Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday. . .On my Mind.









1. Christmas tree deets! 2. Waffle Breakfast; Love my new waffle maker! 3. Cool Beans Coffee Shop; cool indeed! 4. Breve Cappuccino...The Best I've ever had! 5. Bantu knot out on a Semi-mini Twist out. 6. GA greenery. 7. Yogli Mogli; french vanilla & egg nog frozen yogurt. 8. Goodwill; They looked to be on every corner...LOVE it! 9. Stargazing!

We took a road trip to Georgia to celebrate Christmas with family...'twas good memories to last a lifetime!!!

How was your holiday?!

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Tag!

Questions with one-word answers:

Where's your cell phone: Purse
Your hair: Wild
Your mother: Sweet
Your father: Unique
Favorite food: Tacos
Dream last night: Crazy
Favorite drink: Coffee
What room are you in: Living
Hobby: Shopping
Fear: Fear
Where were you last night: Georgia
Something that you aren't: Garrulous
Muffins: Banana
Wish list item: Clarisonic
Where did you grow up: Chicago
What are you wearing: Ruffles
Your pets: Nope
Friends: Shrug
Something you're not wearing: Pearls
Favorite store: J.Crew
Favorite color: Navy
Last time you laughed: Today
Your best friend: Husband
Best place you go to over and over: MerelyMarie;)
Person who emails you regularly: Biff
Favorite place to eat: Home

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Red.

Trying another something I've always wanted to: Winterizing a Summer Dress.

Merely More...

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40 by 40.

I saw this awhile back on Glamazini, and thought it cool!

40 by 40 is essentially a list of things you want to have done by age 40.

I LOVE lists, especially "to do" type lists; much thanks to my mom! She would always write notes on pieces of paper when I was growing up & she still does; "To Do lists", "I Love You's", her name...

I always think of her when I find myself surrounded by cut-in-fourths pieces of 8.5 x 11, and sticky notes; each scribbled on by pen, sharpies, or color pencils. If only my penmanship was as good as hers....I've been told many times that I have a "doctors signature".
Does anyone even write in cursive anymore?
I digress.

Merely More...

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Crack that Cinnamon!

This has been making my holiDAY! I love cracking it in my coffee (grounds), hot apple cider (though I think I need to go ahead & buy the sticks), peach cobblers & any other dessert recipes that call for cinnamon.

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“I am a father. A son. A serial killer.”

Dexter, TV

Recently finished watching the Season 6 finale, and...Oohhh! LOL
Can't wait to see what happens next!

I think the trailer for this season was very well put together; cool & exciting...if only the first half of the season actually delivered on it's lustrous foundation.

Photo Credit.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The New York Times online: Street Style Feature!

It was a very, very pleasant surprise to see my photo posted on The New York Times, Fashion & Style page, Street Style slide show feature!

Every week, readers are welcomed to submit street fashion photos based on a specific theme (the week I submitted the theme was monochromatic). The best photos of all the submissions are selected & published.

I'm beyond excited!!!

Image Credit.

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Major Mac.




Comforting.

Creamy texture, slightly loose consistency, and just pleasantly cheesy without the use of an enormous amount of cheese. Unlike this mac, this macaroni & cheese takes a tad more time, but tastes more classic.

Merely More...

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Being Who You Are: But, What if you're a Perfectionist?

Perfection is actually attainable.

Well...there are moments like: cooking a tender, juicy well-done steak, coming up with a genius design solution, or styling your hair so well even the elements can't ruin it, instead they help it appear even better...
Moments that make you feel like it merely could not have been done any better.
It is, in fact, perfect.

Achieving perfect results has always been this driving force behind the things that I do. Sometimes I realize it's presence, but most times it's such a quiet energy.

When deciding to retire from my "perfectionist ways", a little over a year ago, I'd only considered the bad that it's made me feel. It wasn't until today that I realized how it has also brought out some of the best in me, throughout my life.

  • It's made me research things, beforehand, to find the best/proper way.
  • It's made me give my very best, v.s. "half-assedness".
  • It's made me care deeply.
  • It's made me smile ear-to-ear.
  • It's made me feel major feelings of accomplishment & joy.

For all it's known unhealthy ways, I don't want to be a perfectionist. On the other hand, it's who I've always been. It's a very inherent thing.

So...is it bad?
Am I suppose to run from it?
Can I?

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7 Whole Nights . . . Ahhh!



Seven Whole Days, Toni Braxton

This song has been stuck in my head lately.

Video Credit.

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Honey Bunches of Yum!

Thanks all who suggested this one!!!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Warby Parker.

I'm thinking of getting glasses instead of contacts after my annual eye exam next year.

Although they fog terribly after coming inside, from the cold, and require constant cleaning from annoying, inevitable finger prints, they give me back the time it takes to remove & clean my contacts nightly (then rinsing & putting them back in again in the AM).
I'm realizing more & more that I don't like having to do a lot to get ready in morning.
Ehh...maybe the time saved v.s. time lost is the same?...
But, I'll definitely save some $ from having to buy contact solution & cases.

