Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting – Design, Fashion, Etc.

Last week was my first week not taking part in Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday since I first began. It’s nice to have finally been able to get on Pinterest and let my mind wander as I pin. I’m linking up with The Vintage Apple today to show you some of my favorite {and random} pins from this week. My mind has been all over the place, so please pardon my lack of a theme!



Source: via Chelsea on Pinterest

 The way a man and a woman see colors :)
This room looks so much like my room right now, except my walls are the color of the bigger pillows.
I love the beachy feel :)

Source: via Chelsea on Pinterest

This one below is a stamp! I love it :)

Source: via Chelsea on Pinterest

I need the rack to hang all my handbags and necklaces on!
I could live without the “chandelier” but I love the color scheme and fun bunk beds!




Soooo, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with interior design. Also, I can’t help how obvious my favorite colors are! Sometimes I wonder if my eyes can even see other colors other than blues and oranges… To see the rest of my pins, feel free to follow me! Happy last day of August, friends!! Can you believe it??

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Road Home: Part One

Prior to leaving Utah, much of my time was spent packing up my apartment. I went through all the odds and ends, decided what to keep, what to trash, and what to donate. In very little time, my apartment started to feel less like a home and more like an empty holding place. The nights were painfully silent. I sat there alone with my thoughts, wondering why something that's supposed to be beautiful had to break, and how someone who had promised to love and care for me could treat me the way I had been treated during those months. They are answers I'll never have.

I didn't have a close friend or family member around in Utah to turn to to take my mind off things. Even something as simple as a hug was so far away. It was great to talk on the phone to people back home, but I could only release so much emotion that way. So, all I could do was focus on what was ahead of me.

As the final days drew near, I found some joy in the little things. Like Stella being silly and loving the mess of packing and one of my favorite sushi rolls.


It was also refreshing to finally pick my dad up from the airport to help me in the moving process. It was his birthday and after hours of getting everything ready for the moving truck, we enjoyed dinner at one of my favorite Salt Lake restaurants for the last time.


The next day, just minutes before the movers showed up, I received a call from my mom. She was panicked and told me there had just been an earthquake. My poor mom. My dad is never out of town and the one time he leaves, there is an earthquake in Virginia. Luckily, there were only a few broken objects in her house. We carried on with the very last bit of packing and getting my car secured onto the trailer. I said goodbye to my apartment on the third floor and to the state I had lived in for the past year and a half where I had started what I thought would be my happily-ever-after.






Since we didn’t get on the road until dinner time and were completely exhausted, we stopped in Evanston, Wyoming for the night. We found a local restaurant that stayed open late and got a bite to eat. I had some delicious food there and found a cute little squirrel friend :)




The next morning, we got on the road early, ready for the first full day of driving. When I had driven through Wyoming in the Winter, I loved it! It was so “Wild West” and the surroundings were unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was cool to now see the state in the Summer. However, Wyoming was probably the worst state to drive through because of a few different things. There are hardly ANY places to stop along I-80, every town is small, many large trucks frequent this freeway, and the wind becomes insane while driving. So insane that they often have to close it down. Also added to the list this time was construction. They decided to close off 15-mile stretches of road and during these stretches, the opposing side of traffic would be driving next to you with nothing but cones in between. Talk about scary! Oh, and add wind turbines into the mix and it became a nightmare. Come on. You know they’re scary!







While I drove through Wyoming, there were two things on my mind:

“Home, home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope play…”


The Oregon Trail {preferably Oregon Trail II}

It got pretty serious where there was even talk of fording the river and bartering at the outposts because, yes, I researched where the old outposts used to be…



We found that pretty church while driving through Rawlins, Wyoming. Fun, little, old town.

After we FINALLY passed through Cheyenne, we were off to Colorado! Be on the lookout for those pictures, an interesting story, and the tale through Oz.

Have you been to Wyoming before? Has my enticing talk of the Oregon Trail interested you to go sometime?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Post: Ashley from Diary of a Reporter

A new week is here and I sure am happy for that! I made it safely to Virginia just hours before the rain from Hurricane Irene started coming down! It is so great to be back in my familiar hometown among many of my loved ones and years of precious memories. I have tons of pictures and stories to tell from my cross-country trip so be sure to check for those this week!

