March 25, 2016

Full Circle

You know what I love? When things come to fruition. I honestly don't think anything going on this month, or in the next week, will possibly come close to the fact that I bought a car two weeks ago, but there's a lot on this girl's plate, so anything is possible. As I was saying...

When things come to pass it's pretty awesome. Back in January friends from home were having a psychic reading party. I immediately was interested and I went. Before you jump to conclusions and misconceptions let me just tell you now: if a psychic gives you a lot of gloom and doom, walk. If they ask for a lot of personal information (astrological sign, birth order, etc), walk. This was my first time but you should always go with your gut, and let me tell you, Alonnie knew her stuff. 

Among other things, the one thing she said that has been at the forefront of my mind these days is that financial abundance and success are in my near future. However, before that, there's going to be a period of hustle and hard work.

I pretty much took what she said and filed it away. I'm not a hard-core skeptic, but I also don't take everything at face value. I understand that I have the power to change anything in my life through my thoughts. If I'm feeling sad, I can change that by simply deciding to not be sad anymore. If I'm feeling angry, I flip it and decide to release whatever is angering me. It's truly as simple as that. Positivity seeks out positivity - just as the same is also true.

As I said, I took what she said with the idea that I would cross that bridge when it presented itself. I'm not ready to let all the details out right now, but I can definitely tell you I'm in a period of hustle - and I'm ready to cross the bridge! 

March 23, 2016

Life After 30

I think I'm significantly past 30 where I can say definitively that there are just certain things I can't do anymore. That's not to say that I limit myself by any means, but after this milestone, some things just aren't as fun, or easy, as they used to be.

Tea, please.
Coffee and I no longer get along. It saddens me to admit that but it is what it is. At first, I thought it was just the Keurig machines at work. I'd feel nauseous after having a cup of coffee in the morning. Then I realized that even when I ordered my DD {medium, skim, 2 Splenda} I was only drinking half of it. I've pretty much switched over to tea entirely because it's amazing and has 749649 flavors.

Flats forever
There was a time in my life where high heels reigned supreme. And really, it was only 6-8 years ago. Now, if it's not a sensible height and quite comfortable, you're not going to get me to wear it. The heels I currently own I'll have until they fall apart, which will be a pretty long time since I almost never wear them. I'm all about wedges, sneakers, and Dr. Scholls flats. Can you believe these pewter colored beauties are Dr. Scholls?! #noshame

Drinking has lost its appeal
I'm quite certain that the Christmas party debacle was the deciding factor but even before that I had been drastically cutting back on my nights out drinking. That's not to say I went out every weekend, Hardly! But even my occasional glass/bottle at home has dwindled. I just don't have the time or energy to waste on that "extra day" of recovery. Plus, there's that whole 'my body is a temple' idea. And I want to kick it 'til my 80s.

Bye Felicia
I've never had any trouble cutting people out of my life if they're no longer serving me. And by that, I mean adding value and merit to my life. If you're driving the drama train or have become a soul /energy vampire I'm going to see myself out and not look back. 

It's 10 pm, are you in bed yet?
If there's one thing I have truly come to appreciate Post-30 it's not going out after 6 pm. I know that seems really early and boring but there is nothing like spending the night in your jams, with a cup of tea, on the couch or snuggled in bed, with a damn good book. Friends ask me to go out at 9 pm and I'm like,

Then there are those damn Tasteful Treasures parties you get invited to. You know what I mean, the ones for sex toys. Seriously? You're actually hosting one of these and you're inviting me? The same goes for Younique, Jamberry, and whatever jewelry party you're hosting. The only exception is Pampered Chef because mama loves to cook!

Forever Not Gonna Fit
I'm fully aware that we live in a youth-obsessed culture but when you're over 35 and still trying to shop at Forever 21, you're going to get some side-eye. Sure, you may be slim enough to still fit in those clothes, kudos to you. The thing is, nothing in that store is age-appropriate for you. I'm not saying you need to start shopping in your mom's closet but the racks at F21 are demo'd towards those 12-year-olds you were cursing out last night for being so loud. 

If I'm being totally honest, I've been 30 for quite some time. Like, 4 years before I actually turned 30. And I love every PJ-clad, couch infused moment of it!

