things that are making me happy

pretty decorations outside a restaurant, fall 2010

My neighbor’s Christmas lights on his balcony (and the fact that they’ve been up for a couple weeks now)
Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album
Starbucks’ peppermint mocha & caramel brulee latte
Laughing with my family
New magazines to read – especially Marie Claire with Emma Watson!
Christmas music on the radio
OPI’s “Pink of Hearts” polish
Tank tops and sweaters paired with comfy scarves
Say Yes to the Dress marathons
Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale

What things are making you happy?


weekend wrap-up & the holiday season

isn’t she just the cutest?! under the tree at the boyfriend’s house

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! I did – I shopped (got some of the boyfriend’s presents!), hung out with my cousin, visited my grandma, watched the Ohio State/Michigan game (GO BUCKS!), did a good deal of homework, watched The Holiday (one of my favorite movies – great story, romance, comedy, awesome actors/acting, Christmas, etc.), had a second Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and sister, and went back to school early-ish to work on more homework and run some errands.

Now that the holiday season is fully and officially upon us, I am definitely looking forward to some specific seasonal activities, like:

  • Decorating!!!
  • Hot chocolate of every flavor
  • Holiday specials & movies on TV
  • Candy canes
  • Snow days
  • Holiday music
  • It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, & Scrooged – on DVD, uninterrupted
  • Shopping! and just generally being in shopping locations, fully decorated, and filled with people
  • Making paper snowflakes
  • Making the dogs wear reindeer antlers
  • Christmas cookie baking
  • Christmas cards
  • Holiday get-togethers with family and friends
  • People smiling more & giving back
  • Tons of little special traditions

And so much more!!

What did you do this weekend? What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

weekly gems

spring 2010

Did everyone have fantastic Thanksgiving? I hope so! I sure did – amazing food, wonderful time with family, just perfect : ) This weekend I plan to relax, spend time with my family, get some schoolwork done, and maybe do a bit of shopping (but no Black Friday morning madness!). What are your plans for the weekend?

And now..weekly gems!

Have a wonderful weekend! : )


decorations at the boyfriend’s house

YAYYY!! Thanksgiving is here! Thanksgiving is definitely one of my very favorite holidays. The following is the typical Thanksgiving day for my family:

  1. My brother, sister, and I wake up, go to the living room, and promptly plop ourselves down in front of the TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My dad has been furiously cooking and baking the kitchen for some time already (and he has the parade on in the kitchen, too!). My brother tries to change the channel and find the best coverage of the parade. My sister and I scold him and tell him to pick a channel.
  2. My mom wakes up and joins us in the living room. She becomes more talkative as she drinks more coffee.
  3. My dad starts to urge us all to get ready.
  4. We all start begin to prep for the day. My brother’s fashion choices have to be edited and ironed. My mom is somehow behind before she begins. My sister and I fight over the bathroom. My dad is somehow still ready before all of the rest of us, while continuing to cook.
  5. The dog show comes on TV and distracts everyone. We compare the dogs on TV to our old dog Charlie (RIP), our family dog Sasha, & (she’s new to the family this year, but it’s bound to happen!) my dog Madison. The dogs are distracted by the fact that we keep saying their names and get hyper. The cats get angry at the dogs’ combined energy. My dad somehow manages to keep being productive while the rest of us are frozen and/or playing with the dogs.
  6. My dad starts corralling us again. My mom is the last one ready. My dad is packing up the car and giving continually giving frantic updates on how late we are going to be this year.
  7. We leave for Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house. We are generally running behind.
  8. We arrive at my aunt’s house. We start socializing with the many relatives who have come for the holiday. (Sidenote: I have a huge family. My mom’s parents had 12 kids!)
  9. DINNER. Delicious : ) favorite items include the cranberry circle slices from the can, turkey, and mashed potatoes and gravy.
  10. Card-playing, video game playing, football game-watching, talking, laughing, dessert-eating (strawberry pretzel jello! PIES!), wine-drinking, texting the boyfriend, napping.
  11. Head home. Maybe go to a movie at the movie theater or watch a movie at home. Feed the dogs turkey leftovers. Feed the cats their cat food turkey dinner.
  12. Bed! And probably pretty early for my sister & dad, who work at Macy’s and will be on staff for Black Friday!

