Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Since Valentine's Day is fast approaching and many people, such as myself in years past, struggle to come up with ideas, I thought I would tell you some of the things that I have done in the past. Since this will be my seventh Valentine's Day with my boyfriend, it becomes harder and harder each year to think of original ideas. For those of you who are struggling, here are a few of my gender neutral Valentine's gifts from years past.
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The first one that comes to mind is something that I believe I found on Pinterest. I chose one of his favorite candies and bought a bunch of them. Then, I made a color coded sheet and chose different colors to represent different occasions such as "remember when's," "firsts" and places that we had been. I then attached these pieces of paper around the candy and put them all into a cute container. He had a great time reading all the little notes and got to eat some of his favorite sweets. I couldn't find the original article on Pinterest but this is pretty similar and will give you the basic idea!

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Something else that will always be popular, no matter what gender, is cologne or perfume. This is something that is always useful and appreciated. Also along those lines is bathroom "stuff." Although they won't admit it most people, including men, like pampering themselves with a nice bubble bath every once in a while. I don't think I could name a single person that wouldn't like to receive a gift basket of cologne, bubble bath, some body wash or shower gel, maybe even some Lush products. If you don't feel like making your own, you can order one from a website such as this, although they are rather pricey! If you don't want to order one, you can maybe get some ideas as to what to include in your own there! 

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Another idea would be some kind of homemade coupon book. I have done this in the past and he loved it. Include some of their favorite things. If they like a certain kind of food, offer to cook them dinner or bake them their favorite sweets. If they are an active gym-goer, offer to go with them or to massage their sore muscles. If they hate doing chores, offer to do the dishes or the laundry. If they are a sports fan, offer to watch the game with them. These may not be your favorite activities either but they will really appreciate it! If you're looking for free templates, this site has some really cute ones!

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This next one may not be too original but I think it is always a good option; jewelry. Now I think that any jewelry that was picked out specifically for another person is nice, but I much prefer the options where someone has put in a lot of thought and picked out the colors and contents based specifically on whom they are shopping for. This also goes for watches. I think a personalized engraving is always a nice touch. There are also lots of small shops that let you chose different charms for the other person. Plus, this helps support local small businesses! The picture above came from this Etsy store and I absolutely adore these necklaces!

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Another option for those who don't necessarily like to partake in gift-giving on Valentine's Day is having a nice date night. This can range from going out to dinner and a movie to staying in, creating a blanket fort, watching Netflix and snacking. Honesty, either of those sounds fine to me. There is also the option of planning a trip together. A road trip is a great bonding experience, even if it is just a day trip!

Those are some of my favorite ideas! What are you doing for your significant other this year? I would love to hear about it, let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's The Little Things

In light of recent events, I am not feeling overly creative and frankly, I am emotionally and physically exhausted. I just wanted to take this time to thank some people, some of which may have applied to you at one time or another. 

If you have ever smiled at a stranger on the street, thank you.
If you have ever extended a helping hand to someone in need, thank you.
If you have ever donated time, money or resources to a charity, nonprofit or otherwise, thank you.
If you have ever given a hug to someone who needed one, thank you.
If you have ever picked up a gift for someone, simply because it make you think of them, thank you.
If you have ever asked about someone's day and been genuinely interested in their answer, thank you.
If you have ever helped someone pick up something they have dropped, thank you.
If you have ever "paid it forward" in a drive through, thank you.
If you have ever defended someone, especially those who cannot defend themselves, thank you.
If you have ever reached out to someone who has trouble connecting with people, thank you.
If you have ever given a compliment to someone who is feeling self-conscious, thank you.
If you have ever encouraged someone to make good decisions, thank you.
If you have ever heard someone out, whether you agree with them or not, thank you.
If you have ever allowed someone else to take the limelight, thank you.
If you have ever done a favor for someone who can't repay you, thank you.
If you have ever made someone smile while they were crying, thank you.
If you have ever encouraged someone to do the right thing, thank you.

