i feel so defeated.

and my knee hurts too.

as some of you may know, last summer i got in a pretty nasty bicycle crash (by myself) which landed me in the ED and sling for a week. i managed to make it about 18 miles on the road before losing control, while going downhill in the rain, and ended up making a nose-dive for the ditch next to the road to avoid hitting a car that had passed me and stopped at the bottom of the hill. let me say: i am not exaggerating, but i would say on the conservative side, i must have been going at least 35mph. luckily, an incredibly lovely woman stopped to help and drove me all the way to the hospital. i had separated my ac joint in my left shoulder.

side note: i had to leave my bike behind for a friend to come after, and when she got there the bike was gone.

i was pretty mehhh about riding on the road again after that. i mean, i was taking on my own liability by being a cyclist among cars anyway. it’s my choice to ride, and it was my fault i ended up in the ED.

today i tried riding on the road again. this time, i [obviously] had a different bike, which means different pedals and clips. these clips are particularly hard to unclip from, and i had fallen trying to unclip from them last fall. that was on a cyclocross course, however, which was basically a field in the middle of nowhere. i didn’t have to worry about cars.

i had gotten pretty good at the old shoes & clips, so i tried to push the fear of falling again to the back of my mind. i started. and stopped. all right, no problem. i got this. next intersection: unclip. stop. start again. and then…. the final intersection: i tried unclipping. i tried again. i was already on a descent and felt like i couldn’t stop fast enough. then the unclipping not working just freaked me out even more. i jerked my left foot, and it stayed in the clip.

i fell pretty hard on my left knee and hand. it was a weird thing. i knew i was falling into oncoming traffic, and my head was about a foot from a van that was passing. i am lucky i was safe and all i got was some scrapes, but the mental block that i face now is too big to manage anymore. i was too anxious to ride back home, so i had someone pick me up.

has anyone else had something like this happen to them? i really want to be able to enjoy riding, but i want to be safe too. (duh. everyone does.) i don’t know what it is about these new shoes and clips, but it feels like unclipping is a hit or miss – i can never tell whether the next time will be scary as hell or a breeze. or maybe it’s all the anxiety i’ve developed, and the mentality is keeping me from being able to do it successfully? what do you do when something you used to enjoy so much has become too much of a source of anxiety to enjoy it anymore?


new find! | tea beauty nail polish

so i was taking my regular stroll through the beauty section at my local drugstore, and this nail polish caught my eye. such a pretty pale blue, and i’d never heard of the brand, so i thought i’d give it a go!


i found the tea beauty nail polish at walgreens. i believe it is a new line by a well-established fragrance company that wants to branch out into other areas of cosmetics – tru fragrance maybe? i have no idea what i’m talking about.

anyway, it is a very opaque polish, and this one is a pretty color in my opinion! it dried a little flat, which was weird. because it wasn’t fully matte. so i just brushed some top coat over the final product and BOOM. there it is.

i love the bottle and the design on the lid. the best part? it was only $4.99. compared to some other brands, this is right in the middle on price point, and i was delighted with the product! i’ll probably go back and get another color ^_^


also – the roses? EASY PEEZY. i came across this blog post by nailasaurus on the new bloglovin’ and HAD to try it. you’ll probably notice right when clicking on her link that my roses are CRAP compared to hers. but what a fun way to spice up your nails! the colors kind of remind me of my bedding, but that’s fine because i’m in love.

y’all should check out tea beauty nail polish and let me know how you like it!

[i’m talking to you, becca.]

xo, anna

naked basics palette!

if you’re anything like me, you’ve been sucked into the world of cosmetics. seriously, guys, some of these blogs and youtube channels are dangerous.

most of what i’ve been interested in you can find in drugstores. i’ve been keen to try some new products, like BB creams and cream blushes, but haven’t had any inclination to go purchase higher-end products… until now.

i don’t know what came over me, but i kind of conned my boyfriend into taking me to sephora (poor guy) and ended up standing in front of the urban decay display for about 20 minutes. i have wanted to try the urban decay naked basics palette for a while now, but for some reason the fact that all but one shade in this palette is matte really curbed my appetite.

at some point i relented (ah, disposable income. you last about two days with my bad habits.) and i will have you know that as a self-proclaimed shimmer girl, I AM SO GLAD I BOUGHT THIS THING.

here she is in all her beauty:





please don’t hate on the pics. my friend is borrowing my camera, so all’s i gots is my iphone (poor me) and my bathroom lights.

i wanted to swatch the colors so you can see how pigmented they are. it literally took two swipes of my finger tips to produce these colors!

y’all oughtta know that the matte is pretty awesome too. it’s different than what i’m used to, and i am lovin it. the basics palette is also a lot slimmer than i expected, which will be handy for traveling storage space. i have only had this palette for a day, but i can tell it will be part of my daily routine for a while!

xo, anna

first day of summer

Today was our official ‘first day of summer’ as the kiddos finished school on Friday!  They are napping now 😉 so here’s a little recap of our day so far.

