“After Women, Flowers Are The Most Divine Creations.”
Layla (@laylalivng) and I had a wonderful time Saturday night at the Blowouts & Blooms event! Layla is another Cincinnati Blogger who actually co-hosts the (@cincinnatibloggers) Instagram page with me! There is something amazing that happens when women get together…there’s something even more amazing when supportive women get together.
Alice’s Table and Lunatic Fringe Salon collaborated to bring together such an uplifting girls night out. Layla and I entered the salon receiving a warm welcome. We all introduced ourselves, had a few glasses of wine, then headed to the chair to talk about what kind of style we wanted.
Haley was my stylist. She was such a sweetheart. She did a wonderful job transforming my hair from a drab ponytail to a voluminous, fun beach wave. As she washed my hair and styled it, she was so informative walking me through each step. She made sure to describe the products and what they do.
The salon was beautiful & the atmosphere was incredible. The team at Lunatic Fringe were so hospitable and really made all of the ladies feel welcome. You could truly see the girls at Lunatic Fringe love what they do and enjoy working together as a team.
After we all looked fabulous with our fresh blowouts, it was time to bloom. Hannah, the Event Exec for Alice’s Table, had us all set up ready to create. From all the flowers and tools being provided to Hannah’s passion for sharing her knowledge, she set us up to be successful! I can be a little OCD at times. I thought for sure I would be nit picking my arrangement until the last minute, but surprisingly I was not. Hannah walked us through the process so well while teaching us tips and tricks. It was a flawless process with a beautiful outcome.
This event was more empowering and inspiring than I expected. I left with a beautiful arrangement and the skills to recreate arrangements in the future. Between the blowout and the way creating an arrangement felt therapeutic, I left feeling pampered and relaxed. I left feeling so excited for Hannah and her new endeavor bringing women together. I wish her all the success and I can not wait to watch her grow! From seeing the stylists in the salon collaborate and work so well as a team, to everyone supporting Hannah and her new business…women supporting women was a big underlying theme for the night! We all were giddy complementing each others arrangements and hair. And let me add, Greg from Lunatic Fringe was so supportive! He was there to lift us all up and let everyone know we did such a great job.
I am so excited I got to attend this event and share it with you all. It was so much fun. I needed to recharge my batteries this weekend, and that’s exactly what happened.
Definitely check out Alice’s Table and follow Hannah to see upcoming events. You can even host a private event with Hannah if you have a group of 10 or more!
Read about Layla’s Experience Here
Check out Alice’s Table
Check out Lunatic Fringe
I hope you all have a wonderful week! I hope this blog post inspires you to get a group of girls together for an Alice’s Table event, go to Lunatic Fringe for a blow out, or even just text a friend and lift her up with a little pep talk! Women are amazing.
When women support women…we bloom!
My supervisor is headed to Washington D.C. today to represent the Head Start Preschool Program! I am so proud of her. She asked me to write out my story for her to share while she is there, as I am a parent turned employee.
I know a lot of you guys have been around from when I worked for the magazine (what I thought was my dream job) That job may have filled my creative side, but definitely not my wallet. It did teach me A LOT about myself. It was a hard decision to make the switch 6 months ago. I am so happy to be where I am today!!
Read more to get a little glimpse of how I got where I am. How Head Start propelled not only my boys forward but myself at the same time.
I remember coming in to enroll Trevor for the Head Start Preschool Program like it was yesterday. I was the typical mom, so nervous to be sending my first born off to school. It blew my mind how quickly time had passed. I remember thinking, “How were we were already enrolling Trevor for preschool? He was just born. How do I already have a 3-year-old and a baby boy?” When I got that letter in the mail saying he was accepted, I jumped for joy! I knew there was no other way we would be able to afford preschool. This was a huge relief to our family.
At the first parent orientation I decided to volunteer for the Parent Policy Council. I absolutely loved it! I was recently out of work as the cost of daycare was more than I was making. As a stay at home mom, I thought, “this would be a great outlet for me to have adult conversation once a month!” After that first meeting I knew it was so much more! It really was a great feeling knowing I was making a difference in the lives of my children. As I was showing up every month to be a voice, I was also being a good role model for my sons. Being a stay at home mom is extremely rewarding! It was truly a blessing, but it also came with some moments of losing your identity. You introduce yourself and feel like all you talk about is diapers and crayons. Policy Council gave me something to hold on to, something to represent, something for me to be passionate about outside home. It let me be involved in the future of my boys. I think Policy Council also helped ease those nerves of sending my child off to preschool. Trevor was in great hands and learning so much. Policy Council was a window for me to see behind the scenes. I was blown away at all the detail, dedication, and hard work that goes into this program. It’s incredible!
