GIVEAWAY: Knitted Headband

This weekend I stopped by a chic boutique where my cousin works and bought this knitted headband:

Yo. I got no makeup but my head is happy.

Yo. I got no makeup but my head is happy.

I’ve got to admit something to yawlllll.

Here it goes-

I am SLIGHTLY self-conscious about my head because it is tiny. And usually, I have a hard time wearing headbands and things on my head because they kind of gulf my entire upper half and make me look like Lady Gaga:

Is her head small? Is the hat big? WHAT IS GOING ON.

Is her head small? Is the hat big? WHAT IS GOING ON.

But somehow this knitted headband was perfect for small-heads like me. The person that made this headband must have understood that some skulls are smaller, and for that, I am forever grateful.

It has a massive flower in one corner and a large wooden button in the back:

I love it because unlike a regular winter hat, this knitted headband does the following:

  • You do not get hat hair. I LOATHE HAT HAIR. Hat hair is the worst, especially when you are on a date and did your hair and trying to look oh-so-cute… but have to wear a hair-ruining hat OR freeze to death and die on the date. No girl should have to sacrifice their cute hair to stay warm. SERIOUSLY- We can send people to the moon, we should be able to maintain our perfectly manicured hairstyle while keeping our noggins warm.
  • You can wear the headband with your hair down (a hat can achieve this look too).
  • You can wear your hair in a high-ponytail (something a hat wishes it could do):
High ponytail! Perfecto.

High ponytail! Perfecto.

  • You can also wear it underneath all your hair, like a traditional wrap-around headband and it looks so dang cute:

I am so obsessed with this headband that I did not take it off when I got home, cooked dinner wearing it, and even ate at the table. Mr. Speedy indulged my obsession but finally mentioned that I might be over-heating my head….

Since I love it so much, I am giving away ONE (1) pretty knitted headband to one lucky reader.

Very simple – just comment on this post below, answering this question:

—–> What is your favorite thing to wear during the colder months?

Do you love to wear mittens or gloves? Love staying bundled up with a heavy scarf? Have a favorite jacket or fuzzy pair of socks? What  do you wear that keeps you warm and full of smiles ???

Mine USED to be my long fluffy jacket that goes down to my knees. It is super warm and keeps my butt and legs warm (I’ll never wear a short winter jacket again), but now I think it might be this headband.

Contest ends FRIDAY night at midnight (eastern time)…. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED OVER THE WEEKEND. 

Good luck! It would make a great gift for anyone too! ♥



27 Thoughts for 27

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.

I am so old.

I am so old… and often smile at Mr. Speedy and not the camera.

I have left my mid-twenties and am now entering my late-twenties.
I am almost 30, soon to be 40 (basically).
I currently am a fiance, soon to be wife.
I have a small head that seems to not grow.

Birthdays, for me, have always been something I look forward too…. until I hit 20 and realized I was no longer a teenager, read a magazine article that claimed your skin ages and starts to sag at 20, and had no idea where I was going with my life. After that depressing moment, birthdays seemed to mark a moment that just amplified that I was an adult, had responsibilities, and had to make a successful life for myself.

Except, I had no idea what I was doing. And still, in many ways, have no idea what I am doing.

But that is okay. Each birthday that passes, each year that flies by, I learn a little more about what I want or do not want in my life. I don’t have everything figured out but my birthdays now are a happy, joyous, celebration of becoming more of the woman I want to be rather than clinging to the younger, less-responsible years.

So in celebration, here are-

27 thoughts on my 27:

1. I never thought I’d run a marathon.

I really never had this race on my radar at all until I met Mr. Speedy. Then he signed up for a marathon and urged me to join. And I did it. Wowzers.

2. I’ve grown to love wine.

Seriously. I am not a big drinker and never drank really until  I was in grad-school. Beer I am picky with and liquor makes my eyes water. Yuck. But wine…. if it is sweet, and has a pinch of fruit flavors, I love it.  It is fantastic to cook with, great with a meal, and even better to relax on the weekend with friends.

