Monday, December 23, 2013

our 2013 Christmas card

Mailing out Christmas cards has always been one of my favorite things to do this time of year. Even before I was married, I would search for the card to mail to all my friends and relatives. You can leave it to my 89 year old Gran to teach me the love of a written letter. She's still to this day one of the few people I know who likes to share correspondence back and forth through notecards rather than always picking up the phone. 

This year's Christmas card is simply perfect. My dear friend and wedding photographer, Amelia, certainly knows her stuff when it comes to design. And luckily for us, she was able to use a couple of our engagement photos since things were just too hectic this year to bring Cory and me together for another photo shoot.

Cheers to you and yours this holiday season! 
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Monday, November 25, 2013

big, excited news

And here we are again, the beginning to another week. However, I must admit, last week was completely nuts. No other way to describe it. N U T S. But it was also one of the best weeks. Let me explain..

You remember that little tale I've probably mentioned one too many times about me traveling out of town Monday through Friday for my work gig? Well, that is now no more. Yep. Hard to believe it. And it all happened because the Memphis rep for my company was given an incredible opportunity that she couldn't pass up...and I was offered to take up her territory. Simply put, I am officially OFFICIALLY home, y'all!! I decided to celebrate by waking up next to Cory every day this past week (hardy har har)..well, with the exception of when he was out fixing planes into the wee hours of the night/morning, but you get my drift. I still get to see him on a more regular basis now, and that, y'all, that's the best feeling everrr. 

But back to my nutso week though: I spent it transitioning into my new territory, meeting with a handful of my new customers, and getting two car full loads of stuff the old rep wanted to get rid of (but I am oh so appreciative to receive). So needless to say, I've been down on my knees thanking God every night for this incredible change of events. It feels amazing to know that all the risks and changes we've made these past six months ended with us coming back home and better yet, me coming back home with my career still in tact. But then again, the Big Man upstairs already knew all of this was going to happen. God is good, y'all, God is g o o d. :)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

hits & misses | Marc Jacobs beauty

If you've strolled into a Sephora lately, you've more than likely noticed the not so new shiny display of Marc Jacob's beauty. Past the glossy packaging and bright colors, I thought I would give you a more in depth review of what I found to be my new holy grail item and a few things I would suggest you stay clear of in the line. 

The Lolita eyeshadow palette | Lash Lifter mascara in BlacquerMagic Marc'er Precision Pen in BlacquerHighliner Gel Crayon in Ro(Cocoa) | Shameless Bold Blush in Obsessed

Lolita palette | I have a very huge love/hate relationship with this palette. I swatched this half a dozen times before I purchased it, and it was easily my favorite out of the four selections. However, when I got it home, I realized that the shadows are very dupable, and wasn't really a necessity to have in my collection. Also given the fact that the color pay off isn't that great. I will continue using it, but if you are looking for something half the price and ten times better pigmentation, go find Stila's In The Light palette. (But on the other hand, I have read awesome reviews on the other funky color palettes, so I would also suggest giving them a try.)

Blacquer mascara | Don't. JUST DON'T. I can't tell you why the heck I bought this (maybe it was someone raving it on Instagram?), but ohhh emmm geeee, this mascara sucks. Separates the lashes, sure. But that's it. That's all, folks. NOTHING else. I might as well have kept my lash tinting mascara from the 90's..

Blacquer liquid eyeliner | This greatly reminds me of my beloved Stila Waterproof eyeliner, with the exception that it has a slight shiny, lacquer finish (hence blacquer being the name). If I had the choice between the two, I would still stick with Stila's version, simply for it being a little less expensive. 

Ro(Cocoa) eyeliner | If you could only buy one thing from this collection, please make sure it's one of the eyeliners. Holy crap, y'all. This stuff does.not.budge. I picked Ro(Cocoa), because it's a great golden brown for putting on my waterline. I swatched it at Sephora, and it took me forever to get this stuff off my hand. It's not marketed as waterproof, but it certainly should be. And thank you makeup gods, it doesn't require you to sharpen it. I think all crayons or pencils should be required to come in this format. But please let me does.not.budge. Once it's on, it's on. 

