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September 23, 2014

project life 2014 // week twenty seven.

June 30 - July 6. The project is finding new life and it's thriving.What went on this week: This week I left for my Contiki trip with my friends Jenna and Laura. We had a rough time getting there because we were delayed due to a storm, we thought we were going to die because the electricity on the plane went out (meaning no AC in a very small and confined space), and then we missed our connecting flight from London to Amsterdam, but we finally arrived! Our first full day was the fourth, so we went out into Amsterdam in our red, white, and blue, then met our group at night. We spent Saturday in Amsterdam and Sunday driving down to Paris. Read more about my trip and see some photos here.About this spread: I had a lot of photos from this trip, so I basically just ordered a bunch and separated them by date to see what I was working with. Because I was only in Europe for half of this week, there weren't a huge amount of pictures that I had to leave out, so I kept one full spread with most of the photos in 3 x 4 format, so I could add in a few extra 6 x 4s. Details + interesting tidbits: I saved a whole load of receipts and tickets from this trip, as well as some maps we recieved. I cute up a map of Amsterdam to 6 x 4 to show the center, where we spent most of our time, and I shoved a bunch of tickets and things into an envelope from the penny arcade kit. I also used a date card from Seafoam to journal all about Amsterdam, since that was most of the week. I really love the way that it turned out and that the spread looked different than how I normally format it every week.Photo breakdown: phone photos: 11 // canon t3 photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes. All photos with my face in it taken by my friend Laura. AMS photo taken by Jenna.
Materials, supplies, and tools I used: design A pocket pages, seafoam core kit, studio calico monthly kits: penny arcade (week card, envelope); sandlot (hello adventure card), fiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black inkhp everyday photo papersmash date stampzig writer for vellum marker in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards).
Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you to record the memories of everyday life. Document your story either physically or digitally along with me and so many others. Find out more here, how to start here, & see all of my PL 2014 posts here.

September 19, 2014

project life 2014 // week twenty six.

June 23 - June 29. The project is finding new life and it's thriving.What went on this week: This week Max had off of school, so it was full of playdates and fun trips. I prepped for my trip to Europe whenever I could, and managed to get a third book finished for the month. I went barcrawling down by the sea with my friends on Saturday, and the weather was fantastic. On Sunday my best friend and I went to a One Republic concert, opened by American Authors, and one of my favorite bands, The Script.About this spread: This was another kind of "non-cohesie" spread for me. Sometimes I have those when my photos are just not at all similar and there are too many colors going on. In all honesty I probably should have gone with neutral cards like greys or kraft, but I went with the mustard yellow theme and figured, screw it.Details + interesting tidbits: I used a screenshot in this spread to show the weather in the five places in Europe I was travelling to the next week, and it was also a monthly bests week in terms of journaling. I left the wood veneer "June" from last week still floating in the empty pocket, and added some sequins to liven it up a bit.Photo breakdown: phone photos: 9 // canon t3 photos: 1 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes. Weather photo is an iPhone screenshot.
Materials, supplies, and tools I used: design A pocket pages, studio calico monthly kits: hello, hello (wood veneer June); sandlot (journaling cards + haaaay tag); poet society (sequins), less is more geotag stamp, fiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black inkhp everyday photo papersmash date stampzig writer for vellum marker in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards).
Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you to record the memories of everyday life. Document your story either physically or digitally along with me and so many others. Find out more here, how to start here, & see all of my PL 2014 posts here.

September 18, 2014

ash boots.

If you can love a pair of boots as your own children, these are those boots for me.I mentioned these boots as an item I was coveting because of Anna, who wears them alllllll the time in her vlogs oh so effortlessly, and I just couldn't hold out treating myself any longer. (I know, my money management skills should be assessed by someone). I never spend this much money on myself, but watching Anna make these boots work with every single outfit made me feel confident that I could do the same. Also, I've been wearing the crap out of my olive green Target booties from last fall (similar), so I know having another pair in a more neutral color will be great.The pointed toe and the cut of these boots is what makes them so irresistable to me. The cut in the middle of the top elongates your leg and thins out your ankles, which also shows a bit of skin and breaks up the line between your pants and the shoes really nicely. I did have to size up because there aren't zippers on the sides to help you in, but they still fit really comfortably and I have enough room to wear thicker socks when it's cold out. If you're looking for a similar bootie at a lower cost, try the target ones linked above, or these.

September 17, 2014

project life 2014 // week twenty five.

