Tattoos

I got my first tattoo when I was 14. Okay, I know that is really young. Does it make you feel better knowing I was a week shy of 15? What about that my mom was with me and signed all the paperwork? Still no? Okay. Here’s the story. Here is the one tattoo that has started me on a lifetime of ink. My dad passed away August 19, 2008. His 40th birthday was August 22, and my 15th birthday was August 27. My mom let me get a tattoo in remembrance of my dad. I had no idea what to get, I knew it had to be small and something that conveyed my message. So I went with “Daddy” in script on my neck with his birth date to death date under it. Simple, yet meaningful. It was a beautiful way to honor him and forever have his presence with me. It’ll be 6 years without him this August- 6 very long years. And though the dates have faded and are sort of unreadable, this tattoo will always have a very special spot in my heart.

 

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Fast forward about a year and I was desperately itching for a new tattoo. Bad. So I did the one thing that I told myself I’d never do- and regret to this day. I got a tattoo in somebody’s house. I tried to talk it up to myself to make me feel less bad about it. He had just lost his shop in town and still had all his equipment and everything. Heck, the chair was even in his living room! It couldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong! His children kept running around distracting him and making me feel nervous. It didn’t feel like my first tattoo- it didn’t hurt, but it didn’t feel right. Finally, when I saw the finished product, I was met with a tattoo I had to pretend to be happy about. It wasn’t bad at first glance. But the lines were scratchy, the feathers ran together, and the color was terrible. I absolutely hate this tattoo, and I have wanted to cover it for years. I don’t want this to be seen at my wedding, but financially, I can’t afford to fix it. It was a disaster and has left with me basically just a faded outline on my shoulder than nobody can read. This is the only picture I have of it. I hate it that much. And for the record, it says “Hope is the thing with feathers”. 

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I can’t remember what I got next, so I’m going to do these two in one paragraph. I think I got the Banksy piece next. I really wanted a foot tattoo, so I searched the internet for something. This was before I came up with my own tattoo ideas or got original stuff. Then I saw the “Girl with a red balloon” Banksy piece and it was decided, I was going to get it. My aunt took me to a tattoo shop to get it done, pretending to be my mom. It was quick, and it didn’t hurt as bad as people said tattoos on your feet did. I guess everyone interprets the pain differently. While the Banksy piece had no significance when I got it, it is actually one of the reasons Brandon started talking to me. He was/is very in to street art, and was super impressed I had it tattooed on me. Little did he know, I had no idea really what it was! 

Next I got my wonderful zombie, who I call Bird. I can’t take a picture of him for the life of me, so I’m going to use an old one. And my legs are hairy (hello, it’s winter… i’m not shaving!) so yeah, excuses. On spring break the winter after I got my Banksy piece I convinced my mother to let me get another tattoo- whatever I wanted. When I said a zombie, she told me it had to be palm size. The palm size Bird debate is still a hot topic in my house, years later. I took that as being my whole hand, my mom took it as her Hobbit sized palm. Either way, she was extremely mad when I showed up with a massive zombie covering my entire leg. Honestly, I’m a little upset now that he takes up so much room on my leg, and I’m disappointed with the design. I wanted something original, and when I showed up, my artist forgot I had an appointment. He picked something off Google and went for it. I am terrible at being assertive, so I let him do it. Regardless, I still love my Bird, and no, he doesn’t scare children. 

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I was spending the weekend with my family at Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio (where the tattoo shop where I got my Banksy and zombie tattoo at is located) and decided I wanted another tattoo. I begged my mom to take me, and she did. My best friend drove the 45 minutes up to Sandusky to hang out with me while I got it done. The second most embarrassing thing on me are these two bad boys. 1) They’re in Helvetica. I was like, it’s such a hip font! No, it’s a font you’ll be ashamed to have tattooed on you. 2) Of Mice and Men Lyrics? 3) Lights lyrics… which are okay. I got “I hope you smile when you look down at me” for my dad and “When you’re gone will I lose control?” for my mom. I really want to add something around it, but it’s so big and bold and plain I don’t know what I’d do.

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I didn’t get another tattoo until my freshman year of college. I graduated when I was 17, leaving me a few months of torture not being able to do the stuff my friends were doing, like going to clubs… or whatever it is 18 year old kids do. Really, all I wanted as to be able to get a tattoo on my own. So I did. I really was getting into American traditional tattoos, so I decided I wanted a pocket-watch. This was the first tattoo I ever got done by my go to guy, Brenton Potter at The Tattoo Factory in Bucyrus, Ohio. Seriously if you’re in the area, give him a call. Look him up. Do something. Just go to him and get a tattoo because he is amazing at what he does and he’s hilarious. Here is a link to his Instagram to make it easier for you. 

