Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12 ways you realize you have become an adult (aka your mother)

1| Shopping for home goods is exciting and way less disappointing than trying on clothes!

2| You enjoy having a bedtime at 9:00 pm...10:30 pm at the absolute latest!

3| You actually have a medicine cabinet with medications and vitamins you take each day.

4| Being an adult isn't totally can now afford to do fun things, like Green Bay Packer games {not the cheap-o nose bleed seats, either!}  - thanks to your organized budget!

5| Looking forward to coming home on a Friday and your big plans include one or more of the following: a bubble bath with candles, one glass of wine (or two...but not trying to get crazy drunk!) and/or still going to bed at a reasonable time (so you can get up early Saturday morning to clean).

6| Your Instagram posts consist of your babies and/or pets, DIY projects, pictures of food instead group party photos and #ootd pictures.  Realistically, my ideal #ootd would be sweaters, wool socks, and a baggy shirt.

7| Your weekend plans include one full day of cleaning the house top to bottom, or at least something that includes staying in like the homebody you have now become.

8| You realize that most of your plans now include more family gatherings.  You no longer die of embarrassment/boredom around your family.  You find that some nights you actually have more fun with them than going out with friends. {Thanks to going to college away from home, it actually made you want to be home and with family more than you ever had in the past.}

9| If you had to choose, you would pick Pier 1 over Forever 21.

10| You no longer crave social interaction like you did in high school or college.  After a 40 hour work week and constant interaction with others, your idea of a fun night is sitting in silence on the couch in your PJs with your new bff Netflix.

11| Your newest obsession is pinning ideas for your wedding reception and future baby's nursery on Pinterest.

12| In conversations with friends and family, you start sentences with, "When I was a kid..." or "I remember when...".  These conversations usually involve some kind of critique of the current generation's cartoons, music, and/or toys.  Then you silently shudder as you come to the realization you really are becoming your Mother! {Which isn't a bad thing, Mom!}



||| Do you feel like your priorities or interests have changed as you've matured?  Am I alone when I say I love staying home in comfy clothes?!  Share your thoughts on being an adult in the comments section below! |||
post signature

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


First, let me say thank you to Pinterest for this blog post title.  As I was browsing inspiration and motivating quotes to inspire a blog title, I saw this matter-of-fact-straight-to-the-point message that I need to keep telling myself.  
Lately, I focus too much on the stresses and messes of life.  But I need to suck it up and keep my chin up.  There is more to life than worrying about being late, cleaning the house, and what bills I have to pay.  I'm trying - really, really trying - to stop and appreciate the little things. Just live in the moment.
With that said...I have a bit of an announcement to make.............

//Photo cred to the awesome: Brian and Lindsey Cowen

Say hello to future Mrs. Lee!

YES!  I'm finally going to be marrying my high school sweetheart after being together for over 8 years!

I will share more on our engagement {including some of my favorite photos from the engagement sesh} and the other happenings of the past few months since I have been absent from my blog!
post signature

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Here I am!

This isn't going to be a huge post with pretty pictures or anything like that because I'm currently working with my cell phone at just 22% this is just a mini update!

As my Professors say, "Life Happens" and as of has been happening A LOT! I'll break it down for you...

* Accepted to Graduate School for my Masters in Social Work (the VAC MSW@USC program with University of Southern California)... Started May 16th and its been quite challenging, but loving every minute of it!
*As of yet, still no clue what's going on with my blood pressure/scarred kidneys- they have no idea how or when they became scarred and I'll have a follow up appt in August.
*I went on vacation to sunny, beautiful, hot Hilton Head Island, South Carolina aka HHI and Savannah, love love. Will post pictures eventually.
*A lot of talk of engagement and ring shopping (yay!)
* Quit my job at the hospital and FINALLY found a job in my field...after two years of graduating....ahhhh yay! This is my first full week as the Legal Advocate at Women and Children's Horizons in my hometown....remind me to  do a post in the future!!!
*andddddd that's about it for now...just looking forward to my next vacation in August to California to see my sestra (*yes an Orphan Black reference!)

Sorry I've been such a stranger! Life has been totally hectic, stressful, and exciting!!!