This morning we went out for pancakes for breakfast (this is a special summer kick-off, not an every-day occasion :)) A wore her tutu and fairy wings, and S changed out of his onesie jammies into another set of pjs for the excursion.

We came home and played for a bit, then left for the park. (notice: outfits changed again… A is in a sunday dress and tights!)

Later this morning, A and  S wrote and decorated letters to each of their favorite Disney characters: Rapunzel and Mickey Mouse. I read somewhere recently that if you write to a Disney character in Disney World or Disney Land, they will send either a signed photo or a postcard in return! Even if they don’t, it was fun to teach them how the mailbox works. (They’ll probably forget by tomorrow anyway.)

Here is A’s letter (age 4):

And S’s letter (age 2):

I addressed the envelopes and let them each seal them and place the stamps in the corner.

We walked outside, they placed their letters in the mailbox, and A lifted the flag. They were so excited to mail something! I hope they don’t lose the little joys like sending and receiving snail mail :o)

Easy DIY: Tile Coasters

I tried another craft I found on a blog! It’s a tutorial on DIY: Tile Coasters!

– plain white tiles (sets of 4 – careful not to get the edge ones!)
– paint tape
– paint
– paintbrush (only for acrylic paints)
– cardboard from recycling or old newspaper
– clear finish
– felt circles or cork-board with adhesive tape

The plain white tiles I started out with from Lowes were only 16¢ each! I literally had EVERYTHING else! Except the blue paint tape…that was, like, $3. So all in all it cost me only $4.28!  The most time-consuming thing was taping the tiles so they were just right…and then waiting overnight for it all to dry, of course. This would be a great, easy gift idea. And so customizable!

I started out with 8 tiles (two sets of 4 each) and taped each up with a different design. I completely copied the tutorial because I wasn’t feeling creative…and Blair’s designs were way too cute to pass up.

Once they’re all taped, you want to either paint with acrylic, or (as I found out!) you can SPRAY PAINT! So much easier. I had these colors already, and the can on the right is the Make It Last! clear finish.

Now place your taped up tiles on the cardboard/newspaper outside and spray away! Or sit at your kitchen table and paint.

Let it dry for a few minutes, then spray again until you get the desired thickness of paint.  Let the paint dry overnight. Be extra careful when peeling off the tape the next day, especially if you used spray paint. The paint on the tile tends to come up and peel away where it’s not supposed to!

The teal ones are for my apartment, and I made the black ones for the boys. Next you want to take either some felt circles and place them under each corner of the tiles, or use corkboard like I did.

The cork-board that I got from Lowes comes in a roll (about $5 or $6) and already has adhesive. All you have to do is cut out a square to fit under each tile, peel the backing, and attach to the tile! So easy! Here’s what the bottoms of the tiles look like with the cork-board:

And here’s the final product!

If you make some, send me pictures! I want to see other designs!

Nala, my little sweetheart.

My little sweetie passed away.

I feel like such a terrible mom. When I made the decision to move into a house a few weeks ago, the landlord said there were no pets allowed. I remembered that a good friend of mine who is married and has a two-year-old was looking for a bunny. I called her up and asked if she was still looking for one.

It was bittersweet. Of course it was weird giving her to a friend to let them take care of her…but it was a pretty neat situation. They have a home in Kernersville with a lot of land and several other pets. I could come and visit and spend time with her, and they were home a lot so they could give her a lot of attention. They used her cage and things that I had for her when she would spend time inside, and during the day, they could let her out in the yard. They had a special bunny hutch that could fence her in in part of the yard, so she could play in and eat the grass and be protected from the rain and other animals. She always liked playing outside the apartment in the grass, so I imagined it to be a really good opportunity for her, especially if I wasn’t allowed to keep her with me.