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The next thing I got, I think, would be my favorite tattoo on my body. I love my Native American heritage. I love Native America art. So I decided I wanted a half leg sleeve of Native American styled traditional tattoos. The first guy up on my list is this gnarly skull dude. He hurt way more than my pocket-watch did. Unforunately, I had a hard time not picking at the yellow in his headdress. Other than that his color has held up amazingly well. A few months later Brenton had this flash piece up on his Instagram he wanted to do, so I was like, yeah let’s do it! I didn’t have the money at the time, but being a young college student, I went for it anyway. I’d sacrifice gas in my car for a tattoo. I would do that now still… but then I’d lose my job and really not be able to get tattoos. Or pay my bills. So for now, I’m going to responsibly save for tattoos instead of throwing my money everywhere. Anyhow, this little guy was quick and easy. 

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I decided a long time ago to stay away from quotes and lyrics after having some tattooed on me that I really don’t connect with anymore. But when I read “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, I was really obsessed. Like, I wrote him an email obsessed. I didn’t go to class because I was too busy having a mental breakdown crying over the entire thing. It’s an event reading that book, seriously. Anyhow, I wanted something around the balloon on my foot and I thought, what better than a quote from this book! That is how “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations” got to be on my foot. Brenton did it real quick after doing the back of my thigh. Also, this picture shows my Banksy piece better and features (RIP) these adorable shoes I got from DEB. ImageThat thigh piece I mentioned was incredibly painful and awkward for me to get. I really don’t like the back of my legs because of that weird area behind the knee. And I’m TERRIBLE at shaving the back of my legs, sorry if that’s TMI. But I am. So I was incredibly nervous about it. I did the best I could and hoped for the best, knowing I missed stuff. Brenton is a gentleman and shaved what I missed, but in the picture he posted on Instagram, someone made a really rude and mean comment that has stuck with me to this day about how I was hairy. Even now, when I’m like, who cares! It’s just hair! I’m still upset about it. Anyhow. This was really painful. After the outline, I was dying. But I love how it turned out and I wish I could see it more often. Sometimes I forget it is there. Ha! 

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Last but certainly not least are the engagement tattoos Brandon and I got, also done by Brenton. We really wanted something that showcased us and were somehow connected. My love of owls trumped everything and we got these cutie patooties. They represent us perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier. Mine is just girly enough and his is just Brandon enough. People love the story behind it, especially the residents at my nursing home! My mom was so mad at me when I got this because it is on my arm. She always told me to make my tattoos not visible or else I wouldn’t get a good job. You can totally cover an arm tattoo, so I stand by my position that she should take a chill pill.

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Neither Brandon nor I have gotten a tattoo since these this past July. We are totally itching for new ones. Bad. But we have more important things to worry about, like bills, work, and the wedding. We have the rest of our lives and the rest of our bodies for tattoos! I definitely want to finish up my Native American leg stuff, and I plan on getting a Bioshock related tattoo. I also want to get something on my knees, but I’m not quite sure what yet. I plan on having my whole legs done, and my back, if I figure out a nice back piece. I’m still undecided on my arms. I definitely don’t want to go past the elbow, but we will see! Brandon, on the other hand, wants to be completely covered. No neck, hands, or face. Everything else is fair game to him!

 

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Evolution of Fashion

Growing up, I never was in to very girly things. Other than Polly Pockets… I was obsessed with those. Instead I’d rather be on my trampoline with my neighbor boys pretending we were in Code Lyoko or making up our own Survivor type game. I rolled around in mud and rode my bike around with my gang of boys. We’d play video games, Pokemon, eat pizza- in short, I was one of the guys. I always have been. Even in middle school and high school I hung around with guys. 

When my grandma got cancer when I was around 11, my family decided to move two hours to my parent’s hometown. I had to leave where I grew up. My school, my friends, my house. It was a really strange time for me. I was in a whole new city, in a new neighborhood, a new school, my parents had new jobs, and my grandmother passed away. I started really getting into the whole “emo” scene at that time. I turned 12 that summer and started middle school. I wore trip pants, raccoon eyes, and straightened my hair for hours. It’s really embarrassing to look back at that time for me, but it really shaped who I am as a person.