If you are reading this and see yourself in any of these, thank you. Honestly, sometimes it is the smallest things that can make a difference. I am so thankful for the people in my life who are willing to go the extra mile. Although I have a small group of friends, I am very thankful for them and what they do. I could not ask for more from my family either. During these hard times, it can be easy to forget how strong our support systems are and how lucky we are to have them. I am trying to keep my head up and I want to do more of the things that I listed above. I hope that you will too.

If you have any other ideas of small ways to help improve someone's day, please leave them below. During this time, I could use any little tid-bits you guys may have. Thank you for understanding.


Friday, January 23, 2015

25 Random Questions Tag

Since I am feeling very overwhelmed but still wanted to get a post out, I thought I would do the 25 Random Questions Tag.
Question 1: Do you have any pets ? Yes, two adorable kitties! Look at these babies!
Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you: One of my cats, some couch pillows and my backpack.

Question 3: What's the weather like right now ? It's pretty cold and cloudy out, boo!

Questions 4: Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed? I do, and I myself have not crashed, but I have been in a car that has. Scary stuff.

Question 5: What time did you wake up this morning ? 8:30, I had class!

Question 6: When was the last time you showered? This morning before class.

Question 7: What was the last movie that you saw ? Paranoia, the one with Liam Hemsworth.
Question 8: What does you last text message say? "Yeah! I can actually think now so that's nice!"

Question 9: What is your ringtone ? Whatever the default one on iPhone is haha

Question 10: Have you ever been to a different country? Yes

Question 11: Do you like sushi? I have never actually tried it but the thought of raw fish grosses me out.

Question 12: Where do you buy your groceries? Hannaford

Question 13: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster? Nope.

Question 14: How many siblings do you have ? Two, a brother and a sister.

Question 15: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop? Laptop

Question 16: How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 22! *Insert Taylor Swift song here*

Question 17: Do you wear contacts or glasses ? Both, my vision is awful.

Question 18: Do you colour your hair ? Nope! 

Question 19: Tell me something you are planing to do today: Catching up on homework, fun...

Question 20: When was the last time you cried? I'm not actually sure. Not recently!

Question 21: What is your perfect pizza topping? Extra cheese and bacon. Yum

Question 22: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger ? I don't like burgers.

Question 23: Have you ever had an all-nighter ? What college student hasn't?

Question 24: What is your eye colour ? Blue/green
Question 25: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? No, I don't like soda to begin with!

If you read this, I tag you! Let me know in the comments below if you answer the questions, I would love to read your answers!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Topshop Wishlist

The other day I was bored between classes. How did I chose to spend my time? Online shopping at stores I will probably never be able to afford, naturally. One of my favorite YouTuber's Zoella often talks about a store called Topshop so I decided to check it out. I absolutely love their wide variety of clothes and ended up compiling quite the list of things that, if I ever win the lottery, would love to own!

 1. Satin Skort - $75 USD
2. Tall Textured Lace Hem Skirt - $68 USD

Those are my favorite items, I would love to see yours! Leave a comment below!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Top 5 | TV Shows

