Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: October 2013

M&M pumpkin.

I haven't carved many pumpkins in my life, but when I have, I didn't really carve them. I think I like the idea of carving pumpkins a lot more than the actual act of carving them. They forget to tell you that carving pumpkins requires 1) a lot of patience, 2) a little muscle, and 3) a real knife, because those kits they sell in stores DO NOT WORK. For real.

Any time I've carved a pumpkin, I didn't really carve it. I usually had someone there to execute my idea. For example, two years, I had this idea to do an LA Tech pumpkin. The execution of the idea wasn't that awesome because my carving skills were lacking. Luckily, Jon was there with his man muscles to save the day. Sadly I can't find a picture of it, but I did find a few mini pumpkins that I painted in college.

I also found this picture of the pumpkin Jon helped me carve last year.

This year, I had no one to help me and very little time to actually carve the pumpkin, so I opted out of it. I decided to paint it instead. We were having a pumpkin carving/decorating contest at work, so of course I had to participate. My pumpkin wasn't a winner though, sadly.

Have y'all ever carved pumpkins before? What have you carved? Am I the only one that feels the struggle or did you have some difficulties too?

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DIY energizer bunny costume.

So last week, we had a fall carnival at my job. It was so fun, and I'm so lucky to have been part of the planning process. I, of course, had to come to the carnival with my A-game, so I decided to do a little DIY costume. I was an Energizer Bunny, and I felt like one too. I was just so happy that everything came together so well that I was hopping running all over the place and just taking it all in. Twas a lot of fun.

It was so easy to put my costume together!

Ears, bow tie, and tail
I bought the ears, bowtie, and bunny tail (that you can't see in this pic) in a set. It was at Wal-Mart in the costume section for just $4.97. The bowtie is obviously not part of the original Energizer bunny costume, but I thought it was too cute to not wear.

Shirt and pants
I just wore a pink shirt that I already had. I purchased it several years ago from a Ralph Lauren outlet store for either $10 or $15. I don't remember exactly. I bought the pants from Wal-Mart in the children's section for $5.99. I had to get an XL because they were out of large and the medium was too tight. I ended up rolling it up a couple times. They were so comfy and they'll be excellent to lounge around in.

I actually have to pairs of pink shoes and chose these ones because they're much more comfortable. I bought them this past summer at an outlet store in Gulf Shores. The Energizer bunny actually wears blue sandals, but I had to wear closed-toe shoes for work, so opted for these.

I made the tutu from tulle purchased at Wal-Mart for just $0.97/yard. I used 3 yards of tulle. I also bought some stretchy elastic from Wal-Mart for $2.97. I didn't use that much of it, so there will be a lot for future tutus! They also had the option of buying it by the yard, but I opted out of this option.

I was pretty stressed about figuring out what to do for the drum. I ended up buying two foam boards and a poster board from Dollar Tree. I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the circle and then used a hot glue gun to glue the poster board to the two pieces of foam board. I painted the red lines with red paint and foam brush. I super glued blue ribbon on the outside to make it into a front backpack to wear.

I also spray painted my hair pink. This is definitely another one of my favorite DIY costumes that I've done thus far.

Oh and look who surprised me with a visit:

Yup. My cute boyfriend. What are y'all dressing up as for Halloween this year?

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openly straight {book review}.

As I'm sure y'all are tired of hearing have heard, I had the pleasure of going to ATBF earlier this month with my little sister. It really was an awesome experience (why else can I not stop talking about it?). I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight and Out of the Pocket. Before going to ATBF, I had no intention of buying this book. In my head, I was just crossing my fingers that it would show up in a library soon or something (fat chance in Louisiana). I really enjoyed hearing everything he had to say at his panel, so I just broke down and bought it.

My Brief Synopsis
Openly Straight follows a guy named Rafe who is from a small town in Colorado. In his hometown of Boulder, he is openly gay, and has the support of his parents, friends, and peers. Though this would be the ideal case for anyone who came out, Rafe wasn't satisfied with his treatment in Boulder. People treated him differently, he didn't have any guy friends, and he was tired of being the "gay" kid. He decides to move across the country to an all-boys boarding school in New England. He sheds his label, and becomes one of the jock guys.

At first, his plan seems to be going great. Other than his best friend in Boulder being mad at him and not understanding why he wants to change who he is, Rafe is living the dream. No one knows his sexuality and none of the guys treat him differently. Rafe starts getting pretty close with Ben, one of his teammates. He develops a crush, and as their relationship forms, things start to spin out of control.

