Crazy Tragic Almost Magic

April 27, 2016

These Are My Confessions

It's been a while since I've participated so I figured it was time to show face. 


+ Recently, the governor of Virginia passed a law allowing about 200,000 ex-cons the right to vote. My relationship with the judicial system (in general) is long and complicated. But I will say this, I support what the governor is doing (to a degree). I think that those who have been convicted, served their time, and have productively reassimilated into society deserve the right to vote. They paid their debt, that's why they were sentenced in the first place.


+ I like Beyonce as much as the next fangirl but the hype surrounding Lemonade and basically everything she does is so irritating to me. She's a talented artist, yes. She's got a great voice, yes. She's gorgeous, yes. But seriously people, she's human, just like everyone else. 




+ I am so in love with my business. I know I've been mentioning it sporadically here and there, I promise, a full post is coming soon.


+ I spent a small fortune on stickers last week. I make no apologies. My planner game is strong. 




+ I was browsing through Groupon Getaways and all I can say is I want to take all the trips! I've made a promise to myself to leave the country once a year, even if that means only going to the Bahamas. There are so many great deals on there and I'm a fan of tours and city stays. Groupon just became my new bff.


+ It's also awesome when your coworker supports your stationary addictions




+ I've been neglecting this space pretty bad lately. I can't lie, my "day job" is really infringing on my dreams and goals. I'd like to open up this space for guest posting! If you have something original, or just want to share an older post to a new audience, let me know. If you're a reader then you know pretty much anything goes on this blog. If you're willing to guest post, shoot me an e-mail and we'll get you set up.  


+ I'm not sure what's going on with summer but I'm going to take this moment to complain. WHERE THE HELL IS IT?!? Why was it 46 degrees this morning? Why am I still wearing scarves and coats? I want sun and humidity all day erryday. 


+ I'm so behind on reading. I may have 25 books in for 2016 but my average for March and April is like -1. Seriously. I can't find the time to read lately, and when I do, nothing is jumping out and grabbing my attention. I'm hoping it starts turning around. I want to sift through my shelf for the June challenge!



And that's just a sliver of what's going on behind the blog. Confessions, updates. It's a smorgasbord! 




April 24, 2016

Be Your Own Boss

This post contains affiliate links

I told you guys a HUGE secret a few weeks ago and I've been kind of hush about it ever since. Today I'm putting it out there.

For the past 10 years, I've been working in the legal industry. It was a field I sort of fell into. I had been in it for about 5 years before I decided to finish school. At the time, it made sense to go for justice studies since I was already in the field. I received both my Associate's and Bachelor's degree in justice studies. 

Over the years, a few things have become very clear to me. One, I don't like working in law; and two, I really don't like working in corporate America. I have a big problem with working crazy hours all week long only to be tired on the weekends from trying to cram my life into only one two days. I was always thinking there has to be another way... 

In the past year and a half, I've made huge strides in my personal growth. I am a completely different person than I was then. I've learned about myself, I've healed wounds, and I've taken risks, like starting my own online business. 

I can't lie. It was terrifying to admit that yes, I am going to start a business. But once that desire was out there, it felt amazing! I was going to start my own business. It had always been something I dreamed about but I never thought would happen, because how could it? What did I have to offer? What was I going to do? Who would want to pay me? Once I sat down and really listened to myself. I had an answer to every single one of my questions. 

But like any good business, I had help. Amanda Frances gave me the courage. She showed me that this was something I could do, and do well. 

If you have ever considered starting your own online service based business that will give you location independence, more money, and more freedom then I strongly encourage you to check out her free webinar, Work from Around the World.



 You'll learn:
  • how to start an online business
  • the systems and structures that will allow you to run a business anywhere
  • the non-negotiable mindset required to make money online
  • the mistake that stops business growth and how to avoid it
I'll be tuning in because as a new business owner, I know that there's always more to learn. Living the life you've dreamed of is not impossible. It's not a pipe dream. It's your reality - if you want it. 

When: Monday, April 25th 5:30 PST / 7:30 CST / 8:30 EST / 10:30 AM Sydney (Tues.)



April 18, 2016

5 Things I Learned at Chuck E. Cheese

Last Thursday Little Miss turned four. Part of me is all, This is so awesome! We can do more fun things now. We can go to Disney soon! and another part of me is screaming, Where the hell has the time gone?! Please stop growing, I need you to stay small forever! Either way, I'm feeling some feels.

