Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween!




Is it weird that Halloween is the host of many of my favorite memories? There was just something about pulling on my long-awaited costume, my mom putting makeup on my face, grabbing my jack-o-lantern candy bucket, & heading out into the chilly night, flanked on either side by my parents, my sister beside me. There was something about feeling my candy bucket get heavier & heavier, realizing there would be a whole spread of treats to enjoy for days to come. There was just something about not being scared to knock on a stranger's door. There was just something about seeing that some of the adults handing out candy still dressed up, too. There was just something about the way our neighbors' houses smelled, that I can still smell today, when I think on it. There was just something about traipsing through my new neighborhood, with new friends, freshman year of high school. There's just something about Halloween, that's unlike any other day of the year. And I think it's that palpable autumn feeling, hanging around in the air.

Wishing you all a spooky little day of costumes, candy, & craziness [the good kind].

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photo: moss in the trees of savannah, georgia | taken in July 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

my ongoing love of hugh macrae park.



I wrote on Monday about looking inward, & I really couldn't think of a better place to do so than the one pictured above. Really, for me, nothing compares to pulling on my running shoes, driving over to my favorite park, firing up my Pandora app, & just... running. Running until I can't anymore. Running to combat the stress I'm feeling. Running for the health of my body & mind. And then, I'll stop running, & I'll walk for another half a lap or so, taking in the beauty of what has now long been one of my favorite places in Wilmington.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

i chopped off my hair [& i like it!].

*Note: this post was accidentally deleted earlier [I know - GASP]. So, if you commented, I apologize... I lost them all.

Whenever I consider writing a post about my hair, I think of this one, which was published long ago. And if that post told you anything, it's that I like changing up my hair [to say the least]. So, the fact that this past Friday, I walked into the salon & asked them to chop around eight inches off my hair, should come as no surprise, really.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've probably already seen most of these photos. But, for records' sake, I wanted to chronicle the big chop here on my blog.



So far, I am really loving the new 'do. It's proven to be quite low maintenance, Justin absolutely LOVES it, & to be honest, I feel like a new person. There's just something about changing up your hair, you know? It's coming up on time to re-dye my hair, & I'm trying to decide whether to go a bit darker, or to keep rockin' the brown with red undertones look.

What do you think?

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photos: hair, long & short | see more on instagram

Monday, October 28, 2013

on looking inward.



Sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I take a few moments to meditate on the vastness of the world. I breathe in, thinking about how very small I am, amidst the chaos of the universe. I breathe out, & I let go of those things that feel like they're holding me back. I close my eyes, then open them again, seeing things in a different, simpler light. 

Our problems are so small in the scheme of things, so insignificant compared with the enormity of the world. And to me, that is a big comfort.

That thought allows me to look inward & concentrate on being the best I, myself can be at any given moment. In times when I feel as though I lack any & all power, I have power over myself. I have power over my emotions, over my feelings, over how I choose to view things. I have power over how I present myself, how I react, & how I choose to treat others. And knowing that that is enough - that how I carry myself is enough - eradicates that huge weight  I try to carry around from time to time, that includes all of those negative, self-conscious feelings. 

I look inward, & I do my best.

And that is enough.

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trees upon trees at hugh macrae | taken Sunday afternoon | more on instagram

Sunday, October 27, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 58.



here's my new hair cut. i really like it.

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G a statistics chapter today, as well as some anatomy notes. Is it December 13 yet? The end of this semester deserves a party thrown & a cake made. 
W R I T I N G packing lists for my upcoming trip!
L I S T E N I N G to Awkward. So excited about the season premiere! And after this, we're going to watch Grey's Anatomy. DVR is a glorious thing. 
T H I N K I N G that I'm so excited to go to NYC for the first time... & then, going home in December. I can't wait!
S M E L L I N G & drinking a tall nonfat caramel macchiato.
W I S H I N G for more workouts & some excellent diet self-control for the week ahead.
H O P I N G for the stress to be as low as possible this week.
W E A R I N G comfy clothes & my absolute favorite scarf - one that I made last year. It's so soft & cream in color.
L O V I  N G coffee lately. What else is new?
W A N T I N G to do pilates & have a nice cardio workout today.
N E E D I N G to curl my hair today.
F E E L I N G like I want more coffee. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

a return to friday's fancies [#71]: in the office.

in the office.

knit | top | necklace | slacks | flats


Lately, I've been rummaging through my old blog posts, kind of like one would rummage through a trunk of their belongings found in the attic. I revisited some fond memories, remembered some not-so-fond ones, & just generally reminisced, but mainly I was aware of my favorite types of posts & information-sharing techniques being brought into focus pretty clearly. 