June 16 - June 22. I'm back, baby. Slowly but surely I will crank out the last eleven weeks of project life because I miss creating so, so much. (That, and all of the photos that have backed up are giving me anxiety.)What went on this week: This was a weird week for Max because he had a week of "pre-camp", which is basically just another week of school, but until 1:30 instead of 12:30. So it was a nice week for me having that extra hour at home and being able to eat lunch after 11:30. It's a beautiful thing. It started to get really warm, and I spent Saturday at the beach trying to work on my tan. Sunday morning I went to boozy brunch with friends from my old job, and we explored the city.About this spread: It's really hard going back this far and trying to remember what happened, but more than that, I have received Studio Calico kits from June through September now, which means soooooo much fun stuff to use, which makes things harder believe it or not. I ended up using simple cards and simple embellishments because my photos weren't too exciting for this week. I floated a wood veneer "June" in one of the empty pockets, and I'll have to figure out what I want to go in there for next week, or if I'll keep it in there backwards.Details + interesting tidbits: Another difficult thing about being this backed up is that if there was a week I didn't take many photos (like this one), it's a combination of few photos, not the greatest memory of what exactly happened, and too many cards and embellishments to choose from. So I decided to do something a little different with one of my photos of Lucas (below) and print one photo as a 12 x 4 to be split into two 6 x 4 photos. I love the way it turned out, especially how cool it looks having most of him in one of the photos and then just a small part of his head in the other. I think it came out really sweet, and though I've used this technique once before, this time around it's much more awesome.Photo breakdown: phone photos: 10 // canon t3 photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.
Materials, supplies, and tools I used: design A pocket pages, studio calico monthly kits: hello, hello (wood veneer June, summer bliss card); penny arcade (slow down sticker); sandlot (week card), less is more #selfie stamp, fiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black inkhp everyday photo papersmash date stampzig writer for vellum marker in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards).
Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you to record the memories of everyday life. Document your story either physically or digitally along with me and so many others. Find out more here, how to start here, & see all of my PL 2014 posts here.

September 16, 2014

september playlist.

This month was another month of new discoveries. A lot of the artists that I have been listening to came to me through a chain of other artists that I already love, which means a ton of new music in the styles that I gravitate towards normally. Air Traffic Controller sounds to me already like they're going to be one of my new faves. Same goes for Barcelona. I'm impressed with the new Maroon 5 album, and I mean, come one, it's Adam Levine. I think there's a pretty good mix on here, though there are definitely some acquired tastes if what you're used to loving is jazz. Listen to the playlist on repeat here.

September 15, 2014

long distance relationships: the last one.

It's been about three months since I made the biggest decision of my life so far.

I wrote about my long distance relationship here and there over the last two years that this blog has been around, most things just barely touching on how truly difficult of a situation it is. I never felt like an expert on the topic, even though I was in the thick of it all with my relationship, because every single long distance relationship is different in the same way that any see-each-other-every-day relationship is. However, I feel like I still have just a little bit more to say on the subject, and then I think that I'll retire the topic and move on with my life.

3,384 miles. That was the measure of distance between myself and the person I had assumed for six years would be my forever. Just over a year ago I posted this, a very in-depth and exposing analysis of the five years of the relationship until that point. It was optimistic, it was reflective, it was true at the time. In the last year, a lot has changed. My expectation was that I'd be writing my blog from my new apartment, that I shared with a boy, not from the local starbucks. I thought I'd be arranging my cookbooks and breaking in new pots and pans, not checking in with my mom about dinner time. I thought that long distance would be behind me by now. I thought I'd be closer to where I want to be. I put so much hope into the life that I wanted, that realizing it was never going to happen threw me into a deep sadness that I didn't even realize I could feel. I thought I was happy until I realized that I wasn't.

People always say that "things change" and "nothing is forever", and while I get it now, it's still hard to wrap my head around. I never thought I'd be here. Single, trying to start a new career, scraping up the cash to move out, all at the same time. It's overwhelming, and every day feels like a new struggle. Memories push themselves to the surface and some days I feel like I've made a mistake, other days I pat myself on the back and look to the future, some days I feel everything all at once and it gets to be too much.

This is all getting somewhere, I promise.

If you are in a long distance relationship, you are obviously in love. You can't possibly contemplate that type of situation unless you are deeply in love with someone, it's just too hard to exist in that manner if there is anything casual about your status. That being said though, make sure that love is enough. Don't let your life pass you by while you're waiting for change, because you could be waiting forever and missing out on all that life has to offer. That's certainly what happened to me.

Do I know for sure that I would be in a different place in my life had my relationship ended years ago? I'm not sure. But I know how I feel now, and though I would never give up the years I spent in that relationship, I am realizing now how much I am worth. How much I deserve. How hard someone should be fighting for me and our love. A long distance relationship should not be permanent, it should be a bridge. Hopefully a short bridge. But if you can see water for miles in the distance and road works until the end of time, consider your path. Get off the next exit and be selfish. Figure out what you want from this life, because at the end of the day, whether someone is waiting in bed for you or not, it's just you and yourself that you truly need to look after forever.

