Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in review

How do I even start to sum up 2015? So much has happened in the past twelve months that it seems nearly impossible! I contemplated the best way to go about this post...month by month? in categories? highlighting just the most important things that happened?

(from this post)


Taking a step back from blogging
If you take a look at my sidebar, you'll see 2015 saw a lot less posts on my blog than in past years.  Although it wasn't necessarily intentional to take multiple breaks from blogging, looking back I'm actually pretty happy I did.  Not focusing on blogging allowed me to spend lots of time with my friends at college and make the most of my last year at Sweet Briar (not to mention - spending a lot of time at the library and boosting my GPA high enough to graduate with latin honors!)

Graduation
I don't think much explanation is needed for this one!  After seventeen years of school, I've finally walked out with the biggest (and most expensive) piece of paper!

First "big girl" job
Right up until the night before graduation, I was sending in job applications like crazy.  I just couldn't imagine graduating, moving home, and having no idea what to do with myself.  I was lucky enough to contact someone from high school who now works at my job, and she was actually looking to hire someone who does just what I studied! I had about a month of summer before I started my job, and anymore more than that I certainly would have gone insane!


(from this post)

I have no idea what's to come in 2016, but I do know that it will take a lot to top 2015.

xx, Rebecca

Monday, December 21, 2015

hot coco

Now that it's finally cold outside, I want all of the hot beverages - specifically hot coco. The little packets are great, but the homemade, made over the stove with milk kind, is the best.  Even better?  It's super simple to make, and it makes enough for a whole crowd.  But if you make it for yourself and save the rest to heat up the next morning, I won't tell anyone...

So let's put on some Christmas music (this spotify playlist is my current favorite), and get cooking!


Ingredients:
(this recipe is adapted from this Gimme Some Oven recipe)
4 cups of milk (Any kind of milk will work.  I used 1% because that's what we keep in the house.)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Mini Marshmallows

Some other fun toppings...crushed candy cane, chocolate syrup, chocolate bar shavings..


The steps are really simple...

Just put the milk into a medium-sized pan on medium heat.  Let the milk heat up, but don't let it start boiling!  Once the milk is warming up, add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt.  Continuously whisk the mixture until combined, and then let simmer on the stove for a few more minutes until it is the desired temperature.


Once it's done, ladle it into a festive mug, add some mini marshmallows on top, fix yourself a plate of christmas cookies, and turn on your favorite Christmas movie or settle in with a good book. (Right now I'm rereading To Kill a Mockingbird before starting Go Set A Watchman.)


xx, Rebecca 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#HolidaySmile

If your holiday season is anything like mine, you're constantly out shopping to pick up the ingredients for cookies, supplies for a craft project, a last minute gift, or the fixings for a Christmas Day meal.  Christmas is only of my favorite times of year because it means that I get to spend lots of time with my family and friends, nom on the most delicious foods (many of which are made only at Christmas time), and hopefully get a few days to do nothing but relax by the tree with a book in my hand. With all of this Christmas joy and merriment, don't forget to take care of yourself!  A festive manicure, a fresh hairdo, and a whiter smile are sure to make your holiday pictures shine (and totally instagram-worthy!)



While you're tossing sugar and sprinkles or tinsel and ornaments into your cart, head over to the beauty section of Walmart and pick up their special Crest 3D White Whitestrips 1-Hour Express Teeth Whitening BOGO Pack pack.  For just $40, you'll get enough white strips for eight treatments!  Although the packs are exclusively sold through Walmart, you can also place an order on walmart.com and have it sent directly to your house if you're too busy this season to get to Walmart (or if you're like me and you're too scared of the holiday madness you may find!)



Hesitant to try out white strips?  Crest's 3D 1-Hour Express Whitestrips are quick and easy, remove stains in just one hour, and use a special technology that allows you to still talk and eat while using the strips.  So not only can you pick up the white strips while you're out getting all of the things you need, but you can actually use the whitestrips while you're baking cookies, wrapping presents, or chatting on the phone with your far-away friends!



xx, Rebecca

Thank you to Acorn Influence, Crest, and Walmart for sponsoring this post.

