This Dress Is Not a Muumuu

cardi: hand-me-down // dress: thrifted // belt: f21
shoes: target
I kind of love this dress. 
It has about as much shape as a paper bag, and the material bunches up awkwardly when I stick a belt on it, but that embroidery...I die. The embroidery makes it all worth it.

In other news, I've made the important decision that when I have my own house, I will never have plants in it - real or fake. Dusting hundreds of individual fake leaves yesterday put me off houseplants forever.
linking up with Sunday Style


5 Down, Tons to Go...

There are now 270 days until graduation, which I'm sure will go by way too fast.

As much as I may not love school itself, I love learning. So that's going to be my focus this year, and I will work hard for the sake of that love.

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Addictions// see this post

Bed Size// XL twin. I used to have a queen, but it had to go. [sad face]

Chore you hate// I actually really like cleaning...I guess my least favorite chore would be scrubbing the floor. It hurts my knees!

This picture's image number was my birth year. So I figured that was a sign, and I should use it for this post.
Dogs or cats// Dogs scare me to death and I'm ridiculously allergic to cats. But every once in a while, I find a dog I can fall in love with, so I'll go with dogs.

Essential start of your day// Food. Oh, and prayer. But mainly food.

Favorite color// I rotate between various happy colors, but I always come back to blue. Orange is a close second, though.

Gold or silver// Gold, definitely.

Height// Between 5'6'' and 5'7''. It depends on the day.

Instruments you play// Piano, Clarinet, and Organ. I kinda sing sometimes. And I can play a mad "Hot Cross Buns" on the trumpet.

Jam flavor// Pomegranate. Hands down.

Kids// Currently, none. One day, lots. I'm hoping for 8 right now. We'll see how much that changes after the first few...

Live// Sunny California! Valley girl through and through.

Monopoly piece//The top hat. I have a special place in my heart for top hats.

Nickname// I don't really have one...not much you can do with "Niamh".

Overnight hospital stays// None as of yet, thank goodness.

Pet peeve// Hyper-sensitivity in people. Like, when they get offended over anything and everything. I'm finding myself having a very low tolerance for that lately. Oh, and when people don't use their blinkers.

Quote from a movie// "Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it." (We Bought a Zoo)

Right- or left-handed// I'm a rightie.

Siblings// Five, all younger - two girls (twinsies, the lucky ducks!) and three boys.

Time you wake up// It really depends on how much schoolwork I need to get done that morning. My alarn is usually set for 3:20 am during the school year, but it's not uncommon for me to sleep in until 6:00 am or later. It's pretty bad. During the summer, I'll generally be up by 8 at the latest.

Underwear// Honestly, whatever's cheap.

Vegetables you dislike// Peas. Yuck.

What makes you late// Sleeping. I do far too much of it. And having nothing to wear. #firstworldproblems

X-rays you've had// Plenty on my teeth. When I was in first grade I had to get x-rays on my stomach. I don't remember why. I think there was a rash involved, but that doesn't really seem to connect. I had an MRI on my knee once, too.

Zoo animal//If they had hedgehogs at the zoo, that'd be it. Since they don't (not at my zoo, anyway), I'll go with the fennec fox!

P.S. Inspiration for this post here

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Addicted Lately

This is a picture of me at the beach from last week. It has nothing to do with the post, but aren't we cute?
My boards were rapidly growing for a few weeks...and then they were rapidly shrinking....and now I'm going crazy again. 
Two reasons for the shrinking:
1 // When I'm in a pinning frenzy, I pin a lot of stuff that I'm not actually as 
crazy about the next day as I am in the moment.  
You Don't Own on Your Blog. Now I'm paranoid. And concerned with doing the right thing,
but mainly paranoid.So I'm going through my Pinterest boards making sure everything is linked
to the original source, and I'm obeying their copyright laws...and I did that before I changed all the
pictures on my blog because it seemed less overwhelming. But now that I actually think about it, I
only have 150-ish posts, but hundreds of pins...so I don't know where that reasoning came from. I
guess I'll start with the blog before I do any more pins...silly me.

Looove it. 'Nuff said.