March 16, 2016

That Time I Bought a Car

Last week I dropped a bombshell confession. Today I'm going to tell you the story which requires time travel. Back to March 2013 to be exact. 

It was a nice March day. I had to run an early morning errand to run then I was heading home to get ready for a paralegal conference. Unfortunately, my car had other plans. I pulled into a gas station because I noticed the engine was overheating. The conference was immediately a no-go. 

After letting the car cool down some, I very slowly made my way home. Have you ever had to drive an overheating car? It's not fun. Fortunately, the gas station to my house was exactly 2 miles. Eventually, I was able to get the car to Firestone where they basically tried to hand me the girl card by saying that I probably mixed up the fluids. First of all, that would never have happened. Secondly, n e v e r. The end result was the motor would need to be replaced. And so I went back to being a walker. 

As most of you know, I've been on a spiritual journey in the last year. Meditation, affirmations, turning inwards. Two weeks ago I decided to put myself in the energy of getting a new car. I was going to go for a test drive. What better way to call in my desire than to take part in some inspired action. I've known for a long time that I wanted an SUV so I searched online and picked out a few that I wanted to give a try. 

Last weekend K and I went to Kia to take a look at the Kia Sportage. It seemed like a nice choice and since K has an Optima, I knew what it would feel like. Of course, you can't just walk in, test drive, and walk out so we sat down with the salesman (Al) and talked a bit. I figured this wasn't a bad thing as it would give me some insight as to where I would fall payment wise. I expressed that I was open to lease or finance, whichever served me best and that I didn't care about anything other than having a sunroof and it being any color but white. Al informed me that to have a sunroof would mean going up 4 packages, which basically added on another $6 grand.

After deciding that leasing was my best option we discussed what my max payment could be and what I could put down. At this point, I had a good idea of my budget and what was out of the question. We kept talking numbers and finally Al spit out a number I could really get behind. It was at that moment that I truly entertained the idea of leaving there with a new car. 

There were some more negotiations, I double-checked my insurance quote from a few weeks ago (like I said, I was getting in the energy and doing my homework) and purchased the insurance policy. We were then moved from the sales floor to the finance office. 

We sat down with Calvin who came back to me with an entirely different number than what we had been discussing with Al. Basically, they wanted $1,500 right then and there whereas Al had told me differently. I asked if we could have a minute to discuss and Cal left the room. It was then that I started to become discouraged. Why would you tell me X and then say Y? I know that's how it works, but that doesn't make it right. When he came back into his office I told him I couldn't do that number and that I was told something else.

In true sales fashion, he amended his offer and after consideration, I accepted. And then I started crying. Big ugly tears. I tried to keep it together but I just couldn't. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that this was happening and I was doing it and it was real. My dream was coming true. I was going to have a car again. 

We signed all of the paperwork and although my payments are still higher than the number Al quoted me, I got my way by only putting down what I originally said.

The only feeling I have is gratitude. I am exceeding grateful that this came to fruition. I'm grateful that I finally have a reliable car of my own. I'm grateful that I have the funds to be able to pay for said car. I'm grateful that I got exactly what I asked for. 

March 08, 2016

Booked Vol. 8

I feel like I've been doing nothing but reading lately and I have to say I absolutely love it. You all know it, but there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book. It's comforting, fulfilling, exciting... I could go on and on about my love for books. Instead, let's talk about what I've been reading lately.

I started listening to this because it seemed a "popular book". After the first 20 minutes, I checked out. After I decided to buckle down I found that I really enjoyed it. Eilis is a young girl living at home with her sister and mother. When it's decided that she'll move to the U.S. to find work, her entire life changes. She struggles to fit in and find her place, homesick for what she knows. When she makes a trip back to Ireland she struggles to find her place - Brooklyn, or Ireland. 

This book was sent to me as an ARC. I truly enjoyed this book. Romance, spirituality, a little danger. A perfect quick read to relax and take a break. After slacking off and not giving his all Egan is sent on a 6-month leave of absence to get himself back in check. His good friend Luce, a PR maven, drags him along to North Carolina to scope out the property that artist and Reiki healer Celeste St. Angelo is turning into a healing center. After Luce goes back to NY and leaves Egan he's left to figure out if he can come to terms with his emotional past and love again.

