Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{back to beantown}

Like I said in yesterday's post, I flew up to Boston on Sunday for two days.

The weather was gorgeous all day yesterday. After breakfast we headed into the city to walk around a bit. We strolled through my new neighborhood & admired my new shady {& steep!} street.

My new apartment entrance:

We had to head back into the suburbs to run some errands, but after that, we had some dee-lish Mexican food along the water. Look at the sky!

Later in the afternoon we met up with my younger sibs for some ice cream. The three boys are seriously a comedy act. They all went golfing together--by themselves, with no instructor--& the stories they came back with were hilarious. One of them hit a ball into the water, & instead of just fishing it out & hitting it from the green, he decided to step into the water & hit it from there. Boys ;)

I love them more each time I see them. {& Squig, of course!}

The middle one was a little camera shy :) {& the other one's face was blurred to keep his privacy. Don't ask why his arms are tucked in his shirt, because I couldn't tell you, lol.}

We had dinner at Scampo, which is in the Liberty Hotel. {It's an old jail!} I highly recommend this restaurant. Everything was so delicious & cooked absolutely perfectly. It also had gluten-free pasta, which I took advantage of, obviously. Bolognese style :)

The best part of this trip, however, was last night. I saw Coldplay for the second time this month! In addition to my dad, "brother," & Dylan, our friends came with us. {The bride & groom who got married in Jamaica.} It was SO fun!  But I have to say...the first concert was better :)

I am one lucky fangirl. 

Today I'm meeting up with my bff for lunch. She was actually the first friend I made when I went to college, & my freshman roommate, & I can't wait to see her!  She's the best.  Dylan's London roommate is also coming with...so it should be a fun day! 

It's been fun having a little time off, even if the past few days have been a bit emotional. I can't believe I'll be back here in just a month for school!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

{my weekend}

**Thank you for all the emails, messages, & comments I received after Friday's post. It really meant the world to me. For now, I'm not going to post anything further on that topic, but just know...we're okay.**

Here's what I was up to this weekend...

I got my haircut

had a sleepover with Dyl due to family staying with us {in her room},

made a happy birthday sign for my Grandma's 75th surprise birthday party,

& a congrats sign for my cousin's surprise graduation party {combined with the bday party}, 

made decorations for outside

& finally, took some pictures of my adorable & gorgeous cousin Violet Bea.

I mean...the cutest, right??

I hope you all had a great weekend! I'm in Boston today & tomorrow, so if I don't post I'll see you Wednesday!

Friday, July 27, 2012


This quote struck a chord with me...especially today. Because in the past year, I've had to adjust my sails.

There's something I haven't disclosed on this blog, because it's very personal & something I haven't quite fully accepted yet. But today it's about to become more real. Since my closest friends & family know, & since I've been rather open about everything else so far, I'm going to share it with you.

Last July, my dad sat my sister & I down & told us he has another son. He was from a brief relationship & my dad didn't find out about the boy for a while, but in the years since he's found out, my dad has had a relationship with him. {They've met a handful of times & talk often.} But because of many reasons--some I do & don't agree with--my sister & I were only told last summer. Needless to say, it was the shock of a lifetime & my whole world was tilted upside down.

I've been through a range of emotions in the past twelve months. I've been angry, sad, hurt...the whole nine yards. In the beginning few months, I didn't know what to believe anymore, since we'd been kept in the dark for so long. There are lots of details I won't talk about here, but nonetheless, it's a complicated situation that I never thought would happen to me & my "normal" life.

Because Dylan was flying off to Europe for the school year, we pushed the whole situation in the back of our minds. We didn't ask many questions about the boy himself--all we knew for nine months was that he is 2 years older than us & lives across the country. I know his first name & I saw a picture of him for the first time last night.

I'm telling you this because today--almost a year to the day I found out he existed--I'm meeting my "brother" for the first time.

I put the term brother into quotes because, well, although he is technically my brother, he hasn't earned that title with me yet. I still think of myself as having only three half-brothers...not four. I still consider myself having only seven siblings, even though I have eight. I still consider myself the oldest child even though, sadly, I'm not anymore. It's a lot to wrap my head around...even a year later.

I didn't think I'd be ready to meet him for a LONG time. Honestly, I still don't think I'm ready. But he's a person, he's out there, & I know he's been waiting a long time to meet his "real" family.

I don't know how it's going to go. I'm nervous & scared & anxious all in one.

I don't know how I'll react. I'll probably cry. It'll probably be awkward. I'll probably get sad all over again.

But...maybe it'll be okay. & maybe we'll have things in common & it won't be as awkward as I've been assuming it'll be. I don't know what the future holds with him.  The emotions are still fresh; I'm still working through & coping with everything. I still cry about it often. But I like to think that down the road we'll have some sort of relationship when it all sinks in a little more.

