Sunday, February 17, 2019

Currently Vol. 1 Issue 1

It is Sunday at 2:59 in the afternoon as I begin this blog post, drinking mimosas by myself here at my desk, with my favorite slippers on, and a sweatshirt because it's slightly chilly. And I am not mad about it. It is also not too late in the day for mimosas in case you were silently asking yourself that question (or judging me, either one). It is never too late for mimosas on a Sunday. At least that's what my friends tell me.

I am here to tell you about things I am currently into. This type of post has been a staple in blog world and one I want to get back to because it's the best way to find new things! I love seeing what other people use, are into, listen to, etc. For example, I bought this $8 coffee frother on Amazon after Chelsea posted about it on her blog. Now I use it every morning and it adequately mixes up the cinnamon I like to put in my coffee, instead of it settling at the bottom. Did I know personal coffee frothers were a thing before I read Chelsea's blog? No. Would I be enjoying a personal coffee frother to this day, without having read Chelsea's blog? Also no. I rest my case.

So, currently I am:

Laughing at:
This daily calendar.
I realize it's mid-February but it is never too late to order this daily calendar. It's based on this twitter account which already brightens my Twitter feed on the reg - now, every morning when I get to work it brightens my day as I rip off another page and get to look at yet another adorable doggo. 13/10 would recommend.

Listening to:
Harry Potter-themed ambient videos on YouTube.
Ok so I'm really gonna let my freak flag fly a bit here but, there's channels on YouTube that make ambient mood videos based on Harry Potter-themed things. I think they're called like, ASMR videos? My favorites in regular rotation right now are this cozy Gryffindor common room, this bright and sunny Hufflepuff common room (hint: at the 7 minute mark you can hear Harry and Hermione walk by), and this Hogwarts grounds vibe. Whenever I need to focus on something, or unwind and relax, or need some background noise, I've been putting these videos on. It feels like I'm actually on the Hogwarts grounds prepping for my O.W.L exams, relaxing by the black lake, or cozied up next to a fireplace in my common room...and who doesn't want full immersion into the Wizarding World right?! Just search "Harry Potter ambient music" on YouTube and you'll get a ton of options that will fit your mood. Some even incorporate music from the movie soundtracks!

Learning:
How to bullet journal.
I asked for (and subsequently received - thanks Audrey!) The Bullet Journal Method book for Christmas because I wanted to learn how to bullet journal. I read the book in January and have been giving it my best effort since the new year and I have to say I am LOVING it! There is freedom in bullet journaling that I've never found before in using regular, templated planners. It's flexible, versatile, and customizable, it's literally anything you want and/or need it to be! If you've struggled with finding a planner system that works for you I would definitely recommend looking into the Bullet Journal method and see if it's something that will work for you.

Drinking:
This bedtime tea.
Tea season is fairly short in Arizona - at least in my world it is; but we've had some pretty cold days lately in January and February and I am taking full advantage of a good cup of tea in the evening and before bed! This bedtime tea has always been my go-to, but I just recently discovered they have this caramel one now too and it is delicious! A real treat to look forward to as you wind down your evening! Perhaps with a facemask of sorts. And a Harry Potter ambient music video playing in the background.

Using:
This face mask.
Speaking of face masks, my sister turned me on to Nectar - a store that sells the most amazing luxurious bath treats except they all look like amazing, luxurious baked goods. No seriously, see:
They don't have a store here in Arizona but there's one in Las Vegas and one in California at Universal City Walk right outside Universal Studios park, and you can always purchase online. This face mask doesn't look like a typical face mask but I'm telling you - it is amazing. The squares are super sticky and you get about 4 - 5 uses out of one square. A little goes a long way! It's thick, exfoliating, and smells amazing! Wash it away with their Konjac sponge and your skin will feel so soft, smooth, and glowing! Plus it's like, vegan and all natural, and plant based, and paraben free, and all those other things you organic people care about. A win-win for the granola and non-granola folk alike.

So, what are you into currently?! Tell me so I can try some new things!

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Top 5 Harry Potter Characters

I was casually scrolling through my Blog Lovin' feed this morning when I came across Ashten's post, her Top 5 Harry Potter Characters. What a simple blog post concept and yet, one I had not yet thought of. Bloggers - sometimes we overthink things you know? Or maybe not, that's probably just me actually but whatever. Anyway, Ashten and her friends Erin and Nicole created the following rules to play the game...almost like a  good 'ol fashioned link up. Oh blog world circa 2013 how I miss you.