I listened to this entire book on my lunch break one day. I didn't like it at all. Of course, with an opening line like this one has, you immediately get pulled in wanting to know what's going on. As for the entire story. It was just lacking for me, in everything. 

This was a quick an easy e-book that I liked. It was a filler book but it was enjoyable enough. What annoyed me the most, however, was that Petunia, the main character, was so incredibly naïve that wanted to slap her. After accidentally turning her ex into a cat Petunia stays away from making potions. Following a mix up with her new neighbor, an ex-cop, together they stumble upon a dead body. More and more evidence piles up and Petunia is faced with proving her innocence and realizing who she really is. 

Since I read If I Stay it was a given that I needed to read the follow-up story. Parts had me yelling at Adam and other put a knot in my throat. I think if you read the first then it's worthwhile to read this one. 

I was sent this ARC by a friend. I'm a sucker for a boy-meets-girl kind of story. Add some steamy events and I'm ready to dive in. Mia Scott is a hard-ass, all defenses up publicist in NYC. She decides to blow off some steam one night and goes out looking for fun. She finds it in a tall, muscular, man who she meets at a bar. 

I listened to this and was just so bored. There was nothing that pulled me in. I don't know if it was because of the format, the book itself, or Jennifer Weiner, but this just fell flat for me. A cheating husband, a former self-destructive daughter, an over-achieving daughter, and a wife left picking up the pieces. It read like upper-middle-class FWP. I don't know... it just wasn't for me. 

The Law of Attraction / Esther and Jerry Hicks   B-
I'm not really sure how to review this one. If you're into this thing, you've probably heard of this book or its authors. If not, it's possible you've heard of the Law of Attraction. Thanks to The Secret it became a household thing a few years ago. This is along the same vein. 

Wreck and Order / Hannah Tennant-Moore   DNF
I was excited to start reading this since I had marked it TBR forever ago on Goodreads. Imagine my surprise when I find out I was a winner in a Goodreads giveaway. But here's the thing. This book is terrible. And I hate to say that, you know? Someone took a lot of time and effort to put this together but my God is this book bad. At first, I thought it was just me, but the reviews on Goodreads aren't great either. There's no plot at all, the main character, Elsie, has absolutely no direction. I'm surprised I wasn't reading Benjamin Button that's how much she wasn't progressing. Add in the fact that she has obvious major self-esteem issues, and a money-pushing father in that 'here's a check for $4,0000... college is a waste anyway' kind of way and this book brings nothing to the table. 

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes / Karin Slaughter   C
This short novella is a prequel to Pretty Girls which has been on my TBR for a while. I had some trouble keeping up with this and actually, because of its brevity, started it from the beginning... a second time. I just couldn't get into it and it's making me rethink whether I want to read Pretty Girls. 

Maid to Love / Marie Force   B
I'm not sure if it was a February thing {hint" it wasn't} or what but I read a lot of light, filler books this month. And I loved every word of it. This book was nice. I loved the way the characters met, and the entire storyline didn't seem far-fetched and fairytale-ish. This book could actually happen. Not likely, but it's more believable than that book about a monochromatic color. 

Revived by Love / Stacy Eaton   B
This was another ARC that I read. At first, I found it confusing to keep track of who was speaking and I had no idea who was telling the story. Once I found my groove I dove in. 

And I have to share this new website I was introduced to because holy amazing! 
Enter Thrift BooksFull disclosure, this is an affiliate link. You click, you buy, you save {15%}, and so do I. Last week I bought two books for $10.05. Books that were selling on Amazon for $10 each. And they have free shipping after $10. And really, who's only buying one book at a time? 

Life According to Steph

March 04, 2016


Lately, life has been busy... and not all at the same time. I suppose that's really just how life goes, right? Feeling busy and that nothing is happening simultaneously. If that's the case, I've been living it up.

I'm a big fan of classic movies, so when I found out Pretty in Pink was going to be shown in theaters in honor of its 30-year anniversary, I didn't hesitate in buying a ticket. It was just as amazing as I knew it would be. I also bought a ticket to The Maltese Falcon because nothing says I'm 30 like going to a movie that's 75 years old. Also, who say no to Humphrey Bogart?

