Monday, December 16, 2013

keep the hope

today is the day.

surgery day.

when i scheduled the surgery about a month ago, i knew i would be a little nervous on the actual day. can you blame me? two inch incision to remove any other remaining cancer on my shoulder and a biopsy through my armpit to remove a lymph node or two to determine if the cancer went anywhere else. it's precautionary...i think. and i've been told. it's just hard to grasp, you know?

and while i'm nervous for the surgery...i'm terrified for what comes after it. the results.
in church on sunday we had a priest visiting and give mass. he talked about how Christmas is hope. and how during the holidays, God does some pretty magical things. and i'm not saying i believe he was talking about making cancer results negative. i know he was talking about the meaning of Christmas.
but ironically, he talked about the 21 of this month. the 21 is the expected time when i will receive my results. he talked about how that day, in scriptures, is a magical day. a hopeful day. a day to rejoice.

i believe in god winks. and i am hoping, and praying, that is what that was: that on the 21, i will get a phone call and the word "negative" will be spoken.

don't worry...i'm staying positive.
and keeping the hope.

p.s. i might be away for a few days. i'll try to sneak in a few updates on twitter (@_lovealexandria) and i'll probably be on pinterest (ohjeezlouise) and instagram (lovealexandria__) throughout the week if anything.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


1. don’t go grocery shopping when all you want at that moment is a smoothie. mango’s, plums, kiwi, grapefruit, bananas, oranges, strawberries, a bundle of apples… it all sounds amazing.

2. i have a list on my iphone of things that need to be done. i made that list a few days ago and haven't checked anything off it it....

3. after all of these health scares {which, are still scares} i want to be more healthy. i have a gym pass and i need to use it more.

4. if i could, i would fast forward to next weekend {the one before Christmas}. that way, i would be over this cold, my surgery would be over and i might have results.

5. i want to go outside and play in the snow. anyone want to join me?

devotchka, i love you

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


MUA lipsticks collection review swatches of all MUA lipsticks I

lately i've been getting a lot of emails and messages asking about my lipstick color. {which i LOVE}

i am in no way a pro at deciphering what color to wear for what skin tone or any of that.

but bright colors are so fun to wear and i think anyone can pull them off.

{you, really, you just need to go for it!}

my favorite shades currently happen to all be from NARS Cosmetics

red lizard, heat wave and carthage
if you’re feeling really bold, go with Revlon's kiss me coral for a pinkish color.

i also love MACs their dangerous or ruby woo shade.

just remember to have fun with lipstick! i always feel like myself with a bright color. what do you like to wear?

Monday, December 9, 2013


the first saturday in december is always my favorite. not because it's december {well, that, too} but because as a family we go out to get our christmas tree! i am not sure when the tradition started, but as long as i can remember we all piled into the truck, blasted christmas music and felt like little kids as we made our way to the tree farm. now, i set up my own christmas tree about a week ago, because, well, i just couldn't wait. and can you blame me?

so after i woke up from my cold induced sleep {come on, body, it's almost gone!} and my brother got home from work, we all set out in the freezing cold to Galehouse Tree Farms in Doylestown, OH. this year it was my brother's turn to pick out the tree, and while i am more for the biggest, fattest and most full tree, my brother loves the traditional triangle shape. and i think he picked the perfect one this year. it has already proven to bring memories into the Rhodes household because yesterday, it rained in our living room. it was so muddy outside that the tree was a little dirty. to clean it off, my dad had to spray it down. well, we may have brought it in a little too early out of excitement because it sounded like an actual rainfall as the droplets fell and soaked our carpet. all is well now, but that sure was interesting!

pictures, if you are wondering, were taken with my iphone and edited with the VSCOcam app.

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^^^ except for the muddy ground, it was the perfect day for picking out our christmas tree.

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^^^ one of the best parts of this farm is it has live reindeer. can't help but think of the film, Prancer, when seeing them.

