24 Thoughts on Turning 24

24-thoughts-on-turning-24-poka-dot-baby-candidly-kelsey

Happy Birthday, Me! Today I turn 24 years old.  Time to party! Or, only 1 more year until my quarter life crisis! Much like last year’s 23 Things on Turning 23, I decided to share the wisdom I have learned as I celebrate another anniversary of when a world without Kelsey became a world with Kelsey.  Enjoy!

  1. Cool, only one more year until I can officially declare a Quarter-Life Crisis.
  2. It’s only a matter of time now until my metabolism starts slowing down.
  3. Gross. I need to start getting my life together now, don’t I?
  4. Years are going faster and faster now that I have more time in the past to compare them. That’s terrifying.
  5. I wonder how many more years until my face stops breaking out. Any day now, right? Puberty should be ending sometime soon.
  6. Age does not mean adulthood. I may be able to make my own doctor’s appointments, but I still call my Mommy to ask laundry/cooking/life/philosophical questions at least once per day.
  7. I should probably buy stock in antacids now.
  8. This past year was huge for me, and I’m very excited to continue on with the momentum of those major changes to continue to see positive change in my life. Like getting more cats.
  9. Goat cheese is amazing, and I’m ashamed it took almost 24 years for me to figure that out.
  10. Now I want goat cheese.
  11. Life is too short and time passes too quickly to not choose to be happy. Even if you can’t feel happiness, focusing on cutting out whatever negativity you can and working towards what makes you happy is 100% worth it.
  12. Puppies make me happy. So do cats. I should get another cat.
  13. Naps also make me happy.
  14. It’s totally okay to do things by yourself, and try new things by yourself. You don’t always need to hide behind other people.
  15. Living alone is actually really great.
  16. You have to learn how credit and credit scores works. Seriously. You have to.
  17. Now is the time to start addressing things that you think may be problems, especially with mental health. If you think something is wrong, better try to fix it now than regret it later.
  18. Preventative Care.  Say it again for the kids in the back: PRE-VENT-A-TIVE CARE.
  19. Food is starting to hurt me. Why is food, something I hold so near and dear to my heart, starting to hurt me?
  20. I am not 21 anymore. I cannot drink like I am 21 anymore. I cannot live my life the day after drinking like I did when I was 21. It just doesn’t happen. Time to accept that and move on.
  21. There is nothing wrong with being a 20-something homebody. It’s fine. Embrace the sweatpants and Netflix life on Fridays and you could be much happier. Add some goat cheese and you could be REALLY happy.
  22. A couple thousand in savings seems like a lot until you need to spend it.  Always be putting money away. ALWAYS! You never know what will happen/when you will need it.
  23. Just because something is normal doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I’m referring to no longer having a car– but this can be used for pretty much anything. You do you, boo. Life is too short.
  24. A year ago on this day I was very unhappy. I had no idea that in a short 365 days I would be sitting in my Chicago apartment, working from home for my nonprofit job, and taking a break to write this blog post. You just never know, kids.

Cheers, friends!

xo, kelsey (2)

DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland

I got this idea after having a ton of leftover fabric from making my “Merry Christmas” Burlap Banner last year.  I loved the Christmas colors with non-traditional patterns, and couldn’t stand to see the extra fabric sit in storage all season. It was too cute!

I had been planning on doing a lot of Christmas DIY this season, but the idea of trashing my tiny apartment to do so did not sound fun to me. Then, I was shopping the Target Christmas decoration sale, and saw something super similar to this garland, but with tassels instead of fabric.  I didn’t have any yarn, but realized that I did have leftover fabric, and twine.  Easy-peasy.
You can obviously do this with any color scheme or theme. It doesn’t have to be Christmas, you could do blues for Hanukkah, or any colors for any sort of holiday.  I think this would even be cute for just daily decorations, especially in a kids room.  Customize it as you please!
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
To begin, cut your fabric into inch-wide strips.  You can make them as long as you like, just
keep in mind that after you tie them, they’ll be slightly shorter than half of their original length once they are hanging off the line.
I chose a mixture of 16 inch, 12 inch, 10 inch, and a few tiny bits to use up leftover scraps.  It’s going to be a mix-match no matter what, so as long as it is long enough to tie around and leave two little tails hanging off each side, it’ll fit in just fine.
It’s about 12 strips per every 12 inches, so keep that in mind when choosing the length you want your garland, and how much fabric you think you need.
Example: You want a 6-foot long garland? If 12 strips = 1 foot, then you need enough fabric to have at least 72 pieces of fabric.  12 x 6 = 72. #CraftingMath
This is assuming you want your fabric knots relatively close together, like I have pictured.  They are looped around the string, so you can adjust how far apart they are to the look you like, and to help decrease or increase the length.  Use your judgement here and arrange it the way you think is best.
On your twine, begin tying the fabric strips in a fold-over fashion, alternating colors and sizes.  If you want a more structured look, tie them so all the knots are facing the same direction.  I preferred a mis-matched look, so I tied them randomly.
DIY Super Easy Holiday Fabric Garland
Continue in this fashion until you have your desired length.  Fluff up your garland, and hang it where you please. Add some bows to each end, or hang a few ornaments. I hung a my tiny hand-knitted stocking from the middle of mine. I recommend getting those tiny clear Command strips to hang the garland, as it’s not too heavy. Works perfectly and super cheap without damaging your walls.
And voila, you have a gorgeous and cheap holiday garland.
If you make this, make sure to take a picture and tag me on social media– all my links are to the left! I’d love to see them all!
Got any other super easy DIY holiday decorations? Let me know!