3. I never thought I’d get married under 2 years of knowing someone.

Let me re-phrase that – I knew I’d get married someday, but never this soon. Marriage was something that I always dearly wanted for myself but never found the right love. Dating was fun but never serious in the sense that I could imagine it playing out in the future, or rings being exchanged. I always figured I’d get married around 35 if I was lucky.  If you met me a few years ago and was like ‘Hey, you are going to get married when you are 27,” I would have laughed and been like NOPE. But life is funny, throws you curve-balls, and sometimes pushes you towards the right person so beautifully, you just got to thank God and His planning.

Mr. Speedy proposed under 1 year and we will be married under 2. Fancy that.

4. I am (still) a complainer.

I am trying to work on this. Really. It is probably one of my most unattractive qualities. I have a tendency to complain too much and make it quite obvious that I am not 100% happy with whatever is occurring. I need to practice patients, endure uncomfortable situations, and not let little problems cause such a dent in my emotions. I’ll get there, maybe by the time I am 30.

5. My skin IS REALLY aging.

It really is… but I have been using anti-aging cream on my face and neck (don’t forget about the neck! or else you get turkey neck), for the past 4 years and I feel like it is working. Kind of. Ask me in 5 years.

6. I am satisfied and content with my body.


BOOYAH. This was a long journey and I struggled for some time but let me repeat that – I LOVE THE WAY I LOOK. It only took me a decade but life is oh-so-much sweeter when you accept yourself, faults and all, and are completely satisfied with your body. Ignore the social demands, ignore the irrational thoughts. I sitll have ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings, but for the most part, I like to think I look like a rock star and am hyped about my body confidence.

Confidence is worn best with a smile and let me tell you – that attracts anyone’s attention and makes them think ‘Dang. That girl has got it!’

Love yourself. It is the only way to live this life.

7. My mom is one of my best friends.

My mom and I talk almost daily. She supported me and stood by my side through times when I was irrational, mean, and just plain ugly. She is a hard-worker and giving beyond giving. If I am half the lady she is then I will be happy. We are close friends and I am so happy that my mom and I have the relationship we do.  I would not trade it for the world.

8. I love LOVE love having pen pals.

I love writing letters, getting letters, and having pen pals. I have 5 or 6 at the moment and it rocks my running socks.

9. I never thought I’d have anything remotely as beautiful as this:

Please ignore me ET fingertips.

Please ignore me ET fingertips.

10. I still don’t like dogs/animals/pets.

Uh yeahhhhh…. I thought maybe at this point in my life, I would be a little less cold-hearted towards animals but I am not. It has gotten worse. I just have absolutely no bone in my body that cares about them or wants them near me. They just do not appeal to me. Just keep all animals away from me, thank you very much.

11. But one day, IN THE FAR FUTURE, MAYBE, a golden retriever will be part of our family.

I am going to be honest, if having this furry-smelly creature means Mr. Speedy would be the happiest man alive, I would allow this pet. BUT under strict guidelines: it is not allowed in the kitchen, bedroom, on furniture, or bathrooms. It would have to be HIGHLY trained, to the point that it would not come near me. And we would have to have at least 385735 acres of land for it to run around and (hopefully) get lost in and never return..

I’m kidding. I would be so sad if it did get lost….

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

12. I thought by now I would have a library. Preferably, one like Belle’s:


13. I’m blessed with an amazing family.

No family is perfect but mine is perfect for me. Although Pirate is pirate-like and my sister and I are opposites, they are amazing. My parents are amazing and have shown me what a true marriage is all about- endurance, compromise, romance, dedication, communication, humor, and taking time to make time for each other. I am blessed to have my sister as a friend and my younger brothers in my life. I have an extended family that is pretty awesome too, many of us girl cousins get together and are best friends. Family is such a foundation for one’s life and I wouldn’t change a thing about mine.

14. I never thought I’d be an aunt.

By marrying Mr. Speedy, I acquire the title ‘Aunt’ to his 2 nieces and nephew. This is pretty exciting. My birthday card from them was addressed to ‘Aunt Lily.’ SWOON. I love it.

