Roasted barfolli.

Crash and burn.


Do you ever get on a food kick where you become completely obsessed with something to the point you totally burn yourself out on it?

That was me with the roasted garlic broccoli recipe that has been floating around the web for a while now. I would seriously make (and eat, myself) an entire pan a few nights a week, for the past few months.

It was so good. I mean, it probably still is so good. But the other night as I was finishing my last few garlic, lemon-peppery trees, it hit me. The food aversion.

Suddenly I could not eat those last two, and in the past 72 hours the very thought of broccoli has me dry heaving.

So there's that.

Fascinating I know. You people beg me to blog more frequently, this is the kind of material you get. (You like that title? My maturity exudes me)



You think you have time.

Did something slightly sporadic yesterday, booked a plane ticket to Australia with one of my best friends whom I've known since childhood.

It's something we've talked about for years. Tossed around the idea. Said we'd go "some day".

If there's one thing my niece has taught me, and then my own scare, it's mirrored in that Buddha quote above.

We always think we'll have time.

Was it a huge chunk of money? Yep. Should I have spent that much on one airplane ticket? Probably not. But you know what... I can promise you right here and now, I'll never get the chance again. So I did it. We did it.

And I know it will be SO worth it in the end.


Dirt Road Diaries

Do you ever just have a name pop in your head. Like when you're using the restroom at some run of the mill pizza joint, in small town USA before a Luke Bryan concert, and you suddenly convince yourself that CLEARLY that name (Lorenzo, if you were wondering)is the name of your server, why ELSE would you be thinking of Lorenzo. No? Just me?

Sorry, just had to share that side story. His name was actually Carlos, by the way. And when I asked him to surprise me with a drink, I'm fairly certain what he brought back was grape koolaid and vodka.

Anyways, back in the sweet heart of summer, LT got me hooked on this new band he had heard (you know how those country boys are, they love their twangy music)

And when we heard that new band was coming to this little bar in Indianapolis I immediately bought us tickets and then he got sent out to someotherstate with his job and well, me and my friends had a blast without him.

But he was still bummed he missed them.

So when I heard Florida Georgia Line was opening for Luke Bryan on his Dirt Road Diaries tour, and their first tour date was a few hours outside of Indy, I quickly swooped up floor seats as soon as they went on presale.


We had such a good time, it was such a high energy show... and when Luke Bryan busted out Bruno Mars it was bliss!

I knew we would have decent seats, being floor level, but they had set up the stage with a walkway and then it went out like an I... so we actually ended up being 2 rows back from that, which meant SUPER close to those handsome fellas.
Handsome fella I mean. Referring to LT, the boyfriend, of course, not Luke Bryan. Handsome. I was close to him all concert. Ahhem.

Don't judge, but I may be going to see the same show when they come to Indy this summer too. HA! Obbbsessseddddd.



Tomorrow my brave little niece goes under the knife again.

Unfortunately, even though the first 6 weeks in this round of chemo zapped a lot of the cancer that had popped back up, the 12 week scan didn't show noticeable improvement to a few spots they had been keeping an eye on. She will go in tomorrow for surgery again, almost a year exactly since her original surgery to remove the tumor.

They are going to remove a 3.5cm spot from behind her liver and a 1cm spot on the outside of her liver along the abdominal wall. Then all that will be left after surgery is one small 0.4cm spot deep inside the liver (that cannot be surgically removed), which will continue to be treated with chemo and radiation to follow.

And to think in just one month, she will be turning three years old. Meaning she has already spent 1/3rd of her life battling this disgusting disease. Sometimes things just really aren't fair in life, huh?


Could be worse.

I received a phone call from my doctors office yesterday afternoon, those dreaded moments when you recognize the number on your phone and realize they are calling with results.

The bad news -- they "moderate to severe abnormal cells" they saw in the colpo, matched up with what they discovered during the surgery.

The good news -- they found no cancerous cells in the tissue they removed during my surgery.

Thanktheluckystars, can I tell you how much of a relief it was to hear those words.

I still get the pleasure of visiting my doctor and her stirrups far more than I ever want to, considering those abnormal cells could decide they want to grow up and become cancer, but hey... shit could be worse.



