Friday, November 30, 2012

Quick Takes (14)

back once again for another round of Quick Takes....let's just jump right on in.

[1] After my mother and dear sister had aneurysms over the amount of sugar I put into my coffee over tgiving break, I've been trying to cut out my daily intake of sugar, which for some reason has resulted in me taking on a relatively vegetarian-looking diet. Don't ask me why. I get lunch for free at work, which is pretty quality dorm-food but at home I've been living on eggs, butternut squash, and cheese. I'm easy to please. Obvi.

[2] While I'm on the topic of food, lately, I've been the worst judge of ripe fruit.

After a run in with these apparent "dino eggs", a couple too many under-ripe peaches, and several not-ready pears, I became wary of fruit that wasn't squishy (because hard = not ripe, soft = I right?). But this theory proved to be hazardous for a friend who had one of my peaches (that I conveniently leave on my desk because who doesn't store their ripening fruit at work?!) and upon biting into it, declared that it was, and I quote, "horrible".
BUT this week, I've struck fruit gold and have had 3 consecutive days of good pears and oranges! Success!

[3] Obviously my life is super exciting since the highlight of my week was ripe fruit. But just to keep the embarrassing train going, the other highlight of my week was my absolute favorite blogger and internet celebrity, Grace Marie Patton (is it creepy that I know her middle name? probably.), commented on one of my posts
Of course, now I'm convinced that we're BFF&E&E even though it was her link-up so she probably has to comment on all of the contributing posts by the laws of link-ups.
But I'll live in my fantasty, thank you very much :)

[4] Should I be worried that is one of my referring URLs?

[5] I'm going to have to buy a new computer soon. Ugggggh. I've had my current one since HS graduation and to be honest, I haven't been super nice to it, I'm actually shocked it's lasted this long...
It's really frustrating that I'm having to replace things: first my car and now a new laptop. Urgh. If you have any suggestions on brands, please do share...but I'm probably going to go with either this one or this one.

[6] If you have any soup recipes, please pass them along? kthanks.

[7] Heading to Warren/Lena, IL this weekend for some parish talks! Please pray for me!!!

Head over to Jen's for más diversión (more fun for those who aren't as cultured as I ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

growing in virtue: patience

I think I've mentioned a time or two that I struggle with patience.
And it's not just with waiting for people or food or's with EVERYTHING.

But lately, mostly with my husband.

Oh, you didn't know that I have a husband?
Well, I do.
We're just not married yet, aaaaand I don't know who he is.

I know that I should be enjoying my "single years"....full of freedom and independence and yaddahyaddah
And, in some ways, I am...I mean, I love life, and my life is pretty good.
But I struggle a lot with enjoying the "right now" and not focusing on "someday"....

I think this is something that we as a culture struggle with - not seeing what's right in front of us - but it's so difficult to stop searching and just let God do His thing.
And I think one of my problems is that I've done the novenas and the dating fasts and the "think of every man you encounter simply as a brother in Christ" and it all helps...but there's still that ever-present yearning, aching, desiring to be united with him. I know that in some cases, my intentions with the aforementioned "cures" were just that: I would do all of these things and THEN God would say "Well done, my good and faithful's your hubby!"

Buuuut that's not how these things work.
And I know that....but it's still sooooo hard to just be and allow Him to lead me.

One thing that He has given me that has helped a bit is ...finally! A blog that is FOR SINGLE PEOPLE! I lovelovelove the mommy and wifey blogs that I read...truly, I do. But sometimes, I get so caught up in their stories, in their lives, that I find myself hoping that my story is half as cool as theirs.
Well, what the heck?! It's MY story! It's going to be perfect for ME!
Which brings me to another post that helped me a lot, called Dating Tip #1: You Don't Have to Date

This post clarified everything that I've been questioning:
"why am I single? what's wrong with me?"
"why am I the only one of my friends who doesn't have a boyfriend/fiance/husband?"
"so-and-so got married at my age and I'm not even dating anyone?! OMG!!!!!!"

But what I have to realize is that I'm not THEM.
I have my own story, my own life. And no matter what happens, no matter when I meet Mr. Right and get married and have children, it will be perfect for ME. And that is what matters most.

It's definitely a struggle, but I have confidence that with every passing day, I'm one step closer to meeting "him"...would you join me in praying for him? And me too if you wouldn't mind ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I wore Thanksgiving

Now that I've finally recovered from my "break" in which the fam and I drove to and from Chicago to Pittsburgh to be with my brotha who attends PITT, I'm getting around to posting this little number. Thank God Grace gave me a million years to get it together. Many thanks.

