Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Snacks & Decorations

Halloween is one of my top favorite holidays. Everything about it excites me, from the spooky and eerie atmosphere to the decorations and scary movies. I unfortunately have to work all afternoon on Halloween so I won't be able to do much baking or binge watching scary movies. Which is quite upsetting but I do get to dress up for work. I'm always bad at deciding what I want to be and now that I am a college student on a tight budget I don't have extra cash to spend on an extravagant costume. However, I do have some ideas of what I could be based on what I can pull from my wardrobe.

 What are you guys going to be for Halloween? And are you doing anything fun for the evening? 

Since my day is filled with work I decided to celebrate a couple days early. I spent the afternoon and evening decorating my table and filling it with snacks. 

Most of the decorations I picked up at the Dollar Tree to save some cash and I did grab a couple of items from Target which were a bit pricey but I can use them next year as well, and as I mentioned early I'm obsessed with Halloween so they will definitely be put to use! (: 

From the dollar tree I grabbed a bag of black webbing without the spiders to act as a table cloth. If you have a bigger table you'll probably need 2 or 3 bags, but I just have a small table so I could get away with 1 and stretching it. I also grabbed the glowing skull, plastic cups, a glowing tapered candle, and a pack of glowing tea-lights. I went earlier in the month to pick up some decorations for at work and found these really cool plastic skull goblets, but when I went back to grab stuff for at my apartment they were all sold out. I was super bummed but then found a black tinted wine glass that I could use instead. The last thing I picked up at the dollar tree was a plastic punch bowl to hold my beverage. 

At Target I picked up assorted baking essentials and treats for the caramel apples and a fun halloween themed cupcake holder (pictured below), but in my opinion you could probably get away with using it all year round. 

For the food I made 3 simple treats inspired from Pinterest, and a Punch that consists of Hawaiian fruit punch and a can of Minute Maid Lemonade.
 First I made these fun pudding cups that I colored depending on which cups I would be pouring the pudding into. I did green for the monster from Frankenstein, orange for my fun jack-o-lantern faces, and left some plain vanilla pudding for the ghost. 
FUN FACT: The monster isn't actually named Frankenstein, it was actually the scientist whose named Frankenstein but so many people think that Frankenstein is the creature that was brought to life. . . The more you know. (: 
I found these pudding cups super fun to make because you can draw anything you'd like on the plastic cups and make each one unique. I do recommend having these guys chill out over some ice to keep them cold. 

Next I made "vampire teeth" which consists of three ingredients: Apples, peanut butter, and mini marshmallows. I put quotation marks around 'vampire teeth' because I didn't actually include fangs, but you could easily squeeze a piece of candy corn between two marshmallows on either side. I frequently enjoy grabbing an apple and a jar of peanut butter as a quick snack so I think this was my favorite halloween treat that I made. All you do is slice up an apple, spread some peanut butter on one side of two slices and stick marshmallows around the edge to act as teeth. TA-DA! Quick, easy, AND delicious! 

Last but certainly not least, I had to incorporate the classic caramel apple! It's an iconic snack for Halloween, or fall in general. I decided to amp it up a bit by cutting the apple into chunks for bite size treats, and then laid out different choices for toppings. I decided to go for candy corns, mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips, crushed up M&M candies, multigrain cheerios, and of course chopped up peanuts for all you classic caramel apple lovers. I found this super fun because you can mix and match any toppings you'd like! I bet there will be no two caramel apples alike at your party - unless you're plain Jane and stick to the classics, but hey that's okay too! (: 

I did make a video of how I made these fun treats and posted it on my youtube channel so if you want to check it out you can click here or click on the youtube logo in the side bar.  

I hope you enjoyed this post & I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!

I'd like to know what kind of treats you must have on Halloween.. Let me know in the comments! (: 

Much love! Xx

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Definition: You

I want to start off by saying that you are not defined by one thing. 

If that sentence seemed a bit confusing let me elaborate. When I say "you are not defined by one thing", I mean that you are not subjected to one style or thought or characteristic. I remember growing up if I curled my hair or wore something different I would get weird looks from my friends and they'd ask questions like "What's the occasion" or "Why are you wearing that". There never really was an occasion; just the fact that I wanted to style my hair or dress up a bit. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

 Recently in my sociology class we had this assignment where we had to go out and break a norm and then see how people reacted. The norms ranged from what you wore to how you acted. During my senior year of high school we did the exact same thing but my AP literature teacher called it "garfinkeling". Looking back I can understand that in some ways I was breaking my own personal norm because I didn't dress up or do my hair every day. But on the other hand, my so-called friends were being quite rude and judgmental. Instead of complimenting me, they opted for interrogation.

If you want to dress up and wear heels, go for it. If you decide on wearing sweatpants and a snapback, do it. No one should stop you from wearing what you want to wear. As long as you are happy and feel confident, nothing else should matter. Be whoever you want to be. Don't be afraid to try new things and be unique. Step outside of the box, but don't ever ever let someone tell you who you can and can't be. It's not their life, it's yours. You don't need to have an explanation for why you are doing something. Make decisions based on yourself, not what is going to please others. If asked why, reply with why not.

