Roommate Confidential {Fall Edition}

I have read quite a few roommate related posts around the blogosphere lately. I'm sad to report, none of them have been very nice. People seem to absolutely hate their roommates! Sure, there are a million and one difficult things that come along with sharing a living space with others. However, the experience is also an opportunity to make some of the best friends you will ever have.

If you have been hanging around Young, and In Progress for any period of time, you most likely know that I have not one, but two roommates. We all met in our Christian sorority in college, and we have been living together since July of 2012. We have an absolute blast together, you guys. Having roommates is not only convenient cost wise, but it is a sure way to ensure that you will never be lacking company when it's wanted. I actually consider myself an introvert, but since I have lived with these girls, I hate to be home alone. It is so sad when they are both out of town for more than 24 hours.

After seeing the negative roommate posts, I had an idea. I want to show the positive side of roommate living. The key for us, is to just be honest, enjoy each other's company, and accept each other's differences. It's working well for us, so I thought it would be beneficial to create a little questionnaire to ask my roomies. I asked them if they would be interested in participating in this post, and they were both really excited about it! So without further ado, I present: Roommate Confidential.

Although I have briefly introduced my roommates here, I thought they deserved a little bit more of an in-depth background story. I'm so glad they're allowing me to plaster their faces all over the internet!

This is Amber, or as I like to call her, Ambird. She just graduated from FSU in May with a degree in Psychology. She decided to stick around here to work full-time while she decides what she wants to do in terms of grad school. This girl is a giant ball of fun, and she will do anything to help you out when you're in need.

This is Alyssa, or as Amber has deemed her, Turkey. I can't really remember how she got that nickname, but it just kind of stuck! Ha ha. Alyssa is a senior at FSU, majoring in Computer Science. She is super smart, and studious. The girl is going to be extremely successful. She seems quiet at first, but once you get to know her she is perfect for having hilarious conversations with.

Now, let's get into the questions that I asked them. I told them to be 100% honest, because I am typing the answers exactly as they are giving them to me. You'll see that I'm also going to chime in occasionally!

1. What has been the best thing about our roommate experience so far?
Amber: Two things: just living with people that I love. And accountability. Just like, well, we're Christians, so you guys holding me accountable to my promises to myself and to God. You know what I mean?
Alyssa: I guess for me, I guess getting to know you guys better. When we moved in together I was still getting to know you guys, so that's been fun.
Miranda: For me, I would say it's just having two good friends to come home to every day. Um, I've always wanted that "roommate" experience, and now I've been able to have it.

2. What would you say is the most difficult thing to adjust to with having roommates?
Amber: That's a really hard question. Ask me again. That's a difficult question, I love you guys. I love living with y'all, I love people.
Alyssa: Uh...when significant others or friends are over and I want to come out in my shorts and I can't because people are over. Like when I want a day to myself and I can't have one.
Miranda: Sometimes I'll come in a bad mood or a mood that I want to be alone, and I will feel guilty about going to my room or being rude to you guys.

3. Who is the most outgoing, and who is the most introverted?
Amber: Okay, well I'm the most outgoing. And the most introverted would go to Turkey.
Alyssa: First of all, I'm misunderstood. My studies take me away. But I'll take the most introverted award. Amber is an easy one, because she always has to be around people. So she's the most outgoing.
Miranda: I definitely agree with both of y'all, ha ha.

4. As far as chores go, how does our system work?
Amber: Well I think Turkey and her scenario to "working parents and child" explains everything.
Alyssa: Um, Miranda does the dishes by hand. She doesn't like the dishwasher. And Amber gets in cleaning moods on Sunday. And I do nothing. Except take out the trash. And I make the mess. I have this bad feeling that you guys are going to crazy on me one day.

5. What would you say Amber's quirkiest roommate habit(s) it?
Alyssa: Let me think. She likes to like, walk around in her bra. That's kinda weird. I actually really like this quirk because it works out really well for me, but she feels like she has to do stuff for me. She has a motherly, "I have to handle this" kind of thing going on.
Miranda: Hm...Amber is one of those people that, and I don't mean this to sound bad, but she likes things done her way. She has a system, and she sticks to it.

6. What is Alyssa's quirkiest habit(s)?
Amber: SHE WON'T USE ANYONE'S PLATES BUT HER OWN. She fills the dishes with water when she's done with them. She likes the center of the couch. She spreads all of her stuff out when she studies. The water cup, and THE PAPER TOWELS!
Miranda: I'm going to second the strewn out paper towels, ha ha. Oh, and I think it's weird that she always wears her shoes in the house.

7. What is my quirkiest habit(s)?
Amber: You fold the kitchen towel "not my way."
Alyssa: Uh...you're kinda normal. You just like to touch your hair. That's like the only thing I've noticed that you do. But you have nice hair. So it's okay that you touch it.

