Nintendo, Love, and the Great Midwest: Let’s Risk it All

Life is no Nintendo game, there are no re-dos , no unlimited lives, and no reset button. You have only this one shot and every choice you make will shape your life.  How are you choosing your path life to look?  Are you making your own decisions or are you listening to what people are whispering in your ear?

jack sparrowI recently celebrated my 24th birthday and finally made the decision I had been wanting to make for a long time. That is that this year I will take risks that I believe will ultimately improve my life.  I know that a lot of people think that I am on a pretty crazy path, and it’s true. I’ve made some wild moves to pursue what I’m looking for. I am the first to admit that I have been making some pretty risky decisions, but I can’t help but feel like these decisions are going to lead to a kick ass year.

When I was growing up I had always looked to my dad for advice in every aspect of my life.  I’d weigh out the pros and cons and 95% of the time I would always do what my dad told me I should do.  I’ve been doing this for 24 years and with this New Year of my life I am finally ready to put my resolutions into action.  This year I’ve taken more risks than I’ve ever had in my personal and professional life and for the first time I didn’t ask my dad for advice before I made the final decision. I just did what I wanted to do.

head on deskAfter college, like many recent graduates, I stressed about finding a job as soon as I could. My dad told me I shouldn’t be picky, so I accepted a job with a great company, even though, deep down, I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me.  While working I realized something so obvious that I am surprised it took me as long to realize as it did; I’m actively choosing to be miserable.  So ridiculous, right?  But I stuck with the job under the idea that I should be thankful to be employed and should not be picky, until quite recently.

The number one thing I’ve learned from my first year post-grad life and what I would tell anyone graduating now, is that you don’t have to love your job, but at the very least you should, and are allowed to, like some aspect of your job.  You don’t have to go for the first opportunity that presents itself and  it’s ok to be a little picky about your first job.

Something that I think is important to keep in mind when it comes to any aspect of employment is to know your own self-worth.  You have something to offer.  I feel like sometimes people forget that in the job searching/interviewing process.  When you go to an interview you have to remember that you are interviewing them too. You need to also decide if they’re worth your time, energy, and if you will be happy there.  This may sound kind of arrogant, but it’s true.

Which brings me to one of the major risks I’ve ever taken…I quit my job!

I’ll be unemployed starting May 15 and moving to Minneapolis June 1st.  I’ve been thinking about quitting for some time now, but never actually thought I could do it.  I’d talk to my best friends, and writers of the Muse, Elizabeth and Sam about it a lot and I am sure they can more than attest to how much I hated my job.   Still, the risks of quitting and not finding another job seemed too high.  (My dad talking in my head)  Would I find another job?  What do I have to offer another employer?  While all these questions were racing through my head, I realized something else I seemed to have forgotten, I’m 24. That is young!  If I’m going to take risks it should be now while I don’t have to truly consider another person in my decisions.  I can be completely selfish.  Which I finally realized is completely ok for me to do too right now.  Quitting without another job sounds crazy, because it kind of is, but it’s also exciting!  An entire new city with so many opportunities, not just for jobs, but anything really.  I could get a puppy, get employed at my dream company or meet Tom Hiddleston! I mean the possibilities are really endless.

Don’t get me wrong. I also have thought of the not so fabulous possibilities too.  Where I could find myself somehow living with a stray cat who I am too afraid to kick out(I’m allergic), being unable to pay my bills, having to work at the BK lounge and meeting someone who is the exact opposite of Tom Hiddleston.  But if this does happen (cross your fingers it doesn’t)at least I can say that I tried and I’ll learn from it and be better for it.

j cole quoteMost of you don’t know me very well, but Sam once told me that I hold my cards very close to my chest.  That couldn’t be more true.  I would consider myself more of a private person.  I don’t share too much with anyone unless I am 100% sure that I can trust them and even then, sometimes I have a difficult time talking to people that I absolutely trust.  Trusting someone with my feelings is one of the most difficult things for me to do and even when I feel like I am opening up, I know that I part of me is still holding back.  Honestly, this is probably why I’ve never had a serious long-term relationship and why I am always a bit hesitant to use the word “relationships” to describe these…”things”?  (We’ll go with that).  But, I’ve learned quite recently that you need to take risks and try being with someone.  You have to really put yourself out there, put it all out on the line, and don’t hold back, even though you know it might end in heartache. You can’t let the chance that something bad will happen keep you from discovering something wonderful.