There is no denying that television has become a part of our daily lives. Honestly, I watch more Netflix than actual television. I find that I don't have the patience to wait from week to week to see what happens next and, instead, would rather spend my time binge-watching until I have become a hermit who hasn't seen the sun in a couple of days... Oops. Anyways, I thought that I would share with you my top 5 favorites shows of all time. So if you are looking for a new series to watch, here are my recommendations!
5) Gilmore Girls 
Starring: Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel
Air Dates: 2000-2007
Seasons: 7
Summary: Gilmore Girls tells the story about a young, fast-talking single mother, Loralie Gilmore, and her ivy-league-bound daughter Rory. Growing up in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, we as an audience get to watch them grow up and experience love, loss, family and typical small-town shenanigans.
Why I love it: Gilmore Girls is one of the shows that I used to watch when I was growing up. I recently re-discovered it on Netflix and watched the whole series from start to finish and I absolutely loved it. The chemistry between Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel is so natural and believable and I found myself really falling for all of the characters. It's refreshing to have a show that can be family friendly, as well as a realistic portrayal of life in a small town. Plus, the script is perfection. I laughed, I cried and I would 100% recommend this show to anyone. I'm sure that I will end up watching it all the way through again at some point!
4) Criminal Minds
Starring: Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook
Air Dates: 2005-Present
Seasons: 10 (and counting)
Summary: Criminal Minds tells the stories of the members of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). 
Why I love it: I have been watching Criminal Minds on tv for years, but I have recently started watching the whole series in chronological order. I have always had a love for crime shows, but this one is by far my favorite. I think that the forensic side of crime is interesting but watching the characters develop a profile and be able to predict a criminal's age, sex, motives and when they will strike again is so interesting. I love seeing them become the character and seeing the pieces fit together. Once again, such an amazing show with interesting characters!
3) Grey's Anatomy
Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsy, Justin Chambers, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson
Air Dates: 2005-Present
Seasons: 11 (and counting)
Summary: Grey's Anatomy follows the lives of surgical interns and their supervisors at Seattle Grace Hospital.
Why I love it: When I was younger, everyone I knew was raving about Grey's Anatomy and how much they loved it. So, a couple of years ago, I jumped on board and watched the whole series. Now I will admit, it is kind of a soap opera but honestly, it is so good! The characters are so fun and you really grow to love them. I'm a total sap but I cried at like 80% of the episodes. They do a great job in getting you to feel for the characters, both doctors and patients alike. Plus, the relationship that Meredith and Christina have is something that can be admired and desired by anyone. It really is a great series.
2) Pretty Little Liars
Starring: Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse
Air Dates: 2010-Present
Seasons: 5 (and counting)
Summary: After their friend goes missing, four friends begin receiving mysterious and threatening messages. This anonymous character threatens to reveal all of their secrets and unravel their lives.
Why I love it: I have been watching Pretty Little Liars since it premiered in 2010. Honestly, this is a show that will hook you from the beginning. The four stars of the show play such great characters. I will admit, as the show continues, that some of the plot twists are very unrealistic and will make you want to pull your hair out. However, no matter what, you will want to continue watching the show in order to find out who A is. Trust me, you'll be hooked!
1) Supernatural
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins
Air Dates: 2005-Present
Seasons: 10 (and counting)
Summary: After their father disappears, two brothers set out to find him while fighting the evil and supernatural beings that inhabit Earth.
Why I love it: Now from my short summary, this show may sound like a cheesy, sci-fi, cheesey alien show. Let me tell you, that is not that case at all. I have been watching this show for years, own every season, and have seen almost every episode at least twice. The writers of this show are so creative and pull a lot of the monsters from old mythology. Supernatural is a great mix of mystery, thrill and horror, as well as a family storyline and a bunch of really great characters. This show probably isn't for everyone, but it will always be at the top of my list!

I know that this was a really long post but I can't say enough about these five shows! I think that My Top 5 will be something that I post regularly! If you like the idea, I invite you to join in as well! If you do, please leave the link below, I would love to read them!
If you have seen any of these shows, I would love to hear your opinions! And if you have any recommendations, I am always open to new shows! Thanks for reading and I'll see you Wednesday!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Time Capsule 2020 | Note To Self

Even though we are halfway through January, it still blows my mind that it is 2015. I recently came across a wonderful idea on Caitriona's blog and I knew that I wanted to participate as well. I think that writing a letter to my future self, a time capsule if you will, will be really interesting to read in five years. So, here we go!

Dear Future Caitlin,

It's 2020 which means a lot has changed for you. You've got your college degree and a career. You've moved away from home and I'm sure by now you've got a dog because, let's face it, it's been a long time coming. 
I hope that you don't dread going to work because you love what you do. I hope you haven't given up any of the activities that make you happy, like reading and creating. I hope you're living in a place where you're comfortable, that you've finally gotten the chance raid the home-decor sections of all the stores and decorate to your heart's content. I hope your finances are stable and allowing you to live comfortably. I hope your relationship with your family is just as strong, and that you haven't lost touch with your best friends from college. I hope you're healthy and eating well. I hope you're loving as strongly and deeply as you were in 2015. Most of all, I hope you're happy. That's always been the ultimate end game.
I hope you know that wherever you are, and whoever is or is not by your side, that this is the way it is meant to be. Don't forget to continue filling your life with the people and things that make you happy, and purge yourself of those who don't. 
If you're reading this in 2020, I hope it's with a smile.

