a quick hello

hope you all had a wonderful christmas! sorry i haven't posted in a while, i was pretty busy with some crochet orders right before the holiday, and i decided to unplug while i was back in rockford with the family :) i had an amazing christmas! and i was really happy that, back in rockford, it was a white one. we did have snow briefly here in schaumburg, but it didn't last long :/

i do have some new things to post soon, but i'm not sure if i'll be able to blog again before the new year. so i hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

xoxo, steph

i am...

chester's niece lily hoover, who was born this past friday, december 14th.

... still so happy that i was able to tag along with chester & his parents to visit his sister jenny and her husband caleb in the hospital on friday. it was awesome to be there when his niece lily was born :) i was almost bursting at the seams to hold her! she's absolutely amazing.
... a crocheting machine. i made lily a newborn hat in the waiting room, and have made myself a few hats as well. i'm also working on a couple infinity cowl orders. busy busy.

... glad that i got to spend some quality time with my parents this past weekend.

... hoping to finish up my christmas shopping by this weekend.

... looking forward to my work christmas party this friday, chester's family christmas on saturday, and heading back to rockford on sunday.

... still shocked about the tragedy that struck newton, connecticut a couple days ago. although i was happy about welcoming a new life into the world that day, i feel sick thinking about all the lives that were lost. and all the lives that are forever changed since friday morning. i will continue to pray for everyone that was affected, in hopes that they can make it through this horrific time.

... thankful for my loved ones.

this post was inspired by natalie over at nat the fat rat, one of my new favorite blogs.

the log pillows are back!

hello! just wanted to pop in and let you all know that i listed 3 new woodland neck pillows in my shop last night. i'm happy with how the new designs turned out and hopefully these little guys will find great new homes :) i'm offering free ground shipping on all orders for the holidays as well, so be sure to check out all the fun stuff for sale.


 i tricked my iphone into not focusing on chester's christmas tree. easier said than done, haha.

watching: BOARDWALK EMPIRE! holy crap. **if you are not caught up, please stop reading here** the last episode had me jumping up from the couch at the end. "i need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down... and we talk about who dies." wow, talk about badass! al's reveal was pretty cool too. i'm still upset about owen being shipped back to nucky in a damn box, but this episode took away most of the sting. i'm really excited to see how the finale plays out. i have a feeling it's going to be pretty tough to take out gyp, but it will make for a great battle.

and i'm really sad to say that american horror story asylum is starting to lose my interest. i loved the first season, but i feel like this season is too all over the place for me, and much more gory than scary. i'll watch the remainder of the season, but i'm not as excited about it as i once was :/

the walking dead is still pretty badass! i'm excited to see how the mid-season finale goes.

listening to: a little christmas music, a little mumford & sons, and a little coldplay.

reading: well, i ordered summer of night from amazon a while ago, but i still haven't started it yet :/ BUT i did already make a cute pom pom bookmark for it, haha. 

looking forward to: spending saturday downtown with some of my favorite people, to celebrate my friend ryan's 30th birthday. we have the whole day planned out, and i'm happy that it will be much warmer out than it was earlier this week. 

and i'm really excited about christmas, of course. i'm eager to decorate the apartment a little more, and finish up some cozy crochet projects.

loving: that "friend" secret santa is going so smoothly this year. this is actually the first year we've done it, due to everyone's tight holiday budgets. a friend suggested using elfster this year, and it has made everything so much easier. names are drawn randomly and emailed out, and we can create a wishlist to help our secret santa. pretty cool.

making me happy: i'm still pretty excited about being published in mollie makes :), lazy sundays at chester's place, craft nights with my favorite ladies, not having to move in february (we're resigning our lease), hot chocolate, and our plans to check out the christkindlmarket downtown this weekend.

thanks, as always, to danielle for the currently post idea :)

it's the most wonderful time of the year

every year my friend joe throws a huge party around november 16th to kick off the 40 days of christmas (more explanation here). he gets super into it, transforming his condo into a winter wonderland, and even turns his bedroom into a photo set for pictures. this year's set up is by far my favorite one, so i wanted to share a few photos here on the blog.

photos by 2nd shift photography. full set here.

i think i'm going to frame a few of these, they are just too good! have any of you started celebrating the most wonderful time of the year yet?? 