8. What is the most hilarious situation we have been in so far?
Amber: Well I wasn't here for it, but when you let the neighbors in my room. (Long story, folks.) And Alyssa and the time with the toilet.
Alyssa: Uh...that's tough. I have to think. Not hilarious, but interesting, was the frog situation. Not the dead one on the floor, the one in Walmart. (Alyssa is terrified of frogs.)
Miranda: Definitely the time that Alyssa told Amber she had cankles.

9. Would you say we are good about sharing, or do we prefer to keep our things separate?
Amber: You and I are great at sharing. Everything. Shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, shoes, dairy products, toilet paper...
Alyssa: You and Amber are good about sharing. I'm working on it. I'm just used to that. But you guys are great about sharing. It's just been and adjustment.

10. One word you would use to describe Amber and why?
Alyssa: Amber is independent. Because she is younger than me, but definitely more prepared for the real world than I am, and can do a lot of things on her own. She gets things done. She's a boss.
Miranda: I would say Amber is very selfless. She is always looking out for us, and jumps my car when my battery dies.

11. One word you would use to describe Alyssa and why?
Amber: Can I think about this for a minute? Um...she's not gonna like this. Studious. Or focused. She's just very on the ball when it comes to school related assignments and she knows how to say no to fun in order to make sure that they're done. That's admirable.
Miranda: I was going to say something similar. I was going to say driven, because she's very focused on her goals and her future. And she's willing to do whatever to make good things happen.

12. One word you would use to describe Miranda and why?
Amber: Artistic. Well, because, you're very talented in the realm of writing and blogging and photography and all of that stuff.
Alyssa: Uh...I would say, uh, like..can it be two words? Nevermind. Creative. You're creative. Because you like to write and everything, and you did guard so you have that performing arts background. And you like my kind of music.

13. If the fellow roommates are home, what are they most likely spending their time doing?
Amber: Miranda, you blog or write. You're on the computer doing something with that stuff. Turkey is sitting on the couch programming and being studious.
Alyssa: Amber is either out the door going to someone's house or on the couch vegging out, or cooking. Or cleaning. You are blogging or watching TV with me when our shows are on, or awaiting my grilled cheese sandwiches.
Miranda: Alyssa is either studying, or jamming out to her mad techno music. Amber is either talking someone's ear off, or making stuff for her Etsy store. Or crafting.

14. What is something one of your roommates could do that would push you over the edge?
Amber: This isn't a fair question. Um...I don't know. Um...like crawl into my bed with their boyfriend. That's the worst thing I could imagine.
Alyssa: Uh...yeah, I guess the whole boyfriend thing. As long as everyone is respecting each other's space, we're fine. If you played a practical joke on me with a frog, I would be real pissed.

15. Overall, how would you describe our roommate experience?
Amber: Wonderfully amazing. I just love my roommates so much.
Alyssa: I think we are functionally dysfunctional. We all have our quirks, but we all work.
Miranda: Ditto. I will cherish this experience forever.

Words cannot describe how important these girls are to me. These are friendships that I am confident will be around for the remainder of my life. Moving out next year will be sad, but I'm also excited to see where life will take all of us in the future. Thanks Amber and Alyssa, for letting me drag you into my nerdy little blog world. You have to admit though, it was pretty fun wasn't it?

And to end, I will give you  a couple of more pictures from our pumpkin patch adventure yesterday evening.



Dear Harry

Harry Potter link-up

I saw the announcement for a Harry Potter linkup floating around Twitter a couple of days ago, and my first thought was...UM, YES! Harry, Ron, Hermione and I are best friends for life, and I talk about them quite a bit around these parts, including here and here. I have been pondering what HP related topic I should write about, and it's really difficult to choose just one! So, I decided I'm going to get a little personal here and write a letter to Harry and friends.
Dear Harry,

I have no doubt that I can trust you to share this letter with Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the gang. Heck, you can even share with Malfoy. After all, the journey would not have been the same without him.

You guys made your entrance into the world of literature when I was in the 4th grade...still just a baby in so many ways! There was quite a bit of controversy over your books at this time in the world. I remember hearing teachers debate over whether or not books about wizardry were acceptable for children our age. They didn't think that us students heard these conversations, and while many may not have, I certainly did. I was a reader. I averaged 3 to 5 trips to the school library in a single week. I wanted to know more about your books, and eavesdropping was the only way for me to do that.

While the majority of the teachers in my small town thought your name would become a mark of "evil and un-Christian content," there was one teacher who disagreed and was willing to stand up for you. She fought for the young imaginations of my classmates and I. She knew we would love you. Because of her, we were given permission to dive into your first adventure with the Sorcerer's Stone in our advanced reading class. This was a beautiful beginning.