Anywhoo...
I haven't worn glasses in years (except right before bedtime & when I need to get up in the middle of the night) & I feel like a change!

I want some super sophisticated (quality) frames that will last several years...maybe with some transition lenses.
Can anyone give me the inside scoop on those??? Are transition lenses efficient?

Merely More...

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nice & Naughty.

Love these sets!!!
I have more pretty-gorgeous-sexy-things pinned to my pinboard...

Photo Credits 1 2.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Would you Please Pass the Preserves?! + Nutella?

I love this strawberry preserve by Bonne Maman. I gotta say the packaging attracted me first; it looked pretty. Then it was the fact that it contains real sugar. It tastes way better than what I would normally put on toast; grape jelly.

Upon finishing my first jar (& because the store was out of strawberry), I decided to try grape, only to discover that it wasn't actually preserves; I needed to calm my excitement & read.
The grape jelly isn't bad either; it's just not what I was looking for.

I've heard so much hype about Nutella! I'm excited to try it.
If you tried it, what does it taste like & what do you use it on/in?

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Ribbon Up Boots.

Gee Wawa's got some boots out now, similar to the ones I have, that many of you've complimented me on.
Just thought I'd share. I found these too. Happy Holiday Shopping! 
P.S.
Have you already gotten gifts for yourself?


Photo Credit.

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I Won't Back Down!



Won't Back Down, Eminem featuring Pink

* one hand clutches pearls, while the other turns the volume All-The-Way UP...
Felt this one in my bones ever since I heard it on a video game commercial.


Video Credit.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Card.

Every business needs a card! I'm excited about some new ideas I have for MerelyBlogDesign. More later...

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Leopard.

I decided on leopard over snake skin for the first-ever animal print to enter my wardrobe.

The snake skins were lovely, but just felt cold...blooded. Ha! I'm not that advanced yet.

Merely More...

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Whole Wheat Sandwich bread French Toast.


There are times in the kitchen when improvisation is somewhat required. 

At these times (Ex: you just woke up, crumpled-faced & starving, and can not even fathom the idea of going outside the house to run to the grocery store for milk), substitutions must be made and fast. Margarine for Butter, Half & Half for Milk, or Whole Wheat "sandwich" Bread for Texas Toast. I made the wheat bread substitution one time to make some french toast, and have yet to look back.

The key is to work fast, as the sandwich bread is more fragile than the thicker Texas toast.

Merely More...

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How to Be a Seductive Swan Queen.

Black Swan, Movie
A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan. -IMDb
Finally saw Black Swan...WOW! Comical, bizarre, dark & beautiful. We really enjoyed this movie.

Photo Credit.

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Favorite Drugstore Lip Balm.

Love this lip balm by Neutrogena!!! It glides on smooth, moisturizes my lips (& has yet to irritate my finicky skin...been using this for several months now) and it doesn't feel "waxy".

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In Marie's Daydream Today. . .



Leave me Alone, by Natalie Imbruglia
I'm driving in black-and-white, alone, wearing the slinkiest stark red dress, hair like this, smoking a cigarette, deep red lipstick, the gigantic wheels of the automobile rotate in slow motion, flashing hints of gleaming metal, and a warm breeze fondles my hair; there's a .38 Special concealed in the glove compartment.
This song plays in the background.
Video Credit.

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Next Level for MM: Self Hosting!

I woke up this morning & the thought came to me...what if something happens to MM...what if this blogging platform decides to abruptly close down for whatever reason...what would happen to my photos, my labor of love content...my budding business!!!

The word "self hosting" (having all your blog's content sit on a hosting account that you own) entered my brain. I need more control & want complete ownership over MerelyMarie, since I've become very serious about blogging & desire to become very successful at it.


Anyone self host? Anyone self host, but started out on Blogger? Please share your experience with me! Thanks!!!

P.S.
I'm sure self hosting wouldn't give total "ownership", but I think it's a good way to go about gaining control.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cuff, Cinch & Collars Up.

This is how I wore my "new" jacket many days this fall. I absolutely LOVE this jacket! It makes me want to buy some floral printed dresses, to pair it with. Funny; because I'm starting to really like prints/patterns on clothing.

Here, I have a couple of safety pins securing it in place, but I want to sew on a second set of buttons for a more permanent & asymmetrical solution. I'm super happy about finding a very good button match in the box; it seems keeping that thing has finally proven useful.

Merely More...

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Breakfast for Dinner.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really tired or we want something that's not so "dinner", we eat breakfast...for dinner.

Breakfast foods can go together in as little as two minutes!

One evening husband made french toast. Another, we made a Chorizo Skillet with green bell pepper, onion, shredded hash brown, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese (mexican blend), and spicy chorizo sausage. We'll even have our favorite pancake, Blueberry Banana.
When I'm really, really tired (or really, really lazy) a bowl of cereal feels just fine, before going to sleep.

