Spoil Me With Love

I want you to spoil me but not with gifts and flowers. Spoil me with your love. I want to be showered with kisses and hugs- not purses and gadgets. Reach for me hand in a dark theater because you want to remind me in that exact moment that you love me. Stop me in the middle of the sidewalk and plant a quick kiss on my cheek. Make me stop for a moment- remind me to feel our love.

If we’re fighting, which we will because you are patient and I am not, I want you to stop yelling and pull me close. Remind me it’s not worth it to bicker, life is too short. If it’s late at night and you wake don’t ever stop rolling over to hold me. If I’m crying keep making me laugh until I forget what it feels like to be sad. If it’s early in the morning and my eyes are barely open, guide my tired head to your chest and let us fall back asleep.

See, I don’t need much—a hand to hold, a heart to treasure, a mind to learn, a body to pull close, and memories to share. I don’t need much to feel spoiled – especially by you.

Spoil me with your love not your money. I don’t need excessive trips to exotic places and expensive jewelry to adorn my body. I don’t need a new car or the newest gadgets. We don’t need 5-Star restaurants; I prefer eating pizza with you every Friday night in our pjs. I don’t want material things and gifts to feel loved.

Don’t send flowers when we fight, or buy me an iPad because I’m mad at you. They will never make me as happy as when you suggest to go on a bike ride or have my favorite dinner waiting for me at home that you cooked yourself. Or coming home after a weekend getaway to a clean house and my favorite candle lit.

Keep doing the things that make me laugh, write me little love notes, surprise me with my favorite jelly beans. Listen to the things I say. There will be days when my smile is tired and my patience is weary – know how to handle me during my not so adorable moments. I want the things money can’t buy—your attention, your patience, your affection, your happiness.

I want memories and moments not physical items. Laughter that feels like it’ll last forever, happiness in every picture that floods me with memories of all the conversations and events that make us who we are. I want to remember us [not because of all the presents I received or things I could wear or show off] because the memories float around us, and have developed us in the couple we have become.

So remember, spoil me with your love. Treat me with respect and kindness, show me that I matter to you and shower me with your attention and time.

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14 Things That Should Have Happened By Now According to 10 Year Old Me

I was always the kid that kept a diary. Which is probably not shocking considering you’re reading my modern day journal- minus all the drama… oh wait…

I was obsessed with putting every memory to paper, even the bland ones. Like Mrs. Smith brought us in cupcakes, or getting to the next level in a video game without the help of my cousin or dad. Didn’t matter what it was, I made sure everything was jotted down- even if it was in a black notebook with pastel gel pens.

But probably the most depressing enlightening entries are those from Baby Ellen on what she expected from Adult Ellen. And re-reading them as a full-fledged adult is both hysterical and…kind of sad. Let’s just say I had high expectations because at 10, 30 is really fucking old and even then she knew you should have had your shit together by now.

Sorry, Ellen. You’re 27 and these MUST HAVE achieved items are going to likely remain blank (mostly because the 90s are over). But like, we’ve done some cool stuff?

Win ANTM

I’m barely 5’2″, I really like pudding and heels are hard.

A husband and two kids

Hahahahahaha- we have a dog- once we ran his tail over with the vacuum.

A Loft in Paris

The closest I got is strolling around Wegman’s wearing a beanie and eating a baguette.

Be best friends with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

We ended up going in differend directions

Visit Ohio

Because that’s where Clarissa Darling lived, alright?!

Have won the lottery

My gram wouldn’t let me watch my shows until she heard the lottery numbers and watched the Polkas. Plus I was allowed to buy her lottery tickets and pick the numbers. Larksville is a weird place.

Big. Boobs.

Yeah- genetics said it should have happened but it didn’t.

Dated Jake Gyllenhaal or JTT

Hey there’s still time on that one folks!

Glowing and flawless skin.

I have three pimples sitting casually on my chin at this exact moment. My dermatologist and I are on first-name basis

A frequent guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show. (Same Name)

I was interviewed once by a man on the street. But he didn’t have a TV show and later peed on the side of a building.

An impressive salary.

Remember this is a list of things I don’t have….

A thriving social life.

I have roughly three people I enjoy spending time with and one is a dog. And I’m pretty content with that though.

Run a sanctuary for stray dogs and cats.

Mostly I just want to buy a bunch of dogs and love them.

A general sense of financial comfort.

Girlfriend just bought $25 in rings from Charming Charlies, priorities are a little blurred

So Adult Ellen it’s now time to make Baby Ellen proud! Live long and prosper.

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Fall Back In Love With Your Wardrobe

I love fashion and clothes and seeing what is new but there are days I hate getting dressed. But since that is illegal I forge on. This is when I come to the realization that I am completely bored of my wardrobe. Most of the time a quick fix is buying something new but more often than not it’s not the most practical option. Really, it’s just like any relationship where we need to bring that spark back! It’s time to get over that hump.