And, a bonus, is that one niece has the same name as me so it is almost like a great scheme of generations of Lillians… totally not planned:



15. I never thought my grandparents wouldn’t be around for my wedding.

Is this depressing to mention? Sorry. I always pictured my Grandpa to be present for my marriage. He was the best. But he and all my other grands are gone. But I suppose they will watch over the entire thing and be toasting up in Heaven with important ancestors and making bets on when the first great-grandchild will be born.

16. I’m girly.

I was tom boy for A LONG time. I used to dislike shopping, never used a hair dryer, and thought swimming in a pool was equivalent to a shower. (It is NOT, in case you were wondering.) But now, that is all changed. I love shopping! I enjoy doing my hair (or trying) and I like to put a dab on make-up here and there.

I still have no idea what concealer or foundation is nor do I think I’ll ever use it, but I do use an eyelash curler like a boss.

This birthday I recieved many lovely gifts, including K.Spade items I was lusting after – 2 sets of earrings and a watch. Totally Girly.

17. Surprises are really the best.

I have a tendency to SNOOP and PRY and RUIN ALL SUPRISES. But, being with Mr. Speedy (who is always full of surprises) has taught me that waiting and not ruining surprises is very sweet. I still semi-ruin his surprises by hinting that I have something for him… so he usually knows when it is coming, but I am no longer blurting out whatever that gift may be.

Mr. Speedy, hands down, is the best surprise-giver ever. He does it all the time. Sometimes small, sometimes big. I can’t keep up with him.

Today at work, Mr. Speedy suprised me by having Jimmy Johns delievered for the my ENTIRE staff AND then a few hours later, these were delievered:

I CAN'T WAIT EITHER. So sweet. Does it get sweeter than this? Nope.

I CAN’T WAIT EITHER. So sweet. Does it get sweeter than this? Nope.

18. 10 miles.

This amount is my ‘normal’ everyday run. I never thought that 10 miles would be normal and 4-6 is short.

19. I am very indecisive.

I am like Sally from ‘When Harry met Sally.’ I change my order at the last minute and have serious issues picking out my outfit and accessories. I over-pack and have mental breakdowns if I am rushed while trying to get dressed up for a fancy event. Never rush an indecisive person. It makes them feel foolish and like they are missing half their brain while they are searching for the right earring or perfect heel.

Mr. Speedy has learned how to deal with me when getting ready for things or when we have to order a meal. Or a drink. He understands the personality quirk of mine and thankfully, accepts me.

Just making this list has been difficult. Planning an entire wedding for a person with my inability to make direct, quick decisions has been like planning on jumping on a hopscotch square that constantly shifts and moves and tilts. Difficult and challenging, but possible.

20. I never thought Prince Charming was a) really this charming and b) this good looking and c) a perfect fit for me:

He ha the best legs and arms.... and torso, butt, and all other spots.

He ha the best legs and arms…. and torso, butt, and all other spots.

Really. Seriously. How DID this happen? How did I find Prince Charming and he find me? Fairytales do happen, people.

I had Prince Charming dreamed up in my head, and then POOF- he does exist. Only he is better than anything I could have thought up and is sweeter than the sweetest honey. Stronger than the biggest bull. Faster than the fastest cheetah. More caring than a thousand band aids. More helpful than a school of teachers. Funnier than any comedian. Patient like a monk (that one is weird…. they are patient, I think). More manly than Paul Bunyan himself. More suave that James Bond. Sexier than a shirtless man holding an infant. Tastier than a….

Ok, I’ll stop. You get the picture. Prince Charming does exist and he is Mr. Speedy. I’m going to try to stop drooling all over the keyboard now.

21. Moody moods.

With age, I have noticed that PMS does exist and I get moody once a month, for about a day. I never used to have this. But now, I have it. And thought I’d share with you.

So glad I got that off my chest.

22. I am blind.

Not really, but almost. Another thing that age has gifted me with is horrible eyesight. My prescription is -3.75 is both eyes and if I do not have my contacts or glasses on, I cannot see diddly-squat. I once had a full conversation with a tree when I had no contacts or glasses present. True story.