I am working on that.

tumblr_mg5ur05Pne1qfvaoco1_500Finally, what I’ve learned from my most recent risk in the dating world is that when you take a risk and start to put your self out side of your comfort zone that nagging feeling of, “what if?” goes away.

In this case, I went for it and I definitely learned a lot about what things I need from someone in order to be with them in the future. I learned to not be shy about asking for more and learned how to give of myself more deeply.

I also learned its ok to cry.  Not just for that day, but maybe for a couple days, and even then still feel the dull ache for a while.  But, just let it out.  Everyone should be proud of themselves for taking such a risk with their hearts and making themselves vulnerable. It’s important to remember that you will be ok.  There is clearly someone better or maybe the timing was just off, but don’t wait around.  I’m a big believer in fate and if it’s meant to be, it will happen naturally.

I know it is said all the time, but lean on your friends during this time, call them up or have a girl’s night to talk about.

If you end up thinking of him/her later that’s completely normal.  They were a person you really cared about at one point and you’re going to wonder how they’re doing.  Then, get back out there!  Don’t be afraid that it might happen again, because you know what, it might, “but it also might turn out that you find the person that makes it all worth while!” – Sam (sorry Gabs, has to add a bit 😉 )

Overall, I’m happy with the risks I’ve taken.  It’s a crazy path and I have no idea where it’s taking me., but that’s what makes it exciting. I’m ready for the adventure and fingers crossed it goes well!

Cheers everybody and good luck with the rest of the year!!

– Gabby J.

 

It’s a Winter Wonderland!

Winter is almost upon us and that means more time spent in doors…what a drag right?  Well it doesn’t have to be!  There are plenty of activities to do inside and events to go to keep you occupied when it’s way too cold to spend any time outside.  Don’t care if it’s too cold outside?  I have activities for the outdoors too!

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Every winter my number one thing to do is to go ice-skating.  The past couple years I haven’t, but I’m determined to make it one of the first things I do this winter.  Hit your local indoor or outdoor rink this year.  Don’t forget to check if you can rent skates.  I’ve gone to rinks where I had to have my own and didn’t know until I was there.  Afterwords, grab some hot chocolate!

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Go to hockey games!  Seriously.  The games don’t take nearly as long as football games and I think they’re way more exciting to watch.  It is a little chilly, so don’t forget your scarf and mittens.

pa0711_cin_rolls1.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeBake something gooey and delicious.  I suggest cinnamon rolls.  I don’t know about any of you, but anytime I eat one I end up getting frosting or yummy cinnamon gooey sauce on my face, so now I only eat this treat at home.  Oh and don’t forget the apple cider!  This treat can get sweet.

Not much of a baker?  Slice up some apples and have a caramel apple bar.  Melt some caramel and grab some of your favorite candy pieces and dip away! IMG_3411

Build a fort.  Some of you might be thinking that we’re all too old to do this, but I think not!  Build your very own couch cushion igloo with out freezing your butt off.

Go to concerts.  They can sometimes be expensive, so check out some local bands.  There can be some really great talent right in your home town.  They’re much less expensive and sometimes even free!Justice_in_concert

Check out a wine tasting or go to a brewery.  The Leinenkugls Brewery isn’t far from me and is definitely something that I’ve always wanted to go to.  Getting free samples is always awesome!

Host a movie night.  I don’t suggest watching anything scary.  You and your guests will be freaked out for a week!  You could even have every lay in your couch cushion igloo that you built earlier:)

Make decorations for the upcoming holidays.  Here are some really cute and easy ideas!

