Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: March 2015

Cute & Easy Spring Rice Krispy Treats Recipe

spring rice krispy treats recipe
While I do have a love/hate relationship with spring, I must admit that when the sunshine comes out, it's absolutely beautiful and all of the spring colors and pastels are my favorite. I also love flowers and shamelessly wearing as much white as possible (while simultaneously struggling not to spill any red wine on my pants or let my dogs get any dirt on me). 

I think the perfect way to get into the spring spirit is with this super easy spring recipe. I recently made these for two occasions 1) a bake sale for my job where we're currently raising money for our Relay for Life team to raise money for the American Cancer Society and 2) for my friend, Sarah, who was helping to host a bake sale for family whose house burnt down and two of the three daughters have Cystic Fibrosis, so of course I happily contributed to make some treats for these great causes.
Now, if you're anything like me, then Pinterest has failed you more than once. Even these didn't turn out how I wanted them to, but they still tasted good, and that's what counts.

(I doubled this recipe so I could make each color stand out a little more, but you can just use this recipe and either use less colors, have the colors be in thinner lines or use a smaller pan - see below.)

spring rice krispy treats recipe
3 tbsp. butter
1 package marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Food coloring
Cooking spray

A deep pot
Large spoon (I used a wooden spoon and sprayed with cooking spray)
Deep dish glass pan (I used a 13x9x2 pan, but if you don't double the recipe, I'd recommend using a square pan. Instead of cutting into squares, cut into strips.)

1 | Melt the butter over low heat in a large pot
2 | Add the marshmallows

3 | Constantly stir while marshmallows melt

4 | After marshmallows have fully melted, add the cereal and remove from heat

5 | Stir until the the cereal and marshmallows are fully mixed

6 | Separate the mixture into four different bowls

7 | Use food coloring to make each bowl a different color. I did blue, yellow, pink, and green (yellow and blue)

8 | Grease your pan with either cooking spray or a stick of butter

spring rice krispy treats recipe
9 | Spread each color in the pan, one layer at a time

10 | Let the treats full fully harden before cutting and serving (about an hour)

spring rice krispy treats recipe
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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen | Book Review

saint anything by sarah dessen

I've been a fan of Sarah Dessen ever since I checked out Someone Like You from my middle school library. I've never met a Sarah Dessen book that I didn't like, so it should be no surprise that Saint Anything was no exception. 

Saint Anything told the story of Sydney who has lived her life in the shadow of everyone in her family, namely her older brother, Peyton. She's the do-gooder who always gets good grades, never misses curfew, doesn't break the rules, and never draws too much attention to herself while Peyton is constantly getting into trouble, usually with the law. 

Sydney has spent a good portion of her life just going through the motions. She wants to be as little of a burden to her parents as possible, and by doing that, she kind of gets lost in her own identity. Instead of figuring out who she is, she's trying to show her parents that she's not her brother. 

After Peyton screws up big time and lands himself in jail, Sydney realizes she needs a change. She changes schools and ends up meeting the Chathams, who welcome her with open arms and who never view her as invisible. 

If you're a fan of Sarah Dessen books then you know about the little breadcrumbs that she leaves in all of her books. She likes to leave references to her other books, which I absolutely love. Sometimes, it's a character. Other times, it's a saying or a band. Really, it can be just anything. I was able to find three in this book. 

1 | Deb 
She was a fun and lovable character from What Happened to Goodbye. Just like she was the welcome committee for McLean in that book, she did the same thing for Sydney when she transferred to her new school in Saint Anything

2 | Anger Management
When Sydney sees Mac for the first time at the pizza place, he's wearing an Anger Management t-shirt, which is the name of the radio show from Just Listen

3 | Truth Squad/Spinnerbait
When they're talking about band stuff in the book, one of the characters mentions a record company that signed two bands - Truth Squad and Spinnerbait. When he says this, Mac quickly says, "Hate Spinnerbait," which is a line from This Lullaby. Also, both of the bands are mentioned in that book as well. 

There may be more in the book, but I was reading so fast that I probably missed them! I love that I was even able to find those. 

I love all of the characters that Sarah created for this book. There are so many, yet, you feel like you know so much about all of them. Layla was easily my favorite character. She was the first friend that Sydney made when she transferred schools. She's the perfect best friend and also the perfect contrast to Sydney's invisible-ness. She has a huge personality, she's loads of fun, and she has the silliest and greatest of quirks like her love of reading instruction manuals (even for things that she has no interest in actually doing), remembering every face that she sees, and being a fry connoisseur. She's understanding, even when finding out about Sydney's brother, and she's not judgmental. I love how she took Sydney under her wing and tried to protect her. My favorite example of this is when she and Sydney had a sleepover, and Ames was there. Once you read the book, you'll understand a little more about what I'm referring to here. 