Friday, December 4, 2015

24 before 24

I've always been inspired by Mackenzie Horan's 101 in 1001 challenge, but I could never imagine myself able to come up with 101 tasks and actually having the ability to complete all 101 things!  Instead, I decided to come up with 24 tasks to check off before my 24th birthday on February 11, 2017.

I'm eager to dig in (in fact, three of these goals are already "in progress"), and I'll be keeping track on my 24 before 24 page which you can access from the tool bar above my header. Several of these goals have blog posts tied in with them, so you'll also see blog posts here and there about the goals, and I'll link those within the 24 before 24 page, as well!

1. Read five classic novels
2. Read at least thirty new books total.
3. Read two books in Spanish so that I don't forget the language.
3. Cook fourteen new recipes (one per month)
4. Complete three She Reads Truth or If:Equip Devotional plans.
5. Travel internationally.
6. Travel to a new state.
7. Save at least 20% of each paycheck.
8. Vote in the next presidential election.
9. Utilize the manual functions on my camera, and create two styled shoots that use these new skills.
10. Send care packages, out of the blue, to at least two of my friends who are still in college.
11. Go to four new cafes or restaurants in Lancaster, and write a blog post about each.
12. Go to the gym 3x per week for a month.
13. Mail birthday cards to my closet friends.
14. Drink at least 80 oz of water every day for a week.
15. Visit a National Park.
16. Contribute to five non-profit organizations.
17. Donate blood.
18. Go through all of my clothes and donate the things I don't need/want anymore.
19. Send 40 handwritten notes.
20. Unsubscribe to junk mail and manage email subscriptions.
21. Design and print new business cards.
22. Watch all of the Harry Potter movies.
24. Put $25 in my savings account each time I check something off this list.

Here's to a fun year and 3 months before my 24th birthday! 

xo, Rebecca

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

giving tuesday

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday have passed…so what’s left? Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday was developed to follow up with greedy “holidays” like Black Friday and Cyber Monday so that we can give back to our local community during the holiday season.


As someone currently working in the non-profit industry, I can attest to the change that can occur with even the smallest of charitable gifts. For instance, here at the Symphony, a gift of just $50 can repair an instrument that is used in our children’s instrument lending program. Even smaller gifts, of $10 or $25, can support programs that brighten a child’s day or put a warm meal in someone’s belly.


Explore non-profit organizations in your area that make a difference with causes you support.  Whether it is the local soup kitchen the serves a hot meal during the winter months or an organization that throws birthday parties to children in a poverty stricken area of your city, your gift can make a huge difference in the impact that organization is able to make.

xoxo,
Rebecca

Monday, November 30, 2015

november favorites

How is it already almost December? And how do we only have one month left in 2015? I would say that this year flew by, but that's really just an understatement...

November has been a busy month! Between traveling to NYC to visit my bestfriend (and plan our trip to Europe!), a lot of different events for work, and of course, Thanksgiving, I've been out and about almost every weekend!

We've had a few pretty cold days already this "winter", so I've been pulling out some of my favorite things for the cold - including camp socks, moisturizers for both my face and lips, and tea!


Camp Socks (love the J. Crew Factory camp socks!)
Acure Oil Control Facial Moisturizer
Kate Spade Twirl Perfume (unfortunately not available anymore!)
Burt's Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm (a great twist on the classic Burt's Bees!)
Sanita Yanini Clogs
Lilly Pulitzer Travel Coffee Mug
Jackery Bar Portable Charger
Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea Sachets

What have y'all been into this month?
I am so looking forward to December and the holidays!  There's nothing better than cozying up with a mug of tea in front of the Christmas tree!

xoxo,
Rebecca




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

european vacation

As I alluded to in my previous post, I'll be traveling to Europe in March!

