Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Hey guys! My absence from here has been ridiculous. But, this week was (my last) finals week so I was trying to finish the autumn quarter strong. Anyway, after a week long break from here, and an eleven page poetry paper, I'm back!

Last week I got an e-mail from Nancy, who writes the hilariously relatable blog Sincerely & Sarcastically, tagging me to write a post about the top 10 things I'm thankful for. This post was originally inspired by Katelynn who blogs over at XO, Katelynn and I thought it was such a great idea and so appropriate to write the day before Thanksgiving. The idea was that you link back to the original posters and then tag several bloggers to do the post as well but since I am a week late in posting this, and we are so close to Thanksgiving, I feel like it's too late to tag anyone at this point.

As I've gotten older, I've been trying to actively acknowledge all of the daily blessings I have in my life. At night, I write that I was grateful for that day in a journal I keep on my nightstand and I've filled a few of them up already. It's so important to me to practice gratitude and I've found that since I've been actively acknowledging all that is good in my life I am so much happier. I'm consistently in awe of how blessed I am so without further ado... onto my list!

// ONE

My family. I was brought up to value family more than anything and because of that family is of my highest priorities. My parents are my best friends, my siblings are too. I was blessed with the greatest grandparents ever and that is even more clear now that my grandma is my only grandparent left. My aunts & uncles are amazing, I'm often obsessed with my fabulous cousins. My boyfriend's family has been so incredibly welcoming of me and nothing but warm and loving toward me, always treating me as one of their own. We're often crazy and dramatic, mostly loud, and sometimes obnoxious but they're mine and I can't imagine not having their undying support and love in my life.

// TWO
This guy. This guy who always takes such great care of me when I need him to, who doesn't run for the hills after witnessing my over emotional tendencies, who puts up with my cheesiness, supports my dreams, for being one of the absolute sweetest men in my life, and accepting my love with open arms. For him, I am forever grateful. Also, for being strikingly handsome. 


This sweet boy. For his cuddles and his endless love. 

an oldie but a goodie
These ladies. These ladies have been there for me through everything and I couldn't be more grateful and blessed to have their constant presence in my life. Despite us all starting to go our separate ways in our own lives I know we'll always be together and find time to spend with one another. Love my ladies.


My home. I was blessed with the most wonderful childhood and home I could have asked for. Our homes are sometimes one of the things we easily take for granted often forgetting that most don't have the luxury of having a home. I am so grateful my parents have provided my family with a warm home to come home to every night. 

// SIX

Food. I joke a lot about food, and most people who know me even remotely well would laugh if they saw this on my list, but I mean this seriously. I often feel so gluttonous and bratty walking around after my third box of mac & cheese saying things like "ugh, there's nothing in this house to eat!" when there are millions of people who barely eat once a day. I love food and I love what it represents to my family as a form of love and enjoyment and sharing but I'm also grateful to have it to nourish my body and keep me healthy and alive.


My health. Perhaps this should be much further up the list but I am so incredibly grateful for my health. I am so grateful that my body is healthy enough to heal itself and allow me to walk and breathe well. The body is so amazing and I'm in awe of those who have to use theirs to fight disease in order to live. We truly don't have much if we don't have our health and I am grateful to have mine.


My faith. I've been on a journey to discover and develop a deeper sense of faith, especially in the last few years. I was reading my devotional everyday last year until I stopped for some personal reasons but I recently picked it back up and have implemented it into my daily routine again. I've always felt a connection to God but have been working on deepening my relationship with him lately and have felt a deeper appreciation for life and all of its blessings because of it. 

A joke, a joke ;)
Material items. Okay, so I know some people might not think material possessions should be a part of a list like this but there are several material items I have that make my life easier or more enjoyable and even I can't deny that. I'd love to be the person that is big enough to not place any kind of importance on material things but I am not that person haha. I love the convenience of my phone (although there are plenty of days I'd like to throw it through a window), unwrapping new makeup, all my books and movies that make me laugh and the bad days seem better, fuzzy blankets and socks, a hot cup of coffee, bath and body works candles and shower gel, and all things fun and inspiring and beautiful. Believe me, the earlier items on this list are so far more important than any material items that I have but I can't deny that some of these things make my days a little bit brighter and I'm thankful for the people who have kindly given them to me or for the money I have made from the jobs I am blessed to have that I've been able to buy these things with. 