However, today I'll be spending a good portion of my time unpacking and settling in. Fun, fun! While I'm away doing those things, sweet Ashley from Diary of a Reporter will be taking over my blog for the day. As soon as I found Ashley's blog, I couldn't stop reading it. Plus, I just loved the conversations that we started having. Ashley is such a genuine and down-to-earth person with the warmest heart. She makes me laugh through her adorable vlogs, and sometimes tear up through her inspiring posts about life. She's a beautiful woman on the inside and out with many wonderful things to share and I'm so happy to have her here today with such a fun post for all of you!


Hey girls! I'm Ashley from Diary of a Reporter and I'm so excited to be guest posting for Chelsea today!

Something that is making me pretty happy right now: braids are everywhere. Are you all as obsessed as I am?

I thought so. Gorgeous, right?

Since my braiding skills are novice at best, I have rounded up my favorite braid tutorials from around the web. And now I'm sharing them with you :)

{One} Waterfall braid.

{Two) Super easy side fish tail up do.

{Three} French braid up do. And another, here.

{Four} Pretty cool rope braid.

{Five} French braid head band.

Braiding tips:

- practice while sitting on a low back chair/sofa as you can then rest your elbows on the back; easier to braid.

- keep your hands against your scalp as you braid which gives a tighter braid

- a little product, such as a hair spray or light volumizing spray, gives the hair 'grip' so it won't slide around while you braid

tips via.

Thanks, Chelsea, for letting me take over your blog for a day! Hope you girls found this helpful. Have a great day!


Okay, these braids are all too cool. Who's coming over to do my hair for me? Once my hair is longer, you know I will be trying that rope braid!! Which one is your favorite?

Speaking of hair, Ashley just recently got the cutest haircut {she did it all by herself - yup, told you she's amazing} and it looks fabulous on her! Hop on over to her blog to see for yourself, and while you're there, say hi and check out her art, stories about life, and fun vlogs! I'm sure you'll love her right away too :) Thanks so much, Ashley for the adorable hair ideas!! I think many of us will be brushing up on our braiding skills now ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Meet Me in St. Louis

You guessed it. I stayed in St. Louis for the night. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some of the things I think about while in different states/cities. While in St. Louis, I had nothing but Nelly songs stuck in my head.

“You can find me in St. Louie

Where the gun play ring all day”

Hmm. Lovely. I stayed in a nice part of town so, no worries about “gun play.” It’s quite different from the smallest-town-I’ve-ever-been-to-in-my-entire-life where I stayed the other night in Eastern Colorado. This trip has been quite an adventure…

Despite the long days of driving, and long weeks prior to moving, sleep has been something that I haven’t been getting much of given the circumstances. These thoughts of mine just won’t turn themselves off at night!

The good news is that I’m getting closer and closer to home {and Hurricane Irene! – okay, so that’s not good news!} Missouri has brought glimpses of the beautiful greenery that I’m used to in VA and have missed dearly. On this last part of the journey home, I look forward to good music, fun picture ops, and the opportunity to think and process and feel. As much as I sometimes hate to do those last three things at this time, it’s part of the journey.

So, while I’m out there crossing the rest of the country, I’ll leave you with a look at one of my fears that I have encountered on this trip:


We’ll talk more about that later. Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Warmest Hug

I just wanted to thank everyone who left a comment or emailed or texted me yesterday. As soon as I hit “publish” on that post yesterday, I felt good but still a bit uneasy. You never know how others are going to respond. Well, I can honestly say I was in awe at all the tremendous love and support I received. Each comment and email that I got felt like the warmest hug from the closest of friends.

I will be getting back to each of you individually {well, as long as you’ve made your email address available!} as soon as I can, but for now, please know how much your encouragement, your thoughts, and your stories mean to me. The time you each took to reach out to me, whether you’ve known me for years or had just stumbled upon my blog means the world to me.

You are all such beautiful and inspiring women.

P.S. Here’s a sneak peak {pardon the unedited picture} of the road trip thus far!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trying to Find the Words

This will be one of the hardest posts I'll ever write. Some of you may
have read my post a few weeks ago about Uncharted Territory. I've
waited until now to finally write about it.

Today marks the start of a new chapter in my life.