My Thoughts
To be honest, I was ready to give up on this book after the first couple chapters, but I'm so happy that I didn't. After reading all of the background and learning a little more about each of the main characters, the book starts to really pick up. Honestly, I was convinced that I wouldn't like this book because the main character is a guy. I know. I know. But I promise I'm not sexist. I just usually like to read books with a female main character (of course there are a few exceptions, namely Harry Potter).

Anyway, I found Rafe to be a very relatable character, especially for young adults, but really, for anyone. He's a guy that essentially just wants to be normal and fit in. Hasn't everyone gone through that at some point in their lives? Granted, not most people would move across the country just to accomplish this goal. But a lot of people do have that "I'll do whatever it takes" attitude once they reach the end of their ropes.

I started to get really into the book once the relationship with Ben really picked up. After Rafe starts to hang out with the jock guys less and starts hanging out with mostly just Ben, and his roommate Albie, and Albie's friend, Toby, I started losing sleep from staying up all night trying to read "just one more chapter" (which obvs turned into 5 or 6). Just like in most YA books with female main characters, I started cheering for Rafe to get the guy. Bill Konigsberg does a really good job with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. It's like the last few paragraphs are just teasers, and you can't not read the next chapter because you have to know what happens.

I really think this book explores the concept of finding yourself. I think I related to it well because when I was having my quarter-life crisis, I was trying to go to Australia for a year to figure some things out. Luckily, I was presented with an opportunity that kept me here, but others aren't so lucky. At the end of the novel, it's like Rafe learns 20 life lessons. Not only does he finally come out to everyone at his new school, he embraces his identity, stops being paranoid that people are staring at him just because he's gay, and realizes that he doesn't need to be friends with people who aren't going to embrace every part of who he is.
I give this book a 4.5 out of 5. It really was an excellent read! Everyone should read it - gays and straights alike. You can find more information about Openly Straight and Bill Konigsberg here. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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top 10 favorite Halloween movies

As you can see, I'm definitely in the Halloween spirit this week. Here are my top ten favorite movies to watch around Halloween time!

10. Amityville Horror
I like both the original and remake. Of course, I'm partial to the remake because of Ryan Reynolds. Sigh.


9. Sleepy Hollow
I'm obsessed with Johnny Depp in this movie. And in general.


8. Carrie
I actually really like both versions of this movie. I'm kind of excited to see the remake too. It looks pretty good.


7. Halloweentown
Okay, I'm a child, but we all know this by now.


6. Halloween
Okay, Mike Meyers seriously freaks me out, but I just love the original Halloween movie. I was not a fan of the remake at all.


5. Tower of Terror
I've just always loved this movie. I watched it on YouTube recently and still loved it. It's just full of surprises. And of course I love old DCOMs.


4. Scooby Doo
I don't care what the reviews say. I love this movie. It's flippin hilarious. Scooby Doo is pretty much my childhood! I wish I had some friends who would dress up like the Scooby gang with me.


3. Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddie is my favorite scary character person. I mean, he visits you in your dreams! Doesn't get any scarier than that. I actually liked the remake too.


2. Hocus Pocus
A classic. I will never not like this movie. "Amok. Amok amok amok amok!"


1. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
Okay, y'all should've guessed that this would be my top pick. Mary-Kate and Ashley. Helloooo! Seriously though, I love this movie.


What are some of your Halloween favorites?

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ghosts of Halloween costumes past.

I am a big believer is DIY costumes for Halloween. I just love dressing up for Halloween. I've never been the Mean Girls kind of girl who wore the sluttiest thing I could find paired with animal ears. I like being creative (when I have the time to be). I also don't believe in repeating costumes. If I plan to go to three different parties on different days, then I have to have three different costumes. Here are my Halloween costumes from my college years.

{Senior Year: Halloween 2011}

Spice Girls

I'm a huge fan of group costumes, but most of my friends now think that they're lame, and Jon pretty much refuses to dress up for Halloween. Boo on y'all! This Spice Girls group costume is still one of my faves, because we all fit our roles pretty awesomely.

Oompa Loompa and Willy Wonka

My friend, Mandy, was is just as into creative Halloween costumes as I am. We both created our costumes from things that we already had and then just bought a couple things for the finishing touches. How awesome are we?

