summer reading list: blog post edition.

currently, i’m stuck in bed & very ill. booooo. i mean, it’s summer! nothing is worse than spending a sunny day indoors, sniffling your brains out. alas, i knew it would happen sooner or later, so i’m maximizing my time in bed by collecting an inspiring list of blog posts to read. i truly want to read & absorb as much as i can during my summer break, & i hope you don’t mind me sharing a few of the articles i have been enjoying today::

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#1: 7 ways to add wellness into your life. (because im addicted)

first off, since i do happen to be ill, i thought it would be nice to read about wellness. this post outlines one wellness tip for each day of the week, including drinking water with lemon in the morning & adapting the habit of skin brushing! give it a read for a quick insight on some easy ways to tackle a healthy lifestyle.

 

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#2: little tips to help you learn how to love yourself. (career girl daily)

so we’ve talked about physical wellness, but let’s not forget emotional wellness. i’m a huge advocate toward loving yourself, & this post does the subject justice. again, it’s just a quick little read that spells out simple tips to help you love who you are. from being patient with yourself to eliminating toxic people out of your life, all these tips are truly important & tips that i personally follow! give it a read & love yourself a little more.

 

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#3: 10 powerful mantras to stop the drama in your life. (marc & angel, hack life)

unfortunately, i do have a life that is riddled in drama & dramatic individuals. the important thing to note about drama is that it is unnecessary & avoidable. in some instances, i allow myself to become upset when i am mistreated over & again, when i could be more mindful & avoid such pain. in other instances, people mislabel valid distressing situations as drama. my point? drama is hard to navigate. however, i think these tips & 10 mantras in this article are very helpful. we cannot control how others treat us or how others act, but we can control our response. if everyone would take these mantras into account, the world would be a much better place.

 

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#4: fragrance free + a perfume DIY. (free people blog)

now, i love perfume. but this is an interesting read. i’m hoping my parents never get a hold of this article, because they’ll go cold turkey crazy… but i think i can trust you guys with it. this article talks about the chemicals that exist in our fragrances today. of course, some perfumes are worse than others, & i’m not suggesting you to throw away all of your expensive perfumes. however, they do provide a quaint little DIY on how to create your own chemical free fragrance. it’s something to think about, especially if you are trying to detoxify your life. as she mentioned, taking away fragranced cleaning products is another way to minimize the toxins in your home. perhaps some day i will make my own scent!

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#5: how to get out of a creative rut. (a pair & a spare)

this post, written especially for bloggers & creatives, spells out some helpful hints on how to get out of that frustrating creative rut we all face now & again. as much as i can be a messy person, cleansing my creative space is always my way of pushing through a creative stand still. she also talks about creating something for yourself, seeking out new venues of inspiration, disconnecting from all the hullabaloo, & getting some beauty sleep. a great read if you can’t seem to push through your own creative rut!

 


 

& that’s all folks!

let me know if you’d like me to share any other articles with y’all,

cause i really enjoyed putting this post together.

enjoy your summer!

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my top 5 favorite youtubers.

hello lovelies!

so today we’re gonna talk about a big part of my life that you maybe wouldn’t expect… it’s youtube! now let me explain:: as i’ve talked about before on this channel, i suffer from really bad anxiety & panic attacks. & a lot of the time, it’s triggered by unfamiliarity or things i can’t control. i also struggle with depression, usually in relation to my chronic illness. so the worse i’m doing physically, the worse i’m doing emotionally.

now, way back when youtube started, i was never really into it. i’d use it to listen to music mostly, or watch viral videos like “charlie bit me” etc. but when i was in high school, i found a youtuber named Bunny (youtube handle is grav3yardgirl), & that’s where my journey started. once i subscribed to her, i started finding other youtubers i really liked & whose messages i really connected to. i found that when i was having an anxious period & needed to focus on something & calm down, watching youtube videos helped me. i found that keeping up with daily vlogs helped me stay hopeful & not get too depressed. somehow, youtube has really helped me through some tough times. while i’m now subscribed to maybe 50 different channels, i still have my particular favorites that give me extra excitement & joy when they upload new videos.

all that being said, i thought today i would share with you my current top 5 favorite youtube channels! in no particular order, let’s get started:

 

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zoellafirst let’s talk about zoe sugg!! zoe is a youtuber from the UK, who’s channel focuses on beauty & lifestyle type videos. she’s one of the original people i followed, & i must admit her channel has grown drastically since! she has easily become one of the most widely known beauty & fashion icons in the UK, having released a beauty range of her own, 3 of her own fiction novels, a lifestyle blog, & having reached over 10 million subscribers. i’ll admit, i actually miss it when her channel wasn’t so huge! just like me, zoe suffers from anxiety & panic attacks, so it was always nice to watch someone who suffers like i do succeed as largely as she is. my favorite part of watching zoe is when she logs during christmas! i have never known anyone who loves christmas as much as she, & her videos are the most festive you’ll ever see. she’s just a great role model & a great youtuber, & deserves every single subscriber she has!