Copenhagen, Denmark
{via}

One of my best friends from high school, Diana, and I will be traveling to Copenhagen to visit another one of our high school friends, Kristen.  While we're in Europe, we plan to travel to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam...but the travels within Europe are fairly flexible depending on what's going on while we're there.

We haven't nailed down too many of the plans, but we're purchasing our plane tickets tomorrow, so I think that means we're off to a good start!

Brussels, Belgium
{via}

I plan to blog not only our trip, but the planning process, if y'all are interested!  I've never been to any of these places (the only place I've been in Europe in Spain), and I couldn't be more excited!

Have any of y'all been to any of these places?  Recommendations? Must dos? Must sees?

xoxo.
Rebecca

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Currently in November...

Remember me? Just your friend Rebecca who hasn't posted on this little ole blog since September..oops! I'm working on redesigning the blog, coming up with some new content, and getting back into the swing of things....but better way to start off than with a long update!



reading …  Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
watching … How To Get Away with Murder! My mom and I recently rewatched the first season so that we would remember everything going into the second season.
trying … to not go to bed at 7pm even though it’s already dark by the time I get out of work
cooking … lots of baked goods – specifically pumpkin muffins!
eating … soups and chili – it’s the perfect time of year to cook up a huge pot of soup and then take it for lunch throughout the week
drinking … way too much coffee and tea.
calling … Nordstrom because apparently I never accepted the “Terms and Conditions” on my Nordstrom card which is why it never worked for me!
tweeting … far too many snarky things regarding the stupidity I encounter on a daily basis
going … to Europe in March! Stay tuned for more details about my euro trip!
loving … that it’s finally chilly out which means that I can bring out my favorite sweaters and scarves
hating … being in Pennsylvania while all of my friends are in Virginia
feeling … anxious for a big work event that is taking place on Friday
hoping (for) … peace in countries that are currently experiencing turmoil
listening (to) … old Mumford and Sons.  Something about late fall always makes me want to listen to Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.
celebrating … the small victories in life like selling an ad at work or getting a new shirt in the mail on time to wear to a special event
smelling … my favorite Cinnamon Sugar Donut candle from Bath and Bodyworks
ordering … some new booties to keep my feet warm this winter
thanking God … that my family will all be in one place for Thanksgiving Day!
starting … to make my Christmas list! What goodies are you asking for this year?
finishing ... a new layout for the blog and with that will come some new posts!


What have y'all been up to?

xo,
Rebecca

Stole this fun post idea from Bailey over at Brave Love!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Catching Up

So, it’s been a month since my last blog post. I’m pretty sure I blinked and September was basically over.  So what have I been up to for the past several weeks?  

Well, September started with a visit from my three best college friends!  They came up to Lancaster for Labor Day weekend for the Zac Brown Band concert at Hershey.  Their trip to PA wouldn’t have been complete with a trip to Intercourse, PA, and a drive through Amish country to go horse and buggy spotting.


The following weekend was the first performance weekend for the Symphony at The Fulton Opera House in downtown Lancaster.  This concert featured a premier of Goulet’s Chocolats Symphonique which is a piece, in four movements, where each movement corresponds to a specific flavor of chocolate. (Think wine and cheese pairing, but for chocolate and music).  Each guest  received a pack of chocolates as they entered the theater that they were encouraged to eat as the piece played.

Then the next weekend, the Symphony switched gears and venues, and had our first concert of a new Pops series.  This concert featured pieces of movie scores like Star Wars, Frozen, and The Wizard of Oz.


And suddenly, it was fall in Lancaster!  Road side stands were advertising apples by the bushel and the temperatures dropped to a wonderful 65 degrees.  So my mom and I took it upon ourselves to start off our fall with a little canning of applesauce.  We canned twelve pints last weekend, and we’ll be making a few more pints for immediate eating next weekend!


And somewhere in between all of that work, I’ve neglected blogging and social media big time!  This weekend I’m headed down to Sweet Briar for Founder’s Day Weekend…but hopefully after that I’ll get back into the groove of blogging!