More is NOT Better
Most girls dream of a Carrie Bradshaw closet. I mean with so many choices getting dress should be a breeze right? Um no. I feel like less is actually more when it comes to your wardrobe. If you haven’t touched some items within a year- your closet might be in need of some weeding.

One of my tips is to take a bin and fill it with all the clothes you don’t wear. Yes this includes those sentimental pieces, items you’ve once loved and those “one day” clothes too. Close that bin and tuck it away. When you don’t reach for those clothes in over six months get rid of the whole lot. Give to friends, donate to charities, consign and for those pieces that can’t be saved- toss ‘em. When it comes to sentimental clothing, you need to learn how to separate emotions from the material items.

Shop Away
If you buy clothes every weekend- you got a problem. New should not equate to better. The thing is with shopping regularly, fashion starts to become more about having something new then the actual clothes. So, when you don’t have anything new to wear, you’re bored. You’re chasing the temporary high of having new things rather than appreciating and loving your wardrobe.

Look at your wardrobe and take a look at your favorite pieces. You know the ones that always look good, the ones that are comfy and make you confident. Take the common denominator and base a wardrobe around that. Some people like bright colors while others love different angles. Just take what you love and work with it.

Did Your Style Change? I hope so!
Maybe you’ve grown out of your youthful clothes and are going for something more mature, or maybe you’ve strayed away from loud prints are heading into a neutral zone, who knows! One thing for sure is that pieces you’ve labelled “not my style anymore” can still be incorporated into your current style in some way but it takes a bit of work. Maybe you don’t wear graphic tees anymore because they just aren’t “you”. Well make them blend into your current wardrobe- add a blazer or a full printed skirt- plus Pinterest is a huge help in creating outfits you could never conjure up yourself

Same Old Combos.
Most of my issues comes when I’m running late. It’s easy for me to fall back on my favorites. Have to be somewhere in 10 minutes- I grab that go to tee and throw on my favorite jeans and wear them together for the hundredth time. No wonder I’m getting bored. You need venture into the depths of your wardrobe and find new clothing combinations that you haven’t tried before. Ever worn a dress as a skirt? Take that chambray shirt and throw a vintage tee underneath? Always wear the same top with those high-wasted pants? Grab a crop top and show off some skin! So by all means pull out that fave top, but be sure to push yourself to wear it with something you’ve never worn before. Just try the combination on and you might be surprised!

Buy What You Need
If it’s cold and miserable outside and you’re sticking with the same old comfortable clothes, then you might need to think about buying some more stylish comfortable clothes. For example, instead of your plain old crew cut  knit you’ve had for years go for this season’s highly coveted trend. If that isn’t your scene try new cuts, hems or styles.


Being bored of your wardrobe could come down to the fact that you’re buying things you like, but not the things you need. With a clear idea of what you need in mind, you can aim to buy things that you both like and need. So take note next time when you you’re looking for something that isn’t there in your wardrobe. If you don’t have anything that goes with those high-waisted palm print culottes, then find something that does!

Do you get bored of your wardrobe? What do you do to overcome it?

Bandanas Are Back

Every now and then, we are lucky enough to experience the increasingly rare occurrence of an It-accessory that is actually affordable. Move over Céline bags and Chloé shoes, there’s a new guy in town—and some cost as little as $10 a pop. Introducing: the bandana.

Or, rather, re-introducing the bandana, since the accessory is far from being the new kid on the block (six year old me is ecstatic). It’s been a go-to for a long time in certain circles—motorcycle gangs, punk rockers, and rock n’ roll icons have long relied upon the classic printed handkerchief to add a dash of color and flavor to their wardrobes. And lest we forget, the bandana belongs originally to that great symbol of the American West—the cowboy.

I’ve finally succumbed to the bandana trend. I wasn’t totally against it, but I was a little intimidated by the western-inspired paisley print. Now that I’ve gotten over feeling like I’m headed to the rodeo (although it does give off hoedown vibes), I can’t wait to try new ways to wear the trend this spring and summer.

|| ASOS || J. Crew || Urban Outfitters ||American Eagle ||
|| Madewell || Free People || Levis || Nasty Gal ||

So what are your thoughts? Leave the bandana’s in the 90s or rock them like it’s 2016? Comment below I’d love to hear!

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NEPA Spotlight: The Post Home and Body

So many are guilty in taking the world around us for granted. We run through our daily motions, looking on with lethargic eyes. We begin to operate on autopilot throughout our days- that eventually turn into months and then onto years. It is the mentality that you have seen this a million times and there isn’t anything new. There is nothing interesting or inspiring that can be derived from our same old sights and routines. We forget what it is like to look on with wanderlust and curiosity.

