October 8, 2014

Walk This Way

In 2008, my aunt was diagnosed with Ph+ Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. I remember the phone call as if it happened yesterday. I just sat in shock while my mom explained everything over the phone. As soon as I hung up, tears rolled down my cheeks. "Aunt Theresa has Leukemia. Blood Cancer. I could lose her. Her family could lose her."

Flash forward 6 years. We were lucky. We didn't lose her. Aunt Theresa is still here - living, working, fighting, surviving. She's a survivor. She's here because she has hope. She's here because of generous donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that have enabled researchers to develop new medications to treat her. She's here because people show support and walk to find a cure for blood cancers.

There are still plenty of people who need support and we need your help. Don't "get around to it someday." Someday is today. Walk with us. Donate. Spread awareness about Leukemia and all blood cancers. Share this post. Whatever you do, do something. Talk is cheap - try a little action.

Please consider helping me reach my goal to stomp out blood cancer!

10 Years From Now

Dear Monica,
Holy crap, you've accomplished so much since the last time we talked! Congrats on your doctorate and finally getting married to that stud Kristo. I love that you guys stuck together through all those crazy years of high school, college, and grad school. I hope he's not still trying to put cinnamon on your scrambled eggs. 

I heard you and Court are going to open your own practice. See? I told you all the misery of waiting for the future was worth it!

Remember when you were younger and wanted to have 6 kids and mom told you that you would change your mind? At least she didn't say "I told you so" when you decided to stop at 3. They're adorable little nuggets and so well-behaved! I'm so incredibly happy that you're achieving you dreams and doing what you love every day. 

It's pretty cool that you're still blogging! It'll be great to look back and read about everything that got you to where you are today.

It's been fantastic catching up, but I gotta run! Give Kristo a kiss for me, I'll see you in 10 years.


The Daily Tay

10 Things I'd Tell My Newbie Blogging Self

I can't really remember much of what I thought to myself when I started blogging so for Monday's post, I wrote about what I'd tell my newbie blogging self.

1. Find a new designer and volunteer to be their guinea pig so you don't pull your hair out trying to perfect your own mediocre design.
2. Don't you dare use Google+ as your profile. G+ is the devil's work.
3. put yourself out there. comment on others' posts and you'll make connections a lot faster.
4. Use the Twitter. Tweet your posts and use it to bond with other bloggers. Use the Twitter.
5. Click around on linkups. Make some friends.
6. Don't be afraid to reach out to the "big bloggers." They're usually pretty down-to-earth people. Hey, Taylor and Helene (masterminds behind #Blogtober14)!
7. It's okay to take a break when you're feeling burnt out. Refresh and ease yourself back into it with a cool linkup.
8. Make an attempt to have a uniform width for pictures.
9. Tell your mom about your blog. She'll love it.
10. Have fun -  people will love what you've written and you'll make some awesome friends!
Helene in Between Blogtober

October 5, 2014

Fall Anti-Bucket List

I'd love to sit here and make a bucket list of all the things I want to do this fall. I won't do that because it's basically setting myself up for disappointment like when I only accomplished 2 items from my Summer bucket list. I will, however, give you a list of all the things I won't do this Fall.
Walk through a haunted house - Nope, not happening. I won't be paying money to give myself anxiety and scaredy-ness.

Carving pumpkins - While I'd like to, ain't nobody got time for that. Also, messy, squishy insides. Blech.

Giving out candy - No, I do not want to listen to kids screaming because they got colored pencils instead of a Snickers. I will hide in my room watching Harry Potter because I'm sure it'll be on abcfamily that night.

Picking apples or pumpkins - Hay fever. Nope.

Baking - I'll let mom do all that. Maybe I'll help :)

What will you (not) be doing this Fall?

The Daily Tay

October 4, 2014


Saturday isn't over yet. I still have time to post so I can continue with the Blog[everyday in Oc]tober14 thing. (See what I did there?) What was I talking about? Oh yeah Insta Blogtober - your favorite photo posted on Instagram.

One of the best things about Instagram (aside from the fact that you can use pictures to make your life seem a lot more interesting than it is) is that you can make almost any photo look great by adding a filter, or five, to it. You can kick our blemishes, make the room seem brighter, or make yourself look like you're in a film noir. I had a really really difficult time picking one out of my 811 Instagram photos so I picked two.