Speaking of Ames...he's my least favorite character. There was really no hope for liking him, and Sarah wrote him in a way where you could see how he's viewed from the eyes of Sydney and also the eyes of her parents. Ames is Peyton's best friend, and they've been through a lot of the same things. When Peyton is sent to jail, Ames swoops in to be a sort of faux-son to Sydney's parents. Unfortunately, he's a huge creeper, but Sydney seems to be the only one who seems that. 

Of course, it wouldn't be a Sarah Dessen novel without a love story, and this one was definitely one for the books (pun intended?). One thing I love about Sydney is that she's never looking for love. Her concern is always for her family and later her friends, namely Layla, so when she starts looking at Mac differently (FYI - Mac is Layla's brother and also the aforementioned person wearing the Anger Management tee), her first thought isn't to jump into it headfirst. She thinks first about Layla and how she would feel about the relationship. I think that's a common theme of the book when it comes to Sydney. Most of her actions are actually kind of reactions. Before she does most anything, she thinks about how it will affect the people that she loves, whether that's Layla, Mac, her parents, Peyton, her other friends, and even Ames. The love story between Sydney and Mac (#Sac? #Mydney? We'll work on it) wasn't super obvious from the beginning. It started out slow, and then there were little stolen moments that were sweet and unexpected for both the characters and the readers. 

I was a huge fan of Mac, even though my favorite Mac will always be from Veronica Mars. It's not that I love her more; it's that I've loved her longer. And that is a paraphrased quote from Cadet Kelly, my friends. But Mac is totally swoon-worthy, but not in an obvious way. He's never been invisible in his life, but not for the reason you'd expect. I love his background story so much that I don't want to give anything away here. I will say that he plays drums in a band. He's also kind of quiet (mostly because he usually has his head in a book), but when he says something, it's usually pretty significant. I love what a good big brother he is, and the relationship he has with Layla is one that any brother and sister would envy. 

Eric: He is part of the band Mac is in. I'm not mentioning the name because that's actually a fun part of the storyline. Eric is one of Layla's ex-boyfriends, and I love how his character is seen through Layla's eyes. He's egotistical, but not in an intolerable way. He's a mini musical visionary, and he's passionate about his band, but also naive about it in a way. 

Sydney: She's definitely a likable main character. She's very, very flawed, but in a relatable way. She's quiet and finds comfort in being in the background most of the time, and she's never one to take the spotlight, which means that she's also afraid to stand up for herself. She bottles everything up, and everyone knows that makes her a ticking time bomb (okay, that's pretty dramatic of me to say, but you know what I mean). She's a great friend, even when they don't deserve it. You see a lot of growth in her throughout the book in the best possible way. 

Sydney's Parents: Sydney's parents were easily the most frustrating part of this book. Her mom was blinded by Peyton. She kept viewing him as the victim in the situation that landed him in jail and kept treating his prison sentence like a school trip. Meanwhile, her father is on the sidelines offering no opinions. Even though her parents frustrated me to no avail, I love that you also get to see growth with them throughout the book as well. 

Mrs. Chatham: She was such a lovable character, even more so because she's suffering from multiple sclerosis, but she has the most beautiful heart. She welcomes Sydney into her chaotic family and home, and serves as a mother-figure while Sydney's own mother is worrying more about Peyton. Mrs. Chatham is the glue that holds her husband and her three children, Layla, Mac, and Rosie together. Speaking of which...

Rosie: Even though I wouldn't consider her to be a main character, she was still pretty significant. Rosie is the third Chatham child and Layla's older sister. She's a former ice-skater, but after a few issues, she couldn't skate anymore. She's pretty bitter, but at the same time, you see the Chatham heart shining through. She has so much love for her family, particularly her mother, and even though she's bitter about her own life, she doesn't let that get in the way of the love for her mom. 

There are several mini cliff hangers through the book, mainly at the end of the chapters. Some are more significant than others, but they all make you want to keep reading, which is why I finished the book within a few days (around my work and blogging schedule). Some things even got pushed to the side just so I could find out what happened next. 

I give Saint Anything a 5 out of 5. The last couple chapters tie everything up with a nice little bow. No stone is left unturned, and unlike most books, I wasn't left with any questions. Most of the things that I wanted to happen happened, and I wasn't left questioning the paths of any of the characters. When I shut this book (or scrolled to the blank pages on my phone), I was so satisfied with the ending and how all of the characters went from point A in the beginning of the book to point B at the end.

I usually measure how much I love a book by how hard it is to put down. I was reading Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen...
Posted by Endless Bliss on Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thanks so much to Penguin Random House's First to Read program for allowing me to read this book before it was released! Trust me when I say you should go ahead and pre-order Saint Anything for when it comes out on May 5, 2015!

