Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baking Soda Bug Bite Babies

On most Sundays, I get to spend some time with my little [almost] two-year-old niece. The past couple weekends, other things were going on and I wasn't able to see her so this weekend was much needed. She is adorable and it amazes me how much she grows between each visit!

On Sunday, we were all outside on the deck, enjoying the not-so-sweltering weather for once. My brother went into the backyard to play a little baseball so I took my niece, Aubrey, out there as well. About three minutes later, my legs started itching ridiculously. After my brother pointed out a mosquito on my arm, I knew I needed to get out of the grass.

I went inside where I furiously started scratching my legs. I just couldn't stop!
The swollen bumps appeared almost instantly. And they were huge.
There were about twenty just on my legs alone. Ugh.

Of course, there was not any Benadryl or Calamine Lotion in sight. I was on my way out the door to buy some when I thought of something... there had to be a home remedy. There's a home remedy for everything!
I Googled it.

Solution: Baking soda.


Yep, that's me in the middle of my "baking soda treatment."
The best part? It worked.
Aubrey even found it to be fascinating and helped me apply the baking soda paste.

Oh, so you want to try it now too?
Pour a tablespoon or two of baking soda into a little mixing bowl and gradually add tiny amounts of water at a time while stirring until it becomes a paste.
Again, add very small amounts [droplets] of water at a time because as soon as you add too much, it goes to waste.
Apply the paste until it dries then, either remove with a wet paper towel/cloth or stick your feet/legs under a faucet :)

The only downside was having to vacuum up the pieces that flaked off in the process. Nothing major. The swelling vanished as did the redness. I couldn't believe it!
The bites did get irritated again about 24 hours later so I just repeated this process and I was good to go!

After that, Aubrey and I had a blast lying on the floor shaking our feet [and bug-biteless legs] in the air!




I just love her. We're buddies. She always brings the biggest smile to my face. Even when she claws me for fun. Oh, two-year-olds... :)

What's your favorite home remedy?
I have quite a few more to share in cause you're interested :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

How I Make That Money, Honey

Have you ever wondered what I do for a living? Well, today you get to find out. I'm linking up with Lindsey for How I Make That Money, Honey!



If you follow me on Instagram [@chelseasunset] or saw my post last month after my work trip, you probably know that at least something that I do deals with fire trucks. Some of you may even think I'm a firefighter! I can guarantee that's not the case because I'm terrified of even the smallest fire - think birthday candle flames.

My company sells and services fire trucks and other emergency apparatus and equipment, including some pretty cool things for government agencies. But hey, we won't get into that. And no, you cannot just walk into the office and buy a fire truck. [I'm still not sure why people think that's how it works, ha.]

Now you probably want to know what I do for this company. Am I in there repairing broken sirens and stretchers? Am I selling these fire trucks? Negative.
We are a smaller company so I get to wear a variety of hats. My main focus is on marketing - helping to prepare details for the trade shows our company attends, creating ads and other marketing literature, coordinating apparel, etc.
Lately, I have also been helping with some HR business and arranging travel.

It's an interesting industry to be in. Very different from the corporate work environment I was used to.

Most days, I work out of my office but on other days... my office might look like this:





Now, for a little background. I went to college, majoring in Communications with the hopes of getting into event planning. I worked for two different companies doing event coordinating and then decided I wanted to try something with a little more marketing as well which is what led me to this position.

And no, event planning isn't just "fun." Don't get me wrong, it has its perks. I had the opportunity to work some very unique and special events and taking home beautiful [and expensive] chocolate cakes was not an uncommon thing. It was quite dangerous for this sweet tooth of mine.





But there were also the times of working 10 days straight, for over 13 hours a day.
Somehow, I lived for those times. There is just something so gratifying about working your tush off and running around like a crazy lady to make the event a success.

We'll see where the future takes me and what opportunities will arise next.
I like how with each position we hold, we can take some things away and leave the rest. Plus, jobs are great ways to learn more about yourself, your strengths, and your passions :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Favorites and an Announcement

Friday is finally here! It has been a busy week so I look forward to doing a little relaxing this weekend [and also seeing Magic Mike a second time. My friend is "dragging" me to go. Darn her.] I will also be watching THE OLYMPICS! I can't believe they will be here so soon and I practically LIVE for the Opening and Closing Games. Who else will be watching with me?

Now, on to my favorites this past week. 





Zoya Nail Polish

You may have read on a previous Friday that I became obsessed with my very first Zoya nail polish purchase.


This pretty polish in Myrta is currently on my nails and I LOVE it. I snatched up another color as well and will go more into depth in a future beauty review post :) Bottom line - go buy some Zoya and thank me later!