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bree kish: next is bree kish! i actually haven’t even been subscribed to bree for that long, but it didn’t even take a day for me to realize i loved her channel. bree happens to be a professional model that i’ve seen in different stores & advertisements, but had no idea she had her own youtube channel. i’ve been really ill lately & have been watching disney themed videos to cheer myself up, & stumbled across one of her disney videos. i immediately fell in love. not only is bree drop dead gorgeous & films lots of disney videos to fill the void in my soul, but she has the brightest smile you’ve ever seen. & it’s contagious. you really can’t be sad while you watch her videos. i just really appreciate the happy vibes & fun spirit she has going with her channel. even though i just recently subscribed, she’s a definite favorite!

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the sacconejoly’s: now let’s talk about the adorable daily vlogging family that is the sacconejoly family. i must admit i’m watching their vlogs right this second in the background while i write this post! the sacconejolys include Jonathan & Anna, & their adorable kids Emilia & Eduardo. oh, & their six maltese dogs, Albi, Sina, Theo, Biana, Nivea, and Nuvola. they are the most precious family, i swear. they really inspire me to make a vlogging channel someday, because they get to capture the sweet moments of their babies growing up! i mean, just look at them, they’re ADORABLE::

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i dearly wish my kids are this stylish someday.

basically, if you’re looking for some sweet & quite funny videos to make you happy, this channel is perfect. jonathan is so dedicated & uploads incredible quality vlogs of his every day life, & they’re so much fun to watch. he’s really been upping his creativity & editing skills lately as well, & i’m so proud of where the channel is going. it’s crazy to have the opportunity to see these kids grow up & watch their family’s every day lives! but it must be so awesome to have all these family milestones recorded. & what a treasure it’ll be for them to watch themselves back in their teen years!

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grav3yardgirl: it’s Bunny!! this is by far the youtuber that has made the biggest impact on me. honestly, when i started watching her years ago, she was also a different person. she was struggling herself with severe anxiety & depression. i started watching her videos in a time when i was also extremely depressed. watching her change has been incredible. she is now one of the biggest inspirations in my life. throughout her youtube journey, she has become such a confident & joyful person. her unique & quirky personality is my favorite, & her positive outlook is always coming across through her videos. she truly posts whatever videos she wants, from “does this thing really work” videos to “first impression fridays” to “tea vlogs” to “follow me around” videos… she truly has it all. just hearing her voice brings me so much peace because she is someone familiar that i’ve been following for years. i truly wish that someday i might have the opportunity to meet her!

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Bunny & her adorable partner referred to as “Dogman” live in texas, & constantly remind their following that it’s okay to be who you are. it’s okay to wear lots of makeup or none at all. it’s okay to play with toys as an adult, & it’s okay to tackle serious conversations as a child. it’s okay to suffer, & it’s okay to ask for help. Bunny is honestly the cutest, quirkiest, most delightful youtube personality i’ve ever watched, & her videos bring me so much joy. any time i’m feeling anxious, i know one of her videos will without fail help me calm down & put a smile on my face. love love love.

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the michalaks: & last but not least, the michalaks!! i just recently followed this channel in the last couple months & have been so shocked with the quality of footage they put out every week. stefan, hannah, & their little boy grayson are the cutest little family. they record weekly “family diaries”, which basically means they vlog every day & then combine all the footage into one video that they release on sundays. now, i’m not even joking when i say that they’re videos are better than some MOVIES i’ve watched in terms of cinematography. watch this video & you’ll see what i’m talking about. it’s incredible. in such a sweet way, stefan & hannah remind me of the love bug & i. they’re sweet little busy life in london is a joy to keep up with, as well as watching little grayson grow up! if you love awesome, & i mean aaaaawesome cinematography & gorgeous shots, as well as cute little families, this channel is a must! i’m so glad i discovered them.