For more from Sarah, check out her official website and follow her on Twitter

saint anything by sarah dessen

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#BlissfulBookTalk: Looking for Alaska by John Green

looking for alaska by john green book review
The March read for #BlissfulBookTalk was Looking for Alaska by John Green, and this was actually only the second novel that I've read by him. The first was The Fault in Our Stars, which was, of course, incredible, so my expectations were pretty high for this book as well. It didn't help that every single person that I talked to said that I was going to love it and that it was one of their favorite books that they've ever read ever. So I was kind of nervous about my expectations being a little too high, but don't fear. If you're a lover of Looking for Alaska, I'm officially riding that love train with ya. I loved this book. I can't believe it was his first novel, because it was just so good. 

The reason I chose Looking for Alaska was because the novel celebrated it's 10-year anniversary this year, and that's definitely an element that you see in the book. There are certain things that are considered #throwback now, like using pay phones instead of cell phones to call home. Or even calling home in general. A lot of people just text or email or Facebook message their parents and let them know they're still loving/hating school. Also, caller ID. When the main character's mom got caller ID, she was pretty much freaking out. Also, they played games on PS2, which is pretty much ancient history now since PS4 is out. I just liked those little elements of the book, because if you've read my blog before, then you know I can get pretty nostalgic

I have tons of thoughts on this book, and if you want to hear them, check out my latest YouTube video for a full review. 

Overall, I give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars. The lack of half a star is due to a few unanswered questions (a major one that I reveal at the end of my video review) and just a few random things I didn't like, such as Takumi kind of disappearing in the middle of the novel. I know it's kind of explained, but I think it's kind of unnecessary, and I may just be biased because Takumi was one of my favorite characters. Also, everything that happened with Lara in the book. I really liked her, and she was just treated pretty crappy through most of the book by everyone but Takumi, and she just disappears in the After part of the novel. There are also a few things that I can't go into because they are major spoilers, so we'll just leave it at that.

If you want to read along with me next month, the April pick for #BlissfulBookTalk is The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. I'm a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks, but I don't really go out of my way to read his books. I usually read them before I watch the movies, and that's the reason I picked this book. I saw the trailer, and I decided that I had to see the movie, but I couldn't see the movie without reading the book first. I mean...

If y'all want to read along with me, be sure to use the hashtag #BlissfulBookTalk on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so we can talk nerdy and bookworm-y stuff. 

Have you read Looking for Alaska? What books would you like to see on the roster for #BlissfulBookTalk? 

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Meet Elora from Out My Front Door.

out my front door
Out My Front Door is a place where I share ideas, travel, dreams, and ways to bust that door down and get out there and see what the world has to offer every day--and learning how to take hold of it with both hands and enjoy it to the ABSOLUTE FULLEST.

Get your feet wet with these posts:
San Diego Zoo Aviary
Katharine Hepburn: Putting Out Fire Stark Naked
Gunshot BORED
Oh Mighty River: Mississippi
Coronado Beach - California Trip

What 3 words describe you?
Creative, Imaginative, and Driven

What's your favorite part about blogging?
Sharing my ideas with others, being able to offer how I saw a certain moment, or a present dream, and see how others view what I share.

Tell us a little bit about your shop.
My shop Transcendence Designs was started because I LOVE creating new things. I am always inspired by different themes, be it a time period, fairytales, travel, nature--everything has a story to tell, and being able to translate that into something I've made is so enjoyable. Especially when I I am able to give other joy by it!

What are you looking forward to this spring?Meeting financial goals. I've recently gained a second job, and I'm eager to be able to move forward with my present plans in life that increased finances will help provide. Other than that, I'm looking forward to warmer weather (I'm very much a summer bring-on-the-heat girl!!) and GARDENING!! I love my flowers!! And beginning to save for film school! (Big dream!!)

What are three things you want to accomplish in 2015?
Getting a car finally, getting my poetry collection into print, and finishing a new draft of my novel.

What song are you currently obsessed with?
Hmm!! Good question! I'll go with Put Your Records On by Corrine Bailey Rae. It's on my playlist!

What's your favorite book?
Lord of the Rings. Hands down. I love seeing symbolism, and themes of the heroic quest, but with an earthiness that any person can relate to. Lord of the Rings is a powerful story set in an incredible world impressively realized by the imagination of Tolkien.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?Oh my gosh I have to choose one? I want to go everywhere! One place would be to London, because I've wanted to visit a friend there for years. And from that point, travel somewhere else with her! (Otherwise, Africa or New Zealand!!)

If you could live a day in the life of anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Oh...interesting...I'd probably choose Steven Spielberg. He's a new hero of mine. I want to be a filmmaker, and his imagination and broad range of creativity just inspire me! I recently finished reading The Complete Making of Indiana Jones and I was just so impressed by all the work and creativity that went into it--and how everyone (no matter what I've read) always says that he's a great director that completely understands the value every person brings to the project.