Obsessed blush | I really love this blush. It's soft. It's pigmented. It's really easy to layer it on the cheeks. Sure at the end of the day, I could find a dupe for this warm pink shade, but for the most part, I'm enjoying it for an everyday look. 
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Sunday, October 6, 2013

married life | the first year

Wow. Has it really been a whole 365 days? As cliche as it sounds, it doesn't feel like Cory and I have been married for a year, but lets be real, we were kind of busy to say the least. Lets have a little refresher course, shall we?

As many of y'all already know, Cory took a job in Alabama just a couple of months shy of our wedding day, and frankly, I freaked out.

It was after a very intense search and a rather bittersweet goodbye to my dear friends at ARP, I found a new job the Tuesday before the wedding.

We were married on October 6, 2012, and it was absolutely lovely. :)

The next day I moved 6 and a half hours away to my new Alabama coast home.

The next day I flew out to Los Angeles to start training on my new job. 

From there on out, I trained for work, I flew a lot of planes, I drove a lot of miles, and I worked a lot of hours.

Cory himself trained for work, flew a lot of planes, worked countless hours.

Among the craziness, we found time to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
(I may have bawled like a baby leaving both times...)

I continued my training, flying, driving, and working schedule.

Cory, as well, continued his training, flying, driving, and working pattern.

Then wife of the year went overseas for work during her husband's birthday week.
(Although he assured me he would have done the same thing should he have had the chance during my birthday week...)

Every other day (or sometimes after three full weeks!) we would randomly run into each other in the apartment and say hello, and our phone bills fattened with each catch up call. 

Then out of nowhere Cory received an opportunity to come home along with a promotion.

We totally said yes.

We moved back home to Mississippi.
(cue to the hallelujah chorus) 

Cory continued to fly and work, work, work.

I continued to travel as an interim rep for my job and commute Monday through Friday every week.

We found a little time during the weekends to spend with family, friends, and more importantly, each other, and our phone bills started to skinny themselves up a bit.

We luckily spent my birthday together after Cory had spent 18 straight days and over 290 hours at work. (Honestly. I don't know how he does it..and I don't know if he knows either!)

Hello, one year anniversary!!! You have come way too soon!!

As I sit here reflecting (and full from wedding cake), I've come to realize something. God has grown our relationship by simply separating us the first year. Sure, it was hard. Sometimes completely unbearable. But after seven years with the same dude, I would be lying if I didn't say things weren't a little bit comfortable for a lack of a better word. God knew what he was doing. He wanted me to appreciate Cory more, wanted me to truly comprehend the reasons Cory was in my life, and essentially, fall in love with the man I married every. single. day. I feel like our first year apart has grown us even closer than we were before. I've find myself relishing the quiet moments with Cory. Just being near him. No pomp and circumstance. No fancy dinners or lavish gifts. Just having him. Cory is what I get in this marriage. And he is the only thing I want.

And truly at the end of the day, that's what it is all about. Here's to the next 365, honey. I love you.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

my travel necessities

Before I started traveling for a living, I simply sought out a hotel for a clean bed, a fridge, and a nice shower. Now, while I still acquire all three of these things, I've found it a little necessary to bring along a handful of items in order to make the space my own. Because after all, this hotel has quite literally become my home away from home.  

a candle | It sounds simple, but as someone who would prefer to burn candles on a daily basis, this is a must. Plus, it makes my room cozy and I'm especially a fan of the holiday scents they have out now. 

a ring holder | I had a not so minor freak out in my hotel when I misplaced a very old and very special heirloom my Gran gave me on my wedding day. (see also: her 75+ year old diamond wedding ring) Even thought it later turned up in a lone pocket of my bag, that whole night I could not sleep. It didn't take me long to purchase a ring holder to keep all my baubles together at the end of the day, and that way, I know exactly where I left them.

