Highlights

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{Day 8: The sun, the clouds, blue skies, and fresh clean air after an unexpected overnight rainfall.}

I can’t believe I’m already penning another Highlights post – this week flew by! And what a week it was. Knock on wood, things are going well in life. I can’t complain (well, I can always find something to complain about – ha!).

I think what has been a fun addition to life lately, is partaking in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. I’m on day 11 today, posting the challenge exclusively to Twitter and I’m adoring it. Not only for the challenge of completing 100 straight days of posting (because we all know I love a challenge), but because it forces me to find something happy to post about. It’s pretty funny, how I stop a few times a day and ask myself what my “#100happydays” post will be for that day.

I’m not too surprised at how easy it is to find one thing a day that brings a smile to my face. In part, this is why I started blogging to begin with. As a blogger, you’re always looking for inspiration and ideas for posts, forcing you to pay attention to the world around you, go out and interact with said world, look for what speaks to you, and write about it. It’s also specifically why I started the “Highlights” series, where I share the highlights of my week. So the idea of joining this challenge is icing on the cake. While blogging forces perspective, it doesn’t have to always be in the good or the positive necessarily, you can write about something that gets under your skin or you disagree with altogether, and that’s awesome too.

However, this challenge is strictly in the happy only. So the last 11 days find me constantly looking for what that might be, snapping a quick photo (sometimes slapping a sexy filter over it), and sharing it with people from all over the world.

It’s also fascinating to follow the “#100happydays” posts on Twitter and Instagram to see what others are posting. As expected, it’s usually in the small things: indulging in ice cream, appreciating a cup of tea, spending time with a loved one, starting a new book, going jogging (though I don’t personally see anything happy about that!); or a little bigger: booking travel, dyeing your hair pink and green (no joke), and I even saw someone post a picture of an ice pack after some sort of mishap (still, no joke).

In effect, it’s nice to see people from all walks of life looking for the good, capturing it, and spreading the joy. It’s quite infectious.

You’ll likely start seeing many of my “#100happydays” posts as apart of my Highlights blog posts because some of the moments captured will likely also be Highlights of my week, naturally. As I move toward my 3rd week on the challenge, I thought I would share my top 5 “#100happydays” photos thus far.

Have a great weekend! And do let me know if you’re taking the challenge, I’d love to follow you.

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{Day #1: Just because flowers from my guy are always the best kind of flowers.}

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{Day #9: Still loving my  single initial delicate necklace, a little gift to myself earlier this year. It’s one of my favorite pieces.}

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{Day 4: A memorable afternoon spent visiting the Journey of a Dress exhibition, celebrating 40 years of DVF’s iconic wrap-dress. Full post to come next week – this was too much fun! Stay tuned.}

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{Day 10: All about these tofu soft tacos (and I don’t even eat tofu).}

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Last week, I was driving down Ventura Boulevard  blasting responsibly listening to Daft Punk’s recent release, Random Access Memories, when suddenly my eye was drawn to the person in the car to my immediate right. She was bouncing around uncontrollably, shouting in the driver’s seat. When I realized she was okay and wasn’t suffering from a seizure, a huge smile swept across my face. This lady was hardcore rockin’ out in her car. Is that what I look like when I’m alone in my car with the music blasting at an appropriate driving level, totally lost in that jammin’ feeling?

I’m a HUGE fan of the right tunes always around you in life, but especially when on the road. I highly recommend it as the best way to deal with the oh-so-awesome LA traffic, or to quickly bounce back after that a-hole cut you off on the 405. It seems with the right music anything that’s wrong in the world is instantly right…at least for those 4 minutes.

The best part of my little story while driving along Ventura Blvd. last week? When we finally hit a red light, I turned down my music dying to know what this lady was rockin’ out so hard to. It was Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. She was two tracks ahead of me. 


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


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1. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.

2. Chunky side french braid for an instant good summer hair day.

3. White tulips poised in a clear square vase.

4. H&M Sandals.

5. Mango Drop Waist Swallow Print Dress.

6. Essie Nail polish in Smokin’ Hot.

7. House of Harlow 1960 Medallion Locket Pendant Necklace.

8. Michael Kors Berkeley Clutch.

9. Someecards.com’s No Issues Today.

10. Baked Bree’s Baked Chicken Tacos.


Results: The Spring Project

The last day of spring has arrived and I cannot believe how quickly the time passed us by. In retrospect, Spring was kind to me. Afternoons perusing museums, feeling the lightness after a good spring cleaning, celebrating a milestone birthday, and enjoying a final cup of tea at my favorite spot were just a few of the highlights. I’m pretty happy to be leaving the “June gloom” behind and head toward pure summer sunshine. As I look back over my goals to celebrate the freshness of spring, which I cheesily dubbed The Spring Project – I see areas where I excelled and others, well, let’s just say there was room for improvement.