// TEN

Speaking of, I think number 10 will have to be my jobs. I am very blessed to have landed a paid internship at a children's book publisher which aligns perfectly with my master's degree which will be in writing and publishing. I've also been blessed to have been kept on staff at our local park district where I work on the weekends to make some extra money. In today's job market I'm very aware of how difficult it is to get a job or an internship, especially a paid one, so I'm very grateful to have been given these opportunities. 


Thanks again to Nancy from Sincerely & Sarcastically (go check her out! she's awesome!) for asking me to participate. It really solidified all that I'm grateful for this holiday season and everyday of my life. I ask God, and myself, everyday how and why I got so blessed and while I don't think I'll ever be able to answer that question I will always be able to choose gratitude and be so grateful for all I've been given and worked for.

I also want to tell you guys how grateful I am for you! I was so nervous embarking on this blogging journey and I have received nothing but positive feedback and met some really sweet and inspiring women through this all. So, thank you for welcoming me into this blogland :) I can't wait to see where it takes me.

Wishing you all a wonderful, healthy and warm holiday tomorrow with all of those that you love most...and that extra helping (or two, or three). 

Ps. Anyone going Black Friday safe! and I hope you get bunches of deals. It'll be my first year so wish me luck!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Liebster award

It's official. Charlotte from A Love Triangle is the sweetest person I've met through blogging. If you don't already read her blog please do yourself a favor and go do so. She's so talented and smart and kind and funny and just go do it, okay? K.

Thanks to Charlotte, I was nominated for another blogging award. Can't even deal, you guys. I know to some this may not be a big deal but it's just thrilling for me that I have more than two readers so bare with me through my excitement. So, without further ado... onto the rules. 
You must..
- Link back to the blog who nominated you.
- Answer all of their questions.
- Write 11 facts about yourself.
- Link 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and tell them you've nominated them.
- Ask 11 facts for the blogs you nominate to answer.

11 facts: (all of Charlotte's facts were holiday themed which I thought was such a great idea so I'm copying her ;) )

1. Even before my parents divorced we always had two trees in my house. My mom's was in the formal living room and had white lights with coordinating glass ornaments and gold ribbon. So, basically it was the classy tree. My Dad's was in the family room with the big, fat, colored lights and all of our homemade ornaments and mismatched ones we picked out as kids. Basically, the less classy tree ;) Both equally as beautiful and warm. 
Momma's tree feat. my cute momma :)

My Dad's from last year. Definitely smaller than what we normally get but now he likes to pick the "Charlie Brown" trees because he feels bad for them knowing most people won't buy them and take them home.... I know haha but he's kind of the cutest. 
2. Home Alone is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I can quote most of it. I even have a hard time choosing between the original and the second one. John Hughes was such a genius. 

3. When I look at houses on real estate websites (like I could afford any of them) I pass them right up if I don't think they'll look good in Christmas lights... this one would. If you don't know off hand this is the real Home Alone house. My boyfriend and I stalked visited with friends of ours. I said I was obsessed! 
4. I think snow is the most magical thing. It doesn't bother me in the slightest.
5. On Christmas Eve, my cousins and I would take my Dad's pager (his PAGER people) into the basement where we all hung out and would use it to countdown until midnight when it was officially Christmas. 
6. I get two Christmases :) we celebrate with my Mom's family on Christmas Day and the 26th, deemed the saddest day of the year by my father, is now not the saddest day since we celebrate with him then. 
My dorky siblings and I at my Dad's a few years ago on the 26th

7. I already know how I'm wrapping all of the gifts I'm giving even though I haven't purchased any gifts yet. 

8. Since my Dad's family is German, and we usually see them on Christmas Eve, we participate in the German tradition of finding the pickle ornament one of my aunt's hides in the Christmas tree.

