Friday, August 31, 2012



I had to return my camera :(

Due to an employee error, I was given the right camera...but wrong lens.  It's both frustrating & annoying, since I have to return both, but once I get the new one...


Bad: It's 93 degrees in Boston & we have to construct furniture, unpack, & possibly paint in my not air-conditioned apartment. 

Good: I move in today! Yay!

Bad: I won't be able to document the moving in process for the blog.

Good: Maybe that's a good thing since it could possibly bore you all? :)  

I'm out of bad things to say so...

Good:  I have some exciting DIY & decor projects up my sleeve that I can't wait to start & show you! September is going to be one fun month. I hope you continue to read & stick with me :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

{allow me to show you my new favorite thing}

Notice anything different?

If you're thinking...she got bangs!'re right! I did ;)  

{Remember I said on Monday I would probably chicken out? I didn't!}

But the real answer is: what I'm holding.

My new camera! 

My mom & stepdad gave me a new camera & lens for my 21st, & I picked it up in NYC yesterday.

This is the brand new Canon T4i with a EF-S 18-55 IS II lens. This baby is all business.

{& while I'm at it...Mom: thank you again!!}

The best thing about this lens, though, is how wide it is. I can now take pictures of entire rooms. This will come in handy when I snap photos of my new apartment :)

While in NYC, my mom & I also crashed my aunt's hotel room, where she was staying on business. We stayed at the Hotel Gansevoort...most recognizable as the place where the Kardashian's live when they stay in NYC. {Don't judge me for watching that show.} 

Right across the street is Spice Market, where we went for dinner,  & Pastis, where we ate breakfast. Just look at that chocolat chaud. Yum.

When we got home, I immediately began packing for school. Our car is going to be jam-packed. You never realize how much stuff you have until you need to downsize & only pick a few things to bring. 

I'm headed up to Boston early tomorrow morning, but I'll be sure to stop in this weekend with a quick post. 

Happy Thursday! Make it a good one :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{random happenings}

This is been a low-key, yet busy, few days.

On Sunday, I headed down to DC to drop my step-brother off at college. More specifically, I tagged along to watch the car, while my mom & stepdad unloaded the bags.  That explains the skateboard above...I had to keep myself occupied. {& if you're wondering...I didn't fall.}

I was last in DC in January & it so was fun to go back. It's such a great city; there is SO much to do. I'm definitely keeping it on my "list of potential cities" to look for jobs after graduation. {Although I asked a dumb political question on the car ride down that just shows why I shouldn't move there. I'd make a fool of myself.}

My step-brother has a great little apartment on campus & his roommates seemed really cool. Although when I first met them, I thought to myself they seem so old! seniors! But then one of the guys said he just turned 21, & I was smacked with reality that I'm a senior too. Again, when did that happen?!

For my gluten-free readers, I have a restaurant recommendation! I spent my birthday in NYC & ate dinner at Bistango Ristorante. Honestly, this knocks Risotteria out of the park. Their menu is completely celiac-friendly & gluten-free certified. They bring GF bread to the table, have endless GF desserts {like cake!}, & serve homemade gluten-free pasta. For the first time in 4.5 years, I had tortellini. It.was.divine.

Since it was my birthday, I also went into Tulu's Gluten-Free Bakery--an old favorite of mine--& practically robbed them. I have no shame in how much I bought there.

I have some exciting news to share. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably saw that I caught the Google Maps camera driving down my street &.....I'm pretty sure I made the map. See that red ladybug circle up top?  That's 20 cameras.

I called my stepsister out just in time, & we were so shocked to see it, I'm sure we'll be looking like this on the map:

Kidding. I'll look like this.

I'm off to NYC to pick up my birthday present, spend the night, & maybe get a haricut tomorrow. {I say maybe because I think I may chicken out.}  I'll be back with some pics tomorrow :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 27, 2012

{apartment furniture update}

I made some big furniture decisions this weekend! As of Saturday, I only had my amazing coffee table. So considering the fact that I move in this Friday, I figured it was time to buy some other pieces.

Living Room

After taking my second trip {this month} to Ikea, I decided the KARLSTAD sofa was perfect. It's comfortable, modern, & the best size for the space.

I chose the Isunda gray color. It's a soft faux-tweed fabric that contains various shades of gray, black, & white. It'll hide any stains that'll {most-likely} happen & goes with pretty much any other accent color.

