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March 24, 2015

february/march playlist.

The last two months have been kind of weird for me music-wise. I spent a majority of the last two months playing the new Fall Out Boy album on repeat, and going through past playlists and listening to those songs. So this playlist is a little bit Fall Out Boy heavy, a little bit random, but still really good if you're typically into the type of stuff I put up on here. Listen to this playlist here, and check out my past playlists here.

March 22, 2015

project life 2015 // week eleven.

March 9 - March 15.What went on this week: I had a job interview on Monday morning, and then spent the rest of the week with the kiddos. I tried to get a bunch of stuff planned for the blog, and made some insane zucchini chips.Details + interesting tidbits: Most of the photos had really good lighting, which is not something that usually works out for me. I kept the cards in a blue, yellow, grey-ish theme, and let the natural light speak for itself.Photo Breakdown: phone photos: 10 // DSLR photos: 1 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.Materials Used: Studio Calico PL kits: odyssey ("said no one ever" card); the underground ("let's hold hands" card); walden ("these moments" card); park ave (wooden banner); camelot ("today" card); far far away (week card), elise joy stampsless is more stamps, xyron create-a-stickerfiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black ink, smash date stampzig photo signature pen in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards), canon selphy wireless printer, canon selphy ink + paper kit.
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Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you record everyday memories. 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, and 2015 here. Some links may be affiliate links.

March 21, 2015

project life 2015 // week ten.

March 2 - March 8.What went on this week: Monday-Friday were my last few days in London before I flew back for my friend's 23rd birthday. Saturday night I celebrated my birthday with my friends in NYC, and Sunday was my actually birthday, which included donuts, a new tattoo, and friends.Details + interesting tidbits: This wasn't intentional, but everything on the left side of the spread is food, and everything on the right side is from the night out for my birthday, plus a picture of my new tattoo. Everything on the left was a little more colorful, whereas the right was kind of bland, so I kept the cards in accordance with that.Photo Breakdown: phone photos: 11 // DSLR photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.Materials Used: gold foil add-on kit (hello sticker), Studio Calico PL kits: odyssey (map card, week card, |||| card); the underground ("awesome" card); walden (Mon-Sun card), calendar cardless is more stamps, xyron create-a-stickerfiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black ink, smash date stampzig photo signature pen in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards), canon selphy wireless printer, canon selphy ink + paper kit.
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Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you record everyday memories. 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, and 2015 here. Some links may be affiliate links.

March 20, 2015

s'mores bars.

I saw these s'more's bars on Pinterest back in the summer, and I knew that I should save them for sometime during the winter since it's not exactly prime time for fires and fresh s'mores. These were super easy to make, and a really cool play on the classic s'more.// 1 1/4 C flour
// 1 C graham cracker crumbs
// 1/4 tsp. baking soda
// 1/4 tsp. salt
// 1/2 C unsalted butter
// 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
// 1/4 C granulated sugar
// 1 large egg
// 1 tsp. vanilla extract
// 2 XL Hershey bars
// 1 (7oz) jar marshmallow fluff1// Mix together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
2// Combine butter and sugars together in a bowl, and once mixed add in the egg and vanilla.
3// Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until completely combined.
4// Line a square pan with parchment paper, and layer half of the dough on the bottom of the pan.
5// Spread an even layer of marshmallow fluff across the first layer of crust, followed by the two hershey bars.
6// Layer the rest of the crust dough on top of the chocolate, doing your best to seal in all of the marshmallow underneath (it will expand when hot, which caused some cracks in the thin parts of the crust for me).
7// Bake for 30-35 minutes on 350*F, or until crust edges brown.
8// Let cool completely (seriously, all the way) before cutting into bars.My only issue with this process was the thinness of my crust. The whole square should be the size of the two Hershey bars pushed together, so try to spread the crust only as wide as that, no thinner. The marshmallow creeps its way through the thin parts of the crust because when it gets hot it starts to explode a little bit. But even if that does happen, just cut along those natural cracks if possible, and you should be good to go. These were delish, and took about 45 minutes between prep and baking time.

March 19, 2015

animal bookends.