Where is your happy place?
Easy. Outside on a sunny day, with a book and a latte or gelato. A sunny day is such a tonic to the spirit.

Name 5 things that make you happy. 
Sunshine, a day well lived (many things accomplished), the way wind rushes over prairie grass, writing, and powerful stories. 

For more from Elora, check her out on:

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Becoming Bliss | What Makes You Happy?

what makes you happy

What makes you happy? Traveling? Going to concerts? Attending weddings? Eating a gourmet meal? 

When I think about the things that make (or have made) me happy, I usually go to the big things that happen every once in awhile like taking a road trip or being at the beach in Italy or meeting Jared Padalecki. Thinking about doing all of those things always brings me a little bit of joy, but at the same time, it makes me a little sad because they aren't things that I can just go out and do. In fact, some of the things that have made me super happy may never even happen again. And while living in nostalgia is a wonderful thing to do (because I do it all the time), living in the present can be even better if you focus on the little things that make you happy. 

The first post in the Becoming Bliss series was all about enjoying the little things. Go back to that and think about the little things that make you happy. Take out a pen and paper (or open up a new Word document) right now to write down 15-20 things that you can do every month or every week or even every day that bring you joy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1// Writing - Doesn't matter if it's a poem, a song, a journal entry or a writing prompt
2// Cooking - Some people find joy in creating delicious cuisine
3// Painting, drawing, pottery, etc. 
4// Working out - running, yoga, zumba, weights, cardio, etc.
5// Picnics
6// Drinking wine
7// Netflix binges 
8// Talking to a loved one
9// Taking the dog out for a walk or just going for a walk by yourself
10// Discovering something new to do (or eat) in your town
11// Enjoying a hot beverage - coffee, tea, hot cocoa
12// Staying in bed as long as possible
13// Making new friends
14// Giving back/paying it forward

Once you've written down a few small things that make you happy, I want to challenge you to do one of those things every single day, no matter what mood you're in. I don't care if you had a crappy day at work or if you're overwhelmed with school or if you just had the most humongous fight with your significant other. No matter the circumstances, try to do one of the things on your list each day, because doing so will bring some bliss and happiness into your life and your day, even if it's just for a moment. And who knows? It could be the difference between having a crappy day and having an amazing one. 

What's something that makes you happy? 

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44 Signs You Grew Up in the 90's.

signs you grew up in the 90s
It's no secret that I love the 90's. If you grew up in the 90's then you know what I mean. Everything from the slang terms to the toys to the TV shows to the food was just better. I'm officially dedicating this post to everyone who grew up in the 90's, because we're the best generation to have ever existed (kidding...kinda #conceited). If you grew up in the 90's, then you'll totally understand these 44 things. 

1 | You're still waiting for Mary-Kate and Ashley to call you. 

2 | If your school supplies weren't Lisa Frank, then you were doing life wrong.

3 | You've bought a CD just to listen to one song. And then you listened to the whole CD on repeat and fell in love with the rest of the songs. 

4 | You owe all of your common sense to Amanda Bynes and her Ask Ashley letters from All That

ask ashley all that gif

5 | When your parents wouldn't let you go to summer camp, you just watched Bug Juice (it doesn't come in a jar. Bug juice comes from who you are!), because it was pretty much like you were there. It was also the first reality TV show that you fell in love with.

6 | You ate all of the cereal as fast as you could (or just stuck your hand in the box) so you could get the prize in the cereal box.

7 | You knew all of the words to the Out of the Box theme song and did all of the hand movements to the goodbye song at the end. 

8 | Hit clips was the most innovative way to listen to music EVER.

9 | You're still waiting on your Barbie Jeep.

10 | You wanted to go on Figure It Out, but you didn't have any legit talents like: 

figure it out nickelodeon talent

11 | You wanted a My Size Barbie just so you could try on her clothes and pretend to be her (or her BFF). 

12 | Your dreams of starting a bakery began with your first Easy Bake Oven dessert. 

13 | All of your deepest, darkest secrets, like your biggest crush(es) and how you really felt about your BFFs, were kept in your Girltech Password Journal.

14 | What you really wanted in life was to be able to dance to some "kick butt" life size music videos in your bedroom a la Smart House

15 | You remember when McDonald's actually had legit toys. 

16 | ...and Cracker Jack also had real prizes. 

17 | You knew which Spice Girl you were (and all of your friends wanted to be Baby).

spice girls gif

18 | Getting on the computer meant you were learning something on a JumpStart game, playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, or creating your new wallpaper on Paint. 

19 | You knew all the words to the following theme songs: Fresh Prince, Full House, Saved by the Bell, and Brady Bunch. 

20 | You wondered wondered what was in a Wonder Ball, and when you finally got one, you thought they were going to be bigger. 

21 | You wanted a life size polliwog for a friend, preferably one named Binyah Binyah.  

