brain blast

I wish I could rename this blog ‘Navigating your 20s and trying to be OKAY’

But that wouldn’t work and let’s be honest I feel OKAY like half the time and the other half of the time I’m all ‘WHAT IS GOING ON, WHERE IS THIS LEADING TO, WILL I ALWAYS FEEL SO ANXIOUS AND STRESSED?!’

Let’s take a step back.

Hi again.

It’s me, Hilary. It’s been oh a wee bit since I’ve last blogged. I was so consistent and then I fell off the face of the Earth. Not literally, but then again that would have been an excitement in my life that would probably do me some good! And probably harm. But anyways.

I’m fairly, okay like 95% positive I’m way deep into a quarter life crisis and I’m not yet 25! What’s up with that?

Let’s recap. I lost my job at the end of May. Literally like a day or so before it would have been an official year. Like, really?  OH LIFE. So flash forward and it’s nearly mid-August and I’m working part-time at a hometown bakery. Let’s just say, The last week and heck the last few months have been extremely stressful, anxiety producing, and I may have shed a few more tears than usual.

I am back in the job hunt. It’s unyielding and most often frustrating. My best friend has a full-time job, a good boyfriend and is now musing with the idea of marriage. And I’m like wait, what just happened? Why do I feel really really far behind so suddenly?

We were talking over lunch today and basically said how we’d look back someday and think to ourselves how it was supposed to be that way so we could get where we were supposed to go but I mean, it would be nice to have a little more reassurance that it really was going to be okay. Right? Yes. A hundred times yes.

So Hilary, 24 year old Hilary, nearly 25 year old Hilary, it will be okay. Let me repeat that. IT WILL BE OKAY. Yes, it will. You are so confused and stressed and worried right now when you should just live and love the best you can. You know the feeling you get on your nature walks when everything feels okay and makes so much sense and your head is so much clearer? Remember that feeling. Carry it with you when you feel the most anxious. (Also use less run-on sentences in your writing, but hey if you want to do it in blogging go for it. Cause that’s where you can.) Just keep reminding yourself it will be okay. Yesterday was yesterday. It’s gone. Today is a different day. And you know what? Tomorrow is a gift, and once it’s tomorrow, well then today will be yesterday and guess what? It will be okay. Just constantly tell yourself that and over time you will start to believe it. You’ll feel less burdened with so many feelings, you’ll feel lighter and more able to be happy for and with others.

It. will. be. okay.

Really. It will.

currently, #7

OH HI. It’s been awhile. I took a mini-break from blogging. But I am back. Let’s do this. Warning – it’s book heavy.

videos I’m loving:

Accio Deathly Hallows – Anyone else love the Green brothers? Well, I’ve only been a nerdfighter for just over a year (wow that made me feel even nerdier saying that) so I clearly haven’t seen all their delightful content – but I just randomly watched this video since it was referenced in this article. I love learning about my favorite authors, especially when you realize they’re just regular people who deal with regular things. ANYWAYS – I clearly remember the Saturday I got my copy of the Deathly Hallows (and how I and to stop reading so I could attend a friend’s graduation party – cause yeah I just graduated from high school that year) so this video was just awesome.

Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lawrence, it doesn’t get any better.

what i’m reading:

if i stay by gayle forman

I started it last evening. I don’t mind it so far. There’s a sequel so I’m assuming she stays.

what i just finished reading:

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Darn it – there’s gonna be a third book and I have to wait! I didn’t want to like the second book at times but gosh I’m curious again with this serie’s ending. We’ll see what happens with Jacob and the peculiar children someday soon, right? I hope. Sidenote – I really need to stop inadvertently picking up unfinished trilogies, or trilogies in general. Sigh.

up next: 

3 Willows by Ann Brashares

Ann left me with so many feelings in the ending to the other Sisterhood so we’ll see what this one brings.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile and my sister lent me hers.. I don’t even remember what it’s about, but I want to read it!


Did you guys see Spiderman 2 yet? UGH. I was still emotionally bothered by the whole thing for a few days after.

