, because honestly, I was so exhausted by last night that this is absolutely the post I had decided to put up, until I decided that lying in bed reading BuzzFeed was more important. 

Sometimes, you just... can't. 

And yet, Blaugust still soldiers on.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

things i've learned at twenty-six.

here's what i looked like today, my last day of being twenty-six, while i was writing this post

Tomorrow is my twenty-seventh birthday, so I thought today I would share with you a few - admittedly heavy - things I've learned in my twenty-sixth year, that I consider important.

+ We live in a scary world. And sometimes, the events that happen in this world will make you want to fold in on yourself, never leave your house, & become a hermit. BUT this is not the answer. Rather than locking yourself indoors like you'd like to, go out & live your life each day. Worrying about things that are out of your control is futile. I've decided the best thing for me to do is pray to God for the safety of myself & my loved ones. Hand over your problems & worries to God, as they say. This affords extreme comfort in the face of these scary situations.

+ We also live in a beautiful world. People are out there helping others each day. Some are researchers, slaving away in laboratories to discover elusive cures to diseases; some are social workers, delivering aid to those who need it the most; some are doctors, tending to the sick; some are simply people, loving others unconditionally & outwardly. And then, there's artistic expression, which will overwhelm you with its awesomeness, if you will let it. Focus on these things, not the bad, & your life will improve exponentially. 

+ One of the most groundbreaking things [personally speaking] that I have discovered this year is, I guess, something that I didn't really discover, but rather learned how to recognize in myself. For years, I have had episodes of random restlessness, anxiety, & pit-in-my-stomach worry. And I've learned to recognize it as.... anxiety. That may sound silly, but if you don't know that what you're experiencing is anxiety, it can make it an even scarier, even more anxiety-producing thing. When I start feeling that feeling, I can now identify it, & tell myself that it will pass, & that makes all the difference in the world.

+ The smallest things are what matter the most. This sounds like a cliche', & it pretty much is, but I'll give you an example to make it a little less cliche'-y. The night before my wedding day, I was very stressed out. Not because I was nervous - I knew better than I knew anything ever before that Justin was the person I was supposed to be marrying. The stress was more related to the details of the wedding, & I think anyone who has gotten married can relate. But after the rehearsal dinner, & after Justin & I had exchanged gifts, my bridesmaids & house party gave me a lingerie shower in our cottage. We sipped champagne, I opened pink boxes, & we all laughed & had a great time. But here is where the little thing comes in: One of the girls gifted me with the movie Bridesmaids that night, & one of the other girls had their husband come into the cottage & hook a laptop up to the TV so we could all lie in bed & watch it. I cannot express to you the comfort & ease this very small act provided me. Aside from the obvious - marrying my best friend, Justin - this is my favorite memory of my wedding.

+ Your life is going to progress, whether you like it or not. The ONLY thing you can do is make the most of it. Live your life the way you want to, be friends with those that you want to be friends with, & love on those in your life that you couldn't imagine being without. It is extremely morbid to think of the terminal quality of life, but it is a fact that I was confronted with when I took my Developmental Psychology course this summer. Rather than getting depressed over the indisputable fact that life as we know it on this planet will one day end, I have decided to celebrate my pants off. Celebrate the fact that I've woken to another glorious day of life. Celebrate the fact that I've finally become a morning person. Celebrate the fact that I like my handwriting. Celebrate the fact that I've got a husband, family, & friends who love me, despite my obvious flaws. Celebrate the fact that I am blessed enough to be in school again. 

C E L E B R A T E. Everything. Nothing is too small to celebrate. I repeat, nothing. 

So, there you have it. The things I've learned this year. The things that have changed my life. 

Have you discovered anything lately that's changed your perspective? Please, do share.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

how i organize the apps i use on my iphone.

Recently I've revamped the organization of the apps I use on my phone. I'm really happy with the system I have in place now, so I thought I would share it with everyone, in case any of you are struggling with pages & pages of disorganized apps [a phenomenon that has the ability to drive me completely crazy].

This is what my phone's home screen looks like. The home screen is the screen that pops up as soon as I've unlocked my phone. This page houses my essential apps; the bottom row contains my most heavily used apps, & the ones up top are used frequently as well.

I use the phone's stock Calendar app for basic needs, such as checking the date. This one is pretty obvious. I don't really program my appointments in my phone - I find that it's much more beneficial for me to keep an ink-&-paper planner in which I write down all such information. But, you know, sometimes you just need to check the date, or what day of the week a certain date will fall on. That's what I use this app for.