23. Sports make you strong.

I have always been atheltic and had a natural need to perform- whether it be through running, swimming, or playing tennis. I love the way getting my sweat on makes me feel. I absolutely would not trade my toned thighs and runner’s butt for a skinnier set of legs. I love how whenever I see another female running, I think ‘GIRL POWER.’ Sports make you sassy, give you confidence, and make you soar.

Get your sweat on, ladies.

24. I would like to start or be part of a book club.

This is my goal for year 27… simple and sweet. Hopefully, I can make it happen because I have currently been part of a book club with only one member (me) and it is kind of lame at times. I need some discussion and argumentative, thought-provoking perspectives. I also want to have people over and serve wine and fine cheese.

Basically, I want to create the Jane Austen Book Club.



25. I have never ever smoked a thing.

I have never ever smoked anything in my whole life and am proud of this. I have never tried a cigarette nor do I want too. Smoking is one of those habits that makes my toes curl and lungs cry.

My biggest pet peeve of this nasty habit are a) people that smoke while on running paths– sorry, you are doing it wrong and b) smoking… in general.

26. My career is a winding, confused, undetermined path.

What the heck am I doing?

When I was in college, if you asked me where I would be at when I was 27, I would have said working in an art museum in Chicago or New York or Italy. When I was in graduate school and you asked me where I would be at 27, I would have said teaching at a community college and working at library. Now, ask me where I am at, at 27?

Answer: All over and I have no idea.

My career path has not been direct nor has it been clear. I am successful in the sense that I am working and independent. I am paying off my student loans and able to save money. I am able to splurge and buy Pantene ProV (my Suave days are over) and I indulge in Starbucks here and there.

But, I am not 100% happy with my current job. I feel alone most of the time. I am grateful to be working but I feel like I need to make some changes soon.

And what will I do? I don’t know and I don’t think I’ll ever know what I want to do…. and I am okay with that. But, I do know that I want to be happy and only I can make that happen.

27. Each day really is better than the last.

This past year, this really has held true. Every day seems to get better and better, and not just because Mr. Speedy is a part of my life. As you get older, you have more experiences and memories and life is just…. richer. Fuller. More exciting. The future is literally popping at the seams with possibilities and opportunities. I have no idea what might or might not happen, but I am excited. Sure there are going to be tought times, there always are, but I am looking forward to what the future brings.

Life gets sweeter and more precious as I get older.

The appreciation grows.



27-year-old Lily

No One Told Me

I was just browsing old pictures on the computer and came across this gem:

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

I think I was distracted by the ceiling, which apparently, was distracting and terrifying me.

But, do you see anything the matter with me? Perhaps, my outfit?

I find it interesting that my sister let me borrow this dress for a LBD party we were invited too but failed to TELL ME THAT IT WAS SEE-THROUGH AND SLIGHTLY INAPPROPRIATE.

I mean really-

Not even my Mother said anything!

Not even my Mother said anything!

How did I not notice this sheer area at the hip/pelvic region?

How did I not get noticed by another girl in the group that would have told me politely ‘EXCUSE ME, BUT YOU ARE LOOKING SLUTTY- YOUR PANTIES ARE SHOWING.’

Thank geeeeeee I had black panties on…. or panties at all for that matter. I would have pulled a Britney Spears before Britney pulled one.

Has anyone done this before?

In all honestly, having a sheer area on my dress right near my nether regions was just foreshadowing the rest of this night.

It was a bachelorette party for my cousin and after a yummy Mexican dinner, we drank at a friend’s house, piled into a mini-van and made our way to a club. I, being a naive non-drinker, thought I’d be bold at this party. I downed 5 (or 7?) shots in-between quick sips of diet coke. It was all warm and fuzzy and grand until I got into the dimly-lit club, fruity drink in hand, and was surrounded by swarming, sweaty hooligans and flashing lights.

I spent the remainder of the night heaving into a toilet while my sister held back my hair and chatted with bride-to-be (I had a great support system in the stall with me). I don’t remember what they chatted about but I do remember every time one of them asked me how I was feeling, I just grimaced at my projectile vomit and said-

“It was that darn Mexican. That was it.”

Apparently, I blamed the tacos for my behavior.