So if you have any spare thoughts today, please send good vibes to my sister & I. We've done a great job at holding our head high this year. It wasn't easy going through it all--especially being so far apart from another--but we're still all in one piece. We've been through a lot of change in our life, some easy & some tough, & are no strangers to welcoming siblings into our family.  Sister is my proudest role, so I know in my heart...we can do this.

We just need to remember to

Happy weekend.

**all pictures from tumblr

Thursday, July 26, 2012

{recipe: sweet & salty roasted broccoli}

Sweet & Salty Roasted Broccoli

  • salt
  • sugar
  • olive oil
  • broccoli

Slice the broccoli into thin slices...

I don't have photos of this...but after putting all the slices into a bowl, cover all the pieces with olive oil. Then pour in some salt {a tablespoon or two} & some sugar {half a tablespoon} & mix it all up.  Don't be put off by the sugar...that's what browns the broccoli & makes it crisp.

Lay the broccoli flat on a nonstick pan.

Set the oven to 350F & cook them for about 15-20 minutes. Or until all the pieces are slightly brown.

Voilà!  A different, delicious way to cook broccoli :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{wednesday randoms}

Hello friends! Here's some random mid-week randoms:
  • I saw the Dark Night Rises last Friday. I loved it & you should all see it.
  • On that note...my prayers continue to go to the victims & families in Aurora, CO. I can't even begin to imagine what they're going through, but my thoughts will be with them. I have a good friend who lives in Aurora, & I'm so relieved she was not at the theatre that night.
  • I bought this table! I was so glad I didn't buy it a few weeks ago, because lo & behold...it went on sale! {They've since jacked up the price again.} I stopped by the store to check it out one last time & I love it even more than before. It's perf.
  • I emailed my realtor & asked for my apartment dimensions -- specifically for my bedroom. This was the response from the current tenant:  If I had to guess I would say it's 6 or 7 feet wide and 12 or 13 feet long. I have a full size bed in there and there is barely any room to walk on the side. 
  • Long story short, my room is super narrow. 
  • My entire family on my mom's side is coming in this weekend. She is one of 6, so not only will all her sibs be here, but their spouses & kids/my cousins. It's been a few years since we've all gotten together, due to geographic distance, & I couldn't be more excited. We have some big plans.
  • It was 103 degrees when I left work yesterday. NOT okay.
  • I bought Season 4 of Parks & Recreation this weekend. It's Dyl & I's favorite show & I MAY have already finished watching it. Oh, wait...

  • It's hump day! Week is half-way over :)
  • Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{my weekend | sweet freedom review}

Since we shared a recipe yesterday, here's my weekend post a day late.

Dylan & I came downstairs on Saturday literally wearing the same outfit. 

I was the one who had to change ;)

We decided not to go to the beach this weekend. My mom & stepdad did, so it was just Dyl & I for a few days. It was nice to have the house to ourselves :)  We just hung around, ran some errands, & cooked some good food.

On Sunday afternoon, we went downtown to an art store & a gluten-free bakery. We hadn't been to Sweet Freedom in a while, so we were excited to see what they'd added.

This picture makes me laugh. It's like the wall mural is pressuring you to go inside & buy something sweet, lol.

I love bakeries that have seating. It's not just grab & go.

We got a vanilla, red velvet, & chocolate cupcake, a chocolate-chip cookie, & a cookie sandwich.

The cookies were really good...but Dylan didn't really enjoy her cupcake. {We have yet to eat the vanilla & red velvet!}  In addition to being gluten-free & vegan, everything is free of soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, & corn.

Now, I know I shouldn't complain, but I like my food to have everything BUT gluten. I can eat all the other stuff. When you take dairy out of a cupcake, it changes it...for the worse.

I've had a few other goodies of theirs in the past--like their donuts--that are always delicious. So even though Dylan didn't love her cupcake, it's definitely worth the trip there. It's the only gluten-free bakery in Philadelphia, so we'll always go back :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

{dylan's recipes: chicky chicky parm parm}

For an explanation on the name "chicky chicky parm parm" watch the video above.

Then click "Read more" to see the recipe!

Friday, July 20, 2012

{fashion friday: white jeans}

It's been a while since we've done Fashion Friday :)

I've been searching & searching & searching for white jeans for a few years now. I finally found them last weekend!!

Now, just to preface, I NEVER spend this much money on jeans...normally. But I made an exception this time.

Adriano Goldschmied Stilt Roll-Up Jeans:

I loooove them!

Since it's almost late July (um, when did that happen?}, I hesitated buying them. I'm one of those people who follows the "no white after Labor Day" rule. That's mainly because during the fall & winter, the weather is quite cold where I live & white pants look a little odd. But since I'm headed to Los Angeles in January, I knew I'd be getting a lot of wear out of them.

