Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Read - Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
by Kelle Hampton

From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.

But when he new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome - a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.

Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella's first year of life - a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes. It is a story about embracing life and really living it, of bearing fearless and accepting difference, of going beyond constricting definitions of beauty, and of the awesome power of perspective. As Kelle writes, "There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky."

Friday, August 4, 2017

Hello, It's Me...

Hi, there! I figured I would step in and let everyone know I'm slowly returning to technology and the internet! First off - everything's fine! No need to worry.

As my classes wrapped up, I found myself at the computer even when I did not need to be, forsaking a lot of other activities for what had become an ingrained habit. Computer first, above all else.

As the weather heated up and I tried to figure out what to do with my newfound free time, anything computer related fell to the wayside. I haven't been on Facebook for almost three months, and I did not log into blogger for almost two - the longest time I've completely neglected the blog since 2014. As bad as I felt for leaving without letting my fellow bloggers know, I also felt it was silly to feel such guilt over a hobby. So instead I resolved to just enjoy myself and let the blog wait until I naturally returned to it, and the computer, and the internet.

Bunny and Hammy are doing wonderful. We eventually moved their homes into the bedroom so they could be in a more temperature-controlled environment. As part of that, I bit the bullet and bought two 12" Silent Spinners. A bit more pricey, but they truly are silent. The only thing I hear is the pitter-patter of their feet against the wheel when they run, and the occasional squeak of the wheel's base being moved around.

I went to my first noraebong, or singing room (karaoke room), with L and C. It was a wonderful night of drinks and singing until our voices gave out. I've never been to a karaoke place of any sort, Korean or American, so this was a great experience that I will cherish.

I helped run a summer camp for the kids with L and C as well. It was great watching various aged children cooperate and learn together. I also got told I talk like a farmer by one darling little girl. It was right after I said "alright" kind of how Matthew McConaughey says it in that famous line of his, so that may have something to do with it.

For you Game of Thrones fans... prepare yourselves. I've finally started watching the series. I just finished Season 1 the other day and am slowly starting Season 2. Be proud that I've finally joined in on this! It's taken so long!

So, long story short, I'm finally returning to the world of the internet and technology. Please bare with me as I get back into the hang of posting and commenting/replying. I've missed you all so dearly!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Band of Bloggers - Vol. 20/August 2017

Band of Bloggers Photo Pop quiz, hotshot: How well do you know your favourite Band of Bloggerette? Sure, we're all reasonably up to date on each other's interests, hobbies and the pretty, glittery things that make our hearts go pitter pat, but when it comes to the vitally important markers of a person's character - favourite band, desert island scent, fight stance in the zombie apocalypse - how well do we truly know our virtual neighbours? :) Let's delve into 10 deeply random questions and find out, shall we?

 Shit, the questions have started already. Uh... I'M READY?!?!

1. No really, zombie apocalypse survival strategy: Fight or flight?
Probably flight. I have no life experience to truly show me how I would react in a life or death situation, so I won't be bold enough to assume I would suddenly grow a pair and find the ability to fight.

2. You've been a bad, bad kitty and you have just one final meal coming your way. What's on your plate?
Spicy Chicken Alfredo. Don't bother making it, just bring me the ingredients. I'll make it myself.
3. Aside from wax (or nail polish, or crafting supplies, or beauty products) what item do you have major multiples of?
Stickers. It's gotten even worse with my newfound planner obsession... and the purchase of the printer... and the purchase of sticker paper... and other various sticker making supplies...

4. You've just won the lottery. Before best friends you didn't even know you had begin to show up on your doorstep, what's the first thing you buy without even thinking twice?
My freedom. What a weird way to phrase it. The actual thread of my thoughts while answering that question was "my freedom; pay off all our debt."

5. Biggest celebrity crush? This can be anybody - an actress, a musician, a fictional character from a favourite movie, book or television show, or maybe even an historical figure.
I can't say I really have one. No specific person comes to mind and I don't watch enough TV nowadays to consistently see a person I'll think is cute. I'll go with Chris Evans, I guess?

6. Flats or heels? Or are you running barefoot through life like some sort of hippie?
I absolutely love heels, but I can never wear them with Michael. I'm a little taller than him, so wearing heels makes the height difference much more noticeable and throws off our equilibrium for holding hands, dancing, etc. So in my head I'm a heel kind of girl, but in the real world I wear flats.

7. Whether it was created through a customs order or simple pick-and-mix blending at home, what's the greatest scent blend you've ever stumbled upon?
 Solstice Scents Snowshoe Pass and White Fox. I talked about it in this and it's still a blend I crave in the hotter Summer months.
8. It's snack time! Are you reaching for the sweet or the salty?
Based off my normal eating habits, salty. I get my sweet fix from my coffee.

9. What's a personal style moment you'd never care to re-live?
It wasn't by choice, but I had a really short haircut in 7th grade that made it look like I had an afro going on. The teasing (read: bullying) that arose from my hair was unpleasant, to say the least.