22 | When you were playing with your Lite-Brite, all of the lights in the room had to be off. 

23 | Your love for elephants began with your love of catching butterflies in Elefun. 

24 | You were ready to grow up because you knew your future was going to be just like Zenon's world, and you couldn't wait to live in space. 

zenon gif

25 | You loved when the Scholastic paper came out at school, because you loved choosing new books to love. 

26 | You enjoyed rubbing Elmer's glue all over your hands, letting it dry, and then peeling it off, challenging yourself to pull all of it off without breaking the glue. 

27 | You rented the same VHS every week from Blockbuster because your parents refused to by it for you. 

28 | You wanted your best friend to invest in a ladder so they could climb through your window rather than using the front door. 

clarissa explains it all gif

29 | You claimed you only collected Pokemon cards because they would be worth something one day, but you actually enjoyed watching the movies (and you'll always think Pikachu is adorable). 

30 | Beanie Babies were an appropriate gift for all occasions. 

31 | You've tried wishing on a shooting star with your sister so you could switch places. 

32 | You felt rebellious every time you sang and danced along to the "Thong Song."

33 | You struggled while doing the Hokey Pokey at your friend's birthday party at the skating rink.

34 | Furbies were awesome in commercials, but scary as crap in real life (and you still don't understand why they made a comeback). 

35 | Your favorite toys/games were Tamagotchis, Sky Dancers, Polly Pockets, Barbies, Magic 8 Balls, Mall Madness, Perfection, and Trolls.

36 | You debated naming your first-born girl Topanga.  

37 | Question: Are you afraid of the dark? Answer: Yes.

are you afraid of the dark gif

38 | GoGurt was a lunchbox necessity.

39 | You made your notes colorful with gel pens (and then got mad when you accidentally smeared it).

40 | You wanted your pictures to come to life like they did in Pappyland


41 | You loved wearing butterfly hair clips.

42 | Nickelodeon Magazine...please.

43 | Sketchers. 

44 | You knew all the names from Mambo No. 5. 

Were you a 90's kid? 

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Win a $180 Amazon Gift Card (CLOSED)

With spring just around the corner, we could all use a little extra money for some spring-y things: spring shopping, spring cleaning supplies (yuck!), Easter baskets, treats for yourself. Instead of dishing out all of your own hard-earned money, the people of The Blogging Elite Facebook group are giving you the opportunity to win a $180 Amazon.com gift card, and I think we all already know that Amazon pretty much has everything we could possibly want. 

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below, and don't forget to visit the awesome bloggers from The Blogging Elite! The giveaway is open through the end of March, so don't miss out!

Tiffany | Nina | Tianna | Ashley | Kati
Kirsten | Heather | Kylea | Dana | Jessica 
Erica | Rosa | Tiffany | Neli | Katie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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9 Things Monica Geller Taught Me About Being a Grown-Up.

monica geller taught me friends
I've been trying to figure out who my favorite Friends character is for years. After watching the series from the beginning for the billionth time, I think I've finally chosen: Monica. I love Monica because I feel like she had to overcome so much: 

-- She was always teased for being fat when she was younger. She got back at the world by eating less, working out, and looking hot.

-- She was best friends with the prom queen, but it never made her feel inferior. Even though Rachel was always considered the beautiful one, and she got all the guys, all of the attention, and she was well-liked by her peers, Monica never had a foul bone in her body toward her. She was always happy for Rachel in spite of not having any of those things for herself.

-- She wasn't the favorite child. Monica had to live in the shadow of her brother, Ross, for her entire life, but she came out of it being an amazing chef, finding love and holding onto it (one marriage versus Ross's three), and just being happy about the things that she had. Even when her parents lost hope in her getting married (I mean, they took the money they were saving for her wedding and bought a beach house!), she didn't let that stop her from being happy. 

Monica is just such an awesome person because she's the misfit that everyone can relate to. She wasn't cool in high school, but in adulthood, she overcame all of the things that were supposed to hold her back. She gets genuinely excited about life, embraces all of her quirks, and loves unconditionally. She has so many lessons for millennials who are making that awkward transition into adulthood. 

1 | The real world sucks, but it's also pretty amazing.
From the pilot episode, Monica is already teaching us how being an adult works. When Rachel is cut off by her family because she ran out on her wedding, she cuts up her dad's credit cards, and Monica says "Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You're gonna love it." That pretty much sums up life as an adult. It's a wonderful misadventure.

monica geller gif

2 | Don't let anyone pick on you.
Monica has her quirks, and she'll be the first to admit it. She likes her furniture arranged a certain way. She has 11 different categories for towels. You can't eat in bed. Coasters must be used. The phone pen must remain next to the phone. She embraces all of these things about herself, and you should embrace your quirks too. She's not usually one to put someone down, but when someone judges her pretty harshly, she's quick witted and will turn the situation around in a second. 
One of my favorite instances of this happening was when she invited her ex-boyfriend, Richard's, son over for Thanksgiving dinner, and her friends were giving her a hard time about it. Instead of caving and giving in to their judgement, she pull a few insults out of her pocket: "Fine! Judge all you want, but married a lesbian, left a man at the alter, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, and live in a box!