Mucho love,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Update

The weekends seem to fly by!  Especially when there is so much going on.  Never a dull moment.

- initially we were going to a fish fry w/ Andrew's mom; instead went to Soon's for sushi
- i had the house salad with ginger dressing; veggie tempura; & shrimp tempura roll {also had a bite of a yellowfin tuna roll} stuffed!  eyes definitely bigger than my stomach!
- stopped by Marshall's...looked at every inch of the store.  wanted everything!  try to avoid this place as much as I can...too much temptation!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

This is me.

Just some random facts for you about yours truly,

  1. I love  am obsessed with turquoise (obvi.)
  2. Pecksniff's England Gardenia & White Peach - my new hand lotion love.  Thanks Marshalls!
  3. I am old fashioned (relationship-wise) and when all the little girls were kissing boys in elementary, middle, and high school...I had a rule: I only could kiss a boy if he was my boyfriend (with the exception of Andrew...I must have known he would be my forever love ♥.)
  4. I did shot put in middle school and was on the Varsity team starting in 6th grade.
  5. I wish I enjoyed running and cardio, but I despise it.
  6. I've driven several times from Wisconsin to South Carolina on vacation with my boyfriend and his family.
  7. I've never broken a bone.
  8. I am in love with dahlias and zinnias.  My favorites.
  9. Speaking of driving, I hate it.  It makes me want to take a nap.  Even being a passenger, I'm bound to end up sleeping before we get to our destination.
  10. Elvis and Elton were two of my first music loves (Presley and John, that is).
  11. My mom took me to see Lisa Marie Presley when I was about 10 or 11 - what I took away from that: a rowdy woman in the crowd who took her shirt off and was dancing in her bra.  Strange. 
  12. I can remember things all the back when I was 2 years old.
  13. As #11 shows, I have a freakishly good memory.  It can be bothersome when I just want to forget.  Good for studying, though.
  14. As a kid I didn't really enjoy sitting and playing with toys for hours, I'd rather play pretend and make up a game or play tag/baseball/hide & seek.
  15. I've eaten raw eggs when I was a child (thanks Dad!) and a couple years ago - just to prove to Andrew that I would do it.
  16. Also, when I was young my favorite snack was fried fish & ChicharrĂ³n (pig skin).  Again, thanks Dad and Filipino roots.
  17. I'm half-filipino, yet I do not know my dad's native tongue.  I've tried, but it is difficult.
  18. My grandma (maternal) died the year I was born; she never met me; my middle name is her name {elaine}; I still feel a connection with her despite never meeting - she's with me when I cook and bake. 
  19. I cry like a baby when I watch The Notebook and PS I love you.
  20. I want to move to Portland or Seattle.
  21. Andrew and I make up songs about the most random of things and make up words; of course we do this in funny voices.
  22. I was born in Long Beach, California and moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin when I was 2.
  23. When I was in elementary school I bragged and bragged about being Filipino and being born in California.  Seriously, I wouldn't shut up about it.
  24. I have scarring on my kidneys (recently discovered) and the doctors have no idea why, BUT they do think it is the cause of my high blood pressure!  One answer down, one more to go!
  25. I can't french braid my hair.
  26. I have hated hair for most of my life and in middle school I thought it would be a great idea to pluck my eyebrows to the point that one of my eyebrows was [almost] gone!
  27. Belle was my favorite princess growing up and now my favorite is Snow White.
  28. My favorite pastry is a tie between an apple turnover and blueberry scone.
  29. I haven't finished the Harry Potter series because someone spoiled the 6th book for me, so I stopped reading.
  30. I can be OCD - I count things or have to do something a certain way or certain number of times.
  31. I'm pretty sure I might be tone deaf, despite being in choir from 6th grade till 10th.
  32. I met Dana White (President of the UFC) after a weigh-in in Milwaukee a few years ago.
  33. Hank Aaron was my commencement speaker at Marquette.
  34. I'm a perfectionist | loud | outgoing | quiet | reserved | pensive | hesitant.  I'm a contradiction.
  35. 5 & 6 are my favorite numbers (mostly because those were usually my numbers in elementary school - alphabetically I came 5th/6th in class - and it just stuck).
  36. I've had a size 10 shoe since I was 10.
  37. I have horrible motion sickness - in cars, planes, trains, boats, roller coasters, you name it.  The last time I was on a plane I almost got sick, so I took a 2nd dose of Dramamine and once we got off the plane I was so tired I slept through dinner (at a restaurant - literally head down on the table) and through a two hour car ride around town.
This was fun!  Not only was it a way to share a little bit about me, but it was also cool to go back and remember some things that I don't always think about.