The reason these are my favorites is that I didn't even need to add a filter - there was no light adjustment, no saturation boosting, no contrast toggled. They're just pure and beautiful shots. One is sunrise and the other, sunset. The serene early morning and the smooth transition to night - the bookends of the day.

I think this will go down in (blog) history as one of my favorite posts.

The Daily Tay

October 3, 2014

I've Got the Music in Me

Today's #Blogtober14 post is about the one thing I can't live without. This one was easy as I have one thing integral to my life and happiness - I'd go crazy without music. I'm the kind of person who constantly needs to hear it in the background. I always have Pandora or Spotify running on my phone and it's that not available, I make my own music. Most of the time I don't realize I'm singing or humming until someone points it out. It used to drive my siblings crazy when we'd sit down to do our homework together at the dining room table. 

My parents say I started singing when I was 3 and I haven't stopped since. I was in multiple choirs for 15 years and I've been a church cantor for the last 9. Music has always been a huge part of my life. It's helped me make friends, build my sense of confidence, and process emotions. 
cantoring for my cousin's wedding

One of my favorite quotes is "music is what feelings sound like." I'm convinced that there are songs for every situation. Music enhances every aspect of life. We walk down the aisle to music at weddings and graduations, dance to music at parties and work out with our favorite playlist. What would horror movies be without scary music or rodeos without someone singing about a truck? Hell, even elevators have music. 

People who know me, know I need my music. Music is my life. Music is me.

Make sure you link up with Helene and Taylor!

Helene in Between Blogtober

October 2, 2014

I Dream of Jobs

Good morning, world! I'm an hour ahead of schedule today so my options are A. blog or B. do math. Blogging won by a longshot. Day 2 of #blogtober14 is all about my dream job.

When I was little, I stereotypically wanted to do a hundred different jobs. I mean, if Barbie could be a pilot, teacher, and model, why not me? I bounced between teacher, waitress (lol), and pastry chef . While in high school, I flipped back an forth between museum curator and Spanish translator, and then to speech pathologist.  

Nowadays, my dream job is to open my own audiology practice after I get my doctorate and work in the field for a while. Someday, I'll be my own boss and work to protect and promote hearing health of my patients. I don't know when it will happen, but I'm extremely excited for the future!

My fantasy dream job posting would go something like this

-highly motivated individual who is not always highly motivated
-ideal employee must enjoy binge-watching series on Netflix
-must be open to trying new foods and desserts

duties include:
-testing new tea and coffee flavors
-reviewing YA novels
-watching Harry Potter and LOTR
-surfing the internet

-salary is $200,000/year
-hours are flexible
-paid civic and religious holidays
-work from home
-appropriate attire: sweatpants and hoodies


The Daily Tay

October 1, 2014

Scratch Offs and Powerballs

Oh hey, a blog post! (with a possibly questionable title) Two very cool ladies are hosting a month long linkup called...#Blogtober14. What did you say? A month where I don't have to come up with a topic of my own?! Mmmm tempting. Maybe I'll participate! Yep, definitely! 

Today's post is about winning the lottery. Hell yeah, I'd do that! I'd probably have to actually play it to win, though. I'm not good at handing over money for nothing in return, but I am good at scratch offs that other people buy!
Winner, winner, $3 chicken dinner
I usually don't daydream about scenarios like this because "what are the chances," but...

If I won the Lottery, I'd:

.pay off my student loans as well as my siblings' best friends' and Kristo's

.pay off my parents' mortgage

.buy myself a brand new car...or two

.buy a house

.make a huge donation to my church

.have the big Irish wedding I want (bagpiper and harpist included)

.open college funds for my not-yet-existent kids

.invest...I guess. Yeah, Kristo would definitely make me invest it.

EDIT: Nicole pointed out that my list was sensible and that's boring so I'm gonna add a few more things to my wish list!

.buy a pub
.hire a massage therapist
.buy a party bus for my extended family

What would you do/buy/own if you won?

The Daily Tay

September 17, 2014

Remember Me?

Once upon a time, I got lazy and decided that my blog didn't need me for a while. Here I am, not promising that I'm back, but popping in to say hi. So HI.

Since the last time I was here, I got serious and decided that I was going to apply to grad school for the Fall of 2015. This isn't a decision that was taken lightly. I've sighed over and over as I went back and forth weighing my options. Wait until Kris is done his masters, get married, then go to school for 4 years or go to school while Kris is getting his masters, and get married when we're both done in 4 years or stay at home every day for 4 years and eat mashed potatoes, while not being productive to society and start to hate myself. Anyone see a pattern in the amount of time all of this will take?