 

xo, kelsey (2)

Homemade (Spirited!) Peppermint Hot Cocoa

What’s the best thing ever to have in the winter? Hot chocolate.  What is even better? Peppermint hot chocolate.  And how can you make that even better? If it was just a tad bit boozy.

Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate; A Boozy Cold Weather Cocktail

Thanks to the leftovers in my cabinet from the beautiful lady I am subletting my apartment from, I found myself with all the ingredients to create some delicious spirited hot cocoa.   Not so surprising, it’s super easy but SO delicious.

This is the perfect amount of boozy goodness to warm you up, but not make you afraid of walking a straight line from couch back your kitchen to get more. Though, you could always help it get to that level with just a splash of vodka.  I recommend vanilla-flavors.

I made mine originally with almond milk, and it was tasty; very rich.  I later tried it with regular milk, and it was equally as good.  I think pretty much any milk substitute will work for this.  Probably any sugar substitute as well, I just happen to like raw sugar more.  (I know, I hate me too.)

Enjoy!

 

Homemade (Spirited!) Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk, or milk substitute of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Raw Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 shot Peppermint Schnapps

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small pot, slowly heat milk. Add cocoa and sugar, stir until combined, then add vanilla extract and Schnapps. Add to giant, winter-themed mug and add a candy cane for garnish!
  2. Makes 1 large mug of delicious, minty (and slightly tingly!) hot chocolate!

xo, kelsey (2)

Christmas Beauty Wishlist: Lorac, Becca, Hourglass, Tarte, Kiehl’s, and Nailtique

Lorac Mega PRO 2, Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadows, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Cocentrate, and Nailtique
In today’s “If I had a million dollars…” episode of my Christmas Wishlist, I decided to focus on beauty.
Many of these are cult favorites, so it’s absolutely shocking that I’d want them.  I’m not a trend-follower or anything (she says so sarcastically…)

1. Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette

I’m in love with the mauve-y tones of this palette, and have heard nothing but good things.  I also don’t own any Tarte products, so I think this could be a great introduction.  I can see this as being really great post-Christmas Winter colors, when I know I’ll be sick of the gold metallic shades from the holiday season.

2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I’m just starting to finally realize the importance of adding oils into my skincare routine.  And– shocker!!– it’s really helping to clear up my acne.  So I figure why not go right to the source and get one of the OG face night oils?  The price tag seems reasonable for all the reviews claiming it to be a must-have in your skincare routine.

3. Lorac Mega PRO 2 Palette

I mean, just look at the colors. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this palette, and it has a lot of shades I don’t have already.  Mama like.  Mama want.

4. Nailtiques Protein Formula 2 Plus

I’ve been having a hard time with brittle, peeling nails lately, and have heard of this being a really great find.  Then KathleenLights talked about it in her recent favorites, so I have to assume that it’ll be great.  I’ve been using Sally Hansen and Essie treatments, but they seem to get thick really quickly.  Hoping this one will hold up a little better!

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit

This is my hail-mary choice.  I can’t imagine actually asking anyone I know to spend $80 on a piece of make-up for me, even if it is 6 gorgeous highlight, bronzing, blush shades.  $80 on skincare, yes (because your face is your face forever!) but make-up? No.   But hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

6. Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector – Champagne Pop

I don’t think I really need to explain this one.  It’s got more rave reviews than I could ever even hope to read through in my lifetime, and (I’m preeeeetty sure, and correct me if I’m wrong) it’s limited edition.  I just want my highlight to be on fleek.  Please just let me be on fleek.
Dear Santa, please check this out.  I just want to be superficial and cover my face is gorgeous things.  Talk to Mrs. Claus if you have questions, I’m sure she understands.
PS. I promise I’ve been good.  Just ignore whatever Gracie says about that, she’s a compulsive liar.  I am on the “nice” list for sure.

xo, kelsey (2)

Black Friday: A Shopaholic’s Lament

Shopper's Lament | Candidly Kelsey

I told myself I wasn’t going to fall victim this year.

I would be strong.  I would be sturdy.  I would remember how much crap I bought this month already (so much, that I was too ashamed to post my “haul” blog post last week because of the sheer volume of stuff I’ve purchased), that I am very thankful for all that I have, and that I should do better at my putting-money-into-savings plan.

Then I got an email from Morphe Brushes. And then an email from Amazon.  And then Sigma Brushes.  And now I’ve traded the Thanksgiving Meat Sweats for “That’s a really good deal” sweats, and have buried my wallet in the bottom of my purse in hopes that I forget it’s there.

I’m considering cutting my debit card in half.  I can always get a replacement.  It may be the only way to keep my money safe.

And then I logged on just to take a look.  Just a peak at the Morphe Brushes sale.  Peaking is no harm, right?  I bet the deals aren’t even that good.

Wrong.  I was wrong.  My new brushes will be here by the end of next week.

And now I’m calculating how much food I know I have in my freezer so that I can avoid getting groceries next week, and check out Amazon.  The electronics have got to have good deals, right? It’s Amazon.  I need a new camera.

Why is shopping so addicting?  Why do I get such joy at filling my teeny tiny apartment with stuff?  Gracie needs another cat bed, and even though my apartment is as the guest bathroom at my dad’s house (seriously!), it’s totally time to finally get my dream KitchenAide mixer, and brand new DSLR camera right now.  I can find room.  It’ll be fine.

But seriously, does anyone else feel like shopping on days like today (Black Friday) is a compulsion?  I have visited the same three websites over and over today, checking sales, seeing of anything catches my eye. I know this money could be put to better use, but the words SALE reflect in my eyes.  They may as well be flashing “FREE CHOCOLATE AND PUPPY CUDDLES” because it’s like I have no control.

Is there Black Friday Shopper Anonymous? Because I would like to join, please.  Thank you.

 

xo, kelsey (2)