What kind of weird | interesting | fun | exciting facts do you have to share?  
Share a post with random facts about yourself & let me know {via comments, email, twitter, facebook}.

post signature

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Just Because.

My love surprised me and brought home some beautiful flowers!  He must have known I was upset and getting frustrated as I tried my hand at designing a new Blog header.  Ahh well.  These beauties perked me right up and out of that stinky mood!

Monday, April 7, 2014

a hot oven & raw dough.

So this weekend consisted of a couple things: a hot oven & raw the title suggests.  To explain, I spent a couple days this weekend cooking (i.e. a hot oven) and also mixed up some cookies (i.e. raw dough).  Now I know some of you out there take pleasure in eating raw cookie dough and cake batter and if you don't - you're missing out.  Some days I would rather eat the dough than the actual baked good!  Just sayin'!

Also, I live in Wisconsin so I don't just cook and bake for pleasure...I do it for warmth!  Even with the heat on our house can be a bit drafty and if all I'm doing is sitting on the couch then I freeze.  Solution: make something!  Anything to do with turning on the stove or oven provides instant heat or "Insta-Heat" as Andrew would say when we start the car on a winter's day, praying that the heat will turn on instantly!  At one point this winter, it was so cold that I actually turned the oven on and left the door open in order to warm up the house a bit without maxing out the thermostat! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Goals.

I'm constantly writing lists of goals and to do's on sticky notes, pads of paper, and in notebooks.  The thing is I rarely ever feel like I completely accomplish everything I set out to do.  I want to be realistic and keep myself accountable.  Seems like I'm really only half doing about a handful of things - I'll start out on a project and then just before its finished...on to the next project.  I'm so all over the place!! So many interests/projects/ideas and I'm trying to tackle them all at once!

I was just visiting Jess over at the Foreign Room and read her newest post A New Month//April Goals.  This is the kick in the butt I need to start setting and achieving my goals.  I wrote out a list of almost 50 or so goals I want to accomplish this year, but looking at it...its quite daunting.  Jess' post has inspired me to keep it simple - have a few monthly goals and review them the following month to make sure I'm finishing...or at least attempting to cross of my goals.

>>April Goals<<
# Make blogging friends.
I've been reaching out to a few bloggers lately and it's been great!  It is really fun finding people who have similar interests!  I find that its a great way to find inspiration - it really pushes me to better myself, as well as give me great ideas for projects & blog posts.  I definitely want to expand my blogging community.
# Read one book.
I am no longer that reader who can read a book in a day or two.  After college, I've struggled just sitting down and immersing myself into a book - just because well a) reading all those textbooks and required readings burned me out and b) I have other interests too - like sleeping and Netflix, can you blame me?
# Clean out the clutter.
So, my dresser and side table are a wreck.  After work, I get home and empty my pockets onto any free counter space - scattered about are crumpled receipts, chapstick, change, name tags etc.  On top of that, I have a supposed craft room that is serving as storage space for not only craft supplies, but unopened presents from Christmas - wine glasses, a Star Wars clock, glass kitchen containers - that I just haven't found the time to put in their proper places.  Clutter = stress.  I just feel so much more relaxed and happy in a clean, spotless home.  These days its impossible to relax when all I see is mess!  This must change, for the sake of my sanity!  I'm a clean freak who doesn't like to clean. *le sigh*
# Live healthier.
I'm not trying to train for a marathon or have an six pack.  All I want is to eat healthier - not for every single meal (I still want dessert every now and then & to indulge in chips!) - but to make overall better choices.  I used to follow a Beachbody program (Chalean Extreme) - which I loved and it did wonders for me - but I don't want a strict 'diet' to rule my life.  Basically, I need to cook at home more, incorporate more veggies, and drink more water.  Not just for the sake of my weight, but for my health (and my face! - eating better and becoming more active should help combat this wretched acne!).

