7 questions #8

photobooth at work. always fun.

1. you are stuck somewhere you really don't want to be, do you - walk home, call a friend, or stick it out?
probably call a friend first, and if that doesn't work, i would try to stick it out.

2. do you like to PLAY sports?
i like to play soccer or baseball with friends, even though i haven't done that in a very long time. my dad used to play baseball and even football with my sister and i when we were younger, and that was always fun. i don't like the serious competition when it comes to actually playing on a team though. too much pressure made the game less fun for me growing up.

3. everyone has that one "different" song that they secretly love - what's yours?
hmm, i like a lot of random music from all different genres, but i secretly love "holding out for a hero" by bonnie tyler. i LOVED it when i heard it in footloose, and... don't hate me for this, but i loved the cover of it in shrek 2! when human shrek gets on stallion donkey and barges into the castle at the end... i got goosebumps! hahaha. i think im going to add that song to my running playlist. right. now.

4. what is one thing you feel you are really good at?
i almost feel conceited answering this question, and i totally shouldn't b/c i should be confident in my abilities to do things, right? right. ha. i really like video editing, and i feel that i am good at it. i mean, it's my job, if i wasn't good i probably would not do it for a living, right? i feel like with recent projects at work, the editing has been really straightforward, so i'm hoping to edit a video project soon that allows me to be more creative, whether it's a work project or something i decide to do for myself.

5. a dog is running in your direction and barking loudly - what do you do?
i'd probably start running away, which could make things worse. if i found a a big stick or something, i would try to use it to scare the dog away until someone could help me.

6. star gazing or cloud watching?
oooh, i love to do both. but if i had to choose, star gazing.

7. what time of the day do you feel the most productive?
probably the time when i get home from work around 5:15-5:30pm. almost every weekday morning when i wake up so tired, i promise myself a little nap after work. but by the time i get home, i either run a ton of errands, go to the gym, work on my computer, and/or start a craft project. around 9:30pm i slow down a bit and watch tv or a movie before going to bed.

you know what to do ;)

a little about me

i'm really excited to be participating in the send something good project - formally know as package pals - hosted by gentri, kaitlyn, and kristy. basically a bunch of us bloggers signed up to send a fun package to another blogger. unlike previous swaps that i have participated in, who is assigned to who remains a secret. it's up to me to learn about this person and figure out what they would like to receive in their package.

in an effort to keep things simple, get to know more bloggers, and also to provide information about myself and what i like, i am linking up this post with the send something good gals. you can link up on either one of their blogs, or at the bottom of this post.

in addition to (or possible overlapping) my about me page and random facts (including my recent "7 questions" posts), here is a little more info about yours truly :)

  1. i love, love, love taking photos, more as a hobby than anything else. i really enjoy shooting with film, mostly 35mm or disposable cameras. but i'm constantly shooting with my iphone as well.
  2. i'm pretty obsessed with my iphone (in case that hasn't come across in my posts, lol).
  3. i've recently been focusing on living a healthier lifestyle. i'm trying to eat healthier (which is hard! haha), and i've joined a local gym. i've already noticed a difference in how my clothes fit, and working out has become a habit for me now... i make sure to fit it in my schedule whenever i can.
  4. even though i try to eat healthy, i LOVE chocolate, and popcorn. yum :) oh, and steak. filet mignon. yes please.
  5. i'm pretty addicted to target. i'm there at least 2-3 times a week. it's kind of ridiculous.
  6. i love totes, clutches, coin purses, and makeup bags.
  7. i love adding items to my growing makeup collection, especially eye shadows and lip products, even though i need to cool it soon... that money adds up! haha.
  8. my favorite tv shows right now are: game of thrones, east bound and down, the killing, new girl, modern family, revenge, grey's anatomy, i survived, and how i met your mother. i watch a lot of  too much tv.
  9. i'm going to vegas memorial day weekend with chester & our friends and i'm SO excited! this will be my 6th vegas trip, but it really is different every time i go.
  10. i'm really becoming a serious apple fangirl.
  11. i enjoy crafting, and have been itching to make something new this month.
  12. i'm turning 28 next month on the 20th :)
  13. i love to read, but it's been so long since i've read a book :( sadness. next on the list are devil in the white city and the game of thrones books. i'm pretty open to suggestions though, if anyone has any :)
  14. i love good design. i wish i was better at graphic design myself. i can manage ok on some client stuff at work, but i should just stick to video ;)
  15. my favorite color is blue, and i really like heather grey too.
  16. i had blue streaks in my hair for a couple years, and now i have purple and brown... pb & j, as chester calls it. but i've been debating on getting rid of the purple only b/c it's so expensive to maintain. BUT i really do love it, so we'll see how long i keep it
that's about all i can think of right now. if you're a new reader, thanks so much for stopping by! and if 
you're not, thanks for coming back! at the beginning of the year i promised to be better about posting regularly on this blog, and i think i've done a pretty good job so far :) i plan to keep it up!