a photo of Cory | Duh. (still looking for the perfect frame to put this in..)

a slew of face masks | If I'm going to be cooped up in a hotel room for a week, I'm going to use every possible chance to make it into a pamper night. I'm heard some rave and rant reviews on the Glam Glow mask, so I picked up a sample from Sephora, and I'm eager to try it out. 

a bottle of Caudalie's Beauty Elixir | This thing is ridiculously priced, but somehow, I can stop purchasing the small travel bottle of it. The smell of eucalyptus is refreshing before I hop into bed, and I try to use this stuff sparingly. 

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."

^one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite books

images all via Pinterest

Oh, fall. It is right around the corner. I can feel it. And soon we all will be wearing it, smelling it, seeing it, and drinking it in (all from an instagrammed Starbucks red cup or two, I assume). Are you looking forward to this as much as I am?

And along with my favorite season will come a few fun adventures with my husband and friends that have been burning a hole in my planner since the beginning of summer. October alone has my first wedding anniversary, the Lumineers in concert, and a night with Ira Glass at the Memphis Orpheum. 

In essence, I've always shown a soft spot for everything fall, if anything, because I was born on the autumn solstice. I guess you could say it was just meant to be, although when I think about it, I could name several other reasons..

boots stuffed with knee high socks | hot coffees | dark manicures | pumpkin carving competitions | lets be honest..pretty much pumpkin anything | conversations on the back porch without breaking a sweat | bonfires | the return of my beloved tv shows taking up way too much of my time | cuddling with two warm, furry pups | bright leaves | layering cozy clothes | enjoying the handful of dresses you own that are too short to wear without tights | my husband's beloved football season (although it will really be a countdown for my beloved basketball season) | sweater weather | gorging on comfort foods | homemade peppermint hot chocolates | holiday scented candles | crunching acorns beneath your feet | my husband showcasing his "winter beard" | cracking open a fresh planner to begin the new season

And soon, before we know it, we will start shivering too much for comfort, and start romanticizing over wishing for some warmer months. ;) What are you looking forward to this fall? 
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

this weekend: Autumn turns FOUR

This past Sunday my youngest niece, Autumn, turned four years old. It's hard to believe that the tiny bundle my sister brought home has now become this little lady who loves to play dress up and dances around with anything resembling a tutu. 

And in these four years something crazy happened. With each passing day, she looked more and more Now this may not sound like something off the wall and crazy, but you have to realize my sister and I don't look alike. She has black/brown hair, brown eyes, and an olive complexion. She favors my mom. I, on the other hand, favor my freckled, fair faced, blue eyed dad.  

Michelle, who is ten years older, says she is reminded daily of what it was like growing up with me, looks and personality wise, while with Autumn. Lets just say Autumn and I have a way with convincing others that our way is the best way...and we don't like taking no for an answer. My poor, poor sis. ;) 

I don't think I will ever have a child of my own that looks and acts like me more than Autumn, but in a way, I'm ok with that. I think two of us in one family is quite enough! I love you, little bean. You and your sister make my world go round. 
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Monday, September 9, 2013

beauty review: hourglass immaculate liquid powder, mineral veil primer, & no. 28 primer serum

I know I've reviewed a handful of foundations in the past, claiming that "this" is the best.. no, now "this" is the, for real y'all, "this" is the best. But I would love for you to all start on a clean slate with me, and let you know I have found the (ahem) best foundation for my oily skin. It's almost a little sad to find such an amazing product during the close of summer (ha, who am I kidding? It's still 95 degrees here in the south, but none the less, I would have rather found it now than to have never found it at all (poetically dramatic, I know). 

