All about the Fridays…

Oh, hey Friday Lovers.

Uno. Kate Spade Raffle. Do not miss it. Do not. Do not. IMG_8146

Due. I now match desserts to outfits. I am considering hastagging this and also getting a patent or whatever it is that people do and then I am going to become famous for being the genius girl who matches desserts to clothing. Just so ya know.

justdessertsTre. Do not forget this post because there is a coupon once you click the link and scroll down. I didn’t design that web page but you gotta scroll down.

Quattro. Discount codes for any sponsorships. ANY. Use ballerina for 20% off. It’s looking to be a banner month.  A banner month. And if the spot is taken, just use the code anyway and we’ll get you in for the next month.

Cinque. I speak Italian. Did you know? But really I want to say Mille Grazie to so many people. I can’t even tell you who these people are because, well…I have to protect them from other certain people.  (I am not in the CIA.) Which is fine. But someday, the truth will come out and it will set us freeeeeeee.IMG_8127Two seconds before I set the desserts and her present down I realized my beloved Moroccon poof which has not been sat on or touched has a whole in it. So that was awesome.

Linking up with Karli.


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Near and Far Montana.

I didn’t discover I was an adventurer until I realized I never wanted to settle or regret later in life. That makes taking leaps a whole lot easier. What I have also come to realize is that adventurers need one another; we need to remind one another that there is no scarier thing than the chances we don’t take. Or something more poetic to cross stitch on a pillow. That’s why I like Jenn and love her story.

41112_759708086756_3914164_n (1)About a year ago, girlfriend packed up her car and drove from her life in Virginia to a home with land (not just a yard, but laaaaand) in the great state of Montana with her boyfriend and her dogbaby. Little did she know that a year later, her roots would be sunk so deep that chickens she would eventually buy and the coop she would eventually build would yield four eggs. As she crouched around the coup, gathering these eggs like surprising treasures, she may have considered how far she’s come in this particular adventure.

grinnellglacierhike1Normally, I would put this in my own words but Jenn is a writer and so…Her words are perfect in and of themselves. I wanted to know where her fascination with Montana began because in reading her bio, she’s always imagined herself there–a place that is quite different from Virginia, where she came. Jenn told me, “My interest in Montana started around my senior year of college. I lived in Virginia at the time and though we’d moved all over the country for my dad’s military career, I didn’t know much of anything about Montana. I’d been poking around for journalism jobs and internships and while reading the Economist one day (I used to try really hard to read that magazine regularly, but admit it was often a struggle) I found an article about how 10 of the 20 poorest counties in America were in Montana. In my logic, I decided that meant there were tons of stories to be told and probably less people wanting to move there for a journalism job, so I applied to several Montana newspapers. And so began my fascination, though none of the jobs worked out at the time and I found myself working for a paper in Alabama. That’s where I met the military boyfriend. We broke up for a time, but when we reconnected, he was stationed at the base in Montana and I came to visit from D.C. throughout our first year back together and I was hooked. “

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If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you know I tell the truth about things, including adventures. Yes, she lives here, where there are literally picture perfect moments:

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But there are also difficult moments in adventures, some things we plan on and some things we didn’t seen coming. Jenn says that moving cross country this time was tough, even though she’s done it before (um…I can relate with that so much right now). She was also making this move with a boy, which let’s be honest, changes everything. She was starting over in terms of career and just a way of life. I don’t think she ever crouched in a chicken coup in Virginia.

But.

Now, she has a home, with land. She’s starting fresh (and eating fresh eggs). She is creating a life with this boy and their dog and doing all sorts of things that she couldn’t do in Virginia. As Jenn told me, “They aren’t kidding when they call this Big Sky country.”1467411_10100152640713899_1981111669_n (1)

Read this girl’s blog. Because she is willing to leap. Because she is willing to start over. Because she is willing to laugh at herself crouched in a chicken coup. For all these reasons and more, read Jenn’s blog.
P.S. Don’t forge the Kate Spade Raffle.

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Let’s be Frank…Check out Jenni’s blog!

Don’t forget the Kate Spade raffle.

Instagram Lately.

lately1 | Chicago. You are a stunner.

2  Matching food to my outfits. My new hobby. Just Kidding. I mostly match food to what I am hungry for. (loft dress here)

3 | Delicious coffee. Not as good as Italy. Never as good. But better than Starbucks. And I say that knowing I can’t wait for my Pumpkin Spice Latte. What outfit should I match to that?

4 | Pop it like pink champagne, folks.

5 | This was on my Christmas list last year. I love The Everygirl and everything they do. But this is something that I have had in my heart since I was a little girl. And now it is immortalized in a quote, soon to be on my wall.

6 | Leopard love. (here)

7 | The best shoes ever. On sale still. Seriously my favorites because they elevate every outfit and yet I can walk out of this city. (shoes here) You will not regret them. If you do, I don’t even know what to say.

8 | Matching my food to my outfit again. Look at me go.

9 | Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

Follow me on Instagram here.