I saw these bookends on pinterest from the pottery barn teen website (no longer available), and I remember that they were at least $40. So I pinned them to my DIY board because I knew that I could make them, and they wouldn't have to be blue, and they wouldn't have to be be dogs. And then with the whole, "I'm going to spray paint everything gold and buy all of the plastic elephants the world has made" phase of my life (which may still be ongoing, stay tuned), I remembered this pin from long ago and decided to get cracking (because Lord knows I have more books than I know what to do with).This was a super easy project that involved only spray painting both the wooden blocks (from Michaels) and elephants (from Amazon), then gluing the elephants down to the wood once everything was dry.I had to spray paint the wood twice, only because I didn't like the coverage the first time around, but the ellies were good with one coat. I left everything outside for about 45 minutes because it would have smelled absolutely awful if they came inside before then.I'm really happy with them though, and they'll come with me when I move to make my shelves and books look a little more put together. They are also definitely something I'd consider making as a housewarming gift for someone else, or just for a book lover like me.

March 18, 2015

project life 2015 // week nine.

February 23 - March 1.What went on this week: On Tuesday I flew to London for a trip to visit my best friend and some other friends and family. I got to spend a lot of time with my aunt, cousin, and their dog, who is clearly the star of this spread, and my friend Chris, who I stayed with.Details + interesting tidbits: For some reason, when I'm away, I always forget to take as many photos as I would normally. So I didn't have all that much to work with here. I went with my classic bluey seafoam color scheme, and some black and white journaling.Photo Breakdown: phone photos: 8 // DSLR photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.Materials Used: PL Core Kits: midnight edition (foldover "in the moment" card); seafoam edition (five "w"s card), dreamy edition (saturday card), gold foil add-on kit (week card), Studio Calico PL kits: cirque (february faves); park ave ("hello from" card), elise joy stamps, less is more stamps, xyron create-a-stickerfiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black ink, smash date stampzig photo signature pen in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards), canon selphy wireless printer, canon selphy ink + paper kit.
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Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you record everyday memories. 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, and 2015 here. Some links may be affiliate links.

March 17, 2015

happy half birthday, skylar fallyn.

Dear Skylar,

You're six months old today, and all of the cliches apply: I can't believe how fast time has gone, you're getting so big, you make me proud every day, you're such a smart little girl, you are the most beautiful girl in the world, etc. The only one thing that surprises me, though it may seem hard to understand, is how much I love you.

When your mommy told me she was pregnant with you last January on our trip to California, I was so overjoyed that her and daddy were getting another shot at having a baby, because they had already been through so much before and after having Max. I was so excited initially, and though I never stopped being excited, as your due date approached I started to get anxious, and to feel apprehensive. I spent almost two years being your big brother's nanny, giving him so much love every day, that I just didn't know how I could make room in my heart for you, too. I didn't want to lose what me and Max had as a duo.

The day you were born though, your mom sent me a picture as soon as she could, and my heart exploded and swelled. I realized in that moment that I didn't need to make room in my heart for you, my heart just grew one hundred times its size in an instant, and I was so in love with you that it hurt, and still does.

Three weeks into your life, I disappeared for three months; three crucial months. By the time we saw each other, you were holding up your own head, laughing, just about rolling over, and seeing me from further and further away and smiling every time we locked eyes. In the last two months since I've been back with you and your brother, I have loved you both so hard that it physically pains me to think about, but in the best way that you couldn't possibly even understand yet. It's the best kind of love.

Sky, no matter how little I may be around in the future, no matter how many days pass without getting to see my face, no matter how many little moments I may miss, you have to know that the love I feel for you will never fade, it will never go away. It will only get stronger and more insane as time goes on. Being a part of your life is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

I love you babygirl, happy half birthday.

Love, your Alessia.

March 16, 2015

baked zucchini chips.

