all the things, pt 1: IT

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If you know me in real life, you have probably heard my talking about the movie “It” and all of it’s fantasticalness. I am a FAN. Saw the movie three times (yes, I realize that is ridiculous, and no, I do not need an intervention, or an exorcism); I even bought a Loser’s Club pin from this cute little Etsy shop, and have already researched when the Losers Club Funko characters will be released (TBD- however, they have released Pennywise) and have been reading all the information of when the next installment will be released. I’m hooked.

Originally, I had the goal of finishing the Stephen King’s 12,000 1,100 page book before the movie released last month, but being that I had had about 6,000 500 pages left in the novel, that obviously did not happen. So, without having finished the book, my husband and I, along with our good friend, packed into my car, loaded my bag up with snacks, and prepared ourselves for Pennywise.

Now, I was prepared for a scary movie (if you don’t know,  ‘IT’ is about a killer clown named Pennywise, who kills children. He feeds on fear, and torments a town called Derry, every 27 years.) And while it is definitely scary, I was pleasantly surprised to find that  ‘IT’ was actually a great movie:  fantastic acting, lots of humor, and characters you actually want  to root for. I laughed, cried, said many choice words, and left feeling oddly hopeful about the world, which is a weird thing to say after a horror movie.

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‘IT’ focuses on fear, and how fear can and does transform a person. Each character has their own relationship with fear, and Pennywise feeds off that fear. Each character sees Pennywise, but they also see IT, the thing Pennywise represents: a leper for the one who fears any and all illnesses, convinced death is right around every corner; the fear of the worst nightmare coming to life for the one who struggles to believe; a lost little kid for the one who fears the worst has happened to his brother, etc. Each character battles internally and externally with their fears.

The only thing they have in common? Each other. 

The thing I love most about ‘IT’ is the fact that these kids stick through everything together: they battle a killer clown together; clean a blood soaked bathroom that no one else could see, comfort each other as they face their fears. No judgments, no doubt., no criticism. They argue, sure, but they don’t give up on each other. Each kid, while dealing with their own mess, chooses friendship over fear. Connection over going it alone. Faith over scepticism. They choose to rely on each other, to stick together. 

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I loved everything about this movie. The soundtrack, the actors, the message, the setting, everything. If you haven’t seen IT, you should. Don’t be fooled though: It’s scary. Definitely not for everyone (especially if kind of gruesome things happening to children bothers you. The opening scene is pretty terrible) so please be warned.

Happy floating!

xx Steffanie

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why, worry?

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I am almost a professional worrier. If there were a gold medal in over-thinking or obsessing, especially regarding a circumstance that has not (and likely will not) occur, I would win it. Hands down. I worry about all the things; whether they have or have not happened. I worry about small things and big things, things I’ve said, that one weird thing I did last week. I worry about how much pizza I eat and how it’s affecting my heart and how one day, I may need a bypass because of it. I worry that most people only pretend to like me, or that they like my sister more because she’s the nice twin. (She really is.)

I over-think everything.

It started young. My eight year old self worried often. She worried about her frizzy hair, her grades, about her mom being okay. She worried about her dog, and her responsibilities, and the kid who got bullied alot in her class. She worried so much that she regularly threw up at school; filled to the brim with nerves and anxiety.

Thankfully, that sweet, book-nerd of a child was introduced to Jesus, and nice people who taught her how to be okay with being a worrier. They taught her that it’s okay to be someone who takes a little coaxing into new situations; that she would likely always be someone who obsessed over things: but that it could be lived with as long as she learned to push through it. Those sweet people read her books; they held her hand, and they held her when she cried. They let her vent her worries. But then they challenged her to keep going. Be nervous, but keep thriving.

I am still that girl. I prefer time (and wine) to make a decision. I hate most changes, and will resist them 90% of the time. I need to over think: to process, analyze, breathe for a minute. I still, thankfully, have some of those amazing people in my life who get it: they bring me wine, pizza, and books. They laugh with me, they hold my hand, and they push me on. They let me over think, but they also let me know I can’t just stay there.

Worrier friends: you won’t likely be someone who is 100% confident in who you are. In fact, you may never be a confident person. And I believe it’s okay to say that; hell, even to accept it. You’ll have bad days, and you might make life a little harder by being such a worrier/obsesser/psycho– but it will all be okay. Grab your people or a good book and obsess about it. Eat some pizza and over-think it- but then do something. Make life happen.

You can rest easy knowing that there is a girl in your corner: raising her glass to you, cheering you on.

Keep going, you nervous fools.

Xx

 

 

awesome of the week.