Today I am gone. I have left behind the life I went out to Utah to
start. I am leaving behind my apartment on the third floor with all
the sunlight. I'm leaving behind the memories filled inside the
picture frames. I'm leaving behind the hopes I had in sharing a life
and a future family with the man I thought I'd be with forever.

I packed my life back up, fit it all into a truck, and today I am
driving back across the country to the place where I started,

After only six short months of marriage, I made the painful decision to end it.

I had fallen in love with this man. From the start, I opened up my
whole heart to him and trusted him with every fiber of my soul.

We were married in January overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. If
you had told me that day what was about to start happening, I wouldn't
have believed you.

After that day and a honeymoon in paradise, everything started
spiraling downward into a pit of deceit and loneliness.

I later found out that the man I had married who I thought was going
to be my rock and my protector, would never be those things for me.

Discussions turned into arguments.

Arguments turned into me crying and him leaving the house for hours.

I was spoken to in ways I've never been spoken to before.

There were things he hid from me until after we were married.

And there was violence.

It was far beyond "not seeing eye to eye" or any of that "the first
year of marriage is the hardest" hearsay.

I started spending more nights crying myself to sleep than I did
saying goodnight to him.

I kept having flash backs to one of the nights he put a hole in the
wall. I had sat there picking up the million little pieces that he
broke, placing each little piece in my hand to throw away. I knew the
longer I stayed, the more pieces I'd continue to pick up for him;
whether they were pieces of the wall, my heart, or the mess that
became our marriage. I was the only one in it. The times that we were
together were empty. He was always detached and distracted. Whether I
was talking to him about something cool I read on a blog or about
finances {lovely finances} he was always half-there in the
conversation. I would talk to the side of his face while he stared at
his computer, commented on someone's Facebook status on his phone, or
checked the latest sports stats. I was easily the last thing on his
list and the first thing to ignore.

My feelings, concerns, and opinions could not permeate his world.

It became lonely, sad, and my heart slowly started to break.

I questioned whether his love for me was even there. I didn't feel it
anymore. Ever.

Through this whole mess and through hanging on, hoping one day it
would get better, I started to lose myself.

I started speaking up less and less. I stopped asking as many
questions even though I needed answers.

I faked a smile in public.  I started accepting the fact that I would
never receive an apology for what he said or what he threw.

But, I knew I didn't deserve the way I was being treated {he hated
whenever I said that} and I knew the longer I hung on to someone who
never wanted to change, the more painful and unhealthy it would

It comes to a point where the lack of trust, the lack of compassion,
and the violent rages become too much.

There was one day that was the final straw for me.

The last glimpse of hope had been shattered. I drove myself to a
parking lot and sat there in my car for an hour. I went to Starbucks
and sat alone at a table by myself for another hour or so, not wanting
to go home. There wasn't a bone in my body that wanted to try anymore.
I knew it was over. I knew the final pieces had been broken and they
couldn't be put back together this time.

The past three weeks, the weeks after I told him I wanted a divorce,
were very difficult, to say the least. Those were the sobering moments
of pain, anguish, disgust, and heartbreak.

I was surrounded by it. Between legal paperwork, the silence of a home
while packing up and throwing away memories of the good and bad,
planning a move 2,000+ miles away, watching holes in the wall getting
repaired months later, cancelling accounts, dividing memberships, and
trying to figure out every loose end imaginable, I was consumed by it.

While, yes, I started to feel hope again in the process, it was the
deepest ache I've ever felt in my heart to know that I loved someone
so much that I wanted to share my whole life with them and then to see
what led me to where I am today.

As hard as I’ve tried to put the basis of what’s been happening into
words, words will never be enough. Part of that is because this is the
Internet and this is understandably a personal matter. The other part
of that is because telling the story of this can’t really be compared
to living it day after day. Only my heart will ever really know.

So, that’s where I stand today. My life has been packed up into a
moving van. I’m driving back to the other side of the country now
along with my dad who flew out to help, my cat Stella, and my car
being towed slowly behind.