A few weeks ago I decided to start chopping up some zucchini that was about to go bad and try my hand at baking some chips (based off this recipe), and then I remembered that my dad set our oven on fire, and that it was unusable. So now we have a new oven, and I gave it another whirl. They were worth the wait.// 1 large zucchini
// 2 large eggs
// 1 C panko breadcrumbs
// 1/2 C flour
// 1/2 C grated parmesan1// Mix breadcrumbs and cheese in one bowl, whisk eggs in a second bowl, and put flour in a third bowl.
2// Slice the zucchini thin, then dip into flour.
3// Dunk the slices in egg, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs into the zucchini (on my first few slices the breadcrumbs fell right off, so I made sure to really pack them on for the rest).
4// Bake on 400* for five minutes on each side, or until the crumbs start to brown a bit.These were a perfect snack, and can be paired with any number of sauces (I went with ranch, and it was an experience). I'm definitely going to be making these all the time now.

March 15, 2015

project life 2015 // week eight.

February 16 - February 22.What went on this week: Literally this entire spread revolves around the kiddos, except for the picture I took of my breakfast on the bottom left, and the photo of the polaroid of me on the top of the left side. Because so much of my day is spent with Max and Sky again, my camera roll, instagram, and project life are infinitely cuter.Details + interesting tidbits: This week's color scheme was weird for me, but I loved it. Somehow all the browns, greys, and greens just got their shit together and made a really nice ombre-ish spread. Love when this type of thing randomly comes together for me.Photo Breakdown: phone photos: 11 // DSLR photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 1. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.Materials Used: PL Core Kits: dreamy edition (week card), gold foil add-on kit ("hello" sticker), Studio Calico PL kits: far far away ("&" card); penny arcade ("you make me happy" card); poet society ("in my heart" card); the underground ("obsessed" card), elise joy stamps, less is more stamps, xyron create-a-stickerfiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black ink, smash date stampzig photo signature pen in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards), canon selphy wireless printer, canon selphy ink + paper kit.
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Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you record everyday memories. 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, and 2015 here. Some links may be affiliate links.

March 14, 2015

project life 2015 // week seven.

February 9 - February 15.What went on this week: As you can see, the left side of this spread was totally the Skylar show. I spent a ton of time with her this week, and she was smiley and adorable, as always. We started her on some solid food this week, she met my dog, Lucas, and she finally rolled over, so babygirl had a huge few days. Over the weekend my friends and I tried the Oyster Bay brewery, which was awesome, and they had Cards Against Humanity, which has been featured in nearly every one of my spreads for the past few weeks.Details + interesting tidbits: I really categorized this week with all of my Sky photos on the left, two shots of coffee on the top right, and then the bottom right block all of the brewery. I liked the way it was all kind of cohesive, because typically I just have a bunch of random photos that don't necessarily fit in together for any reason.Photo Breakdown: phone photos: 11 // DSLR photos: 0 // polaroid photos: 0. Taken by me, the self-timer, and shutter remotes.Materials Used: PL Core Kits: midnight edition (week card), Studio Calico PL kits: far far away (let the good times roll); cirque (heart card, "notable" card), grid cardtiny attacher, less is more stampsfiskars corner rounderfiskars paper trimmerstaz-on jet black ink, smash date stampzig photo signature pen in black (on photos), zig writer marker in black (on journal cards), canon selphy wireless printer, canon selphy ink + paper kit.
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Project Life is a simplified solution to scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins that helps you record everyday memories. 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, and 2015 here. Some links may be affiliate links.

March 13, 2015

friday link love | 12.

This video cracked me up, reminded me of myself, and made me hope I have a funny husband who would do something like this someday.
To be honest, this article is one of the most amazing things I've ever read.
Stock images needed this boost.
Quite possibly one of the funniest kid videos I've ever seen.
A twitter status that spits truth whether you believe Snape was a hero or not...
This vine basically sums up winter in New York.
One of my favorite scenes of Gavin & Stacey has been my go-to for laughs lately.
Cards Against Humanity can be played anywhere you are now with this web page, and it is the best news I've heard all year.
Kind of need this shirt.
Grace Helbig killllllls me.

March 8, 2015

26 things in my 26th year.

Last year I tried completing 25 things in my 25th year. I was kind of ish successful in that I did about half of the things on the list, made some of them very close to happening, and figured out what type of goals do and do not inspire me to get shit done. This year I am trying 26 things in my 26th year, and am hoping that I have changed it up enough to complete all of the items and not feel like they are a chore.