super exciting news... i've been published!

i mentioned in a somewhat recent currently post that i was very excited to share some news here on the blog, and now i can officially post about it... i've been featured in the latest issue (#21) of the UK lifestyle and craft magazine mollie makes!!!

they contacted me in october about featuring a DIY article on how i make my log pillows. (i believe it was this post that brought them to my blog.) so after a few quick emails, i grabbed some studio gear and photographed the whole process. it's so awesome to see the finished article in the magazine! i can't wait to get my copy in the mail.

the magazine is on sale in the UK, but for those of us in the states, it can be purchased online here. or you can download it on your iPhone/iPad through the newsstand app (which is what i did first thing friday morning, haha).

i will be stocking my shop with a few log pillows soon, so be sure to check back here when the listings are posted :)

hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

what's on my desk

my company is currently working on a new website design to launch next month. each employee was asked to collect small pocket & desk contents to be photographed; items that are a big part of our everyday lives. the collages will be featured our new site, linking to a little bio of each employee. above is my photo, shot & edited by my boss ben. it's been really cool to see everyone's collections. i will post a link here once the website is live so you can check out all the photos.

what items do you feel are a part of your everyday life?

first taste of winter

taken with my macro lens band & iPhone: little patch of snow, an icicle on my car, and a water bottle. edited with the afterglow app.

we got our first little taste of winter in the midwest earlier this week, with temps hovering right around 30 degrees on monday & tuesday. it's back up to mid 40's right now, and looks like it will be in the low 50's for the rest of the week. although i wasn't super excited for the cold front on monday, the light dusting of snow did look pretty. the freezing temps also made for some good photos :)


watching: boardwalk empire of course, the walking dead, and american horror story asylum. those are the three big ones i try not to miss each each week. all of their most recent episodes have been fantastic! i still watch grey's anatomy, new girl, 666 park avenue, revenge, and the league when i remember that it's on. those i usually catch up with on hulu. i've also started watching parenthood on netflix. i've heard so many good things about the show, and i really like it so far.

listening to: a whole lot of brooke fraser. i'd never heard of the new zealand singer before nat's post last month, but i am now hooked! her album flags is beautiful. i really love "who are we fooling?", "orphans, kingdoms", and "may waltz". she also has william fitzsimmons sing on the track "you can close your eyes", which is pretty much the best thing ever.

thinking about: ways i can cut back on most of my spending over the next several weeks, so i can manage my christmas shopping budget more effectively. i'm also hoping to make a few gifts this year.

anticipating: my 10 year high school reunion in a few weeks! i cannot believe that i'm old enough for a 10 year reunion, ha! that's just crazy. even though i keep up with a group of hs friends on facebook, i think it will be cool to see everyone again.

loving: this cold weather, believe it or not. i've been obsessed with cozy sweaters, leggings and boots lately. and i really like not having to use heat or a/c in the apartment right now. i know that it won't last long, but for now, it's nice on our wallets.

i'm also loving the afterglow app (used in the photos above). the photo filters are subtle like the vsco app, and i really like the cropping features... especially the circle one.

looking forward to: a lot of fun events coming up this month and next: craft night next week with the girls, my friend's annual christmas kick-off party, ice skating downtown for a friend's birthday, and christmas shopping :)

halloween festivities

i just wanted to share a few photos from the weekend. the bedford was a lot of fun, and our friends jason & jorie (pictured below in photo #4) won 1st place in the costume contest!

1. drive's ryan gosling // 2. cleopatra & driver // 3. batgirl & i // 4. puppet and her puppet master

1. batgirl saving the bank from robbers // 2. day of the dead skeleton & i // 3. bare knuckle boxer, myself, & driver // 4. yin & yang

i meant to take photos last night at the bar, but i forgot :/ womp womp. i did win 2nd place in their costume contest though, so that was pretty cool! 

hope everyone had a safe & happy halloween! 'til next time...

a quick (halloween) hello...

... from drive's ryan gosling & cleopatra :) we're planning on getting dressed up again and going to one of our favorite local bars on wednesday, so i'll be back later this week with all of our crazy halloween photos in one post.

hope you all had a great weekend! did anyone else get dressed up on friday/saturday? i'd love to see photos if you did.