Earlier this month I treated myself to a trip to the spa. It was my first time going and it was absolutely perfect. A big fluffy robe, free lemon water, a steam room, pampering... take me away. I had the dead sea mud body treatment and it was magical. After I was coated in mud and wrapped in the heating blanket I passed out for a good half hour. I felt drugged walking out of that room. 

My brother and his band, Lift Tom Lift, were  on tour and one of their stops was in New Brunswick. K and I made the trip of course and it was so awesome to see my brother living his dream. Sis came through as always and played host Sunday and Monday night so they didn't have to spend money on a hotel. It was actually pretty fun. They were supposed to have a show in NYC 4 days later but unfortunately, it needed to be canceled due to unfortunate circumstances. 

I went to the dentist recently, which I do routinely. This time, in addition to my cleaning, I needed a cavity on one of my wisdom teeth filled. I have zero qualms about the dentist. Numb me up and do your worst. The problem is that by the time I got home I was quite hungry. I knew chewing wasn't going to work for me so I figured soup was a good idea. Have you ever tried to eat soup when you can't feel half of your face? As I sat there being hangry K, unbeknownst to me, donned his shiny armor, mounted his white horse and asked if I wanted to go to Baskin Robbins. My hero.


The best part? Realizing I never hit publish on this from 3 weeks ago.   #FAIL

March 02, 2016

Confessions Lately

Today is kind of a hybrid post. A few confessions... a little bit of life lately.

+ I'm stealing this from Kathy's confessions last week because it's sooo true: "when technology doesn't work like it's supposed to. This by far pisses me off the most"  Amen sister!

+ Lately, I've been fantasizing about being my own boss and working from home. In theory, it seems idyllic, practically, I have some doubts. Like, a lot of them. Because couch.

+ I've officially reached the point of winter where I'm fed up with everything in my closet and uncomfortable in my own skin. Time to stop being a winter fat ass. This may or may not have been brought on by the fact that I ordered a pair of pants in my size and when I tried them on they were snug. #itwas

+ We all know I do yoga. I'll admit I'm inconsistent AF, but I do it. And when I do I'm all there. I love time on the mat and I have Alyssa to thank for it. She introduced me to yoga in a real, practical way with Bad Yogi. I connect with Bad Yogi. I want to do yoga and eat a cheeseburger the next day - and it's OKAY. No one is perfect, no one has it all together. I'm so sad I missed out on being part of this video, but dammit if it didn't make me cry when I watched it.

+ My friend's bridal shower was this past weekend. For the most part, I did the planning and organizing. The one thing I learned: never again.

+ I have a blate with my blogging faves this weekend and I'm super excited about it.

+ I'm still trying to figure out when March happened. I mean the Super Bowl was like, last weekend. And now it's time for Shamrock shakes and green beer? Father Time needs to check himself.

+ I've pretty much kicked the impromptu cookie addiction I developed over the holidays. Thank God! Seriously, my waistline, and wallet appreciate it. Insomnia, it's not you, it's me. I love your delicious fresh-from-the-oven cookies, but a girl needs to fit into a bathing suit. #noreallyitsyou

+ I signed up for the Color Run in May. 10 weeks. C25K is back in my life and I am determined to own it.

+ I've been on a book tirade lately and obviously I don't hate it. Audiobooks are a glorious thing.

+ I feel like 4.5 years later and I'm still trying to find my rhythm in blogging. Ebb and flow, right?

+ The other day I had a deep realization that I am way too hard on myself. There are a few situations that I beat myself over and last week I finally just said I forgive you, I'm sorry, Thank you, I love you. There were a lot of tears. #soulconfessions

+ I was feeling incredibly unmotivated and uninspired to post last month {obviously} and I thought about hanging up my blogging hat. A lot.

+ I've been ordering all the stickers. I should have known better than to get close to the black hole of planning. I mean, I've always used a planner and I'd sometimes decorate, but this? Mario has eaten the mushroom!

+ I believe in manifesting, angels, guardians, and a higher power. #spiritjunkie

And on that note.... Happy Wednesday. How many days until Memorial Day?