If you have been taking  your own backyard for granted, perhaps you might consider some new homegrown adventures. Get some inspiration, seek out something interesting or allow yourself to take in the beauty of your own city.

This is where I want to feature and show off some new places and spaces that I discovered and rediscovered in my home town adventures. These will be my personal comments and thoughts about my experiences- nothing is sponsored so I hope you enjoy my opinion. This will be the first ever NEPA Spotlight and I want to introduce you to a store that I fell in love with this past weekend.

The Post Home and Body

When I walked into this little shop in Scranton I was immediately entranced by the aroma that radiated the moment you walked through the door. Ashley immediately introduced herself and offered any help or advice we might need- all while she was mixing and creating in here workshop. The natural products immediately grabbed my attention. A few months back I began the process of cutting out all of the unnecessary additives in my daily life. From make-up to hair products to cleaning supplies- there is so much we put into a body that doesn’t belong, it’s nice to find local products that are natural.

As I began to look a little closer I took notice to all of the unique pieces that adorned the shelves. Everything from coasters with your favorite book pages on them to Parisian tea that smelled just as delightful as it looked. There were two-sided bibs, homemade dog treats, along with stationary and wrapping paper that would beautify any present. All of these products sat on amazing handpicked antiques. There were pillows made from printed dish cloths and adorable gifts any bride would love to received. There was local honey and jam and the most adorable utensils to accompany them!

There were the most adorable cross-stitch pieces hanging on the wall. There were wooden toys that would be perfect for the little ones in your life. Oh! And we can’t forget our four legged friends because they can leave with some delightful treats that are fit for humans!

We got to talking about all of the unique gifts and Ashley began to explain how she goes about finding the products she sells in her stores. This is when the light-bulb went on in my head. She said that she tries to find all local products within a tri-state area. How cool! She researches and discovers some pretty amazing products- products you can’t find in a mall or department store.

This doesn’t even begin to touch upon half of what this adorable store has to offer. From the website I gathered so much more exciting information! She does “Maker Sessions” where you can – you guessed it – make your own product, like lip balms and candles from raw, natural ingredients. Want to learn a little more? Check out this video Ashley has posted on her website. Or even better you can go visit her!

334 Adams Ave. Scranton, PA
(570) 955-3135

Tue – Wed: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thu – Fri: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

NEPA this is when I look to all of you! I need your help- comment, email and share your favorite places. I want to see and explore and most importantly I want to show everyone all that we as a small town have to offer. So go forth and be the explorer you are meant to be, even if it’s in your own backyard and don’t forget to email me while you do so at theoxfordguide@gmail.com.

I hope that more people will be able to see life with a fresh pair of eyes with each new day as opposed to looking at life in the same old lethargic manner. For it is the spark of life in the glint of someone’s eye that speaks of how genuinely alive someone is in that instance and I have a secret wish that these instances are not just fleeting moments, but moments we can prolong into states and states we can live in for extended periods in time.

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Battle Of The 24 Hour App

“Our mission has always been to
capture and share the world’s moments,
not just the world’s most beautiful moments.”

If you are one of the 300 odd million Instagrammers, you likely noticed a new feature -which bears a striking resemblance to our favorite puppy faced app – called “Stories”. Released Tuesday, Stories allows us to post pictures and videos (that can be drawn on and filtered) but are you guessed it – deleted 24 hours later.

The posting tools mimic Snapchat, but they’re built right into a very familiar and user friendly app. Most of Snapchat’s interface is obscured and requires knowing the right taps and swipes to get around, even to add a friend. Now people have access to Snapchat-like socializing without the burden of navigating the app. It works for all ages too. Which is a huge plus for the GRAM because there seems to be a wider range of ages and professionalism on Instagram vs SnapChat.

Instagram is unique in that many users curate their feeds to look as attractive as possible. The downside of this emphasis on quality posting is that users post less than they might otherwise. But with Stories, users can add all the silliness of their day without over-sharing and flooding their followers’ feeds with funny faces and play by plays, because it doesn’t show up anywhere then the Story section- which is a little button-like feature atop of your feed.

Plus, many careers were born on Instagram. By contrast, Snapchat has been going for much the same time and, although it has more daily users than Twitter, a lot of people still don’t understand how it works. I don’t post Snapchat stories because most of my friends aren’t on it. Even though I follow a lot of people on it, I don’t actually know them.

Snapchat has often been depicted as seedy and as my aunt says “isn’t that the app to send dirty pictures?”. Yes, fondly know as a place for people to exchange illicit pictures without leaving much in the way of a virtual paper trail. This was particularly the case when the app first became popular – I mean c’mon we have a feature to alert us when a picture has been screenshotted. Over the past year we have come to adore Snapchat. Bloggers use it for everyday life details, companies allow you to see new products all while wearing a crown of butterflies. What’s not to love?