until next time,

april's birchbox

birchbox delivery day is the best! seriously. i already can't wait for next month's box. if you've been thinking about signing up, i would definitely suggest trying it out. it's not a bad deal for $10/month.

below is what i received in my april birchox:

i haven't had the chance to try anything out, except for the nail polish... which i really like :) i am looking forward to using the hair mask since my locks currently need a little extra lovin', and i'm actually excited to try the laundry detergent. haha, how "adult" of me to be excited about laundry detergent. but it seems so easy and would take up a lot less space in my laundry room.

do you have a birchbox subscription? what goodies did you get this month?

7 questions #7!

one of my favorite photos of my friend tim and i. aaaaand another "duck face". oh boy.

1. what is your favorite app?
it's tough to pick just one! i'm OBSESSED with photography apps, i mean, just look below. i have 3 FULL FOLDERS of photo apps! crazy, right?

but if i had to pick just one, i would choose instagram (@stephkelly). followed closely by camera+, crossprocess, and diptic.

2. you have to come up with a book title on the spot - what is it? (don't think - just say!)
"roses". that's all i could think of when i first read this question. haha, it's not even 2 words!

3. you are given the choice between laughing at everything - always, or never being able to laugh again. which would you choose?
i would rather laugh at everything. never being able to laugh again is such a sad thought, i could never choose that.

4. what natural disaster scares you the most? (tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood, etc)
well, tornadoes are mostly likely to happen here in the midwest, and they are pretty terrifying. but i think i'm scared of a hurricane the most. it's like a tornado in some aspects, and can also cause severe flooding, which is scary too!

5. what time do you wake up each day? what time do you go to sleep?
during the week my alarm goes off at 5:50am, but i don't actually get up until 6:15-6:30ish. i try to go to bed before 11pm, but lately i've been staying up later. on the weekends, it depends what i'm doing, but i like to sleep in a little bit :)

6. who's your daddy, and what does he do?
well, my dad is incredibly awesome! he's so supportive, and i really value his advice. he's the materials manager at a metal fabrication company back home in rockford, il. he also shoots & edits wedding videos with my mom on the side. pretty cool.

7. what's the craziest dream you've ever had? (like an actual dream - while you were sleeping)
hmmm, i haven't had a crazy dream in a while! but i sometimes dream of getting kidnapped or something crazy. usually happens after a marathon of "law and order: svu". if i escape, then i go to the police station and tell detective stabler and detective benson all about it. (i love them!)

you know what to do ;)

share the beauty: foundation

this week's share the beauty subject is foundation. i've been addicted to bare minerals for a few years now. the coverage is great and it doesn't even feel like i'm wearing foundation. they have great starter kits too if you want to try it out.

1. smashbox photo finish foundation primer - i recently picked up a sample of this at sephora and i love it! i apply a tiny amount to my face after moisturizing and before i apply foundation. it makes my skin feel silky but not shiny, and i've noticed that my makeup applies more evenly when using the primer. it's pretty pricey, but it does last a long time.

2. e.l.f. corrective concealer - i picked this up on e.l.f.'s website a couple weeks ago and i really like it. i mainly use it for covering up blemishes or acne scars.