For now, it will just be one step at a time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Post: Katie from Keep Calm & Carry On

You know when you meet someone and they’re so genuine and you feel like you’ve practically been friends forever? Well, that’s how it is for me with Katie from Keep Calm & Carry On. Although we haven’t met in real life yet, we’ve gotten to know each other through this little blog world and I can already tell how great of a friend she is. So, Katie if and WHEN I come to Columbus, we are going to have a blast :) Her blog is a definite daily read of mine – each day is something different and new whether it’s a delicious recipe, DIY idea, fashion find, or a story about her latest outing with her adorable pup and husband. Anyway, I’m going to let her take over from here because she has a ton of awesome stuff to share with you :)


Hey, hey, hey beautiful bloggers!

My name is Katie and I have a little lifestyle blog called Keep Calm & Carry On!


I know that most guest bloggers typically start out by saying how excited they are to be guest blogging, but I REALLY do mean it! Chelsea and I have formed such a wonderful friendship over a short period of time and I'm honored she asked little ole' me to guest post for her.

You are excited too, right?!

Don't answer that.


Are you excited now?

Chocolate always makes me excited and I just wanted to share that I am currently indulging in this chocolate bar, in hopes that it will give me energy for a super awesome guest post.

I guarantee it will be g-o-n-e by the time I'm finished here....

When Chelsea asked me to guest post, she basically gave me free reign on what to write about {is she insane? ;}}, which could be bad thing. You see, if you come visit my blog or already follow my blog, then you know I enjoy SO many different things that it's hard for me to pick a topic!

So, I decided today I'm going to narrow down my list and give you a glimpse into what makes me.... ME.

{and if you continue reading, I have one of my favorite recipes to share!}

The *3* F's you could say....

Fitness. Fashion. Food.

{in no particular order..I love them all the same}

1. Fitness

Fitness is extremely important to me. Endorphins and I are like bff's.

My favorite form of exercise is running, but spinning is a close second.

jillian 30 day

Have any of you heard of, or even better, tried Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred?

It kicks my trash!

I first heard of Jillian from one of my favorite shows The Biggest Loser. I knew after seeing her train the contestants on the show, that I had to get one of her workout DVD's. When I can't make it to the gym, I pop this DVD in and sweat some serious bullets. It's really great for your abs & strengthens your core!


2. Fashion

Fall fashion to be exact.

I'm obsessed with fall clothes and my wallet is already starting to suffer from it {yes, it's not even the end of summer yet. yikes!}

Here are my 3 favorite fall items:


j crew ikat scarf


tory boots


blazer look

I don't know about you guys, but I can't get enough of all of them. I love wearing layers and I can never seem to have enough boots.

What fall trends are you loving?!

3. Food

I'm a food junkie and not afraid to admit it.

Even after 7 years of being together, my husband just doesn't understand how/why I plan my days around what I'm going to eat. Silly hubby...

Food is so important to's our FUEL that keeps us going everyday.

I have just recently hit the 6 month mark of being a pescatarian {a vegetarian who still eats fish} and also around that time I cleaned our kitchen pantry and switched to mostly organic items. I really enjoy eating healthy, but I also love to have some sweets treats every now and again {like today with the chocolate? I blame my monthly friend...}

Here is a simple and healthy but super delish recipe that I love making for friends or just to have around the house as a side dish.

black bean dip

Southwestern Black Bean Salad


1 15.5 oz can black beans rinsed and drained {I use organic}

9 oz frozen corn, thawed

1 tomato, chopped

1 small hass avocado, diced

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1 scallion, chopped

1 lime, juice of

3 tbsp EVOO

1 tbls cilantro

salt and fresh pepper


Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix with lime juice and EVOO. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 mins. Add avocado right before serving.

It's so YUMMY!

Enjoy :)

Well, that's all I've got for today. When you see this, I will be on my way to BOSTON where my husband and I will be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary!

I probably could've mentioned my love for TRAVELING on this post..but maybe  if I don't completely scare all of you guys away, Chelsea will let me come guest post again! ;)

Please stop on over at my blog Keep Calm & Carry On and get to know me some more...I love meeting new people & making new friends!

I'm not against begging. hehe just kidding.

thank you Chelsea.

you are the best!

PS-The chocolate bar is gone. Damn you Hershey's. :)




See, I told you. Not only is she GORGEOUS but she has some pretty fun and amazing stuff to write about too! I don’t know about you guys, but I am DEFINITELY trying that black bean dip ASAP! Be sure to head on over to Katie’s blog to say hi and impatiently await her pictures from Boston :)

Thanks so much, Katie!! I just love ya, girl :)