Check out what is going on in the surrounding towns.  They’re could be an awesome mustard museum you’re missing out on.   A mini road trip will be a nice break if you’re getting cabin fever.

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By now cabin fever has set in and you’re probably scratching at the windows to get outside.

Before you set out on your adventure outside layer up!  Because the first thing you’re going to do is build  a snowman and make a snow angel.  Having a friend with you makes it more fun and easier to do  these activities.  Building a snowman takes some muscle and you don’t want a hand print in your snow angel.  Remember to bring accessories for your snowman.  You want yours to be unique and stand out!a-christmas-story

After you finished building and accessorizing you’re snowman get all your friends together because you’re going to have a snowball fight.  If you need any tips watch Elf.  Buddy can make the perfect snow balls and has the perfect throwing technique.download

The next day go sledding!  I always used a saucer when I went sledding and hitting the jumps was always fun.  If you don’t like to go sledding anymore grab your snowboard or skis because you’re hitting the slopes!  And when you’re done go in the lodge and warm up in front of the fire.

Try snowshoeing.  I’ve only ever done it once when I was in grade school at a school field trip, but from what I can remember it was fun!  We played duck, duck, goose while wearing them and I remember trying to run and I fell.  I don’t suggest running in them unless you want a face full of snow.

See if there is any parks near you that the town decorates. In the town next to me they decorate a park full of lights, there are trees that are adorned with ornaments, little ginger bread houses, it’s so beautiful and magical.  My friends and I loved it when we went!

Decorate your house with twinkle lights, wreaths and any other fun Christmas decorations. (When it’s a little closer to Christmas).  It will get you in the holiday spirit.  Don’t forget to crank the Christmas music and have chocolate chip cookies and tea ready when you’re finished.ChristmasLights

Go to the Christmas parade.  Everyone puts so much work into the floats and every year I’m always surprised by people’s creativity.

I hope you have fun days in and keep warm on your days out!

What activities do you like to do in the winter?  Comment below!  We’re always looking for new things to try!

-Gabby

It’s Totally Ok!

It’s Totally Ok to..

This week I decided to do a little something different.  These are 20 of the things that I think are totally ok to do.  Hopefully you guys think so too!

  1. aa1ed9d87f4aa927735c9675e66a2657Eat a spoonful of peanut butter and Nutella if you want.  It’s so delicious, and I refuse to ever regret it.
  2. Wear sweat pants at  home alllll day, but NOT every day. Buttoning a pair of jeans takes a half a second and you will instantly look ready to take on the world!
  3. Eat dessert as a meal.
  4. Sneak snacks into a movie theater at least once! I mean everyone does it right?
  5. Say you’re going to make something on Pinterest and then never do. I’m definitely guilty of this.
  6. Go shopping with a budget and completely going over it. The dress and shoes couldn’t be worn without each other.
  7. Buy things on sale even if you don’t need it. It’s such a great deal; how can you pass it up!
  8. heelWear high heels if you’re tall. I can’t really relate to this, but I have some tall friends who have been told they shouldn’t and I definitely disagree. Embrace the tall!
  9. Buy another gaming system. So what if you already have 3.
  10. Wait in line for hours to be the one of the first to have the latest and greatest of anything. After all, you’re an innovator and need to be the first to have it.
  11. To say you’ve exercised even if you just walked to your car and back. Or counting the “lifting” you do at work as exercise.
  12. Cancel plans to watch the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix.
  13. If you still watch cartoons. Phineas and Ferb are awesome!
  14. Have more hats than you could ever wear. There are just so many different kinds and teams.
  15. Swear like a sailor at a hockey game or any game really. Unless, there’s kids.
  16. customeDisagree with people. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
  17. Buy the ridiculously over-priced item you’ve been eyeing up. Just buy it already.  You’ll regret it more if you don’t.
  18. Start making your Halloween costume months in advance. You might forget if you don’t.
  19. Never throw away your favorite pair of jeans, even if they don’t fit anymore or have holes all over. There’s just so many great memories attached to them.
  20. Take the elevator even if you’re only going a floor up. After a long day walking up stairs just sometimes isn’t something I want to do.