The rules:
  • Your list cannot include Harry, Hermione, Ron, or Dumbledore 
  • Include 5 characters and 5 characters only
  • Your list doesn't have to be in order (mine is not because picking only five is hard enough already amiright)

1.) Minerva McGonagall

"Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge? Yes, said Harry. You called her a liar? Yes. You told her he who must not be named is back? Yes. Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, "Have a biscuit, Potter."
Professor McGonagall is an OG. She was there since the very beginning, dropping little baby Harry off with Dumbledore on Privet Drive. Her character is so nuanced and carefully crafted; she is tough and stern, yet compassionate and caring. She has no time for your shenanigans (unless those shenanigans demonstrate your exceedingly above average flying skills, in which case she'll buy you a Nimbus 2000 and put you on the House Quidditch team) but politely and methodically crosses the line when the time is right for defiance. She claps back at Umbridge all 5th year long and aides Harry in his return to Hogwarts in year 7. I am simultaneously intimidated by her but would also not say no to a butterbeer in the Leaky Cauldron with this fearless leader.

2.) Sirius Black

"The ones that love us never really leave us..."
I absolutely love Sirius Black, and I love his relationship with Harry even more - part parent, part friend, always honest and unguarded with one another. I'm still salty we only got three books-worth of Sirius and sometimes I like to imagine about what his and Harry's life would've been like had they lived together after Harry's third year. What we should've done spin-off wise in the Wizarding World, is gotten five movies on the Marauders instead of Grindelwald and his creepy eye...Jo, if you're reading this!

3.) Neville Longbottom

"We're all going to keep fighting Harry, you know that?"
Neville freakin' Longbottom. Slayer of snakes, leader of Dumbledore's Armies, keeper of plants, insulter of Death Eaters. I cried reading Deathly Hallows when Neville came climbing out of that portrait hole in Aberforth's bar yelling, "I new you'd come! I new it, Harry!" ALL. THE. FEELS. Neville is a hero and deserves all the points for Gryffindor.

4.) Luna Lovegood

"You're just as sane as I am."
I love Luna's character because I wish I could be more like her. She says what everyone else is thinking. She's unbothered by anyone's opinion about her. She gives grace to those who don't understand her, and she never wavers in her convictions (Nargles amiright). The muggle world needs more Luna's.

5.) Dobby

"Here lies Dobby, a free elf"
When I first read Harry Potter I thought Dobby was so annoying. After I completed my re-read last year however, I realized I had forgotten how integral a part Dobby is to this entire story. He comes in and out of the plot lines but the story doesn't continue, or end for that matter, if not for Dobby. And let me tell you, Dobby is RIDE OR DIE. Ask Dobby and you shall receive because Dobby is loyal, a fierce defender of Harry Potter and his friends, unafraid, and empowered AF from year 2 all the way to the very end. Miss you, Dobbs.

What are your top five Harry Potter Characters?! Tell meeeeee so we can discuss!


 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Sunday, February 3, 2019

December: A Blog Post

December started off with a bang because guess what - I spent the very first day of the month in THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.
That's right, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, Olivander's, The Three Broomsticks - my mom and my sister and I were all up inside all of it. And, if the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was not magical enough, when you go during Christmas time it's even more magical. HOW can that be, you might be asking?? I don't really have a good answer but it probably has something to do with all the Christmas decorations, the hot Butterbeer, the fake snow that falls from the sky at night, and the Christmas light show projected onto Hogwarts castle after sunset. So on second thought I do have a good answer because it's all of those things. All of the magical Christmas-y things.
You all know by now that in 2018 I re-read the Harry Potter series for the first time since I read through the actual series. As in, since I was a kid and they were coming out and finished Deathly Hallows for the first time, I had never again picked them all back up and re-read them. This year I did just that and I actually finished on Thanksgiving day. So, a holiday trip to the Wizarding World was like an early Christmas present and a reward for myself for finishing the series!
To get ready for the trip I had my mom (and literally all the rest of my family) take the Sorting Quiz on Pottermore to see what House they belonged to. Both my mom and my sister were sorted in Ravenclaw, and so we all got matching House scarves.
Not gonna lie, our matching scarves were one of my fav parts of the trip...they just really make me feel like a real Hogwarts student and I'm really into that you know? Also in case you were wondering, in total - my mom, dad, sister, and her husband are all Ravenclaw. Nate was sorted into Gryffindor and I as you know, am a Hufflepuff. We have some more Hufflepuffs (and Gryffindors) on the Townsend side of the family because believe me when I tell you I also had Nate's entire family take the Sorting Quiz over Thanksgiving. I know, I'm so annoying with it but I can't help it. 