I thought time flew by so quick back then…that was four whole years ago!!
Today Trevor is almost 7 years old flourishing in the first grade. He loves to read books to his brother, go on hikes, and make YouTube videos. He has a passion for learning everything he can and sharing it with the world. His test scores at school are off the charts. I have Head Start to thank.
As Trevor said it himself, “Head Start really is a head start! Get it?”
Jax is four years old and having a blast in his second year of Head Start. He loves movies and music! He wakes up singing and dancing. He has come a long way since his first day of school. He was diagnosed with a Speech IEP shortly after entering the program. It was hard to see my son struggle so much. The entire Head Start staff was exceptionally supportive during this time. He now gets speech therapy weekly and his speech has improved drastically! I would not have been able to afford therapy on my own. It’s been amazing to see him grown and learn.
And me? I am now working as a Data Entry Specialist for Head Start in the Enrolment office! Being a mom turned employee has been a dream come true. Not only do I love what I do, but the boys think it’s so cool that I work for Head Start! It makes my heart full when I get to call a parent and let them know their child was accepted into the program. It’s my favorite thing. I remember the excitement I felt when I got my acceptance letter, it changed my life! I love being a stepping stone to changing the lives of other families in need. When I made the decision to put Trevor in Head Start & fill out those enrollment papers, I had no idea how dramatically it would end up affecting my life. I know this is just the beginning. Head Start will continue to be the heart that propels us forward.
I wanted to share with you my outfit today in honor of Savvy Wool’s discount code! They are giving 25% off today only with a special discount code (see below)…on top of their always FREE SHIPPING!
This top is amazing! I’ve worn it with regular basic blue jeans…olive and red. It looked amazing with every color! The shape is so fun and girly…but it’s so darn comfy!
These shoes are my new summer favorite. The natural color goes with everything…not to mention they are so comfy also. Okay, if you can’t tell…I love looking put together but feeling like I’m not.
^ Use this code at the check out so you can love on this outfit yourself…or anything and everything else on Savvy Wool! Everything is so adorable 🙂
Happy 4th of July weekend & happy shopping!
My Boudoir Photo Shoot With Flirt Fototography
—I was totally speechless until I blurted out “I didn’t even know my body looked like that!” I didn’t realize In the moment, but my own words hit me hard when I got home.—
When I was a little girl, I would go to the basement and lose track of time going through albums and boxes of old photos. I loved seeing family photos of myself and my brothers…but what I really enjoyed seeing was: mom and dad before I was born, photos of my grandma growing up, or my grandpa in the army. I loved learning more about the lives of people I looked up to. Not only did I love looking at photos, I’ve always been obsessed with taking photos, and I still am to this day! At a young age I was always requesting disposable cameras. I was just a little girl but a regular at the Walgreens photo counter getting my film developed. There’s something about a photo that can literally freeze a memory in time. And even though I wasn’t born when my favorite old photos were taken, seeing old photos of my family instantly made me fall back in time and gave me a glimpse of what life was like for them in that moment.
One photo that still burns an image in my mind is one of my grandma. She’s in her 40’s style two piece swim suit catching rays with other bathing beauties. She is looking at the camera with a cute little squint in her eyes from the sun. It’s black and white. The edges are worn. It’s absolutely stunning! Her hair is falling perfectly in place. She is the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. When I first came across that photo, I remember running up the steps to ask “mom, who is this?” My mom smiled and said “that’s your grandma!” I was in shock! She was so young and beautiful. I only knew my grandma as my short, cute, sweater loving, glasses and pearls, granny. As a young girl I didn’t think my grandma could have been anyone else before she was “my grandma.” I love my grandma and miss her very much. I think of her often and still have that photo of her on display. I dream of her being alive now to see my boys…I would love to play cards with her again and catch up on missed time over a glass of wine.