I decided that she needed to have a classic birthday "party". And by that I mean we went where all kids dream of spending the day - Chuck E. Cheese's. First, let me just say that when I was a kid, we spent a lot of time here. And by a lot, I mean probably four times ever. The thing is, it was such a magical place. Pizza, games, an animatronic band of mice - no really, they were a band on a stage and you could crawl under the stage because it looked like swiss cheese with the holes and everything - an epic ball pit... it was a kid's best day ever. Then there was that messy nonsense where pretty much all CEC's were shut down. My adult brain says bankruptcy or something but I'm too lazy to Google to find out what really happened. Let's just say that the mice and humans were having negotiation issues and things got a little cheesy {ha...} But anyway, I digress...

The point is Little Miss had never been to Chuck E. Cheese and it's been ages since I was there. So we went. 




Here are some observations:

1| Chuck E. Cheese's is a hell of a lot more expensive than it used to be. Of course, this could be because this time around I was footing the bill, either way, it's not cheap. 

2| When in a place like this, kids have no parents. These little monsters just run around being obnoxious with no regard for other kids. Add to that I watched some kid trip and fall and sit there crying his face off. No parent even acknowledged him, "not my kid? Keep moving!" 

3| The pizza is infinitely better than when I was a kid. Like, if I could order take out from CEC I might actually order a pie from them and call it a night. 



4| The maze that is bolted into the ceiling? It's more painful than I recall. My knees are about 23 years too old to be crawling around in a hard plastic tube. Let's not even discuss that fitting into the tubes, in general, requires some contortionist-like skills. 



5| Parents are failing their kids. Since when do you not pick up a dropped token or pull forgotten tickets from a game? Unclaimed? Correction CLAIMED! I don't get it. Maybe it's just my 90s kid mentality but I can't help but walk into a place like and scan the floor non-stop for dropped tickets or tickets. I mean, that's just what you do! 

Empty wallet, excess calories, and battered knees aside, Little Miss had a great time. My mom and I managed to win her 300 tickets so she picked out a few little prizes. On the way home we stopped for ice cream. Because what day isn't complete without it? 


April 14, 2016

The Power of Clean

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Colgate-Palmolive. All opinions are mine alone. #FusionClean #Collective Bias

Spending time in the kitchen is something that has always come naturally to me. From the time I was a kid, no older than eight I would imagine, I would whip up "recipes" in the kitchen pretending I was on a cooking show. Of course, my "recipes" consisted of a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, water, and sometimes hot chocolate mix. What can I say, cooking is in my veins.

As I’ve grown, my skills have improved. Although, there was that one time I accidentally made peanut butter dog treats. In case you’d rather make cookies, please remember to add the eggs and the milk to the recipe. My dog had never been happier. 

Now that I’m in my 30s and I have much more home cooking knowledge under my belt I’m proud to say that I’m a self-proclaimed master in the kitchen. Since today is Little Miss’s birthday – CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE’S FOUR?! – I decided to make a super messy, kid-friendly treat I knew she’d love.

Marshmallow Popcorn Bars


If you’ve got little ones at home I strongly encourage you to make this fun treat with them. You get to bond, share the joy of cooking, and revel in your kitchen prowess. I made a trip to Walmart, hit up the cleaning aisle where I picked up my supplies, and then went to work.

popcorn-chocolate-candy-graham-on-counter


I decided to gear these bars towards my niece’s birthday but you could swap out the candy for anything you prefer. Someone please make these with Rolos and report back! Feel free to print this recipe!  

Marshmallow Popcorn Bars

What you need:
1 Tbs. butter
20 marshmallows
4 c. popcorn
1 c. graham crackers
½ c. chocolate candies
2 Tbs. sprinkles (optional)

What you do:
Spray an 8"x8" (9”x9” will also work) baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl melt butter. Add the marshmallows, stirring to coat evenly and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth then add the popcorn and graham crackers. Transfer the entire mixture to the baking pan and press the chocolate candy randomly into the surface of the bars, add sprinkles. Let cool for about 10 minutes, slice and serve. Store remaining bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.




If there’s one universal fact behind cooking it’s that anything with marshmallow = mess. As messy as these bars were to make, taking care of the mess was a breeze thanks to Palmolive® Fusion Clean™.

Palmolive-dish-soap-sponge-on-counter






Be sure to use this coupon and discover the power of Fusion Clean™.


Tell me, what’s the messiest thing you’ve ever made, and how did you clean it up? 


April 12, 2016

Booked Vol. 9

Hooray!!  It's book day! I slowed it down this month and only read a few. I'm still obliterating my Goodreads goal, though, so that's nice. Here's a look at where my nose was buried since last month.


The AlchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I had picked this up in Target once and put it back because it didn't seem like my kind of book. When I needed an audiobook to drive home I noticed this was a short 4 hours so I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did. You guys, I absolutely loved this book. It was such a great, encapturing story about following your dreams and never giving up regardless of what's put in front of you. Given my own personal journey in the last year, there were so many parts of this book that spoke to me. 
"And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to acheive it."
"There is only one thing that makes a dream difficult to acheive: the fear of failure." 
"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everythign around us becomes better too." 

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

As usual, I had been putting off reading this for a while. This was a really great audiobook. It was funny and engaging, and I loved that there were additions that could only be part of an audiobook. I've never really paid much attention to Amy Poehler. All I really knew was that she was on SNL, was BFFs with Tina Fey and was married to Will Arnett. This was a nice glimpse into her life and upbringing, as well as how she got started and the comedic path she walked.






Deliver Her: A NovelDeliver Her: A Novel by Patricia Perry Donovan

I loved this book. I downloaded it free as a Kindle First selection and I'm glad I did.

After the death of her best friend Alex's life starts spiraling out of control. At the end of her rope her mother, Men, inlays the help of a transporter to get her daughter to a "reform school".

When things go terribly wrong and Alex goes missing, long kept secrets are revealed and everyone is forced to accept the after effects.


And that's all I have to say about that....  Your turn!



Life According to Steph








April 11, 2016

I Have a Supplier and His Name is Bullseye

So I went to Target this weekend. Here's the thing with Target and me that you may not know. I'm an addict. There was a time back in 2008 when I would glossy red gates and spend roughly 2 hours walking around its pretty displays and pawing through the clearance bins every. single. weekend. The high was amazing. 

It always ended the same, though. I'd completely lose track of time and space and when I finally realized I should leave I had spent $40-$50 on who knows what. Target is a devious temptress. She'd convince me that I needed that $6 shirt because helloooo clearance and I had been waiting to buy movie X for the longest and now it was only $12.99 and how can you walk these aisles and not buy a new book?!  I was in deep.  

I finally quit cold turkey. I stopped going. I was going to break my habit and show some love to my bank account. As a result, Target and I have been distant friends ever since. I don't visit often because it's just too addicting. Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a member of Target Anonymous. 

Recently I had a craving and I fed it. You guys, I forgot how magical Target is. And the dollar spot? Don't get me started. The most adorable little things live in those bins and naturally I need everything. Don't you? 

While I was strolling through the home section fantasizing about redecorating and loving the new patterns and colors that are coming out for spring I happened upon this guy.




How gorgeous is this pineapple?! More than that, it's a candle. A pineapple coconut scented candle. Naturally I turned to Twitter for moral support and asked that someone, anyone, talk me out of buying this. The responses were very helpful: "omg you need that" and "I cannot, in good conscience, tell you not to buy that pineapple". That last one sealed the deal. I bought it. Thanks, Meghan! It now lives on my desk being all bright and cheery. 

When I'm not trying to keep up with my Target recovery I do nothing but fall down the Etsy rabbit hole. I mean, it's pretty amazing in there. Mostly I spend my time looking at planner stickers. Okay, all of my time. They're just SO pretty! And yes, I realize I basically swapped one addiction for another. Sue me. 

Spring is very slowly making its presence known here on the east coast and in honor of that I've decided to do a giveaway! My friend Kiyah was sweet enough to donate some of the goodies in the prize pack! 



How adorable is this stuff?!  One lucky winner will take it all. Entry is easy, leave a comment telling me which planner you use and why you love it and share the giveaway on Twitter. That's it. Do one or both and you're in it to win it. Winner will be drawn on Saturday and notified via e-mail so make sure you're not a no-reply blogger. If you're no-reply a new winner will be chosen. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway



April 8, 2016

A Fairy-tale Weekend

Once Upon a Time....

Michael was having problems with her iPhone. You see, Michael isn't exactly keen on drinking the Apple Kool-Aid. She likes and uses the products, but she's not admittedly on Team iPhone. 

One day she wanted to add a meditation album to her phone. This should be easy, she thought. She'd simply connect the phone to the laptop, add the tracks, sync it up and be good to go. Apparently technology had other plans. 

iTunes was not recognizing the iPhone connection. Rather, the laptop was viewing the phone as a USB device. This was a new problem among the others she had been having. This meant a trip to the Apple-Land was in order. Michael dreaded going to the Apple-Land because she knew it would be overcrowded and, most likely, fruitless. She went anyway. 