Results: The Spring Project


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closet purge

Goal: Out with the Old, in with New

Result: Pass

Spring cleaning went off without a hitch. My entire apartment got the complete scrub down (and that was a looooong day). I went through my DVD collection and traded in those purchases that at the time sounded good, but I knew I’d never watch again. And my wardrobe got a great sift through and my closets and drawers are now roomy and ready for all the great new purchases to come.


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an instagrammed memorable day – manhattan beach, ca

Goal: Be Outdoors

Result: Semi-Fail

This is an admitted semi-fail. I did hit gorgeous Balboa Lake, Manhattan Beach, and strolled many a boulevards on a Saturday afternoon (Rodeo counts even though I was eating ice cream at the time), but I didn’t take one hike the entire season. No bueno. 😦


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my first spring bouquet

Goal: Flower Friendly

Result: Pass

I’m happy to report that bright flowers were around me much of the season. I’m a huge believer (if you have the extra funds) to keep fresh flowers around your home when you can. Trader Joe’s is an excellent source to get this scented fix on the cheap. This tradition will continue well into summer!


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off to yoga

Goal: Fitness

Result: Fail

The long and short of it: I’m still really consistent with my yoga practice (and being mindful of my diet) but I’ve been terrible at making time to hit the gym to work on a more solid cardio and weightlifting routine. Something to work on this summer…I know, I know.


Goal: Fruit Inspired Recipes

Result: Fail

Yes, I’ve been eating a lot of fruit. No, I didn’t personally make any of these recipes. Total FAIL.

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1. Spring Fruit Pizza

2. Fruit Pizza

3. Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

4. Peanut butter, Strawberries, Bananas and Granola Wrap

5. Sparkling White Peach Sangria


Making Arrangements // Part 2

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Where: Moe’s Flowers

Location: 8101 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

Floral arrangements make me happy. I’ve been doing well with keeping a pretty consistent presence of fresh flowers around my home to keep the goal of my Spring Project festive and alive. Admission: 99% of the flowers in my home are from Trader Joe’s (you can read about my success with TJ’s flower arrangements here) and I usually don’t spend more than $6.00 or $7.00 ($8.00 max if I’m feeling frisky) for a bouquet at any given time. I’m more than okay with this, especially when I recently learned just how expensive making a hand-picked bouquet of flowers can be. After all, while they do make me happy, they do just die.

One of the cool things that I’ve always wanted to do and that I actually got to do for my birthday last week was custom-design my own bouquet. It was a very sweet surprise from my boyfriend so that I could have them to enjoy during my stay-cation.

We headed over to Moe’s Flowers in West Hollywood and I was in heaven the moment we walked into the shop. The scent drew me in immediately as I saw basket after basket of roses, lilies, peonies, and everything else you could image in many colors for the choosing.

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{Interior – Moe’s.}

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{My pickings.}

There really is an art to making arrangements that in retrospect, I would do differently in the future. While I did think about how the final product would look once I placed everything in a vase, next time I would pay more attention to the art of hand-picking flowers that compliment each other a bit better. Placing a dahlia among some roses wasn’t terrible, but because of how a dahlia sits facing forward, it took some fussing around before I could get it how I liked (which meant splitting my bouquet into 2 different vases). Further, grouping extremely long stemmed larkspur with a full and bushy hydrangea flower is probably something I might also pass on doing in the future as well.

Two interesting things I learned when asking advice of the florist as she assembled my bouquet that I thought I would share with floral lovers alike that I never knew:

1. Flower food doesn’t extend the life of flowers. In fact, she assured me that many professional florists don’t use it! It’s a gimmick.

2. What IS more important to extending the life of flowers is changing the water and re-clipping the stems (at a slanted angle) DAILY, if possible.

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{One of the 2 vases of fresh flowers that I got to look at all week!}

Highlights

This week has been all about the finishing touches, those small details that make the WORLD of difference. In retrospect, these little details and finishing touches hit nearly every area of my life and lead to one of the best, most productive, and happiest weeks I feel like I’ve had in quite a while.