Hey lovelies!

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I’m curled up on my couch, listening to The Lone Bellow, with my back door wide open. It’s crisp and cool outside, and the sun is just about set. A candle is burning, I have a coffee beside me. It’s Friday night. Amen.

Here are some of my favorite awesomes of the week:

+ This encouragement from Darling Magazine. Our stories are so important. Keep on.

+ This article on face shaving for women. I’ll have my own version of this coming soon.

+Reuben Toledo & Nail polish? Heck yes. Some of my favorite art is by Reuben Toledo. Like this spread he did for Nordstrom:

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+ This celebration of all things Gilmore. My local coffee shop did this, and although I wasn’t able to make it over there, I enjoyed my own cup of coffee at work, & channeled my inner Rory all day long.

+Closer by The Chainsmokers & Halsey

+This video still makes my heart swoon, even though I’ve seen it 786368 times. Someone mentioned in the comments that this was the dancing version of Eleanor & Park, and it made me love it even more.

What are your awesomes of this week?

Steffanie xo

 

Bite Beauty: The Multistick

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Bite Beauty Multistick
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From Left: Blondie, Macaroon, Cocoa

Hello lovelies!

Beauty post coming to you today. About a year ago, I signed up for this cool site called Influenster, and subsequently forgot all about it. I got an email about a week ago from Influenster, asking if I’d like to try out the new Bite Beauty Multistick, with instructions to fill out a quick survey. I did, and they sent me a box with three of them! Super exciting. I am a huge fan of quick, multitasking makeup products, as I like to wake up approximately 20 minutes before I have to leave my house. A girl needs her sleep, ya’ll.

These little gems are fantastic! They are compact, and in the prettiest, chic-est packaging. The magnetic closure is the coolest thing, and the case is nice and weighty. I received three colors from Influenster: Cocoa, Macaroon & Blondie. Cocoa is a deep brown, which is fantastic for a good contour, a smoky eye, and a vampy lip for fall. I’m already in love with how it looks on my lips. Blondie is a perfect eye shadow base, as it is a neutral taupe. It may also be a good nude lip, but I’m not sure yet on that. Macaroon is a pretty rose color, which is perfect for blush and a rosy pink pout. I’ll probably be wearing it every day this autumn.

The Multisticks are creamy but also powdery, which are perfect for my super oily skin. I usually do not do well with cream based products, but the staying power on these beauties is amazing. The color payoff is also pretty fantastic.

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Cocoa on lips and for contour, Macaron on cheeks, and Blondie on eyes. 

All around, these sticks are amazing, and for $24, you have a lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow, all in one. Heck of a deal. I can’t wait to try more colors and products by Bite Beauty.

Happy weekend. xx

All opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review, however the products were sent to me for reviewing purposes. Huge thank you to Bite BEauty and Influenster for sending me the Multisticks to try out.

Be a star.

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She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. It’ll be alright. You got this, Theory. It’s just one day. You can make it one day. She pushed her glasses up on her nose, grabbed her backpack and went downstairs. She picked a muffin from the counter, kissed her dog Heath, and walked outside. The single tree in her front yard was turning a deep amber yellow. Fall was her favorite season. She tugged her jacket a little closer, and as she walked to her bus stop, leaves swirled around her converse clad feet.

She’d chosen red ones this year: bright and quirky. Each time she wore them, they made her smile. Her mama had loved converse, and bought her a new pair every year before school started. Red had been her favorite color.

I wish you were here, Mama.

She had been nine years old when it happened. She still wore her tiny star necklace everyday, the soft weight of it on her neck, comforting her. It had been three years, but as she had learned, time doesn’t make you miss someone less. If anything, it makes you realize how much they meant to you. How much of your life was wrapped in theirs. She missed her with every bone in her body. She missed her soft brown hair, her laugh, her smell. She missed her stories. Theory opened her notebook, the one her mom had written in before she went to the hospital. She had given it to her for her ninth birthday making her promise to write her own stories in it. She opened to the first page and read:

“You are a star, Theory. Never forget that. Never forget  to be brave, and kind. You will have days where you want to run away from the world, as it can be unkind. You will be scared and you will want to give up. But don’t run, my love. Don’t quit. Stay put. Keep going. Be brave. They’ll need you. Don’t hide your light from them, star.”

Theory wiped her eyes and shoved the notebook back in her bag. She pressed her hand to her necklace and wondered how long the hole would exist within her. She heard the distant squeal of the bus wheels and stood slowly to her feet. She squared her shoulders and picked up her bag. She took a deep breath and whispered, “Thanks, mama.”