My mom had a white wool carpet laying around {get it?} that I'll put beneath the sofa & coffee table. I'm fortunate to have wood floors throughout the apartment, but a carpet always makes a space much more homey :)

The only thing I have left to buy for this room is a television stand, curtains, & pillows...which I'll get this week some time. My mom & I have been thinking of some fun paint ideas, so hopefully those will be decided on soon too!  {Have I mentioned that I can paint inside the apartment? Because I can. I just need to get permission from the landlord. So.freaking.excited.}


I needed a high table for the kitchen that could double as an island. They are generally pretty expensive, because they tend to be made from butcher block. But my mom found a great one from cb2 that was on sale. Mom FTW.

I bought the Frank Counter Table in white & the bar stools from the photo below. I think it'll look great!



My bed is the one thing that continues to be a problem. I'm about to throw in the towel & get a futon. 
But I decided to ignore the problem for a little bit longer & focus on the rest of the room. Because nothing solves a problem like procrastination, right? ;)

Just like I'm a girl of many bags, I'm a girl of many little things. I like to display pictures, books, name it.  A bookshelf was a must.

A desk was also a must, because I'm much more productive when I sit & do my homework in a defined space. & speaking of space...I don't have a lot. Thankfully, Crate & Barrel saved the day.

The Sloane Leaning Desk is now mine:

Not only is it slim in width, but it has a TON of storage & a desk built right in. The best part? If I want to break it up, I can!  Each bookshelf can stand on its on--as can the center part with the desk. I'm a little worried it won't all fit in my room, so if worse comes to worst, I'll put one of the pieces in the living room.

The current tenant decided to leave her dresser for me, since it's in great condition & fits perfectly inside the closet. If that wasn't awesome enough, she is leaving it for free! So, so nice of her. One less thing I need to buy.

So those were my big ticket items from this weekend! I'm going to hit up a few more stores & look around this week, but for now...I'm feeling good about everything. Thankfully my couch is comfortable, because if I don't solve my bed problem in the next few days, that'll be where I sleep ;)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

{if you have a best friend, read on}

I disclosed on this blog that I've had some not-so-fun family stuff going on that I've had to deal with this summer. Well, because of that, I admittedly put a lot of my friends on the back-burner.  Between working full-time & the family "drama," all I could focus on was me & my family. I was just trying to stay afloat & get through it as best I could.

Thankfully, that's all over for the time being. But I lived 5 miles from my best friend all summer, & between our two work schedules & life in general, we only saw each other twice. TWICE!  Guilty doesn't even cover it, because I know I could have probably done a lot more to see her. I wasn't the best friend this summer--but she was.

When I told my friends about this, they didn't know what to say. Just like there isn't a book that's called Half-Brothers You Find Out About When You're 21 for Dummies, this doesn't happen to many people. They didn't know what to say, but that still didn't stop them from listening to me cry or offer words of support in the past year.

So when my best friend in the whole wide world Isha sent me this email on my birthday, I burst into tears. I mean, I was a MESS. Because it was probably the nicest thing I've ever read & meant more to me than I could ever say.

Read "more" below.

& if you have a best friend, send this to them.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


We turn 21 today. Crazy.

That seems so old.

Since Dylan left for school this morning, we celebrated last night. We went out to dinner with my mom, stepdad, stepsister, & grandma. But before we left, two of my aunts stopped by to wish us a happy birthday :)

{Oh, & at the dinner? I ordered a Coke. I know, I know. I need to scale back the wild & crazy. I'll try.}

Thanks to technology, we were able to FaceTime with our dad & open up the gifts he shipped us. We were also able to toast some champagne with him. Made it feel like he was really "here" ;)

I love my family, but I love Dylan the most.

At midnight on the dot, Dyl & I hugged, wished each other a Happy Birthday, & swapped presents. In pajamas & all.

With her gift:

Me, with mine:

She got one of my favorite pictures of her & I made into a canvas! I absolutely love it & it created...instant tears. I've gotten so used to being with her this summer, & I'm so sad she's going back to school tomorrow   :( We'll see each other soon though. I'm gonna miss my bff, so please excuse the puffy eyes. 0.5 seconds after this was taken, I let the tears fall ;)

I got Dylan a necklace she fell in love with in California. I was able to buy it without her seeing {thanks to my mom's help}. She loved it :)

My canvas that describes us to a T:

I'm going to start to cry again while I try to put into words how much she means to me. So I'm going to keep it short.

My stepsister asked us tonight, "Do you like being twins?" & without any thought, I immediately said: yes.  

She's my best friend. I tell her everything. I can never--& will never--get bored of being with her or talking with her. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry.  She makes me challenge myself. She supports me. She makes me a better singer. She makes me a better sister. She makes me a better friend. She makes me a better person. I wouldn't be who I am without her, & can't imagine myself without her. She will do great things...& deserves it all.