 

that’s about it guys! my top 5 favorite youtubers at the moment. if you guys have any favorites, please comment them below. i love getting introduced to new youtube channels & discovering awesome videos. in fact, i kind of hope to have my own youtube channel coming up soon! what do you guys think??

i hope you’re all doing swimmingly & enjoying life to the fullest.

hugs & love,

meredith.

i’d like to thank pizza.

pizza, your emotional support throughout the years is one of the biggest reasons i’ve made it to where i am today… pleasantly plump & participating in the oscars only by watching it on television.

ok, raise of hands, how many of you have come up with fake acceptance speeches since the oscars? no worries, it’s totally normal. cue the tears & waves to your mom in the audience. thank your puppy. relish in the fake moment… & now come back to reality, cause you’ve got a blog post to read!

today we’re gonna review the oscars & my favorite bits about it! let’s get going:

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move aside, vanity fair. my #1 in the fashion category is mah girl les-i mean amy poehler! i’m not quite sure what it is about this dress that intrigues me so much, but i’m just absolutely loving it. & amy is rocking it, per the usual.

the night before the oscars, i watched inside out with the love bug. i’m totally in love with the narrative (not to mention the characters & amount of imagination put into it). i think it’s a great movie that i’ll love to show my kids someday, because when you’re 11, you totally don’t understand what’s going on in your brain. & this movie made the experience of emotions, & even mental illness not only understandable, but also fun! i have to say, i have a lot of similarities to the character sadness, but joy totally cracks me up. amy was the perfect voice.

also, bing bong is the best. ever.

 

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lady gaga‘s performance was my favorite moment of the entire oscars. i so appreciated her using her platform to speak out (or rather sing out) about sexual assault, particularly on college campuses. the survivors on that stage including lady gaga herself were so strong & so courageous. & not only was i completely moved to tears by her message, but her performance was completely stunning & flawless as well. i truly believe she deserved the oscar. in my heart, she won. also, her pant-suit-dress won. elegant, & functional. my kinda style.

 

also, can we just talk about how so incredibly stunning chrissy teigen looked in that dress??? & just look at that precious baby bump!! ahhhh. her instagram before the oscars of her tummy was the cutest, but lets be real here. she makes pregnancy look mighty glamourous.

 

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this photo is also a lot to handle. i mean we’re talking the cutest little guy at the oscars, with my favorite star wars characters! i loved the droid moment & the show down between the giant golden oscar & C3PO. & i loved jacob tremblay’s oscar observations, including the one about how all he could see were legs for days. you stole the show, little guy.

 

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um, how sweet was that spontaneous leo & kate reunion on the red carpet? my heart just melted! but that brings us to the important stuff.. ya know, LEO WINNING AN OSCAR.

you were waiting for that, weren’t you? well, as one of his huge fans who believes he’s deserved many oscars before this one, of course i had to say something. i’m so super duper proud of leo for his oscar for an incredibly made film, & frankly even more proud of him for using his acceptance speech not for his own agenda, but to turn everyone’s attention to the seriousness of global warming. what a class act. round of applause & standing ovation for one of the best actors out there!

 

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oh, & on a final note? you can click here to head over to buzzfeed.com, pick an emoji, & see which memorable moment from the 2016 oscars you are! just so ya know, i’m kate winslet watching leo’s acceptance speech. i agree, it was precious.


 

hope you’ve all enjoyed this oscars review! let me know in the comments below which moment was your favorite.

 

love y’all,

meredith.

light the candle, everything’s alright.

hi, i’m meredith, & i’m addicted to candles. but i swear, they provide some sort of therapeutic comfort for my soul so it’s not like this addiction is a bad thing… right?

i recently bought some new candles because, little secret for you guys, for some reason every store is having candle sales. & if that isn’t the perfect cure for my bouts of depression, i don’t know what is. nothing warms my soul like a candle that smells like homebaked goodness. so i thought i’d share with you my top 7 candles at the moment, if you guys need ideas on what candles to get for yourselves. let’s get started::

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first up:: herb & irma’s lemon & olive leaf scented soy candle. dudethis candleit smells so good i could cry. i’m not huge on citrus, but i really really adore the smell of lemon. i’m obsessed with lush’s bohemian soap, & this candle smells really similar. but due to the olive leaf, it’s a little less sweet & instead has a nice floral/herbal undertone. also, i mean c’mon, this packaging. it’s precious. perfect candle for the kitchen in my opinion!

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next up:: sonoma’s balsam & oak scented candle. “winter’s aromatherapy is the relaxing experience of fresh eucalyptus, bergamot and lemon zest infused with golden oak, hinokiwood and fresh balsam. cedar wood, creamy sandalwood and vintage oak add richness.” what a description! my all-time favorite candle has been bath & body works’ fresh balsam candle, but this one may beat it out. balsam is one of my favorite scents. i don’t really know many other people who like it, but i love it. it smells like the outdoors at christmas. of course it’s a woodsy scent, but this combination of balsam & oak is a little sweeter perhaps than just the fresh balsam. i’m really liking this candle.