On a happier note, I saw The Other Woman this week with friends. I loved it! Funny and smart. I love Leslie Mann and her eccentric character had me in stitches. Plus the style of these ladies was great – plus I really wanna go to the beach now.


So what about you guys? What have you been up to? Share books, movies, music, fun videos! I’m all ears.:)

currently, #6

thinking: I hope you didn’t mind the real talk yesterday. A part of me didn’t want to post it, and a bigger part of me still wants to remove it. But you know, for now I’ll leave it. Being open and honest is supposed to leave you feel a little vulnerable sometimes.

reading: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I’ve been averaging a book a week! Phew. I’m on a kick, you guys. Did you know this book came out like 8 years ago? Seems forever, especially considering the movie version came out recently. Seems like a slow book-to-movie process. But that’s okay! I honestly hadn’t heard of the book before I randomly saw some movie commercials and I was slightly curious. It finally came available at the library this week so I snatched it up! I like Liesel and Papa’s relationship so far. Although I’m anxious that it might end in heartbreak. Sigh, I’m trying to read this one a little slowly. I’m curious about the narrator as well.

excited aboutThe next Sisterhood movie!!
Speaking of book-to-movie adaptations.. Did you hear? I couldn’t be more excited! Weirdly enough I was thinking last evening how much I wanted to watch the 2nd movie, cause it’s my favorite of the two, and cause I haven’t seen it in awhile.. Well my sister texted me an hour or so later with the news! If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t, I repeat, don’t look at this link. It will ruin the whole book for you. But if you have read Sisterhood Everlasting, feel free. It’s a heartbreaking and real life kind of book. I actually was rather sad at the big shocker toward the beginning, especially since it involved a certain beloved individual. Sigh. I really need to re-read the book, it was so well done.

eating: open-face egg salad sandwiches with hot sauce!
I forgot how much I love them. In fact, I’m nom’ing on one right now for lunch. Put it on toasted rye and you’ve got a winner.

loving: This jean company!
Where can I get my pair?! Ever since I started walking consistently, my calves and thighs are well, prominent. I’m pretty sure my backside has gotten more prominent as well (TMI? nahh). And I’m not complaining, but sheesh certain clothing items are tough to fit over all that business, ya know? I tried a pair of skinny jeans on that I got awhile back..last week.. and well my calves barely admitted them. Now it’s straight legs for lifee.

currently, #5

so, this post is a bit late but i’ll just blame it on the long holiday weekend. k, cool.

*reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I kept seeing this book cover everywhere so I finally picked it up at the library last week. I’m not gonna lie, I started out reading it and it sorta creeped me out, and the pictures didn’t help. It felt like I was reading a scary movie and doing so right before bed was just not helpful. BUT, then I kept going and it got to the point where sure it was still well, peculiar, but less creepy in fact and more interesting. I’m pretty close to the end but I don’t have a clue how it will end. But I would recommend it. I haven’t read such a strange and creepy book in quite a while. Plus, apparently there’s a sequel, so looks like I’ve got more reading to do!

*I actually finished it on Friday, not sure how I felt about the ending but we’ll see how the second book picks up. I will say the photographs go alone with the story perfectly. Anywho – I’m now reading or rather really close to finishing this book. I really like it. It’s different than most books I’ve been reading, not any scary intense stuff or even dystopian. It takes me back to my freshman year of college and all that newness, awkwardness, scariness..I’m thinking I was a Cath. I was definitely NOT a Wren.

listening: Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson
I barely listen to the radio anymore. I don’t drive as much as I used to and when I do it’s typically either Classic Rock or whatever CD’s in my Mom’s car.. BUT when I venture to the city I tend to play the radio a bit more. I kept hearing this song and  could never remember what the words were, then I realized, Googled them, and discovered it was Ingrid! I love her name, by the way. And then my sister just so happened to make me a mixed CD that I’m kind of obsessed with and will probably share all the best tunes with you soon.. anyways it had this song on it! She and I are sometimes very much on that same wavelength.