Let me introduce you to Hourglass Immaculate Liquid PowderThe title of "immaculate" is very fitting, but on the off chance you don't believe me, I plan to go in a little more in depth with y'all. The foundation is light to medium coverage, has the ability to blend seamlessly onto the skin with a careful hand, and dries into a beautifully light, powder coverage. And the best part of all? I don't have to touch up with powder after a few hours. Heck, I don't even set the stuff with a powder. I've never had a foundation do that for me, so imagine my shocked expression after looking in the mirror six hours later and seeing normal, balanced skin. Cue the heavenly angel voices as I craft my shrine to Hourglass. 

a few hours after application 

Outside of the liquid to powder formulation, the bottle is sleek in design, constructed of sturdy metal, and I adore the fact that it comes with both a pump and cap closure. This makes it perfectly ideal for traveling or just for those gals who hate their makeup being exposed to any and all potential surfaces in their makeup drawer.

Given this was my first Hourglass purchase, the way I came across two other new products in my foundation routine were entire flukes and quite honestly, a genius PR move on their part. It wasn't rocket science. They just put a sample of the mineral veil in my foundation's box. Oh my, oh my. Like velvet. Set out to purchase a larger sample to try, I saw that Sephora had a small duo deluxe sampling of both the veil and the No. 28 serum, so I thought why not. 

It's through my experience that I would recommend using all three products together. The serum in of itself is very nice, and using it before the veil helps my face become a little more prepped for the foundation. The key is to apply this product on moisturized skin, otherwise it can appear to cake up easily and break up on you. I know I said this stuff blends seamlessly, but lets be real, you can't just slap this stuff on in the am. And I would certainly not recommend this to someone with dry skin. I layer the mineral veil on top of the serum for a satin matte finish. 

I'm not sure if I will ever be able to quit my search for the perfect foundation for oily skin, however, this combination seems to be doing the trick for me. And I don't know how, but my skin seems to look and feel even better outside of wearing the foundation in the month or so I've been using it.

Has anyone else tried the Hourglass Immaculate? I'd love to hear about any of your experiences or any other must have products. In the meantime, I'm going to be working on a little top ten of my favorite matte products that I've come to love in the recent years and especially those that have helped me this summer. 
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*It should go without saying, but these products were purchased with my own money, and I was in no way compensated for the review. :) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

five things this week

one // a new DIY?
As cheesy as it sounds, I'm obsessed with getting wedding invites now that I'm married woman. Along with the happiness for the engaged couple, I simply love seeing my new last name. I began growing a collection of the inner envelopes addressed to Mr & Mrs, and I'm entertaining the idea of using a few of my vintage stamps on them and framing the envelopes. We'll see how it goes. :) 
^and that lovely calligraphy is by my dear sorority sister, Amy, who is getting married this month! I already know she is going to make one gorgeous bride.

two // hitting Sephora's Rouge status
Have you heard of Rouge? Ever since I saw the email blast that Sephora came out with a higher tier than VIB, I knew I had to have it. Outside of free shipping and free one-on-one appointments in store, I'm really curious to see if these future "surprise gifts" live up to all the hype. The card itself came with a mini Bite lipstick sample in a vampy red. 

three // currently reading A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
I heard a buzz among twitter that this was a good, weird/freaky read, and I'm all about those types of books. 

four // Urban Decay's Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy
Never in my life did I think I would own a lipstick in such a bright fuchsia shade. But after seeing this lady wearing it on her instagram, I took the plunge. The color is highly pigmented & creamy and I apply it with a lip brush just to prevent feathering. My favorite part is the product's formulation that allows it to lightly fade away during the day, and doesn't just flake off my lips. 

five // a new owl to add to my collection 
In all honesty, I don't own that many owls. I've been fascinated with them since I was a little girl, and it's a trait that I share with my dad. But I love that my mother-in-law saw this matryoshka owl while vacationing in Europe last week and thought of me. 

^nails are OPI's Russian Navy

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Monday, September 2, 2013

bright eyes, brighter lips

In a last attempt to squeeze every last ounce of summer up before it's gone, I've been relying heavily on my brighter shades while doing my makeup.