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in no particular order, next is:: vintage lace scented soy candle from targetthe only description given for this candle is that it has a “light, flowery fragrance”. which honestly, i don’t even think describes it. the love bug says it smells “fabric-y” & my roomie says it smells like “vanilla with a twist of lemony linen”. so. there’s that. it just smells really nice to me for some reason, even if it is a weird smell you can’t really put your finger on. plus i love the gold container it comes in!

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& now:: sonoma’s pumpkin farm scented candle. “softly spiced pumpkin and warm chestnuts combine with wild greens and sweet apple embraced by earthy patchouli, glowing amber and smooth vanilla bean.” yep, this candle is quite the combination. but if i were gonna simplify it, i would say it just smells like the holidays. it’s sweet & spicy & floral & all around yummy. it’s not really heavy on the pumpkin, it’s just enough pumpkin spice mixed with woodsy & fruity smells. i definitely may save this candle for thanksgiving, but it just smells so warm & lovely.

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announcing:: threshold’s costal tide hand-poured wax pillar candlei genuinely don’t know how to describe this scent for you people… but i basically bought it because it smells like the love bug’s aftershave. & i’m sorry, but the love bug’s aftershave smells amazing. i know i annoy the crap out of him because after he shaves i won’t leave him alone & want to smell his face a lot. i always said i would just buy myself a bottle of it so i could smell it whenever, but then i discovered this wonderful candle! so now whenever i miss this smell, i have my own coastal tide candle to smell. this is getting weird. it smells good though!

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here is:: sonoma’s pumpkin pecan pie scented candle“the rich, authentic aroma of freshly made pumpkin pecan pie is captured in this mouthwatering blend of sweet mandarin, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin butter, brown sugar, and vanilla bean.” so this is one of the sweetest smelling candles i’ve ever smelled! but it’s absolutely wonderful. now, i don’t know that i ever knew pumpkin pecan pie existed? i mean i know pumpkin pie exists, and pecan pie exists, but the two together? hmph. never had it. but, the candle smells like caramel & sugar & pies & homebaked goodies & candy. it’s sweet & delightful.

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& last but not least:: signature soy’s coconut cake scented soy candle. i absolutely love coconut & the smell of it as well. this little candle packs a punch. it smells like the most deletable coconut cream cake you’ve ever had. you can even smell the toasted coconut on top, it’s like magic. it’s not sickeningly sweet but has just enough creamy goodness to entice you. perfect for a warm bath & some chocolates. (now i want some coconut cake…)


 

& those are my top 7 of the moment! do any of y’all love candles? if so, what are your favorite scents? do you tend to like the sweeter scents, or the more floral smells? let me know in the comments!

 

hope you’re all doing well.

much love,

meredith.

homeware haul.

before i start the post, want to say a little thank you to the well wishes i received after last blog post. i’m so thankful for our tiny community. bless you all! now let’s get to blogging:


so, i have an obsession with homeware. only problem? i don’t have a home. i mean, there’s my parent’s place & my quaint dorm room, it’s not like i don’t have a place to abide. i just mean i don’t have my own house to fill with my own items of my choosing. does that stop me from buying all the cute homeware i see? the answer would be nope-ity nope. but hey, that’s good for y’all, cause that means you get a blog post displaying all my pre-maturely bought homeware items!! woohoo!

please tell me i’m not the only one who collects homeware for their future home… homeware addicts anonymous? anyone?

i suppose there is a great comfort in knowing i’ll have everything we’ll need when we start our homely home in the future. well, not everything. because the love bug did encourage me to refrain from buying the copper bowl set & wooden utensils i saw this past week… guess we’ll just get those later! for now, i’ll just show ya my favorite homeware items i’ve allowed myself to purchase so far.

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i’m going to refrain from typing in all capital letters right now, because this is probably my most favorite purchase. if you know me, you know i have a profound obsession with marble. it manifested when i began studying it in art history, & now i want everything i own to be white marble. i also love anything wooden, so the combination of the two on a cheese plate made me so elated. i grabbed it for 3 bucks at tjmaxx, & when i went to the checkout, the lady looked at me & asked “so what exactly is this even for?” i just chucked & said, lady, it’s marble & wood, so i’m just buying it cause it’s pretty.

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but seriously just look at it!!! it’s gorgeous!!! gimme some cheese, cause i got a pretty cheese plate!

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next up, this copper moscow mule mug. i’ve been wanting one for the longest time. i have a new obsession with copper, & i absolutely adore hammered metal. i just think this mug is so elegant. they’re usually pretty expensive, but my best friend michaels was having a sale so i got this for a reasonable price. some day when i have some amount of money more than i have now, i’ll buy myself an entire set & drink my coffee feelin’ fancy.