enjoying: My first hummingbird cake!
I used this cake recipe and this frosting recipe. I made it only a double layer however instead of a triple layer. Mainly because I only have two cake pans and that’s a whole lot of cake. Not that a whole lot of cake is EVER a bad thing. Amiright? I definitely added a lot more powdered sugar to the frosting but that’s typical. Also, I toasted some coconut, arranged it on top (after it cooled) and placed a few Cadbury mini eggs on top for presentation of course! I’ll try to share a photo this week.:)

watching: Despicable Me 2
I loved the first movie and I absolutely loved this one!! I was laughing ridiculously. My sister said it was a good thing we never saw it in the theatre because of my obnoxious bursts of laughter. But, man it was so good. The minions just shined even brighter. And Agnes, that kid is adorable.

If We Were Having Tea

A new favorite blog of mine published a post like this just the other day..

Honestly I feel like we could be friends so that’s cool.

But besides that probably being weird, she inspired me to write a similar sort of post! I don’t drink coffee, if I do, it’s like once every 5 years. I did not get the coffee gene. However, if we were meeting up for a cup of (strong) tea I might talk to you about some things like this..

If we were having tea..
I’d tell you that I ran into this gentleman I happen to run into quite a lot at the grocery store while accompanying my mother on grocery runs. He makes a comment every time as a joke that I’m home ‘mooching’ again. As a fact, I do live at home with my mom. I lived on my own during grad school but since the job market absolutely sucked and my bank account was dwindling, I chose to move home nearly a year ago. Not even a week later, I got a part-time sort of internship that turned into more of a job. It’s relatively low-paying and I don’t make enough to survive on my own to be honest. I pay all my loans each month (which makes a girl want to cry) and cover the majority of my bills. Plus, I cook, bake, and clean up my fair share. I’m rambling.. which I’d be doing if we were having tea. But my point, this man who doesn’t really know me chooses to describe my situation as something it’s not, and typically I just smile and ignore his comment, but last night it irked me. A lot of people my age are moving back home these days. And I’m fairly certain his daughter does. Saying I mooch implies I sit at home on my butt doing nothing, which is not the case. Okay, off my soapbox.😉

If we were having tea…

I would tell you that my sister and I have been getting along really well lately. For the last (nearly) year, I have been staying with her every other week in the Pittsburgh area while I work in the office for a few days. There was a while there where I dreaded it and I felt like we (more often than not) were getting in a little sort of bickering over stupid things. But earlier this Lent (which I plan on telling you about soon) I chose as one of my ‘Lenten intentions’ was to let a lot of those things go. To ignore or let things pass and choose my battles. And to be honest, I think it’s been working. The last two times I’ve visited my sister we’ve actually had a really good time and I felt like we could talk and communicate without having stupid animosity. It’s refreshing and nice. I hope it continues.

If we were having tea…
I would tell you that I feel very disconnected from my best friend as of lately. Since we’re getting personal and all. I feel us growing distant in a sense and it’s tough. She’s developed these new beliefs as far as religion is concerned and in ways I am happy for her. But I also find it hard to accept when she was so against how she was brought up religiously. I never criticized her for this and accepted that, but her newfound religion is often manifested in pushy behavior. Her inability to recognize my different beliefs and simply accept and not push her own is becoming an obstacle in our friendship. I know that there is more to it, and I could go on, but it’s something that’s been slowing bothering me over the last several months and it’s a tough thing to recognize and move through.

If we were having tea..

I would tell you that I still feel so torn about what the heck I’m supposed to be doing. I feel very conflicted at times in regards to my employment and my living situation, and how that might have to change soon, that it might not be what I want it to be. I recognize there will always be change in my life and right now especially but it’s hard to deal with that constant anticipation of complete unknown.

If we were having tea…
I would tell you that I really feel like I am really enjoying my amateur bird-ladyness. I’m seriously considering purchasing a bird guide so I can more easily identify what I see on my daily walks. And so I consult Google a little less.