Matchbox Twenty - "She's So Mean"





I have a confession: I've been listening to a Matchbox Twenty playlist this whole week at work. I LOVE them. All of their songs take me back to the best times [the 90s, (and early 00s) duh.]

So, it just kind of makes sense for me to be obsessed with their NEW single, "She's So Mean." While I don't like mean girls, this song is catchy. The best line - "She's got a wicked sense of humor. Can't believe what she says."

The Vampire Diaries

I started watching this show a few weeks ago on Netflix during my lunch breaks. Yes, I am only on Season One. HOW did I NOT watch this show before?
No one told me I was going to fall head over heels in love with Stefan Salvatore [Paul Wesley]


Yes. I just don't get the whole Ian Somerhalder thing. *Gasp*
And people have told me I'll fall in love with his character, Damon, but I am doubtful. 



I'll just let this quote speak for itself :)



How beautiful is this gold and peach table setting? The event planner in me is going crazy. I mean, look at the texture and shape of those gold chargers, if you can even call them that! These colors look wonderful together. Just wonderful.

If you're not already, come follow me on Pinterest :)

Now, on to a completely un-related note [except it is one of my favorite hobbies!] I have a fun, little announcement.

The first of the After Sunset necklaces has been listed on Etsy!
These Golden Twist Necklaces will go perfectly with your Golden Twist Bracelets and more colors are on the way! AND, even better news - a whole NEW design is on its way to the store! Check out After Sunset here and as always, let me know if you have any questions :)
[Use coupon code FREESHIPJULY for free shipping until Tuesday!]


So, what are your favorites this week? Better yet, link them up with Lindsey! :)
That's all for now! Wishing you all a happy Olympic weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Accept the Experiences


"I read something yesterday that said that our goal here is not to do things perfectly, to get it right, or to not get hurt. Our goal is to become so strong, so rooted in our faith, so available for love that it doesn’t matter if we fall or get hurt because we accept every bit of it as an experience that was created uniquely for us; custom-built just for us in this moment in time. When we change, when we actually make the decision to change and make a new choice – life opens up."

--

I read that from an old post written back in January and it still speaks volumes to me. The thought of falling in love again is absolutely terrifying for me. Spending time this past week with someone who has been a part of my life for many years and feeling that little flutter again after all this time is so refreshing and eye-opening and hopeful.

I think there are some people in this world that our hearts will always pull toward.

And that scares me. How do you know what things to go after in life? What things are meant for you forever and what things are meant for you for a period of time, however long or short? What things are just far-fetched dreams and what things are within reach, waiting for you to embrace them and never let go?


While some of this is about love, some of it is just about life.

I know I have to make myself available to it. Even if I fall and get hurt again and again and again, it is about the experience that was created specifically and uniquely just for me. 

Life will open up. Love will open up.

You just have to let go, have faith. There are some situations we can look at and think, "I have no idea how this is going to work out." But if we want it, and it is right for us, and in harmony with the rest of our plan, it will happen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When Life Passes By


Here's how I feel as I write this:
Glazed over.

It's 11:57PM as I type this and schedule it to post tomorrow morning.
I am just now sitting down for the day.
Sometimes I just want to quit my job, cancel my $100/month phone bill [and every other ridiculous bill], hit the road, and just do whatever I feel like.
And you know what? What is really SO wrong with that?

I am just so sick of not having time for the important things in life.
You know, like writing in my journal or reading that self-help book that will mend my soul. Or perhaps just holding my poor 16-year-old cat who sleeps all day. Go on a walk with my dad. Make the prettiest bouquet I ever did see and take it to my mom's grave on a Wednesday night... just because.

So, when people say "life gets in the way," NO... that is not right. "Life" consists of the things I mentioned above.
That's real life.
That's what grows us.
That's what gives us meaning and fills our hearts.
Not alphabetizing and sitting in traffic for two hours or making coffee three times in one day for someone else.

I am tired of the meaningless, mind-numbing CRAP that fills the precious moments we have left on this Earth. I want to put my time to good use and make a difference. I want to have enough time to do the things I LOVE and the things I was given the gift to do and do well. One of the worst feelings is the feeling of life literally passing you by...

I think about the lives that were just lost in the horrific Aurora shooting. The people affected forever by that. The girlfriends whose boyfriends took bullets for them to LIVE.
LIFE IS A GIFT. A blessing.
I think about the short moments we have with our loved ones who we are unable to see everyday. That time never seems to be enough before we must part ways yet again. And that breaks my friggin' heart.