January 16, 2015

I really think that this is a great idea and I can't wait to look back on it five years from now. If you decide to do your own, please comment below with the link, I would love to read them! See you guys on Sunday :)


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Sweater Weather Tag

Due to the freezing cold weather that we've been having recently, I thought that the Sweater Weather Tag would be perfect. I got this cute from Charlotte's blog, go check her out :)
1) Favorite Candle Scent?
I recently bought two candles from Bath and Body works during their semi-annual sale and I'm honestly obsessed with them! The seasonal scents are Black Tie and Sparkling Confetti which, unfortunately, I can no longer find on their website. The Black Tie scent smells of
Green sage, Sandalwood and Tonka Bean and smells like an expensive mens cologne. Sparkling Confetti smells of Madagascar vanilla, sandalwood and a hint of juicy peach. They're both amazing!

2) Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?
I don't drink coffee and can't bear the taste of tea so definitely hot chocolate!

3) Do You Switch Up Your Make-up Routine for the Season? 
Honestly, putting on mascara and maybe some lip gloss is the extent of my makeup routine. I know little to nothing about makeup and, even if I did, I probably couldn't afford half of the makeup I would like anyways haha

4) Hats or Scarves?
I'm a fan of both, but I tend to wear hats more. As much as I love how scarves look, I find that perfectly situating them can be inconvenient, whereas I can just throw on a hat to go with practically any outfit.

5) Favorite Christmas Food?
It's a little late for this question but we usually have a nice ham dinner. Whipped potatoes are the absolute best!

6) Most Worn Sweater? 
Sweaters are one of my favorite members of my wardrobe so they get a lot of love. However, I have two of the same sweater in different colors that I probably wear the most. They are long, baggy sweaters with big, bold stripes with buttons down the back. One is white and the other a dark, maroon color. They're so comfortable and warm, perfect for winter!
7) Must-Have Winter Nail Polish? 
I've got my fair share of polishes, but I don't paint my nails very often. Chipped nails are one of my pet peeves. However, I'm a big fan of mint green on nails!

8) Favorite Autumn/Winter Memory?
Besides waking up on Christmas morning as a kid, I was always a fan of decorating my house with Christmas decor. We have really high ceilings so our tree usually averages between eight and ten feet tall and I always got to put the angel on top. I can't wait until I have my own house to decorate.

9) Boots or Uggs?

Let's be real, I love both. Well, I've never actually owned a pair of Uggs, but I have two pairs of Bearpaws that I love. They are so warm! I also love boots though. I feel that they can add so much to an outfit, no matter what the season. Plus, Bean Boots are perfection :)
Get these HERE!
10) What is the Winter Weather Like Where You Live?
Winter here can be absolutely brutal. We get a hard mixture of rain, snow and sleet. And then sometimes we get sunny, spring-like days. The weather is really hard to predict around here to be honest.

I hope you enjoyed this! If you're reading this, I tag you to answer these questions on your blog :)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Elephant Gifts

Hey guys! So I've been super busy today moving back into school for my final semester of college (which is absolutely insane!). I hadn't seen my suite-mates in over a month so it's so exciting to be reunited with them again! My friend Jenny went on a service trip to Guatemala over break and she brought me back the cutest souvenir! All of my friends are aware of my elephant obsession so she got me this adorable, hand-made elephant! He's about an inch and a half high and so so cute! I absolutely adore him! Tell me he isn't just the cutest thing!
Also over break I got a text from Stef, another one of my friends, saying she saw something and had to get it for me! It ended up being these two adorable elephant clips with cute patterns on them. One is white with small orange flowers and the other is orange with small white flowers! I'm not sure what I am going to use these for yet but I'll definitely find a place for them!
I love them so much and I am so grateful to have such amazing and thoughtful friends! Sorry about the short post today but, as I said, I have been busy moving back in and catching up with friends! If you have any suggestions about posts you would like to see, please let me know in the comments below and I will see you on Wednesday :)