& when I tried them on, they looked pretty good...so there's that ;)

White jeans are so versatile. You can wear them with a comfy fall sweater:

Or the opposite...with just a tee. {Love the white + grey combo!}

With a blouse or button-up:

Heels & yellow:


I usually get buyers remorse after I spend that much on one piece of clothing...but I'm totally happy with this purchase. I can't wait to dress them up or go casual!

So this was a style tip & fashion find all wrapped up in one :)

White jeans are WAY "in" right now...go get some!

Here are 3 outfits {including the white jeans!}:

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

{a story}

How gorgeous is she?!

I have a cute story to share about her. I've been thinking about it all day.

My mom's youngest sister, K, has an almost 3-year old daughter named Violet. {This was their house!} Long story short, Violet is adorbs & I'm slightly obsessed with her. I see her next week & I CAN'T WAIT.

A few days ago my aunt was dressing Violet, & was trying to put her in a pair of shorts. Violet's all chub in the best way possible--from her cheeks to her thighs--& my aunt couldn't get her shorts on easily.

Violet said, "Come on mom! Get my beautiful booty in my shorts!"

That made me laugh so hard. I adore the fact that Violet knows she has a little bit of a "booty."  My family, especially the women, are all about being healthy--not skinny. If working out & eating well equals a lean body, than that's the way it is. But if not, at least we're doing everything we can. Not every woman in my family is a size 2--hell, I'm not--but we're healthy. Violet is lucky to grow up in a family like ours; a  family that never pressures anyone to look a certain way. 

So...if there's one thing to take away from this story, it's this: 

Violet's right...her booty is beautiful. 
& she know's it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{guest post! my sister dylan on "mountains & what they've done to me"}

lets go deep today.

I had the opportunity to study abroad my junior year of college...Rome in the fall, London in the spring. Throughout these two semesters I traveled all over Europe, from Budapest to Stockholm, Vienna to Bruges. Being away from home was definitely hard at times, but the year was unforgettable and extraordinary.

When I came home in December for two weeks between semesters, Liv says I was a different person. And she's right. Looking back I don't even remember the first two days at home because 1) I was deliriously jet-lagged & 2) I just left a semester that imprinted on my soul. It was very depressing.

Living abroad is an amazing learning experience. You really have to go big or go home. I said "yes" to things I would normally say "no" to, tried foods before knowing what it was, & most importantly, dove head first into embracing culture.

moment of clarity

I traveled to Geneva, Switzerland with three close friends the first weekend of November. I had been to Switzerland before but never this city, so I was very excited to experience new territory. The Swissland is a gorgeous country where two of my favorite languages are spoken: French & Italian. French is spoken in Geneva, so my friend Greta & I were able to break out our French {although mine was pretty bad} that we hadn't spoken in quite a while.

We decided to cross the border of Switzerland into France & ride a cable car up to the top of a French "Pre-Alp" {that means it's basically connected to the Swiss Alps, but it's in France not Switzerland}. When we arrived at the top of the cable car, we were about 75% up an alp called La Salève, which is 4,600 ft. high. One of my friends & I decided to hike to the top of the mountain, where we were greeted with a 360 degree view of Geneva & the Swiss Alps.  Did you ever have a dream of hiking to the top of a mountain and finding yourself in a pasture of sheep with a breathtaking view?  I lived it!  It was insane.

It's become a trend of mine to have epiphanies at the tops of mountain.  The first time was in 2007 at the top of Mount Yale in Colorado.  I hiked for 12 hours & 9,000 ft. later, found my way at the top of a Colorado Rocky Mountain.  Seeing nothing but white-capped mountain peaks {in July, mind you}, surrounded by new friends that have seen you at your lowest, {around 6,000 ft. up & dying}, & your highest, {managing to make it up the whole way}, is an indescribable feeling.

And here I was experiencing yet another moment of clarity, realization, or whatever you want to call it.  I was sucked into it.  "It" meaning wanderlust & wanting to continue to go for the unknown, take chances, and live life {mostly} unrestrained.  I stood at the top of La Salève in silence for about 25 minutes--staring down at Lake Geneva & the surrounding city, & looking up at a mountain I'd only read about in watch advertisements {Mont Blanc}.  My friend & I only had to look at each other to know what each other was feeling...no words could even begin to do the moment justice.

the lesson

You'll know when you've taken a risk or pushed yourself when you feel a deep burning in your chest screaming exhilaration.  Once you have it, you'll keep going back for more.  I have something planned in about two weeks that some may deem very "unlike me", but to me it's very "like me".  It is definitely a risk, but I already know what it feels like to jump into the unknown & come out an even stronger person.  Olivia has promised me another guest post to talk about it...so keep reading! 

Below are some pictures from that trip...

mont blanc 

 sheep pasture and swiss alps

my geneva gang