1// MOVE. OUT. (May 1, 2015).
2// Get a new, permanent, salaried job. (Hey, Popsugar. March 16, 2015).
3// Take a road trip. (October 2015)
4// Reopen my Etsy shop. (February 2016)
5// Learn to make five staple dishes from scratch well enough to make them without needing a recipe.
6// Spend less money on things and more on experiences.
7// Get a new tattoo (March 8, 2015).
8// Send a handwritten note once a month (taken from last year, it was my favorite item on the list). [|||| |||]
9// Downsize my closet when I move out so that I stop having the issue of a full closet with nothing to wear. This. Needs. To. Happen. (May 2015).
10// Buy flowers once a month because man, do they bring on good moods. [|||| ||||]
11// Go to at least four concerts (again) [||||].
12// Knit something.
13// Go to California. I know I keep putting so much emphasis on Cali, but I need the golden state back in my life asap. (April 2015)
14// Take more photos of my every day life.
15// Travel to a new place. (Portland, ME!)
16// Take a class to improve some of my hobby skills (such as HTML, DSLR photography, photoshop, or calligraphy).
17// Get together with all four of my college housemates at once. (June 2015).
18// Organize my photos on iPhoto. So much garbage (phone screenshots and twenty of the same photo) is clogging it up.
19// Take a photo with my polaroid camera at least once a month.
20// Watch the entire series of Breaking Bad, because if one more person tells me what I'm missing... (March 23 - April 3. Oh man, so good).
21// Make something that contains all of the photos of my time with Max and Skylar over the last two years. (April 2015).
22// Try brewing beer.
23// Do something that scares me. (Interviewing this girl crush of mine was frightening, but I'm so glad that I did it.)
24// Get back into watching more YouTube videos and reading blogs on an almost daily basis.
25// Come up with a new feature for the blog that makes me happy and gets my creative juices flowing.
26// Write myself another letter to open on my birthday next year.

Roll on, 25.

March 7, 2015

goodbye, 24.

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday, which means not only a wrap-up of my 25 Things list, but also a new list (26 Things to come tomorrow*), and a year of exciting things that happened. When I said goodbye to 23 last year, I don't think I could have predicted how much would change for me. Some of the things that I loved in my 24th year have little to no hold on my life now, and some of the small things have a stronger hold than ever. So in saying goodbye to 24 now, I feel like there were a lot of little moments, which are always, of course, my favorite, but there were some really big ones that made my 25th year a difficult, but important one.

1// I spent thirty days on my favorite blog project so far, which was literally just finding fun ways to take pictures of coffee.
2// I discovered the beauty of the shutter remote, and am forever changed.
3// My grandmother passed away in December, and in the chaos that was losing a loved one over Christmas, my entire family got to spend an amazing three days together celebrating her life, and thinking about all of ours in conjunction with each other going forward.
4// Finally finished my first year of project life completely, which made starting my new one really exciting.
5// I spent most of my 25th year focusing on the word grow, and have chosen to expand on that this year with the word adapt (see more about One Little Word here).
6// I met two of my blogging idols, Elsie + Emma of A Beautiful Mess.
7// I discovered my new favorite thing ever is using gold paint markers on white canvases (exhibit a & exhibit b).
8// I made a bunch of new friends, but two new besties that I clicked with so fast, we couldn't have planned it to be a more perfect match.
9// Finally got a new radio for my car. While this may seem like the silliest little highlight of this year, it has made life so much easier (no more mix CDs for me! Hello, the future).
10// I tried ten new restaurants around Long Island (and a few in NYC), plus a few breweries nearby, which has expanded the list of things to do at home a bit (it's usually a very short list, indeed).
11// My long-time Halloween costume idea finally came to fruition this year, and I want to be the same thing every year for the rest of my life.
12// Ate a Donut Plant pistachio doughnut, and my life is so much better as a result.
13// Rang in the new year like this.
14// Went on the most amazing trip of my life through Europe with two of my best friends.
15// I discovered my favorite nail color (and honestly my favorite color, period).
16// This was the year that I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. This. Writing. Telling Stories. Connecting with people through the written word. I want all of it, and though I wish I figured out all of this sooner (say, senior year of high school when I had to pick a major), I am embracing the crazy now and making a real go of it.
17// I got my fifth tattoo in six years, and have kept with the tradition of never getting more than one in the same age year.
18// Got to spend a weekend in Montauk with my friends right at the end of the summer, which was probably the best summer send-off of my life.
19// I went to a vineyard for the first time, and seeing as wine is my first true love, it was a solid, though messy experience.
20// Flew to England for ten days to finally spend some time with my best friend. I seem to love having the people I love be in another country.
21// I read I'll Give You The Sun, and it made me feel all of the feelings. It is the type of book that I would love to be able to write one day, and reading it has made me more excited about that. (Notable mention for book of the year goes to Still Alice, which was also absolutely incredible).
23// After a brief three month hiatus at BuzzFeed, Max is still in my daily life, which I could not be happier about.
24// Skylar Fallyn was born around my half birthday, and even though I was nervous before she arrived that I wouldn't be able to fit enough love in me for both Max and her, she's stretched my heart to triple its size. Couldn't be more in love with her.
25// Though only about half of the things on my 25 Things list got completed or started, having the list on my mind all year really helped me to think about goal setting in the future and what types of goals are important to me as I grow and change. It was a good experiment, and I'm going to continue it and try to make more attainable goals, as well as goals that I really want to see myself work toward in the upcoming year.