A few weeks ago I came across a Facebook post shared by a friend. Flirt Foto was hosting a “model call” for someone to participate in a boudoir photo shoot. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things of Flirt Foto and always wished to have the guts to do something like that as a gift for my husband. The Facebook post said “no experience needed” so I decided to hold back the fear, jump right in and apply. What could it hurt? I knew my husband’s birthday was coming up so I thought it would be the perfect gift if I was chosen. When I opened the email saying I was chosen to do this boudoir photo shoot…that picture of my grandma came to mind. I want my grand-kids to stumble over a picture of me in my prime and say “who is this!?” I was excited but then the nerves kicked in? Am I ready for this? What am I getting myself into?
As I was walking up the steps to the studio I was thinking to myself “I probably should have waited and really prepared myself for this. My body should look so much better right?” I began to question my decision. I was a little frustrated with myself for not working out or preparing myself for this shoot.
I am a mom of two boys, 3 and 5. I have had permanent dark circles under my eyes since 2011, the year my oldest was born. My stomach and legs show every stretch mark from each pregnancy weight gain. I still have the squishy mommy belly. Half of my C-Section scar is still healing from a my recent surgery where I had an endometrial mass removed. I’m a mommy and extremely proud! The scars gave me my sweet boys who I wouldn’t trade for the world. I use these tired eyes to see such a beautiful life around me. This squishy belly enjoys those little arms wrapping around it with bear hugs. I know my body is a wonderful thing. I’m just nervous about photographing it!
A deep breath and I walked into the studio: here we go! Stefani and Marla were waiting for me with hugs, wine, breakfast, and love. Stefani and Marla are a perfect pair. Stefani is the make up and hair goddess and Marla is the amazing photographer. I honestly would not have done this photo shoot with anyone else. They are not only amazing at what they do, but amazing women. They are so incredibly uplifting in a time where you really feel so vulnerable. I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose sight of myself under the make up and hair. I told them the look I would love is “I simply woke up like this, but glamorous.” Stefani hit it out of the park! I seriously wish she could do my make up everyday!
I struggled at first thought of what to wear in my shoot. I ultimately decided to bring comfy clothes. When picking my three outfits I realized, what makes me feel “sexy or flirty” is being comfortable! I brought over sized sweaters, knee socks, a button down shirt. Things I honestly already have a home and wear on a daily basis.
During the shoot we listened to music, laughed, talked about life…it was seriously like hanging out with a bunch of girl friends I’ve known forever. The nerves I was feeling walking in to the studio were completely gone. I forgot about my stretch marks and my tired eyes. I was having a great time. Marla has a vision for photography that is so beyond life. She is so creative and coaches you through poses and looks. She seriously knows what she is doing! She is focused and takes the time to make each shot perfect but at the same time it’s so effortless. Stefani would come through with subtle tweaks of my hair or pose ideas. Their passion for their creative work is incredible and they work together flawlessly.
After the shoot we ordered lunch. Marla created a slide show of the unedited photos. I loved that we got to sit in the studio lounge and see the photos right after they were done. I didn’t have to go home and wonder how it turned out. The nerves were back! I had a pit in my stomach. I almost wanted to cover my eyes and peak through my fingers. They started the slide show and I was blown away! I was totally speechless until I blurted out “I didn’t even know my body looked like that!” I didn’t realize in the moment but my own words hit me hard when I got home.
I decided to order a beautiful photo box for my husband. It was hard, but we narrowed it down to 12 of the best photos to be included in his gift. I could have cried, but I was trying to hold back the tears. I didn’t want to ruin my beautiful make up.
What an amazing day?!
I had originally decided on this Flirt Foto boudoir shoot as a gift for my husband. I had no idea how amazing this would be for myself. It’s a two for one deal! I get to have an amazing day and my husband gets a gift that would last a lifetime.
Beyond the surface take away of an amazing time, I realized that I actually learned something even deeper. When I got home and reflected on the day, I remembered how I looked at those photos of myself. “I didn’t know my body even looked like that?” was said similar to the way my younger self looked back at the photo of my grandma saying “who is this?” I began to wonder if my grandma knew how beautiful she was in that old photograph. I then wondered if every woman knows how beautiful they truly are? As women we see ourselves so differently in our own eyes. We all have something we don’t like about our bodies. Why? Why are we all so hard on ourselves to be so perfect? I’m so guilty of it too. I look at photos of myself before kids and think about how in that moment I thought I was so ugly or overweight…and with older eyes I want to go back and smack myself! I was delusional! This photo shoot truly allowed me to see myself in a different way…like an out of body experience in real time! I’m positive in a few months I will try on my summer shorts and sob in the closet over a box of Girl Scout Cookies. I’m not saying this photo shoot was a end all-be all at body image issues…but my goodness was it a wake up call.