3. well-rested spf 20 eye brightener - i use this to cover up my dark under eye circles and under my nose to even out my skin tone. it lasts all day and has good coverage.

4. matte spf 15 foundation - this foundation is lightweight and like i said before, it has great coverage.

5. mineral veil - i use this powder to set my foundation.

if you want to join in on the fun, be sure to link up!

recent instagrammin'

i've been really bad about posting recent photos on here :/ i didn't even finish the march photo a day challenge (i missed the last 4 days). however, i did want to share days 19-27, and a few instagram photos from the last few days:

1. fancy rockford riesling, courtesy of my awesome dad // 2. my mom made these amazing (and fancy) chocolate mousse shots for easter dessert // 3. my sister's glass of wine on our parent's deck // 4. my mom, my sister and myself had a chance to look through some of my grandma's jewelry. this necklace is my favorite. i've been wearing it for the past few days and i love it.

i've decided not to participate in the april photo a day challenge, but i will still but uploading to instagram regularly, so stay tuned for more photos here :) i'm hoping to bring back my "week/weekend" in photos posts, too. i feel like i've only been posting link up party stuff lately, and while i still plan on doing those for a while (b/c they are fun!) i want to bring back some original posts as well.

'til next time!

another 7 questions! #6

my bff dana & i many years ago. lol, i think these are our "badass" faces. total fail on my part.

1. would you rather have your life be a constant vacation or always stay at home?
ooooh, this is a tough one! i LOVE going on vacations, but i would miss having a place to call home. i'd like to have a little stability.

2. what is your favorite book (it can be any book! cook book, picture book, whatever!)
i really need to catch up on my reading, but the last book i read that i really liked was "the lovely bones". i also really love shel silverstein's "falling up" and the "scary stories to tell in the dark" collection by alvin schwartz :) the illustrations (by stephen gammel) were SO well done, and terrifying!

3. you have to be on a reality tv show - which would you choose?
is "what not to wear" a reality tv show? lol. it would be fun to get a complete makeover. otherwise maybe one of the real world/road rules challenges... maybe. i think it could be fun to travel somewhere exotic and actually do physically challenging competitions.

4. what is your favorite form of exercise? (running, zumba, step, etc)
as much as i don't really like to work out (who really does?), i find that i don't mind running as much as i used to, and i like pilates too.

5. what is one thing that you've never tried but are CONVINCED you hate? (foods, activities, etc)
i will not eat peppers. i don't think i've ever tried one, but i hate the taste of them when they are cooked with other foods. i can only imagine that biting into one intentionally would be awful for me.

6. do you have any hidden talents?
i can make the chewbacca noise, haha! and i can fold my tongue into a clover shape. classy talents, i know ;)

7. what's the best prank you've ever pulled?
gosh, i'm horrible at pranks! seriously! my sister is pretty amazing when it comes to pranks, but me... not so much. i can't even think of one good prank for this question. fail.

** update! i totally forgot about my favorite pranks to play on my coworkers. my friend chad taught me this one: ok, i work at an advertising agency and we are all on macs here. when a coworker was out to lunch, i took a screencap of her entire desktop (the dock, folders, background, everything) and set it as her new desktop background. then i moved the dock to the left hand side of the screen and "hid" it. she came back to her laptop and thought it was frozen b/c she couldn't open any of her programs. i think we let her even restart her machine once or twice before we let her in on the prank.

another one we did to a different coworker when he was away from his desk. we switched out the icons for most of his programs in the dock with programs that we never really use. (this is actually easy to do if you right click on the program in finder and "get info".) so his dock still looked exactly the same, but when he went to open safari, it would actually open dictionary... the mail app would open stickies, etc. HILARIOUS! at least to a few of us who were behind it, i don't think he was too happy about it. **

link up party people!