When things are hard, I sometimes try to keep words sparse as to keep myself out of trouble. Use the code ballerina to get 20% off any sponsor spot. And don’t forget the Kate Spade Raffle.

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Let’s be Frank…Check out Jenni’s blog!

Don’t forget the Kate Spade raffle.

Faithfully.

IMG_8037I read a lot of blogs because I think that is part of being a blogger and it is so easy to read these blogs (mine included) and think that life is as close to perfect as it can get, the life is purely sweet for some people. I know that a lot of the time I leave out the bitter (because life is always both bitter and sweet) out of respect for others and because I like to think and pray long and hard about things I say here. The internet is forever. But let me be a little transparent here, for right now, beneath this lovely and sweet photograph of French pastries: life has not been easy lately. 

That’s actually an understatement: things are tough. I covet your prayers. I am trying to hold fast to the promise in Hebrews: that “He who promised is faithful.” I fail. I fail a lot. People around me fail too. Circumstances fail. Ikea furniture fails. But Jesus does not. Jesus makes us a lot of promises out of His grace and mercy and He who promises is faithful. He does not fail.

And so.

There’s that.

There’s that and I’m walking the walk (making hard choices) and I am believing, despite how hard it is, that He who promised is faithful, knowing that I am doing the right thing.

Don’t believe the hype. Life is never all sweet. Even chocolate has some bitterness to it.

Love,

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Let’s be Frank…Check out Jenni’s blog!

Don’t forget the Kate Spade raffle.

August is for Lovers (and Kate Spade) + Discount Code

This raffle would not have been possible without these darling ladies and also, of course, you know, our friend–Kate Spade. It’s not secret that I have deep love for Kate and for her font. And also for most things she makes and this month, I want to make sure one of you get some of her earrings in her hands, er…ears. What do you say?  They are so delicate and beautiful that they can be worn with anything. They remind me of little ballerina dancers. Is that weird? It probably is but right now I am sitting in my apartment filled to the brink of Ikea-ness and looking at these little ballerina earrings makes me happy (I promise on my honor I never tried them on) and they come with this adorable Kate Spade box (Girl knows her branding!). So get to it.katespade

Frankly My Dear | Port City Prescription
Beautiful Things | Flowers in my Hair
Near and Far MontanaBaby Got B.A.
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must be able to provide a US address so even if you live in Australia, let’s say, if you have relatives who love you and send care packages, feel free to enter
Do you want to be a sponsor? Be featured here on this blog post and be a part of the optional raffle? Well, I would love to have you and here is a 20% off discount code just because. It is: ballerina and you can use it here.
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I want to get away…I want to fly.

A little known fact. I happen to love weekender bags. I have been in love with this vegan bag from Sole Society since Heather showed it to me. Sometimes I want to flick Heather in the forehead (or maybe my bank account wants to do that) but mostly I want to hug her.

I  think I love weekender bags so much because I love the idea of a weekend away…the idea of being the type of girl who can jet set and organize her packing into one perfect little carry on. And you all know I love camel colored anything. Plus free shipping and a sale. Can I get an amen?

Do you want to flick me in the forehead now? Or just Heather? ;)
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On Friday.

Well, helllllllooooooooo Friday.

I am excited for this weekend for many reason. Many, many, many reasons.

I love this. Do you?brave

via
Read this. And also this. You will not regret it. And I did not write either. But I have lived it. And maybe I learn to be brave enough to be free and to tell.

Thanks to Chili’s for this.

Linking up with Karli.

I made it. What. do. you. know.

 
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Let’s be Frank…Check out Jenni’s blog!

Jenni’s Firecracker Cookies. Seriously Yum.

Hi, loves! Jenni’s graciously taking over today:


Hello to my new flowery friends!! 
My name is Jenni and I blog over Frankly My Dear…! I am so excited to be here with you today & can’t wait to share a yummy dessert! If you haven’t ever dropped by my blog, I’d love for you to stop in & say hello!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of August & summer is almost over. The days are getting shorter & soon the temperatures will be dropping too. But before we get too carried away, we have one last summer holiday to celebrate – Labor Day!

Every year, on the first Monday in September, we pause our hectic work schedules to squeeze in one last BBQ or summer get together before Fall sets in. 

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite summer party favorites so you can go out with one last bang! 

 If you’re curious what firecracker cookies are like, imagine cake meets cookie…with sprinkles! You won’t want to eat just one, trust me!!

Ingredients

1 french
vanilla cake mix
1 tsp baking
powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable
oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
extract
1 Cup Red, White, & Blue sprinkles
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the cake mix & baking powder in a large mixing bowl. 
In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil, & vanilla.
Combine both mixtures & stir in sprinkles. 
Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet & bake for 10 minutes.
 
 
Remove from oven & allow to cool on a cookie sheet.
These sweet little treats are sure to bring a smile to you & your guests!
I am so thankful Nina allowed me to hang out here today & hope to see you over on the blog soon! Here’s to enjoying our last few weeks of summer…Cheers, friends!