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^^^ chopping down our own tree is always so exciting. although, someday, it would be cool to live in the city and go to a tree farm on the side of the street. looks so festive.

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^^^ brave brother carrying to ginormous tree to the car. he may have almost fallen over but recovered pretty quickly.

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^^^ the inside of the barn is beautiful! you can buy hot chocolate, hot cider and popcorn, sit by the fire and warm up by the fire from the cold. there are also some amazing christmas decorations, ornaments and treats in there as well.

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^^^ zip was extra loveable on the way to the farm and home. i think he was happy to get to go pick out our tree!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

a little winter wonderland, baby


it was pretty snowy on friday.
the weather man said we were going to get 6 inches by that morning
when, really, it all came at once that night.
and it was beautiful.

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


i needed a pick me up, health wise, this past week. so i have been trying to be good and cram lots of healthy choices into my diet to kick this cold in the butt!

one of my favorite things are smoothies and these fresh ingredients made it perfect!

sorry about the pictures...wordpress seems to be having some issues. and the pictures were edited using the VSCOcam app

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^^^ the Oster personal blender is my favorite thing. i have told so many people about it and they all love it and instantly get addicted to smoothies because of it. eating healthier is so much easier when appliances are this awesome.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

trust me on this one...

hot chocolate becomes a favorite of mine all over again in the winter time and, friends, that time is HERE! so on the night i put up my Christmas tree, i was craving hot chocolate in my favorite Christmas mug.

as i was getting the things out i needed, i came up with an idea. why not add a splash of International Delight's peppermint mocha creamer to the mix?

creamer only for coffee? what?

it was phenomenal.

actually, more than that.

so worth the calories.

so trust me and try it for yourself. and if you hate it, i'm sorry. but i know you won't!

hot chooclate

25 beautiful christmas challenges


^^^ a picture from 2010 at the house from A Christmas Story in Cleveland, OH

i was searching the web for some easy yet challenging christmas ideas for this year. a couple of pages in the search results, i came across this blog post and was inspired so very much.

you don't have to feel obligated to do any of these challenges, but if you do, please share.

here is what she blogged about allllll the way back in 2009:

last christmas, i blogged about how my mom had sent each of her daughters a christmas package on december 1st, which included 25 of her favorite christmas stories along with 25 christmas challenges she had compiled. the idea was to read one story each day and also complete one of the simple christmas challenges until christmas day.  i really loved this idea and since last december was particularly difficult for me, this little project helped me get into the true spirit of christmas. and hopefully this year i won’t be such a slacker and i’ll actually complete this list….

i wanted to share the list again this year incase you’d like to join in with me in completing one challenge each day. whether you celebrate christmas or not, i think a lot of these little challenges are the perfect way to go about your day in the right way…

25 christmas challenges…

  • go out of your way– befriend someone today that needs a friend and follow through to christmas

  • tell someone you love them

  • make a tree decoration that will remind you of Christ

  • in your prayers today, give thanks for every blessing without asking for anything

  • try to be as kind as possible to others today

  • try not to quarrel with family members today

  • do a good deed anonymously

  • make goals for yourself– seal a copy in an envelope to be opened in a year

  • visit someone sick or lonely or sad

  • do volunteer work for some worthy cause

  • do something fun for a child or younger sibling

  • try to forgive someone who has wronged you, be reconciled

  • make a “give list” instead of a list of gifts you’d like

  • improve yourself in some way to please the savior

  • quietly reflect and choose uplifting activities vs shopping

  • phone or send a card to an old friend or family member

  • listen to handel's messiah

  • make a christmas treat for someone else

  • be a calming influence today and control your temper

  • accept the gift of forgiveness– pray for some weakness and ask for help in repenting of it

  • look at christmas lights… where does all light come from?

  • sing carols

  • do something nice for someone without their knowing it was you

  • be the first to say hello to people all day

  • ask someone to tell you about a past Christmas

thank you so much, Naomi of Rockstar Diaries, these were beautiful and i cannot wait to do all of them.