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mall Haul | Rue 21 & TJ Maxx

Happy Friday everyone! On Thursday I had the chance to spend some of my Christmas money and gift cards and I thought I would share the items I ended up coming home with! I'll start with Rue 21. My boyfriend got me a $50 gift card for Christmas and, if I shopped before a certain date, I got an extra $15! Of course I wasn't going to miss out on a deal like that.
The first item I picked up was this adorable anchor dress! It's a dark navy blue color with a beautiful plunging back. You can't tell from the top photo but just under the V of the back there is a bow. I got a cute sailor vibe from it! The dress is modest, around knee length, and a really flattering shape for all body types. This is my favorite kind of dress because it has an accentuating top with a flowy bottom. The fact that it was only $16.99 USD made me love it even more! If you're considering ordering this dress online, I found that it ran pretty small due to its three-quarter length sleeves. To give you an idea, I usually wear a medium or large and I got this dress in an extra large!
Want this dress? Get it here!

The next item I found was another dress. It it a black floral skater dress. It is pretty basic as far as design but it is super cute and I love the short sleeves. This is a perfect dress for any occasion or season. This dress is also knee length with a flowy bottom and was also priced at $16.99 USD. I got a size medium and this dress is also available in a grey color.

The next thing I found was a beautiful red blouse. I'm not sure why the color looks so different in these photos but it is a nice burgundy color. It is made of a sheer material but is only see-through with an eccentric bra. The lace shoulders are really nice as well. The shirt is shorter in the front with a longer back so it would look nice with either jeans or leggings. I only paid $16.98 USD and I got this shirt in a medium.
(Note: I could only find the plus-size version on their website, sorry!)

There was a buy one get one free sale on winter apparel so I got two pairs of chevron patterned three-way wear, touch screen safe gloves. I tested the gloves on my iPhone and, although they aren't perfect, they will be better than taking off my gloves to text. With the sale price, I only paid $4.99 for both pairs!

I couldn't leave the store without checking out their jewelry section. I got lucky and snagged this five ring set, it was the last one left! And it was only $5.99 USD. The two larger ones are regular rings while the three smaller ones are knuckle rings, which I love! I can't wait to wear these out! Unfortunately I could not find them on the site, sorry!

My final purchase from Rue 21 was these adorable cable knit tights. They were $4.99 USD each, but they were having a buy one get one half off sale. I think these will be so cute under a sweater or dress and I can't wait to try them!
Want these tights? Buy them here! 

My next stop was TJ Maxx. For anyone who knows me, I have a lot of love for TJ. When I got there, I went straight to the clearance rack and found this beautiful black top. Obviously this is for summertime but it was the last one on the rack and only cost $10 USD! The front is relatively plain, but the gold beads that trail along the front and form this beautiful pattern in the back were a must! Since this is a clearance item, I couldn't find it on their site, sorry!tank
Next I found this blue crop top that I absolutely love! It's flowy and so comfortable! It's made out of a sheer-like fabric but isn't see-through which is super refreshing! It's got this cute white embroidery around the neck, sleeves and bottom and a v-cut in the back. So cute! And it was only $7 USD so it was an absolute steal! Once again, it was a clearance item so it wasn't on the site, sorry!

The final item I bought was this adorable ceramic elephant! At only $7.99, how could I resist him? He is a beautiful blue to white ombre color and stands about one foot tall. I have named him Benny. My love for elephants is so unconditional that I already have a million of them around my room. My collection will always be accepting new members. I can't wait to have a home of my own because I love looking at home decor. Since TJ Maxx doesn't have a home decor section on their website, I also can't find a link to him. Boo!

And that's all folks! I would say I had a very successful day at the mall and I can't wait to wear all my new accessories! Tell me, what is your favorite thing that you have bought recently? Any store suggestions you think I should try? Link them to me in the comments below!


P.S. Sorry for my mega-awkward posing. It's very clear I am not a model ;)