It's a funny thing, blogging. You do certain things, you stop doing certain others. Your blog evolves slowly, sometimes for no reason other than progress for progress' sake, sometimes as a means to feel as though you're making progress. I say it's funny, because all we should really do while blogging is enjoy it. That's what this is here for, at least in my eyes. To enjoy. And to share.

All of that to say, I've been missing being a part of the Friday's Fancies community somethin' fierce. And that's why I'm promptly rejoining today. No, I did not follow the theme of this week, but I plan to pick that back up next week. I always enjoyed taking Alison's prompts & somehow melding them with my life at the moment, then creating an outfit board to match. So, expect to see a Friday's Fancies post here each Friday, as it was in years past around these parts. I'm excited!

Today, I am sharing with you an outfit that I would be delighted to wear when I finally get to return to normalcy. It has nothing to do with my life this weekend, as most of it will probably be spent in pajamas. In short: it will be a house-cleaning weekend around the C Residence. I'm off for a bachelorette party next weekend, so it's time to get everything in order, so Justin doesn't have to clean while I'm away, & I will get to come home to a clean apartment to kick off November with. Here's to responsibility!

Ohhh, & pssssst: I'm chopping my hair off today. There will be a post, with befores & afters, next week!

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

on the glory of normalcy.



I don't think you can ever really understand the stress & busyness & pulled-in-multiple-directions-ness of returning to school as an adult until you are living it. [And I know it would be much more difficult if I were living in Shreveport, surrounded by family & friends & lovely, fun things to do]. It is challenging, but rewarding. It's a time in my life that is difficult now, but that I know I will look back on fondly, as a time when I was completely exerting myself mentally, physically, emotionally, & scholastically. It's a blessing. It really is.

And oh, how I will treasure those years of rise, coffee, work, sleep! Oh, how I will treasure the normalcy. Just like I treasured the normalcy of working Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 5:30 after working on the copy desk at the paper. A return to normalcy is glorious. But, alas, to return to normalcy, you must first be catapulted out of it. 

I'm probably not yet on the upswing - I'm more than likely still high in the arc after being shot out of the cannon. But I know that - eventually - I'll be sailing back toward stability. Toward routine. Toward normalcy. And when it arrives, it will be greeted with open arms.

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photo: a beautiful residence in savannah, georgia | from our trip in july 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 57.



yesterday's rainy Starbucks Saturday adventure

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G nothing for school, all weekend, & it has been glorious. I had an ethics test on Thursday, & he decided not to assign anything until our next class. Win. And my A&P teacher has really slacked off, which is a God-send. He was assigning 200 questions to be completed in three days for a while there. That is not fun.  
W R I T I N G feels weird this morning. For some reason, I feel like I haven't written in a really long time, & I know that I wrote last week's Sunday Currently in advance, but it feels even longer ago that I wrote one. Time, why you so weird?
L I S T E N I N G to the hum of the ceiling fan & the click-click-clack of the keyboard. I'm still in bed. And truth be told, if I didn't have to write this post, I think I may still be asleep. As implied before, it's been quite the lazy weekend around here.
T H I N K I N G that I cannot wait for this semester to be over. That I cannot wait to visit NYC in a couple weeks. That I cannot wait to go home for Christmas. That I cannot wait to go get Starbucks Sunday upon completing this post.
S M E L L I N G nothing. I've been waking up with sinus woes as of late, & that pretty much means I can't smell anything, ever, unless it's in my face. A blessing sometimes, a curse others.
W I S H I N G I was reading a lovely book right now. My book-ban until December 13 may be lifted for my upcoming flights to & from NYC. Or perhaps I'll just read magazines? Haven't done that in forever, either.
H O P I N G to get the house cleaned - & I mean really cleaned - this week. That has definitely fallen by the wayside in the midst of this semester's work.
W E A R I N G a very comfortable, long-sleeved, v-neck shirt, which I believe is from Old Navy, as well as some sleep shorts. 
L O V I  N G the fact that I MADE AN A ON MY FIRST STATISTICS TEST. Y'all, that really did deserve all caps. I'm elated, ecstatic, excited, & all those other good E words. Now, just to maintain that grade.
W A N T I N G a tall, nonfat caramel macchiato & a lemon loaf cake from Starbucks.
N E E D I N G a nice long cardio + blogilates workout today, if I plan on eating the above. It's definitely been a weekend of indulgence, but I feel content & ready to get back on the healthy-eating bandwagon this week. I'm even considering doing a cleanse.
F E E L I N G lazy, but lucky that I've been able to be so this weekend. Also, feeling educated, since Justin & I have been watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix lately. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

charleston in october.