I still remember the day that this teacher passed out brand spanking new, paperback copies of your first book. Our first names were written along the side in red permanent marker. The cover art was gorgeous. The gold lettering gleamed in the fluorescent classroom lighting. The pages were still stiff and unwrinkled. The book smelled of fresh paper. Have you ever been able to tell that a book was going to change your life, just by holding it in your hand? The Sorcerer's Stone was my first experience of that.

At the end of chapter one, I knew. I knew that you and the rest of the Harry Potter crew were going to change the way I looked at books. I was no stranger to imagination at this point, but you are responsible for opening up my mind's full potential. I went from simply "seeing" events in books, to actually being involved in the events. I didn't just envision you receiving your Hogwarts letter from Hagrid, I was sitting right there beside you as you read it, reading mine. I didn't just "watch" you journey through Diagon Alley with your supply list. I walked along next to you with mine and collected all of my first year necessities as well. I was in that Hogwarts Express car with you and Ron and Hermione.

I was there with you through all seven years.

Harry, you guys are a gigantic part of the reason that I am the person that I am today. You are the reason for my positivity, for my creativity, for my love of the written word. You have saved me from viewing this great big world in black and white. You have given me the ability to realize how much life has to offer. You have shown me that magic doesn't always come in the form of wands and potions, but more importantly, in the forms of people and love.
Fifteen years later, I still smile when I hear your name or catch a glimpse of that stack of seven books on my shelf. And fifty years from now? It will still be the same. Always.


On Depression

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Depression" is a term that I try to use loosely. In today's society, the concept of depression holds so many different connotations. There are crazy stigmas and ideas attached to the word itself, so using it in everyday conversation is risky. You can be in the middle of a deep conversation with someone, and say "I struggle with occasional depression," and 3 out of 5 times that person is going to think "Yeah, right. Drama queen," or "This person is crazy. Buh-bye." Maybe I'm being a little negative here, but as someone who observes people and their actions more than usual, it is what I have noticed.

The reason this becomes a problem in life, is because SO MANY individuals out there battle some type of depressive tendencies. It's no secret that life can get you down, and sometimes, we just don't have the courage, or even the want, to fight and pull ourselves back into place on solid ground. Everyone handles this differently. Contrary to popular belief, depression doesn't always mean that a person is doubting their life, or wearing all black, or causing themselves bodily harm. In many circumstances, depression is just a sense of overwhelming sadness. It's the type of feeling that makes you want to sit alone in your room, and listen to sad music, and question where you are and where you are going.

Personally, I have dealt with this for the past few years now. When I graduated high school and started college, stress became very prominent in my life. Not only was I worried about taking and passing a full load of classes, I was also constantly worrying about getting enough hours at work to pay my bills, and I was stuck in a relationship that was unfulfilling. Over those years, other upsetting things would pop in and out of my life as well. These things are so small in comparison to what some people go through, but as a "perfectionist" at heart, they weighed heavy on me. I spent a great deal of time alone. I didn't feel like what I was doing was important. I forgot to rely on God. I was depressed.

Since college ended, things have improved greatly. I fought back, and I began to strengthen my faith. I made necessary changes to life. I pulled myself out of my room and went on adventures with my friends. I realized how dear the people in my life are. I opened my eyes to see that life is too stunning to waste in a fog of sorrow...especially when you are sorrowful for things that you simply cannot control.

Do I still deal with depression? Of course. A couple of days out of every month, I feel like I have a giant grey cloud looming over my head. It usually begins with something like a terrible day at work, or a fight with someone I love. As an overthinker, I will dwell on that thing until it makes everything seem negative. Depending on what it is, it may take a few days for me to stop. However, the difference in now and the way I used to be is this: I know that God is always going to bring me through and reveal his purpose. All things will eventually make sense. Even if you're a non-believer, I would say it's safe to bet that there is always a reason to keep fighting.

Do you struggle with depression? Does someone close to you struggle with depression? Don't let yourself take it too lightly. While it is definitely okay to feel sorrow in life, it is not okay to feel it so much that everything around you is impacted negatively. Remember this...your life is too full of opportunity and potential happiness to accept the false idea that you don't deserve to be joyful and at peace. Tell yourself this every single day, particularly the days in which the black clouds are present. Tell your loved ones this too. If we don't believe that, we will waste entirely too much sunshine by sitting alone in our rooms.