Anyway, here I am with a handful of schools picked out and only one I that I really have my heart set on. I just finished the first 3 of many application essays where I adeptly make myself sound smarter, more worldly, and less lazy than I actually am. And I. do. not. want. to. write the. rest. of. them.

OH and I've started an online math class because why not torture myself even more? 

I keep telling myself it's all for The Doctorate. It's all for The Doctorate. 

Back to editing essays.

Here are some upbeat pictures to keep you from noticing the terrible (and complain-y) quality of this post. Ciao!

August 11, 2014

Road Trip

Car ride - hour 1 (6:30 AM)

I woke up at 4:50 after going to bed at 2:30 so ignore the bags under my eyes.

I'M GOING TO PITTSBURGH TO MEET KAYLEE TODAY. It's a 6 hour drive and we're stopping at the 9/11 Memorial on the way. I am SO excited to meet my best blog friend and her fiance (they're getting married in like less than 2 weeks!).

I'd be live-tweeting this car ride, but I have T-Mobile so if I'm anywhere there are cows and trees, there's no internet. Moo. This ish might not even upload so it might have to wait until I get there to post.

In lieu of unsent tweets, I'll let you know that my brother stopped us as we were pulling out of the driveway to go inside for shoes. What. Yes. He went there. And by there I mean almost on vacation without shoes.

Ooh rest stop has WiFi!

Okay im done rambling now ;)

July 28, 2014

Christmas in July

Time for a photo dump because my eyes aren't working correctly (probably because I only got 4 hours of sleep last night). On Saturday, we had our family Christmas party. It was totally worth the 4+ planning sessions and all of the preparations. Everyone had a great time and it. was. awesome.

July 27, 2014

Don't Try So Hard

Notice anything different around here? (other than the fact that I'm posting on a Monday...or any day in general) YES, I got a new design, courtesy of Ashley over at Boldly Inspired Design hooked me up with this pretty new outfit for my blog. She is an absolute pleasure to work with and gave me everything I asked for. It was done in less than a week and I'm in love with it! I mean look at the adorable teabag chilling with that cup. LOVE.

Speaking of things I love, it's my birthday today! I love my birthday, even though nobody likes you when you're 23. I fully embrace getting older, although it seems that the older I get, the faster time flies. Scary. I'll be going to my favorite restaurant tonight to get some enchiladas and a margarita. And tomorrow I'll be back to tell you all about my amazing weekend and our Christmas in July party.

The rest of today's post is an awesome linkup that Kate and her friends are hosting about loving yourself and not trying so hard to hide your natural beauty. So here's a pic of me sans makeup and before I flattened my hair with 450 degrees of heat. There's no filter, other than the soft edges my front facing camera gives me and I'm not wearing any makeup. I've got crazy flippy flyaways and my zits aren't hidden by foundation. (Even though they're kind of hard to see with all the fuzziness)
Although I don't prefer going out like this, I figured I'd suck it up and post this for the entire interwebz to see. What I love about myself in this pic (and in general) is my dark blue eyes and my eyebrows that frame them so nicely. Even when I'm not wearing makeup, my eyebrows look good and that gives me confidence. Link up and tell us what you love about your naked face.

July 25, 2014

Friday Thoughts

I'm here on my phone with approximately 14 minutes left of my lunch hour. Here are some random thoughts to entertain you (hopefully).

- There was like no line at Dunkin this morning and they got my order right. 4 for you Dunkin Coco!

- Tomorrow is my family Christmas party. Yes, you read that correctly. A real life Christmas in July. My aunt's house is completely decked out. Summer is the only time all 75 of us can get together so tomorrow it is! I'm so excited because it's gonna be a blast, but I can't wait until the planning ends. If you feel so inclined, follow along with our shenanigans on my Instagram or check out #McGuckinXmas. Hopefully no one calls the cops for noise pollution while we carol...loudly...outside.

I'm gonna find a nice Christmas mani to dress my nails today and figure out what all needs to be done for tomorrow.

- I actually have to start my grad applications next week and it's completely terrifying me and making me anxious.

I will combat this anxiety by going to the beach with my friends on Sunday to celebrate my birthday a day early. Yay! This is makes me a little sad because it's almost August and I haven't set foot in the ocean yet this year. Woof, where has the Summer gone?