I’m really grateful I had them around to help me but really- did they not notice my strip of sheer material???

Note to self: Always check clothing from all angles before going out in public. And don’t drink shots. Ever.

Those party days are over now.
And by party days, I mean just that one day.
I don’t think I have drank a shot or been to a club since.



The Wedding Dress

I found my wedding dress.

But not the traditional way- let me explain…

Are you familiar with the scene in Sex and the City (the movie) when SJP shocks Charlotte and the wedding planner by proclaiming that she already found her outfit for her wedding.

No label. Vintage. Simple.

And they gasp. “What?! No Label? The bride wore a dress by… no one.”

But SJP loves her choice. She sticks to her fashion choice and is happy with it- it is simple. Classic. And romantic. Just like her and Big.

Mr. Big = Mr. Speedy. But Mr. Speedy is cuter.

Mr. Big = Mr. Speedy. But Mr. Speedy is cuter.

That is what I did. I mean, kind of.

“Do you want to go shopping soon for your dress?” my girlfriend asked.
“Oh no, I already bought it,” I responded.
“WHAT. WHATTTTTTT. You already BOUGHT your dress?”
“Yes,” I replied with a smirk.
“When? How? We didn’t even go shopping!?” my friend shouted.
“I found it online. It was a steal and well, I put it in my cart and clicked BUY.”

Her mouth dropped wide open and her face was a mixed of nervous excitement and pure confusion.

I wasn’t planning on finding a wedding dress via the internet on a random Monday evening with only my brother, Louis, at home for opinions.
But somehow, that is how it happened.
And somehow, it worked out.

Four quick days later, it arrived at my doorstep. But because I live in a house with Pirate-people that snatch mail, I did not locate the box until today, 5 days after it’s arrival (someone strategically hid it in the dining room). Quickly, my mother (who had just got out of the pool and was in her suit) and I ran up to her room to try it on.

We opened up the box, holding our breaths. A million questions buzzed in my head – would this look like the picture? What if it got damaged? What if it looks horrible on me? I pulled back the fire red tissue paper and squealed with excitement- it looked perfect. PERFECT.

With her help, we slipped it over my head and I didn’t even need a mirror to conclude it looked beautiful- my Mom had tears forming.

“Oh…. it is beyond stunning, Lillian. It is just beyond anything.”

As I peeked in the mirror and caught a glimpse of myself and thought of Mr. Speedy, I started to cry. I didn’t even have to look at it fully- it just felt different than anything I had ever tried on. I felt different. Changed.

And then Pirate wandered into the bedroom, in his bathing suit (EVERYONE IS ALWAYS IN A BATHING SUIT), and had slight tears in his eyes too.

SO…. What does it look like?


But I can tell you this-

  • It is not your typical wedding dress but once you see it, you will think ‘Oh that is such a pretty wedding dress!’
  • It does not require me to having any assistance while peeing. This is wonderful because I pee often.
  • It is made of THIS and THAT and has THIS and THAT on it and THAT (so vague, I know).
  • It suits our wedding theme – the 1920s. Think vintage. Think Gatsby. Think Art Deco. Think Glitz. Think Atonement. I love that movie. Sheesh!
We will be chanelling these two for our wedding and pretending to be like them. Minus the whole going to jail and war and dying in a tunnel.

We will be channelling these two for our wedding and pretending to be like them. Minus the whole going to jail and war and dying in a tunnel.

And since I spend a whopping $388 (that includes tax, shipping) on my dress, that means I can now SPLURGE on MR SPEEDY even MORE.

And I might even pay someone decent to wax my eyebrows so they aren’t burnt. I need to figure out accessories- full veil? No veil? Shoes? Of course I’ll wear shoes, but what kind? Drop earrings? There is so much accessorizing!

This whole wedding thing, it is not as complicated as you think.




Bridesmaid Beauty Blunder: Wax

Due to my hairy-like-animal eyebrows (thank you, Italian Mom), I have to get them waxed.
Some girls can totally get away without having their tiny hairs professionally ripped out of their skull with a scalding hot substance- but I am not one of those girls.