Every Face a Different Shade {Halloween Costumes 2013}

"Masquerade! Paper faces on parade
Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you
Masquerade! Every face a different shade
Masquerade! Look around there's another mask behind you
Flash of mauve, splash of puce
Fool and king, ghoul and goose
Green and black, queen and priest
Trace of rogue, face of beast
Take your turn, take a ride
On the merry-go round in an inhuman race
Eye of gold, thigh of blue
True is false, who is who?
Curl of lip, swirl of gown
Ace of hearts, face of clown
Faces! Drink it up, drink it up
'Till you've drowned in the light
In the sound
But who can name the face?
Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds
Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you
Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you
Masquerade! Seething shadows, breathing lies
Masquerade! You can fool any friend who ever knew you
Masquerade! Leering satyrs, peering eyes
Masquerade! Run and hide, but a face will still pursue you"
-Masquerade, Phantom of the Opera

John and I went to a Halloween party on Friday night. If you read my post on Thursday, you saw how I created the masks that we wore. I really love how they turned out. It was a simple and creative costume. We just threw on some classy black clothing (and some jackets, because it was pretty chilly here in Florida!), added the masks, and we were good to go. It is a goal of ours to attend a real masquerade ball someday, but until that happens this Halloween costume has given us a little fix.
Did you do any Halloween celebrating this weekend?


Switchfoot: Sneak Preview

Guys, I just got home from one of the most memorable nights of my life! It's 2 AM on Friday morning, and I can't go to sleep! Remember how I told y'all about my Switchfoot VIP tickets I got from John for my birthday? Well, that was last night and we had an absolute blast! It was a great concert, and I even got to meet them! A dream was fulfilled! 

I'm going to do a full post complete with a big hunk of pictures next week, but I just had to share a little something about it today. I have so much to say. They are one of those bands that just bring out all of your positive thoughts and feelings. It's almost indescribable.

I hope y'all have a happy Friday, and an even happier weekend! I will see you all on Monday, but until then, here are a couple of teaser photos!



Masquerade {A Halloween Tutorial}

Let me preface by saying, I am really excited about this post! It is going to be my first DIY/tutorial, so if you're interested to see how I created these masquerade masks, please stick around! (This post is pretty long, but I promise it's worth it!)

It's fall, and with fall comes Halloween. There is always a lot of excitement around this holiday. I enjoy parts of it, but it's definitely not my favorite by any means. I dressed up as a kid, and did the trick or treating thing a few times, but I would never refer to what I do as "celebrating." Usually, Halloween just makes me want a caramel apple. If I get one of those, I feel like it lived it up Halloween style.

Anyway, John and I started dating about a month before Halloween last year. I will tell you something new about this guy...he loves to dress up. Me? Not so much. But, he's so cute he can talk me into anything, and last year we ended up being Robin Hood and Maid Marian...the Disney edition, complete with little fox ears!

This year though, Halloween really snuck up on us and we really didn't begin to discuss costumes until this past weekend, mainly because we were invited to a Halloween party that takes place this upcoming Friday. We had discussed a couple of things, but nothing was really seeming like a good idea. Then, I was on the way to work this morning and it hit me. MASQUERADE. In case you haven't heard yet, I love me some Phantom of the Opera, and ever since the first time I laid eyes on that show, I have wanted to go to a masquerade ball. Therefore, I messaged John and told him my idea. He loved it, so I then moved forward to taking care of the most important part of our costumes...the masks of course.

There are several places you can find masquerade masks this time of year, but for really nice ones, it costs a pretty penny. Plus, the men's masks are always so plain...and I feel like it should at least have a little something. And, the main thing I don't like is they are sold with the bands that you are supposed to wear around your head, and I prefer the ones on sticks that you hold up to your face. Needless to say, I decided to take things into my own hands to create attractive, affordable masks for John and I. I'm going to show you my process from start to finish. But first, here is a little music to set the masquerade mood!

Step 1: Buy your base masks. I hit up Party City to find our base masks. I did end up buying me one that was already pretty blinged out, because it was on sale. At first I was a little bummed that all I could find for John was a plain black one, but at the end I was so glad that I had to buy it plain! I paid around $5 apiece for these.

Step 2: Buy the rest of your materials. I was able to find everything I need at Joann Fabrics for around $15. You will need two 12 inch crafting dowels, a bottle of acrylic paint in the color of your choice, a paint sponge, scissors, super glue, ribbon of your choice, a box of various sized rhinestones (or whatever you want to use to decorate the mask), a paper plate, and a couple of paper towels.

Step 3: Paint your crafting dowels. These are going to be the "handles" for your masks. I am painting mine black to match the black, silver, and red theme I chose for ours, but you can choose whatever color will go best with your scheme! After painting, lay aside on a paper towel to dry.

Step 4: Bedazzle your mask(s). I'm only adding a little oomph to John's, since mine is already so sparkly. This is a step where you can be as free and creative as you want. Since John is a guy, I didn't want to over bling him out, but you can go crazy and create whatever design you want to create! I am just using super glue and tweezers to place the jewels onto the mask.

Step 5: Add another coat of paint to your crafting dowels, to ensure that the paint is opaque, and continue to let dry.