We are all absolutely beautiful on the inside and out. Our imperfections, our differences, our scars, our sleepy eyes, our laugh lines, that mom bun thrown on the top of your head…it make us who we are. So please, don’t be so hard on yourself. You are amazing in so many different ways! You are beautiful!
I recently took a fun art class with my husband at Painting With A Twist. One lesson the instructors kept mentioning was “step back, take a moment and then look at your painting from a little farther back.” Up close we felt stressed and didn’t think it was right. We then took a step back and realized how amazing our paintings really were! I think that same lesson goes with our bodies…take a moment, step back and look at yourself a little farther back. We see our selves so closely everyday! From trying out a boudoir shoot to just jumping in a picture when you’d typically dive out and hide, I encourage all of you to do something for yourself that lets you see your body in a different light. If you’re thinking about a boudoir photo shoot, don’t hesitate or push yourself to be “perfect” before the shoot. Dive right in, I promise you will not regret it. You are already perfectly you.
Without even trying Marla ended up coming really close a pose like my grandma laying in the sun. I see a lot of her in me. Her spirit is a guiding light through my life. It warms my heart knowing this experience ended up meaning so much to me in so many different ways. I had no idea this would tie back so closely to my lovely grandma.
I highly recommend Marla and Stefani at Flirt Foto. They are an amazing team! If you’re looking for beauty, boudoir, or just a spicy head shot…they will totally deliver and beyond. It’s an experience way deeper than any photo shoot! I want to re-live my boudoir shoot over and over again! It truly is one of a kind!
So back in Jr.High I had a poem published in this random book
“Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans”
I almost forgot about it until I randomly stumbled over it today.
I have been thinking a lot about what I am doing with my blog…my hopes and dreams…etc.
I think finding this book today and hearing what my 13 year old self had to say was kind of like a wink from above telling me I’m on the “write” path…see what I did there?
Even my 13 year old self loved writing and holding onto memories…maybe this place here on the internet is my 2017 version of this “book” I talk about in my poem.
Enjoy your weekend!
Stay tuned for a really deep blog post coming at you tomorrow 😉
Let’s Dive In!
Here’s what I picked up recently at Target:
I need to hold myself accountable…but also have fun:
I was looking into the Weight Watchers system. I loved the app & Mallory Ervin (another girl I’m friends with in my head) has been blowing me away with her weight loss journey using WW. Butttt…I then found out that the 21 day fix had an app also! So…I rejoined as a Beach Body Coach! Yay! I am so excited. I know Beach Body and Shakeology changed my life before (it helped me snap back after having Jax)..so I decided to go back to what I know is trusted and true. (check those guns…where’d they go?)
“this is going to be, you know, a fascinating transition”
— shout it out in the comments if you know what this is from!
As I am editing this post and getting it up, I have a yummy cabbage soup simmering on the stove. I have included a photo and recipe below. This will be my go to this week while I start my 3 day refresh! See ingredients below…I just toss it all together!
It’s Sunday afternoon. This is where I wind down from the daily grind. Today was a cleaning day. I got some things checked off on my around the house to-do list. I’ve showered and now have my face mask on. I thought I’d get this blog piece together before I start on dinner.
(enjoy my snapchat photo above…don’t mind my eyebrow, no I’m not a UFC fighter…I just fell walking home after moms night out…let’s just say I’m not the most graceful of humans on a normal day…add in a little fireball and I’m walking like a sleep deprived toddler)
As I’m sitting here, I’m watching YouTube. I can never NOT multitask! Estee Lalonde is the queen of monthly favorites. Check out her videos here, she’s amazing! She is another one of those “we are friends in my head” kinda girls!