While I spend over two hours of every day in traffic, I think. A lot. I think about possible new jewelry designs, lyrics of the song that's playing and how it applies to my life, what the heck I'm going to blog about tomorrow and then just forget it anyway.

But I also think about the next big move I want to take with my life. I like big moves. I like change. I like never staying in one place for very long [both physically and metaphorically.]
I'm ready for change. I want to say goodbye to all of those meaningless, mind-numbing activities. There have been too many of those and I know, deep in my heart, that when they are the activities that out-number the meaningful, life-changing activities, it's time to change directions.

Note to self: "Don't ever let life pass you by."

End rant :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What a Washington Weekend

Did you have a good weekend? I sure did. It started off on the right foot with a fun, little date with Shannon. Go visit her now and say “hi” because we are quickly becoming close friends and you’ll most likely be seeing her around more often on the blog. 

We met at Whole Foods Market which, in case you've never been, has about fifteen different salad bars: a sushi bar, a bar bar, a wine bar, even a gelato “bar.” Something for everyone I’d say. So, obviously, we happily camped out there for the night where we chatted about anything and everything under the sun. Literally. So far, we’ve hung out twice and I don’t think there has been a silent moment yet!

So, get this. Shannon is good friends [in real life] with Kate from Every Mile a Memory. While at Whole Foods with Shannon, I check my email on my phone real quick and see an email that had just come in from Kate telling me she had just read my latest blog post and really thinks I should hang out with her friend Shannon since we have so much in common! We totally have to Photoshop Kate into this picture below :) Meant to be!


Then, Saturday started off with acting class which I rocked. Who knew I'd be good at playing an NYPD attorney? Next week I get to play a Jersey girl. I'll see if I can get a picture :)


Saturday afternoon I met up with someone quite special to me.

All I'll say for now is that I'm grateful for God's plan. That somehow, despite changing high schools, going to different colleges, and both moving to different states, He brings us back together. And the best part of it all? It felt like nothing changed although everything going on around us did.

And let me just say how much of a compliment it was to hear the countless times he told me, "You're definitely your mother's daughter." :)

That night, it was off to the WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs Atlanta Braves game!




My brother. Me. My brother's fiancee!

Bryce Harper is a big deal here. He's a big deal in the sports world. Period.
He was injured during the afternoon game on Saturday so we didn't think we'd be seeing much of him but toward the end of the game, the crowd went WILD to unexpectedly see him put in to bat!

We came back from 2-0 to win the game 5-2!
Ryan Zimmerman is my hero along with Michael Morse. [If you go to a game, pay attention to Morse when he goes up to bat! He has the funniest pre-bat ritual ever, known as the Samurai Cobra Snake.] The game was amazing! Plus, Nationals Park had the greatest wave going that I have EVER seen! And, to top it all off, The Wallflowers performed after the game. #90sperfection

Don't forget - 20% off all Double Stranded Bracelets in my shop, After Sunset PLUS Free Shipping with code FREESHIPJULY! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July

It's time for CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE free shipping! I mentioned on here last week that starting TODAY, you can use coupon code FREESHIPJULY to get free shipping on your After Sunset orders through the end of July!

AND, it gets better!
All Double Stranded Bracelets in the shop are now 20% off!

Take your pick!






Head on over to After Sunset to scoop up your bracelets before they're gone and remember to enter code FREESHIPJULY for free shipping!

Be on the lookout later this week for the first After Sunset necklace launch! I am SO excited :)

I hope your weekends were fantastic. Mine was one of the best in a long time and I can't wait to tell you more about it tomorrow!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Katy Perry Favorites

It is time for Friday Favorites: Katy Perry version. In case you missed it, I dedicated this past week of blog posts to the one and only Katy Perry. Because I love her.

Today is all about my Katy favorites!
[I know some of you are sick of this Katy Perry-ness by now. Too bad ;)]




Favorite Katy Perry Outfit:

This was tough. I'm not sure if you heard, but Katy Perry can pull off anything and everything. No exaggeration. Don't believe me?





12 | 3 | 4 |

So, here's one of my favorites:

[via]


Favorite Katy Perry Quote:



Favorite Katy Perry Make-up:

Similar to her outfits, Katy can also pull off almost every look with her make-up as well. I love the colored lips that Katy Perry rocks so perfectly. It gives her a "fine, fresh, fierce" look :)

[via]

The thick eyelashes and bronzed cheeks complement her bright pink lips.
Maybe one day I can pull that off :)

Favorite Katy Perry Movie:

Well... that's easy. Part of Me. And if you need someone to go with, I'll gladly accompany you :) She. is. hilarious.



