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!

7 questions #18

ha, i don't even know :/

1. it's back to school time! are YOU going back to school?
nope, i've been out of college for over 5 years... i feel really old now, lol.

2. speaking of back to school... you receive 10 its if you can name this movie:
"don't you just love new york in the fall? it makes me wanna buy school supplies. i would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if i knew your name and address. on the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."
when i read this question last week, i knew that i heard this quote before, so i knew it was from a movie i saw, but i couldn't name it. by looking at gentry's answers, i now know it's from you've got mail. i love that movie!

3. who did you hang out with in school? cool kids, jocks, nerds, were you a loner, etc?
in high school i mostly hung out with my 3 best friends at the time, liz, kaleen, & tina. we weren't popular, but not unpopular... if that makes sense. we flew under the radar most of the time. i heard much later that i was referred to as "that short girl that's really good at art." hahaha! in college i hung out with the "normal" people (actually pictured above)... which in an art school, normal (meaning i showered on a daily basis, and wore make-up, lol) was the minority.

4. what was your favorite subject in school?
ART! i remember in grade school, we only had art on certain days, like M, W, F. i had a fever on one of the art days, and i told my mom that i was fine. i was going to school. i even got dressed and was ready to head out the door. my mom told me that i was in fact sick and staying home that day. "but mommmm, it's ART DAY!" i was so upset, lol.

5. if you had to go back and redo one of the following, which would you choose and why? preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, college?
i remember answering this one a while back :) and my answer is still the same: high school. i liked it, but i wish i would have known that all the petty things, the drama, and the heartbreak that i was sure would be the end of the world, really wasn't. none of that mattered the minute i graduated.

6. home/packed lunch or school lunch?
home/packed lunch. had to save that $$

7. what's more exciting? the first day of school or that last day of school?
oooh, that's tough. i love the first day b/c it meant new school supplies, new classes, football games and a lot of socialization. but nothing beats that last day when you have the whole summer ahead of you :)


remember when i shared that animated gif of my friend/coworker brian & i on the company canoe trip? well, here is the video! we were finally able to get an edit together when our lost gopros were found about a week after the trip :)

loving: hot air popped popcorn, with coconut oil melted over top & a sprinkle of garlic salt. it might sound like a weird combo, but it is seriously good! i'm also loving the drop in temperature here lately. i can feel fall on its way, and i can't wait.

reading: well, i just finished still missing by chevy stevens. it was such a good book! i had a really hard time putting it down. ** don't worry, no spoilers here.** it's about a woman in her late 20s, annie, who is abducted by a complete psychopath & held hostage in a remote mountain cabin for over a year. the story is told through annie's sessions with her therapist. it's as if the author pressed "play" on the tape recorder for each session, and that's how the chapters unfold (they aren't even called chapters but "sessions"). i thought that was nicely done. the book gets pretty heavy at times, but i was so interested in how she ended up escaping alive, and how she tries to heal after such a horrific event.

next up, i'm going to start gone girl by gillian flynn. i've heard good things about this book, and have even seen a couple bloggers post about it, so i'm looking forward to starting it.

watching: um, shark week!!! and the newsroom, although i missed it last night b/c of shark week. i figured i could catch a re-airing tonight. and pretty little liars. yep, still pretty hooked on that one. aaaand i think i might be slowly giving up on true blood. i just don't look forward to watching it on sunday nights anymore :/ i'm sure i'll still watch the re-airings when nothing better is on.

anticipating: our vacation to cancun in september!!! chester and i are staying at the all-inclusive, adults only secrets the vine resort. the resort was highly recommended by our friend/travel agent, and it actually doesn't even open until august 20th. this had me a little nervous at first, but now i'm just excited. this is my first visit to mexico (i've only been out of the country once before, to peru in high school), and i'm happy that it will just be the two of us. :) i'll be sure to take a ton of photos to share when i get back.

listening to: slow runner. they opened for william fitzsimmons a year or two ago. chester and i really liked them. one of my favorite tracks off their 2011 album damage points is "devil moon".

working on: well, i'm not working on it yet, but i want to make some awesome leg warmers/boot socks to go with my boots this fall. i love this tutorial for a lightweight sweater version (pictured on the left), and i like the idea of creating a crocheted version of the photo on the right. they wouldn't take too long to crochet, and i could make them in a bunch of colors! :)

wishing: that things will work out exactly how they are supposed to. i do believe that everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it becomes difficult to constantly remind myself of that. maybe i'm wishing for a little more faith, too.

7 questions #17

in the first shot, i totally thought my hands were on either side of that shark jaw! haha. not even close ;)

1. the olympics are awesome! what's your favorite summer olympic event to watch?
ahhhhhh, ok. i'm not trying to sound unpatriotic or anything, but i won't watch the olympics voluntarily. i'm just not really interested in it at all. i know, horrible. sorry.

2. if you could compete in an olympic event (either season), which would it be?
ummm, maybe gymnastics? i have no idea, lol.

3. would you rather be tickled to death or poked (by finger) constantly for the rest of your life?
well, the poking would be SO annoying i'm sure, but if it means i get to live, i'll take it!

4. do you keep your nails long or short? square or round?
i like to keep my nails short! they grow pretty fast and pretty long, but i love how nail polish looks on short, square nails.

5. do you think you're funny?
i think i have my moments :) i can't hold a candle to my sister though, she's hilarious!