I hope guys enjoyed my random list.  What do you guys do that you think is totally ok?   Comment below!

Do’s for Your Do!

For the Ladies:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel chop off your long hair!

Hemlines aren’t the only things getting shorter!  The bob and lob (long-bob) are back in full force.  You can get a blunt one, one with a lot of layers and texture or get the ends thinned out a bit for a more wispy look.Hair1

Girl, own that pony tail, work that up-do.

Pony tails are usually such a snooze, but with the correct accessories they can  become fun and funky.  Try a low pony tied with a ribbon.  To keep it from being too cutsie, find a ribbon that has an unusual texture or pattern and distress it a little bit, so it has a more lived in look.Hair3

To help the ribbon stay try tying it first to your hair tie.  Then tie your pony as usual and wrap the ribbon around the hair tie.

Hello goddess! 

If ribbons are not your thing, try gold accessories. I suggest getting a simple gold bar hair clip.  You can wear it just to pin your bangs back, clip it half up half down or clip everything to one side.  So versatile and simple.  Gold/bronze makeup is also a must try to complete your goddess look.Hair2

Is it windy outside?

e317325252fdd24512f32f7778a70687No…well, it might be somewhere. This not so perfect, windswept hair is an easy way to add a “even when I don’t try, I still look good” feel.  The easiest way to achieve this look is to put your hair up in a bun.  If it’s too tight pull at the front to loosen it and let the loose pieces fall where they may.  To keep it interesting, add some twists or braids before you pull it up.

Braids, again?

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m so sick of the simple braid.  Braiding your bangs back seems to still be the go to look, but if you’re sick of this look too I have a few suggestions.  I’ve been putting my hair half up half down and then I put a couple of mini fishtail braids underneath.  You still have the braids and your bangs are out of your face.  If you’ve never tried a waterfall braid or a snake braid either, give it a go!  They’re easy to learn and are more fun than a simple braid.  If you’re doing a fish tail braid, I suggest using smaller pieces of hair.  It takes longer, but it looks so much better than big chunks.

Waterfall; Snake; Fishtail

Waterfall; Snake; Fishtail

Fishtail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyZkowmdZv8

Snake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPxYr5jsjlw

Waterfall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oezddremlnE

We’re in full bloom!

Flowers are such a beautiful hair accessories.  They come in so many different colors, varieties and sizes.  It’d be impossible not to find one that isn’t perfect for your hair.  Placing small, dainty ones throughout your hair looks best and help give a more delicate, fresh feel to any outfit.Hair5

Colors to dye for.

a222855a326e591c9903ad92f4ee4f78Bright blondes, honey blonds, bold reds and buttery brunettes are safe colors to try if you’re looking for a not so out there change.  If you’re feeling a little braver, and want a hair statement that is wow, in a good way, try pretty pastels.  Lavendar and an icey blue are good choices.  Ombre is still a do, but a much more subtle version.  I’ve also seen people having just a few inches of their hair on the bottom a light color.

When creating a bright blonde look, be careful of too white or ashy colors.

20b79159b6cc87ab24ffea21cc381b0cIf you’re not willing to subject your hair to some serious lightening for the bright blonde, honey blond is a better way to go.  Add scattering soft highlights to help give depth to your hair.  The key is to have the roots fade into a lighter shades.  Remember to keep the shade changes sublte.

When I say bold red, I mean BOLD.  No strawberry blondes.  When picking a shade, go for one that has copper or blue undertones.

For a buttery brunette look, getting highlights is the best way to achieve it.  For example, if you have dark chocolate hair get milk chocolate highlights.  If you have milk chocolate colored hair, get soft honey highlights.