Step 6: Create your ribbon bunches. These are going to add a little extra pizazz to the handle of the mask. I used two different colors of ribbon. For each mask, I cut two 10 inch strips of each color. You can add more or less if you desire.

Step 7: Attach the ribbon bunches to the crafting dowels. I found the easiest way to do this was to apply a generous amount of super glue to the end of each dowel, then press it onto the ribbon bunches so that each piece of ribbons sticks to the dowel.

Step 8: Use a small piece of ribbon to tie around your dowel and secure the other ribbons. This will just ensure that your ribbons stay in place on the dowel. After this, you will now have two "wands." (Wingardium leviosa!) Sorry, I had to throw a nerd moment in there somewhere.

Step 9: Attach "wands" to masks. This was probably the trickiest part. You need to ensure that the masks you choose have a flat enough surface on the back to lie flush with the crafting dowels. Also, make sure that the side of the dowel that has the tie is not the side that you attempt to glue to the mask. Just apply a generous dose of super glue to the end of the dowel, stick it onto the back of the mask, and hold it until it begins to feel secure. They will need to dry for a good while before you attempt to use them.

Step 10: Be a masquerader! As soon as all of the glue is good and dry, and the handles are secure on the masks, you're ready to get dressed and dance the night away!

And there you have it...custom, semi DIY masquerade masks that can be created in 10 easy steps. John and I will be wearing ours with all black, him slacks and a button up shirt and me a black lacy dress that I always look for an excuse to wear. I fully plan on taking enough pictures to fill up a post, so check back for those if you want to see our complete costumes!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and interesting. Maybe it will help some of you make a decision on a last minute Halloween costume. Are you dressing up? What are you going to be? I would love to know!

Catch y'all tomorrow!



A Look Inside a Minimalist's Makeup Bag

Today, folks, it is time for nosey post number three! I'm actually quite enjoying sharing these. Honestly, I think my favorite part is arranging everything into organized form for a picture. There's just something fun about that. Just me? Okay...never mind then.

If you're interested in checking out my previous "nosey posts," you can find them here:

What's on my iPhone?
What's in my Purse?

For round three, I'm going to be sharing my collection of something that every girl wants to love, but really just ends up hating on a daily basis. You guessed it...makeup! It can do amazing things, but it is such a pain in the butt to fool with. Unless you're one of those people that find it enjoyable and relaxing. Kudos to you. I find it enjoyable in the sense that I love testing things and discovering what works best for my skin, but putting it on is stressful. That is one of the reasons I don't own too much makeup. The other is, I really just believe in embracing the natural beauty you have been blessed with. Therefore, I only invest in products that will be useful for my particular makeup routine...which revolves around simplicity.

With that being said, let's quit dawdling and jump right in. This is my makeup bag. My roommate Alyssa got me this for Christmas last year. Adorable, right? Not only is it cute, it has a ton of space, and it's perfect for traveling along with me.

Here are the contents, all laid out for the blog world to see. I know some of them look quite beat up and disheveled. Trust me, that's just proof of a well loved product.

This is my little collection of "face" makeup. My favorite foundation is the Covergirl Clean foundation for oily skin. I have been wearing it for about four years now. It's always what I buy when I run out and have to invest in more. It gives a really light, natural coverage. However, I do use this much less now days because I'm obsessed with the Garnier BB Cream. BB Cream is so simple! I use the light/medium shade for combination/oily skin.

My favorite powders are the Maybelline Stay Matte (which is almost empty, sad day), and the Elf tone correcting powder, which is really nice for my pink-toned skin. I apply foundation with my hands, or sometimes a sponge, and powder with this Elf face brush, which is great quality considering I only paid $2 for it!

 I own more eye products than any other type. Mascara is the one makeup item that I would never give up, because I feel like it does the most for my face. My eyelashes are one of my best features, so I enjoy a hunt for a good mascara. Maybelline is my favorite brand, I haven't strayed from it in a couple of years. My favorite is the Waterproof Rocket Volume Express.

My Naked palette is my most expensive makeup item, and it was well worth the money! The shades are beautiful, natural, and versatile. I also have two single Urban Decay eye shadows. "Sin" is my absolute favorite eye color ever. It's a shimmery champagne color. The smaller palette you see is just a basic one from Avon.

Eyeliner changes for me. The Urban Decay eyeliners are fantastic, but expensive. I have been cherishing that last little bit of it in the shade "Zero" which is just a basic black. However, I also really like the NYC brand eye pencils. They work well and they're cheap! I also love the Elf eyelid primer. It works great and it's only $1!