Here’s my take on the whole battle. People love a one stop shop, let’s use Target as an example. I can buy a juicer, bikini and succulents all in one place. So this all encompassing app means no more going in-between. I feel that I need to spread my love equally among my social media apps. Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram come second to my actual blog. This makes my day overwhelming because my blog doesn’t pay my bills.

However my favorite take on the whole battle is that this will hopefully alleviate the pressure to curate a picture-perfect life making people more real and personable. It allows these idolized bloggers to be seen in a different light. Already so many posts sans make-up and (probably) bras adorn my Instagram and I love it! They are real people. This is amazing because when you’re whole platform is having the facade of an idyllic life- this new feature reminds us that lighting isn’t always in our favor and that every day isn’t a good hair day.

I feel like Instagram stories will be more purposeful and they make total sense. Sometimes you have little moments that you want to share with all of your friends, but they simply don’t fit into your profile’s aesthetic that you’ve worked so hard to maintain. And, sometimes you want to post more often than what we’ve decided is acceptable for the social media platform. I mean, haven’t we all unfollowed someone for posting way too many photos to their Instagram at once? GRAM v SnapChat is like Marsha vs Jan. Totally different people sharing totally different videos and pictures. There wont be any drunken selfies sent or videos of shots being taken. This will allow us to use our creativity to show the world our take on the 10 second video.

While “consistency is key” oftentimes, not always so with social media. Apps need to constantly adapt and allow users to play with the next big thing, and right now, Snapchat is a pretty big thing. Insta does evolve occasionally, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say new app icons, filters and extended videos are shoving dedicated users away from the GRAM. In fact, if they continue to change and introduce a zooming feature, that’s a whole bunch of moms ready to double-tap every single one of their child’s posts.

SO! What you will see on my Instagram story?

  • Products I adore
  • Local products and stores
  • No selfies (unless Insta brings that pretty filter or turns me into a hippo)
  • Daily entertaining activities
  • Amazing deals on my favorite stores
  • Newly purchased items and reviews

For me it’s a done deal.

[Picture Source]

And the smallest one was Madeline

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines

She’s feisty and brave, and very little rattles her — not even an appendectomy. Side note- when my dad’s appendix ruptured I was sure to greet him at the hospital with my favorite Madeline doll (they came with scars and all)! From Madeline, I learned courage and to be proud of our scars because they make us who we are.

When facing dangers or new experiences, Madeline meets them head on with every ounce of courage she can muster. Always being the smallest one in any group- Madeline and her Parisian lifestyle was one character I always could relate to. It was a book we could always read as a family- a story I could never get enough of!

We love our bread, we love our butter but most of all we love each other.

This phrase is recited by the girls before they break their bread, it shows how much they value relationships over physical things. Even though bread and butter symbolizes the basic needs for a normal human being, they valued their loved ones much more.

Learn from your mistakes

There isn’t a better way to learn than learning from mistakes. This young girl loves adventure, loves trying new things, but with the comes a lot of mistakes. But none of those mistakes can discourage her, she stay joyful, and even more importantly she learns from them.

Don’t be afraid: say ‘Phoo Phoo’ instead

Whenever Madeline sees something frighting, she just faces it head on. What a girl. Everybody has their own way of facing fears otherwise life would become very difficult. It is not essential to say phoo-phoo – just find some way to make your self stronger when you don’t feel confident.

Every story has unique life lesson and surprising enough they are so practical to use in everyday life.

If you watch the series again you will understand what I am telling here. Watch this episode to understand how deep the message is. It teaches us that we all have unique skills and we need not to worry that we don’t have every skill in the world. Needless to say song is my favorite.

Discipline matters.

Having and maintaining discipline, makes life easy. The beauty of discipline is that you can be as adventurous and curious as you need to be but look like an angel to the outside world. Madeline is adventurous but never mean or rude, I believe it is the best quality in her.

Have a pet

Sometimes they will help you to find solutions to your matters. Genevieve is a great dog that helps Madeline a lot. Pets are awesome. So have a pet. Even though you will have to feed them, walk them and do some extra work for them, they will not let you down because their love is eternal!

Best Parental guides given by Miss. Clavel

She let them run, laugh, be children but she knew when structure was needed. Miss Clavel is well known for using her 6th sense when something is not quite right. She also knows how to keep things tidy and that two straight lines is the best way to count 12 girls. She would know if someone is missing in a jiffy. She sing to the children, she teach them all the subjects. She act as a guide and let all the girls shine.

To me Madeline was so much of my childhood. Tell me more about some of the characters from your childhood! I’d love to hear!

That’s all there is, there isn’t any more.