So I’m wanting to do a new series on here of my monthly favorites. I will include anything and everything I’ve been loving this month. I’ll also include some of the kids favorites! We love finding new things! I love sharing them with y’all!
so….without further ado…let’s get into it:
Snap & Shop – shopping cart snack tray
This adorable tray makes shopping with the kids so much easier! This trip to Sams was a game changer! The kids colored and snacked & I got to actually think while I was shopping! Heck yes! This is a favorite for the boys and mama too! I highly encourage mamas and dadas to order one asap. I wish I had this when the boys were even younger!
Milton – the mealtime companion
This little guy changed my kids forever. I’m still in shock! Read my in depth blog post on Cincinnati Family Magazine here.
Trolls – the movie
We absolutely love this movie. We constantly quote it and listen to the soundtrack in the car. Bridget is our favorite character!
Baby Boy Bakery – we cook it
Check out this mama and her amazing story. She turned tragedy into a monthly subscription to help families come together in the kitchen. We made a fun video of the homemade doughnut kit we got. watch it here!
Fashion and beauty:
This Agnes & Dora Skirt & Top – Shop Melyssa’s collection here!
I seriously can’t leave the house without getting complements about this skirt. I went on a date with Trevor yesterday. This was the perfect date outfit! I seriously received about 15 complements through out the day. The fabric of this top and skirt are just perfect and comfy! This skirt feels just as beautiful as it looks….drum-roll…pockets! It has amazing pockets! I’m obsessed: dress it down with a graphic tee or jean jacket. (shout out to my photog: Trevor, shout out to my Agnes & Dora consultant: Melyssa)
Mario Badescu –whitening mask
This magic helps fade all of my dark spots! My skin is so sun damaged…hello freckles and fair skin! This mask feels amazing and makes my skin look so bright and fresh! My new favorite.
Colour Pop – ultra matte lips
Funny story…I’ve known about Colour pop for awhile but never pulled the trigger on a purchase…until now. I was watching The Bachelor and obsessing over Corrine’s lip colors. I paused the TV on a scene where she was applying her lip stick. I looked up all different types of lip products to compare the packaging…it looked to me like she was using Colour Pop. I ordered Trap, Midi, and Alyssa. Midi is what I believe Corrine uses…but I loved all of these shades…dusty rose nudes…love the formula too!!!
Eye Buy Direct – affordable prescription glasses
Okay, this one may be an obsession…I have 4 pairs. I recently added two more to my collection. With deals like BOGO and savings codes…you can not buy more!
P.S.Save $10 when you shop my link above!
I got all four of these for less than I’ve spent on one single pair at my local eye care shop! Insane!
Okay, I’m afraid this is getting too long. What do you think? I could go on and on into fitness, food, music, books,and more….let me know if you want to read a pt.2?
I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday! This week ahead is going to be great, you got this!
- Trevor got some fresh kicks—check out that book bag! Yes, that’s a sloth riding a shark!
I love my sweet big boy. He loves the color blue!
- I’m exhausted and I’m noticing it’s a lot harder for me to hide! I did get some very inexpensive eye cream from ELF that has worked wonders. I would highly recommend!
(click “eye cream”to shop amazon)
- My poor little Jax has been struggling with a case of pneumonia. We are currently in a research study looking into the time frame of antibiotic prescriptions. J loves seeing his girls at Cincinnati Children’s each week. They spoil him with so much love and care.
- I’ve been feeling totally down & out recently…can’t shake my mood. Struggling to keep motivated, inspired…I’m juggling all of these things in my life and really can’t seem to get a grasp on it all. I’ve gained weight recently from eating all of my feelings. (I’m sure having a bar in my dining room isn’t helping. My husband loves keeping a stocked bar, he enjoys making drinks & I love Captain and Sprite!)
- Although there is a storm cloud inside my brain (thank you epilepsy & my daily medication: Keppra)…I am trying really hard to dig my head out of the sand. Last night the hubby & I decided to have a date night in once the kids went to bed. Popcorn/eye masks/The Divergent series. ..exactly what I needed to calm my mind!
(yes, I do need an entire bowl of popcorn to myself!)
- Dr. Teal’s bubble bath’s are life changing. This detox and energy foaming bath is my favorite. With my busy schedule it’s very hard to find time for a bubble bath…but I try to make it a weekly ritual & take time to chill.
(another sloth in my grid…my favorite animal if you can’t tell)
- Saturday morning I went to see my cousin for a new hair do. I’m obsessed. She totally nailed it. I got an ashy shadowed root. She perked up my already blonde hair with a toner & gave me a fresh cut.
