What would you say?

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Image via @alexandra003

Ali Nelson is one of the many people I was seriously inspired by this past year. When I saw she posted this question/prompt on her Instagram, I knew I had to respond.

If you could write a text to the you a year ago to prepare yourself for 2014 what would you say?

Wow, load your questions much, Ali? I love it. I love the challenge. I know I could probably go on and on about what I would tell myself a year ago, but I only want to skim the most important things in my response. What fun would it be if we were given a specific set of directions/warnings each year? I for one would probably be terrified.

So, Ali. If I had the opportunity to prepare myself for 2014 via text, I would tell myself, “Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. Pack a little lighter for Australia. Don’t regret any of your experiences with him. Realize you deserve 200% better and let him go. You’re stronger than you think.”

2014 has been the biggest adventure-filled year of my life, which I hope means 2015 is going to bring even more adventure. Only time will tell, eh?

Happy New Year!

December DIYs for Days

I decided this December, it would be my mission to DIY til my hands could DIY no more. And I think I did a pretty good job of accomplishing that task! The best part? I was able to give away most of these DIYs as little bonus gifts to my sisters, girlfriends, and various loved ones.

Santa Letters
Made these for my younger sisters and their roommates. Quick and easy!

DIY 01What you need: wooden letters, red paint, white paint, red felt, black felt, white felt, cotton balls, cardboard, gold glitter, craft glue, ribbon, hot glue
Source: Pinterest

Winter Wonderland Shadowbox
By far my most challenging project, but it turned out better than I’d hoped. The Pinterest link had no information on what you needed or how to put anything together, but I managed on my own. Not bad!

DIY 02What you need: shadow box, silver paint, lots of white glitter, cotton balls, various sized bottle brush trees, copper wire battery-operated lights
Source: Pinterest

Peppermint Bark Brownies
Because I obviously couldn’t go through December without a little baking. I took this simple homemade brownie recipe and put my own twist on it. Instead of frosting: peppermint bark. I mean…

DIY 03What you need: brownies (see recipe), white chocolate, candy canes, a tiny bit of shortening, a sweet tooth
Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Tulle Santa Wreath
Just four basic materials and a lot of knotting.

DIY 04What you need: wreath form, lots of tulle, santa hat, hot glue
Source: Pinterest

Mason Jar Snow Globes
I feel like this might be the most popular winter craft on Pinterest, but I couldn’t resist a DIY with Mason Jars…

DIY 05What you need: various mason jars, bottle brush trees, ribbon, hot glue, white glitter
Source: Pinterest

Chevron + Glitter Canvas
Amanda and I browsed Pinterest for canvas ideas and saw this chevron pattern. We put our own twist on it by making it black and white and cutting out words in cardboard to use as the gold glitter pop.

DIY 06.1DIY 06.2What you need: canvas, black paint, gold paint, gold glitter, cardboard, so much patience
Source: Pinterest

Marbled Clay Ring Dish
When I saw these on A Beautiful Mess, I knew I had to make them for all of the leading ladies in my life as a little extra Christmas gift.

DIY 07.1DIY 07.2What you need: oven bake clay (lots), X-Acto knife, small oven-safe bowl, rolling pin, large can
Source: A Beautiful Mess

Mini Slow Globe Ornaments
Q: Is there anything cuter than an itty bitty tree with glitter as an ornament for your not so itty bitty tree? A: There is not.

DIY 08What you need: itty bitty bottle brush trees, white glitter, plastic light bulb ornaments, ribbon, hot glue
Source: Pinterest

Wrecking Ball Ornament
I don’t know anybody who loves Miley Cyrus as much as my younger sister does. When I saw this on Buzzfeed, I knew there’d be no turning back. Our Christmas tree will never be the same.

DIY 09
What you need: Miley printout, ornament, silver paint, some sort of chain/ribbon/wire, hot glue, Miley Cyrus as background music (obviously)
Source: Buzzfeed

Now Playing: December 2014 Edition

We made it to the end of the year. And just think about how much great music we’ve been able to listen to all year. So this month is kind of a mish mash of things I’ve been really into. My favorite artist at the moment is Walk The Moon. I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to get into their music, but WOW am I glad I finally am. Their new album Talking Is Hard is incredible. Between their pop anthem, “Shut Up And Dance,” and their slower jams, like “Aquaman,” you’ll find something you love. If you’re not convinced, go see them live. I guarantee that’ll change your mind.

The best radio station in Chicago put on their second ever Christmas concert and the lineup this year was beyond even my wildest dream: Meg Myers, Vance Joy, KONGOS, and Walk The Moon. I mean. Really? You expect me to have a pulse at the end of that show? So you’ll find some of my favorite tracks by those artists scattered throughout this playlist too. Other than that, I’ve been jamming to “Uptown Funk” and “Moneygrabber” like its nobody’s business. And when I’m not listening to Walk The Moon, I’m listening to the few Christmas songs that don’t drive me crazy (you’ll find those in this list too).

I really can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us, music-wise. I mean, new Fall Out Boy, new All Time Low, new Marianas Trench, new Imagine Dragons??? The list goes on. And I’m just sitting here waiting as patiently as I can. I suggest you stay tuned.

Til then, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk
Fitz and The Tantrums – MoneyGrabber
Walk the Moon – Jenny
Nick Jonas – Avalanche
Walk the Moon – Avalanche
Meg Myers – Heart Heart Head
Vance Joy – From Afar
Chris Cornell – Scream
Josh Ramsay – Baby Please Come Home
The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
Andrew Belle – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
All Time Low – Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass
Honeyhoney – Punk Kid
Weezer – Da Vinci
Nick Jonas – Jealous – Remix
Vance Joy – Georgia
Walk the Moon – Aquaman
Miley Cyrus – Drive
Taylor Swift – I Know Places
Ella Henderson – Ghost