Saying goodbye to the first quarter century of my life, and hoping this next year will be full of more of these little moments.

*EDIT: here they are.

March 6, 2015

five on friday: mascaras.

1. Urban Decay Perversion // 2. Revlon Lash Potion // 3. Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes // 4. Buxom Mascara Bar // 5. Dior DiorshowMascara is the one thing that I can never leave the house without. Obviously I've done it before, and I'll do it again, but if there's one thing I have time for, I make it mascara. It opens up my eyes, makes me look more awake, and I'll go even further to say I feel like it opens up the rest of my face and makes me look more put together than I probably (definitely) am. The Tarte mascara (#3) is my current favorite, and my absolute obsession. I have pretty long lashes to begin with, but this stuff makes them insane, and isn't too voluminous (unless you really go at it), just very natural. The Urban Decay (#1) is more of a volumizing formula, but also gives the length as well, so I usually use it at night, when my makeup might go a bit heavier than normal.The Revlon Lash Potion (#2) is just a really good everyday formula that both lengthens and volumizes, doesn't rub off or run, and is good in one or two swipes. The Diorshow (#5) is definitely a great mascara, but it's obviously on the pricier side. If I hadn't gotten this sample, I probably would have lived without it forever, but now that I've had a preview of how nice it makes my lashes look, I might have to be awful and purchase the full-size when the sample is empty (which is soon, ah). Lastly, the Tarte Mascara (#4) is another one that I got as a sample, and to my knowledge, is kind of a do-it-yourself mascara when you buy it in store. I think you can choose between a bunch of different wands (this leopard print one that I got with the sample is great for length and subtle volume), and different formulas (I have the plain old black mascara, and it's great, but they also make a waterproof). I have been rotating through the five of these for months now, and haven't been unhappy with my lashes even once.

March 5, 2015

ipsy glam bag review | february.

China Glaze Nail Polish 'Marry A Millionaire' (similar) // ModelCo Blush 'Peach Bellini' // JOYA Composition No 1 Parfum // Medusa's Makeup Safari Eyeshadow 'Headhunter' // Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face OilThis month's ipsy bag was another meh one. I was not impressed with the coloring of both the blush and eyeshadow, nor was I really partial to the nail color. I do love china glaze polish, and there's a chance I'll be feeling glitzy and fancy and purple all at the same time and this will get used, but I would have preferred a solid color. The perfume is just alright, it smells nice but it's not exactly my style (update: passed along to mom, who loves it).The face oil though, that's probably the only thing that I'm excited about. I haven't started using it yet because I don't want to switch from the one I'm using now, but it smells delicious and I read a few things online about it that seemed really positive. I keep threatening to cancel my service after mediocre bags like this, but I am a weak and lazy individual, so that hasn't happened yet. For ten dollars, it's still kind of worth the risk.