10. You are going to live in a biodome beneath the sea for the next three years and have been allotted space for just ONE book (tiny dome!) What cherished book will keep you entertained for the next 1095 days?
Does a multi-volume mass book count? If so, I choose the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

If you'd like to play along at home, please feel free to answer these questions in the comment section below, and we hope you'll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!
Amanda at Thrifty Polished
Jessica at The Meltdown Blog
Lauren at LoloLovesScents
Liz at Furianne
Sandra at Finger Candy
If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stop & Chat: The Vet Visit

This morning I discovered that Bunny was having trouble breathing. She seemed to go into a coughing fit every so often, waking herself up while she pathetically squeaked and wheezed her way around her bed. When I held her, I felt a rattling in her ribcage and she seemed disoriented.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lasting Scent Candles - Serenity

Scent Description: Lavender, green mint confetti.

Date Received: April 8, 2016

Weight Melted: 0.9 oz

Location of Warmer: Living room, in tealight warmer

Cold Sniff: 5/5 A delicious mix between spearmint and lavender.

Warm Sniff: 5/5 No surprises once melted.

Scent Strength: 3/3 That mint was hard not to notice!

Scent Throw: 3/3 This filled the entire living room with its scent

Melting Power: 5/5 Half of a scent shot lasted for over 10 hours before the scent started dying down.

Repurchase: Yes! A beautiful blend that performs well? Sign me right up!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lasting Scent Candles - Fuzzy Baby Blanket

Scent Description: Lavender, baby blanket, and newborn freshness.

Date Received: April 8, 2016

Weight Melted: 0.9 oz

Location of Warmer: Living room, in tealight warmer.

Cold Sniff: 2.5/5 A weird combination of baby powder, herbal lavender, and... well, babies.

Warm Sniff: 3/5 The main note was an herbal lavender. The powdery note dissipated a bit, but was still noticeable. All in all, something I would expect to smell in a baby's room.

Scent Strength: 2/3

Scent Throw: 3/3 This filled the entire living room.

Melting Power: 4/5 Half of a scent shot got about six and a half hours of scent.

Repurchase: No. Still not in the babymaking market, still have no plans for it, and still find it weird to be reminded of babies in my own home. LOL

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Band of Bloggers - Vol. 17/May 2017

May, May, May. Welcome back, ol' friend! May is a turning point in the year for a lot of people. The school year is almost over, summer is coming soon, and those mild months will soon become scorchers. The birthstone of May is the emerald, which symbolizes love and success. This month, we're focusing on those two things!

We all love something with all our hearts, so tell us what you love the most. It could be the story of how you met your spouse/significant other, where you got your pet, or a nod to your parental units.

I'm going to go a slightly different route and say that I love myself the most. Me. Myself. I. It sounds so selfish when I read it over, and I get a twinge of narcissistic pleasure at acknowledging myself as my own most loved one, but it's an important thing for me to acknowledge.
There was once a time when I could not find it in me to love myself. I couldn't even say I liked myself. All I saw when I looked in the mirror were my flaws, my shortcomings, my failures. I believe that I could not have learned to love the people and world around me so wholly if I had not gone through such a long journey in learning to love myself.
I won't pretend to stand behind any of those "you cannot xyz others until you learn to xyz yourself" sayings. I will say that in working on my relationship with myself, my relationship with others has improved immensely.

In terms of success, and keeping it blog related, have you ever participated in and/or completed a successful "project wax" or spring wax/perfume/makeup/scented product purge? Have you ever had so much product you felt the need to use it all up before your bought again?

In late 2015 I purged an immense amount of wax products in preparation for our move to Korea. I have worked long and hard to rid myself of the habit of stockpiling everything I buy. I had a very nasty mentality that if I used up a product then I had somehow wasted it. 
I'm currently at a point where I need to use up a lot more of my wax before I can allow myself to buy again. It works out that we're heading into summer and I already don't buy for fear of my smelly goodies melting on their way to me. A benefit of my unofficial wax-buying hiatus is it frees up that money to go toward other ventures. Like hanji. Or makeup. Or stickers. Buying stickers, you ask? Noooo, young padawan. Making stickers.  

Please, feel free to answer these questions in the comments section below!

We hope you'll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished
Liz at Furianne
Sandra at Finger Candy 

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Stop & Chat: Last Week of April

Wednesday the 26th was the first in a several-day whirlwind of activity.

C called me late in the morning to ask if I wanted to go on a quick trip to Insadong with her. I quickly threw on some clothes, grabbed my backpack, and walked to our meeting point.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Stop & Chat: Petsitting Woes

Skip to the end of this post if you want a super cute picture of a half asleep hamster. If you're ready for perhaps an inordinate amount of complaints, continue reading!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stop & Chat: Hamster Lids, Stickers, and FACE MASKS!!

Remember when I said I was done buying plants? That all but my heartiest of hearty snake plants liked dying off and I was tired of wasting money on them? Yeeeah.

Michael went to the Garden 5 the other day and sent some pictures of the plants they had. I couldn't resist asking him to pick up a few. I've been craving more life in the house. Plant life, that is. We have more than enough animal life going on currently. LOL