These last two items are just random. Believe it or not, I only have one lip product in my bag and it isn't even a gloss or a lipstick. I HATE wearing stuff on my lips. You will never catch me wearing lipstick. Instead, when I want to dress things up a bit I use this Nivea Kiss of Shimmer. It's actually quite pretty. For everyday wear, I use EOS lip balms and Baby Lips balms. I apply them in the morning, and throughout the day as needed. I keep these on my bathroom counter and in my purse, that's what you don't see them here.
The Sephora thing is just a two sided compact mirror. One side is normal, and one is magnified. This is so handy when it comes to putting on mascara, or if I'm ever traveling and don't have easy access to a normal mirror. I've had it for a while, and you can tell because it looks well loved.
That's it for my bag of makeup secrets! Have questions about anything? Want my opinion on any of the products? Curious as to why I do or don't use certain things, such as blush or bronzer? Just leave a comment below and I will definitely get back to you!

What's in your makeup bag? Are you a minimalist? Or, maybe you're a makeup hoarder? I want to know.



Zombies AND Aliens?

John, being the curious and thoughtful boyfriend that he is, asks me almost every morning if I had any dreams during the night. Usually my answer is just a flat, "Nope!" because I hardly ever have dreams...good or bad. And, if I do have dreams, they were so varied that I can't even remember anything about them. Let me just tell you though, last night, I had a really crazy dream that lasted the entire eight hours that I slept. At least it felt like it did. My mind is still a little blown, because that just never happens to me. Maybe it's because last night was the first truly restful night of sleep that I have had in a couple of weeks. I didn't wake up at 3 AM and have to fight my eyes to get them to close again. I feel asleep at 10, and I woke up at 6. Apparently, the little dream fairy that floats around watching people sleep took advantage of that.

Needless to say, I'm a little confused. Because, it's not just that I had a crazy vivid dream. I had a crazy vivid dream about two things that I seriously never pay thought to. It involved zombies. Which are bad enough on their own, right? Apparently not, because it also involved aliens. Who has a dream with zombies AND aliens in it? I'm sorry, but that's just not fair. Those are two extreme things to deal with mentally. If some vampires and werewolves had been thrown in there, it could have been laughable. But just the two on their own? Still terrifying, people! Maybe I should be referring to this as a nightmare? I don't really know. I feel incredibly nerdy for even dissecting this dream, but I'm just so confused as to why it was in my mind. John is probably getting a kick out of this.

It all started out with me traveling with a group of people. Some were friends, and some were just people that I knew. Why do these random people show up in dreams, by the way? You know what I mean...people that you see maybe once every two months, but you're not actually friends with. That's just strange. Anyway, we were just walking along, and then we started coming across all of these dead people, just lying mauled on the side of the road. So we get freaked out, and we run until we get to this creepy, old, terrifying two story house. Of course, we think it looks safe, right? (Why are people so dumb in dreams?) We go inside, and lock ourselves all in one bedroom, then we start hearing all of this screeching and running down the halls and our room is under attack, so we flee.

Well, I don't know what happened to my friends at this point, but who do I find myself running into? My mom, of course. Because that's completely logical. So my mom and I are dodging all of these zombies, and find ourselves locked back in the same room my friends and I were just in. I turned the lights off so the zombies wouldn't think anyone was in there, and leaned against the door to block it. Then my mom tried to turn the light on because she wanted to read her book. Excuse me, but WHAT? We are trying to survive a zombie apocalypse and you want to read your book? So we start fighting over the light switch and making noise and then of course a zombie attacks the door and I'm pushing against it trying to keep him out. You know what? My mom doesn't even help me! Mama, if you're reading this and we are ever under zombie attack, I can't promise I'm going to stick with you. I love you and all, but this dream is worrisome!

So, somehow we get out of that situation and we run outside and jump in a car. It's a Nissan Versa. Why in the heck do I know what kind of car I'm driving to get away from zombies in my dream? Does it really matter? I don't know! It was definitely a Versa though! We drive, and we drive, and we drive down what looks like I-10 (of course it would be I-10 because I spend so much time on there). There are hardly any cars, but every now and then one will fly by so we follow one and end up on this little country road in a giant traffic jam because apparently everyone is trying to escape this way. I wedge the little Versa between cars until I get to the front and then see that everyone is stopped because there are power lines blocking the road and a few men are trying to get them out of the way.

This is where the aliens come in. This UFO comes hovering over the giant traffic jam, and a booming voice starts talking about how we are about to meet our end. Then we all hear a bunch of rustling and screeching in the woods around us, and people are drawn into the forest and I'm grabbing them and telling them to stop. Of course my mom is one to walk into the woods. She hasn't listened to me the whole darn dream. So, at this point I'm panicking, and then the zombies also start to mosey onto the scene, because they are obviously in cahoots with the aliens. And then, I wake up. Can someone just tell me...WHAT?