Are you tired of hearing about Charleston in this space yet? Well, worry not, because this will be the last post on the Holy City for awhile [you know, until our next visit]. 

When we rose early on Sunday morning, I went down to the hotel lobby for tea & honey. As I sipped, I hustled & bustled to get ready. And when we finally set foot on the streets of downtown Charleston, it was like a collective sigh was let loose: the buildings seemed to relax into themselves, the streets breathed easily. And we knew where we were headed: toward a creaky front porch covered with mums & pumpkins, toward Southern comfort food at its best, toward brunch. And as we left with full bellies, we decided to traverse a bit of the land laid before us. It was still early, so the stray twinkle lights here & there glowed from within & exuded that extreme comfort that they're sometimes known for. Shops & libraries still lay dormant, waiting for the hour to strike which brought with it the flow of customers. But it wasn't that hour yet, so they lay still, waiting & watching. Certain antique wares beckoned to us from the windows, while the theater tiles were changed out at the Riviera. We stopped to greet a dog who was collecting a crowd - he was 250 pounds, according to his owner - & he flopped onto his back, begging for a belly rub. And on the way back to the car, we saw Second Sunday going up all around us: tables brought out from restaurants & placed on the street, tents going up with knick knacks for the taking, a book sale on the lawn of the library, & the crowds beginning to converge. We watched sleepy King Street turn into bustling, crowded King Street. And we soaked up every minute of that last bit of sleepiness before the waking.

Want to see more photos? They're all over here.

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photos: scenes from Charleston | taken October 13, 2013 | complete set here

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

around here lately: a glimpse at our first anniversary.

On Sunday, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary! We woke up in Charleston, had brunch at Poogan's Porch [definitely our favorite place we've thus far discovered in the Holy City], & ate thawed-out, year-old wedding cake. Here are some snaps to prove it.


saturday, october 12 was a beautiful day for a roadtrip
sidewalk art spotted in downtown charleston
an 'oink' adorned wall at jim & nick's BBQ, where we had lunch


a saturday afternoon spent at parson jack's, where there was money on the ceiling
[we watched the LSU-Florida game, & LSU won]
sunday morning anniversary brunch on the porch at our favorite, poogan's porch


we didn't take many pictures, but here's what we looked like on october 13, 2013
when we arrived home, we feasted on defrosted, year-old wedding cake

I think the first year is a big milestone as far as anniversaries go. True, Justin & I have been together for a lot longer than one year, but this was our first married year. And that made all of the difference. 

Here's to many, many more.

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photos: taken during anniversary weekend | find them on instagram

Monday, October 14, 2013

how to get out of a rut.



Last week, I wrote a little something over on Sidda Writes about being in a rut. Since then, I've managed to start digging myself out of it. Here's how.