Today I'm Loving... Boho

It's no secret I detest the matchy-matchy. I like variety, zest, eclectic, kapow, va va voom, wait what?

Anyways, lately I'm absolutely drooling over these BoHo-inspired rooms. To the point where it takes great restraint not to toss everything "new" in my house in exchange for something well-worn and full of stories.



And so it ends.

As with most stressful situations, it always seems a little glimmer of hope pops up just when you need it.

I received my glimmer Thursday afternoon, when LT text me saying his manager told him he was getting cut that evening.

Holy cow. Three long months of him working 4 states away was suddenly, finally coming to an end.

I won't lie, it was bittersweet. Him getting cut means no more paycheck either. Unfortunately, with this gig if you ain't workin, you ain't gettin paid. But for the time being, him coming home is exactly what I needed.

Friday afternoon he packed up his apartment and hit the road. A long 9 hours later, his truck pulled into my driveway and that cliche "run out the door and jump into his arms" movie moment unfolded right outside my little old house.

It hasn't even been 48 hours but I just feel so much more content knowing he's back in the same area code.

We did a few little home projects around my house, caught a hockey game, had a few meals and started finding our way back into a routine.

Aghh. I can't even tell you how happy I am to be riding shotgun with that boy again.



Carpe the hell out of this diem.

I cannot wait to share these with you! I've been slowly and steadily working to build up the inventory in my Etsy store, which is so stinkin exciting (for me at least ha!)

I've recently taken two of my favorite quotes and created prints of them... this one is my ABSOLUTE favorite!

Source: etsy.com via Chelsea on Pinterest

If there is one life motto I try to live by, it's this. Remember my post about being a YES girl? The other print I just introduced is another fun little diddy, by that wise fella Henry David Thoreau 
Source: etsy.com via Chelsea on Pinterest

I can't wait to incorperate this into my gallery wall of all my vacation photos, but can you imagine how stinkin cute this would be in a little boys room?!

Anyways, both of these prints (and more coming soon!) are available in my Etsy shop. I hope you love them as much as I do! (If you have a special request that you'd like - either a print or handdrawn - don't hesitate to message me! I'd love to work with you on it)



The things we don't talk about.

This is how I spent a good chunk of my day yesterday.

I have spent a lot of time contemplating writing about this post, but the truth is I felt really alone dealing with it. Not that I didn't have people I confided in, amazing people who were over-the-moon-awesome and positive and supportive, but other than that I felt like I was supposed to hide this. So maybe by writing it, someone out there reading it is dealing with the same thing and they'll realize they aren't so alone.

There's such a void when it comes to being female and having problems down there. Heck, if you're a guy they have commercials for every problem you ever experience every 7 1/2 minutes on nationwide television, but us ladies, we aren't quite so open.

So a few years ago when my doctor informed me that my yearly exam had come back showing abnormal cells, it was scary. Really scary. Because you know "abnormal cells" is like the code word for cancer.

It's scary to be a girl, of child-bearing age (although I do NOT need one of those any time soon) and know that it's not quite right down there. You spend a lot of time wondering if, when the day comes that you do want a little bambino, if it will even be possible.

We've been "keeping an eye" on those cells.  I swear see my lady doctor more regularly than I see some of my friends. I've had more pap smears (oh my god, I know, I just said that on my blog, gasp, get over it we all have them) and colposcopys than I'd like to mention.  I'm fairly certain I'm know at my doctors office as the over-dramatic chick, since I manage to pass out and vomit after nearly every colpo.

A few weeks ago I received a follow-up call from my doctor letting me know that the bad cells had progressed. They most recent tests were showing moderate to severe abnormal cells. Albeit, they believed they were precancerous, but still wanted to remove them as soon as possible.

I spent yesterday having a LEEP procedure done. Where they take this electrocharged looped tool and scrape out the areas of bad cells on your cervix.(If you read that without cringing, you are one hell of a woman) Thankfully, I was under anesthesia and felt nothing. Although I pulled my signature move and fainted when they first gave me the IV. (Hey, I like to keep those nurses on their toes!) 

My doctor said the procedure went well, I survived my first time being anesthetized (is that a word?) and now I'm dealing with the very crampy recovery stages. And keeping every finger, toe, and eye crossed for this to come back showing good results and maybe, just maybe, I can be done with this.