6. when you have something you're looking forward to SO much, but it's still a ways off, what do you do to keep yourself distracted?
well, chester and i are going to cancun for 4 nights in september, and I CANNOT WAIT! even though i want it to happen right now, i find comfort knowing i have a couple paychecks coming until then, so it will be paid off before we leave the airport :) that's not really distracting myself from it, but it helps me.

7. you've just won an olympic gold medal! what are you going to do next?
yikes, a lot of olympic questions this time. um, well i probably would have been on a strict diet while training and competing, so i would invite a bunch of family & friends out to a gigantic dinner and many, many drinks afterward ;)

photojojo's iphone scuba suit!

i'm a huge fan of photojojo's camera products and accessories (remember this post reviewing the easy macro lens band?), and i have been eyeing the iphone scuba suit since it was released. when chester and i booked our trip to cancun in september, i knew that i wanted this case to bring along to the beach, pool, etc.

so i ordered it last month and was so excited to try it out! but, i have to be honest, the first case i received was defective :( i tested it out (empty of course), following the instructions on the packaging, and sure enough... there was a considerable amount of water on the inside. so, my advice, please test out this case EMPTY, they will NOT replace your iphone if it's damaged. i was pretty bummed, but i also knew that photojojo has an amazing customer service department. so after a few emails, i received a new case. i tested it out, and it works great!

below are a few shots i took at my pool the other day:

so, does it allow me to take great underwater photos without the risk of any water damage? absolutely. but i do have to say, it is a little difficult getting the shutter to release. at least for me. on the built-in camera app, the shutter button is so close to the bottom of the screen, i had a really hard time getting it to respond... i had to push the shutter pretty hard, and it only worked about half the time :/ BUT i did download the photo app camera genius, which allows you to turn the entire phone screen into a shutter button, and that made things a lot easier. i still had to press pretty hard on the screen, but it did work. i only had this problem when i was shooting under water. above water the shutter works just fine.

has anyone tried out this waterproof case? or any other ones out there? this is a (brand) new area of iphoneography to me, and i can't wait to explore it :)

**update** i had to add this in b/c i'm pretty stoked about it! photojojo retweeted my pool photo collage i posted over the weekend! ha, anyone else get excited when they're retweeted like this? hopefully it's not just me ;)


i wanted to share some photos from my last week in july, since i actually managed to take a few. it was my friend joe's birthday, and on the 28th we all celebrated by seeing steve rannazzisi at zanies in rosemont. he was HILARIOUS! i'm a huge fan of the league (steve plays kevin, the league commissioner), so it was pretty awesome to meet him after the show. and he was nice enough to take photos with everyone who wanted one.

before that saturday, i hadn't really checked out this new area in rosemont. chester and i have been to the muvico movie theater before (and actually that day to see the dark knight rises), but we've never really hung out in that area. it's really cool! they have a couple bars and a few restaurants up, and have a big lawn area where you can hang out and sometimes listen to bands play. when you live in the suburbs, nothing really compares to the hanging out in the city, but i feel like this area is a happy medium.

this outing was particularly special b/c our very good friends denny & krystina were in town! (they moved out to LA in early april of this year.) we've missed them SO much, and even though we only had this one night with them to hang out, it was so good to see them :)

my weekend was unfortunately cut short when i had to fly out to washington d.c. early sunday for work. womp womp. but, we did have a little down time sunday night, and i snapped these photos before & after seeing the dark knight rises at the smithsonian imax. yes, that was my third time seeing it in 2 weeks. yes, it was really good on a true imax screen. and yes, i'll probably see it again in theaters ;)

7 question #16

a few drinks in at jorie's birthday party a few weeks ago.

1. it's the first day of august - are you savoring summer or ready to jump into fall?
oh man, i'm actually kind of torn... i'm over the unbearably hot & humid summer days, but i know i'll miss lounging at the pool and wearing sundresses when it finally does cool down. but i can't wait to wear "fall" clothes. i love layering :)

2. you need a quick and healthy meal, what do you make?
hmm, probably a small salad with balsamic vinaigrette & almonds, light mozzarella string cheese, a few slices of turkey & a piece of fruit. i usually don't shop enough for this to be my go-to healthy meal, but i try to stock up with a few healthy ingredients.

3. you're at the mall, how do you shop?
i usually only go to the mall if i need something from a certain store, otherwise i try to avoid it. i go in, pick up what i need to, and sometimes browse forever 21 for some deals ;) i can always justify a few new clothing items if they are under $15 a piece.

4. would you rather buy a new house or renovate an old one?
i like the idea of renovating an old house, and being able to preserve some of it's charm, but i don't think i'm patient enough for that :/ so i'll stick to buying a new house.

5. long hair or short hair?
long. i've been growing mine out for a while (2-3 years), and i think i've finally reached my "goal length" :)

6. who is your oldest (not by age) friend?
probably my friend tim, who is now an official california resident as of a couple weeks ago. i met him my first year at college, and we are still close. many of my close friends now i met that first year in college. some friendships took a little longer to develop, but i'm so glad that we are all still such good friends almost a decade later :) i'm a lucky girl.

7. what is your favorite blog - currently?
hmm, i have to say secondhand sundays. i'm a sucker for a well-designed blog, and bekuh is just too cute! i really like her posts & i feel like she has a great variety of topics/ideas to post about. be sure to check her out!