7 questions (halloween version)

 some old favorites, with the same face: black swan, dead marie antoinette, and sally from the nightmare before christmas 

1. do you believe in ghosts?
i try to tell myself that i don't, but then i hear strange noises sometimes and automatically think it's a ghost, haha.

2. do you prefer the cute or the scary halloween?
it depends. for certain halloween parties, the cute version is great. but i think i prefer the scary halloween most of the time. even though i'm a total wimp.

3. how old were you when you stopped trick or treating?
haha, well i went once with my first roommate in college. but before that, i probably stopped when i was 13 or so. i LOVED to go trick or treating.

4. do you have any fun halloween traditions?
we usually always carve pumpkins. and go out the weekend before halloween to the bars or a party. i'm really excited to bar hop this saturday in wicker park!

5. share a scary local urban legend.
i tried googling one i remember from back home (rockford, il) but i couldn't remember the name of the road that was supposedly haunted. legend has it that if you drove to a certain point in the road, maybe over a bridge, that your car would die, and you would see a ghost walk out from the woods. it was a lot scarier before cell phones, b/c the road was in the middle of nowhere. my friends and i talked about driving there a few times, but never did.

6. would you rather be haunted or haunting?
i LOATHE the idea of being haunted, so i would rather haunt. although, that usually means that the spirit hasn't crossed over... i think it would suck being stuck in that limbo.

7. what's your favorite halloween character/creature?
i used to like vampires before all of the recent hype of the past few years... now i would say creepy ghosts or skeletons :)

i love the vsco cam app

fall leaves // ghost tour church // late night (ghost?) train, haha.

if you haven't checked out the vsco cam photo app, please do. it's phenomenal. 


the roomies and i carved pumpkins last week :) left to right: malificent (mine), batman (jon's), iron fist dragon (jeremy's)

watching: american horror story! even though i scare easily, i love this show. it's creepy and weird and even gross sometimes, but it's so good. i'm glad it's back. that and the walking dead! i'm really impressed with the characters zombie fighting/killing skills as a whole. very bad ass. boardwalk empire is still really awesome, and i can't wait for sunday's episode. 

listening to: this amazing cover of "you're the one that i want" by the lennings that liz posted this week. i'm a huge fan of grease. i would watch it 3 or 4 times a day when i was little, and most of it flew right over my head, but i loved the music! and i seriously listened to this song on repeat while animating at work today. it's beautiful :)

thinking about: crochet projects that i want to start. a couple more cowls and fingerless gloves, and hopefully i'll be up for tackling a hat again ;) i also want to add some new items to my shop in time for holiday shopping. any extra income would definitely help me out so much right now.

anticipating: the moment when i can share some HUGE news with you guys on here. it's a really exciting thing for me, this news, and i can't wait to spread the word next month :) i'm also looking forward to halloween. a group of us are going to the bedford in wicker park next saturday. it's this super cool bar that used to be a bank... they still have the huge metal vault and walls of safety deposit boxes. it's pretty neat, and the drinks are stellar.

loving: this fall weather, even though most of the leaves have fallen and the trees are bare :/ those beautiful golden trees sure didn't last long. my new brown boots! and my new running shoes! i've held off on buying new running shoes b/c i really didn't have the extra cash, but i found a great pair and they were on sale (yay!) so i couldn't pass them up. i noticed a huge difference in my run last night, and that made me feel better about the purchase, haha.

making me happy: fun plans with friends coming up over the next few months. spending quality time with chester. texting with my parents while they're in vegas for their anniversary... crazy kids ;) random chats with my sister. the doors that this little blog has opened for me :)

hope you all have a great weekend! i'm going on a haunted walk in downtown naperville tomorrow with chester and a few of our friends. hopefully i won't get too scared :P

my first maternity photo shoot

i just wanted to share a few photos from my first ever maternity photo shoot a few weeks ago. chester's sister jenny and her husband caleb were in town from indiana, and asked if i would take some photos at the same location their engagement photos were taken. of course i said yes! i thought it was a cool idea and also a chance for me to practice portrait photography. (i'm used to shooting landscapes & still life.) although it was a little warmer outside than we had planned/hoped for, it went really well.

aren't they adorable? :) i had a lot of fun shooting these, and i'm so glad that they are happy with them.