- Courtney gave me my birthday present 3 days early. I think the suspense was killing her. She really knows me for only knowing me for 7 months. I got a pretty journal and a pack of colored Papermate inkjoy pens (have you seen how smoothly the write?!), some adorable post-it notes and tiny gel pens, a purple double-walled mason jar cup, and MY FIRST ALEX AND ANI BRACELET! Eeep! It's a phoenix so obviously I'm naming it Fawkes.

June 26, 2014

Send GREinforcements !

Kaylee and I were talking a while back about our respective futures and what we want to do with our lives in the near-far future. I guess both of our plans included torturing ourselves grad school because now we're sitting here trying to figure out how to study for the GRE. Now I've already taken it once so I know what to expect, but my scores were, although average, not where I wanted them to be. We'll both be taking the test in August so now is as good a time as any to start studying.

I happened to have an underused pack of GRE vocabulary cards sitting around so we came up with a brilliant idea to write a blog post with 5 new words included. This pith of this entire exercise is that we will be forced to learn this stupid vocab and write posts at the same time. We're killing two birds with one stone here, people!

OK here we go. Warning: This will not be a poignant post.

I'd like to say I love everyone, that no one bothers me, and the world is a happy-go-lucky place. The existence of the Kardashian family, however, does not allow this to happen. I become irascible whenever I see a tweet on my TL about Kimye, Kris, or one of the younger K-named brats.

I don't understand how a family, who, having done nothing to earn their fame, is all over television. You did not defend OJ - your husband/father/would-have-been father-in-law did. He deserved all the fame he could get, but you, you just sit there and act like a bunch of lunatics in front of cameras.

And Kanye just joined this whole sinking ship because he's in love with himself and has the innate longing to reproduce and continue making more tiny Kanyes. (YOUR CHILD IS A CHILD. NOT A DIRECTION ON A COMPASS)

The sad part about all of this is when Lord Disick is seen as the most salutary of the bunch, which is really scary.

PITH - the essential part

POIGNANT - profoundly moving; intense

IRASCIBLE - easily angered; irritable

INNATE - possessed at birth; naturally characteristic of

SALUTARY - promoting health; healthful; wholesome

If you'd like to join us:
1. check at the bottom for next Thursday's word lists
2. write a post including all five words in bold.
3. define them at the bottom of your post, story, list...
4. grab a button and link up! (apologies foe the lack of actual linky tools)

Next week's words
mitigate, laconic, tangential, incongruous, gossamer
craven, mollify, odious, assay, harrow

June 23, 2014

S.S. Catherine

Once upon a time, there were some young adults who lived in a magical land called Medford, New Jersey. In the land of Medford there was a lake called Pine. The youngsters found great joy in floating their small raft in the middle of the lake and paddling back to shore with their oars.

One day, their two cousins from across the river were walking through the marketplace and spotted an unusually large barge called Oasis Island.
They wrote to one of the youngsters to come visit so they could purchase the barge together. The youngster traveled a great distance and the three purchased it and brought it back to Medford. Little did they know, it would take the strength of 6 people to carry it to its final destination.

Weeks went by until they gathered enough people to bring Oasis Island, which was renamed the S.S. Catherine to the lake for its maiden voyage. The sailors of the S.S. Catherine gathered one day for a remembrance party in honor of the namesake of the barge - a beloved grandmother, Catherine. It was decided that they'd set sail that day. So the cousins, along with their significant others started on a strenuous journey on foot.
The trip was long and treacherous, but in the end, the S.S. Catherine was gracefully eased into the water at Lake Pine.
And they all floated for the rest of the day and lived happily ever after.
And then they watched the US tie, which was not happily ever after.

Monny signature

May 22, 2014

I Didn't Die

Hey all, happy Thursday!

I think it's time to maybe make some design changes to this little blog of mine so I can get back to loving this piece of internet that I reside in. Soon.

Since I'm already here, I might as well tell you what I've been up to the past two weekends. When I wrote my last post, I was super excited to go to a concert the next day. I did not make it to the concert due to a miscalculation of the amount of alcohol I can handle on an almost empty stomach. I drank too much (1.5 cups) and proceeded to vom in the parking lot for hours. Awesome, I know. Won't be doing that again.

I did learn my lesson though: one piece of pizza and some pretzels and hummus doesn't stand a chance against a beer-vodka-lemonade cocktail. Not. A. Chance.