It's funny to me, the few people I have told end up knowing someone who has directly dealt with this. So why is it so faux pas to bring up? So I guess the point of this whole post is to let you know that yea, it is scary, but you aren't alone, and if I can get through it... I promise you that you can!



A love affair with ampersands

I think it's a pre-req as a graphic designer to have an odd appreciation for ampersands. There is just some sort of quirky beauty that hides in them.

As I was stuck at work on Christmas Eve, with no real work to do I started sketching ampersands with my gold paint pen.

 One turned into two, and two grew into six, and an idea formulated in my head.

Armed with a half a dozen ampersands I ventured into the craft store to pick up some frames. $27 dollars later I had six 14x14 picture frames and a giddyup in my step. (They were having a REALLY good sale!)

After much debate I decided they should grace the wall of my downstairs bathroom. I had auditioned a bazillion art pieces there, but nothing seemed to fit. And these, these little gilded ampersand beauties... they fit. Perfectly.

Call me a geek all you want, I love them!

(UPDATED: After much adoration, I have decided to offer these in my Etsy shop -- you can now own your very own set of custom gilded ampersands!) 


Cheater curls

If you know me, you know I "cheater curl" my hair at least 3x a week. Even though I have naturally stick straight hair, it's easier for me to go to bed with a wet head and wake up and do the whole flat iron curl trick.  (I call these cheater curls, because it takes me approximately 9 1/2 minutes to do my whole head... with a curling iron it would be at least double the time, and not even last half the day!)

Which means I was super excited when Brian from Misikko contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing a flat iron.

A few days later a box arrived on my doorstep from Hana Salon, and I eagerly tore into it. It just so happened to show up the day before I flew out to Baltimore so I threw it in my suitcase and tried it out that weekend.

Now, my mom is a hairstylist, which means I have used top of the line flat irons. I grew up using a CHI, and then traded that for a GHD, so I have a pretty good familiarity for the "best flat irons" out there.

How did the cheater curls turn out with the Hana Elite Flat Iron?

I'll let you judge for yourself...

The curls turned out great in my opinion! The Hana Elite is a 1" flat iron, which is the same size as I am used to. While it was nice that the flat iron had an adjustable temperature setting, I personally found it slightly intimidating. It doesn't seem healthy for your hair to be ran between two ceramic 400degree plates, but I had to go that high to get the curls to hold. Eek. Maybe all flat irons get that hot, but the 'ignorance is bliss' part of not knowing the temperature is more settling in my mind!

I also wish it had an automatic shut-off like my GHD flat iron does. I frequently rush out of the house every morning and forget to turn my flat iron off. My GHD turns itself off sitting idle for a set amount of time. The Hana Elite did not. Thankfully, I didn't catch anything on fire in our hotel room though!

I was pleased with the results of the Hana Elite, I would say it's comparable to the other "top of the line" flat irons I have used. And definitely a whole world better than any drugstore brand straightener!

(While I was contacted by Misikko to review their product, the opinions are 100% my own) 



Ringing in 2013

I figured if 2013 wanted to know who was boss, there was only one way to show it... by rocking the leather pants. (They're a heck of a lot less intimidating when you wear tall , albeit dirty, boots and a long sweater!)

And thus I spent the last few hours of 2012 donning my leather leggings for their first time out of the house.

Apparently, 2013 found this hilarious and slammed with a sinus infection on top of the myriad of other literal and metaphorical headaches I'm already dealing with, leaving me wondering if I'm even going to stand a chance against 2013 considering how it made it's entrance.

ANYWAYS - it's become a sort of tradition to ring in the new year at my cousins house, as he and his wife throw a party every year. It's usually the same mix of family and friends and I've come to love the laidback celebratory experience as opposed to huge crowds of crazy drunks at any given bar or hotel.

My cousin recently took the trophy in his fantasy football league, which apparnetly is in the 10th year running, and is some kind of big'freakin'deal. So, naturally, I highjacked it.

Somewhere south of 2am, after a night of dance battles, flippy'cupping, eating, drinking and having a great time it was time to retire 2012 for good.

Despite the rocky start, I'm determined to make 2013 an amazing year though! Bring it on!