I believe four goals should suffice - these are fairly doable goals.  I have faith that I can accomplish these and hopefully more by May 1st!

What are your goals for this month?  Do you have any exciting planned?

post signature

Feeling all the feels.

 Post inspired by: itbritt's "Taking Stock: March"

Making : the world a happier place, one smile at a time :)
Cooking :  nothing.  already ate dinner an hour ago [leftover ribs and beans. yum.]
Drinking : iced passion tea with honey.
Reading: happy wives club. got a slow start to it - need to get into it more!
Wanting: to dance!
Looking:  to plan a vacation!!
Playing: 24 hours of happy : i wanna dance around the streets of la right now! so happy!
Wasting: time browsing the internet when I should put clothes away...oops!
Sewing: NOTHING! wish i was...i've been meaning to start learning.  
Wishing: Wisconsin could be done with winter already.
Enjoying: my warm Ikea throw.
Waiting: for my master's program to start in May! 
Liking: the fact that i have the next 2 days off with my love.
Wondering: what is going to happen next season of the walking dead! (my prediction: cannibals)
Loving:  Boyfriend.  He is a good guy!
Hoping: to be productive tomorrow. 
Marveling: at how fast life has flown by; & how much i've accomplished.
Needing: groceries - i want key lime chobani. delish.
Smelling: the stinky puppy!
Wearing: socks, sweats, a long sleeve - comfort is key.
Following: ELSIELARSON - absolutely love her photos and a beautiful mess updates!
Noticing: I need to start spring cleaning!
Knowing:  I really should get back to my workout routine, badly.
Thinking:  about moving out of Wisconsin.
Feeling: happyyyyyyy! because i'm happy! #clapalongifyouknowhappinessisthetruth
Bookmarking: Jess at the foreign room!  her photographs and style are
Opening: a new tab to read itbritt's newest blog post - check this girl out!
Giggling:  at this:

Feeling: surprised at how happy i'm feeling! had a semi stressful day & my eye would not stop twitching, so the end of my day is actually pretty good! :)

post signature

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dear Diary

It's been quite some time since I've kept a diary/journal - at least 13 years.  I figured I would start a blog as a means of an online journal.  But I've been meaning to put my micron pens to some use and work on my handwriting.  At first I thought whatever I put on my blog would basically be the same thing I would write in a journal.  The more I thought about it, though, I realized how distracting the internet could be.  When I'm writing my blog posts, I'm usually bouncing back and forth between checking my social media accounts, reading other blogs, searching ideas on Pinterest and the list goes on and on.

I bought this beauty at Marshalls - my absolute favorite store!

When writing in an actual, real life, physical journal - its just you, the pen, and the journal.  You can find a quiet space where you are left with your thoughts and the paper.  Its also much less of a hassle to carry around compared to a laptop.  Say you wanted to write your post at the park or some scenic, serene setting - it would be much easier to bring your writing utensil and your journal than it would be to find a green space that also has WiFi.

On this beautiful, sunny Sunday morning I will be thinking of writing ideas for my journal.  Pinterest is very helpful with that, but I've got to be mindful of the time because two hours and 50 pins later I'll have a bunch of great ideas, but nothing concrete in my journal to show for it!

How do you come up with ideas for either your journal or blog posts?  What inspires you?
post signature

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Family photos.

I've always been interested in my family history and looking through photographs from their lives. Tonight, I joined a Facebook group dedicated to my Grandmother Elaine Steven's side of the family. I'm not exactly sure who most of the people are in these photos, but thought I'd share because they're very intriguing!  I do know that most of the people are my at least my great-great relatives (and the really older photos are of my great-great-great-great relatives - so cool!).  I believe for the most part they are Aunts/Uncles/Cousins.  I think my Great-Great Grandfather Frank is pictured in a couple as a boy and an adult.

I also love all of the names: Delta May, Frank, Rose, Evelyn, Warren, Ethel, Alice, Fred, Hilda.

I hope to one day learn about my ancestors and their lives.

Because I'm happy!

Image courtesy of 

Best thing ever: 
World's First 24 Hour Video


post signature

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Celebrate good times!