From returning to yoga practice (after missing two weeks), checking out the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market for the first time for fresh strawberries; frolicking around Universal City Walk in search of the best popcorn ever (see my new favorite flavor here), finally giving in to the use of a make-up primer, to a few sweet surprises from a sweet guy, and stopping to enjoy a small treat a friend brought back from Paris – it’s been a week full of finishing touches, little details, and small pleasures. It’s making the world of difference.

Have a great weekend! xx

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Highlights

Happy Good Friday and a good Friday it will be.

After a rather hectic week of “fighting the man” in various areas of my life, I’m so looking forward to the next three days off to recharge. I’m the kind of person that will fight when things need to get done and I won’t let it go until it is (I don’t care if it’s over a dollar – it’s the principle!). While I always try to retain a level of diplomacy and politeness – I have no problem calling, emailing, stalking, and generally speaking my mind when something needs to be addressed. One of my pet peeves in life is when another’s personality is quite opposite to this and they’re not being responsive. I like people who get *crap* done! (I really wanted to use the other word, but want to keep things PG here). 🙂

As cliché as this statement has become, I’m a spiritual rather than religious person. Easter as a young child usually involved a huge Easter basket and a special homemade dinner where preparations started earlier in the day. I also recall watching parts of  “The Ten Commandments” on afternoon TV – not fully understanding what the heck I was watching because it was so long and they “spoke funny.”

Sadly, as an adult, I don’t have a ritual for this weekend, but totally respect those who do. It’s always nice to take time out to celebrate and reflect on what you believe in. If I had a choice, perhaps I would tackle watching “The Ten Commandments” again (with the subtitles on for clarity) after a leisurely Easter Brunch at Cafe Midi.

Have a great weekend and whatever your beliefs, I think this is a good time, as ever, to reflect on them.

My week’s highlights as we bid goodbye to March…


TREAT| gelato

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{Indulging in a few bites of my guy’s gelato. You get the treat without the guilt!}


EAT| cafe midi

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{Finally, I had brunch at Cafe Midi – it’s my favorite new place.}


SPRING| flowers

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{My first floral purchase for Spring  // The Spring Project is now underway.}


SHOP| farmer’s market

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{I’ve been on a serious farmer’s market kick lately. I enjoy starting out my Sunday mornings visiting a local farmer’s market and stocking up on fresh produce for the week.}

(This week: Studio City.}


EAT| lunch

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{I was so proud of my homemade lunch concoctions this week (lots of salads), thanks to my farmer’s market visit.}


SHOES| sandals

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{So my Audrey Brooke Wedges were too narrow for my feet (the risks of online shopping).  I went in-store to exchange them for these adorable Unisa Lenni Glitter Sandals.}


DVD| zero dark thirty

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{A sweet gift for my DVD collection from the BF and one of my favorite movies of 2012.}



The Spring Project

I love a good project! And it’s extra fun when there’s a focused theme surrounding it to help you get the most out of what you hope to accomplish. For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than making a list and crossing things off as you go. It’s so satisfying, in fact, that sometimes when making a list, I add things that I’ve already completed, just so I can have the feeling of crossing it off. (I can’t be the only person that does this? Bueller?)

You can see my recent holiday themed projects for Halloween and Christmas here and here to give you idea of how much I love goal-oriented ventures.

In celebration of the changing of seasons making its official appearance on Wednesday, The Spring Project is a short list of must-do’s that I’ve created to get the most out of the longer sunshine filled days and the renewing feeling that Spring inevitably brings.

I’ll report back as we make our way toward the heated depths of summer. Here’s to Spring and accomplishing your goals.


The Spring Project


// OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW //

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Of course, one of the first things to do is a little spring cleaning. My goal is to finally get into my closet and toss those things that need to go. Next up, to go through my DVD library, pull those “what was I thinking?” purchases and head to Amoeba for a trade-in. Am I EVER going to watch Crossroads again? Yes, I actually own that on DVD, but to my credit I was just a kid college student (in film school, no less!) 🙂


// BE OUTDOORS //

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Naturally, the perfect temperatures and near constant L.A. sunshine make for the perfect recipe to spend as much time outdoors as possible. This Spring trips to Lake Balboa, lounging on the beach, hiking in Griffith Park and to the Hollywood Sign are on the agenda during most weekends.