love this

saw this on kaelah's things i love thursday post and i had to share it. this is how i feel about 90% of the time at the gym, haha.

happy thursday everyone!


pure michigan :)

reading: gone girl by gillian flynn. i'm about 2/3 of the way through it, and i love it so far! but i need to keep an eye out for my next book. i've been downloading samples from ibooks trying to figure out what i want to read next. if you have any suggestions, i'd love to hear them!

watching: boardwalk empire. this season is going to get crazy. that new italian guy in atlantic city is going to rock nucky's world for sure. a lot of shows are coming back now too, so i'm looking forward to the league, american horror story, grey's anatomy, and new girl.

listening to: mumford & sons' new album "babel". on repeat. all the time. haha, i really like it :) my favorite tracks so far are "i will wait" & "below my feet". i missed them on SNL a couple saturdays ago, but thank goodness for hulu. here is a video of them singing "below my feet".... sounds just like the album!

thinking about: how busy (and completely awesome) the rest of fall is going to be. there is something going on every weekend until december 1st! crazy right? but it will be a lot of fun :) mostly saturday plans, so i'll have some lazy sundays mixed in there.

loving: fall, spending quality time with chester & his family, my grandma's mexican hot chocolate, the leaves changing to beautiful gold, my awesome cleopatra halloween costume... i can't wait for halloween!

making me happy: just about everything. things are pretty good right now.

7 questions #25

bonding with my bestie over something epic, obviously ;)

1.  who is your celebrity doppelganger?
i'm actually not sure, i've been told i look like that girl from smallville (kristin kreuk) before, but i don't see it.

2. what's the farthest you've ever been from home?
peru, south america. i went with my spanish class when i was 17. such a cool trip.

3. fill in the blank: fall ______.
leaves. this is one of my favorites i took 2 years ago. (full set here.)

4. would you rather have arms so long they touched the ground or feet the same length as your legs?
oh jeez, i'm not sure.... both would kind of suck. maybe long arms?

5. what is the first thing you do in the morning?
hit snooze about 4 times, then take a shower.

6. apple cider or hot chocolate?
ooooh, that's a tough one. i LOVE apple cider, but my grandma's mexican hot chocolate is the BEST!

7. would you rather start your life over or jump to the end of it?
you know, i've had a pretty good life, i would be okay reliving it. but, if i had to live a different life, i'm not sure. and i wouldn't want to skip all of my future... i'm pretty excited about it :)

travis & nicky's wedding!

my dear friends travis & nicky got married last friday at a lovely vineyard in three oaks, michigan. travis & i have been friends for about 7 or so years now. we met in college and our whole group has managed to stay close since graduating. i remember when travis told me he was going to marry nicky someday. it was at our combination birthday party in may of 2009. they had just started dating, and we all really liked her, so when he told me that, i hoped to myself that it would come true. and here we are, a little over 3 years later.

a few of us thought it would be fun to rent a vacation house for the weekend, and we all had such a blast. although the weather didn't quite cooperate on that friday, it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies i have ever witnessed. i totally teared up when travis had trouble getting through his vows! it was very apparent that they are meant to be together, and to be a part of that is pretty darn awesome! (haha, i'm even getting goosebumps again typing this.)

here are a few shots from that day. oh, and my photos totally don't do nicky's dress any justice, she looked beyond gorgeous. i really loved the lace, it reminds me a lot of my mom's wedding dress.

i was so excited when i saw that they had rented a traveling photo booth for the reception. i don't know if i've mentioned this on the blog before, but i am obsessed with photo booths! (and not the crappy digital kind, the legit ones.) although it was digital, the photo quality & lighting were so great that it really does look like the film versions. travis & nicky opted for the scrapbook add-on, so when the photos were printed, they put one copy in the scrapbook right away, and we got to keep the other copy. (imagine my excitement!) plus, you can download high res files online, and even order cheap reprints. pretty amazing.

below are my favorite photos from the booth. i'm thinking that i might need to frame a few of these soon.

those two handsome dudes in the last photos (above) are my roomies jon & jeremy. i don't think i've posted photos of them before on here (or at least not of the 3 of us together). but there ya have it :)

congrats again to the new mr. & mrs. travis maynard! we love you two! xoxo.