Next up is the phone's stock Photo app. Often, I will check my photos app to see if there are any photos waiting in queue to be edited & uploaded to Instagram or Facebook. Again, pretty self-explanatory.

To correspond with the Photo app, I have placed the Camera app right next to it. Having the camera on my home screen provides easy access for those quick point-&-shoot moments. When I use my phone to photograph things, I always use the camera app first, then edit the photos with one of my various editing apps [which I'll discuss later in this post], then finally, I upload them to Instagram or Facebook.

The Clock app is essential for me: I use my phone's alarm as my alarm clock each morning. 

I've left the Reminders app on my home screen, though I do not use this feature very often. I mainly use this app when I need to be reminded of something when I am either leaving or arriving to a location, which I think is a really cool feature.

Since I live in a town that I neither grew up in, nor have lived in very long, the Maps app is also an essential. Since the version of the iPhone I currently have has spoken navigation, I find it helpful in guiding me while driving to a new location. I use this on road trips as well.

Next up is Newsstand, which I virtually have no use for; however, the phone will not allow me to delete it. For the sake of appearances & balance, I keep it on the home screen.

The Notes app is one of my favorites: I use this to scribble down anything from blog post ideas, random snippets of writing, grocery lists, wish lists, etc. It is truly a helpful tool.

As you can see, my bottom bar houses my most-used apps, Phone, Messages, Mailbox, & Google Chrome. I highly recommend the Mailbox app. It is extremely helpful in paring down an overflowing inbox. And I keep Chrome on hand to search things that come up during the day.

The second page on my phone houses all the different category boxes, in which I store my different purchased apps. I've broken down these categories into the following compartments: social media, travel, useful, extras, camera, music, & saving money.

Social Media
This compartment houses all of my social media apps. The apps are arranged in order of usage for the most part, but really, the amount I use any of these given apps changes constantly, so there is no need to maintain them in any particular order. I've begun with Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Out of the three, I would say that I currently use Instagram the most frequently throughout the day. If I'm stuck waiting somewhere, nine times out of ten I will pull up my Instagram feed so that I can marvel at beautiful photos. Next I have Snapchat, Vine, & Foursquare. A few of my close friends & I use Snapchat regularly, & I get a good laugh out of this app quite often. Vine is another one of those things I'll peruse if I have some extra time. [Post coming in the future on which Vine accounts are the best to follow]. I have a love/hate relationship with Foursquare. I can't decide if it's cool or just plain creepy, so my usage is spotty. YouTube is an obvious essential, since I watch beauty videos on the reg. BuzzFeed helps me fall asleep each night. Game Center lives in here because I have no other place to put it. I have an organizational Tumblr blog, so that one comes in handy. Goodreads is here so I can catch up on what everyone is reading & add books to my to read list as necessary. And Keek is a new addition to my collection, which I'll be sharing more about in the future.

I think this compartment is fairly self-explanatory. I've got my Fly Delta, United, & American apps on hand for when I'm flying, for ease of check in & to monitor any gate changes. I haven't learned how to use Passbook yet, but I've heard it's really convenient. TripAdvisor is helpful in nearly any situation, but especially for restaurants. Embark NYC is an app that was recommended to me when discussing my upcoming trip to NYC - I believe it aids in navigating the transportation systems of the city.

This compartment stores app that are just that - useful. First off, I have my Devotion app. This app provides two daily Bible devotions, as well as a trivia question each day. I find this helps to center me, & it is the perfect way to begin & end each day. Next off is my Waterlogged app, which I use to track my daily water consumption. I have two weather apps - the stock one & The Weather Channel's official app, TWC. Next are a slew of sometimes-useful, sometimes-extraneous apps: Calculator, Settings, Mail, Contacts, Compass, Voice Memos, & Stocks. Just for the record, I don't think I've used the compass app or the stocks app once.

The extras compartment is where I store all the apps that don't have a specific home. It may be that I don't have enough of these individual types of apps to warrant their own folder, or I may never, ever use these apps, but like the other stock apps, I am not able to delete them. This is where both my iTunes & App Store apps live, as well as my sports-themed selections: SportsTracker & Nike + iPod. Then I have Postagram & Netflix, both of which I use sparingly. Dots is the only game I currently have on my phone. Emoji, Videos, & Safari are used almost never. [Just to clarify, I use emojis on my phone almost annoyingly regularly; I was simply saying that I never use the actual app. It just has to be on there in order to have the emoji keyboard].