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i don’t know if this really counts as homeware, but i wanted to show you anyway. i grabbed this from tuesday morning, (a store that is so dangerous to me because i want to purchase everything) & i love it. i think it’s technically a jewelry case? but i’m probably just going to use it for knick knacks. i bought it not only because i love the type & the ampersand, but because i have a love for the word baubles. ever since i was little i’ve had this adoration of the UK. & when you combine the fact that i spend most of my free time watching british youtubers or british television, & the fact that my bestest gal pal now lives in the UK, i’m like a pro in british-speak. i have a list of everything i love that they say, including calling trash cans “rubbish bins”, & calling christmas ornaments “baubles”. i was really thrilled over the holidays when i found a christmas elf name generator & i was named “gingerbread jinglebaubles”. doesn’t that just have the most hilarious ring to it? anywhoo. long rant, point being, i like the world baubles, so i bought this pouch.

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so i really like candles of all kind. i was walking through a store with fancy candles once, & just thought to myself… “i wish i was rich, for the sole purpose of buying a ton of fancy candles.” candles are just great. what’s also great are candle holders. this has to be the most gorgeous candle holder, but i’m not really quite sure if you’re allowed to put a real fire burning candle inside? so just in case, i bought one of those tea lights & plopped it inside.

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it’s the most gorgeous coppery blushed color. i think it’s supposed to be a lotus flower? & when the tea light is on, you can see the light flickering through the petals. it’s just so pretty. plus the love bug said he saw it used on fixer upper, aka my favorite HGTV show, so that made me love it even more. any of you guys like fixer upper?

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when i said i had a new obsession with copper, i wasn’t joking. now every time i see something copper, i want it. which is basically what happened at michaels when i saw this copper mason jar. i mean, two of my favorite things! i was like, i can’t not get this, which is totally solid logic, right?

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my future home will probably be covered in mason jars. i already have like 10 ready to go.

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last but not least, this here yellow ramekin. now, this may have been my silliest purchase because i have absolutely no idea what you use ramekins like this for? perhaps just to fill with chocolate covered coffee beans or to fill with salt or seasonings? it may even end up holding a plant or my paperclips, who knows. all i know is that it was very cute & small & yellow & very inexpensive at tuesday morning.

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so now, someday, when i have my house that i can fill with all the homeware i’ve collected, it’ll be complete with a tiny yellow ramekin. & all will be well.


 

hope you all enjoyed today’s post & let me know in the comments which homeware item was your favorite!

i also wanted to make sure y’all know where else you can find me on the interwebs. while i do have the links on the side bar of this website… just as a reminder:

i’m now on twitter!! i try & post frequently… @craftedfragment

i’m on instagram, & i posted a little video of the lotus flower from this post… @craftedfragments

i’m also on facebook & pinterest! check the sidebar for the info.

love & hugs,

meredith.

december favorites.

hello 2016!!!

how awesome is it that we’re in the new year?? i think it’s pretty great. i’m extremely thankful to have made it to 2016, & i’m incredibly excited for it as well. i think this year is going to be a good one. i’m determined to make this a happy, productive, & love-filled year. i have so many projects in mind, not only for this blog, but just even personally! i have so many things to look forward to this year. the love bug & i will hit our 1 year, i will be turning 20, i will finish up my sophomore year of university… there are holidays & landmarks & seasons i can’t wait to experience. i’m just very hopeful for 2016, & i hope you are too.

now, all that being said, we’re gonna have a little throwback here & go over my december 2015 favorites!! i’ve never done a favorites post, but they are one of my favorites to read (hah). so anyway, thought i would try it out. i only have a couple items, but they are truly epic. let’s get started!

 

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first off, my stuffed elephant engelbert! oh. my. goodness. gracious. let me tell you a thing. i love elephants so much. i just find them to be the most majestic creatures. they are emotional animals, intelligent animals, expressive animals, adorable animals, but unfortunately often mistreated animals. any video of elephant reunions or videos from elephant sanctuaries make me cry like a baby. once i saw them in real life at a zoo & i was squealing like crazy. my life dream is to be able to actually touch one & kiss its trunk & let it know that it brings me so much joy.

another life dream, was that i may have been waiting my whole life for someone to buy me an oversized stuffed animal. it was just my secret little dream in my heart. & so coming home one evening to this guy, with a sign that said “we love you, meredith” from my parents? yo. waterworks. my parents know how much i love elephants & must’ve known i had been needing a snuggle buddy to chase away the winter blues. HE IS JUST SO CUTE. & he loves cuddles. he’s the best.