7 questions #24

"wait, wait! let me fix my bangs."

1. describe your perfect day.
sleeping in, but not too late. having a great breakfast. doing something fun outside with my guy & our friends, preferably swimming near a beach. having a wonderful steak dinner with my family. multiple glasses of wine. watching an old favorite movie. gazing at the stars. going to sleep in a super comfy bed with the windows open :)

2. what was something that you were afraid of as a child?
robbers. haha, i was always terrified of our house getting robbed while i was sleeping. and kidnappers. i hated that urban legend (that might have been true, i don't know) of some guy breaking into the basement of a house while a there was a girl's birthday party sleepover, and he snatched one of the girls while her friends were sleeping. ugh, so terrifying.

3. what's something you're afraid of today?
i'm still kind of afraid of getting randomly attacked. yes, i realize that i'm paranoid, but it does make me more aware of my surroundings, which i don't think is a bad thing. i also think i watch too much law & order: svu.

4. would you rather be obsessed with yourself or someone else?
i have to side with gentri on this and say i'd rather be obsessed with myself. being obsessed with another person could be dangerous, and definitely unhealthy.

5. what is your favorite restaurant that you could visit over and over and never get sick of?
pretty much any good steak place: gibson's, wildfire, chicago prime, ruth chris. i also really love jersey mike's sandwiches :)

6. what is one food you used to hate but now enjoy?

7. fill in the blank: star ______.
"star light, star bright. first star i see tonight. i wish i may, i wish i might, have my wish i wish tonight." lol, i know that's a big blank, but it was the first thing that i thought of.


our cancun vacation - part 2

when i got back home, i was talking to my sister about our vacation and she asked, "what was your favorite part?" i literally loved every aspect of the trip, so it was hard to answer that question. although i have to say, there is nothing like swimming in the ocean (or technically the caribbean sea in our case). i think i'm meant to live near an ocean someday b/c i could not get enough of it! something about being in salt water, waves rolling in, it's amazing. i was addicted.

my boss let my borrow his gopro camera and we had a lot of fun with it. i have video too, but it's kind of all over the place, so i'll just share some photos:

like i mentioned in part 1 of this post, we did venture off the hotel property one morning to swim with dolphins! i was so excited about this, swimming with a dolphin is something i've always wanted to do since i was little, so it was nice to cross it off my bucket list :) the dolphins were so sweet! we each got a "kiss" photo with our dolphin, and we got to pet her while she swam around our group. finally, we each had a dolphin ride. when watching the others do it, it doesn't look like the dolphin is going that fast, but it really felt really fast when it was my turn! haha.

i was really happy we had a chance to do this excursion. dolphins are such incredible creatures, and i definitely want swim with them again. haha, and i love this photo below because it looks like the dolphin is smiling :)

so all in all, it was a wonderful, wonderful vacation. and it was the first vacation where it was just chester & i, so that was really nice. the only thing i would change for next time is booking a longer trip!

our cancun vacation - part 1

i've been talking about our recent trip to cancun, mexico quite a bit on this blog, and i'm excited that i finally have the time to share some photos :)

with the help of a family friend, who also happens to be a travel agent, we spent 4 fabulous nights at the all-inclusive, adult only secrets the vine resort. this was our first time at an all inclusive resort, and i have to say, it is definitely the way to go when traveling to mexico or the caribbean. the resort had just opened a few weeks before our arrival, but everything went smoothly and we really, really loved our stay! the resort is located on the cancun hotel strip, and has access to a fabulous beach. i seriously couldn't get over how beautiful the water was! i wanted to spend all day out there :)

below are a few shots of the property, and the amazing view from our room.
and a few of us:

we were all about relaxing on this trip, so other than one off-property excursion, we spent our days lounging at the pools & swimming in the caribbean sea. we picked out chairs near the pools that faced the sea, and that view was so breathtaking, i seriously couldn't get over how beautiful it was!

the pool staff made sure our drinks were always bottomless (totally awesome!) & they had great food at the pool bars. in addition to a few other casual dining areas around the hotel, there were also 4 nicer restaurants opened for dinner. so we got dressed up and tried a different one each night. they were so good! we had amazing sushi the first night, incredible italian the second night, great steak the third, and yummy mediterranean the last night. i was floored by how good the food was! and it was nice knowing that everything was paid for.