3 | Don't let anyone interrupt you when you're talking.
Monica is always quick to let people know that when she's talking, no one better interrupt. She is a great commander of any room she walks in, and she does not, will not, let anyone steal her thunder. So when you have something important to say, don't let anyone else steal your limelight. If you're anything like Monica, you spent most of your childhood doing that. Don't let that habit sneak into your adult life. 

monica geller gif friends

4 | Keep your friends' secrets (until they start to reveal yours).
People say that secrets don't make friends, but Monica obviously knows that secrets are the basis of friendship. Monica was a great secret-keeper, because even though she was loud (like, really loud), she wasn't a blabbermouth. That is, until you made her into one. During season six, Monica wasn't sure she was ready to tell her parents she and Chandler were dating because she knew her parents didn't like him. When she found out that it was all Ross's fault, the secrets start flying from the mouths of both Ross and Monica. We found out Ross stole his dad's Playboys and Monica broke a porch swing. So many other fun secrets were revealed, which just goes to show that you should save the ammunition for a time when it will have the biggest impact.

5 | Apologize even when you don't think you're wrong.
One of my favorite things about Monica is that she was always the bigger person (in more ways than one at some points in her life). Even when she didn't believe she was at fault for a fight, she hated the feeling of being angry with the people she loved. More often than not, she was willing to put her pride aside and apologize rather than waste all of that extra energy being mad. 

monica geller gif friends

6 | Think before you act.
Monica was usually a pretty reasonable and thoughtful character. She was chockful of great advice no matter who was asking for it, even sometimes when the advice wasn't being asked of her at all. Even when she wasn't sure the other person could handle the truth or the advice she had to give, she was still so honest. One instance that comes to mind was when Rachel wanted to tell Ross she loved him after he had just married Emily. When she told Monica this, Monica asked her, "Do you have any idea how painful it is to tell someone you love them and not have them say it back?" She was a voice of reason, and while she did have her spontaneous moments (cough cough Chandler), she also liked to spend time to think things through. 

7 | Sometimes, you have to put your pride aside.
I couldn't write a post about Monica without bringing up the jellyfish incident. Even with two of her best friends in tow, she knew what she had to do. When she couldn't make it happen, she enlisted the help of her friends. Even though the thought of someone peeing on her was absolutely disgusting (especially for a clean freak like Monica), she had to put her pride aside to stop the pain from hurting so much. 

monica geller jellyfish gif friends

8 | It's not about whether you win or lose, but winning is better.
Like Monica, I have a pretty competitive spirit. Monica always liked to play it cool like she wasn't crazy competitive, but as soon as the cards were dealt or the ball was snatched, the gloves were off, and she went insane. Even though the lesson says that it's not about winning or losing, Monica made winning look so fun. 

9 | It's okay to be a dork.
As poised as Monica is, she's still just a fun girl and loves to grab hold of life's little joys and hang on to them. I think the best example of this was when she and Ross were invited to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve and she and Ross broke out "the routine" from their childhood. 

Do you watch Friends? Who's your favorite character?

IMAGE: Albert Domasin
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Becoming Bliss | Spend Time With People You Love

spend time with loved ones

This past weekend, my sister was visiting from college, and we were able to meet up and have a lovely brunch together at a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Marilynn's Place. What made this brunch extra lovely was that it was just the two of us, uninterrupted. No phone calls, no text messages, no Twitter alerts. It was just us catching up on the craziness that life can sometimes be.

I think it's so important to take time out of your busy schedule to really spend time with the people you love. Getting an unexpected text message from an old friend is great, but really taking the time to meet up with them and really catch up means so much more. Even if you can't physically be together, you can schedule a FaceTime or Skype date so the two of you can catch up and spend some time together, but not together.

The sad reality is that none of us are going to be around forever, and you don't want to wait after a tragedy and wish that you had just spent more time with this person or made him/her a priority. It's so easy to get bogged down in our day-to-day lives, going through the motions and claiming that we're tired and just don't have time. Even a thirty minute chat at a coffee house is better than nothing. There are so many ways for you to get more involved in the lives of your loved ones or even acquaintances that you used to be much closer to:

-- Use your lunch break to catch up with an old friend. You're going to eat lunch anyway; you may as well use it as a time to spend with someone you haven't seen in awhile.

-- Meet up with someone for drinks after work. Take advantage of happy hour drink and appetizer prices. Share some appetizers and dish on the latest happenings in your lives.