// FLOWER FRIENDLY //

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I love flowers, plants, any sort of perennial – and try to have their beauty around me as much as I can. Unfortunately, whenever I cut back on spending – this is one of the first things to go, though it’s something that I am always happy to see when I walk into my apartment or sit at my desk at work. Spring makes me want to see blooming vivid colors and inhale the sweet fragrance of flowers, a must have to enjoy the riches of the season and the one thing that I hope to have more of.


// FITNESS //

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There’s no excuse not to get back into a more consistent workout schedule and now that there’s extra sunshine after work, I’ll be more motivated to hit the gym (rather than the couch). Even more motivating, Spring means dresses and shorts as fashion staples. It’s time to shed those winter developed pounds that can be hidden under a sweater no longer. While I’m a big fan of yoga, I need to incorporate more cardio and weightlifting into the routine.


// FRUIT INSPIRED RECIPES //

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Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been curating lots of yummy recipe ideas using fresh fruit. Here are just a few that I want to indulge in on a lazy sunny weekend afternoon.

1. Spring Fruit Pizza

2. Fruit Pizza

3. Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

4. Peanut butter, Strawberries, Bananas and Granola Wrap

5. Sparkling White Peach Sangria


2012 Best in Blogging: My Favorite Posts

One of the best things I did last year was start All That Glitters. I think of it as a mixture of both a guide to and celebration of life in Los Angeles. I love this city and while I am always struggling with what’s next and how to get there, I love my life too. I love this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Today, as we enter the last week of January 2013 (which is pretty hard to believe), I want to take a step back and officially close out all things 2012 with my top 10 personal favorite blog posts from the year. Each of these were not only fun to write, but I was also happy with how they turned out both in content and my somewhat mediocre photography skills. Within each of the ten posts also lies some my happiest memories of 2012.

{TEN.} Graffiti Coffee Bar – Perhaps it’s a sentimental choice because this was my first real blog post, but I think it’s also because this set the tone for how I wanted my blog to be: topical, sharply written, while saluting and celebrating my love of all things L.A.. However, even I found it completely ridiculous to even think lattes and valet parking should ever go in the same sentence. (Oh! A latte sounds so good right now! I’ll be right back…)

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{NINE.}  Making Arrangements  Me as Martha Stewart for a day (okay, maybe more like 30 minutes) trying to make my own floral arrangement with a little help from Lauren Conrad (of all people). My favorite D.I.Y. post of 2012. I was so proud of my little creation.

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{EIGHT.}  Dirty Dancing in the Cemetery – A look at my first time experiencing the super popular young L.A. thing to do on a hot summer Saturday night, a Cinespia film screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This post reflects on how I had the time of my life and the first time I’d ever seen a shooting star in the night sky. Hey, like the post says – I live in L.A.! Shout out to myself on what has to be my most cleverly titled post.

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{SEVEN.} How I Spent 100 Years in Hollywood – My night at the Hollywood Bowl celebrating Paramount Studios 100 years in the movie making  business, told with the help of George Costanza and the most notable movie music in all of cinema. A night to remember and a post that I always look back on fondly.

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{SIX.} Farmers For A Day – The day I left the city behind and headed out to the country (ok, not literally the country but it wasn’t too far from it) and spent some time on an apple farm picking fruit and hanging with the native country folk. This was a day of trying something new and it being oh so fun!

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{FIVE.} Food To Die For: El Coyote Mexican Cafe – My account of what happens when you eat at my favorite Mexican Restaurant in L.A., El Coyote. Please read carefully, you’ve been warned of the side effects of food consumption on these premises. Oh! And God bless re-fried beans!

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{FOUR.} Snow in L.A. – Psst! Hey you. Yeah, you! I’ve got a little secret to tell you. It snows in Los Angeles. No, really. Seriously! It snows right in the middle of LA and I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I loved this post because it meant that festive time of year was finally here. It was officially Christmas!

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{THREE.} Cupcakes and Cashmere L.A. Book Signing – A treat to stop by and say hello to my favorite blogger, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame, at her L.A. book signing. Cheers to the art of blogging!

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{TWO.}  2012: Best in Books, Guilty Pleasure – My delicious account of the book(s) that rocked my world during the summer of 2012. It was so much fun writing this post and reliving all the delectable moments between Anastasia Steele and our dark friend, Christian Grey. (Insert mischievousness voice here) Happy reading and laters baby!