Nowadays my family only gets together for family birthdays or major holidays.  When we were little we used to have Sunday dinner at my Grandpa’s house usually consisted of grilled chicken, burgers, or brats.  Us kids would run around the backyard, playing baseball, swinging on the swing set or getting loud over something trivial to which my Grandpa would reply with a loud holler from the kitchen window.  I miss his holler.  And the way he would say we were “Goofy”.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

HTML noob.

Success!  I've been working on my html skills tonight & I've made myself a little signature! Quite proud of myself! *patting myself on the back*  That is all!  Have a fabulous night! Back to my studies ")

post signature

Do what you love.

I love color.  Those who know me well, know I absolutely love color.  It just makes me happy.  So today on this gorgeous first day of spring - Happy Spring, Ya'll! - I decided to make a colorful garland (like thisthis, and this).

In no way is this project expensive, just need a few items, and its certainly not perfect (just wait till you see my cutting - I cut like a 5 year old except without those plastic safety scissors).

What you’ll need:

  • Craft paper - I bought mine in the dollar section at Target!
  • Bakers twine - Again, another fab find in Target's dollar section.  If you can't find twine, you can also use some yard, embroidery thread, or ribbon.
  • Tape - I used Scotch's Advanced Tape Glider.  I'm sure you can just use regular tape or even glue.
  • Scissors - I used everyday scissors.  I will definitely invest in some craft scissors.

  • Wednesday, March 12, 2014


    I want to do more.  Experience more.  I want to steer my life in a direction that makes me happy.  I want to enjoy every moment and be that person that could say I did something with my life.  I often think of what would be said at my eulogy - what will I be remembered for?  I want to have made an impact -- leave a lasting impression.   Sadly, the past couple years since graduating from Marquette I've simply been working to live and keep forgetting to see the beauty in this life.  

    Now I've been accepted to USC for their MSW online program and I want to live for my work.  I want to wake up everyday knowing that what I'll be doing will be meaningful, worthwhile, and rewarding.  Its not about how much money I can make or spend, its going to be about relationships, community, and what I can do for others - not only that, but what I learn from others.  I want to expand my perspective and learn how others live and understand their world.  

    I love incomplete thoughts.

    So here's the thing, I can be lazy. Not all the time, but recently I've been lazy more days than productive - the snooze-your-alarm-ten-times-before-turning-it-off-and-waking-up-an-hour-later kind of lazy.  So this post (besides this mini Intro) will be in the form of a list.  Because I love lists, incomplete thoughts, half sentences, bullet pointed words - and as I write this my vision is becoming more tunnel-like, so I'm thinking I have very little energy and brain capacity left to form complete sentences.

    list of lists...
    Courtesy of Pinterest and Holly Knitlightly
    PS this picture has inspired me to post a list of lists of 
    my favorites/inspirations/blessings etc! 
    (I'll save that for another day when I'm not drooling on my keyboard)

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Here's to the future!

    I've been lacking in the posting department- I know, I know!  But no worries I will be back soon with a fun post! 

    I've just been focusing on applying for my MSW at USC! Its an online interactive program! Super excited :) I will be hearing about my acceptance (hopefully!) within a month!

    Cross your fingers for me!

    Xo Karissa

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    "The best thing to hold onto in life is each other."

    I wholeheartedly agree, Audrey Hepburn.

    I'm very much a hopeless romantic.  I believe in true love/love at first sight/fate/candlelit dinners/opening the door for a lady etc. etc.

    I am one very lucky girl - to have met my true love almost eight years ago!  We are high school sweethearts and will be celebrating our eight year anniversary on Valentine's Day!  Some may say its romantic, but my thoughtful Andrew asked me on that day so he wouldn't forget our anniversary (You know he's a keeper when he asks you with Batman Valentines).  Yeah he's quite the romantic!  Either way- romantic or not, it was one of the happiest days I've ever had!

    Circa 2007?

    Circa 2014

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    I might have a problem.