I'm going to go slightly off the beaten trail and post the majority of the outfits I wore throughout the trip to make up for my tardiness...lucky you.

Let's start with what I wore TO PTown.

Yes, that's a whole lot of monochrome action going on.
Lucky, what you can't see is what's underneath...a striped peplum top with that scarf! My mother was horrified that I'd mix THAT MUCH into one outfit. Oiy.
Also, the lighting is slightly off...the pants are more of an orchid color while the jacket is magenta. HUGE difference, people.

Moving right along....we spent the majority of Thanksgiving day walking around the campus.
Everyone was oo-ing and ahh-ing over the gorgeous weather and greenery while I was failing at teaching my sister how to take a decent photo of me.

She hateshateshates that picture of herself, but I don't care.

For dinner, we got all schnazzyed up for my brother's roommate's family's follow?

I love tights. And cardigans.

Friday, we walked around the city of Pittsburgh and froze our tooshies off...but it was fun and at some point I'll have to post some of the craycray pics that we took. It is impossible to take a serious picture in this fam. forreals.

Simple, comfy, and def not weather opprop.

And so there you have it. Hope all of your ever-needing-to-know-what-I'm-wearing needs are fulfilled.

the deets

monochrome magic
pants: Kohls
jacket: TJMaxx
scarf: ROSS
shoes: Target

Tara (L) (these are all assumptions...)
pants: Kohls
top: Kohls
scarf: Walmart
boots: Kohls?
hair: God

moi (R)
cardigan: Old Navy
top: American Eagle (thrifted)
jeans: Old Navy
shoes: Target

thanksgiving night
cardigan: Old Navy
top: Old Navy
skirt: ROSS
boots: Kohls

top: Old Navy
jeans: Old Navy
scarf: TJMaxx
shoes: Target

...just realized that most of my wardrobe is from ON clearance racks...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I am alive

oh hey out there....and yes, I'm still here.

I also have about 7 posts in the making, I'm just too lazy to finish any of them. lo siento. maybe later in the week.

But while I'm out here being the worst blogger known to blog-kind, check out a video or two.

you're welcome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I'm a big Taylor Swift fan. I have no shame in that, I've been a fan since the beginning and expect to always love her tunes.

So, naturally, when her new cd was released, I wanted it. Bad.

Aaaand it's good.
I think it might take me a little while to warm up to these new songs since I don't know all of the words yet, etc...but after seeing a bunch of reviews (which aren't all very kind) I felt like I wanted to put my own viewpoint out there.

First of all, I think it's important that before listening to this new record to understand that Taylor's sound has changed a lot since her first album. Just like other artists, as she has matured and changed, so has her music....AND she's only 22, people! Just keep that in mind. Like other artists, such as The All-American Rejects, her sound has changed...she doesn't sound like the 16 year old she was when she became popular. And if you don't like it, stick to her first couple albums.

But I digress.
Here's my take on each song on this new album, entitled "Red". With 16 tracks, I do believe that this is her longest album.
Disclaimer: I'm only giving my take on the sound of her album, because giving my opinion on the words and meanings, etc of her songs would be more than 12 posts themselves.

State of Grace - this first song sounds like some of her older tracks, think "Long Live" but after listening to it 10+ times, it's pretty catchy

Red - I like this one a lot...there are little banjo-twangy sounds but slightly more poppy than the first song.

Treacherous - meh. slow, not a big fan....and for some reason it just annoys me.

I Knew You Were Trouble. - LIKE. poppy and slightly angry...but I like it.

All Too Well - another slow one...more of a country feel, but I get bored and move on to the next track.

22 - I don't hate this song, but it reminds me of a cleaner, more girly version of Pink's Raise Your Glass

I Almost Do - I really like this's slower, but the sound is nice and clean.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - definitely a dancing-in-the-car song. a huge high-school feel, but it's fun.

Stay Stay Stay - LOVE. It's poppy and cute and potentially annoying. But I like it. A lot.

The Last Time - I hate the beginning of this's whiny and almost off-key. But if you stick with it until the middle of the song, it's fab.

Holy Ground - gross. don't like.

Sad Beautiful Tragic - slow. I'll be honest, I haven't listened to the entire song because it annoys me.

The Lucky One - LIKE LIKE LIIIIIKE. doesn't sound like anything Taylor has ever written before. and I like that.

Everything Has Changed - I LOVE THIS SONG. LOVE IT.

Starlight - ugh. no. again, haven't listened to the entire song so maybe it's not fair, but I don't like what I've heard.

Begin Again - again, like The Last Time, the beginning is annoying but if you wait until the chorus, I really like it.