Having a new hair do definitely perked up my mood!
New hair, who dis?
- Rosemary, our sweet kitty cat. She turns two next month! She is our baby, but she loves the boys like they are her own. She follows them around and protects them through out the day. When we get home from school, she is running down the stairs ready to catch up with her boys.
Wake. Meditate. Coffee. High Bun. Gangsta Rap. GO!
- Friday night we went to the circus! My worst nightmare…fun fact: I’m TERRIFIED of clowns. Another fact: as a young girl, I spent everyday on PETA’s website. That is where I learned about the horrors of animal treatment in the circus. Before kids I promised I would never go to the circus…and I’ve turned down many invitations, until now. With my job comes some really awesome perks & we got to opportunity to go to the Shrine Circus. I sucked up my personal feelings/fear of clowns to take the kids to see what it’s all about. The circus animals looked very well loved and taken care of. The kids had a great time…lots of ooooo and awwwws…lots of dancing! This circus donates to the local Shriner’s Hospital. So buying the kids all of the fun treats felt good knowing the proceeds were going back to an amazing cause.
I hope you enjoyed this little back story on my Instagram grid.
We are just a family living…doing this life thing.
I’m just a mom who loves to write about it.
Follow us at @ddotts_ over on the gram to keep up on our on going circus act 🙂
It’s a chilly Saturday in January…and we spent most of the day shopping for deals. My husband wants to try a new thrill…finding things to buy very cheep and flip to make a profit. I live on finding deals for the family, so I was down for the ride. We found a few mugs at Goodwill for $0.50 cents a piece that sell online for $10-$15. Cool right? We went to Gabe’s next and I found these really cool tattoos for the kids for only $0.25 cents. When we got back to the car my husband looked at what I found and looked them up online. They go online for $10-$15 a pack! So he went back in and bought the rest to resell.
After lunch and coming back home, Trevor and I decided to head back out for some more thrift shopping. We went to my absolute favorite place to score a deal, The Gap Outlet. I came out with 3 sweaters, a pair of jeans, 2 hoodies for the boys, and a very nice black trench coat…all for $40…total steal! (Let me know if you’d ever like to see a try-on style blog of my Gap Outlet/Goodwill hauls) Trevor needed batteries for a new robot toy, so we decided to head to another fun discount store we love…5 below. While we were there, we picked up a game of Bean Boozled.
After a day of shopping, we had everything we needed for a fun, winter night in! Daddy was invited to play darts with friends, we had the house–tattoo parlor– all to ourselves.
We picked Daddy Day Care to watch while we made the coolest half sleeves with our new Tattly tattoos. The pack of tattoos we scored today are the absolute coolest! After picking out what they wanted on their sleeves, they took turns sitting in my parlor chair. The tattoo pack came with this thin thing that felt like card board that said “Hey, I’m a sponge!” After getting it wet, it puffed up so cool and turned into a full size sponge! Instantly, Trevor and Jax transformed into total bad to the bone brothers! I even got one too ☺️ Below you’ll see their faces acting like they’re getting real tattoos.
After tattoo photo shoots, Trevor insisted we brake out the Bean Booozled game. If you haven’t heard of this game, you’ve probably been living under a rock…or you don’t have kids. We’ve played before and I got lucky with only good flavors. With flavors like, spoiled milk, dead fish, and moldy cheese…I’d rather not press my luck again. Trevor and Jax had a few runs to the toilet to spit out some canned dog food & lawn clippings.
After so much excitement and giggles, we decided to wind down and snuggle up to watch the BBC documentary Life.
These boys mean the world to me! These days where we don’t do much except enjoy each other’s company…are the days I will hold dear to my heart. I love when my family gives me so much more to add to my resume…today I woke up a mommy and transformed into a flea market flipper, tattoo artist, bean boozled referee…to name a few.
I’m off to switch the loads of laundry and finish up my coffee…yes I drink coffee at 9:00 on a Saturday night. How else do you think your house gets clean? No, there’s no super fairy who comes in the middle of the night to pick up after everyone. No tutu and wings…just your mama in her pjs and caffeine!
I hope you enjoyed this little piece of my life. A little piece of nothingness that is my everything.