What have y’all been up to?

xoxo,
Rebecca

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

White Jeans Confident

In my opinion, wearing white jeans can go one of two ways.  Either you feel like a million bucks because white jeans are universally flattering and make you look tan, or you're nervous the entire time you wear them because you're scared you might spill on them or sit in something gross.  

Now, I love wearing white jeans in the summer...they look great with essentially every kind of top.  But, I'm also one of the world's clumsiest people.  Like to be honest, the moment I got out of the car after taking these pictures, my neighbors huge Mastiff-Labrador mixes (they have two) came over to greet me and got slobber all over the front of my pants.  I've also been known to miss my mouth while taking a drink and end up with liquid all down the front of me...
*insert the emoji with the monkey covering his eyes*



However, there are a few things I keep handy in my purse or wallet for those times when I'm inevitably making a mess.  For food spills or dog slobber issues (this happens to me more than you'd think because my neighbor's dogs happen to think my dad and I are just sooooo much more fun than their own parents), a tide to go pen and a pack of wet wipes are necessary.  Yes, I'm 22, and I carry around a travel pack of baby wipes...they're actually really great for removing stains from your clothes...who knew! I also like to keep a few U by Kotex liners in my wallet or tote for those mysterious moments when your period comes and you think you're unprepared but then you're relieved because you're wearing white jeans and you actually do have something with you!




This summer, U by Kotex came out with an awesome new product.  Exclusively at Wal Mart, they have packages of several different products with bonus backs attached.  These bonus packs are great to toss in your work tote or your overnight bag...you never know when you or a friend will be in need, and with their small size, it's easy to fit in any sort of bag.  Knowing I have a back up plan for both myself and my friends makes me confident enough to wear white jeans all the time (except after Labor Day, of course!)



With just having started my first full time job, I haven't been the most confident in my work...I never know exactly what my boss is looking for, but I'm a people pleaser, so it's hard to take criticism that could have been avoided if I had known more about the project.  Wearing an outfit that's comfortable and makes me feel confident gives me one less thing to worry about once I step into the office.  My work place is pretty casual on days when we're in the office, so a button down and white jeans or a blouse and Minnie pants is perfectly acceptable for work.  Lucky for me since those are two of my favorite go-to feel-good outfits!

What's your power confidence outfit?  A pair of white jeans?  Sassy red heels?  Or that worn in button down that's so comfortable it feels like pjs?

xoxo,
Rebecca

Thank you to Acorn Influence and U by Kotex for sponsoring this post.

Friday, August 14, 2015

New Beginnings

It feels so strange not to be writing back to school posts this year.  It's crazy to think this is my first September in over sixteen years that I won't be packing up my textbooks and walking into school for my first day.  It's been a wild past few months, between graduating, moving back home, and starting my first full time job, but that's all just part of growing up, I suppose.



Speaking of my full time job, I haven't actually addressed the topic on the blog yet.  I started working at the end of June, went on my beach vacation for a week, and then began working with a normal schedule.  It's been a whirlwind between unpacking from college and redoing my bedroom, starting work, leaving work for vacation, and coming back to work and jumping into some pretty big projects.

As for where I'm actually working and what I'm actually doing...I am working at the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra as the Advancement Coordinator.  The position is a one year contract, and then I can either see if there's a position to move up within the organization, or find something new.  The job is great because it's a mix between a little bit of development and fundraising and a little bit of marketing and social media.  It's definitely helped me to determine what I'd like to do in a future job (and hint, it's not social media!).

What have y'all been up to lately?

xoxo,
Rebecca

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Reading + $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

It seems that every summer I have these grand plans of reading tons of books...and that really usually only happens while we're on our beach vacation.  In fact, I finished five books within five days, ha!  And in the month we've been home, I've only read about five pages of a book (but I'm working on changing that!)