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next up, my epic darth vader mug. this was a christmas gift from my darling love bug, & i absolutely adore it! darth vader is one of my favorite dark-side characters from the star wars movies. & also i collect mugs, so it’s obviously a favorite. i’ll have to drink some dark-roast coffee as i sip from this mug, heh. we can also mention how the force awakens came out in december??? it was definitely a favorite as well. we’ve already seen it twice & you betcha i’m already channeling my inner Rey on a daily basis & obsessing over BB-8. star wars is amazing.

 

 

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let’s talk about this dinosaur necklace! i got this shipped to me, & i think it’s hilariously amazing. i saw it on pinterest years ago & just always thought it would be so great to be some sort of history professor wearing a dinosaur bone necklace. i also wish i had this when i went to see the new jurassic park movie! pretty sure it’s supposed to be a t-rex, even though it looks a little wonky at times. i love it.

 

 

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coloring books are all the rave now, right? at least that’s what the lady told me when i was looking at this one. it was a gift from my mother during the holidays, & i absolutely adore it. as an art major & a lover of paris, it suits me perfectly & is said to help with stress & anxiety! this particular coloring book has so many different pages with assortments of patterns & scenery & items to color in, all themed around the elegant land of paris. i hope i get to go there some day…

 

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ok, now let’s talk about this baby. i adore youtube & video bloggers, & my youtuber of all time is Zoella! she made a favorites video a while ago, & in it mentioned this incredible, luxury hooded shimmer dressing gown from marks & spencer. honestly, i adore Zoella because her videos help me so much with my anxiety, & i truly trust her opinion when it comes to beauty recommendations or recipes or anything. i actually needed a new dressing gown (more commonly known in the US as a bath robe), because my old one was getting too small & it wasn’t very warm. i get very extremely cold due to some medical issues, so i struggle with staying warm at any given point. this dressing gown just looked so warm, it was my favorite color, & my favorite youtuber owned the same one! ugh. my heart desired it.

next thing i know, my parents bought it for me as an early birthday present! which is insane. it was definitely a splurge purchase & i am so incredibly thankful to them for it. it’s keeping me super warm & cozy… it’s like a constant hug. thank you marmee & dadee!

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i’m cracking up… i didn’t want to model it because i’m not photogenic so i put engelbert in it hahaha. doesn’t he model it well?

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& last but not least, a gift from my dadee. he just recently traveled with my older sister to mexico & he brought me back a wooden elephant! i have an elephant collection from across the world. that white elephant is one a dear friend from high school bought for me at the Taj Mahal. the little orange elephant is one of many that a friend bought for me in Africa! i have elephants from Puerto Rico, Poland, the Caribbean islands, all over the US… & i love collecting them. that way, when you travel, you know exactly what kind of souvenir you want to get. it meant so much to me that my dad thought of me & got me an elephant that is different from any other one i have in my collection, & it will remain so special to me.

 

& i suppose those are my december favorites! let me know if you like these kinds of posts… & if you want me to go about them any differently i suppose. any feedback is great! hope you are all doing well & enjoying all that 2016 has to offer so far.

love & hugs,

meredith.

 

christmas stories.

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i don’t know about you, but i grew up a complete bookworm. always had my nose in a book, maybe even 2 or 3 at once. there are many children’s stories above that i just couldn’t live without! especially those shel silverstein ones. the giving tree crushes my heart.

anyway, the love bug & i decided to go on a bookstore date & look for some good christmas stories! we found some of our old favorites, & some adorable new ones. we jumped into one of the jumbo chairs at Barnes&Noble with our huge stack of books, & started reading to each other.

as far as classics go, i think A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are brilliant. perfect for curling up with a kiddo at bedtime & reliving the good-old christmas classic stories. they’re of course short films you can always watch on the television, but personally i want my future kids to grow up reading the stories on some good old pages first. then you’ve got The Polar Express, one of my personal favorites. i do love the film more, but only because i read The Polar Express as a kid, so seeing it come to life on screen was magical.

we picked up some christmas spins on some of my favorite children’s books, including A Christmas Wish for Corduroy (a Christmas spin on one of my favorite children’s books, Corduroy), & If You Take a Mouse To the Movies (a Christmas spin on the cute book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). the love bug hadn’t heard of either one! as a kid, i loved If You Give a Pig a Pancake too. he’d also never known the story of the Nutcracker, which has always been one of my favorite Christmas tales. i make an effort to go see the play every year, & this year i hope to take the love bug since he’s never seen it before. this book by Susan Jeffers was beautifully illustrated, & told the tale quite well!