Overall, I only really like 10 of the 16 tracks on this new album. Meh.
I mean, I don't expect to like EVERY song...although there are some artists whose albums I can listen to from beginning to end and love every song (think OK Go)...but at the end of the day, I'm happy with this album.
Is it very different from what you might expect from Taylor Swift? Yes.
But does that make it a bad album? nononono

So TS, no worries, you've still got me hooked. Now and forever :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

surprise! rodents.

I think squirrels are cute.
I like how they pounce around in the grass and nibble on whatever it is they eat.
I like the chattering noises that they make.

just look at that little guy! so cuuuuute!
But I recently had an epiphany, and it wasn't a good one.

Squirrels are just rats with bushy tails.


Now, I don't hate rats. In fact, I did my senior lab with white lab rats who I trained to complete obstacle courses through operant conditioning. And they were cute and smart and funny.
But they lived in cages and the only time they roamed free was when they were in the 2'X3' training pods.

Squirrels ROAM free EVERYWHERE.
AND they're bigger than the 8 oz rats I worked with.


Yet, despite my horror at this realization, I can't help but think they're cute. Especially this little one that lives by the convent near work...he only has half a tail and we call him Stumpy. And he's adorable.

what's the point?
I don't know.
just observations... :)

happy day to you! out for all of those rodents...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

music critic, reporting for duty.

I don't claim to know everything about anything.
But I would claim to know something about everything.
.......well, I know something about a lot of things.

I was scanning through radio stations today when I stumbled upon the alternative station.

And I was happy with the first couple songs, including Chalk Outline, which is the kind of music I associate with the alternative genre.

But then I heard Let's Go and I was like whaaaa? This isn't alternative!!!

AND THEN the DJ announced that after the break, they'd be back with Florence and the Machine. Wha to the whaaaa?! Freaking Florence and the Machine is not alternative.

So when I got home, just out of curiosity, I looked up the current Top 20 Alternative Songs.
And I. am. appalled.

What passes for "Alternative" these days is not what it was back in the day.

Madness by Muse is the #1 Alternative song...which, ok, that's legit. I would consider Muse "alternative".

BUT the #2 song is I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons. ohhhh no. nope. nuh-uh. Mumford IS NOT alternative.

Other artists featured on the top 20 list are The Black Keys (almost alt. but no), The Lumineers (um. no.), Alex Clare (are you kidding me?!), fun. (NO NO NO), and Of Monsters and Men (what the freak?!).

The only artists on the list that I would agree with them being alternative are Green Day, Linkin Park, and Rise Against.

You see, I was a huge alternative aficionado in high school, so I know a thing or two about what alternative music sounds like. When I think about alternative music, I think OK Go, Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Jimmy Eat World, and Paramore.

Maybe I'm just stuck in my ways and can't deal with genres evolving, but I don't care.
What the heck.

That's all. Anyone else have thoughts on the subject?

Friday, November 16, 2012

quick takes: things I love

welcome back to the laziest blog in the world.
I'm your host...the topic today is "things I love"
let's get this show started.....

dressing Abe up.


Christmas-themed EVERYTHING.
coffee, music, decorations, cookies, etc.



leftovers that my roomie left behind.


did I mention that I love Christmas?



ice cream.

good luck finding better QTs over at Jen's

Friday, November 9, 2012

quick takes (12) which I give you a [not so] rare peek into the life of moi

Not much upsets me. In truth, I'm a pretty easy-going person and I can let things roll off of my shoulders.
But having an interview/debate published IN THE UNIVERSITY PAPER without my consent irked me slightly.


I'm honestly worried for our country and the liberties we hold so dear to our hearts...but yet have hope that the courts will rule in the Church's favor on the Religious Liberty issue.
Also, it's nice to be able to concentrate on things other than the election once again.

Today is a sad parents are taking our beloved dog to be put down this evening.
Murphy's been such a loving, sweet, and honestly, perfect dog and he will be dearly missed.

I keep watching this video and am getting suuuper pumped to go to the 2013 SFLA Conference.
yayyy babies!

This week has gone by surprisingly fast, but I was able to make it out with some of my favorite ladies on Wednesday night to an Irish pub with live Gaelic music. What a blast! Good beer, good music, and cute old women staying out wayyyy past their bedtimes ;)
Also, Grandma, there were a couple of accordion players there, and I thought of you :)

I don't know if Veronica will ever post about this, but I just have to share this picture.

Apparently, Anne (pictured) needed to be labelled with permanent marker by her older sister.