I highly recommend all of the books I read on vacation...they're all different genres, so there's something for everybody!  My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space and Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? are both written by the mother-daughter pair of Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.  The books are compilations of their essays that appear in the Inquirer, and they. are. hilarious.  Seriously, I was laughing through both books!

The Girl On The Train, on the other hand, is more of a thriller.  If you liked Gone Girl, you'll probably like this book!  But be warned, you don't really understand it until the end.  So don't get discouraged at the beginning when you don't really understand what's going on.

Reached is the third book in Ally Condie's Matched trilogy.  If you liked Hunger Games or any other dystopian fiction books, you might like the Matched trilogy.  They're quick reads, and you don't have to think too much, perfect for the beach!

The last book I read was The Astronaut Wives Club.  The author, Lily Koppel was at BookCon, so we we were able to meet her and pick up a signed copy of the book.  It had been on my book shelf since then, in the beginning of May.  Once the TV series came on, and I started watching it, I knew I wanted to read the book before I watched any more episodes of the show.  Overall, I liked the book...but now I'm curious as to how the show is going to go!

Interested in winning a $100 amazon gift card to pick up some summer reads for yourself?  Check out the rafflecopter below for a giveaway through my friend Kate's blog!
_________________________________________________________________


You must live in the USA and be 18 or older. A winner will be picked within 48 hours, they will be emailed, and they will have 48 hours to respond to that email to claim their prize. Don't lie about your entries; if your entry is false, you will be disqualified.
 

What books would you pick up at a $100 amazon gift card?

xoxo,
Rebecca

Monday, July 27, 2015

Explore Lancaster: Fox Meadows Creamery

Upon returning home to Lancaster County, I've sort of been on the hunt for any and all ice cream shops.  It all started with finding Penny's Ice Cream Truck downtown that serves my favorite (or at that time it was my favorite...) creamery's ice cream that recently had to shut down their retail location.  However, I had heard about an all new creamery that opened about fifteen minutes from home, and I've been dying to check it out for a couple weeks.  Just ask my parents, every few days I brought up the idea of going to Fox Meadows.

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I. Love. Ice. Cream. Cake is okay, cookies are fine, pie..ehhh, but ice cream? Yes. Please.






Fox Meadows Creamery had so many unique flavors when we visited...such as chocolate sriracha, honeyed lavender, salted pretzel caramel, nutella, and chocolate-covered applewood bacon.  Luckily, the offer a sampler platter of 4 mini scoops, which I'm definitely going to take advantage of next time!  This time, I settled for one scoop of birthday cake and one scoop of nutella.

As if the flavors weren't enough enticement, all of their flavors have no artificial flavors, artificial colors, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup...so you can sort of feel like you're making a good choice in the realm of ice cream!

If you're ever in the Lancaster area, I would 100% recommend Fox Meadows Creamery.  The scoops were generous, and the prices were more than fair.

xoxo,
Rebecca

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photo Diary: A Day in Cape May

Cape May, New Jersey
July 7, 2015








If you follow me on instagram, you probably already know that we spent last week down the shore.  We rent a house on the bay side of Cape May with perks such as empty beaches, and up until June 28th, you were allowed to bring dogs on the beach.  After a long morning/afternoon in the sun, my mom, sister, and I usually liked heading into "downtown" Cape May to do a little shopping or eating.

Unfortunately, now we're back to the real world and work, but I'm savoring the moments of vacation through this photos...take me back down the shore!

xoxo,
Rebecca

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Golden Hour

When you're at the beach, and you have a beach themed Lilly dress, it's like there's some kind of unwritten rule that you have to wait for the golden hour and take pics....right?  Oh, and this dress is called the Mills Maxi...so it was like Lilly P was begging me to buy it since it's my last name and all?







(Alice couldn't help but join in...she tried her paw at modeling on the jetty last night!)


xoxo,
Rebecca

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July, y'all!

Happy 4th of July, y'all!  
Hope you're able to spend some time in the sun, dig your toes in the sand, and relax!










xoxo,
Rebecca