{Junior Year: Halloween 2010}


Christmas is my favorite holiday, so why not dress up as it? It was actually pretty simple because I had a bunch of Christmas stuff, and Christmas decorations and such were already out (as per usual), so I just bought a lot of cheap Christmas-y things at the Dollar Tree. Super cheap and I got to use the Christmas stuff for Christmas later. Win-win.


So for this costume, I pretty much just bought a bunch of felt and went to town. It took me a few days to finish, and I still have it because I refuse to throw it away (even though I can't think of an occasion to wear it again unless someone asks me to be in a play about Italian food).

{Sophomore Year: 2009}
Apparently I made my boyfriend at the time dress up three times this year. 

Princess and the Pea

I had to think of a last minute costume for a progressive dinner for one of the organizations I was in, Union Board. I thought this was pretty clever. All I had to do was buy a crown and sew some blue felt onto his shirt.


I loved the 80's and I already had a bunch of colorful clothes, so I just threw this together. My now ex was pretty lame and refused to roll up his jeans to look more 80's. Ugh. Oh, and you can see Jon in the back. He had longer hair then.

I literally threw both of our costumes together the day before the party. All I had to buy was the suspenders. And don't judge me too harshly, but I bought those two pairs of suspenders from Wal-Mart and then returned them the next day. I mean, I don't wear suspenders. Had no reason to keep them.

{Freshman Year: 2008}

Hooters Girl

This costume was kind of a cop out. I just bought the shirt and wore some Soffe shorts that I already had. I cropped my friend out because I don't want her corporate people to somehow find this post and fire her, so now it just looks like an awkward MySpace profile picture.

As you can see, my costumes got better through the years. I get to dress up twice for work this year, and I can't wait to reveal my fun Halloween costumes to you! Wahoo! What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes that you've worn?

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boy behind the blog

I've been wanting to participate in this link-up for so long, but I kept forgetting when it happened. I'm so excited to participate this month and share a little bit more about my boyfriend, Jon (even though his answers are pretty short).

1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Hardworking, loyal, committed, driven, attractive ;)

2. What is your biggest fear?
Going blind

3. What is your favorite candy?

4. What was the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?
Grimm reaper

5. What's your favorite football team?
Tennessee Titans (all because of Blitz 2001)

Never The Same Spice Twice

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things i'm loving.

Things have been pretty swell in my life lately, so I thought I'd write an extra positive post about some things that I've been loving lately. And please feel free to share some things that you've been loving in the comments below!

Wearing scarves
Time with the boyfriend
Finally meeting a local blogger, Haylee
How I Met Your Mother
Glee Pandora
Homemade pizza bagels
Laughing with my co-workers
Decorating my apartment
Reconnecting with old friends
Candied pumpkin lattes
Quoting movies
S'mores ice-cream from Coldstone

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literary junkie.

So while blog snooping yesterday, I came across this awesome link up that is just way too perfect for me. I mean, y'all know how much I love to read, so I'm so excited to find other bloggers that are bookworms like yours truly. So I'm linking up with Taylor at Pink Heels Pink Truck and Lesley at By the Porchlight for the Literary Junkies link up!

What are you currently reading? Tell us a bit about it!


I'm reading Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. It's about a guy named Rafe who has been openly gay since middle school, but in his hometown, he is known as the "gay guy." He transfers to an all boys boarding school across the country and decides to not tell anyone about his sexual orientation in order to try to shed his label. I'm about 8 chapters in right now, and I'm really enjoying it. 

What are your five most recent book purchases?
1. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
2. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
3. Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
4. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
5. The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek

Have you ever named/nicknamed anything (person, pet or thing) after a character? Who and why?
I honestly can't think of a nickname that was given to me from a book. Hmm.

If you could live in one book, all of its characters and in the town, which would it be?
Harry Potter, obvs. I love Harry Potter so much, and I will for the rest of my life because it's so amazing. I think I'd be a Hufflepuff even though Pottermore said that I would be in Gryffindor. 

Can you think of a book you read that taught you something concrete that you’ve never forgotten? Tell us about it.
The only book that I can think of that has had a huge impact on my life (other than Harry Potter, duh) is Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I read it in middle school, and I just loved how these girls were completely different but they were so close and such good friends because they had known each other for their entire lives. I don't have a friend that I've known my entire life, but I do have a few really close girlfriends that I love love love. 
Pink Heels Pink Truck

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Just realized that this is going to be my 100th post! Yay! Finally in the triple digits.