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& last but not least, look at this adorable rendition of Home Alone! it didn’t really do the story justice if you’ve never seen the film, but as an artist i just really appreciated the illustration by Kim Smith! since i’ve seen the movie hundreds of times & obviously know the plot, it was okay that about 70 percent of it was left out. the illustrations were just gorgeously done, & so adorable. i seriously wish i could’ve bought them as prints & hung them up on my wall! how cute is kevin??

anywhoozles, a bookstore date is definitely something i’d recommend. we had so much fun reading christmas tales to one another, even with the kids & employees staring at us.

what christmas tales are your favorites? any children’s books i need to add to my list? let me know in the comments!

 

hope to see you tomorrow with one of my most yummiest posts yet!

hugs & happy holidays,

meredith.

my top 5 christmas films.

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popcorn buckets ready? hot chocolate poured? pillow forts made? good. because i’m about to share with you my personal favorite, top 5 christmas films! i happen to believe that the holiday season isn’t complete without watching your favorite christmas movies. it’s part of the magic! let’s get to listing em out, in no particular order:

1. Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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as seen above on our beloved popcorn bucket, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a christmas classic that the love bug re-introduced me to! it’s just really adorable & perfect for young kids. after watching it, i couldn’t resist buying my love bug a rudolf stuffed animal, & singing “i am not just a misfit” & “we’re on the island of misfit toys” all day long. it’s my love bug’s favorite, & i definitely adore it as well.

2. Elf

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i happen to be watching this as i write! Elf may be a newer christmas movie, but no holiday season is complete without watching it at least 10 times. it has hilarious moments for the adults, & a great message for the kids. & it has Will Ferrel, so. yeah. it’s gonna make you pee your pants laughing. bye buddy, hope you find your dad!

 

3. The Polar Express

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HOT, HOT, HOT CHOCOLATE! doesn’t matter the age, you’ve got to love The Polar Express. it’s a great mix of classic & modern. it’s a spin on the children’s book, but adds many more adventures, lovable characters, & great music! i know the entire soundtrack by heart, & can pretty much quote the whole movie as it’s playing (yeah, i’m that annoying person). it’s just such a feel-good, fun, & beautifully done movie. give it a view this christmas!

4. Home Alone (1&2)

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Keviiiiiiiiiinnnn! gotta love a family friendly, slapstick comedy like the Home Alone movies. (personally, i only like the first two.) Kevin McCallister is definitely more clever & much braver than i would have been at that age, it’s truly commendable. i’ve been watching these movies for years & would recommend them time & again. they’re brilliant.

5. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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this one, i must admit, happens to be the one i was most excited to watch this year. i’m not sure if that’s because i love it so much, or because my mother loves it so much… it’s literally her all-time most favorite christmas film. & if you know my mom, you know that her laughter will bring you the biggest heap of joy that the world can offer. watching her watch this movie is probably my favorite part of the holiday season. & it’s also just a brilliant movie. it’s a live action spin on the classic cartoon version, which i recently watched & didn’t find as magical. this version just really digs deeper into the story & explores each character, which adds so much more for me. & i love jim carrey in this film because he just makes the Grinch SO HILARIOUS. almost every line has us all crying of laughter, it’s that good. i really really recommend this movie, to the christmas enthusiasts among you, & the grinches.

& here are some fun facts about my connections to this movie: my first introduction to it was when i used to live in california & visited the hollywood universal studios movie lots. we got to drive through whoville, which looks just as magical & out of this world as it does in the movie! i also sang, “where are you christmas?”, at a school choral concert, & will never be able to get that tune out of my head because of it. 

well, that’s all i got for you, folks! my top 5 christmas films! these are just my personal favorites, so i’d love to hear any & all of yours! any recommendations for my movie marathon next year? what films can you not go a holiday season without watching? let me know in the comments!

& get excited, because between now & christmas eve, i will have 6 more holiday themed posts coming your way!!! i can’t wait for you to see everything i have prepped for you guys. you won’t want to miss out!

see you tomorrow, & happy holidays!

hugs & love,

meredith.

*all images taken from Google images.

hey natalie jean // book review.

