12 Months of Giveaways- January WINNER!!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! I honestly wish I could have given each of you a copy of the cookbook because it is just. So. Good. Check out these beautiful chocolate brownie waffles I made just the other day!

I tried to take a cute, “artsy” picture for you, but let’s be honest here: we ALL smother our waffles with unholy amounts of toppings. It’s just human nature.

Without further ado, it is my pleasure to announce the winner of this month’s giveaway!!

Congratulations, lovely! I will be in touch with you soon and your cookbook will be on it’s way!

Thank you, again, to all who participated. Get excited for next month’s giveaway!!

-Haeley

 

Sunday Thoughts: New Year’s Resolutions.

There’s just something about a new year, isn’t there? I love looking back on the past year and thinking about what I would like to improve, and what I would like to maintain over the course of the next year. I used to feel a sense of loss when I thought of the old year being over; lamenting over how I never got a chance to do A,B, or C. But now I look forward to a fresh start: a chance to better myself and my family!

I’ve noticed that, this year in particular, there have been more people mocking new year’s resolutions than participating in them. To a certain degree, I can understand where they’re coming from. It might not be the best idea to purchase a gym membership if you aren’t fully committed to getting into better shape, for example. It’s not smart to radically change your diet or force yourself into restrictive eating habits over the course of 24 hours, when just the day before you were gorging yourself on whatever greasy, nasty food you could find. That’s not realistic, and unless you have a strong sense of self-discipline, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

However, if you are serious about improving yourself and making a positive change, I think it’s worth it to make resolutions and stick to them. In the past, I have been really good about adhering to my resolutions, for example, when I chose to stop eating processed sugar in 2010. I made it for 4 years without eating a single Oreo! Because I paced myself and set realistic goals, I was able to achieve them. That’s what I want to do this year, too! So by writing my goals down and publishing them, I hope to be able to regularly check back on them and update you all on my progress! What are your resolutions?

  1. First and foremost, I will stop eating sugar again. I’ve always felt best when I’ve chosen to stay away from processed and refined sugar, and I feel that it’s an important part of my identity. Another bonus is weight loss, which brings me to my next point.
  2. I am going to lose 50 pounds this year. I’ve spent too much time hating myself and being unhappy, and I need it to stop. For my sake, and my husband’s sake, I need to love myself. I’m going to begin a workout routine, and I plan on sticking to it. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again.
  3. Speaking of skin, I want to begin a better skincare routine. I have been researching Korean skincare for a while now, and I think it’s something I want to try. I don’t take good enough care of my skin, so beginning an intensive routine should give me a nice wake-up call (and dewy, flawless skin, too!)
  4. I want to start cooking more, and with that comes meal planning. There have been too many mediocre pasta dishes in our home this year. IT. MUST. END.
  5. I want to start planning things, writing to-do lists, and create a budget we can thrive on. To achieve this, I am wanting to start a bullet journal! I’m excited to share that process with you. Frankly, I’m excited to share all of these with you!
  6. I want to keep my apartment clean. It would be so much easier to do if we didn’t live here! I want to get better at that so that I’m prepared for random guests whenever it happens. Which isn’t very often, but still. I want to be prepared.
  7. I want to do more projects! I want to focus on my art and improving my home. Creating makes me happy. I need more of that.

Well, there you have it! My New Year’s Resolutions. It’ll be fun to come back a year from now and see where I started, don’t you think? :^)

 

-Haeley

Saturday Project: Easily hacking IKEA picture ledges into kitchen storage!

I love IKEA. A lot. I could spend all day every day in IKEA and be happy for the rest of my life, I bet.

So when inspiration strikes in the middle of the aisle, I listen. And then proceed to scramble for the nearest bin full of picture ledges so I can get to work ASAP.

Our apartment isn’t some glamorous NYC haven of simplicity and style. There are no classy brick wall interiors, the flooring isn’t distressed hardwood from a 1950s home, and there isn’t a ceiling high enough to create the illusion of space. It’s a small, standard issue apartment just like hundreds around Mesa. It’s nothing special, and it is SERIOUSLY lacking in storage, especially where kitchen storage is concerned. So we’ve made do as long as we can, but eventually something had to give- especially after Christmas, since we got a few new appliances.