another aspect of the resort that i was amazed by was the service - at the pool, at the restaurants, the front desk, room service - everyone. we were treated so well our entire stay, and that made every aspect very enjoyable :)

if you are looking into vacationing in the cancun area, i would definitely recommend staying at secrets the vine resort. there are quite a few resorts under the secrets company, which i've also heard great things about, but i loved the sleek and modern design of the vine. i wish i would have taken more photos of the lobby areas, b/c they were seriously impressive, but sadly i did not :/ but they do have a lot of photos on their site.

it wouldn't be a vacation of mine if i didn't bring a few film cameras ;) below are a few shots from my diana mini & fisheye cameras:

i decided to split up this post into 2 parts so i wouldn't overload this post with too many photos. the second part will have more photos of the beach area & and our dolphin excursion! i also have an album on flickr if you all would like to check them out :)

a quick hello!

my favorites from the wedding photo booth on friday.

i just wanted to stop by with a quick sunday night hello! i had the most amazing weekend with chester & my very best friends, and it was an honor to witness travis & nicky getting married! i'll share photos from our weekend & the awesome photo booth photos later on this week... promise!

i also finally edited our cancun photos to share, and they are sitting in a blog post draft right now... just have to actually write up the post. but i promise it will be posted as soon as i get the chance! haha.

hope you all had a great weekend :)

7 questions #23

well, i was hoping to share all of my cancun photos last week, but the traveling caught up to me i guess, because i was sick late last week and ALL weekend. pretty lame. and work has been keeping me busy too, so i'm barely able to make this 7 questions post today, yikes! i will be posting about our vacation, but it probably won't be until next week :/ tomorrow we are heading to michigan for my good friends' wedding, and will be spending the weekend there :) it will be a perfect kick-off to fall!

ok, onto this week's 7 questions:

 we're "singing" with the dolphin, haha!

1. do you ever have reoccurring dreams?
i did when i was younger. it was weird too, i was watching the same events play out to strangers, and i couldn't interact with them at all. it was like watching a movie or something.

2. it's the first day of FALL in a few days, what are you looking forward to the most?
oh man, everything! apple orchards, apple cider, huge cowls & scarves, boots, & halloween!!!! i finally figured out my costume and i'm really excited about it :)

3. because of lack of coordination, would you rather not be able to tie your shoes or cut your own food?
i would give up being able to tie my shoes. even now my shoes with laces i "slip" in to. if i couldn't cut my own food, i would always need someone there, and sometimes that just doesn't work out.

4. would you rather live in a house made entirely of glass or a house with no windows?
a glass house. i would find a way to still have privacy with curtains or those room divider things, but i couldn't stand to live in a house with no natural light.

5. would you rather walk on your toes or heels forever?
toes i guess. feels more natural than walking on my heels.

6. what is your favorite sense?
sight, hands down. there is so much beauty all around us, and it would be truly sad to not see it every day. i'm very lucky to be blessed with my sight.

7. what's your favorite movie quote of all time?
oh man, this is tough. i first thought of "you're going to need a bigger boat" from jaws, my all time favorite movie. but i did hear another one while watching tv this weekend, from another one of my favorite movies: "a man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. it depends on how good he is at it. creasey's art is death. he's about to paint his masterpiece." anyone know the movie? it's so good.

7 questions #21 & #22

hello again! unfortunately i missed the 7 questions post last wednesday b/c i was trying to get everything set for my vacation (which was absolutely incredible! but i'll post about that later this week), so i'm going to combine #21 & #22 this week.

 chester and i swimming in the caribbean sea. i was not ready for that wave.

last week's questions:

1. i say "jump" you say ______.
my first thought is to say "how high?", but i would probably actually say "....huh?"

2. what is your favorite flower?
roses. red & yellow look so pretty together, and i love pink roses too.

3. if you had to choose between having plumbing or electricity, which would you choose?
yikes. even though i feel like i'm completely dependent on electricity (i mean, who isn't?), i would have to go with plumbing. i can't live without that.

4. what is your go-to funny youtube video?
i had to dig a little to find this one, but it's a favorite among a group of us at work. it will make me laugh every single time.