Thanksgiving always reminds me of the things I’m most thankful for in life: an amazing, gigantic family, wonderful pets, traditions, good health, good food, & laughter.

What is your Thanksgiving usually like? I hope it’s fantastic!

By the way, today is my best friend Kaylyn’s birthday!! She’s super smart, fun, funny, caring, creative, gorgeous, and adorable. Happy birthday, love : )

why you’re not like your siblings

my siblings & I at Red Robin’s for my brother’s birthday, spring 2010

Do you have siblings? How similar are your personalities?

I have an older brother (5 years) and an older sister (3 1/2 years). I am not that similar in personalities to them! I’ve always felt bad about that – why am I not more of a “friend” with my siblings? Why are they more “friends” with each other?

Well, according to this article, this is not an unusual occurrence! In fact, there are actually three different theories that address this difference in sibling personalities issue.

The one that made the most sense to me was the third one listed – environment. It essentially argues that while siblings grow up as members of the same family, they experience family events at different ages, which affects them differently. This seems to make perfect sense for my siblings and me. My siblings are only a year and a half apart, so they process family events/life events in a similar manner, where as I process them differently since I’m a few years younger. For example: they ended up going to the same Catholic high school, while I chose to go to my city’s public high school.

What do you guys think? Do any of the theories in the article apply to your family?

weekend wrap-up

Hi, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was great!

Friday night the boyfriend & I drove to his hometown to visit his family. Once we got the dog all settled in, we went to dinner!

Old Bag of Nails Pub for fish & chips : )

the boyfriend & I outside dinner

Saturday morning we woke up early to watch a soccer game with his best friend (Arsenal!), then picked up my brother who lived in the area, and went to see…


Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I! Soooooo amazing!!! I want to see it again. Actually, I want to see part II in theaters immediately. It was funny, dramatic, action-packed, moving…just incredible. Check out this article on its audience appeal.

After that, we hung out at his house for awhile. We had amazing frappacinos made by the boyfriend’s sister, went to get pizza, and then went to TARGET! Then we went to bed early.

Sunday was spent eating breakfast, listening to Christmas music, doing homework, lunch, and then having coffee at this amazing coffee shop, Crazy Goat Coffee!

having coffee at Crazy Goat!

Then, we headed back to school. It was such a wonderful weekend : )

What did you all do this weekend?

weekly gems

one of my favorite pictures of the boyfriend & me

Yayyyy I’m SO EXCITED it’s the weekend! It’s been a very long week with homework, work, and teaching. This weekend the boyfriend, dog & I are going to go to the boyfriend’s hometown! We’re going to spend time with his family, see HARRY POTTER (!!), go out to eat, and generally have a fun, relaxing time. With some homework tucked in, of course. What are you all doing this weekend?

And now…weekly gems!

What are some of your finds from around the web this week?

bookmark it: boutiques

a screenshot of my boutiques profile!

Have you guys heard about Google’s latest website? It’s, a fashion website. And it’s awesome.

Basically, anyone can make a profile, or a “boutique.” You answer questions about your style preferences to set up your profile. Once set up, you can go around the website, looking at other boutiques (of celebrities, bloggers, designers, retailers, trends, featured, etc.). You can mark items as love or hate (and explain why you feel that way). You can save items to your boutique under “favorites.” You can follow your favorite boutiques and get notifications when new items are added to favorites, and leave comments for the “boutique owner” to see.

It’s pretty darn cool – fun, inspirational, a good substitute for actually shopping (although the website does provide links to buy products), and super addicting. I can definitely see myself relaxing in front of a funny TV show or movie after a long day, with a cup of hot chocolate and my computer on my lap, tuned into the boutiques website.

If you go to the site, be sure to check out my profile! My username is “Kelly [Beagle & Bear]”

Are you going to check out this site? Do you think it’s a cool idea? Let me know – and link up your boutique in the comments if you make one!

things that are making me happy


wearing a dress with tights and boots
chocolate chip cookies with chocolate frosting
Friends on DVD
mini-walks with the dog
Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album
baths to relax & read magazines in
November afternoons so sunny I have to wear sunglasses to drive
hugs from the boyfriend
the holidays getting closer & closer
family : )
What things are making you happy?