My perspective is possibly jaded, and maybe in a few months I'll feel differently, maybe in a year I'll be another completely different person. But I know who I am right now, and I know what I want, and what I need, and what I totally deserve, and that's where I'm starting for now.

I am not writing this as advice, I'm not telling anyone that they should do what I did, I'm not informing anyone that their relationship is wrong, or that everything is a lie and the world sucks. I believe in love and the success of relationships. But I also believe in living the life you want to, the life that would make you truly happy. I'm just sharing a small part of my story, because I wonder how it would have been if someone shared theirs with me. I am learning more every day about what I want from this life. It's exciting, it's terrifying, it's a free fall of trust in myself into the void of the unknown. It's real.

September 12, 2014

friday link love | 8.

I loved this post from Dani of Sometimes Sweet. What we teach children at a young age shapes not only the people they become, but how the next generation of little people will view things as a whole.
This tank top made me laugh out loud, I might need it.
A similar thing occurred last week, and I bought the shirt.
This quote is giving me life right now.
I think that this mug cake is going to be my go-to dessert for fall. Viva la pumpkin!
Check out this live room recording of Ed Sheeran ripping into Give Me Love. At the end of the ridiculously incredible performance he just says, "cool". Love him.
I just bought this tripod to help out with my newest venture, YouTube. Check out my first video and subscribe here!
If you like the Bachelor/ette, you need to follow Elan, one of the crew members, on twitter. Even if you don't watch the shows, he's freakin hilarious.
This music archive is full of copyright-free music for personal use. It's kind of a hassle to sift through and find something you're looking for, but it's unprotected music that you can use for videos or on websites without worrying about copyright laws.
I saw this photo on Twitter for the 20th anniversary of The Little Rascals, and it's absolute perfection.
Considering taking this course to up my copy editing game.
I read this book in two sittings, and I loved it even though it can be widely interpreted. Maybe that's why I loved it, actually.
Thought Catalog makes me feel a lot of things, this post especially.
After reading that, watch this vine to laugh (it's especially funny if you're familiar with different types of English accents).
Or this, if you prefer Beyonce humor.

September 11, 2014

brush cleaning routine - my first youtube video.

I've been throwing around the idea of a YouTube channel for quite some time, and to be honest, I've always put it off because I thought I would start it when I moved out. Well, the waiting has made me doubtful about ever starting one, so I'm going with my gut, and even though I think the videos will be pretty average in the beginning, this is something I'm very excited about. My new channel, AlessiaMariee, has one video so far, which I edited for too long, stressed about too much, and overthought quite a bit, but I'm glad it's up and it was the first step of many to get this off the ground.Makeup brush cleaning is a tedious job, but it has to be done if you want to keep your brushes bacteria free, which means your face is bacteria free as well. I use Dr. Bronner's Organic Almond Castile Liquid Soap to wash my brushes as of late, but any mild soap will do the trick (I used to use this stuff, and loved it). Watch my first ever YouTube video to see how simple it is to wash your brushes at home (and please subscribe to my channel here. Thank you!)

September 10, 2014

ipsy glam bag review | august.

1. Absolute New York You're The Bomb Lip Balm // 2. Coastal Scents Forever Blush Duo in 'Fresh' and 'Elegant' // 3. Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Pencil (black) // 4. Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Pore Refiner  // 5. Urban Decay Perversion MascaraThis month's ipsy bag was an interesting one. I was excited to see another Urban Decay product, but kind of disappointed with the quality of the other products that seemed like they could have been really awesome. The Urban Decay mascara is amazing, as I suspected. The only issue I have is that the brush holds so much product, so I really need to scrape it off on the edges before I use it on my lashes. The blush looked like it could have been good, but the formulas are chalky on the skin, which is disappointing. And though I understand that the whole point of ipsy is that everything is in a sample size, I find it really difficult to get a good blush brush into one half of the packaging they came in. The pore minimizer is okay. I have really huge pores on my cheeks and have yet to find a primer that will cover them up. I may not be the best judge on how well this product works for people with normal sized pores, but I found it to be kind of greasy and since it didn't really do too much for the visibility of my pores, I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but I will probably give it a few more tries.The eyeliner was a total disappointment. It said on the website that it is awesome for smudging and blending and the color payoff is awesome, but I disagree with most of that. To get the swatch on my wrist (below), I had to press harder than I ever would on my eye to get the color payoff that I did. The pencil drags, it's not a creamy formula, it's waxy, and I didn't try, but I can't imagine that after what it takes to basically scrape it on that it would blend or smudge in any way. In fact, to get it off my wrist with makeup remover took a lot. So at least the staying power is good if you're looking for a bright side. Finally, the lip balm is just alright. I am kind of a lip balm hoarder, so I will probably use it. I was concerned at first that the giant sparkles I noticed in the formula were going to transfer to my lips, but that actually wasn't the case. The balm smells like grapes and is pretty moisturizing, so it'll probably get thrown into my car or a bag and get used from time to time.