9. I bought my dog reindeer antlers yesterday in the dollar store at Target. He hated them. 

10. I have never been on a sleigh ride but if all goes well I believe I can cross that off my bucket list this December when my boyfriend and I go on our annual Christmas trip :)

11. My favorite Christmas song is called "The Christmas Waltz" and I prefer the Frank Sinatra version (because the Frank Sinatra version of anything is always better). The specific version is on the vinyl of one of his Christmas albums and I love that one in particular because just as the song fades out he says "Merry Christmas!" and if my Grandma is around she always says, "Merry Christmas, Frank!" and it cracks me up and it makes me tear up, I DON'T KNOW WHY, but I guess 'cause she's my favorite and she's so cute and when she's not here one day to do that it will remind me so much of her. Also, I do it when she's not around haha. 

Answering Charlotte's questions:
1. What time is it right now? 3:10 pm
2. Would you rather be a fish or a bird? A bird, for sure. Being able to fly? Absolutely. 
3. What kind of genre of book is your favourite? I love anything with a side of whit and romance. I'm a sucker for romance. And for whit. 
4. When lightening strikes the sea, why don't all the fish die? Could not even begin to answer this haha. It makes me sad because I wish I smart enough to. 
5. What is to the right of you, right now? An empty computer in one of the labs at my university. 
6. Why is your blog called what It's called? I named my blog Ali Rose because I kind of just liked the way it sounded. I hold personal identity very close to my heart so my name means a lot to me as it's representative of who I am as a person. And since my parents are the only people who call me Ali (like seriously, the only two) it feels sweet and nostalgic to me. It was important that my blog seem genuine and I feel that it does. 
7. What goes on-top your Christmas tree? I can't remember which topper belongs to what house but at either my mom or my dad's house we have an art deco, red and green and gold looking glass piece that sits on top (which I love) and at the other house we have an angel (which I also love).
8. What did you leave out for Father Christmas when you were younger? We left him cookies and milk on a special plate. I continued this tradition until I was far too old haha but bless my mother's heart she still took some bites out of those damn cookies. 
9. Which came first the chicken or the egg? I feel like the concept of an egg is much cuter to me so on cuteness alone I'm going to go with the egg. 
10. What is the last film/movie you saw? The last time I saw a movie in a theatre was so long ago which makes me so sad because I love going to the movies (because tubs of popcorn, hello) but I believe it was Let's Be Cops. But, the last movie I watched at home was Home Alone. Twice. Because it's Home Alone. And it's very clear that it gives me the most life. 
11. Your favourite Disney film is....? This is so hard for me because Disney is my shit but whenever I have to choose I pick Cinderella. I hate being cliche but I just love Cinderella. The Little Mermaid and Toy Story are very, very close seconds (along with every other Disney movie because is there even a bad Disney movie? No. No, there is not). 

My questions: 

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
2. What is your favorite thing to cook?
3. What are your holiday essentials?
4. If you could go anywhere, right now, where would you go?

5. What was/is your favorite subject in school?
6. What is your favorite holiday memory and/or tradition?
7. What are some of your guilty pleasures?
8. If you could pick another name for yourself what would it be?
9. If I handed you a $100 dollar bill what is the first thing you would buy?
10. Who is one of your favorite bloggers?
11. What is (or some of) your must have beauty essentials?

My nominations: (I didn't hit 11 sorry guys! I found as many of my daily reads as I could)

Life With Lolo
A Splash of Mimosa
Raindrops on Roses
Tay Meets World
The Mosby's in China
Sincerely & Sarcastically 

Sorry that was wordy. I'm wordy in general. Gotta work on that. 
Thank you again, Charlotte! You're seriously the best.

There are some seriously festive link-ups coming up (some starting tomorrow!) in this blog land of ours and I will be back tomorrow participating because I eventually want to throw up from all my participation in the festivities. This is how much I love the holidays. The love is real.

I'm definitely off to take a hot, hot bath tonight since the temperature, with the windchill, was supposed to be -1 here in Chicago according to the barista at Starbucks who served me my Chestnut Praline Latte. Not sure where she was getting her information from but who am I to question the woman who makes me a drink that tastes like Christmas magic? Plus, my legs have been numb since 9am when I wandered the city streets in circles in search of said Starbucks. So I believe her.