The place that’s driven me absolutely crazy for the longest time, though, is the cabinet where we keep our cups and glasses. It’s a complete disaster, and it’s never organized for very long. Plus, if we were to take out the cups, it would free up valuable space to cram more stuff into. (I seriously need to do some spring cleaning, guys. It’s bad.)

I’ve been mulling an idea around for a while now to create a sort of open shelving area for our cups, in an effort to A) create more storage and B) class up our apartment a little more. I love open shelving, and have wanted to implement it somewhere in our house, but I just wasn’t sure when until I remembered that we had a very sad, lonely wall behind our dining room table.

Don’t hate on me for my sub par photography skills. It’s dark outside and I’m working with an iPhone that doesn’t like me very much. Also- my apartment is a cave and I need better lighting. Amen.

Bonus: it’s right next to our water dispenser! Bingo!! That’s where our cups would live.

But then the problem arose of how exactly to make the shelves. I love hanging shelves, but I didn’t feel like they would look great right there. I could also just stick a bunch of hooks into the wall and hang our mugs there, but it would look halfhearted and sad. So I filed this idea into the back of my mind, trying to figure it out every now and again until one fateful day in IKEA.

I was shopping with my mother, grandmother, and sisters in law when it hit me: I could use picture ledges to store my cups! I immediately told them about my stroke of genius, and they all agreed that it would look amazing. So I stocked up, grabbed this beautiful poster:

I am so obsessed with this. Isn’t it beautiful? Thank you, IKEA. I love you.

And we were off!

You guys. This IKEA hack is so easy!! It took us literally ten minutes to completely update our space. I think it’ll be really nice to have!

What you’ll need:

  • MOSSLANDA picture ledges from IKEA (I got four total- three shorter and one longer)
  • Flat head 1 1/1″ screws
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Assorted cups, glasses, and mugs (obviously)

We went from the bottom ledge and worked our way up. 

Make sure your ledges are level and centered or they’ll start to look really wonky really fast. (I figure you’re smart enough to figure that out, but it’s still something worth noting.) One thing I wish we had done is make sure it was perfectly centered in the middle of the wall, because now our table is ever-so-slightly right of the ledges. However, I’m also planning on fixing our table issue in the near future, so hopefully it won’t be an issue for much longer. ;^)

After we set up the first ledge, we got our tallest cup and measured a few inches above it so that we wouldn’t run into any issues when we finally put the cups on the ledges.

From then on, it was just a matter of making sure the remaining ledges were spaced out and level!

IKEA included these nifty little stickers to go on top of the screws to help them blend in! SO thoughtful.

So there you have it! Super simple, super easy, super stylish. I know my pictures were terrible quality- I’m working on that. Baby steps, baby steps.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! What are your favorite IKEA hacks? Do you love IKEA as much as I do?

-Haeley

P.S.- have you entered my giveaway yet? Do it now, it ends Wednesday night!!

12 Months of Giveaways!!

Normally, I don’t like my birthday. Like, at all. I cry at least once, I feel awkward the whole day, and I’m just generally uncomfortable and want the day to end.

Why? I have no idea. I just have never loved it.

Until last year, when I finally decided to spend the day doing whatever the heck I wanted, and I actually enjoyed my birthday! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I think  I might just continue enjoying it for years to come (groundbreaking, I know)!

One way I think I will do this is by hosting a giveaway on my birthday- because why should I have all the fun?! I wanna share the love! However, that’s not all.

RIP Billy Mays.

Since my birthday is on the 12th, and it’s at the beginning of the year, and there are 12 months in the year, I thought “what the heck? How about I do 12 FREAKIN’ MONTHS of giveaways?!?!”

So that, my friends, is what I am doing. Each month, on the 12th, I will be giving away something that I love- whether it be a product, a book, a coupon, etc., I just want to share the love with you! Are you as thrilled as I am? I have been giddy about this all week, but I wanted to wait until I was safely set up on the new site to post anything about it.