After having to reschedule her appointment because she was walking out the door 10 minutes before it was scheduled, she drove to the mall and walked around to kill an hour. She even tried on clothes she knew she shouldn't be buying at this time. Fortunately for her wallet, nothing fit just right.

At 11:40 Michael entered the gates of Apple-land. She was hoping that the wizard would be able to resolve all her issues. After an hour and a half of trying to fix things with the iTunes connection, Michael decided it wasn't that important since she's an avid Spotify user. Instead, she chose to fix the other, more irritating issues at hand. Unfortunately, this meant completely restarting her phone. 

As she reluctantly handed over her phone and pressed the dreaded reset button, Michael realized one thing. Maybe Apple isn't so terrible. The thing that was being embedded into her brain by the fabulous wizard (also named Michael) was that if she had a Mac, some of these issues wouldn't be happening. It really was a beautiful thing. 

She decided to travel to Mactopia and give them a try for herself. She immediately fell in love with the 21.5 screen of the iMac. The Magic Mouse would require training. The Air was smooth and pretty, super easy to use, but a 13" screen was disappointing. All in all, Michael left knowing that a Mac was in her future. 

*   *   *

After returning from Apple-Land and foraging for food, she decided to take a bath. She found all her best candles with soothing scents. The Lemon Mint Tea she had recently purchased was a must. She ran the water, lit the candles, and stepped in. The water was less than steaming hot. Not to mention that she barely fit. This was not your standard sized tub. She also found that the body wash she had added for bubbles didn't mix in at all. Instead, she was looking at little blobs of Dove floating around the bottom of the tub. 



Not one to be deterred she put on a meditation track and decided to chill out. After an excruciatingly long 6 minutes, she said, fuck this, as the water had cooled drastically, and took a hot shower instead. 

*   *   *
The next day it was incredibly windy. Her plans of going for a nice long walk would now require all the layers. The same layers that she has begun packing up for the season because it was April and Mother Nature needed to get her shit together and start pulling sunshine out of her ass.

Upon returning from her walking quest, Michael decided to take care of the tedious task of updating, her contacts. 6... hours... later the job was done.

*   *   *
The moral of this little tale is:

  1. Michael is still sampling the Kool-Aid and she may have finally found a flavor she likes;
  2. No matter how tedious the task, she will undertake it;
  3. Layers always win
  4. Michael needs to date a basketball player and all her tub problems will be over.

April 6, 2016

Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow

Oh man. I don't even know where to begin with this post. Over the past few weeks, I've made reference to having something brewing in the wings. I knew I'd talk about it but I wasn't ready to put it all out there until I was finished. A few people were given inside info, but for the most part, I've kept it to myself.

If you happened to see my Twitter announcement then you know what's up. If not, then I'm officially letting the cat out of the bag...

I started my own business.

This is something that has been a secret dream of mine for a long time. And as with any lofty aspiration, I was riddled with fear and doubt. How could I run my own business? What would I do? How would I stay on top of everything? Could I support myself? Really, my main question was just how?? But because I couldn't answer any of those questions I chalked it up to being a pipe dream that would never happen. It was a fantasy goal.

A few months ago a friend of mine casually joked that I needed to start my own business so she could hire me. We laughed about it and I threw out the general right, wouldn't that be cool?! answer and forgot about it. Except that I didn't. That small comment, that casual idea planted a very small seed, and then I started thinking what if...

A few weeks later I was presented with an opportunity to attend Self-Help Socialite's Business Magic LIVE conference in Manhattan. As a follower of both Gala Darling and Amanda Frances, I was soo excited to go. I went with an open mind and an open heart and had no idea what I was going to happen.

What happened was that I was ignited. The seed had been germinating from the time it was mentioned, and now, here I was at this business conference full of kickass women entrepreneurs and business owners. That seed cracked wide open and started growing.

After to listening to a few of the speakers it finally clicked that I needed to do this. Not to see if I could, because I know deep down that I can, but to go after a dream. Running my own business is not a pipe dream. People do it every day, we just refer to it by terms like 'freelancer' and 'independent contractor'. Guess what - it means the same thing. Individual people hustling their skills and expertise on matters to earn a living. I have a deep respect for these people.

Now, I'm sure what you're really wondering is what my business entails and what it is I'm actually going to be doing. I will be providing virtual assistant services to online business owners and entrepreneurs. You guys, I really am so excited about this. A whole new chapter has just begun.







Linking up with Nadine + Kathy