If we were having tea…

I would tell you that I’m totally on a book kick. And when I visited Target’s book section, all my recent readings are contained in the Young Adult section. And that I am not ashamed. Also, I’d probably go off on the fact that 10-15 years ago, if I read a book and there was a sequel, I might not have any idea. But now I can follow my favorite authors on email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. That’s nuts and also awesome. When I see some of my favorite childhood authors hanging out it’s just darn cool.

currently, #4

reading: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I started it Tuesday night I believe.. and I’m well over halfway at this point. It’s just lovely and delightful.

app I’m using: MapMyFitness
I walk 4-6 miles a day and I like something that tracks my mileage/time splits to see if I’ve progressed and as a way to challenge myself! I used to have MapMyHike but it started going all wonky so I deleted it. And with the dawn of better weather and my desire to start tracking and challenging myself more I did a little research on a good mileage tracking app for FREE. Cause, I’m really not going to pay for that.. I found this in my research. So this past weekend I booted it up, did a quick sign-up and used it – and I must say I love it so far. Granted I’ve only used it the last few days but it’s been pretty darn accurate as far as mileage and I love the split, time announcements (it’s basically similar to the MapMyHike but I have a feeling they upgraded a bit since I used that one. I definitely enjoy the activity feed aspect too – it allows me to see my notes/comments on previous jaunts!

keeping my eye on: Garmin Vivofit
I’m not gonna lie, when my brother got a Fitbit awhile back all I could do was roll my eyes. Especially since he went for the more expensive one (apparently not so much). So I was seeking a mileage tracking app recently (as mentioned above) and for some reason I just started googling the Fitbit, it sounded kind of neat but the reviews were iffy and I take my reviews seriously. So I did a bit of research on other activity trackers – and found the Vivofit. And oh man, I would love to have this thing. Gone are my rolling-eyes at my brother buying one and instead they are replaced with the need for this snazzy doodad. The idea of getting all those numbers and always challenging myself each day?! Amazing. Someday, someday.

eating: Ham and swiss on wheat wraps with horseradish sauce (and maybe some greens)
I used to lurrve chip chop ham on white bread with miracle whip back in the day. I also loved bologna and butter sandwiches without the crust, and smushed salami sandwiches sans crust. I had weird sandwich loves as a kid. I will just say my Grandma fed my Dad these sorts of things so I think that’s how I ended up loving them. I also ate spicy mustard on bread. Odd. haha But lately I’ve been super into a grown-up version of my beloved ham sandwich – yum!

loving: This cake
I made this cake on Monday evening by myself while listening to The Lumineers. Honestly it was the loveliest thing. My Mom was out and about, and I just had a few hours where I took my time and made this lovely cake while listening to that album like three times I swear. It was so very worth it. It doesn’t hurt that we have leftover ganache either. It’s delicious on a spoon.

appreciating: my Mom!
Last but certainly not least. Of course I always appreciate and love her for all that she is.. but this week I have been reminded of her genuine sweetness and love. I got my taxes done this week (insert super sad emoji here) and well I owe a bit of $$, which was a lot more than I really expected SO I was a bit down. We went to the store afterwards and after thinking of nothing but cantaloupe like all weekend, I enter the store and there is not a single one. I was bummed and said it was no big deal. Flash forward a few hours, my Mom had went out of town for a church thing – came home bearing a cantaloupe from the grocery store just for me. It’s the little things, kids.

the quiet

I love the quiet. The quiet after everyone’s gone to sleep, the neighborhood is calm besides a few random cars going up the hill. The birds have gone to sleep. And there’s just you, and a book. Your phone’s away, the tv’s off, your computer’s shut down for the evening. It’s just you and that book. And you head. It’s so quiet you feel like you’re alone in that little world and it’s the loveliest thing.

I’ve been getting up earlier in the mornings, even going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and enjoy that little bit more of quiet before the day begins. Everyone’s about in their homes making way for the day, but I can just savor that quiet for a little while longer. The birds are chirping and chattering, and my goodness that’s such a welcome sound after a long hard winter. The tv’s not yet on, the computer is not either, and your phone is not yet beckoning you to check those silly notifications. You can brew your tea, put those dishes away, and wash up last night’s cake plates. Set down with your book, a hot cuppa, some cinnamon toast, and just be.


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