My friend let me know yesterday that she had passed away in the middle of the night, and they didn’t know how or why. They woke up, and she was just laying there. On one hand, I am sort of relieved I didn’t have to see her like that. On the other, I wish I had been holding her when she died. It brings tears to my eyes. Yesterday I didn’t talk to anyone about it and tried not to think about it, but today has been a whirlwind of emotion and tears. I miss her, and I love her. I hope she knew how much she was loved.

friendship necklaces

Last week I tried out a little tutorial I found here for making friendship necklaces. That tutorial is a lot better than what you’re about to see, but I thought I’d share my project anyway! This is a cute idea for making friendship necklaces/bracelets, passing the time with an easy (and inexpensive!) crafting project, or just adding a little flare to an old chain.

If you want to try this, all you need is a little thread, some scissors, and a chain! I decided not to give my friend an old chain, and bought some new ones to spice up. They weren’t quite the length I wanted, so I had to use some little pliers to play around until I got just the right length.

Look how tiny the pliers are! I couldn’t resist.

If you want to get even more creative with the necklace, grab some extra o-rings like these and some cute charms to add!

So here’s how my project ended up…

I started out with three strands of 18″ skinny chains. Since that was shorter than I wanted, I used these little pliers to pull apart some of the chain from one necklace and added it to another to make it longer. It ended up being about 26″.

I thought I was carefully piecing the ends back on, however, I ended up with two latches on the same chain. oops! haha.

Once I got the chain the length I wanted (and the correct ends on the chain!), I picked a spot to start tying the thread.  First I tied it in a knot and worked my way down about an inch. Tying the knots are a lot like the friendship bracelets I used to make as a kid, only around a chain.

When I got the pink thread the length I wanted, I tied the next color of thread (cream) to the pink thread and continued to knot around the chain with the new color. Here’s what the pink and cream looked like when I finished them:

It’s cute to spread out the colors, too! Next I used teal and navy, each in its own section.

You’ll get the hang of knotting and sort of create your own groove as you go. So as I started the teal, I figured out that leaving the little tail next to the chain and keeping it tucked under the main thread left a cleaner final look.

I finished off the last two colors (you can put as many as you like!) and left off the charms. I think they will look cuter on bracelets. 🙂 Here’s the final product:

Looks really cute with a printed shirt or dress! If you do make one, send me a picture – would love to see what anyone else’s looks like!

Letterpress Basics

Today I had the opportunity to take a letterpress workshop for fun (not cheap), and let me tell you – it’s hard work, but it produces the best works. I’ve taken a few photos of the workshop and what we made today while learning the process of using a letterpress.

Here are the Typecases laid out in a common configuration called the California Layout. It was really neat to learn about why each letter was placed where it is in the layout. For instance the lower case letters, spaces of varying sizes, and punctuations are configured by frequency of usage, however, all the capital letters are in alphabetical order because they aren’t used as much.

This is the actual letterpress! It was made in the 1920’s, and is one fascinating piece of machinery. These guys acquired it a few years ago and decided to rent a facility to allow the community to come learn and eventually play with it on their own. Grand idea!

Here is one of the images I made. I didn’t create the design; it was something the designer came up with to teach us. The actual design he created was printed and cut out into what is called a photopolymer plate, which is why we were able to get such a unique design instead of just letters. (Can’t wait to go back and play with all the letters and fonts!)

The design is an iPhone with the word “Holla!” inside it. The designer said he thought it was an interesting idea to juxtaopse the modern phone design with the 1922 letterpress.

And at the end of the day, the boys surprised me with one of their prints I had been drooling over all morning! I. LOVE. IT.

some little projects lately

I finished a couple projects in the last few weeks, so I thought I’d share them with you.

First up: my hat! I’m wearing it now actually. I started it several months ago, but something about this mild winter made me sad to work on it. It finally snowed where I live (about time!), so I finished it on the snow day 🙂

Last week I made this dress!

It’s a nice tomatoey red. [I look like a goober in the last photo.] It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I used a fabric called Challis, which is really lightweight and wrinkle resistant. Perfect for this springy dress. It only cost about $20-$25 to make, but that was because the pattern was particularly expensive. You can usually find great deals on patterns and fabric, so, really, you could make something like this for under $15. I don’t really like patterns, because it’s hard to deviate from their plan, but I always learn something that helps me understand sewing better and gives me ideas for my own patterns!

Here’s my little sewing area. I love my sewing machine. I got it for Christmas! It is a Brother CS6000i. I have used it a good bit, and I’ve got no complaints yet! The table is a vanity that was my mom’s in high school. Its coloring shows its age, but it’s a great sewing table. I recovered the bench about a month ago…it used to be yellowish with a big, floral pattern. Very dated.

And of course, no project is complete without a big cup (or two) of coffee. Thanks to my sis for the mug!