A photo posted by Tiffany Khyla White (@tiffanykhyla) on

-- See a matinee showing of a movie with your family. Even if you don't want to dish out a bunch of cash, you can still catch up on the latest movie with a discounted matinee showing. Share some popcorn and spend a little extra time together after the movie discussing what you did or didn't like about it.

-- Throw a themed party. This is a great way to get together with several different people you haven't seen in awhile. I'm a huge fan of themed parties. Even if a holiday isn't coming up, you can still set a theme such as a craft party, a party centered around a movie or book you love, a Minute to Win It party or a wine tasting party. The possibilities are endless.

-- Have a game night. Let your competitive side show and play a few games with some friends. It's a great ice-breaker for those that may need it in case there's a little awkwardness there from having not spoken in such a long time.

As you get older, your group of loyal friends starts to diminish, but don't let it diminish to nothing. Spend time with the people who love you unconditionally and with the people you love just as much. Make an effort to have those people in your life regularly, not just in your news feed updates. Put down the phone and really focus on being present.

What are your favorite things to do with the people you love?

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9 Things My Dogs Have Taught Me.

lessons from my dogs
Molly and Farah
I love coming home to my dogs, because it doesn't matter if I stepped outside for 10 minutes or I've been out of town for two weeks, they always greet me like they haven't seen me in a million years. That's definitely a personality trait that I'd like to adapt. 

If there was an Olympic sport for dogs that was all about napping, my dogs would take the gold. Actually, Molly would take the gold and Farah would take silver because she's always so alert. I think we all regret complaining about kindergarten nap time. I used to take naps all the time in college, but now I can't remember the last time I took one. Naps are great rejuvenators and motivators. 

A photo posted by Tiffany Khyla White (@tiffanykhyla) on

When my dogs do something wrong, I unfortunately have to punish them. Even though it breaks my heart, I love knowing that in 30 seconds they'll forget about it and start loving on me. While 30 seconds may be a stretch for people to forgive and forget, it's a good practice to calm down, think rationally, and just let things go. Holding anger in your heart gets pretty exhausting. 

Friends come and go, but dogs will always be there for you. Why not adopt this practice and be loyal to your friends? Stand up for them when people are saying horrible things. Be there for them when they need you most. Just be a friend.

A photo posted by Tiffany Khyla White (@tiffanykhyla) on

Laughter is the best medicine, and my dogs never fail to make me laugh. Whether it's them jumping around because they're excited about who knows what or they're rolling around on the floor or the bed for a reason no one knows or making noises in their sleep, my dogs always seem to keep me laughing. Take a lesson from my pups and never be afraid to be silly and free. 

When Farah is doing something that Molly doesn't like, she doesn't hesitate to let her know, even though she's smaller. Molly is always so great at standing up for herself, and Farah never allows another dog to get more attention than she does. If you're really passionate about something, don't be afraid to speak your mind and stand up for yourself.

weenie dog dachshund mix rescue
The great thing about dogs is that they never hesitate to run up to anyone (or anything) and greet them like they're already best friends. Take a lesson from my dogs and take the time to meet new people and make a new friend. 

Whether it's a pathetic face or endless begging, my dogs always seem to get what they want. One of my dogs' favorite treats are Blue Bones Natural Dental Chews from Chewy.com. What I love about these treats are that they're not only delicious for the pups, they also help keep their teeth healthy and their breath fresh. Molly seems to inhale the treats as soon as I give them to her, but Farah likes to take her time with each bite. 

blue bones natural dental chew

blue bones natural dental chew

blue bones natural dental chew

blue bones natural dental chew
It really just goes to show that if you keep at it, you can get what you want. Dreams do come true (especially if your dream is getting a treat cupcake).

No matter what happens, my dogs always love me. It doesn't matter if I'm mad at them or disappointed in something they've done, they always seem to know exactly what to do to make me cuddle them and give them kisses. This is a lesson that everyone should learn. Love is better than hate, judgement, fear, sadness, everything.

Disclaimer: I received two complimentary bags of Natural Dental Chews from Chewy.com for review. All opinions are 100% mine.


This giveaway is hosted by Elora from Out My Front Door and Robin the designer behind Northern Lights Bridal and co-hosted by Raewyn of Be a Warrior Queen, Nina from The Grand Adventures of Me, Cassandra from Cassandra M's Place, Kerry from Kerry's Habitat, Natalie from Natalie Patalie, and Tiffany from Endless Bliss. We are so excited about this giveaway for a 'I am Loki' Loki Pendant Necklace. The giveaway runs through March 20th! 

You can check out Robin's Etsy shop hereYou can also check out Elora's review of her work.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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30 Blog Post Ideas for When You're Feeling Uninspired.

Writer's block. It happens to the best of us. There's nothing more frustrating than being in the mood to write and nothing creative coming to your brain. Luckily, my friend, I've come up with a list of potential blog post ideas for you to get your creative juices flowing. Here are few blog post ideas for when you're feeling uninspired. 

