Monday, October 31, 2011

Sacrifice & Improve, or Indulge & Live?

It is a struggle...wanting to be & do things better, and wanting to just enjoy life.

How do you decide?
One takes work, the merely simpler; instant satisfaction.

Do I sacrifice fun shopping trips to fully realize & LIVE the knowledge that obtaining more stuff doesn't add much in realm of "real value" to my life; or, do I just enjoy the fleeting thrills of finding super nice things at super discounted rates?

Do I sacrifice certain food indulgences (& regular "not-so-good-for-you" eats that I love) to improve my diet, which in turn, will probably improve my overall health; or do I just enjoy eating the foods that I love?
After all, what kind of "living" doesn't involve pizza, & doughnuts, & a bowl of mac & cheese???

How do you find balance?
Does one really improve without making sacrifices?...


Foliage picking.

Where on earth does it look like this majority of the year? I wouldn't mind living there.

Leftover warmth from summer without the humidity, sunlight, crisp breezes, and colorful never lasts long in Chicago, but I absolutely love days like this.

Husband & I couldn't let such a beautiful day escape us.
With nowhere to go, we rode our bikes & picked leaves.

I took our pickings home & put them in a glass vase.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Fresh Pita Bread.

One of my all time favorite things to make when the weather cools down is bread.

I love the smell of flour mingling with fermenting yeast as the dough proofs, and that wonderful smell when it bakes up in the oven;'s one of The Best smells in the world to me.

I tried my hand at making pita bread for the first time this summer. They swelled like balloons in the oven & were more like pocket pitas (great for stuffing with greek chicken salad) than the "multi-mini-pockets" shown here. They were tasty nonetheless.

What do you like to cook/bake in Autumn?

Merely More...


Monday, October 24, 2011

More Navy.

Same skirt, different shirt. Slightly different bag & shoes.

I LOVE navy...

Merely More...

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Greek Rice with Sauteed Spinach + Pita Bread Preview.

We LOVE this rice! With garlic, oregano, fresh lemon juice, & feta's packed with flavor.

Merely More...


The SoundTrack to Marie's Life: Part 2

Okay, back with tunes from my teens! Check Part 1 here if you missed it; I had quite a few artists that reminded me of childhood, but there's only one group that takes me back to high school.

BEWARE,"explicitness" ahead!

...Now follow me now roll, stroll,...

Merely More...


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy 1st Blogday MerelyMarie!

It's been a year since the first blog post...Let's celebrate with some visuals that never made the blog!

Merely More...


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hair: Ultimate Goals.

• Grow the front & temple areas to meet my chin
• Either get a hair cut in an asymmetrical bob...or...let it all grow to reach my armpits

What are your ultimate hair goals?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gray, Olive, and a Short Shoe Story.

Sweatshirt: Martin & Osa • Pants: Urban Outfitters • Shoes: Hispanitas • Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples • Necklace: Urban Outfitters • Bag: Coach

Twist Out

Nail Lacquer
Fingers & Toes: OPI Tickle My France-y

Merely More...

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Skin: Facing Facts.

I can't afford to be lazy. As much as I want to keep it simple, I know that gorgeous skin, for me, will never be happenstance.

I have to work diligently to get & maintain the great skin that I want, starting with my face & neck.

Smooth, soft, & radiant.
Preferably, with a very low bump count.

That's what I want.

Here's what I'm dealing with currently:
• Oil-prone T-zone
• Dry patches around my mouth/chin
• Acne
• Lips that have somehow become allergic to Chapstick (& I suspect petroleum)
• Dark spots (acne scars) & uneven tone

Since quitting my acne meds about 7 months ago, I've gotten much better (and consistent) in drinking water daily. I've also been good at eating my vegetables.

Riding my bike, surprisingly, is proving to be some exercise. I rode on my first trail on my birthday, and the hills kicked my butt. I thought I was in for another leisurely ride; but I was wrong! That day I found out just how out of shape I am...
but, back to the skin talk.

I'm adapting a more serious regimen.

Merely More...

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The SoundTrack to Marie's Life: Part 1

I saw this post awhile back & was immediately inspired to do a blog post of me own!
The Soundtrack to My Life (thus far;)

Part 1: Childhood/Elementary School
Early music memories for me are a mix between:
• Paula Abdul
• Janet Jackson
• Madonna
Songs like Opposites Attract, Control, and Borderline were my favorites. I had the tapes (Forever Your Girl, Control, & Madonna& would listen to them over & over & over again.