It's not a shock that my makeup's focus is normally for my eyes, but I've noticed for August I switched it up and focused more on the lips than the lids. 

traveling through Florida in 95+ degree heat = braided hair 

For the eyes I stayed with soft shades of taupe and gold, and Lord knows, I can't go a day without my winged eyeliner. For the lips I used a shade of pink that is normally out of my comfort zone, but it's easily becoming one of my new favorites. I tied it all together with a soft, natural blush, which gave my cheeks just enough color. 

August favorites:
NARS eyeshadow duo in Kalahari | Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold blush in Obsessed | Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick in No. 13 Pink in Paris 

Hope y'all are having a wonderful Labor Day! 

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Monday, August 26, 2013


via Pinterest

It seems to me that I'm not the only one shocked that August has almost left us, and before you know it, these 90+ degree temps will be a thing of the past. It's a little crazy, but time flies no matter what you are doing. And all the while I find myself feeling excruciatingly blessed after the series of wild events that led us back to my home in Mississippi, somehow, being "home" has not really felt like "being home" to me. My belongings may be in Mississippi, my husband may be in Mississippi, but I'm not 100% in Mississippi. Simply put, it gets lonely when it's just you and the open road.

I understood life traveling Monday through Friday would be just a wee bit difficult, and as I'm writing this I am trying with all my ability to not come across in any way ungrateful or having a pity party for one. In all honesty, I've gained more experience, grown as a person, and it doesn't hurt that my territory takes me on almost bimonthly visits to my nieces' house. Not to mention the fact that I have a job at all. So yes, I'm also counting my blessings.

When I get in a funky mood, I remember that God granted me with a wonderful man who shares in my struggles with traveling for a job. I'm honestly blessed with having Cory understanding why I'm doing what I'm doing, and better yet, with no questions asked. Having just his support helps me a lot. God also gave me amazing family and friends who entertain me on the road, keep me informed, and never let my weekends home go by without a plan or two up their sleeves. 

In reality, I wanted to write this post to remind myself, even in the loneliest of times out there on the road, you're not alone and you have it pretty darn good. With it, I'm simply putting it out there for your thoughts and your prayers (should you be so inclined to do so).

Thank you for letting me get this off my chest, y'all. I have faith that even better things are on the horizon. :)

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

favorite agendas

Kate Spade polka dot | MyAgenda leopard  
Lilly Pulitzer large | Whitney English Day Designer

A planner to me has never been just a planner. I like it for keeping my appointments, yes, but I also have found to jot down notes, ideas, even little musings of my day to day. In a way, my planner has become my journal, and the nostalgic part of me still has them all saved on a bookshelf along with all my other favorite reads. This year's model has a soft, gold leather cover with gold lined pages that I found on a whim at Target, and when first noticed, people will think it's my bible. I sometimes tell them it is ;)

It was a few weeks ago when a couple sorority sisters of mine came to me to ask a few suggestions on a new planner. (They already know I'm a list making, paper nut.) And these four are what I came up with. Right now, I'm leaning on ringing in 2014 with a Whitney English Day Designer. 

Do you have any favorite planners? 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

rowdy gentleman

Outside of plaid button downs and a good pair of loafers, Cory has a great admiration for wearing a nice, ole tee. He has an assortment spanning from Southern Tide to Southern Proper, but I have to think these from Rowdy Gentleman are slowly becoming some of my favorites. If nothing else, they are just too adorable and downright clever not to share. 

via here | here | here

There's nothing better than squeezing Cory in a soft cotton shirt. Love. 

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

sweet & simple saturday

print found via Pinterest
This week had been an especially difficult one. Sinus headaches, humidity overload, and there seems to never be enough coffee to get me out of bed in the mornings. In short, I was off my groove. Not to mention, while I was away in Alabama, Aspen decided to go on a little roaming adventure in my mother-in-law's neighborhood, and was missing for about an hour on Thursday night. I could barely contain myself in my hotel until she was home, and Lord knows Cory and I would have gone completely nuts if she had not been found. 