1// Try out a new (to you) restaurant
Share your experience and take lots of pictures.

2// Do a reverse bucket list 
It's awesome to look to the future and figure out some things you want to do before you kick the bucket, but what about all of the amazing things you've already done? Share a few of the things that you've already crossed off.

3// Make a travel itinerary
Whether it's for a place you've already visited, a city you've been dying to go to, or the city you live in, come up with a travel itinerary for someone else who may want to visit one day. 

4// Do a favorites round-up
You can make it a themed round-up such as your favorite beauty products or favorite things about an upcoming holiday. You could even do a general round-up of things that you've been loving lately. 

5// Share a playlist
What music have you been loving lately? Share it in a playlist or with some YouTube music videos. You could even theme it with the season, an upcoming holiday, an activity (such as working out, your morning commute, or going to sleep), or with a mood (such as happiness, lass, or angst). 

6// Scour Pinterest and try some projects or recipes
You spend all that time pinning great content and tutorials, so why not put it to good use? Try out a few projects or some recipes and share your experiences. Were they successes or failures? Did you follow the tutorials step-by-step or take your own spin on them? 

7// Write about something you're really passionate about
Even if it's controversial, share your thoughts on a subject that you're knowledgeable on and are passionate about. Ask others to share their opinions and get a discussion going. 

8// Write an open letter
It could be for a celebrity, a close friend, someone who's inspired you, your future self, or even your dog!

9// Do a 90's quiz
I love nostalgia, and traveling back in time with a 90's quiz is the perfect reason to share your favorite things about the past. 

10// What's your most embarrassing moment? 
Share the story on your blog so the world can laugh along with you!

11// Share your experience from a show you've attended
Have you ever been to an awesome concert, play, opera, or other kind of show? Write about it and any pictures you have.

12// Take a photo every hour for one day
From the moment you wake up, snap a photo every hour then share the stories behind each photo. 

13// Write a letter to your childhood self
What lessons would you teach your younger self? 

14// Write about a cause or charity that you're passionate about
Spread the word about it, and who knows? You may get some other people to be as passionate about it as you are. 

15// What lessons have you learned from your favorite character?
Think of your favorite character from a book, TV show, movie, etc. and think about the lessons that they've taught you about a subject. It could be general lessons or lessons about love, blogging, friendship, life, etc. 

16// Share your firsts
It could be your first crush, your first kiss, your first pet, you first best friend, etc. Share some of your firsts in a blog post or make it into a series. 

17/ Do a get-to-know-me post
Even though you're sharing little tidbits of your life on your blog, why not dedicate an entire post to help readers get to know you? Share some random facts, tell a story from your childhood, find a random quiz and answer the questions. Let your readers get to know the person behind the blog. 

18// Review something
What's something you love or something you never want to use again? Review it on your blog and tell your readers why you love or hate it. It could be a book, a movie, a beauty product, etc. 

19// Write a story
Let your creative juices flow and write a fictional story and share it with your readers. 

20// Do a Throwback Thursday post
Take advantage of the popular hashtag and travel back in time to share a story from your past. 

21// Who is someone who inspires you? 
Write about them and talk about why they inspire you. How have they changed your day-to-day life? Share some specific examples. 

22// Create a gift guide
Is there a holiday coming up or a birthday of someone in your life? Create a gift guide for the holiday or a group of people, such as 20-something women, dog lovers, sports fanatics, bookworms, etc. 

23// Create a wishlist
What's something you've been longing for? Share those things in a wishlist. This is an especially good post if your birthday or a gift-giving holiday is coming up. 

24// Share what's in your handbag
What essentials do you have to have with you everyday? Share those things in a post!

25// Share some of your favorite quotes
What quotes never cease to inspire you? Share a few of those on your blog. You could also do quotes that make you laugh or even ones that make you cry. 

26// Do a post from the perspective of someone else
It could be from the perspective of your favorite book character, movie character, or even your dog!

27// Have someone in your life guest post
Who is someone that you're always talking about on your blog? Your best friend, your significant other, your siblings? Let them guest post for you!

28// Share your blogging journey
How did you come up with your blogging name? Why do you blog? What things do you wish you had known when you first started blogging? Share it in a blog post or even create a blog series with some helpful hints. 

29// Do a book to movie comparison
Has your favorite book been made into a movie or is a book you've read becoming a movie? Write about what you liked or didn't like about the movie adaptation. If the movie hasn't been made yet, write about what things you hope they keep in the movie, what you're nervous about them taking out of the movie, or just your general feelings about it becoming a movie.

30// What is your biggest dream?
Share it with your readers and your journey to achieving it. What have you done to try to make your dream become a reality? What things are still on your to-do list to try to achieve your dream?

Have you ever experienced writer's block? What things do you do to overcome it?

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