What's your favorite breakfast food?
Favorite cereal?
I need a new one...Raisin Bran is my favorite, but is starting to taste boring:(


Stay tuned for this tasty Wheat Bread French Toast recipe...

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Zombies & Walkers!

Walking Dead, TV

I swore the opening scene of 28 Weeks Later ruined me with zombies for good; and zombies never scared me. I mean the entire scene was just chillingly perfect (especially with that music), but it creeped me out so good that my stomach was sick.

So when Husband first mentioned The Walking Dead, I wasn't interested. Then I saw a preview. The show is not at all creepy like 28 Weeks Later, but it's very entertaining!

We recently finished watching the midseason (season 2) finale & that last scene...NICE! LOL Our heads were both shaking & our mouths were open like..."Dang!"

Do you watch?
Quick question (SPOILER), when you click with your mouse & drag to highlight after the wink;) Do you think Hershel (or his daughter) knew that Sophia was in the barn?
Photo Credit.

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& the Dearest Blog Award goes to...

A very special thanks to Daisy at Just Daisy, for giving MerelyMarie this award! Hey girlie!!! I know I'm super late in posting this, but you are the sweetest for your kind words. I always appreciate them. Thank you!

She has nominated MM for the Liebster Blog Award.

I'm always curious what words mean, when they're foreign to me, so I had to look "liebster" up. Google Translate says it's a German word for "dearest".
More importantly, the purpose of this award is to showcase bloggers with less than 200 followers in an effort to help them build connections and exposure to other potential followers.

I'm all for it!!!
There are a lot of great blogs out there not getting enough love, merely because they're new or relatively new.

I can be a stickler for "following the rules", but I'd like to break the rules of this award (because, firstly, upon looking up the word "liebster", an online dictionary spammed my screen for several minutes & wouldn't let me close Chrome, nor Restart, nor Shut Down. Arrgh!), and (secondly, since I follow several blogs with less than 200 followers, I'm happy to admit copping out to avoid missing somebody). So without further excuse delay, I nominate...
...any blogger (with less than 200 followers) who reads this blog, and believes that they have a great blog that deserves more attention. 
If this is you & you'd like to accept this blog award, please leave a message below with a link to your blog & tell us what excites you about your space in the blogosphere. Myself & others will then come check you out!

P.S.
Daisy has the official rules, if you want to post the original award to your blog.
P.S.S.
You don't have to link back to MM, if you don't want to.

Thoughts on Defensiveness from Glamazini.



{352} Free Therapy • Defensiveness, by Glamazini

Interesting points!

I love her Free Therapy videos. Don't Explain Yourself is my favorite! Since seeing that video, I've gotten a little better at not explaining the "whats" & "whys" of what I do (& don't do). Thanks Ini!

Video Credit.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Welcome New Readers!

If you're new here (& if you've been here awhile too), I'm happy to have you & I thank you so much for following MerelyMarie!!!

With over 400 posts here, I thought it might be helpful to welcome you with a little guide.

I believe most MM readers are here for HAIR.
If that's you, then click here. Don't miss my most popular post of all time, The Braid Out Photo TutorialGrowing Out My Relaxer comes in a close second. Interested in healthy relaxed hair, you've also been considered! My Relaxed Hair Regimen is the 3rd most popular post of all time. Feel free to check that out.

Like to cook, eat, or look at drool-inducing FOOD photos???
Just click DEVOUR! You will not be disappointed. I try my best to only post recipes that result in deliciousness! I love to cook, but more than that, I LOVE to eat good food. Check out the most highly viewed food post, Baked Sweet Potato with Marshmallows. Did I mention, deliciousness?

I absolutely love STYLE & SHOPPING!
I recently created a section for my outfit posts. Take a peek at my style; it's developing & I'm excited! I also love to swatch nail polishes, and share my latest thrift store finds. I even share my personal tips for eyebrow care. CLICK PEEK!

I also think...A LOT.
So, this blog can occasionally be an outlet for my MIND. Check out Sacrifice & Improve, or Indulge & Live?; maybe you can relate?

MUSIC, TV, BOOKS, MOVIES anyone?
I love listening, watching & reading. I usually share only what I think is awesome. Click UNWIND!

Need a bit of INSPIRATION?
Click SPARK for an array of it! I share some helpful things that I've learned, from How to Save Tarnished Costume Jewelry to Thrift Store Shopping Tips. I also post inspirational videos from a few of my favorite YouTubers. Shouldn't you get paid, to do what you love? is a very popular post regarding my thoughts on not giving away your talent. Check it out; I think it's very inspirational!

As you can see, MerelyMarie is about a lot of different things! So... grab your favorite drink & enjoy your time here!!! If you're not sure how to follow & subscribe, click here or feel free to email me anytime:)

If you really like what you see here, LIKE MM on Facebook!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MerelyMarie Shop: Shoes!


Yes, I'm opening the doors again. This time, it's to my closet.

First up...Shoes!

Merely More...

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