So let me just say that I knew it was going to be an awesome weekend because Jon was coming to visit, but I had no idea how awesome it was going to be! Jon and I are usually pretty lazy when we're together because we both work full time, so we just stay low-key and watch a lot of Netflix and Redbox and eat from the dollar menu, but not this weekend. This was the first time Jon has come to stay in my new apartment, so we had to do something fun!

Jon met me at my job when I got off and then after getting ready, we drove over to my office-mate and his partner's new house to meet him and a couple of my other co-workers to go to the corn maze. And let me just say that this experience made me feel like such a grown-up because I see all of these people on TV hanging out with their co-workers after work, and I haven't done that since I entered the "grown-up" world. Does that mean I'm old now? No. I'll never be old.

Anyway, we toured the house, drank a few adult beverages and then drove thirty minutes to the middle of nowhere to go to the corn maze. After eating some yummy fair food, we waited in line to go on the trolley thing to take us farther into the middle of nowhere. While waiting, we played Heads Up! It's literally the funnest app ever invented, so shoutout to Ellen D.

Now the trolley thing took us to the three haunted parts - the corn maze, the trail of terror, and zombie paintball. The corn maze was fun. I screamed a lot and yelled at Jon for falling behind and not protecting me. He never gets scared. No fun. The last part of the maze of course included a guy carrying a chainsaw. My office-mate took off running to avoid him. Then, like an idiot, I started running from the sound of the chainsaw and the guy chased me around in circles. While I'm screaming, he somehow manages to face plant into the ground while he's chasing me. That's what he gets. Mwahaha. I did feel bad for him though. We heard chainsaw sounds later, so I'm sure he's fine.

The corn maze was like a warm-up for the real scary part, the Trail of Terror. We waited in line for about an hour, but it was so worth it.

Let me just tell y'all, the last time I went on a haunted trail, I was in elementary school, and I had to walk over a bridge. They told me there were knives going across the bridge, and I jumped in the arms of the person nearest to me and cried into their shoulder during the whole maze. But this was my chance to redeem myself. I didn't cry this time. I screamed a whole lot though (so much that my throat was sore the next day). I can't even describe what happened in there, other than at one point, three people were in front of me, and two were behind me (including Jon), and this super tall guy with a mask on came out of nowhere and scared the piss out of me (not literally) and I just stood there screaming, not knowing whether I should run to catch up to everyone in front of me, or run back to Jon, knowing that the guy might strike again. Apparently, my scream humored the guy so much, he decided to give me a high five. Mind you, this was the midway point, and I thought that after that guy we would be done, but I was wrong of course. The whole trail was super legit though.

Okay, it was a challenge to keep my eyes open with that ridiculous flash. 

After that, we did zombie paintball where we got to shoot paintballs at some zombies in the distance. It would've been a lot cooler if we actually saw the zombies. I'm sure by the time we got there though, they were tired of getting hit so much.

Saturday was spent having Jon helping me hang stuff on my wall and fix things that I couldn't a) reach or b) figure out. Then we did a little shopping for my apartment (in the torrential downpour) and I found a bigger bookshelf! All my books are on a bookshelf now, which makes me supa happy. Wahoo!

That night, we went to the Red River Revel, which is an arts festival that comes to Shreveport/Bossier every fall. It had rained all day, so we debated whether or not we would actually go. I decided that I wanted to, so we went, looked at some art, ate some funnel cake, and then stood near the front of the stage for Love and Theft! I'm so happy we decided to go. I mean, going to the Revel in the rain is the way to go apparently. There was no traffic. There were barely any people there. We didn't have to pay to get in. No one was at the front. Plus, we were only second in line to the stage for the concert. It was so so wonderful, even though I only knew two songs by them.

Sunday, we watched a few episodes of Lie To Me. I'm obsessed with that show. We discovered it together, so we decided we'd only watch it when we're together. Kinda sweet, right? Aw. Then Sunday night after Jon left, I went to my parents' house to watch Revenge with my sister.

Finally, a weekend worth blogging about. What did y'all do this weekend???

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this song will save your life {book review}

When I was looking at the book covers of all of the authors that would be at ATBF, This Song Will Save Your Life was one of the ones that immediately stood out to me because 1) I love music, and the book was clearly going to be about music and 2) the book cover was just so pretty and it had the letters to spell "LOVE" in pink (the best color ever), so I knew when I went to ATBF, this was going to be one of the books I was going to buy.

My brief synopsis
This Song Will Save Your Life is about a girl named Elise who never quite fit in. And when I say never, I really mean never. She's never really had a friend during her entire life. She gets really passionate about things, and when she wants to learn how to do something, she does it until she perfects it and then moves on to the next big thing.