Lightly coloring your hair these pretty pastels looks great too!hair 6

Gentlemen

57563675ddce0348e5a5e82442b9f5b9First off I love James Dean and one of the reasons is because of his hair.  I just love the swoosh .  It looks so effortless and takes only seconds to achieve.  Thankfully, the hairstyles that are in for men this year also only take seconds to achieve.  So, no excuses guys!

The Undercut

This cut is so versatile.  Try it slicked back, spikey or messy.d3e0e3b062ae1774e03521c2f11cae7c

Push it to the side

The side part.  You might be thinking, will it be too formal for just an everyday look?  The answer is NO.  What you’re wearing can transform this style into something casual or formal.9f4596770c4ad70f7bc252ca4291fb91

Taper the sides

To get this cut ask for sides that are longer on top and taper down towards your neck.d8f70b7e9dbe3663103877de4a24ec06

Slick it all over

Hair worn to one side is a major trend for men.  To take it to the next level and have the cut angled to one side.hair

Beards and buns

b746b6b6ebde4f8b95839eeaec8e4ad8The man bun combined with a nice full, groomed beard seems to be popping up everywhere.  I’ve never really been a fan of either, but after seeing a few guys having this combo, I have to say they’ve changed my mind.

Keep this combo under-control by keeping everything groomed.

After choosing your look, I suggest using a hair paste from the Crew hair line.  They’re a little on the expensive side, but they have every kind of paste combination you could imagine.  There is high hold, medium hold, low shine, high shine, etc.  Take about a nickel size amount (I wouldn’t do more than a quarter size) work the product between your hands then push, twist your hair in the direction you want.88539bea32a45b9356c8c80e33c1d77a

Respond below and let me know if you try any of these looks and if they were a hit or a miss!

– Gabby J.

On Trend: Summer Fashion 2014

Hello ladies and gents!  With summer finally here many of us are excited to put on our shorts and slip on our sandals.  Besides these summer basics, there are a lot of new styles to try and new colors and patterns to mix and match.  While trying new trends can be exciting they can also be a bit scary and you might be thinking, how could I ever pull it off?  Well, I’m here to help navigate you through this seasons hot styles, what to try, and some of my do’s and don’ts for this season.

First, this seasons colors!

The three colors to above  are the “it” colors of the summer and the colors to the right are great compliments that you can wear with them.

Take it to the MAX!

howtowearmaxiskirt4When I saw these style of skirts and dresses I was unsure if I would be able to wear them.  I’m 5’2 and thought such a long dress would overwhelm my small frame, so I never tried any on, until recently.  What I discovered was it can work and short women of the world, you can definitely wear it too!  Granted, I did try several on before finding the perfect one and I will have to wear heels with it, but it was so flowy and pretty I could have died if I had passed it up!
My favorite maxi trend is the skirts that have a slip that go to the knee and then the rest of the sheer fabric flows just above the ground (I just recently bought one and love it). These lend themselves really well to all heights because they keep the legs semi visible.  Pair the skirts with a basic tank or v-neck, but instead of tucking it in try tying it.  I’ve seen some girls wearing it like that and I think it gives it a nice twist.  You can also try wearing it with a crop top, which is another hot item this summer and one that I will talk more about later.  For accessories, try wearing a long necklace that is on the more edgy side.  Adding edgy pieces to your summer wardrobe keeps it from being too cutesy and it always makes me feel a little BA.

A don’t for this trend: Do Not wear with an un-tucked or untied shirt with the maxi.  A long top over a long skirt just looks odd.

Throw back Thursday!

Crop top and jumpers have somehow made their way back into the fashion world.  Everyone time I walk into a store I always think, why and how can I make this look like I’m living in 2014 and not totally 90’s?  If you want to try the crop top trend I would go for one that has a cutout in the back.  I feel like the cutouts help modernize a look that could be too retro.  Not a fan of the cutout?  Then get whatever crop top you want!  I’ve seen so many other cute crop tops that don’t have a cutout; it’d be a shame to limit yourself.  Pair it with a maxi, high wasted skirts or shorts.