And then, as bravely as she could, she walked up the steps.

Happy almost weekend. ××

What I’m Into: Fall is[almost] here!

Hello there lovelies,

It’s cool outside today, which makes me so excited for fall! All the best things happen in the fall: warm pumpkin cakes, leaves falling, hot coffee, & scarves. Halloween, pumpkin carving & GILMORE GIRLS (November 25th, yall!) Fall is the best season and I cannot wait for it to be here.

Alas, let’s talk things I’m into.

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Fall is so close!

Beauty/Bodycare:

+Sunbum Cool Down Lotion, Sunscreen, & Sea Spray: these products smell amazing, and they WORK. I always get super dry hair and skin after a dip in the pool, and these have helped to combat all of that. The Sea Spray is great for holding loose, beachy waves, while giving them a bit of texture. I’m almost out of my Sunbum, which is kind of a like a peace out to summer.

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Lipstick (mentioned below) in action.

+ Maybelline Nude Nuance Creamy Matte Lipstick: more of an autumnal color, but I’ve been wearing it pretty much every day. Fantastic everyday lip color, and I’ll be in it all autumn long.

+Bath & Body Works Body Scrubs: I didn’t know B&BW made body scrubs until I popped into the new shop by my job and OH MY, am I glad I bought one. They’re so rich and exfoliating and remind me of the scrubs the ladies use when you get a really good pedicure.

***Ps. B&BW new fall scent Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte is the best scent I think they’ve ever made. Definitely my favorite for this fall.

TV/Movies:

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+Stranger Things: You knew it was coming. Seriously, I am OBSESSED with this show. The perfect combination of Sci-Fi, humor, characters, everything is perfect. I’ve been googling the characters, reading theories & insider info, and stalking the real life actors on instagram. It reminds me of The Goonies, which is the best movie ever, and also Taken (the sci-fi miniseries from 2002) which was my favorite show at 12 years old. Dakota Fanning was so good in that show, as well as Anton Yelchin. Please let me know if youve been watching. I’d love to hear your Eleven theories.

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+Madam Secretary: How boss is Elizabeth? I love that the main character is in a stable, steady, while not perfect, relationship. She’s got a job and a family and as in real life, they don’t always mesh well, but life doesn’t fall apart everyday either. Love the writing and the cast of this show.

Books:

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I ♡ books.

After You By Jojo Moyes- Let me start by saying that I did not want to read this book. I actually waited for a long time to buy it because I was so worried about Louisa and her life after Will. WHY?! HOW COULD HE DO SUCH A THING?! I just couldn’t. But, Jojo Moyes and her brilliant mind made a fantastic sequel. Don’t worry, guys: Clarke will be fine.

Still Life by Louise Penny-I’ve always been a mystery lover. Tana French is the QUEEN of mystery novels, and Alan Bradley is the king. I love their novels so much. This novel is not quite on part with them, but I did really like it. The little town of Three Pines sounds so mystical and beautiful, but alas, there has been another murder (The Office, anyone?). Great story, good twist, good characters. Also, it’s set in Canada. Lovely, eh?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- Rowell is a genius and knows how to create characters. This book was so well written, funny, and a tad heartbreaking. I cannot say whether I liked this more than Fangirl, because they are both SO GOOD. I heard a rumor that this was being made into a movie, and I would be interested to see who they pick for the main leads.

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: this will get its own blog post but worth a little mention. SHAUNA YOU ARE MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: creepy, fun and so quirky. Loved this story. Cannot wait to see Asa Butterfield in this movie. I have Book 2 on my to read list.

On my to-read list:

  • + A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • + A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
  • + HP and The Cursed Child (specifically waiting for Sept to reunite with the Boy Who Lived)
  • + Wonder by Lou Palacio
  • + The Spiderwick Chronicles

And I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos:

Xoxo Steffanie

 

 

 

 

In which I get personal.

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Holidays are the worst. Sometimes, they suck because we are missing someone. Someone may be overseas, or they have passed away, or they live in another city. Sometimes, holidays suck because your family doesn’t get along or you don’t have a family to spend them with.

For me, holidays suck because they remind me of the fact that people are human, and that I have to, yet again, deal with that fact. I won’t go into the gory details (I’m currently without enough wine for that endeavour) but I will tell you the short story: of all 4 of my parents, two step parents and two biological, I have a good relationship with 0 of them. The end. I don’t speak to them nor see them. It’s a vast mess, full of complicated trust issues, a fair amount of emotional damage, and a lot of anger. And the holidays just tend to exacerbate all those feelings; my normally sweet, pretty optimistic self  goes through a phase of what I lovingly refer to as “the suck.”