I've had to start reading for school rather than my own entertainment, but that's better than nothing.

I do it too much. I don't do it enough. It's really becoming an issue.
For example: The other day, I needed to read a chapter in my history text book. So I sat down at 8:00 pm and read a page...and woke up at 10:00 pm. I really had to read that chapter, so I woke up way early the next morning. I sat down at about 4:20 am and read a page...and woke up at 6:15 am. I never did read that chapter.

Fool-proof for any occasion

They're not jeans, because they're too stretchy. They're not leggings, because the material is too substantial. They're not jeggings, because they don't resemble jeans at all, in appearance or texture. They're kind of just really stretchy slacks....so I dub them sleggings. And I love them.

I'm new to this, but I'm thoroughly obsessed. Not to mention extremely upset that Christopher Eccleston only got one season.

Anyone else "suffering" from any rather pleasant addictions?

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Because Sometimes Contacts Are No Fun

top: thrifted // cardi: hand-me-down // belt: thrifted // necklace: vintage
skirt: f21 // shoes: thrifted // glasses: nine west
When you've been wearing contact lenses for long enough, apparently people forget that you ever had glasses. And then they're shocked and give you lots of compliments (and the occasional "What's with the Clark Kent glasses?") when they see you in them, and it's kind of nice. 

I'm totally in love with my new glasses. It's nice to wake up and not have to worry about poking myself in the eye for the sake of being able to see. My contacts aren't going away for good, but these glasses will definitely be making more frequent appearances - especially on the sweat-pants-and-messy-bun days of finals week.
****Speaking of glasses....don't forget to enter the FIRMOO GIVEAWAY!****

Linking up with Sunday Style


That One Time I Actually Cooked the Dinners I Pinned

Actually, it was a few times. We usually don't stray far off the beaten path in terms of what we cook for dinner, so when I got put in charge of the menu for two weeks, I made sure to include some variety, courtesy of my Pinterest boards. Here are the four I remembered to take pictures of...

So maybe this one isn't actually from Pinterest, but isn't it pretty? This was my first time cooking fish, so we made it nice and simple, just adding lemon pepper and Old Bay spice, with a lemon to squeeze on top. The asparagus just has olive oil, lemon pepper, and cheddar/jack cheese. 

This was a bit of a fail {as in,70% wouldn't mind never having it again}...but hey, at least it looks pretty!

Holy cannoli, this was amazing. Next time, I'll be putting less cheese, because it got to be a bit much, but still - oh, cheesy goodness, it was delicious. 

Again with the cheese...and it was just as good. As long as you ignore the calorie intake , you can never have enough.
recipe here

Have any of you had any recent Pinterest cooking successes {or fails. Because fails are always fun.}?
Or, better yet, any to-die-for recipes to share???

Here's to a fabulous weekend!

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Dear Boys,

Dear D,

I can't really stand you at all.


to the gentleman in the blue,

you're way too cool of a guy to end up with someone who's going to mess you up as much as she will.

the girl in the gray

Dear Louis,

It's kind of annoying how I always go back to thinking that you're a pretty swell guy. But I mean ... you really are. It surprises me every time.


Dear Line-back,

I don't think you know how much some of the things you do mean to me - but they mean a lot. You're pretty cool.


Dear Taken,

It's not really fair how you're so incredibly attractive and good at everything and nice...and off-limits. And to top it all off, I actually think that you and your girlfriend are a really cute couple.


Dear Muskateer,

You were the best - thank you for going along with all of the cute stuff.


Dear Rooster,

Oy. The cockiness - it drives me insane!

Quit it, punk.

My dearest Stripling Warrior,

I'm thankful for the girls in your life that are encouraging you to keep worthy. Don't worry, I have guys that are doing the same.

All my love and then some,
Your Virtuous Woman...in training

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These PANTS.

This picture, taken two seconds before driving off, does not in any way do these pants justice. But right now I'm pretty comfortable in my yoga pants and t-shirt, and getting dressed to retake pictures isn't very high on my list of priorities. I'll showcase these pants in another post someday...but for now this will have to do.