As you can see in the screen shot, I haven't named this compartment the actual word camera; rather, I have named it with the cute camera emoji. Not only do I just simply like the way this looks, it also reduces the clutter on my screen. My most-used camera apps include VSCOcam & Afterlight, but I also enjoy Camera+, Diptic, Hipstamatic, CrossProcess, PuddingCam, & BeautifulMess.

Once again, this compartment is named with an emoji musical note rather than the word music. Out of the four apps in this section, Pandora & soundtracking are used most frequently. I don't currently store music on this phone, so the Music app is empty, & I've used up my free Spotify Premium trial, so Spotify doesn't really get used. I keep it on there if I ever decided to upgrade in the future.

Saving Money
This is a fairly new compartment, as I've recently broken into the couponing world. So far I've downloaded Hobby Lobby, Michaels, & CVS, but I am sure to add more in the near future.

I hope this post proved useful to any of you who are struggling to get your apps in order. If you're anything like me, a disorganized phone can send you reeling. Do yourself a favor & create some categorized compartments into which your various apps can be filed. It's definitely worked for me! So, tell me: how do you organize your apps? Do you let them haphazardly occupy pages upon pages of your phone? Or do you create categories like me?

Want to see more organization posts? They're all here, with more to come in the future.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 48.

Well, we are now guest-less at the Christy Residence - we dropped my mother-in-law off at the airport bright & early this morning. We had a great visit, & I'm sad that she is now back in Louisiana. Who wants to come visit next? 

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G Rise & Shine, by Anna Quindlen again. I had dropped it off at the library to take a break, but on Friday [the day I usually go to the library], I decided to pick it back up & power through it. According to my Summer Reading List, I've still got to finish Little Women, as well as reading And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, & Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris. All by September 22. I need to get on this. I'm also excited to put together my Fall Reading List. I've already been considering some titles, & of course, I'll share the list here as soon as it is completed.
W R I T I N G blog posts at the last minute lately. The Sunday Currently always goes up at noon eastern, & it is currently 11:38 a.m. 
L I S T E N I N G to/watching My House Wife Life this morning - the way I've been starting the day lately.
T H I N K I N G that I'm excited to start school tomorrow. I've got some interesting classes on the docket for this semester. 
S M E L L I N G the hot chocolate + milk concoction I'm currently sipping on.
W I S H I N G I hadn't eaten all the goodies I ate this week... but at the same time, I'm glad I did. Sometimes an indulgent week is good for the soul, even if it's not really good for the body.
H O P I N G to work out every day this week. See wishing, above. 
W E A R I N G my big, stretchy pajamas. Again, see wishing, above.
L O V I  N G my gold + turquoise you & me necklace, from Justin's mom for my birthday! I basically want everything from the Elephantine shop.
W A N T I N G an extremely healthy, yet filling, lunch. Since my body is used to eating a lot each day, I'm now starving.
N E E D I N G to get this post up! It's now 11:49 a.m. Yikes. I'm really taking my time this morning.
F E E L I N G tired. We slept way too long this morning after returning from the airport. 
C L I C K I N G a whole lot of Pinterest lately. What's your favorite thing to search on there?

I think we are going to have a relaxing day around here today. I'm going to probably pick up around the house a bit, maybe do some dishes, but other than that, I foresee a lot of reading & school prepping going on today!

What are you doing? Link up below! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

a fall preview.

It's not even September yet, & I'm already dreaming of fall. The other day, I noticed that an autumn color scheme was emerging on my Instagram feed, & it made me extremely happy. Here are some of those very images.

Friday, August 16, 2013

wardrobe reconstruction: stripes 01.

wardrobe reconstruction: stripes 01

late summer stripes
top | shorts | flats

Stripes. One of the most classic wardrobe components you'll come across. When deciding the parameters of my personal style, I knew stripes needed to be a key element. I've always loved stripes; they can be nautical, a bold statement, or an understated traditional basic, like in the top shown above. If you visit my stripes-themed Pinterest board - found here - you'll see I've already collected a lot of inspiration when it comes to this wardrobe staple. Be it tops, dresses, shorts, skirts, flats, or bags... gimme those stripes.

Want to read more about my wardrobe reconstruction? It's all here, & there's much, much more to come!

this week's posts:

link-up: friday's fancies \ {long distance loving}

Thursday, August 15, 2013

drugstore living: recent buys.

Today I'm sharing a little mini-haul with you. These items have been picked up over the course of a couple weeks, from both CVS & Wal-Mart. My all-time favorite drugstore is Walgreens, but I have to admit that the CVS ExtraCare Rewards Program is both rewarding & easy to use. I haven't gotten as acquainted with Walgreens' program, though, so I will check that out & report back to you.