I can usually tell when “the suck” is coming on, because I feel restless in the worst way. Not in a bored, Thursday afternoon, I have too much time on my hands, kind of way. No, this restlessness is more aggressive, hungrier, meaner. When normal Steffanie gets restless, it’s usually for 2 different reasons:

1. She is in a book rut and needs a brilliant, new story, STAT. Preferably a memoir or a witty YA novel.
2. She’s been way too sedentary and needs to detach her butt from the couch, and go hang out with people. Or go buy books.

When Steffanie-in-suck-mode is restless, it’s usually because her brain is trying to eat itself and make itself miserable by bringing all of the suck of her life to the forefront. This usually occurs around holidays, with occasional random outbursts between said holidays. It is unrelenting.

The restlessness is often accompanied by a overwhelming sense of fatigue and a bad attitude, of which I do not hide very well, even though I really try. When asked how I’m doing, my brain word vomits.

“Yes, I’m fine. I’m just having a breakdown, and I don’t know how to communicate it, because my brain is literally trying to make me miserable by bringing all the suck upon me, because thats what happens when people who bring you into this world, who promise not to leave you, do just that, they leave and life expects you to continue to live with that, and its not fair and sometimes its too much, okay, thanks, no I am not fine.”

And my mouth says this:

“I’m fine. Just tired, I guess.”

The first response is not usually the response most people want to hear so I usually try to avoid the awkwardness that comes after a way too honest answer, i.e, by avoiding people altogether. I run to the friendly Chinese place down the street, I crack open the dry red, and I read Never Let Me Go (best book ever, but not the most uplifting). I cry, a lot, and I usually snap at my husband for not staying home from work because DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THE CITY CAN WAIT  BECAUSE I AM GOING CRAZY and I go to bed feeling pretty sucky. At some point I try to convince my dog to sleep with me but even he knows that “the suck” is its own beast, and can’t be helped with his presence, so he ignores me, like the cold blooded being that he is.

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Now, before you call your psych major friends, I get that this post is making some of you uncomfortable and maybe a teensy bit worried. I hope it’s making at least one of you laugh, and if it does, let me buy you some coffee. I feel like we would get along well, you psycho. Truth is, I don’t usually write about this stuff, because it sucks and sometimes it hurts and sometimes I hate how it makes me feel. But I’m doing it because in a tiny way I feel like this is maybe making my brain feel a bit more like itself. My heart is a little less raw, and my breath is a little less tight. I feel at home with these tiny words on the page, in their neat little rows.

Writing is healing to me, and while I do not condone chinese buffets or becoming a hermit at home for “the suck”, I do condone writing it out. Or dancing it out. Or screaming, running, painting, breathing it out. Also wine, and a good friend, and a good book.

To all you lovelies who endure the holidays with a little heartache, I’m here for you and I feel you.

××

skin update.

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My skin and I have been having a battle lately, and it has been winning. After a little research and happenstance, I changed the products I was using to all organic, cruelty free, products. My skin has always done best with natural products, so I looked into a few brands at my local health food stores. I found a deodorant I really liked by Nourish Organic, and while on their website, I saw that they made skincare products. So, of course, I placed an order.

My skin is definitely a fan, and I am excited to have a clear, smooth, happy face. Nourish Organic is committed to making products that are good for you, and good for your skin. I love the little blurb on their website that explains their mission behind their company:

What goes on your skin ultimately gets absorbed into your system. That’s why we believe that you shouldn’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put into your mouth, and for us that means food-grade, 100% USDA-certified organic ingredients and nothing more. That said, we are proud to have been the first company in the world to develop USDA-certified organic beauty products that are made with only nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and plant extracts.

No parabens. No phthalates. No sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic dyes or silicones. No propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, triclosan, EDTA or aluminum. And absolutely no artificial fragrances or preservatives. Period.”

What more can you ask for from a company than that? From Nourish, I am using the Face Lotion, Eye Cream, and the Toner. The eye cream is fantastic, because it comes with a metal applicator, which de-puffs and cools the under eyes.

For cleansing, I have been using an old favorite from Beauty Without Cruelty. Their AHA Facial Cleanser is my key to clear, clean skin. I use a small pump in the morning, with my Dew Puff, and at night, I use it as a makeup remover and a cleanser. It smells great, and really cleanses the skin and keeps it clear. My husband also uses this cleanser, and says it is his favorite by far.

I use Kiehl’s sunscreen, which I have posted about before, because it is super light, non-greasy, and DOESN’T BREAK ME OUT. That required an all caps statement, because SPF’s are notorious for breaking me out. I’ve had this bottle since December, and it is still going strong. Highly recommend.