I'm sorry you had to endure this terribly long, rambly story, full of run-on sentences. But, I'm just really confused. In a way it's comical, but in a bigger way I just can't understand how this would be formulated in my mind. I don't watch The Walking Dead, I don't watch alien movies, I don't know anything about the zombies and aliens except for all of the stereotypical mumbo jumbo. Why the dream fairy chose my mind for this one...I may never know.

Oh, and no picture in this post. You know why? I seriously doubt there are any pictures out there that include both zombies AND aliens. It's just too cruel.

Happy Tuesday. (I've been thinking it's Wednesday all morning.)



Florida State, Florida State, Florida State, Whoo!

And so the cycle of life brings us back around to Monday. Hey there. How are y'all today? Awake? Alive? Blessed? Cool. Me too.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes towards the endoscopy that I had on Friday. It went really well, and nothing major was found. I will definitely be referred to a surgeon for gallbladder removal now. The process wasn't bad, I don't even remember 95% of it. The worst (and most embarassing) thing that happened was I woke up with drool dried all in the left side of my hair. I'm sure the doctor and the nurses got a kick out of that. In my defense though, they did have a camera shoved down my throat. I'm allowed to drool, right?

Today, I really just want to talk about one thing, and one thing only. Warning: proud fan moment ahead.

Um...can we just look at number two for a second? See those two words? FLORIDA STATE? What?! After beating the mess out of Clemson (when it was expected to be the exact opposite), we have moved up to #2 in the BCS rankings! This is quite a sight! Proud Seminoles everywhere have been waiting for a return like this for a long time now. I don't want to get too caught up in the moment, because the season still has a long way to go. But, this is EXCITING. How amazing it is to see this great tradition in a place that is deserves.

Watching the game Saturday night was a lot of fun. John was on call and not in town this weekend (not so much fun), so I went with my roommates to a friend from church's house to watch with a group of people. It was actually a perfect fall night for football. Even here in Florida, it was about 65 degrees...perfect for long sleeved FSU tshirts and sitting squeezed on the couch with my roomies!

Also, I just want to say that Jameis Winston is the most adorable human being on the planet. Even if you are a Florida State hater (shame on you), you just have to be able to see something undeniably unique about this kid. He always has a smile on his face, you can tell he truly enjoys the sport, he is a sweetheart, a great leader, a well respected young man...the list goes on and on. I can't get over his preciousness. My heart melted watching him stand there with his arms around two of his teammates shoulders towards the end of the game. This kid deserves to be where he is right now. There is no doubt about that.

Okay, I should probably end this here since the majority of my readers have no clue about anything to do with Florida State. I just can't help it. I had to talk about it. And, in the off chance that you are interested in my life as a 'Nole and FSU alumni, you can click over to here and here to educate yourself, because I mention this pretty frequently.

How was your weekend? Did you watch football? Who were you rooting for? Tell me all about it!



Laughter is the Best Medicine

We made it! It's Friday!

As you're reading this, I'm most likely on my way to have a camera shoved down my throat. Wish I was kidding, but I'm not. I mentioned earlier in the week that I'm most likely going to have to have my gallbladder removed. I went in to discuss this with a nurse practitioner yesterday, and was told that they want to rule out the question of ulcers before they take my gallbladder out, so now I have to have an upper endoscopy done. I'm not excited, but I shall do what I gotta do! Say a prayer for me...as I discussed here, I have a fear of all things medical...especially if it involves putting things down my throat.

Moving on though, I don't want this post to be all complaining and doom and gloom. It is FRIDAY after all! If you follow me on Instagram (which you should, I love to follow back!), you probably saw this little gem that I put up for #Throwback Thursday yesterday.

This is Amber and I at our sorority's formal in the spring of 2012. I love this picture and it makes me so incredibly happy because it one of many reminders that there have been, and are so many moments in my life to be ecstatic about. There are multiple reasons to laugh, to smile...to experience the pure joy that this particular photo exhibits. Is there really any better feeling than laughing until your cheeks hurt? LAUGHTER. That's what I want to focus on today. To do that, I'm going to share some of my favorite, goofy pictures that have brought, and will continue to bring many precious laughs.

This is a picture of three of my younger cousins and I. (And also a perfect example of why I'm not a fashion blogger...can we talk about that posture?) I'm so dressed up (in my garnet and gold, Go 'Noles!) because this was right after my college graduation. I just find it hilarious because Taylor, Shelby, and I are trying to be all cute, and Riley is up front being a goofball.

This was taken in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I was chaperoning a trip with my old church's youth group (even though I wasn't much older than the youth), and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a ridiculous picture in front of a "buy 1 get 1 free" sign. How are you going to say no to that?

Like our church hats? If you're ever bored and looking for something to do to waste time, just hit up your local Burlington Coat Factory and try on every hat in their insane collection of crazy hats. Oh, and make sure you take pictures, or it didn't happen.