Love you Dylan! Here's to a lifetime of sisterhood.

ps. IMB

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



I decided not to bring my laptop on vacation, because...really...I didn't need it.  But as a blogger/photographer/writer/'s hard to live without it!

I've downloaded all 391 photos from the trip & started to go through them slowly. I'll show them over the next few days.

Overall...this trip was just what I needed. I read, shopped, photographed, talked, relaxed. It was perfect.

In six days, I:

- saw high school friends
- ate gluten-free cupcakes
- paddle-boarded around an entire island
- went to the beach {3x}
- ate my way through a farmer's market
- shopped at a few different malls
- visited my home...come January
- read 4 books
- hiked a mountain
- walked & ran over 10 miles
- hit up LA, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, & Balboa Island
- finished the trip off at Disneyland!
- & some other stuff I'm forgetting :)

I'm exhausted. But seeing my Grandad was worth all the traveling. It's a bummer he lives across the country, because he may be my favorite person ever. I can't wait to be out west for four months & be able to see him all the time!

California, I'll see you in January.

More to come!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

{hello from newport beach}

When my mom, sister, & I were driving from the airport to the place we're staying at in Newport Beach, I rolled down the windows, breathed in the beachy air, & said, "It's good to be home."

Both my mom & my sister laughed, but I was totally serious. I was born to live here.

We were up bright & early for our flight out--4:30 to be exact. It was a mix of painful & exciting. If I may say, I perfected the fashionable, comfy airplane outfit. As did Dylan.

My striped hoodie is a new buy from J.Crew & is the coziness piece of garment ever made. & my new laced shoes are from GAP. They are very comfy & although new, I made it through a long traveling day blister-free! Dylan's skirt is also a GAP find. It's so cute, & I must borrow it soon :) Okay, Dyl?

{ps- you can get my hoodie {here} for cheaper than I got it! Sort of p-o'd about that, but I must share the love.}

Anytime you are able to fly Virgin America, do it. The amenities make the flight go by so my faster than any other airline. Not only do they have a great selection of movies, but they have satellite tv, games, & fashionable flight attendants. {They're styled by Banana Republic.} There's also a chatting feature where you can chat AIM-style with other seats.

& mom, sister & created a chat room even though we were sitting in 13 A, B, & C. Because we're cool like that.

I'll blog about our days more thoroughly when I can download {all} my camera pics, but these are the most important things we did on our first day.

1. In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Classic LA.

2. Sprinkles Cupcakes after dinner.

3. Enjoyed the sunset at Balboa Island {on the way home}

I never want to leave.

This blogging via iPad stuff is for the birds. Sorry the pics are so small. I'm off for a run...more Cali stories to come!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

{beach weekend part II}

Here are the promised pics from our Sunday night boat ride! I finally got my hands on the little waterproof camera we brought along :)

We headed out to sea {more specifically...the bay} at around 6pm, & it was cold. The sky was filled with clouds for the first part of the trip, but thankfully cleared away as soon as we got away from the island.


Surprise surprise! I didn't want to be photographed :) But as you can see...the sky was so cloudy.

Remember the lighthouse from yesterday's post? Here's another view:

I love the way sailboats look.

We sailed to a restaurant on the water & anchored the boat. By the time dinner was over, the sun was setting into a gorgeous sunset.

& finally...our trio. 

We were so sad to see Greta go! Dylan will be with her again next week in their swanky new apartment, but it'll be a few months until I'm able to see her again.

I'm so lucky that I'm friends with Dylan's friends from college. Before we went away to school, I was so afraid that the close friends Dylan made would stay "strangers" to me.  It's quite the opposite!  We're very fortunate that our parent's had always promised to fly us to visit each other often, so I've been able to get to know her roommates & girlfriends really well. I love them all...Dyl picked some good ones :)


As you're reading this, I'm on a plane to sunny California!  I'll be spending six days here:

{which reminds me--I miss that show.}

I'll be visiting my granddad & his wife, the apartment I'll be living in from January--May, & most importantly...RELAXING. I don't think I've needed a vacation more in my life.

I will also be hand-delivering the Stump Stand I gave away in June to the winner.  I figured this was more special than snail mail ;)  Who knows what I'll do for the next giveaway! 

I'll do a few quick posts while I'm gone, via my iPad {since not bringing my computer}, but I'll be on Instagram the whole time.  Follow me @Lively_Liv.

Happy Wednesday!