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{ONE.} Mission San Juan Capistrano – Admittedly, I like this post more because of the crisp stunning images that bring me back to such a relaxing and happy day spent on boyfriend’s birthday. This is not my wittiest post when it comes to writing (see #2 and #4 above for that fix) but I think of this day as my most memorable from 2012 and in the end, it’s these types of posts that stick with you.

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Thank you for reading All That Glitters!  I hope you enjoy the posts as much I enjoy writing them. I promise you 2013 will be filled with even more sparkle! 🙂

2012: How Pinterest Made Me Cooler

March 5, 2012. The day I joined Pinterest, the latest social media craze that spawned yet another online addiction that I probably didn’t really need, but am more than happy with having. Once I figured out what the heck it was (and how to pronounce it), 2012 was never the same.

Pinterest appeals to my deeply visual side, my organizational side; and that side of me that loves to learn something new, how to do it better, or when I just need a little inspiration to change things up.

Pinterest has made me cooler. How, you ask? Let’s just say that thanks to the ideas curated onto my pretty awesome profile (if I do say so myself :)), I cook better, dress better, and my apartment has benefited from a few ideas sparked from a simple photo.

As of writing this post, I’ve pinned 643 images. Of those 643 images, I’ve managed to put a handful into action. In the spirit of looking back over the year, I thought it would be fun to share the recipes, tips, and products that I now treasure. Here’s how Pinterest made me cooler this year:

HOW I COOKED BETTER: Easy Garlic Chicken

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Without a doubt this very popular brown sugar and garlic chicken recipe pin turned me into a mini-rock star in the kitchen and was my first ever Pinterest experiment. It’s super easy to make, and only takes a few ingredients: chicken breast, garlic, olive oil, and brown sugar. I like to add a bit more garlic to the mixture to give it a little more punch against the brown sugar and top it off with a few dashes of salt and pepper for more flavor.

HOW I ACCESSORIZED BETTER: Kaela Designs Cheryl Katch Hobo Bag

Cheryl Katch Hobo Bag w/ Acrylic Ring Handle

I stumbled across this unique and trendy bag on Pinterest from Kaela Designs earlier this summer. Aside from the shape and pattern of the handbag, I fell in love with the ring style handles. It really makes it stand out. To read about this addition to my collection from earlier this year, please see my blog post.

HOW I HOME DECORATED BETTER: Flower Arrangements 101

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I love flowers. I them so much I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them! Awhile back, I found Lauren Conrad’s “how-to” for flower arrangements via a pin. Above were my results! They added such a great touch of brightness and liveliness to my home for a week straight. I wrote a blog about making this simple and affordable flower arrangement courtesy of L.C. here.

HOW I BECAME CRAFTIER: D.I.Y. MAKEUP BRUSH HOLDER

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The first image above was a pin I came across that made me want to combine my love of candles (but not the left over jars), organization, and presentation into one. This photo led me to try re-purposing an old candle jar that turned into the photo below complete with an organized make-up brush holder on my new antique vanity tray. I’ll eventually upgrade to a nicer candle jar, but liked how it turned out! To see how I did mine, please visit my post.

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These are just a few ideas learned from my online passion, pinning images! I look forward to 2013 where I’m sure a new resolve to make it the best year yet, with Pinterest’s help, will spark new ideas and motivation from a simple image and I’ll be cooler than ever! Happy Pinning!

Highlights: The Weekend

It was a complicated couple of days for me this weekend. Suffice to say I went through a myriad of emotions, for a myriad of reasons. (I think the ladies can understand this feeling every once in a while :)).  As the weather decided to be a bit kinder this weekend, so did my take on everything that was happening around me and within me. I managed to keep an eye on the sunshine! Here are a few highlights that brought many smiles to my face:

{FILM}.
Movie marathon on Sunday. Instant mood booster. We even covered three genres. Sometimes you just need a completely lazy day in bed watching movies.

{FOOD}.
The simplicity of grabbing my two favorites from Starbucks: an iced grande, soy, toffee nut latte & a cranberry orange scone.

My sweet boyfriend bringing a big bag of my favorite candy (don’t judge!)

{FUN}.
They say money doesn’t buy you happiness. In this case, I beg to differ and tend to do so when it comes to flowers. $5.00 well spent!