And finally, I have a prayer request.
I got a call yesterday afternoon from my chaplain at ISU about the need for pregnancy resources for a couple out in BloNo. They're students and she is 6 weeks pregnant...her parents are pressuring her into having an abortion this weekend (at home) and despite both the girl and her boyfriend's desire to not have an abortion, the young woman feels that she has no other options.
Please join me in praying that everyone involved is spared the heartache and pain of abortion!
St. Gianna Molla, pray for us!

Have a fab weekend! I'll be in Peoria for our banquet...check out Jen for some more quickies!

Monday, November 5, 2012


When I was younger, I was not a crier. In fact, I would laugh at my mom for crying during a movie. The only exception to my lack of emotion was when we watched "A Walk to Remember"...pretty sure it took twice as long to watch that one because we kept stopping it to calm down...and we went through a full box of kleenex...
But truly, ask anyone...I did not cry.

That all changed when I left for college.
All of the sudden, a commercial like this would come on...

...and I would be a blubbering mess.

Thus another one of my manymanymany theories about the mystery of life.
I have a theory that when you leave for college, or move out on your own, something changes inside of you. Emotions are high, there are a lot of changes that you have to deal with, but at the same time, you want to be grown-up and mature and so you bottle those emotions as best you can. However, they're still there and you have to deal with them in some way and that's when the whole crying-for-no-reason phenomenon comes in.

Hey, don't take my word for it...there are plenty of people who I can point your towards to back my theory up.....actually, I only have one other person who I know that this theory is true for, but whatever. I'm juuuuust saying....

Now excuse me while I pull myself together....that Jif commercial really did me in...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quick Takes (11)

splendidly less-sleep deprived for this week's edition of takes!

Easily the highlight of my week was that the SFLI headquarters office now has a coffee machine. wootwoot! I didn't buy Espresso one time this week and although I have recently acquired an aversion to Folgers, buying grounds is significantly cheaper than my $4.50 large frosted pumpkin mocha.

Another highlight of my week was Halloween...I actually forgot several times that it was Halloween, but finally living in a house again where we had TRICK OR TREATERS!!!! was super exciting. My favorite munchkin was this tiny lion who tried to come into our house...she was maybe 2 and I had to restrain myself from telling her dad that if they ever need a babysitter, they know where to come.

On the topic of Halloween, what is with kids dressing up as bloody people? I don't get it. And I don't think it's because I'm Catholic and think that miniature St. Francises and Mother Theresas are freaking awesome, but just because I don't think that it's necessary. Whatever.

But, in case you were wondering, yes I was that person who refused to give two kids candy because they were dressed up as "myself" and "guy in white". Nice try. Maybe next year I'll take that for a spin but instead be "tipsy-23-year-old-begging-for-free-candy".
I'll let you know how that turns out.

I bought the new TSwift cd this week...and while I only really love 8 of the 16 songs, she's still got "it"...whatever "it" is....

I'm still upset about the Jemily breakup. So much so that I stopped following Emily on Insta.

One extra hour of sleep this weekend. That's what I've been looking forward to since we "sprung forward" all those months ago.


Any thoughts on the whole Disney-buying-Star-Wars? I'm not a trekkie or starry or whatever they're called, but I do enjoy SW and have enjoyed the banter between concerned fanatics.

click on over to Jen's for more QT's! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

thrifty thursday

Goodwill has ruined me for every other clothing store.

It's the both the best and worst thing that could happen. Because I went to TJMAXX which is basically the cheapest clothing store around here (unfortunately, we don't have ROSS) and not only was there really not too much that I found appealing, but I now have a hard time justifying paying $12+ for a top! Even $10 is pushing it...I mean, I'll do it, but I better REALLY like that top.

Plus, the whole time I was browsing, all I could think was "I could find cuter clothes for MUCH cheaper at Goodwill"

And so I went.

And score I did.

Before I brag about my amazing finds, I would just like to give a shout out of thanks to my mother who never placed importance or worth on brand names. Growing up, if you liked it and you would wear it, it didn't matter if it came from a department store or if it was long as it was reasonably priced. And buying $100 jeans just doesn't make sense. So thanks Mom :)

So yes. There are such cute clothes at thrift stores! AND CHEAP! Plus, it's eco-friendly. I think...

Here we go. I found 3 tops that I'm TOTALLY happy with...and the estimated retail value of similar products can be found below.

The Goodwill price for each item? $2.99

For those of you who need a calculator to figure out my savings, I'm way ahead of you. By "buying green", I saved about $149. Not that I would ever buy the brands showcased above unless the prices were slashed, but my point is that I was able to buy chic, well-made clothing WAY below the original price simply because I'm not a snob when it comes to where my clothing comes from.

So thanks Mom, and thanks hipsters for making thrifting "in".

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