Before the summer of her sophomore year, her big project was to become normal. Not popular, just normal. She would wear the right clothes, sit in the right seat on the bus, and know all of the gossip about all of the celebs. But none of it worked, and she found herself wanting to take her life (this happens in the first chapter, so don't think I ruined the whole book for y'all!).

Fast forward to months later when her parents have her on suicide watch, someone has created a fake online diary about said suicide, and the only people who will be friends with her at school are two people who are seemingly less popular than her. She sneaks out every night to just walk and clear her head, and one Thursday night, she stumbles upon an underground club called Start. At Start, she's thrown into unlikely friendships with Vicky, Char, Mel, and Pippa, and discovers her next project, DJing. In the midst of all the drama between her love affair with Char, her lack of friends (besides Sally and Chava) at school, and her broken family, being a DJ helps Elise discover who she's meant to be.

My thoughts
First of all, I want to tell y'all that I started reading this book at 11 pm last Friday (cause I'm cool and instead of going out on the weekend, I decided to lie in bed and read) and was more than halfway through with it when I went to bed at 3 am. I woke up at 9 am on Saturday and laid in bed till 10:30-ish am to finish it. I literally did not want to put it down. It took me forever to actually talk myself into going to bed Friday night/Saturday morning.

Even though I've never been suicidal or had the desire to cut myself (which Elise did as "practice" before trying to kill herself), I still felt like I could really relate to Elise. I could relate to the feeling of always wanting to be more than you are. Also, like her, I have an obsessive personality. When I really like something, I just become obsessed with it until I get tired of it. For instance, right now I'm obsessed with Lorde (cause she's freaking awesome).

Anyway, I think Leila created such a relatable character in Elise. She was an outcast at school, but when she found Start, she found somewhere where she belonged, and that just goes to show that there's a place for everyone. I also love how Elise progressed throughout the book, and how she took responsibility for her past actions. After she practiced killing herself by cutting herself, she immediately realized that she didn't want to die; she just wanted attention, and not many people would be willing to own up to that.

Also, when Elise was finally given a big break in DJ'ing, she spent a lot of time doubting herself before she realized that she needed to stop letting other people run her life. I think people, teenagers especially, are so influenced by what their peers think of them that they forget to be passionate about the things that they like. Instead, they try to fit in a mold to be just like all of their peers. I was a victim of that as a teenager as well. Especially after moving to Louisiana.

My favorite line of the whole book was spoken by Mel. He, Elise, Vicky, and Vicky's brother, Henry, were talking about life in high school. Elise was having a freak out moment, and asked the three of them if they had been/are currently popular in high school. Mel said, "I don't believe that anyone who is a legitimately interesting person can be popular as a teenager." I feel like that kind of sums up a huge meaning behind the book. Life in high school doesn't reflect how your entire life will be. I feel like I've come a long way since high school. That's for sure.

When I was through reading this book. I just wanted more. Not in the negative sense that Leila left things open-ended, but I just wanted to hear more about the happy endings. For instance:

  • Vicky and Henry are in a band called Dirty Curtains and they played their first gig at Start. Elise's dad was in an old band and he liked them and complimented them on a great set. Henry freaked out and told Elise what a mysterious man in an old band had said to them, and Elise didn't clarify that this guy was her father. I want to know how Henry reacts when he finds outs. 
  • Elise asked Henry to the Freshman/Sophomore Summer Formal (the freshman/sophomore equivalent of prom) in the very last chapter of the book. I want to know if they fall in love and walk hand-in-hand into the sunset together.
  • Did Char end up being a total loser and living a life of loneliness? Because that what he deserves. Jerkface. 
Anyway, I just loved this book so much. 4.5 out of 5 stars from me. 
I think the only part I didn't like was when we found out that she wanted to kill herself in the first chapter. I mean, yea, it was a shocker, but it just seemed really dramatic. I understand why she did it though, because that element was obviously a huge part of the story. I guess I just wish it was told in a different way, maybe? I'm not sure. When I first read it, it just didn't sit well with me.

At the end of the book, Leila lists a bunch of songs (most, if not all, were ones that Elise played on the turntable). I want to go listen to them. It makes me like her so much more just because she loves music so much. She is definitely one of my favorite authors now, even though this is the only book I've read by her. I need to go read her other ones! (Obsessive personality, much?)

Oh and Leila favorited my tweet. 

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