I'm headed off to camp at the beach tomorrow! Luxury camping...with cabins and real bathrooms and cooks...the works. It's only three days, but I'm going to love every second. To be honest, my favorite part is the fact that I get to wear sweaters every day. I'm sick of this summer weather - give me autumn already!

****Don't forget to enter the FIRMOO GIVEAWAY!****

Linking up with Sunday Style


Back to Reality

Somehow, I forgot to mention that I was going to Disneyland. Which is strange, considering that I've been absolutely ecstatic about it for quite a while - but anyway, I went to Disneyland! We drove down Monday, spent all of Tuesday (from opening to closing) in the park, and came back Wednesday.

I love Disneyland. I was skipping down Main Street wide-eyed as if I'd never been there before - definitely more excited than any of the kids.

I'm not going to document the whole trip - but there's one thing I have to mention. When we were waiting in line for Indiana Jones, the ride was having technical difficulties. So we had all been stuck there for quite a while, and I'm sure a lot of people were getting impatient. A guy was exiting the ride, and when he walked by the line of people waiting, he pulled out one of those bubble-blowing machines they sell at the gift shops and sprayed a bunch of bubbles into the crowd.

And basically, that's the type of guy I want to marry.

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Finding Strength

Next week, I get to team teach a lesson to a bunch of kids ages 14-17 on "Faith in Challenging Times". We decided that the most important points we wanted the kids to get out of this topic were
1 // The gospel is the key to getting through anything,
2 // You have the gospel, therefore you CAN get through anything, and
3 // We can learn and be strengthened through our trials.

We were given the opportunity to experience mortality so that we could be tested - and often, that testing comes through trials. Everything we go through is meant to strengthen us, so that we can become more like our Heavenly Father. Leaning on Him and accepting His help is the only way we can get through our trials. The most important aspect of the trials is that we learn from them. If we can't do that, they're kind of wasted. 

I know that I need to work on developing the humility necessary to rely on God's help, and to learn whatever it is I'm meant to learn from the challenges in my life. That's the only way I'll get where I need to be. It's the only way I'll become the imperfectly perfect me I want to become.

Happy Monday, and here's to the amazing week ahead of us!

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Be sure to check out this Nautical Inspired Giveaway from The Daylee Journal, too!


Making It Up on the Spot

{Such an interesting leaf....}
top: thrifted {from the boys' section...} // skirt: thrifted //
shoes: target // necklace: earned, church

Today I gave a talk in church (Mormons do this thing where members of the congregation give little "sermons" during our meetings). I printed off my notes before we left for church and stuck them in my purse...except apparently I didn't. So I had to go up there, armed only with my scriptures and "Preach My Gospel" manual, and make it up on the spot. "Let the Holy Spirit guide", you know. And naturally, this happened on the Sunday that both the Stake President and the mission president and his wife were visiting (they're kinda a big deal, locally). 

So I guess you could say I was a bit nervous. 
Fortunately, though, it all went just fine. 

I talked about developing Christlike attributes and true conversion. The gospel wasn't made for perfect people; it's for every normal, flawed human being. God doesn't give us impossible tasks - He's given us everything we need to become like Christ, and by doing so, to become like Him. Consistency in developing these attributes leads to conversion: a change of heart, when we really only want to do good. The saying "every member a missionary" is a something we hear pretty often. I'm coining a new phrase, though: "Every member a convert". 

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Lena B, Actually


It's a Glasses Giveaway!

So obviously by now you've all heard about Firmoo.com.

In their words:

About Firmoo
Firmoo is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars- 80%-90% lower compared to that in local store. Furthermore, Firmoo has launched First Pair Free Program for new customers to test our products and service for free by paying shipping only.

In my words:

Guys. It's awesome.
Firmoo is basically the best thing to happen to the world since glasses became cool again. 
Which is why you should all be head-over-heels about this giveaway - FREE GLASSES, people!

Here's how it goes:

If there are less than 40 participants, TWO lucky winners will be receiving the frames of their choice (not including shipping) off of the Classic Series page (the most popular glasses on the site). And if there are more than 40 participants, a THIRD winner will receive an ENTIRELY FREE (shipping and all!) pair of glasses!
The giveaway closes on August 10th.