I also threw in the deodorant from Nourish that I have been loving, because pits have skin, and because I am already blogging about Nourish, I figured, what the heck. This deodorant is AMAZING. It smells lovely, like raspberries and blueberries, and it keeps me fresh all day long. It is very moisturizing, is aluminum, paraben, and EDTA free, which is huge for healthy pits. I smelled the Almond Vanilla one the other day, and oh MY. It will be my next one to test out. Definitely try this if you are on the market for a healthy deodorant.

And that’s a wrap. Thanks for letting me chat about my new skincare loves. Let me know what you use when moving into the autumn/winter months.

Steffanie xo

what fills me.

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Every once in a while, I like to do a post about my favorites. Favorite books I’ve recently read, places I’ve eaten, etc. This time, I want to do a post a little bit differently. I want to talk about those things that fill me in this season, that feed my soul and my mind. I don’t want to talk about my binge-watching sessions of Gilmore Girls (seriously, though, when I was a kid, I wanted to be Rory) or my love for takeout that has seemed to multiply this month. I want to talk about the stories I’ve read, the moments I’ve stolen with my husband, the good stuff.

The Books:

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Recently read: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, The Good Stuff Devotional by Havilah Cunnington, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider, Biography of Emily Bronte, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey (re-read)

I can’t go through a season well without a book in my hand, or on my table. It’s not possible for me. As I have always said, books are how I learn, how I digest life, how I grow. Stories teach me, allow me to process, and inspire me. Right now, I am reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. Jen Hatmaker is the funniest human being on this earth. Seriously, for Christmas, I may be passing this book along to every woman I know. She writes with such freedom and permission and honesty and I love it. Did I mention she’s hilarious? I am also currently (and slowly) reading Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. Not my favorite of Miss Austen’s works, but I am liking it so far, and a biography of Emily Bronte. Towards the end of the month, I’m sure I’ll be devouring Ms. Jojo Moyes’ sequel to Me Before You

The Music: I am not by any means a music expert. But I love it, so I will share the music I am into right now.

  • Walk the Moon -Talking is Hard (Favorites from the album: “Avalanche”, “Shut Up and Dance”, “Different Colors”)
  • Johnnyswim- Diamonds (Favorites from the album: “Home”, “Take the World”, “Diamonds”)
  • The Lone Bellow – Self-Titled (2013), Then Came the Morning (Favorites: “Cold As it Is”, “Then Came the Morning”, “Two Sides of Lonely”)

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The Moments:

My favorite moments almost always consist of food consumption.  That’s how I roll, and I am totally not ashamed. The hubs and I have been trying to find new places to eat, and one of our newest favorites is Hummus Cafe in Moore. We stopped in there on a spontaneous date night after a quick trip to the eye doctor. The gyro sandwich is my favorite, while the hubs opts for the gyro platter most times. So good. We also tried out Picasso Cafe (he hadn’t ever been) and their lobster po’ boy was to die for.

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In the middle of August, we took a trip down to Ardmore to celebrate some of our good friends getting married. Their wedding was beautiful, and sweet, and they had donuts for the groom’s wedding cake. YES. We recently met up with the newlyweds for dinner as well, stopping in at McNellie’s (the club sandwich is the best one anywhere!) and Gray Owl Coffee (one of my favorites–although, they were playing music you might hear in a morgue while we were there. Not sure what that was about.)

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The hubs and I are into antiques, so one afternoon we drove to Norman and went to Robinsons Repurposed off Main St. They have two shops, one right across the street from the other, and we browsed through old trunks, wardrobes, and tables. After the antique-ing, we went to Guest Room Records, and grabbed sandwiches for a late lunch.

The Blogs/Writing/Inspiration:

  • http://www.theworkofthepeople.com ( I love watching Sarah Bessey, and Shauna Niequist)
  • When Sarah Bessey writes about praise, her new house, and calling.
  • Cranny + Me blog. So beautiful. Her home is my dream home. The girl has minimalist decorating DOWN. Another reason I love her blog: they have not owned a TV for about 10 years! We recently decided to get rid of our TV, and are going to try a season without it. To read Sara’s insight and how it has affected her family, read here.
  • Sarah Robbins (I’m noticing the theme with people named Sarah here…) for all network marketing expertise. The girl is knowledgeable and I love how insanely inspired she is.
  • Olivia Cooke talking about Me and Earl and The Dying Girl movie:

And finally, I’ll leave you with this snippet of a poem by Mary Oliver:

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”