Thankfully, as I write this, I'm snuggling next to my sweet girl as well as Sidney (my MIL's Australian Shepherd), and I couldn't think of anywhere else I rather be. As an added bonus, I've not only had Friday night dinner with Cory, but ALSO all day today to gallivant around Memphis together. It's truly the little things when you rarely get to see your husband on the weekends (he's been swamped at work fixing planes for hours on end). Ladies, give an extra hug to your loved ones during the week, if only for my sake! :)

Oh Lord, thank you for blessing me with such a loving husband. The days away just affirm how much I love this man more than ever. 

And just because I thought it would be funny to have a record of this: I was leaning over to Cory while still eating dinner to tell him how much I adore him, and he lovingly replies, "You have something in your teeth, babe." Oh, wedded bliss... ;) 

Happy Saturday, friends. 

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

beauty review: sigma foundation brushes

A few months ago I found myself in the market for some new makeup brushes. Now while I'm all about purchasing my eyeshadow and powder brushes from the likes of e.l.f. and Sonya K. at Target, I need something a little more dense for my foundation. After hearing the majority of the beauty community praise this company, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the ever popular Sigma brushes. 

My favorite part of this kabuki style is that it's synthetic. This essentially means that unlike natural hairs that want to soak up half the product when applied, it instead sits on the tips of the bristles and waits to be transferred on the skin. Best part is that they are dense enough to buff into the skin using just a minimal amount of foundation. The flat head F80 brush is my favorite, but I like the angled F84 to get on the sides of the nose and under eye area with concealer. 

y'all know I'm a sucker for nice packaging

As a little surprise, I was also given a E05 eyeliner brush. I've purchased a couple of flat head eyeliner brushes in the past, but could never master the look I wanted. This brush is great for swooping the perfect cat eye, and took the place of my current eyeliner brush (which just happened to be a Hobby Lobby $3 paint brush that was in need of replacement anyways..yep, true story).

Something tells me I'll be purchasing more Sigma products in the future. And I saw for the month of July you can use code RNL2013 for 10% off your order!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

this week's favorite links

this and other pretty things via here

adoring my new cork and gold iPhone case 
a few photo editing tips for your blog (the photo widths tip is my favorite!)
wore this super soft maxi dress for the Fourth thanks to a rec from Megan 
every gal needs a good pair of studs she can wear with anything..mine are in seaglass
and if I had a spare $50, this would soooo be in my makeup drawer 

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

beauty review: tarte amazonian clay blush

If you caught my Fourth of July photo from this earlier post, you probably noticed I've toned down my pink blush addiction (see also: lets be honest, I can have moments of clown cheeks). 

Because I've been such an avid MAC obsessed gal for so long, I'm shocked to be giving you so many non-MAC related beauty reviews, but y'all..this is such a great blush. It's a beautiful nude, peach color with a tinyyy bit of glitter, but not so much that you would really notice. It's very pitmented, so a little will go a long way. 

All in all, I'm really impressed with these amazonian clay products, and will more than likely try other colors once this little gal is used up. Do y'all have any tried and true blushes that you love? 
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

five random facts

I've always enjoyed reading these type of posts from others, so I decided to contribute my two cents...or in this case five.

/// I'm a lipstick hoarder, but yet I rarely wear it. One thing I have learned from my engagement shoot? I need to wear more of it. Geez, my lips are fish belly white!

/// I own two instruments - a clarinet (middle school) and an acoustic guitar (high school). I have since forgotten how to play both of them.

/// I have my nails polished at all times. It's not in a vain sense really, but rather I gave up biting my nails to nubs when I turned 21 years old. I rationalize that as long as I keep them nice looking, I won't want to continue biting. So far it's worked.

/// I went to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan earlier this year for work and completely forgot to blog about it. I blame it on the jet lag. 

/// I love the thought of traveling, but I have an absolute, unequivocal fear of flying. I ironic thing is, I do it for work on almost a monthly basis. (and see also: fun fact number four o_O )
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