share the beauty: eye makeup

this week's share the beauty link up is about eye makeup. over the past few years, i've really liked learning more about makeup products and trying out some new styles. i follow a handful of beauty blogs (i'll link them below), watch youtube video tutorials, and now have a fabulous subscription to birchbox (courtesy of my awesome parents). i really love birchbox b/c i can try out some wonderful products without having to pay for the full size. i try not to go overboard on my makeup spending, b/c honestly i can't afford it on a monthly basis. there are a few products in my routine that i will spend more money on b/c i do see a difference compared to the cheaper stuff, but mostly i try to keep it fairly inexpensive. and i'm always using coupons and points at ulta/sephora whenever i can!

below is what i use for my eyes currently, i'm always trying out new eyeshadow colors, but this is what i'm using at the moment:


i'm embarrassed about how long it took me to really give any attention to my eyebrows. i mean, i tweezed, but that was as far as i went. i recently bought a groupon for an eyebrow threading at a local salon b/c i didn't trust myself to "shape" my own brows. i highly recommend going to a salon to get your eyebrows shaped! it's usually fairly cheap, and websites like groupon and living social are always offering deals. once you have your eyebrows shaped, it's pretty easy to maintain them yourself. i also recently found this tutorial about how to groom your eyebrows, be sure to check it out! (steph has a bunch of great tutorials on her blog too.)

1. e.l.f eyebrow/eyelash gel in clear - i love using this gel to keep my eyebrows in place. and it's only $1 at target!

2. e.l.f. eyebrow kit - also picked this up from target for $3... this is a great kit for filling in my brows and keeping the ends in place.


3. clinique touch base for eyes in canvas - this is a great eyeshadow primer that i have been using for years! it makes my shadow last all day and it never creases. it's a bit pricey, but it does last a long time. little tip: keep the foil cover on so the primer doesn't dry out before it's gone.

4. maybelline color tattoo eyeshadow in tough as toupe - i recently picked this up at target and i'm obsessed with it! it's thick, creamy, and easy to apply with my fingertip. it definitely lasts until i wash my makeup off at night.

5. e.l.f. eyeshadow in pebble - i use this shadow on top of the color tattoo to gradually blend it to my brow bone. since the color tattoo is so thick and set in place, it's a little hard to blend up on its own, so this e.l.f. shadow is great for that purpose.

6. e.l.f. eyeshadow kit in warm - i found this little beauty on sale at target for.... $3!!! incredible! i really like all of the colors in this set. i'm drawn to warm neutrals when it comes to eyeshadow.

7. eyeshadow brush - the shadow brush i use i actually picked up at sephora, but this e.l.f. one is very similar. it took me a while to ditch the cheap eyeshadow applicators and use brushes, but now i'll never go back.

8. eyeshadow smudge brush - i use this to smudge darker colors on the outer corners of my eyes inward.

9. eyeshadow crease brush - i use this to blend the color in the crease... self-explanatory, lol.


10. laura geller i-care waterproof eyeliner in cafe mocha - i received this in a birchbox a few months back and i LOVE it! although it is pricey, i'm looking to replace it when it runs out. i love it that much. it's the perfect brown for a daytime/softer look.

11. almay eyeliner in brown/black - this has always been my to-go eyeliner before the cafe mocha above. it stays put for the most part, and i like to use this when i'm going out at night. it's not as harsh as a jet black, but still dark enough for a nighttime look.


12. eyelash curler - i just recently started using a curler and i like it a lot. it takes 2 seconds to use, so i don't really have an excuse not to do it. i use it right before i apply mascara. i picked my curler up at target, but you can buy them anywhere.

13. maybelline lash stiletto mascara in very black - i've been using this mascara for years and i really like it. it's thick, so it doesn't take forever to build up, and it dries quickly.

and that's it for my eyes! haha, seems like a lot but it goes fast. here are a few links to check out that i mentioned above:

holly ann-aeree (youtube videos about face care, hair care, makeup product reviews and application tutorials)

hair and makeup by steph (hair & makeup tips/tutorials from a professional)

keiko lynn (makeup tutorials and product tips, also a great fashion blogger)

the small things blog (makeup & hair tutorials from a professional)

love. life. babies (lifestyle blog, but i really enjoy steph's post on makeup, face care, etc.)

the beauty department (everything beauty!)