After our journey to Hogwarts December was off and running with all the Christmas-y things! Including baking:
 Christmas tree shopping:
 Decorating:
...And our annual Christmas weekend trip with the fam, this year back to Prescott!

Christmas was here in no time and we celebrated in our pajamas, with lots of shrimp, and Christmas games.
Nate had to work all week, so we had our own Christmas early Christmas morning after he was off shift. After that he went to sleep and I had mimosas by myself, took a nap, and watched lots of hours of the Hallmark Channel in my PJ's. 
You can judge me if you want but I'm telling you, it was a glorious day.

Other December notables include - brunch with my dear friend Stephanie who was in town from the east coast:
As per the usual we discussed at length Harry Potter, Crimes of Grindelwald (and its whack ending), politics, the upside to her moving back to Arizona, and a bunch of other stuff.

My cousin-in-law's baby shower:
PLEASE just look at this precious Winnie the Pooh cake:
And of course, the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix:
It was a wild New Year's Eve.

And a wonderful December.

And you guys, that is all of my 2018. Recaps are all done, albeit way late, but done. 2019 is well underway and the slate is clean and ready for new adventures...and new blog posts!


 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png

Sunday, January 20, 2019

November: A Blog Post

November seems like a really long time ago at this point but, as I've mentioned in the past - my OCD on this issue just won't let me not write a recap post. So get ready cause you guessed it - November and December recap posts are comin' right up!

November started off with a bang because HEYO the midterms are here, the midterms are here! Voting day is always the best because it means you get to vote but it also simultaneously means that the campaign seasons are over and can I get an amen for that?! To mark the occasion here I am with my "I Voted" sticker:
Did you really vote if you don't take a picture with your sticker?? Although don't be fooled by my t-shirt here, I didn't actually vote for Reagan or Bush in this election because it's not 1984. Deceiving, I know. 

I put up my fall decor in my house on a Friday after work, and there's something about harvest-y vibes and open screen doors with a cool breeze blowing in your house that really puts you in the mood for some seasonal activities (or maybe that's just me I dunno). 
So I texted my mom and sister the following Saturday morning, explained to them my autumnal mood and BOOM, by Saturday night we were all at my parents house making caramel apples. 
How do like dem apples?...as they say. 

We celebrated Veteran's Day in November which is always a big deal for us since Nate is a combat veteran and we have many veterans in our family. If you missed my post celebrating Nate, read it here
I stumbled on a company via Instagram, called Mapiful earlier in the year (you've probably already heard of them, I somehow manage to be late to everything) and saw they make maps of literally anywhere in the world. Their Instagram feed is so beautiful and I just loved the idea, so I had one made of Tikrit, Iraq - where Nate was deployed for 15 months.
I also had a flag flown over the US Capitol for Nate (another thing I did not know was an actual thing), in honor of Veteran's Day 2018 . You can order a personalized certificate to go with it that indicates the date it flew, and then you can customize your message online when you order it. I thought it was a super cool gift, and something really neat to have to look back on!

We're getting good at taking our Christmas pictures in advance of Christmas these days - I know, what a concept! So as we usually do, because Jennica of aMaes Photography is so generous, and patient, and generally just absolutely wonderful, we all piled in the car (dogs included) and drove up north until we found a spot we liked and started taking pictures. I won't bore you with our Christmas card photos because you've probably already seen them all already on Instagram and perhaps your actual Christmas card that arrived in the mail...
...ok sorry, I lied I can't help it I love them so much. But anyway, what I wanted to show you were these pictures where Jennica had the best idea to use smoke bombs. SMOKE. BOMBS. Does it look like we're in the midst of the Hunger Games 'cause that's kinda what it seems like right:
I mean granted, a much more like, relaxed, romantic version of the Hunger Games considering the actual Hunger Games are about kids killing each other. I dunno maybe not like the Hunger Games forget I said that, but you know what I mean right?

And last but not least, we Thanksgiving'd the crap out of November - so much so, that I only got this one picture of my mom's beautiful table setting:
I got too busy stuffing my face with turkey, lots of bread, copious amounts of gravy, and way more than one piece of pumpkin pie. We then had an air hockey tournament wherein I lost the losers bracket which tells you everything you need to know about how good my air hockey skills are. But yolo I don't even care cause AIR HOCKEY IS THE JAM. 

You could probably apply the same logic to this blog post - it's late January and I'm posting a November recap...which tells you all you need to know about my timely blogging skills these days. But yolo I don't even care cause BLOGGING IS STILL THE JAM.

 photo Carissa_zps53ecb502.png
 

design + development by Strawberries and Wine