I think that labels are ridiculous and we should be able to freely decide on what we want to wear, say, or do, without being critiqued. There shouldn't even be labels or categories because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

 I have recently decided that i'm am going to be my own person.  Stepping out from the crowd and being individualistic. It feels so good not having to worry about what others think, because I'm living life and experiencing as much as I can, creating my own style and personality. The pressure of meeting others expectations has lifted from my shoulders and is a stressor I don't have to think about. Sometimes we need a little push in the right direction. That might be moving away, or deciding the people you associate yourself with is more baggage than reinforcement. Surround yourself with positive vibes and you'll live a happier life.

Don't worry about fitting in, you should be more focused on standing out. There are always going to be people who will judge you no matter what you do in life, so be yourself because everyone else is taken and an original is worth more than a copy. Just remember, opinions are not facts.

I'd like to stress that there is nothing wrong with you, no mater what people say. Everyone is different and that's okay. Accepting who you are is the first step in the right direction. I am who I am and you are who you are. I accept my flaws and embrace them. I encourage you to find the strength and do the same.

On that note, hello! My name is Bree & this is who I am.

I am silly
I am Unique
I am loving
I am full of wanderlust
I am a free spirit
I am timid
I am scared
I am curious
I am making my own path
I am inspired & full of ambition
I am confident
I am a college student
I am a lover of lipstick
I am an outdoors person
I am obsessed with everything fall
I am burdened with depression & anxiety
I am hopeful
I am optimistic
I am happy
I am me.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope this empowers you. I'd like to know, what makes you, you?
Much Love Xx

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Beginnings

I never liked the idea of change; It's a scary thought. Stepping outside of my comfort zone is intimidating and having anxiety doesn't help my cause. When a lot of things are going right I never want things to change. But how can you move forward when you're holding onto the past? I've unfortunately had a lot of hardships in my 19 years of living and I knew that college was the perfect opportunity to start over. My first year of college wasn't what I expected. During my senior year of high school I made the mistake of applying to only one college. I waited my entire senior year to find out that I was put on a wait list. Determined to go to college that fall I had no choice but to attend a local UW college. Long story short, I hated it; it didn't feel like college, it still felt like high school. I got extremely depressed and my anxiety flared up. For the first time in my life I failed classes. I knew I needed to change something with my life. It was a scary thought but I needed to take that leap of faith. So in a short couple of months I applied to Madison Area Technical College - got accepted, transferred jobs, and got an apartment 5 minutes from the UW campus and my brothers house.

A year ago a never would have imagined me being where I am today. I've had a lot of thoughts about backing out and going home but that would be too easy. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it and I am so blessed for everything I have in my life. In the past year I have gone from a college that held me back rather than going forward, to a place that has motivated me to do better and become a better person each and everyday. I always told myself that technical colleges were for those who slacked in high school and that I wouldn't fall down to that level. Boy was I wrong; MATC  is one of the best decisions of my life. Every thought that I put into my head about a technical college was false and I can't believe how ignorant I was being. Any thing that you choose to do in life is better than doing nothing at all. The first month of the semester has flown by so quickly and each time I exit those doors I pat myself on the back and smile because I am a step closer to where I want to be in life.

In the past year I have grown up so much, all thanks to those who I surround myself with. I am so blessed to have such amazing coworkers that support me and push me to do better. Without them I don't know where i'd be. My parents were also such a huge part in pushing me to do what is best for myself & my future. Each and every day I find out more about myself and how capable I am to complete goals if I set my mind to them. Moving on to another college was one step, but taking the leap of faith and moving to a whole new city, two hours away from my parents, and living on my own was a giant leap. But I don't regret it; It's life and we are here to live it. Owning my own place is extremely exciting but also a wake-up call. I've had to prioritize my time and money to keep up with the bills and the dishes. One thing I do regret is not taking the opportunities to cook with my mom in the kitchen. I quickly found out how much I know about preparing a meal: almost nothing. I literally thought it was a good idea to put bread in the microwave to make 'toast' (because I didn't have a toaster), you can probably guess what happened... Yeah, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Regardless, I am ecstatic with how far I've come in the past couple of months; from living with my parents to living on my own. A giant step anyone and everyone should be proud of.

Recently I made the decision to change it up quite a bit; I decided to dye my hair. I looked at it as a new beginning, a way to close a chapter of my life in order to start a new one. A new life, a new look, a new me. A healthier me, with ambition to achieve, and motivation to keep moving forward. It was a big decision, but it was something I wanted to do for over a year now and I thought now was the best time to do it. I went from a medium brown that faded out at the ends from highlights, to a dark rich chocolate brown that is warm and has depth. I was so scared for this change since i've never done anything so drastic. I also got it cut just below my shoulders in order to get rid of all of my dead ends I accumulated over the years (A trip to the barber was a rare occasion for me). I did some research before getting my hair done because this was a big deal for me and I wanted to have complete trust in the person who would be doing it. I ended up in the hands of Ric, an amazing beautician who was professional but personable. I couldn't be more happy over my decision to wait and get my hair done at this salon. It was a much needed change and it turned out just how I imagined/hoped. They say that when you go through a big change in your life you tend to change your appearance. And when I say appearance, I mainly mean your hair.



All in all I'm not exactly where I want to be, but I am where I need to be and that's all that matters. I'm a step in the right direction and each day I am getting closer; this is just the beginning.