AND of course, if you haven't checked out heather's blog, do it! i'm really loving her the beauty files series.
join in and link up!

7 questions part 5

ok, you guys know the drill :)

80's party. crimped hair. oh yes.

1. if you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
i think being immune to any pain would be pretty cool, b/c who wants to feel pain? and as long as i can't do permanent damage to myself (i.e. accidentally crushing bones without feeling it, lol). flying would be a close second.

2. if you could hold the world record for something, what would it be for and why?
this one is tough... i'm not really sure. maybe being able to run the fastest mile? haha, lame. i don't know.

3. what is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
i don't really think it's weird b/c i grew up with it, but others think it's a little odd... but lengua tacos (beef tongue). it's delicious!!!

4. where would you hide something if you didn't want it to be found?
hmmm. i guess it depends on what i need to hide? if it's small, i would hide it in a box within a box within a box and stash it in the back of my closet.

5. what is one of your spring and/or easter traditions?
i'm 27 and my younger sister is 25, but we still dye eggs at home for easter. and my mom still makes easter baskets for us :)

6. would you rather have to cook dinner from scratch every night, make all of your own clothes (including patterns), or walk everywhere you wanted to go?
probably cook every dinner from scratch every night. i'm not good at cooking, but maybe with practice i could be.

7. what is your most embarrassing moment? i know, big one.
haha, i know that i've had a ton, but the first that comes to mind is this one: i was in 8th grade, and i had my legs crossed at my desk. my leg fell asleep and when the bell rang and i tried to get up, my legs buckled and i took the desk down with me on my fall down. ha! right in front of my crush of course :/

this is really a lot of fun, so join in and link up!

share the beauty: face care

i've noticed that i've received a lot of views recently on my skin post from a while back, and i've been meaning to write an update post on the products that i am currently using. so when lauren, leonora, and heather posted that the next share the beauty post would be about face care, it was perfect timing!

below are the products that i use to care for my face:

1. st. ive's green tea scrub - for a scrub it's pretty gentle, but i only use it at night or after the gym.

2. tea tree skin clearing facial wash - i use this along with the facial brush in the mornings. it's very gentle on it's own, but the facial brush acts as a loofah for your face, and it lathers up quite nicely.

3. facial brush

4. tea tree water (toner) - after i get out of the shower, i spray this toner on my face and let it dry before moisturizing. you can also wipe it off with a cotton ball if you prefer.

5. makeup remover cleansing towelettes - i use these after the gym or when i want to redo my makeup mid-day and i don't want to dry out my skin.

6. tea tree blemish fade night lotion - this is a great night lotion, and i like that it's very light.

7. tea tree skin clearing lotion - i use this to moisturize in the mornings before applying makeup

8. tea tree face mask - i use this mask about once a week since it does dry me out a little bit. but i like it a lot, and have used it for acne spot treatments at night.

9. tea tree oil - i love using this oil on any ance spots overnight, it does a great job of clearing up little blemishes.

i'm excited to see everyone's posts about face care since i'm always looking for new and effective products. if you do post, be sure to link up!

william fitzsimmons

on friday chester and i saw william fitzsimmons at lincoln hall in chicago. chester introduced me to his music a while back, and i absolutely LOVE it. this was our second time seeing him together in chicago, and we were standing right by the stage. the show was so amazing, william fitzsimmons sounded incredible, and his band was awesome too. denison witmer played a great opening set. i can't wait to check out his music. and, as always, william was hilarious. haha.

the encore was amazing, he played another 2 songs with his band, and 4 by himself after that. my favorite song of his is "if you would come back home" (which i posted about here). i kept hoping he would play it, but after the 3rd encore song, i lost a bit of hope, lol. then he unplugged his guitar, walked to the edge of the stage RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and played my song :) it was SO cool. below is my iphone footage of the song :)

William Fitzsimmons - If You Would Come Back Home from Stephanie Kelly on Vimeo.

i wish i would've recorded this song he played with his band too, but luckily the people in front of me uploaded their video. this was another favorite of the night. these guys are so talented.

such a great night! if you haven't yet, be sure to check these guys out!