1. I changed my to-do list format. Stop writing the same lists over & over, like I was doing. It doesn't make you want to do the tasks any more the next day, if they are presented to you in the exact same way. It just doesn't. Trust me.
2. I made a brand new playlist. And on it, I put songs that relax me in some way. I reached back into the early nineties to grab those songs that always make me feel safe [namely, anything by Matchbox Twenty]. I kept up with the Joneses & put some of the hip stuff I listen to on alt nation on there. I added John Mayer, because his voice reminds me of the safety of my freshman year dorm room bed, which looked out over the residence hall courtyard. I added all of the things like that. And, I tell you what, when listening to that playlist, I feel like I can do anything. And it helps. A lot.
3. I gave myself the day off. And it was challenging. When I feel myself slipping into a rut, or when I've been in a rut for a long time, & I've just then realized it, I'm always eager to jump out immediately. I keep plugging away, trying to force myself to get results. Sometimes it works, in a nose-to-the-grindstone, never-let-up way, but usually it just frustrates me. I've found that sometimes all you need is a day to relax - to stop hating on yourself - to feel more in the mood to try again the next day.
4. I pressed the reset button. Similar to number three, this one allowed me to forgive myself for making no progress in the past, & to move on from that feeling. Being too hard on yourself may work for a little while, but everyone has a breaking point. Press reset & allow yourself to feel new again.
5. I got excited about my tasks. I know. This may be easier said than done. Obviously everyone wishes to be excited about their to-do lists, because then, getting everything done would be fun. I find that I am so much happier when I'm 100% behind the things I have to do. That isn't always the case, & when it's not, I rarely do anything. I've found that if i simply try to think about my tasks from a different angle, I'm able to remember why they're on my list in the first place.
6. I started a new workout routine. You know that old adage that says something about how if you keep doing the same thing, you'll keep getting the same results? Well, that's what was happening with my workout. So, I started the Blogilates program. I've done a video here & there before, but this time, I signed up for the newsletter & gained access to the beginners' daily workout calendar. I'm loving it so far, & in conjunction with my pre-existing cardio routine, I think I'll begin to see some results soon. And if that's not enough motivation to push you out of a rut, I don't know what is.
7. I rewarded myself. Yes, it was just hot chocolate & an everything bagel in between two of my Thursday classes on a cold, misty day, but it was a hot chocolate & an everything bagel well-spent.
8. I shared the journey. I texted my friend, asking why I was sucking so much as a person. Haha, I know, harsh. But sometimes, a reassuring word from a loved one will go far to put you back on the right path. It always helps me, that's for sure. And, more than likely, as your friend spills to you, you'll realize you're not alone. Everyone has bad days... everyone catches an occasional case of the Mondays. But knowing we're all in this thing together can prove to be extremely comforting.

I thought Monday was the best day to share something like this, as Mondays tend to have that stigma of being a horrible, no good, very bad day. I understand this, trust me. But Mondays are also good for new beginnings. And I think that's what I'll be focusing on today.

What do you do when you find yourself in a rut? Do you wallow for a while, like me, or do you snap into action immediately? Do share your tips & tricks below. I need all the help I can get in this respect!

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photo: inside my planner | taken Sunday night | find other photos on instagram

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the sunday currently, advance edition: it's our one-year anniversary! [volume 56].

a year ago, today.

As of today, Justin & I have been married for 365 days, which I think is amazing. It feels like yesterday that I was heading down to Nottoway with my family, & Justin was heading in to Shreveport from Wilmington, & we were preparing for our wedding, flanked by our closest family & friends. As I reflect on our last year of marriage, I'm overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude for having such a caring, loving, funny, & responsible husband. I can't wait to see all that lies in store for our life together! 

To celebrate our anniversary, we took a little road trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Ever since our visit back in February of this year - see here, here, here, here, here, & here - we have been smitten with the Holy City. It seemed only fitting to celebrate in a place we enjoyed so much last time. Since this is an advance edition of The Sunday Currently - I'm writing it on Friday night around 9:30 p.m. - I'm going to go ahead and guess that I will have many, many photos to share with you all, a small portion over here, & a large portion over on Sidda Snaps. And later on today, we'll be enjoying thawed-out, year-old wedding cake. Here's to life & love!

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G the Ask Reddit thread obsessively each night before bed. 
W R I T I N G over on Sidda Writes & loving it. I have big plans & dreams for that space.
L I S T E N I N G to documentaries as I type this post out. Tonight, we've watched Top Ten UFO Sightings & The Most Dangerous Drug. We've been watching many such things on Netflix recently.
T H I N K I N G that I feel very blessed & lucky to have a great husband. 
S M E L L I N G freshly painted nail polish. In anticipation for our anniversary trip, I painted my nails "Cocktail Dress," by Ciate. This is the color that I was wearing when Justin & I got engaged a little less than two years ago!
W I S H I N G we could have brunch in Charleston every Sunday.
H O P I N G Justin & I have had a lovely little visit to the Holy City.
W E A R I N G an outfit fit for adventure, I'm sure.
L O V I  N G Justin.
W A N T I N G a lovely rest of the weekend. Though Justin & I have had a lot of time for relaxation over the past couple of days, today will be the day to get back in line for the week to come.
N E E D I N G to study a lot this week... my first statistics test is quickly approaching.
F E E L I N G happy. 
C L I C K I N G nothing this weekend. 

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photos: our wedding | taken one year ago | by Shana Burke