Happy Monday, loves! Stay warm and toasty and go watch Home Alone.

Friday, November 14, 2014

five on friday {confessions}

I thought after this exhausting week I would do a confessional type Five on Friday because I'm in the mood to confess things I don't feel guilty about at all ;)

// ONE

I confess... that the Christmas music listening has commenced. Last week. If myself from last year met me today she wouldn't know me. I used to be so obnoxiously anti-Christmas music before Thanksgiving (because I wanted to savor everything Christmas until its rightful time frame..hello control freak) but for some reason this year something clicked and I just gave in to everything festive and beautiful and wonderful and I feel happier. So, I get all you people who hold off, because I was you, but now I'm a convert so I get all you impatient Christmas lovers too. I just can't stand how much I love Christmas! I will admit that I'm trying to wait on almost all other Christmas-y things so I have things to do during the actual season haha but I need to make a Target run this weekend and I can't promise I won't wander toward the Christmas section. Actually, I'm not promising at all because that's where I'm going first... after the dollar section.

// TWO

I confess... that I would drink the new Hazelnut Praline Latte from Starbucks every single day if I could afford it. It's that good. I also confess that because I can't afford it I'm making my girlfriend who works at Starbucks buy me the hazelnut praline syrup so I can make them from home on the cheap.


I confess... that this conversation actually took place. I confess to asking that question. & I confess to loving his response more than I want to admit.


I confess... I was so embarrassingly excited about both of these things this week.

ALMOST THERE. $49... kid stuff. I'll have that VIB status in no time. 


When Emily Schuman from Cupcakes & Cashmere answered me during her live chat on Twitter. She's basically the most perfect female there is so I was geeking out. 

// FIVE 

I confess... that I'm getting more and more excited about some potential Black Friday plans and by potential I mean I must convince my sister to want to go with me. I confess to being as excited, if not more so, to wear pajamas while shopping which I heard is a thing. Even if it's not a thing I'm now making it a thing. Lastly, I confess to believing I need to purchase a new pair of pajamas specifically for Black Friday shopping. & only from Target because Gilligan & O'Malley is the absolute shit.

Because who doesn't love a good plaid?

& the gray Christmas trees and the red trim on these are giving me life.

Or I could just really embarrass my sister ;)

Linking up this Friday with April Christina, Darci, and Natasha! Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November goals

I love the idea of having a place to keep track of all the goals I have floating around in my head which is why I love these monthly goal posts people do and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I also love reading others so I can get some inspiration but it's always interesting to see what other people are challenging themselves to accomplish this month as well.

I know if I make too many large goals for myself I will ultimately become overwhelmed and not succeed so I've learned it's better to set smaller goals in order to accomplish bigger ones sometimes. Some of my goals will also be repeaters as well since I'm a creature of habit and often have a hard time making lasting changes in my life like establishing enough self control to not eat the leftover Twix bars, which aren't even my favorite, from Halloween.

So, here are some goals I'd like to work on and hope to accomplish this month!

November Goals

-Keep up with my workout routine (a big good luck to me on this one)
- Plan annual Christmas trip for Sammy & I (we've started a new tradition of taking a "Christmas Trip" to surrounding Midwestern towns as our Christmas gift to one another instead of buying material items and we love it! We're thinking Cedarburg, WI this year. Anyone ever been?! It looks so cute I can't stand it)
-Research volunteer/charitable opportunities for December
-Fill out volunteer form for local animal shelter 
-Plan Christmas gift ideas per person 
-Finish my final paper of my undergrad career
-Enroll in graduate classes 
-Make some Black Friday plans (I haven't ever participated before..any tips? Is it worth it?)
-Register for The Ugly Sweater Run (seems so fun & festive for Christmas! Hope I can get the bf on board for this one since no one else wants to do it with me. & it'll be my first 5k!)
-Decide on a dessert and/or side to make for Thanksgiving 

I think those are a decent amount of goals for this month considering we're already entering the second week of November haha. I feel optimistic about completing each one of these goals and will update it at the end of the month to check my progress. Hopefully this blog will be a place that holds me accountable for the things I set my mind to. I definitely need some accountability in my life ;) 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

monthly favorites {october}

I know we're a wee bit into November already but I still want to do my monthly favorites from October! I really like the template that Meghan used over on her blog so I'd like to copy her. I hope she doesn't mind ;) If you aren't already, you guys should check her blog out! She has such a warm, funny and smart writing style. I know you'll like her blog as much as I do. 