5. do you think dreams mean something?
i think what you dream has a connection to what you're thinking about, both consciously and subconsciously. i don't think that they can tell the future or anything though.

6. do you collect anything?
old film cameras. i have a few of my grandpa's that my dad recently found and i love them! and "toy" film cameras too.

7. you're in a situation that is everything it should be. you're with the right people, in the right place, doing the right things, but it doesn't "feel" right... what do you do?
probably try to figure out why i'm feeling that way, really analyze it, and try to fix it.

and now on to this week's questions:

1. do you have any weird food combinations that you love?
scrambled eggs & catsup (i get that from my dad). A1 steak sauce & everything, lol.

2. have you ever written a blog post, published it, then immediately deleted it?
hmmm, not that i can think of. i usually let it sit in the draft state for a while until i know that i want to publish it.

3. what is a hair style you wish you could pull off, but would never be brave enough to try?
i've always thought it would be cool to dye my whole head purple or something, but i know i won't ever do it. i don't like the idea of it damaging ALL of my hair. i also love the really short hairstyles, but i don't think i have the face for it.
4. would you rather have to always use the sun to tell the time or directions by the stars?
hmm, probably tell the time by the sun. i'm horrible with directions, so i'm not sure the stars would get me far.

5. what is a fall trend that you are really excited to try?
well, it's not a new trend, but i want to start wearing dresses with tights and boots this fall. i usually always stick to jeans or something, so it'll be fun to try out this fall :)

6. who is your style icon?
oh gosh, i'm not really sure. i've always liked zooey deschanel's style, and jennifer aniston's style too.

7. what's your favorite outdoor activity?
swimming, in the summertime. long walks in the fall... i can't wait for those.


the future mrs. maynard & i last weekend :)

loving: that fall is just around the corner! i love everything about the season. i can't wait to take photos of the leaves changing, go to apple orchards, and relax in my hoodies, jeans & converse shoes.

reading: currently men and dogs by katie crouch. i'm having a hard time getting into it, but i'm not giving up on it yet. i did order gone girl by gillian flynn, so that should be arriving before the weekend. i'm excited to start that one :)

watching: well, sadly the newsroom is over until next year, and i have a few weeks until boardwalk empire starts. i can't wait for that to come back! and pretty little liars just had their midseason finale thing (i think?). lol, i was pretty surprised by the end. i thought that they would leave you hanging like they always do, but it was quite a surprise.

thinking about: a quote i saw on little chief honeybee. kaelah posted it a while back in her "things i love thursday" feature, and although i'm not "letting go" in my life right now, i have definitely been there before. and i think whoever the author was said it really, really well.

"my dentist once told me that letting go is like pulling a tooth. when it was pulled out, you're relieved, but how many times does your tongue run itself over the spot where the tooth once was? probably a hundred times a day. just because it wasn't hurting you doesn't mean you didn't notice it. it leaves a gap and sometimes you see yourself missing it terribly. it's going to take a while, but it takes time. should you have kept the tooth? no, because it was causing you so much pain. therefore, move on and let go."

listening to: stars' new album the north. it comes out on tuesday (sept. 4th), but you can listen to it on npr here. i will definitely be purchasing this one next week. i love how amy millan & torquil campbell sound together.

anticipating: this upcoming labor day weekend :) a group of us are checking out a new bar in downtown chicago untitled. it looks pretty cool with its speakeasy vibe. and then before i know it, chester and i will be in cancun next week! i seriously cannot wait. it's going to be a lot of fun :)

making me happy: feeling good after working out, and noticing how my clothes are fitting a little better. spending time with good friends. laughing with coworkers so hard my sides hurt.

thanks again to danielle for the "currently" post idea.

7 questions #20!

1. hamburger or hotdog?
hotdog, ketchup & mustard only please :)

2. if you had to live on any other planet in our solar system, besides earth, which would you choose?
jupiter, b/c it has 63 moons, and i think that would look pretty cool. and it's huge!

3. share a photo of an outfit that represents your personal style, please. 
i'm trying to up my style game, because style doesn't come that naturally for me, lol. i'm all about comfort :) and i couldn't decide on just one outfit...