Let's go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Week in Review

1 // On Monday, I walked dogs. I have this awful fear of dogs, so that was pretty huge step for me. And the best part is - they didn't even try to kill me!

2 // Kenny Chesney was in town for a concert on Wednesday! And a local radio station was throwing a pre-party, with performances by Kenny and a local country group called Leaving Austin (they were on America's Got Talent a while ago). Except there wasn't really a performance by Kenny. The advertising was misleading! Or maybe it wasn't and I just assumed Kenny would be there so that's what I told everyone... Fortunately, I can write it off as a blonde moment and no one questions it. A couple friends and I showed up 3 hours early to make sure we got spots (when Hunter Hayes came, the bar was packed!). We probably should have taken the fact that the bar was still practically empty an hour before the show as a sign Kenny wasn't actually performing...but we remained blindly optimistic. Leaving Austin was still good though! They had a lot of great covers, and I loved their original songs. I can't wait for them to get big!
Oh, and one of the workers at the restaurant bar ended up giving us our drinks for free, so that was kind of awesome.

3 // "Speed-dating" with the Chinese students was just as fun as it promised to be! Between the guy who refused to tell me his American name, trying to get me to say {more like butcher} his Chinese name instead, and the guy talking about his three girlfriends, there were a lot of laughs.

4 // Obviously the Royal Baby was a highlight - adorable!

5 // Hold the phone - I have a snapback. And that pretty much completes my wardrobe. I should be giving it a makeover soon...so check back for that sometime next week!

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Tourists and a Grandma Skirt

top/undershirt: thrifted // skirt: thrifted, vintage // shoes: target
First of all, I'd just like to preface this by saying that taking pictures in the garage seemed like a good idea at the time. In my head, the lighting was much better. Also, a laughing amateur photographer means blurry pictures. But I really like this skirt, so the pictures get posted anyway. The skirt has this great paisley pattern - and POCKETS. Score! It reminds me of something someone's grandmother would wear...and apparently in my book, that's a good thing.

 Second of all, are Google Reader and GFC not the same thing? 
Because I assumed Google Reader was the list of posts that show up on my Blogger homepage. But Google Reader died this month (unless it didn't), and the list of posts is still there. If anybody would care to, I'd love an explanation of what this Google Reader is. Or was. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Earlier this week, I had the chance to give a campus tour to a group of Chinese students who are visiting California. Personally, I think this is a strange city to choose to spend so much time in if you're visiting from that far away. I mean, they could be on the coast - but no, they're in the Central Valley. The hot, sweaty armpit of the Golden State. Anyways, that was a pretty interesting experience. They were not shy at all. They were totally comfortable asking us questions, even with their limited English. They had no problem asking to take picture after picture with us. I'd be too shy to do that if I were visiting another state, let alone another country! We're getting together again tomorrow for ice cream and "speed dating" to help them practice their English...and after how entertaining the tour was, I can't wait for tomorrow.


FYI; Also, My Heels Are High

top: thrifted // necklace: earned, church /
dress&belt: f21 // shoes: target

Look at me, trying to be a fashion blogger...yeah, this is why I'm a lifestyle blogger instead.

In other news, I'm off to camp for the next week! I'll be off in the woods without any technology. Not that me taking long breaks from blogging is anything unusual {as of this year, anyway}, I just thought I'd let y'all know. 

So here's to an amazing week for everyone, and a happy Fourth of July!



Friday I'm in Love

1//We made homemade bagels earlier this week. Slightly misshapen, but delicious nonetheless!
2//I sewed a pretty amazing cape as a favor for a skit.

3//Aren't they adorable? I get to go to the church Girl's Camp as a leader this year, which means I'm in charge of decorating the cabin for my girls. We're the "Emerald Sea Turtles", so I made enough turtles to almost make me sick of them.
4//I spent a day at the lake, crossing "kayaking" off of this year's bucket list! And, as an extra bonus, I finally got rid of the tan line from my running shorts. #success

 5//I downloaded GIMP (because it's free), and thus far I've managed to turn a nice photo into this beaut^.
This is what we call progress, people.

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