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[8th grade me]

In high school, I had the bright idea to reinvent myself. I was going to be a freshman and nobody would know me. Somehow I convinced myself of that- in a town with 6,000 people and a school of 400 kids, nobody would know me. It backfired, obviously, and I found myself even more confused style wise. By the time I was a sophomore I had a grip on my style, I thought. I sold all my band tee’s at a garage sale and had “nice” basic clothes. But then I started getting back into the “hip” and “edgy” fashion scene. It took me the next two years of high school to somewhat handle finding a mix of the two. 

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[high school me]

So it was time for college, and I was definitely going to reinvent myself. Seriously, who would know me at a big university? I mean, other than the 10 kids from my graduating class that were also going there, or the 40 other kids from my high school who were at the university. I experimented fashion wise a lot in the two years I was at college. This was the time I discovered Tumblr and got really involved in fatshion and body positivity. I wanted to be with trends, but also set my own. I had still never been kissed or had a boyfriend when I was in college, and I was really desperate for attention. I wanted to be pretty, but also make a statement. I guess it was still a strange time with me experimenting with fashion. It was a constant battle of wearing sweats for class or dressing up so I could meet Mr. Right and impress all the other girls. 

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[freshman & sophomore year of college]

Now that I have my own house, my own car payment, and my own bills- I’m a little less interested with fashion. Ha! I don’t have the money or the energy for it. I do enjoy dressing up and going out with Brandon, granted we have the funds. It’s always nice to feel cute and get pampered on a fancy date. I still have a strange mix of clothes and fashion sense. I sort of just wear whatever I think looks good and whatever feels good without really caring much. I admit, I don’t wear things or buy things if Brandon doesn’t like them. Some people may criticize me for that, but I what him to like what I have. I think my fashion has sort of shifted away from the higher end stuff to nerdy t-shirts and jeans, but I do love a cute blouse! 

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[me this past thanksgiving]

I started this post wanting to write about all my tattoos and my views on body art, but it ended up just being me talking about my fashion sense… or lack there of! My next post will hopefully be tattoo related. Unless I get side tracked while writing 😛 

Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken & The Family Pasta Salad

This past Christmas, I received a slow cooker from my grandma. I used it a bunch for the first few weeks and then it seems like I’ve barely used it since. I only like to use it when I am home because I am paranoid leaving it on all day when I’m not there. I’m a worry wart, and I usually think about the crock pot all day long at work.

Lately, though, I’ve been really tired after work. I haven’t felt like moving, let alone cooking. So I threw some stuff in the crock pot before work and was met with a yummy meal when I got home! I found this recipe from Closet Cooking for bacon wrapped apple bbq chicken and was both skeptical and intrigued. I’m normally not a fan of bbq sauce. I always think there is too much or it’s too tangy. And the addition of apples scared me a bit, to be honest. But I tried it out and it was a hit! 

With the chicken I made Brandon’s family’s pasta salad. It is completely different than any pasta salad I’d ever had. My mom always made hers with meats and cheeses. For my new family’s pasta salad you’ll need: bow tie pasta, italian salad dressing, and broccoli slaw mix. You cook the pasta al dente, drain, and rinse it with cold water. After shaking off the extra water, mix in the slaw and dressing. Refrigerate it for at least 10 minutes before you serve it so the dressing has time to soak into the noodles and slaw. 

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Brandon and I are currently watching The Conjuring. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it continues to scare me! We actually saw it in theaters, and for the first time in my life, I was honestly afraid to drive home. We definitely will need to watch a cartoon after this before we go to bed or I won’t be sleeping… which means he won’t be either! 

Does anyone have any recipes they were skeptical to try and ended up loving? Or vice versa? 

Oatmeal Scotchies

Oatmeal scotchies are my absolute favorite cookies. It might be because they were my dad’s favorite cookies. Or because they remind me of Christmas. Or just that they’re so darn good! There is just something magical about the chewy, sweet, and satisfying nature of scotchies. They never lasted long in the house when I was growing up, and I don’t think they’ll last long in my home either!

 

 

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To make these you’ll need:

1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats
1 bag Butterscotch Morsels

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
In a different bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract
Gradually beat the flour mix into the butter/sugar/egg mix
Add in the oats and the butterscotch morsels
Drop rounded balls onto a baking sheet
Bake 8 minutes
Cool for 2-3 minutes, then dig in!

 

 

Here we are!

