Author Archives | Rose

getting rid of 2011 remnants

Today was sure a day. I’m calling it a pancake day. If you haven’t heard me say this before, it’s an expression I got from my roommate. It’s a day you throw out like the first pancake in the batch. Basically, it means that it was a tough one, and I just want it over.

The first day back to work is always the hardest. The email list is long. The projects have piled up. Today’s snow made it even worse. I had the worst commute home in my Pittsburgh history: nearly 1.5 hours to go less than 10 miles. On top of that, I’m feeling sluggish, slightly sick, and didn’t get an ounce of sleep last night.

Despite all this complaining, I had a glimmer of hope tonight. With all that time in the car, I kept thinking about new years resolutions. They are popping up all over the blog world, and I can’t help but feel like I need a list too. What do I want to make of myself this year?

Part of my 2012 thinking is that I want to let go of lists and just simply live. I don’t want resolutions. I want projects. I want to keep my hands busy and my mind sharp. I want to grow something from the beginning. I want to feel the way I did in grad school: full of endless creative possibilities.

I have some ideas for how I can accomplish more this year and find a more creative me again. But just like getting into a healthy routine, there’s always a little cleaning that needs to happen first. Out with the old, in with the new. Despite feeling like absolute garbage, I decided to tackle my mess of a craft corner. I can’t get started unless I get rid of 2011 first. This here was the scene:


Twenty minutes. That’s what I told myself. Just work on this area for 20 minutes. Exhaust yourself. Get it done. It’ll be over before you know it. This is what it looked like after. (Forgive the litter box. I have no other place for it).

Twenty minutes equals 1.5 bags of garbage. I hate to waste, but I just need rid of so many things before I can get back to basics.

Tomorrow’s 20 minutes will be organizing the drawers. The next day, I will tackle the other craft corner: a cupboard housing many of my paints, glue, and former projects. Then, maybe I will think about what I want to accomplish this year.

For starters, all I know is that I want to challenge myself. I want to challenge myself and stick to a goal.

What are your goals for the year? You can call them resolutions, if you want.

so that was christmas

Happy New Year, blog friends! It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted, and I must say that I’m coming back into the new year feeling refreshed and thankful. I gave myself a much-needed moment of unplugging from the internet and instead focused on my family, friends, and togetherness. In fact, this holiday was one of little technology in general as I snapped few photos. I guess I will rely on mental memories for 2011′s holiday season, and that’s okay by me.

There were many highlights this season, a few low lights and a great sense of warmth from some of the people that matter most in my life. Gift wise, I was totally spoiled by the BF and my family members. I am a lucky girl, and now my feet will be better warmed thanks to my closest cousin and friend Marissa.

Seeing Marissa (we fondly call her Moo) was one of the highlights of my trip. We grew up together. We were inseparable. Honestly, she often felt more like a sister than cousin. Alongside Moo, I learned how to be a hard worker by spending most of my childhood in this farmhouse with my grandparents. Those are memories I will never forget. Moo and I still exchange gifts each year, and I always look forward to her buying me socks and winter weather items.

This year was extra special as she brought MOONSHINE for the BF. If I was ambitious enough, I’d make it. But it looks like it requires a lot of boiling and stirring. It’s also the dangerous kind of alcohol. The kind that you keep drinking because it’s so good, but you quickly forget that it’s even alcoholic. That kind of dangerous.


Christmas is never complete without a photograph of my dad and I. My role model, hero and friend – all wrapped into one.

And of course, my partner in crime, my better half, the moon of my life and an Italian dreamboat – the boyfriend. Still unnamed. But still loved very much.

My brother got BF a very special present for Christmas this year. This scene I will remember most from Christmas because of the bursts of laughter, the uncontrollable shaking and smiles all around. Eric made BF a mix-CD full of man-love songs.

The best part was Eric’s photoshop skills. Look closely at the CD cover.


I didn’t need much for Christmas. But I got so much. I felt so much love and so much joy.

I’m excited to be back. I’m excited to start this new year. I have so many thoughts and goals and ideas, and I want to share them all with you. I hope you still want to follow my journey, and I look forward to following yours as well.

Stay tuned for a not-so-traditional resolutions list.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all from my ice skating heart! I’m happy to celebrate this holiday with my loves.

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{diy} homemade bath fizzies

[Disclaimer: Please stop reading this post if you are my mom, sister-in-law or are a female member of my boyfriend's family. This is your Christmas present, and I can't resist posting before Christmas for timeliness.]

This was a big year for homemade crafts in my household. This Christmas, I put myself on a budget, and I told myself that I would not use my credit card for any gifts. I’ve successfully accomplished that (though now I’m hoping for cash presents since I’m spent!). I did end up buying myself a pair three pairs of boots for Christmas (on my credit card), but they were on sale with free shipping, so I’m justifying that (I will never get out of debt but at least I’ll look nice!)

Nevertheless, this year was dedicated to homemade gifts for him & her. I receive Martha Stewart daily organizing tips in my email (a godsend) and saw the idea for back in November. It seemed easy enough and cost effective, so I decided to create my own.

I probably spent around $60 for all materials including the ingredients, essential oils (which are expensive), display jars, ribbon and bags. This $60 equals 11 gifts to family, extended family, and a few friends, so I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. It’s easy to spend $20 per person on someone during the holidays, which would have been $220. That’s a savings indeed.

I went with three different scents: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavender. This actually proved to be difficult because I discovered my roommate is allergic to Lavender, and so I had to make a separate batch in the (dirty, yucky) basement. For those of you receiving lavender, consider yourself special.

I used a variety of bags and jars based on the person. I tried to give larger amounts to the people I know take baths. For those who might only take one occasionally, I provided bags. I’m a big fan of the bath fizzies over the sugar scrub I made two years ago. I saw the scrub sitting my stepmom’s bathroom unused last time I was home for a visit so I thought maybe I enjoyed making them more than people enjoyed receiving them. I don’t feel bad; sugar scrubs aren’t for everyone! Also, some people just aren’t into baths. I get that too.

I found really cheap tags/labels at Pat Catan’s (similar to Michael’s but in Pittsburgh and better), and I labeled ALL of my gifts with them. I like them because I think it gives it an older, more classic feel. This year in general I spent more careful time with gift picking, labeling and wrapping and I feel it shows my care more than a gift I haphazardly picked out at Wal-Mart. (Note: I did shop at Wal-Mart for a few things. But they were carefully and thoughtfully picked). I also bought some sparkly paper and cut circles for the lids of the jars (see picture above). I tried to create a more “fizzy” feel, and I think this adds a lot to a basic Mason jar, don’t you?

Alongside the bath fizzies, I created a few jars of spice rubs for the guys in my boyfriend’s family. I wasn’t sure what to get them, but they are all really into meat and grilling, so I made a few. I ran out of ingredients pretty quickly though, so I wasn’t able to make as many as I wanted.

I love a good DIY Christmas. Here’s hoping my family and friends do too.

my ugly sweater: the gift that keeps on giving

My friend Kelly asked if she could borrow for a holiday work contest. We had coffee last night at , swapped presents and cards, and I handed over the sweater (complete with a light-up pocket).

Imagine my pride when I received a g-chat message from Kelly at lunch, indicating that she had won her office party. The grand prize was a big $10 gift card to Giant Eagle. She’s the second from the right.


I think the sweater/turtleneck combo looks much better on her. I guess someone at her office even wrote “Kelly, duh” on her voting card. I agree – the prize most definitely goes to Kelly. Duh.

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