“Natalie Holbrook’s sensibility is stylish and playful, as well as practical, loving, and down-to-earth. Hey Natalie Jean is a terrific read for anyone who wants to make her life more beautiful.” – Gretchen Rubin

i bought this book like 10 years ago (or back in june) and i just now finished it. (don’t you remember me telling you that story of how i asked the man at barnes where to find the book & he led me to the parenting section, eyed me down, & boldly asked when i was due. *cue awkward laugh & blurt out NOPE THANKS*)

anywhoozles, the book! it’s pure goodness i tell ya. in the words of amazon.com, “inspiring, moving, and whip-smart, Hey Natalie Jean is an honest look at the hard work and courage that go into creating a beautiful life.” preach, amazon, preach. it does take courage, & it is something we ladies work hard at. ya know, i think it must’ve taken me the 10 years (4 months) to read because i didn’t just read it. from page 1, i could tell it was gonna be so good & frankly helpful, so i started taking notes & writing down my favorite lines & tips & re-reading my favorite chapters to myself & to friends. yeah, i’m weird. whatever.

i 10/10 recommend this book, mostly to young mothers & young women. especially if you like witty talk. & like making life beautiful. i love having this book on my shelf & will probably reference it frequently. natalie jean is a babe, a total style icon, & talks some good sense about life being an adventure & happiness being right at our fingertips. can i get some snaps & an amen?

now, for your sampling pleasure, here are my favorite quotes from my (lol) detailed notes to entice you into reading it yourself::

“mom, cream cheese is the best part of my life. ever.”

“i make my home somewhere i love to be not to impress others, or to live up to some standard or ideal, but out of respect for myself.”

“i like to decorate things // there it is. my home, my body, my shelf in the bathroom where i like to line up my aesthetically pleasing skin creams according to height like trophies- i like for my things to be pretty. i like for my life to be beautiful.”

“authenticity is the most beautiful thing on a woman, & the key to unlocking your sense of inner beauty & confidence is in getting to know yourself, accepting yourself all the way, & then working with what you got, instead of trying to fit into a one-size-fits-all standard of beauty that, i promise you, only works on maybe four people.”

“you don’t need to know a thing about fashion to have a personal style.”

“put on a hat. it’s nearly impossible to feel sad when you’re wearing a hat.”

“we are only dust… but the dust built the pyramids, you know.”

“i’ve always believed that every breath is a new chance to choose happiness.”

“be the boss of your poops.”

//

now you want to read it, right? good. go read it.

& these are a few of my favorite things.

1. coffee houses. especially this one in particular. eclectic & quaint & perfect for all occasions. perfect for date nights, study sessions, catching up with old friends, people watching, diving into good books, or just drinking some coffee. they’re known for their epic flavored lattes, & awesome atmosphere. live irish bands on sundays, jazz nights on thursdays, & always a choice playlist playing in the background in between. i happened to just get back from jazz night & this girl swoons at the sound of a saxophone, so you bet i was in heaven.

3. grey flowy things. ask any of my friends, my wardrobe consists of mainly grey flowy things. my love language is probably grey flowy things. i get this weird sort of satisfaction & joy when i see other people also wearing grey flowy things. my mom is always saying, “do you really need another grey flowy thing?!?” & you bet i’m always answering, “uh, YES, YES I DO.” i found this dress & just couldn’t resist. it’s the perfect color grey & the perfect amount of flowy. makes ya wanna frolic your heart out!

3. ice cream parlors. especially little ones that have been around for ages & still use glass coke bottles! the love bug & i love to take walks down to the ice cream parlor to share a cup of cookies & cream & soak up the sun.

4. i love lucy.

my darling roomie & i had this conversation about how much we adored i love lucy & next thing i know my mom bought us the first season on DVD. so you bet i spent a lazy friday morning in bed watching episode after episode of i love lucy & laughing my sides off. did anyone else grow up with this show?? it’s so hilarious & silly & i love it.

5. rings.

it’s a jewelry weakness of mine. my bestest gal pal has this fear of rings which cracks me up because i’m the total opposite. i recently got these two rings from the cutest jewelry & knick knack store we have next to campus & i love them. one is silver & has this really cool texture to it, & the other is a mood ring!!! 90’s kids, what’s good. i used to love mood rings (but the ones with the color all around the ring), so when i saw this adorable oval one i was like um, yes please. apparently i’m always very happy, & then nervous. how accurate!

6. marble everything.

okay, so marble takes the cake as the prettiest. taking art history in our campus’ art museum is my favorite because of the marble columns (that i secretly desire to just hug they are so beautiful). i didn’t know marble print was a thing until i saw an instagram post of this journal & i was like UM YES? HELLUR 911 MARBLE EMERGENCY. i take obsessions way too far probably, but the marble lovin’ has hit me strong. i was never so excited to receive something in the mail as i was this gorgeous journal. not even gonna pretend i don’t stroke that beautiful cover sometimes. this is a trend i can give my blessing to. marble everything please.

7. you guys.

no really, i love you all. you’re my favorite.

//

& those are just a few of my favorite things! *cue maria von trapp singing the hills are aliiiive*

what are a few of your favorite things? let me know in the comments! 

all my love,

meredith.