I’m back! Last night I made a mini post introducing my blog, but today I’m posting to formally introduce myself. Talking about myself is always a strange thing for me simply because I never know what to say. In a nutshell, my name is Abi, and I am a 20 year old girl living in small town Ohio working as a STNA while attending college. I’m engaged, and I will be getting married August 10, 2014… right around the corner! I don’t want to write my whole life story, but I don’t want to do a cop out and leave everyone with that. So to start, here is a picture that sums up my entire personality.

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That picture is from the first Valentines Day Brandon, my fiance, and I spent together. I’m going to write a little about him later on in this post, and I plan on doing a post on how we met, our engagement, and all that other mushy stuff. But as love stories often go, it needs it’s own post! 

Like I mentioned, I’m a STNA, or a state tested nurse aid. I feel like this is a really defining part of me. It takes so much dedication and love to be a nurse aid. I definitely am not in it for the money. When I get home, my back hurts, my feet hurt, and I can’t sit down without making a face. But I do it because I love helping others. I won’t be an aid for much longer, though. I’m attending school to get my BS in Healthcare Administration and Management. I should be graduating in December 2014. I attend school online at Colorado State University Global Campus. I’m constantly busy between working 40 hours a week and doing classes, I hardly have time for other things I enjoy. 

Which leads me to other things I enjoy. Brandon and I both are HUGE nerds. On our first date we played video games, Left 4 Dead 2, actually. I love video games, even though I’m not too good at them. My terrible aim is made up for with a good spirit, I guess. I also am pretty obsessed with The Sims franchise. I have every expansion ever made. I can seriously sit and play that game for 12 hours straight. When I was a teenager I actually would binge for 24+ hours during the summer.

I love comics. I read more graphic novels than comics, if you want to get technical. I used to read a book every few days, but I don’t have the time or energy to do that anymore. My hunger for reading, comics or actual books, has led me to a have a nice little personal library. 

I have a bunch of tattoos. That’s a good way to count them, isn’t it? I plan on doing a post later about all of them and my experiences with tattoos, tattoo culture, the workplace, etc. 

Finally, I couldn’t talk about myself without talking about my family. My family is the most important thing to me. My father passed away in 2008 a few days before my 15th birthday. He left behind my mother, me, my younger sister and brother. My mom started dating about a year after he passed away, and has been with the same person since. Last year we welcomed a new beautiful little girl into the family. My family is my reason for trying. I do everything for them. 

Now to stop rambling on about myself. I wanted to introduce my fiance, Brandon, in this post. He is more than my other half, so it would be silly to introduce myself without introducing him. 

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This is my incredibly handsome, loving, funny, smart, and loyal fiance, Brandon. I might be a little biased, but I think he is the greatest man on this planet. He is such a wonderful ball of positive loving energy. I couldn’t imagine life without him, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be alive without him. 

Brandon and I met at a really bad time in both our lives. I was extremely suicidal and was self harming. He stepped in at the right time and built up my confidence, taught me that I am important, I have meaning, and I am worth something. If it wasn’t for him, I would surely be dead. He too was at a very toxic stage in his life full of self harm and hatred. We saved each other. As we built each other up, our relationship grew stronger and created bonds that will never break. 

Brandon is 19- you can’t tell by his magnificent beard, can you? He is an assistant manager at a gas station and goes to school online for Web Design and Development. It seems like he is always busy with work, but he does actually have some free time! He is really into cars. It seems like whenever we have a break in this terrible Ohio winter he is outside working on making his car better, louder, prettier? or whatever guys like to call it. He plays a lot of video games, and watches a lot of Top Gear. 

Our favorite thing to do together is curl up on the couch and watch Top Gear, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, South Park, or to pick out a movie from our scarily large and ever growing Blu Ray collection. 

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Welcome to cozyhomesweetkisses

Hi everyone! I decided that I talk to myself a little too much, and I should channel all that crazy talk into something semi-productive, so that’s how cozyhome came to be! I’ve been thinking about starting this for a while, so I just decided to take the plunge and go for it.

I will use this space to document the remaining, and probably the most exciting, last four months of my engagement! I’m excited to have a platform to share my experiences as a new wife, recipes, and home tips/tricks/what have you with everyone else. Hopefully I can stick with this and have an outlet other than my noggin.

I wanted to do this brief post to introduce myself to the blog-o-sphere. I have the next two days off of work (woohoo!) and will have an opportunity to make a new post about myself and my handsome fiance. Until next time, keep your homes cozy and your kisses sweet!

 

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