Frankly my dear…baby you’re a firework!

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Deliciously Easy. And did I mention bold?

IMG_8016Truth: I am a nomad. Yes, I am finally in the apartment I will be in for the next 13 months but man, two moves across the country in two years, plus this weird in between time in summer, plus moving into my Chicago apartment equals paper plates. I found all my kitchen stuff this weekend packed away and am in the process of washing it…So when I had the chance to taste Chili’s microwavable dinner things (I am so on my game with the naming of things), I was pretty pumped. Because I didn’t even need to waste a paper plate! (How lazy am I? Also, you try moving, working, and writing a blog at the same time. Ha.)

In college, to treat ourselves, Chelsea and I would go to Chili’s and basically make a meal out of their chips and queso (their queso has meat in it and is so, so, so good). We would literally take our fingers and put them in the bowl to make sure we got the the last drop. I mean, covertly and with manners, obviously. So I was very excited. Also I have a coupon for you here, just scroll down to the bottom of the page.

I tried two meals and I made one in the micro one night and one in the oven the other:IMG_7990They were both really good. I say this with no compulsion because let me just write Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese and then you can try to tell me that it wasn’t delicious. Or Chicken Bacon Ranch? You can’t.  So I knew they were going to be good but would they be up to Chili’s lick the bowl level of goodness?

Pretty close. All the different meals and options (and there are a ton) vary in calories which is nice. And the convenience. Remember when I told you about having none of my kitchen stuff? IMG_7997Here it is frozen. You peel the plastic back a little, and pop it in the oven. So easy I could do it with not even a spoon in my apartment at the time.IMG_8003I put it in the oven (in this case) but I tried the micro for the other and it came out looking like the picture I started the post with, you know the one that made your mouth water upon seeing it? Also, can we just talk about how I did not even put this on a paper plate. I ate directly out of this red Chili’s container with my plastic fork because I am civilized like that.

Here’s the other Chili’s meal post “cooking”:IMG_8030Yum right? No matter what I don’t lie to you guys. I actually really enjoyed these dinners both nights and even though I have all my kitchen things now and even made some baked goods from scratch recently, I am going to go get a few more Chili meals and put them in frozen for nights when I want something deliciously easy.

Ya feel me?

P.S. There are multi-serve options too. As in, serves more than one person.
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Thanks to Chili’s for making these easy to make, easy to eat meals and for letting me write an honest blog post, not only about how I licked the queso bowl, but about your dinners.

Bedroom Reveal (ish).

IMG_7959I know I promised you a bedroom reveal but really it is more of a bed reveal (the entirety will come later…when it is done) which may not be a big deal to you…but my bed is probably the where I put the most time and effort (besides where my books will live) and that is because I have an illness that results in chronic pain every day. The reason I don’t talk about it here is because of my job or future employers. It is very much under control and doesn’t affect my work but I never want anyone to think that it does affect it because it just doesn’t (I don’t know how many ways to say that but please email me one on one if you have questions). So because of my every day aches and pains, I put a lot of thought into my bed because I consider it to be a little sanctuary in the busyness of city life. It’s the first part of the apartment that is complete. And it has always been this way for me.beddingSo here we go. This apartment is going to be filled with white. White everywhere. It is a bit dangerous but we are going there. Hints of gray and black will make an appearance as well as metallics. But I am not worried about the white being too stark. It makes the place look bigger and I think, with those other colors, warmer actually.IMG_7951I’m kind of obsessed with this rug (overstock) and the placement of the bed may change now that I found a couch (um…Home Goods $200…and it is amazing). IMG_7881Just another picture of the rug because I love it so much. It may be hard to vacuum though. We will see. These shoes are amazing. I walk comfortably all over the city with them, they are on sale, and come in many colors. Just sayin’. Check them out hereIMG_7964Let me give you the real deal on the Anthro bedding. I like it. I am glad I got it on sale. Unfortunately, this bedding is sold out and no longer on sale. But that is something similar. It is so luxurious, really. The throw is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and those pillows? Aren’t they so lovely? They are from a shop called Belquist and handmade. Love. Them.IMG_7953This weekend and yesterday were hard and awful for a lot of reasons. And when I have a hard or awful day (or both), I count myself fortunate to rest my weary limbs on this bed which serves the purpose I set for it: a sanctuary. Not a hiding place. But somewhere to rest and wake up to the new day and experience His new mercies every morning. I’m really happy with it. Minus the wall behind it which is why I may be changing things with the couch. And you know, I will be hanging things. Maybe even my deer. I’ll be even happier when the replacement for my desk arrives (the original was damaged) so I don’t have to type this in bed or do things like this:IMG_7974

Purse (here) | Phone case (here on sale as I write this)
So there it is. My grown up sanctuary. When I get things on the wall and finish “the bedroom” I will give you another update. In the meanwhile, I am unpacking boxes. I am almost done with the kitchen. Grin. And I’ve used it to make some home made treats. So there’s that.
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