4. would you rather get ready for the day or get ready for bed?
get ready for the day, for sure! when i'm not in a rush, i actually like doing my makeup. i'm an artist, so it's almost like painting in a way. there can be an art to makeup. i wish i was better at it, but at least it's still fun for me.

5. you have to choose between never having eyelashes or never having eyebrows, which would you choose?
well, if i'm able to still pencil in eyebrows, i would choose to not have eyebrows. i would pencil them in, and cover as much of them with my bangs as i can. hopefully it wouldn't look too bad.

6. what do you want to be when you grow up?
well, at age 28, i guess i am grown up ;) i'm a video editor, and i like it. but if i could make a good living painting and drawing all day, that would be the best!

7. do you set your clocks right on time, or a few minutes ahead or behind?
usually right on time, except for one clock on my nightstand that's about 15 minutes ahead. i have no idea why it's set so early, haha.

my (current) 7 loves.

i already feel like i've been bad at blogging again, especially since my last few posts have been the 7 questions link-up each week :/ i have things i want to share, but have seriously run out of time to do it. so i'm going to try and squeeze in little posts this week/next week, instead of doing one long post that's all over the place. 

i can't even remember the last time i talked about anything beauty or fashion related on here, but i'm currently loving a few new items and wanted to share:

1. old navy's cap-sleeve jersey dress in black stripe: i recently ordered this dress for my trip to mexico next week, and i was excited when it arrived just in time to wear to my friend's bachelorette party this past weekend. it fits like a glove. the material has a slightly cheaper/stretchy feeling, which i was hoping it would be a better quality material for the price, but i don't think i should have any issues with it. because of the material, it looks like it might snag easily, so i just make sure to take extra care when washing it. i don't mind though, b/c that's how amazing this dress fits, and it's really comfortable.

2. revlon just bitten kissable lip stain in romantic: i love the original just bitten lip stain (the marker kind), so i knew i would love this moisturizing version. "romantic" is a perfect summery red/orange, and although it doesn't last as long as the marker one, it does last a lot longer than you would think. i plan on picking up a few more shades for the fall.

3. e.l.f. nail polish in flirty fushia: i bought this on an impulse, and it's now my favorite nail polish. it dries super fast, doesn't bubble, and goes much longer without chipping than any other store bought polish i have tried. and for $2, you really can't beat it.

4. maybelline color tattoo in bad to the bronze: the color in the pot is a little misleading because this color is definitely more of a champaign color than a bronze when applied, but i still love it. it's easy to apply, and really does last all day. perfect for work and lazy days by the pool.

5. e.l.f. moisturizing lip tint in cherry: love the color, love the scent/taste, love everything :)

6. urban decay all nighter makeup setting spray: this is the first makeup setting spray that i've tried, and i don't think i'll look for another one. it definitely keeps my makeup perfectly in place all day, and it really helps with my usually oily skin. it comes in handy when going out for the night, although i've also been using it during the day if i have plans right after work and don't have time to touch up my makeup.

7. larabar in chocolate chip cherry torte: so this doesn't really fit into the makeup & fashion favorites above, but my goodness, these bars are great! they are my go-to post workout snack. i can't seem to find this flavor in bulk, so i usually just grab a handful whenever i'm at target.

so that's what i've been loving lately :) what have you been currently loving?

7 questions #19

singing our hearts out to "living on a prayer" at my friends' wedding. such a good time!

1. bold or understated?
it depends. usually understated in every aspect, except when it comes to my lipstick... i like it bold ;)

2. you have to survive alone in the wild and you only get to take one thing with you. your choices are: a pocket knife, a water bottle, or a book. which would you choose and why?
i first thought water bottle, but that will only get me so far. i would choose one of those crazy pocket knives with a million little tools in it. i feel like that would be the most helpful in the wild.

3. thirty two cows, seven eight chickens, how many didn't?
i have no idea what this means...

4. would you rather die doing one legendary act of service or do small acts of kindness that may go unnoticed every day?
well, assuming this isn't a choice between living and dying (right?), i would still choose small acts of kindness. even if 90% of the people i helped didn't notice, the other 10% would make everything worth it. i like the idea of helping many many people over time as opposed to one person (or group) just one time.

5. happiness is attainable.

6. can you laugh without smiling?
not genuinely.

7. do you pop your knuckles?
yes, but only occasionally.

link up!