Enough chitchat, I’m sure you’re dying to know what I’m giving away, right? Right.

For January’s prize, I will be giving away…

The Chocolate Covered Katie Cookbook!

I know, I know. Contain yourselves.

I go back and forth between eating really healthy and eating like trash, but one thing has been constant for a few years, and that is the love I have for Chocolate Covered Katie. Her recipes are delicious, even to people who don’t care for health food. Take a look around her website- everything looks positively HEAVENLY. Bonus- all of her recipes are vegan, so this is truly a giveaway for everyone. I can’t say enough good things about her! (Katie, can we be best friends, please?)

Do some research on her site, and I think you’ll agree that this is a giveaway you won’t want to miss.

  1. Entries worth one (1) point each: ‘Like’ my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram.
  2. Entries worth three (3) points: subscribe to my blog via email, Blogger, etc.
  3. Entries worth five (5) points: Comment below and tell me your funniest cooking fail! Example: One time I tried adding plain yogurt to my macaroni and cheese in an effort to give it some tangy flavor… and I added vanilla yogurt by mistake. (true story. It was terrible.)

Once you have completed any or all of the following, leave a comment on this post telling me that you did and how many entries you completed. Be honest! ;^) Remember; the more entries you complete, the better your chances of winning, so make sure to complete them! (especially the cooking fails. I’m particularly excited about reading that one.)

RULES:

Giveaway ends January 11th at 11:59 PM MST. Open to Legal Residents (13 years of age or older) of the US only. Winner will be selected at random and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Instagram and WordPress are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

I am so excited about this and cannot wait to give this away! I love you all. Now hurry up and enter! ;^)

-Haeley

We moved!

Oops, that was totally click bait.

Okay, so we didn’t actually, physically move, but in case you couldn’t tell, this ain’t Blogger anymore. I have officially moved to bigger, better things, and that means I have an actual website. I KNOW, RIGHT?! I’m excited too. Scared, but excited.

Obviously this means that it’ll take a while for me to figure all of this out #wordpressvirgin, but I am expecting great things from this site. I have ideas, I have aspirations, and dangit, I’m going to succeed! Gone are the days where I only publish 4 posts a year (I’m looking at you, 2016), and welcome to the age of accountability! I am a reformed, changed woman, who will make a concerted effort to post more regularly. (it helps that I had to pay for this, but let’s keep that hush-hush, mmkay?)

All of these changes happened at the perfect time, too, dontcha think? New Year, new me. I look forward to unpacking all of my emotional baggage stories and ideas here, and  I believe that this move will be a good thing for us.

I know, moving is hard, but we’re in a better area now! I’ll even let you have your own bedroom. ;^)

Love you all,

-Haeley

Well, snap.

The problem with cute eyeglasses is sometimes they just… Snap. Maybe they’re stressed, or tired, or just want to protest, but they snap.And it’s frustrating for people like me, who have been blessed with astigmatism, because if they are the slightest bit off, it bugs you and hurts your head. But there is a shiny ray of hope in this particular tragedy… I could potentially get new frames! I’m wanting something sassy and vintage, like these:

*squee* aren’t they GEMS? I love cateyes!! They’re so cute. I wouldn’t even mind not having contacts! Well… Almost. I still really, really, REALLY want those. But still- with specs these cute, who could resist wearing them?!

Those are fun, too! I’m getting a little excited, can you tell?
Golly, I want vintage glasses.

-DQ#1

What up with that???

With rehearsals in full swing, we’re settling into a hectic routine of getting people to shuffle through the door, talking for a minute, then singing and choreographing until we can’t hardly stand it and are silently begging to go home. Then we talk some more.
I’m not complaining, because stressful as this all is, I love every minute of it and wouldn’t trade this for anything. Not even my favorite fudge (it’s seriously the best stuff I’ve ever tasted-and it’s sugar free).
But one thing I do not get is… Why are they making me dance so MUCH? And so OFTEN? I have two left feet on steroids, which pretty much means I stink at dancing. But they keep putting me out front, doing barrel rolls and weird French dance moves I can’t spell, and other things which I can’t do!
Maybe they have a shred of ill-placed hope for me.
Either way, it’s a mystery, and I wish I could stand up to expectations, but all there is left to do is grin and bear it. Wish me luck!!