John may not appreciate the fact that I'm putting this on my blog. But...it's been on Facebook for a long time, so it's already out there. (Sorry, honey! I did it for the blog.) I just appreciate that John looks like the creepiest of creepers in this photo. And my head looks like that of a giant-headed cartoon character. We're an attractive couple, right?

And last but not least, the infamous cousin rivalry picture. Shelby is a sophomore at the University of Florida and I am a Florida State University graduate. If you're a college football fan, you know that this is  HUGE rivalry. Our grandparents gave us these chocolate bars in our Christmas gifts last year, and you know we had to take some silly pictures with them.

Now that you've seen a bit of my awkward side (which I don't try to hide by the way, ha ha), tell me about some of the things that make you laugh. Do you have specific pictures that you look at when you're in need of a mood boost? Maybe you listen to a song, or watch a funny video? Just do whatever you have to, because laughter is a vital part of life! I truly believe it helps the world go 'round.

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."
- Mark Twain
Have the happiest of weekends!


Facing Skin Facts {Plus a Giveaway for YOU!}

GUYS. Can I just say how swell the "What's in a Name?" linkup went yesterday? Thank you so much to everyone who came by to join us! It was a lot of fun, and I loved reading your posts, and even making some new friends! Of course, thanks a billion to my beautiful co-hosts, Jessica and Kelli! They are dolls, and it wouldn't have been the same without them! (By the way, the linkup is still active for a couple of more days, so feel free to join if you haven't already!)

Yesterday we talked names, and today I'm switching gears on y'all. In this little blog session, I'm going to be discussing something that is very important to women...our SKIN. It can be such a frustrating thing to care for, can't it? No matter how much time and effort we put into cleansing, toning, exfoliating, it still seems to be a constant battle. Some of us suffer from acne. Some of us have huge pores. Some of us are developing wrinkles. Some of us have discoloration.

Let me tell you a little about my personal skin history. I don't have acne. I don't have discoloration. I don't have developing wrinkles. (Yet, anyway.) My pores are kind of big, but I can deal with that. What I can't deal with so easily though, it something that I like to refer to as "oily tomato face syndrome." This means that I not only have excessive amounts of oil in my skin, I also have a pink tint to my skin. Therefore, any amount of time that I am sweating, or in this Florida humidity, or even just out and about for long periods of time, leaves me looking like this:

Exhibit A: Oily Tomato Face. Also, ignore my eyebrows. Thanks.
Because of this, skin care has become something that is not only important to me, but interesting as well. I absolutely love trying out new skin care products for oily/red skin. It's fun...at least I think it's fun anyway. That's why when Sara, a lovely consultant from Rodan & Fields (the creators of Proactive) emailed me to ask if I would want to test some samples from a Rodan & Fields skin care line, I responded with a giant YES. She had me do an online test to determine my skin type, and then she had my samples on the way. Just a couple of days after my birthday, I had a package from her in the mail. This is what it contained:

STILL need to remove date setting from camera. Note to self, Miranda.
Along with a belated birthday wish and a sweet handwritten card, I had some samples and instructions just begging to be played with. For my skin, Sara included:

ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste, REDEFINE Night Renewing Serum, and REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum.

Tiny things are so adorable. How cute are the little samples?
I was also given instructions for how to use everything!

After using everything, I couldn't decide what product was my favorite. They were all refreshing little treats for my sensitive skin. I think I will have to go with the Enhancements Micro-Dermabrasion Paste though. It gets rid of all of the dirt, grime, and dead skin (wow...sorry for the grossness overload there), and makes your skin feel really soft and pure. The Redefine Lip Renewing Serum does something similar for your lips! It would be a great treat for someone who exposes their lips to a lot of different products, or even sunlight. The Redefine Night Renewing serum was also particularly interesting for me because I don't typically use overnight treatments. I could definitely tell the difference in the firmness of my skin the next morning, opposed to other mornings that I just wake up with a bare face.

Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields were so successful in their Proactive endeavors, that they have created an entirely new skin care line for ALL types of skin. These include regimens for everything from rosacea, to aging skin, to damaged skin, to acne prone skin. You name it, Rodan & Fields has a regimen for you to try out! They also have current opportunities to become involved in the distribution of products by becoming a consultant. This has the potential to be a great career opportunity, and I have been looking into it myself. If you're interested, just let me know and I can get you in touch with Sara. She is so sweet, and extremely helpful!

Now, for something extra exciting, Sara has offered to give three of my readers a mini facial kit! Do you want to win one? Trust me, you really do! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me one of your personal skin concerns, and I will use a random number generator to determine the winner. One comment per person please, and you have until Wednesday, October 23rd to enter!

Have a great day! :)
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