September 9, 2014

25 things in my 25th year: the half-year update.

Yesterday was my official half birthday, which means I'll be 25 in six months, the age I set as a deadline for quite a few different things. Some of the items on the 25 things list are small, some are pretty substantial. Over the last six months I have grown a lot, both through the implementation of this list in my life as well as other factors. Much like last year's summer bucket list, this birthday list has lit a metaphorical fire under my tush, and I like that kind of pressure from myself to achieve and accomplish both small & large goals.

Here's a portion of the list and my thoughts six months out:
1// learn how to get off of the auto setting of my DSLR.
I have been reading blogs, a "for dummies" book, and watching a few YouTube videos to get this one going. It's a process for sure.
3// start up my etsy shop again.
I'm not sure if this is still one of my goals for this year. I love etsy and shopping handmade on it, and I love the products that I have considered selling, but so far, there hasn't been the right time to start a small business, and I'm okay with that for right now.
5// find a new job.
To tie in with the above item, I am looking to get my career really moving in the next few months, so a small business will have to find a place to fit in among all of that. I'm getting really close to ticking this one off the list, and it's very exciting.
6// go to at least four concerts. (|||)
The Script & One Republic in June, One Direction in August, and Ed Sheeran last weekend. Some of my favorite artisits. It's been a great few months for concerts and I'm looking forward to the next six.
7// become a morning person (I love mornings, but can never wake up).
Still nothing here. Waking up is hard.
8// go to California again.
9// write down some of my grandma's famous recipes so I can make them for my future children.
We had a little scare a couple of weeks ago with my nonna, so now more than ever this item means so much to me. I'm ready to get out a notebook and throw on an apron asap.
11// try ten new restaurants on LI. (||||)
This has been one of the most fun items on the list. I love going out to dinner with friends to catch up, chat about life, and have a drink. Trying to branch out and go to a bunch of new places has made that even more fun.
16// travel someplace new.
I've probably really overdone the whole contiki thing by now (#cantstopwontstop), but check out the link above to see what I got up to in Europe this past July.
18// buy fresh flowers for the house every weekend for a whole month.
I have been loving doing this, and can probably cross it off even though I haven't done it four weekends in a row yet. Fresh flowers are something that I've realized in the last six months actually make me extremely happy. It's the little things.
20// get a month of hot yoga and go at least twice a week. (May 2014)
Love, love, love hot yoga.
21// get my NY teaching certification finalized.
This is a tricky one. I've talked a bit about my career changes and what I'm looking to do in the future, so this item is kind of a "moo point" (friends, anyone?). But really, I don't think this one will need ticking off in the end, and I am so fine with that. I have made room for bigger, better, more fulfilling for me things, and I'm pumped about it.
22// move out of my parent's house.
Funny how this all ties in together with all of the job related items, but obviously money ties into all of those as well. I love my parents, but I have a feeling they are pretty close to being rid of me.
24// take a spontaneous road trip.
Fall foliage is around the corner. I feel this one coming on soon.
25// inspire someone to make a list for their birthday, or just-because!
I would still love to cross this one off because reading other people's lists is so fun, inspiring, and also pretty nosey. Everyone loves a bit of nosey, though.

These are not all of the items on my list, you can see the original here, but these are just a few of the small ones and big ones that I thought I would touch upon. I'm looking forward to the next six months and seeing where my life is then, because when I created this list in March I could not have imagined how different things would be just six months down the line. Life is funny like that, isn't it?

September 2, 2014

august book report.

The Hundred-Foot Journey. I decided to read this book as soon as I saw the previews for the movie with Helen Miren. I had really high hopes for it because the premise of it sounds really delightful and easy to love, but I actually found it kind of hard to get into and continue with. Hassan writes his own story starting with living in India as a boy and growing up around cooking throughout his whole life because of his family in the restaurant business. His family ends up in France living across the street from a French restaurant, and open up an Indian restaurant. The story follows Hassan through life and how he becomes a chef of French cuisine. The descriptions of food definitely made me hungry, but other than that I found the characters to be kind of uninteresting and simple, and there are large chunks of time just missing from the story and summed up in one or two lines, which is something that bothers me about any book in general. But for this book, the time that was skipped could have been written about to demonstrate the kinds of struggles that Hassan goes through to get to where he is in the end of the book. It's all just too easy for me, and there was nothing about the writing that really grabbed me and kept me going. This was definitely a struggle to finish for me, and can't find myself recommending it.
“There are many points in life when we cannot see what awaits us around the corner, and it is precisely at such times, when our path forward is unclear, that we must bravely keep our nerve, resolutely putting one foot before the other as we march blindly into the dark.” 

16/25 of my 2014 reading goal complete. Though this book was not on it, check out my paperback lust list for this year.