    Okay, so besides my obsession to turquoise I also have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to buying books.  I haven't seriously read an entire book (for my own enjoyment) since before college - pre 2008.  It's sad, I know.  Being forced to read textbook after textbook has kind of pushed me away from reading.  I used to read novels in one or two days.  Now it will take me months.  The problem I'm currently facing is the fact that I will buy multiple books at a time, half read one or two of them, but never entirely finish them.  At the moment, I have read about a handful of pages from  five different books.  Yes.  Five.  And I have yet to finish them.  The following stack of books I have accumulated over the past year from Barnes and Noble, Target, and Amazon.

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Every little thing is gonna be alright...

    ...At least I hope and pray it will be!  As many of you may have noticed, its been just over a week since I've posted - I had planned on posting this past weekend, but unfortunately I was dealing with something much more important.  My health.  I know I designated this blog as a space where I would share all things related to crafting, design, baking etc., but I felt the need to share what happened to me just last week.

    Thursday Night - about six at night I began feeling very sharp pains in my lower right side of my abdomen.  I figured it was cramps and brushed it off.  That night I did not sleep very well, but I was well enough to go to work.  All day Friday, I continued to have a dull pain throbbing on only my right side, in addition, there was the entire body aches - my bones, muscles, everything - was aching.  It even hurt when I would blink or move my eyes side to side.  Then there was the major pressure headache.  To say the least, I was feeling horrible.  That night I went home with plans to go have sushi with my boyfriend and his mom.  I laid down, thinking to myself if I was able to sit through dinner.  I decided that my body aches and headache were the signs of the flu.  As I lay upset in bed, pissed that I somehow caught the flu (probably from a sick patient at the hospital - which I work at), and yet confused by the pain that continued to plague me only on my right side.  I starting thinking I had appendicitis and of course I looked up the symptoms on WebMD.  I started freaking out, but the only symptom I had was pain.  At this point, lost and confused, I turned to Facebook.  I posted a status asking my friends with any medical background or experience to help me figure out my symptoms and what I had.  My best friend from college messaged and called me right away saying to get it checked out because it could be possible that the problem was my appendix.

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    The sun is shining and the temp is below zero!

    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

    It's a gorgeous Tuesday, the sun is shining and it's below zero!  Thank you Wisconsin winters!

    Here's a view of the Polar Vortex from my window!

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    For the love of turquoise.

    Those closest to me know my love obsession addiction to ALL things turquoise.

    I'm talking e v e r y t h i n g!

    I don't have to like the product, or even need it.  Well, let me define need.  Need- as in have a practical use for it.  But in terms of my addiction, I need  it or else...well I can continue life without it, but there will be a bit of aching desire to purchase this item.  In this case, I will roam around the store several times and I will be drawn towards it.  I already have a hard enough time making decisions when it comes to shopping and choosing how to spend my money.  I will stand there admiring the item, thinking to myself, 'Okay, how many turquoise items do I already own?', and with that I will answer to myself, 'Does it matter?!'.  Yes, I have thought conversations with myself. In the end, I will either purchase it or put it on my list of future purchases to save up for.  But when it is the only item left in stock then the obvious choice is to go ahead and buy it!
    No joke, turquoise has some kind of power over me.  Sounds ridiculous, but it is simply the truth.  

    As my second post of the year, I decided to prove just how far my addiction goes.

    Here are some of the turquoise items I have collected over the years:

    This beauty I picked up at Home Goods.  Of course I HAD to have it! 
    Perfect addition on my coffee table!

    First Post of 2014!

    So unbelievably excited to begin my blogging journey!  For so long I have been wanting to begin a blog and join an amazing community of writers who share my love for all things crafty, thrifty, and delicious!

    I cannot wait to share with you some of my favorite...

    This will be a short first post because I am using today to brainstorm all of the fun projects and posts that I have been dreaming about all night!  [But seriously, I didn't sleep very much last night - THAT is just how excited I am to begin this awesome adventure!]
    Before I sign off, I must give a special thanks to the spectacular Mrs. Kimberly Erskine!  She did a fab job on my beautiful blog header!! Thank you so very much!  You inspire me and I always look forward to reading up on your many crafting/event planning/fur babies/husband and wifey adventures! <3  You can visit her at Little Fierce Blog by Kimberly Erskine.
    xo karissa
    *Image created with A Beautiful Mess Android app; visit the creators of this cute app at A Beautiful Mess