I loved these ladies, but they all came after Whitney in my mind.

I loved Whitney Houston. To me, she was super pretty, very stylish, sang beautifully, and her music videos made me feel bursts of joy. They made me want to dance!

I Wanna Dance with Somebody, by Whitney Houston.

Merely More...


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hair: A Rabbit Tail with a Hump in the Front + Straightened Length.

Another "style" from when my hair was straightened.

Merely More...

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& Now . . . A very Important Question of Preference.

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Small Square Scarf.

Anyone know how to tie these? I have the "cowgirl tie" down, but need some other ideas.

Merely More...


0:30-0:47. . .

Breaking Bad, TV

...I wanted a taste.
0:54, Walt's face!...I was jealous.

Just watched the Season 4 finale last night...that ending blew my mind! Wow!!!

Video Credit.


Sunday, October 9, 2011


Simple. Comfortable. Neutral colors, sometimes with a pop of color, or a single stand-out piece/accessory. Subtle details. Classic, usually.
Not a whole lot of fuss & dazzle...such is my style.

Sometimes, I dream it to be more glam/femme fatale.

How would you describe your style?
Is it all you imagine it to be right now?

Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples • Tank: J.Crew • Jeans: Hudson • Boots: Gee Wawa • Scarf: a la Salvation Army
Nail Lacquer:
China Glaze Japanese Koi

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I went fishing with Husband & the bro-in-law.

We got a lot of hits that morning & I actually caught several fish!

Merely More...


Friday, October 7, 2011

Heavenly Sweet Potato.

Texas Roadhouse...Thank you for showing me the light!
Baked Sweet Potato...with Marshmallows on top...


Merely More...


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best of Blogs 2011 Photobook feature.

I was super excited to receive the photo book.
Thanks Snapfish, and Blogher for including me!

Find the recipe here, for yummy banana cake.


October Second. . .

...made 2 years post relaxer.

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Simplifying my Life Online.

I'm thinking of ditching Tumblr for Pinterest! It is an online board where you pin your photo inspirations & gorgeous images you find on the web; you can also draw inspiration from viewing boards created by others.
I recently received an invite & it's like a breath of fresh air in comparison to Tumblr. I've only been using both a short while, but the environment on Pinterest feels more "grown up", and it's so much easier to use/update!

If you'd like a Pinterest invite, please let me know.

Merely More...


4 Simple Tips to Simplify Your Time Online.

Ever feel distracted online, like you're being pulled in 5 different directions, at the same time? You successfully visit (more than 5) sites only to hit the red X at the end of 3 hours & realize that you haven't really accomplished much.

Does the Google homepage search box stare you in the face, demanding you to enter something...anything? Your mind flips through a rolodex of keywords, until something semi-interesting pops up.
Ooh...Leftover chicken recipes!

Merely More...


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mmmh. . .Mercers!

If you live in Florida & love must try Mercers!!!

Merely More...


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cafe Breve Cappuccino.

This is the outfit I mentioned putting together awhile back.

Merely More...

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Fresh Microwave Popcorn.

Since my dad won't give up his Whirly-Pop, Orville doesn't seem to be bringing back the "Old Fashioned Butter" (& virtually every other kind has this yucky milk aftertaste), and my microwave popcorn bowl that I bought from Target burns/underpops every bowl of popcorn I make,  I had to find another way to make one of my all time favorite snacks at home.

Enter the brown paper bag.
It's super easy, kinda messy, but definitely delicious!

Merely More...


Guarded: When being safe keeps good people outside.

How do you overcome being guarded?

It is extremely hard to meet new people, and receive them warmly, when you're subconsciously concerned about your own personal safety.

At the very hint of possible friendship, your mind immediately questions & figures the relationship future...
Are they trustworthy? Probably not...I don't know them.
• What will they want from me? Most likely something I don't want to give.
• Can I give it to them? Yes, but I'll have to work hard.
• Can I give it to them without draining my energy? See above answer.
• Will I disappoint them if I can't deliver what they want from me? Of course!

This type of thinking keeps everyone (you don't already know) outside, yet, you know there are good people out there...trustworthy people, who don't want anything from you...people who can help you grow & be better, if you'd only let them in.

It takes a certain type of heart to openly receive trust & give the benefit of the doubt to complete strangers, doesn't it?


I want to rise today & change this world!

Rise Today, by Alter Bridge

Love his voice, the guitar, and this band.
Oh, & the them too!

Video Credit.