Anyway, on to the favorites!


If you don't already know, I'm beauty obsessed. I love makeup and skincare and trying new products and it's really becoming a problem because I'm running out of money and then some ;) I'm having a hard time thinking back through October for my favorite product because I just went to Nordstrom, MAC, and Sephora and got a bunch of things I've been trying currently. I'm going to be writing a haul post later this week if any other beauty obsessed individuals are interested.

I think the product I've been using the most this October, and all of Fall for that matter, has been Bahama Mama by Essie. I think it's the most beautiful color for fall ever. It feels refreshing after wearing Lincoln Park After Dark for so many seasons. I won't wear another color I love it that much.


My favorite food this month would have to be all the festive food that comes with fall. Caramel apples, pumpkin spice anything, and Halloween candy of course!


I'm gunna pick two activities as my favorites for October. One definitely has to be the pumpkin picking & carving date my boyfriend and I went on. Definitely one of my favorite dates so far.

& then the second would be the baths I've been taking lately. That might sound weird and kind of lame but I've really been making an effort this month to make time for myself and I have started a new tradition of Monday Night Baths haha. It gives me something to look forward to on Monday evenings which makes Mondays a little better. Especially when I use this stuff. 

My absolute favorite aromatherapy scent from Bath & Body Works. I could smell it all day. I have the candle as well and it really is so calming and relaxing. I'm totally obsessed. 

I need to get better at updating my "monthly" posts like favorites and recaps. I still want to do my November goals! Ugh, what a blogger newbie I am ;) Anyway, have a great & relaxing Sunday, all. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

{birthday} weekend recap!

Hey, guys! I know this is so, so late to do any kind of weekend wrap up but since it was such a full weekend I really wanted to post about it. I took the day off from life on Monday because I woke up not feeling that great and decided I needed a day to recuperate from the weekend festivities (aka sit on the couch and watch Ellen all day). And then Tuesday kind of followed suit.. and I was playing catch up the rest of this week which means I'm finally getting around to recapping the weekend!

Last weekend was Halloween, my birthday on Saturday, and my cousin's baby shower I helped to throw was on Sunday. To recap, here's a huge photo dump:

I worked at my internship on Halloween and brought these pumpkin spice cookies that everyone seemed to love. Or they were just being nice which is a good possibility. Either way! I decorated them to look like pumpkins and Frankenstein and such.

My boyfriend and I were invited to go by his brothers house to hang out with him and his wife (and her brother and his girlfriend). We were told they were going to dress up which is why we scrambled to come up with this "army" costume...

I told him it was important to be serious..  we're dorks. Like my knife? ;)
but then we got there and they were not festive like they had promised. So we felt like even bigger dorks. Luckily, her brother and his girlfriend dressed as Danny & Sandy from Grease so we weren't the only people in costume. I was, however, the only person tying and retying my dollar store knife to my thigh which was super attractive. But, we laughed, ate pizza, watched the Bulls game, ate too much Halloween candy, and I stole the Moscow mules my boyfriend's brother kept making for his wife because.. vodka and ginger beer.

My birthday was on Saturday and made me feel all sorts of blessed. My mom decorated our dining room to look like, what my 21 year old brother described as, a six year old's birthday party.

That's right. You're seeing all sorts of princess decor right there. I said I was a little princess obsessed. I also insisted all the decorations be saved for my future daughter (or my 24th birthday) ;). 

She nailed it ;)
Beautiful flowers from my Dad

I requested we go to Freddy's ,this little Italian grocer/deli near the city, for lunch because it never, ever disappoints and their pizza gives me so much life. The same couple who bought the place still own it and cook everything in the back themselves so it's legit. 