That wraps up Katy Perry week on the blog!
See my review of her movie here | The song that helped me throughout this past year here | My bucket list here [let's add meeting Katy Perry into that!] | and how I became Wide Awake here.

What I've taken away from this week of Katy Perry and all that she stands for is this:
1. Be you. No matter what and who you are. Just be it. 100% authentically you. And the world will love you and embrace you for it.
2. Life can be a roller coaster, but at the end of the day, remind yourself of the things that make you happy and come alive.
3. Never. Give. Up.

And remember:

"You have two options: You can cancel the show or you can do your best."


[Also, starting on Monday through the end of July, you can receive FREE SHIPPING from After Sunset!!
We need to make room for the new NECKLACE line that will be launched soon!
Enter in FREESHIPJULY at checkout starting Monday! :) ]

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Part of Me | Bucket List

Hope Squared

That's right. It's happening. For the first time in about a year, you get to watch me VLOG! [video log]
I'm getting a little personal and talking about my Bucket List!
So watch it, enjoy it, and join in on the fun by clicking the button above!




The reason I titled this post Part of Me is because 1) It's Katy Perry week on my blog [mmhmm!] and 2) this past year has been one heck of a ride for me.

That's where this bucket list came in.
This is my life and I will never, ever let anyone dull my sparkle again.


Like Katy Perry said in her movie, "this is my second chance."
God is giving me this time as a single woman to accomplish so many of the things in my heart.
I have been taking advantage of this time and have already checked off many of the "me" things I've wanted to do.
In just this past month, I bought a new car and started acting again!
And now my bucket list awaits!

I owe it to myself to continue glowing.
To never, ever allow another person into my life who has or will put me out.
This life is too short and there is too much happiness to be had and things to experience...
Fully, whole-heartedly, and with bright eyes.


So, here's to the part of me that's always been here and always will be.
The girl with a big heart and big dreams.
No matter what.

Thank you, Katy for this song. I think it goes without saying that it is the number one most-played song on my iTunes playlist :)
Katy Perry Day One and Day Two.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You're A Firework

About this time last year there were several songs that I listened to on repeat. As I started to lose myself in a broken relationship, thousands of miles away from my family, there was one song that continued to give me hope in knowing that I could get my sparkle back one day. It wasn’t until my mom pointed it out that I realized, “Firework” had become my new theme song.

The lyrics in the song really hit home. They gave me hope that that wasn’t the life I had to continue living. That I could be the true firework that I was and show ‘em what I’m worth.

"Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine"

Then, as I was watching the movie, Part of Me, and heard this song play and saw several other scenes, it really got me thinking.

Am I living the life I want to live?
Do I truly write about the things I want to write about?
Do I dress how I want to dress?

So, if I feel like blogging about Katy Perry all week, I’m going to.
If I feel like dyeing my hair on a whim or up and moving to chase a dream, I’m going to.
Life is too short and this is my one life to live.
I can do anything I put my mind to. I believe that 100%.


So, whenever your trials seem too heavy or the hurdles seem too high, know that you are worth it.
You can do anything.

Remember:
"Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed.
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road."

If you could do anything, what would you do?
Really. If you could do anything without any fear of being judged, what would it be?
And what are you waiting for?

Day One of Katy Perry Week

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Katy Perry Weekend

It was a much-needed Katy Perry kind of weekend.
I've just loved Katy since the first time I heard her very first single and couldn't get it out of my head or off my playlist.
Throughout the years, I've continued to listen to her music and consider her one of my favorite artists ever.

This weekend, I finally was able to go see her movie, Part of Me.

[via]

And, yes, we saw it in 3D.


Before the movie even ended, I thought to myself several times, "Man, I can't wait to BUY this on DVD!"
It was just that good.

I had tears in my eyes throughout the entire movie.
Tears of joy, sadness, and inspiration.

It showed the story of her trials getting into the music industry, some insight behind her creativity and vision, the personal struggles she encountered while on tour, and her passion and drive for LIFE.
She is an amazing woman. One-of-a-kind. She makes everyone truly just want to be themselves.

She makes it "okay" to be a little weird, awkward, goofy.
And she certainly just makes you want to say, "Forget whatever is socially acceptable to wear in public. I just want to wear something spectacular!"

She just makes you think. About what really matters in life.
And to me, what really matters is achieving your wildest dreams. Touching others' lives. Leaving this world a different and better place.
Three things that she is doing so great of a job at.

I'm not done talking about Katy Perry, but today, I'll finish by saying this: Go see Part of Me!