If I let my eyebrows go ‘natural’ for a tad too long, I get comments like these-

“Wow, you have hairy eyebrows.”
“Your eyebrow is waving hi at me. Gross.”
“Your eyebrows are…. actually, you have pretty eyes.”
“Those are getting trimmed soon, right?”

These comments are mainly from my barbaric little brother, Louis, so they don’t really cut me deep but he generally spews the truth.

I don’t know if you have ever had the pleasure of having hot wax brushed upon your delicate skin, but it is just sensational!

And sometimes it is oh-so-sensational, that you not only go home with beautiful Brook-Shield’s-worthy eyebrows, but also beauty burns:

Don't I just look like  a model?

Don’t I just look like a model?

Did I mention that I am standing up in a wedding this weekend for a dear friend?

Yep… I’ll be a bridesmaid… that one with the burnt eyebrow disease. That won’t be awkward at all.

I am starting to fear that people will get close to me, gawk with the realization that I have a rare form of genital crabs that lives in burnt eyelid land and is transmitted through hugging…. and then they will flee. (I have none and never have had any crabs FYI)

I digress. People,  I HAVE A PLAN.

If anyone starts to repel away from me or says “OH HEY, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EYELID?”, I am going to make this face back at them:



Judging from this picture, it is also noticeable that I have spider-like eyelashes. This makes me think that I should probably just wear sleek dark glasses like that guy from X-men who shot lasers out of his eyeballs, so no one has the chance to gawk at the upper portion of my face.

I am pretty sure wearing shades during the wedding is not acceptable.

Luckily, the bride-to-be is a gorgeous girl and everyone will be gawking at her beauty. Please see this picture for proof:

Look at dem brows.

Look at dem brows.

I honestly doubt anyone will notice my burnt eyelids, especially since I plan to utilize cover-up and all other forms of makeup known to hide blemishes.

Speaking of blemishes, this is my bridesmaid dress:

Snug as a bug.

Snug as a bug.

Actually, I kid….. as in THAT IS NOT WHAT I WILL BE WEARING. The dress I am wearing is a very pretty aqua color with a boat neck collar.

But if I were to wear this crocheted-masterpiece-of-a-gown, no one would notice my burnt flesh… Mr. Speedy is gonna marry a real winner in the beauty department. Someone please remind me not to wax my eyebrows a few days before the wedding. That would be great. THANKS XOXO.





Love: My Ugly Sweatshirt

I like to wear ugly sweatshirts.

I am referring to the kind that generally get marked-down, have no hood, and elastic all around at the waistband.

Oh yeah, you know what I am talking about… those sweatshirts.

I have one of these particular long-sleeved articles of warmth from Mr. Speedy. It was a souvenier that he bought for me when he went to Las Vegas.

photo 2

My neck is too small or the hole is too big.

I love the story of how he bought this-

While attending a bachelor party, he asked another guy to go shopping real quick to find me something. As they sifted through a shop full of magnets, t-shirts, and obnixious Elvis items, Mr. Speedy found a sweatshirt that simply said LAS VEGAS on it.

Immediately, he snagged it and his friend (looking a bit disgusted) tried to suggest him buying me something else- something less granny and outdated.

“No, you don’t understand… this is a Lily sweatshirt,” he said.

And he was so right.

I love my LV sweatshirt, espeically since not only does it flare out at the bottom (which kind of looks weird, but, whatever) but because the neckhole is too big for me.

And the only reason I noticed that the neckhole was too big for my neck was a comment Mr. Speedy made while we were out to lunch and he snapped this picture:

“I love this picture of you… I love your messy bun plopped on your head and your neck… your neck is so petite that it doesn’t even fit in the sweatshirt right. I love it.”

Let’s do some simple math from that comment:

Mr. Speedy
+ deep devotion of studying me
+ my neck
Love towards an ill-fitting, rather ugly, outdated, totally-not-cool sweatshirt

I believe this is one of the single most romantic things another human being has uttered to me- my petite neck looks beautiful in an over-sized neckhole.

I am pretty sure I could get married in this sweatshirt and he would fully accept me, in all my cotton glory.