As you can see, this haul includes a leave-in conditioner from Aussie, a shampoo & conditioner from L'Oreal, a nail polish from the Revlon Colorstay line, a Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm, & a package of cotton rounds. Only one of these things is a re-purchase - all of the other items are new-to-me, & I'm extremely excited to be trying them out. Let's start with discussing the re-purchase, since I know the most about it...

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner | I'm about to begin my third bottle of this stuff, so I think that is saying something right there. Beyond that, this stuff is one of my favorite products because of its convenience & ease of use: simply spray it into either wet or dry hair, &... that's it. Not only does it smell amazing [like coconuts... or kind of like suntan lotion, in a good way], it also makes my hair more manageable, easier to comb through, & more shiny/healthy-looking. The bottle also lasts ages. Remember when I said that this was my third bottle? Well, I started using this product in 2011. That's not very many re-purchases for that time frame. This product will always be an A in my book. I hope they never stop making it. Because if they do, I will cry.

L'Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo + Intense Nourishing Conditioner | I can't remember which YouTube Beauty Guru told me about this stuff, because sometimes, I listen to beauty videos while I'm in the shower, & since I'm not watching the person as they talk, I will sometimes forget where/who I heard it from. But whoever mentioned this product, simply raved about it. [Come to think of it, it may have been leighannsays, but don't quote me on that]. I haven't yet tried this out, because I'm finishing up the shampoos & conditioner that are currently in my shower, but it smells amazing in the tube, & I'm really looking forward to testing out its supposed amazingness.

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF 20 in Cherry Me | I seriously can't even begin to tell you how many times I've picked this product up in the drugstore, intending to buy it, then talking myself out of it. It can't be that good, I'd say to myself. Why I was belly-aching so much over a product that costs $3.99, the world may never know. But since I picked it up a while ago, I can let you know that it IS that good. Everything that everyone is saying about the Baby Lips line is correct. It's hydrating, the ones with color give your lips that perfect, my-lips-just-naturally-look-this-amazing touch of color, & I can honestly say that the chappedness [definitely not a word, but you understand what I mean] of my lips has decreased dramatically. I plan to slowly collect each of the available varieties. I think the clear ones would be great to keep in my nightstand to apply before bed. 

Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Spanish Moss | Y'all. There is a reason this little baby has gotten its own photograph. I love this color. I love it so much, that this polish has been named my Signature Nail Polish for Late Summer/Early Fall. The first application, which I believe I painted on Sunday, has only minor chipping around the tips, mostly on my right hand. And when I say minor chipping, I mean you can barely tell it's there. This is my first experience with this formula, & the only drawback I've noticed is that, if applied too heavily, it can get a little gloppy & bubbly, which I found out when I painted my left hand first. On my right hand, I applied thinner coats & was pleased with the effect. With these polishes, I suggest painting two light coats. That did the trick for me. I didn't use a base coat or top coat, & it's pleasantly creamy & shiny, & as I said, it is definitely long-lasting. 

White Cloud Cotton Rounds, 100 Count | When I popped into Walmart the other day to pick up some cleaning supplies, I ran across a huge display of all different kinds of cotton rounds. As I had just run out of cotton balls, I thought I'd give these a try. When I compared the different brands & quantities, these came out as the best value. I've been using them to apply my witch hazel toner, & I'm pleased. As you can see in the photo, they are textured, & that aids in removing any stray makeup that may not have been removed when cleansing my face. 

I really enjoyed sharing my mini-haul/mini-review of these recent buys! I may do full reviews on some or all of these products in the future. Let me know if you'd like to know more about any of them. Also, what have you bought recently? Any suggestions for my next shopping trip?

Want to see more Drugstore Living posts? They're all here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

two candles.

Happy Second Birthday, to my creative outlet, 
my space to record the big events in my life, 
my vehicle to connect to others, near & far. 

And here's to many, many more.

Want to know more about siddathornton? Click here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

so far...

these cupcakes have nothing to do with this post. but, i mean, YUM.


That thing where I committed to writing a blog post every day of August, to celebrate my birthday month. Because, honestly, YES, it is stressful to put content up on my blog every single day. I don't always schedule the posts ahead of time, I don't always feel inspired to write. But it still makes me feel so productive, so accomplished to get something done each day. And so, here we are. 