-DQ#1

A sort of coming of age

This month, something super special and awesome happens… Homecoming!! It’s been on my mind constantly, and I’ve been planning outfits and hairdo’s like it’s the last day on earth.
This is my first school dance, and I want to look the part!
An Enchanted Evening Under The Sea… Sounds fun, don’t you think? I’m not going with a date, don’t worry. Just a few months shy, but Winter Formal I can go with a date *crosses fingers*. I’ve heard so much fun stuff about these things, so I want a taste too. I’ll take lots of pictures, not to worry.
The only thing I’m worried about is I have a rehearsal that same day, and those end at seven pm, and I don’t wanna be late.
But anyway, super spazzed about all this! I’ll have to plan a day activity with some of my friends… :^)

-DQ#1

Bulky in Ballroom.

Today was… Unique, at best. In ballroom today, we decided to do tricks with swing. That meant sliding, dropping, twisting, and… *gulp* flipping.

My self-esteem isn’t exactly glowing, so this prospect terrified me to no end. How on earth would I be able to pull that off? It was like my teacher was asking me to cartwheel off a tightrope. Well, not quite that bad, but close. Really, really close.
Needless to say, I was absolutely, positively, and achingly terrified. I was going to hurt myself or worse- the boy in question. We started out with something simple enough, called the Death Drop which, surprisingly, wasn’t nearly as scary as it seemed. You  just had to stage-fall sideways, spin on your rear, and slide out from under the boy’s legs. Simple? Yep. Scary as heck? You betcha.
But my partner was so sweet about the whole thing, and helped my up every time. So that made it fun, but then we moved onto something really, truly horrific. We’d have to do the trust fall, and then the boy would step over us, flipping us so we were facing the floor, before stepping over again and leaving us right-side-up at last. This I was NOT looking forward to by ANY stretch of the imagination. Every time we tried, it seemed like I was going to fall flat on my face. And I almost did, until the teacher suggested I try someone a little taller. So I got someone who was shorter, but more muscly. And we were able to do it, but it was so embarrassing. He almost dropped me because I was too heavy.
I love ballroom, I do, but the problem is… I’m “pleasingly plump”, or “Xtra Lovely”, or “huggable”, or whatever you want to call it. Truth is, all the other girls in there are very slender, and I’m not, so that poses a huge confidence problem. I steer clear of the lifting stuff, because I don’t want to give my poor unassuming partner a hernia.
Another issue is I know that that little problem makes me in some way unattractive. Oh sure, I may have a borderline pretty face, but that’s not gonna get me too far in life. In high school, where physical appearance is so major, I feel pretty lunky.
So I avoid all scenarios where my weight may be questioned, and we’re fine.
But sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Like today, where we had to do tricks.

We actually did that one right there ^
 I was NOT feelin’ the love, so I watched the other, smaller girls flip and spin and squeal, and I tried to hold it together. And then this boy  came up to me and asked why I was just standing there and not doing tricks, so I told him I was scared and too heavy. (Bear in mind that this charming young man is basically, a bean pole. In a nice way.) But he didn’t give up, people, he didn’t give up! He was persistent, and sweet, and didn’t seem to take in the fact that I’m fluffier than others. It was like he didn’t notice/care, and that meant so much to me. Why? Because often in ballroom, I get partnered up with this boy who thinks he’s pro, and it kinda seems like he doesn’t want to dance with the squishy girl on campus. He’s nice, sure, but… It’s hard to explain.
But that other boy is so nice! *disclaimer: I’m not crushing on him, fyi. He’s just nice.*
Make all girls feel special, guys, even if you don’t “like like” them, okay? I make an effort to make sure that you feel included and important too, don’t worry.
THAT was a random rambling post, so I hope you can at least sift through the girly-ness and crazed emotions to find some kind of purpose. In a nutshell… Make us feel special.

-DQ#1