That lesson came in handy for the Dierks Bentley concert we went to on Sunday night because I didn't die this time! I really took it easy because A. the thought of alcohol still made me shudder and B. because Kristo brought bilgewater Bud Light Lime to drink. EW.

Highlight reel:
+ pasta salad
+ a $10 Walmart grill that got the job done (once the boys figured out how to get it to stay lit)
+ borrowing angry orchard from our fellow tailgaters
+ and, of course, Dierks Bentley's arm muscles. and face. and voice.

Lowlight reel:
- rubber "hamburgers"
- being cold (WHY is it still 40 degrees in May?!)
- getting home at 1 am on a work night

So my first country concert was a success. Can't wait until we see Tim McGraw next month!

May 9, 2014

Means More Rock

Happy Friday, all!

Are you surprised I didn't post this week? Yeah, me either.

Words can't express how happy I am that today is Friday. I 've been waiting for this weekend forever. I haven't had to take medicine for my wisdom tooth pain all week and I can finally drink again. Not that I ever drink that much, but you always want what you can't have. After work today, I'm getting my nails done with my sister and Courtney and then we're gonna chill all night. And maybe play some cards against humanity?!

Tomorrow is the unofficial start of the Philly Summer concert season and we have tickets to MMRBQ (rock music festival hosted by our local station). WMMR Means. More. Rock. Anyway, the lineup for the concert is Fuel, Dropkick Murphys, Redlight King, Volbeat, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, the Jim Bruer Band, and Rob Zombie as the headliner. I'm very excited to break out the dark eyeliner tomorrow as I only do for bar nights and rock concerts.

Court and I ordered concert plugs from Amazon because that's what good little future audiologists do to protect they're hearing. They only block the harmful noises, while keeping speech and music clear. AND it means we won't have ringing ears for the next three days, while our boyfriends continue to go deaf and say "WHAT" every two seconds. Our bosses will be proud.

Have a good weekend everyone and remember to tell your mom that you love her!

XO - Monny

April 28, 2014

The Worst Things in Life

Any other week, I'd be more than happy to split my time between the couch and my bed watching movies and eating pudding all day long. This week is not that week, although I did do all of those things. It's a whole different experience when you've got 4 gaping holes in your mouth and feel like you've been kicked in the face by a donkey wearing ice skates. This is one of the things I'd file under "things I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy" otherwise known as THE WORST THINGS IN LIFE.

Obviously, there are much more horrible things that could happen, like losing a loved one, cancer, car accidents, and missing jets plummeting into the Indian Ocean (still don't understand that). The following list is made up of the kinds of things that make you want to go back to sleep for the day.

The Worst Things (in life):
// when your pen runs out of ink halfway through a sentence.
// stepping into a puddle in socks
// stubbed toes
// hitting every red light when you're running late
// chipped nail polish
// when you order medium rare and your steak comes out well done
// getting your wisdom teeth out
// Walmart shopping carts (or Walmart in general)

If this post is a little to much of a downer for you, you can check out my list from last month when I wrote about the best things in life
What kind of things make you say "that is the worst"

Movies I Haven't Seen

Sitting in my bed, doing nothing but watching movies for the last 5 days reminded me that there are a lot of movies I haven't seen. Once upon a time I even wrote a post about it. My first list included Rocky, American Pie, Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, and Anchorman. Since writing that, I watched Pretty Woman and American Pie YAY ME.

So now we're back with another edition of Movies I Haven't Seen.

SIX: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
I don't know anything about this movie, except that everyone and their mother has seen it. Also, I borrowed it from Courtney and have yet to watch it. I might need more convincing.

SEVEN: Bourne Movies
I know I'd love these movies, but I'm too cheap to buy them. Someday someone will lend me their box set and I will join the club for fans of Matt Damon's face.
EIGHT: Chicago
I know all the words to Cell Block Tango. But I haven't seen this one yet. Hmm. I had it coming, I had it coming. I only had myself to blame.

NINE: Breakfast at Tiffany's 
Audrey Hepburn in all her glory. It's on my list, okay? Don't judge me.
TEN: Good Will Hunting
This dvd is downstairs in my living room. I'll probably check that off first since everyone keeps saying "aw you'll love it, Mon." And Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote it so I'm all for it.

Back to the wisdom teeth movie marathon!

Is there anything else I should add to my ever-growing list?

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