I thought today - since it is kind of one of those un-inspired days - I'd do a little round-up of the posts I've written so far for Blaugust. I love a lot of the posts I've put up so far, so I thought, why not? Here they are...

[August 1 a birthday month overhaul.This is where I talk about my August goals, which I'm actually doing pretty well with, if I do say so myself.
[August 2 weekender.I love the shorts in this outfit set, & if they'd like to magically appear in my closet, I'd be fine with that. I also shared my new favorite YouTube channels, which I'm pretty much obsessed with right now.
[August 3 thoughts at the park.A little stream-of-consciousness reflective writing.
[August 5: savannah snapshot: gryphon tea room.A photo round-up of mine & Justin's favorite part of our trip to Savannah.
[August 6: how i organize the blogs i like to read.By far one of my most favorite posts of all the ones I've written. I've been really getting into organization lately, so I really enjoyed writing about how I categorize my blog reads.
[August 7: little joys.A tiny little corner of our apartment that brings me great joy.
[August 8: wardrobe reconstruction: defining my personal style.Another of my all-time favorite posts here on my blog. This is the first post in a series I'll be sharing as I revamp my wardrobe.
[August 9: a song, a book, a quote, a look.Sharing some of my favorites in this post to participate in one of my new favorite link-ups.
[August 10: beach reading.Just a round-up of reads from around the Internet.
[August 12: little joys: a fulfilling monday schedule.Y'all. I seriously had one of the best Mondays ever yesterday. Wanna go read about it? You should. It's simple, but lovely.

What are some of your favorite posts that you've put up lately? I'd love to get caught up - leave a link in the comments, & I'll head over & check it out.

photo: strawberry on strawberry cupcakes \ instagram

Monday, August 12, 2013

little joys: a fulfilling monday schedule.

It's been one of those Mondays in which I derived great joy from the freshly-vacuumed carpet's lined pattern. 

I have these days from time to time, though not often enough - the ones where I'm just filled with joy over completing menial tasks. Over the mini hustle & bustle of my own life. Over my taking control over the most minute details. You know, that kind of day. 

While I was showering [obviously where most people do their best thinking], I had the thought to share the sequence of my highly simple, yet highly fulfilling day. I highly doubt anything ground-breaking may be gleaned from reading this post - consider that your warning.


I rose around ten this morning, which is later than I had originally wanted, but early enough to still feel productive. I looked around at our freshly-cleaned house & decided: I'm actually going to make our bed this morning. After that, I loaded all of the things we planned to donate to Goodwill into my car & set off for the gym, where I did 30 minutes on the bike, as well as some toning with weights. 

Here's where it gets really good: on the way to the Goodwill drop-off facility, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts is a relatively new thing for me; you see, we don't have them in my hometown [or at least we didn't then - I can't speak for now]. And as I was pulling into the parking lot, I remembered: today is $1.00 iced coffee day. What is $1.00 iced coffee day, you ask? Well, it is a day during which you may purchase an iced coffee - any size - for one measly little dollar. Naturally, I asked for the largest size. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, because before I knew it, the lady at the register was handing over to me a 32-ounce BEAST of an iced coffee. That's when I knew it was going to be a good day in Lauren Land. 

I dropped off the boxes at Goodwill, then drove back home to meet Justin for lunch, all the while sipping my gargantuan iced coffee. And loving every second of it. After he left, I proceeded to tackle catching up on my correspondence, meaning I responded to all of my messages & comments on all social media platforms, as well as on my blog. I scheduled the tweets for The Sunday Currently. The only thing I didn't get to in this category was responding to all of my emails. Alas, it is only Monday, folks. There's still time. 

The next few hours of my day were spent on the following activities: baking strawberry-on-strawberry cupcakes, shoveling banana chips into my mouth, showering to John Mayer songs, putting on makeup, fixing my hair, chatting on the phone with my sister, folding & putting away laundry, & vacuuming [see above for proclamation of vacuum lines love]. 


So, you see? Not a particularly eventful day, but instead one chock-full of endless productivity, it seemed. And this is just my favorite, favorite type of day. So I decided to share it with you. Because maybe you take joy in this kind of day, too. And maybe this will inspire you to live out this kind of day tomorrow. Lord knows, I will try to.

In a little while, we'll be heading to the airport to scoop Justin's mom up, as she is arriving for a week-long visit. I can't wait to spend the week with her; we have lots of Wilmington-exploring to do!

How was your Monday? Did you get a lot done? I hope you enjoyed yours like I enjoyed mine.

photo: the beast-of-a-coffee mentioned above \ instagram

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...