A don’t for this trend: wearing anything that is NOT high wasted and make sure that your bottoms fit you well!  I suggest getting bottoms a size bigger or at least loose enough so nothing is pinching (no one likes a muffin top).

If you’re like me, looking at a jumper (otherwise known as overalls) brings back memories.  All I can think about is dropping an ice cream cone on mine back when I was 5 and recently when one of friends wore a jumper all I could think was, “why”?  I’m not sure it’s something I could pull off, but honestly, she totally did.  Cuff the bottoms and leave one of the straps unhooked.  Try pairing it with a brightly colored or patterned baseball cap and stacked bracelets.  And lastly, wear it with its throwback sister, the crop top.PicMonkey Collage

A don’t for this trend: Do NOT wear full pant overalls. Enough said?

No, those aren’t pajama pants!

27280f249d88f6231e347921e39f6305Rather recently, fellow blogger Sam and I went looking around the mall and spotted a pair of those crazy, cool patterned pants that are a little baggy and are tight around the ankles.  And the immediate question was, how in the world would I make these not look like pajama pants?  My suggestion is to pair it with a button up.  I think wearing a button up, with or without sleeves, instantly creates a more pulled together look and an I “tried” this morning feel.  After all, you did have to button it and that’s extra work!  A do not for this trend: Do NOT wear an oversized shirt or sweatshirt with these pants.  The point is to not look like you just rolled out of bed.

The perfect pair.

Bold, beautifully patterned shorts and tops are a must this season and I challenge you to try mixing the patterns.  You might be thinking, won’t it be too overwhelming?  In some cases, yes it probably would be, but there are a few tricks to keep in mind when mixing patterns.  Firstly, a bolder pattern with a simple pattern often just works.  An example would be  a strip top and a floral skirt.  It keeps it fun and interesting without making you dizzy.  Two simple patterns also work, but two bold patterns do NOT;it gets too crazy, for me at least.  If you’re too afraid to try two completely different patterns and colors together here’s a tip: try to have one color in common with the top in bottom.  This past spring I paired a tan skirt with black polka dots and a navy blue blouse with tan flowers.  Sounds crazy right?  But since they had a color in common and they were both a simple pattern it totally worked!

PicMonkey CollageDo NOT for this trend: Again be careful with pairing two bold patterns, most of the time you will look like you stepped off the crazy train.

The little white dress.

PicMonkey CollageThe LBD is being trumped by this seasons must have, the LWD that is the little white dress.  One perfect way to add instant glam and color to this look is to pair it with fun heels with a little strap around the ankle.  When I go shoe shopping I usually go for more practical colors e.g. black, brown, but I think having some not so practical heels is definitely a do.

This style of heel is trending and will soon be an essential to have in your wardrobe.

Gentlemen

To the gentlemen that might read this, I’m going to be honest.  I’m notcompletely sure what’s trending for guys this season or ever really, but here are a few pictures of guys that I think are on point right now. The takeaway: button up tops in a distressed/faded rich color are always good, so are stripes, v-necks and colored pants or shorts.
bcd15fccd3a35bc8ef5af3d7684b624b cb58b3aefd72c807da2133ddfc82c8e877173874749f35b140a9af4328f7170122137171672c6473e6327f725a3f7f38

My best advice guys, keep it casual and classy!

I hope this helps!  Have fun this summer and enjoy the sun!

– Gabby J.

537785_10200579844877774_32202828_nGabby is a recent graduate and fashion guru. She loves the ocean and is like a fish in the water. Her guilty pleasure is running down to the nearest Francesca’s and purchasing as many dresses as she can justify. Her heart currently belongs to none other than Tom Hiddleston and if she could she would spend days listening to him recite poetry by e.e. cummings to her.