After my boyfriend got off of work he took me out to dinner just the two of us which was really nice because this is the first year he's been home on my birthday since we're usually apart because of school. We went out for Italian because I can never have enough. & I wore the outfit above (which I'm super aware is terrible picture quality): dark wash jeans, black chiffon top, leather jacket, and cheetah heels. Not pictured: my vamp-y lip. 

He also posted the sweetest birthday message/collage below on facebook for me :)

"Happy Birthday to @armessinas You deserve every bit of happiness today. You have shown me year after year how selfless, mature, captavating, and kind-hearted you are. Being by your side since 2nd grade has been so sublime and I thank you for the constant support and love you give to me. Love you forever!"
He's pretty great. Then we came home and spent the rest of the night at home with my family, some lovely gifts, and pumpkin pie (since I'm not a big cake person). It was certainly a wonderful day filled with my favorite people and my favorite carbs.

To cap off a busy weekend, we had my cousin Erin's baby shower on Sunday. My sister and I had met with my aunts and some cousins late this summer to start planning her shower to figure out what we wanted to do. They aren't going to find out the gender of the baby early so I suggested having a few activities that included both genders and since I'm pinterest obsessed all of this planning was right up my alley. 

I bought this chalkboard for $7 at Target which I was thrilled about and tried my best to make it look "cute" so people could guess what gender they thought my cousins would have. 

My cousin's MIL bought two baskets with pens and slips of paper where people could write name suggestions for each gender since my cousin and her husband don't have any names picked out yet haha. 

Erin also doesn't really care for shower games and god bless her for it. So, in lieu of games I wanted to try and find something guests could do that would occupy their time in between eating or while she opened gifts so I printed out a bunch of these "baby wishes" I found on pinterest here and put them at everyone's place setting. There are sentences like "I hope you get..." and "I hope you love..." and you fill in the blank. I thought it was as sweet way to write something to the baby and something meaningful Erin and her husband could go home and read later. 

As for decor, we tried to keep everything relatively simple and kept everything, besides the flowers, gender neutral and used a lot of sage and cream which were some of her wedding colors.

My aunt, Erin's mother, gifted them with the rocking chair from their registry and brought it to the shower so she would have someplace to sit while she opened her gifts. It made for a surprisingly pretty focus piece.

Erin's spot at the head of the table
Because my cousin has celiac disease we have to be careful of the kind of food we provide for her especially with the gluten. We decided to keep it kind of easy and have food that is easy for people to serve themselves so we decided on having a (gluten free) soup and salad bar.

All of us hosts brought something for the lunch. All together we had a potato soup, a vegetable soup, fruit salad, pasta salad, tossed salad with many toppings, and egg & chicken salad with buns so people could make sandwiches if they wanted to. All gluten free and rather delicious if I do say so myself. 

My sister made the gluten free dark chocolate cookies which are some of Erin's favorite. There was also a gluten free sheet cake and a gluten free chocolate ganache cake. 

As for drinks we had coffee, bottled water, and two punches; one blue, one pink. I hate to admit that the blue one was a bit tastier ;)

As for the favors, Erin's MIL brought little chocolates people could take home and I made little bags of lavender and jasmine bath salts with tags that said "From Erin's shower... to yours". I was originally making little bars of soap but that turned into a giant shit show so after making 55 melting bars of soap I scrapped it and bought some bath salt and called it a day. Sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. I was trying to snap as many as I could before people got there.

She's the most gorgeous, is she not? I hope I look half as good when I'm pregnant. 

Last weekend was definitely a packed weekend and now that this weekend has arrived I'm looking forward to not doing much. I do have to work a bit this weekend which isn't my favorite but I need that $$$ so I don't mind as much. Other than that I plan on hopefully keeping up with my new running schedule (which is barely a schedule as it's me trying to keep my shit together and avoid becoming diabetic with all the crap I've been eating lately), catching up on blogging, and making some room on that DVR. 

If you made it to the end of this you're my favorite damn person. Have a great weekend everyone!