Monday, December 19, 2011

In Terms of Gains & Losses...

Yes, I realize I have not written in my blog in 4 months.  I've been busy, y'all...gettin' hitched (best day of my life/I'm so glad everyone's stopped acting crazy), figuring out where to store all of my beautiful, newly acquired housewife items, and trying to make a decent grade in my very first graduate class.  It's been crazy.

If there is one thing I have learned in my first two months of marriage, it is this: if there's a football game on TV, you're probably watching it.  I'd call it false advertising - of course dear, you can watch Grey's Anatomy on the big TV, I don't want to watch Thursday Night Football - then suddenly, he puts another ring on it and you're watching Every.  Single.  Game.  Sometimes I even think in football language now, which is why I decided to present my 4-month life update in terms of gains & losses.

Over the past 4 months...

I gained: a new last name, which was really exciting until I realized...the only things I know how to write in cursive are my first name and my maiden name.  Uh oh.  Several kindergarten-scratch looking trial and errors later, I think I've improved quite a bit.  Improved as in, you can almost read the first three letters.

I lost: my mind when I thought it would be a great idea to begin working on my master's degree the same semester I planned a wedding.  I probably should have given that a little more thought but it turned out just fine in the end.  I'm pleased with my grade and more importantly, prepared myself a little more for taking two graduate classes next semester.  And yes, I did do homework on our honeymoon.  By the way, I'm getting my Master of Arts in Teaching, Middle Grades 5-9.  I'm going to get my initial certification in Social Studies and if I really get wild, I may also get certified in Language Arts.

I gained: this beautiful, unique white dress...that I have no idea what to do with.  Fellow wives, what did you do with your dress after the big day?  I am almost certain it will end up at my mother's house for the next 30 years but I won't lie, I entertained the idea of selling it.  Why not?  I will never wear it again, and if fashion repeats itself every 20 years, that's great, but I don't (and won't) have a daughter getting married 20 years from now.  Mark that down.

I lost: probably about 5 pounds when I got sick on our honeymoon.  Fun, right?  Well, at least I got sick on the last day, because you know, who wants to enjoy one last day in paradise?  I spent the last day of our honeymoon curled up in our hotel bed with wracking stomach pains.  No, before you ask, I didn't drink the water...but we did venture off the resort one evening for an authentic Mexican dinner that turned out to be a little too authentic for me.  I did make it home in one piece though, which was a major accomplishment.

I gained: a wonderful, loving husband that I am so happy to be married to.  Engaged life was fun, but married life is where it's at.  It helps that he just bought me a Nook Color for Christmas and fixes my coffee pot to auto-brew in the morning.

I lost: the freedom of only having to do laundry about every two weeks.  Men and their clothes - I don't get it!  That's another post for another time.  But let me say this - Husband amasses about three loads of dirty laundry to my one.  I've never seen anything like it.

That about sums it up.  I know it doesn't sound like I have done a whole lot in the past 4 months but trust me, planning a wedding is no joke.  Life is back to normal though, and I have a lot to say to make up for lost time!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mullet of the Week


Judo Mullet

This stunning specimen, spotted at the Owen County Judo Tournament in April, immediately caught my eye and I just could not resist.  Would you look at the shape and rattiness of that Kentucky waterfall?  As an added bonus, he was wearing a windsuit.  A silk windsuit.  Complete with sport stripe down the side.  And I thought judo tournaments would not entertain me!  This cat is ready to jump on the mat and "hadaka jime" someone (yeah, that's a judo term.  Impressed?)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Is Kyle slow?" - Teen Mom Recap, Week 1

Normally on Wednesday I would be doing a "What I'm Loving" post, and that's kind of what this is....except for I am only discussing one topic that I sure am loving this week!

The return of....
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes, I know.  Please do not lecture me about my tendency to watch trash TV, as I am well aware it rots my brain.  I justify watching Teen Mom by telling myself it's a true, honest portrayal for young girls of how your life can change if you have an unexpected pregnancy....but really, I just like the drama.  This was a big week as it was the season premiere, and we are back with the original cast - Maci, Amber, Farrah, and Catelyn.  It's great that MTV brought them back because we've been watching these girls long enough to have a vested interest in their life stories.

Maci is still living in Nashville with Kyle and commuting to take little Bentley to see his dad Ryan.  Can anyone explain to me why she does all the driving back and forth?  If that jealous rat Ryan was my baby daddy, he would be putting some miles on that BMW you see parked in his garage.  Anyway, Maci finds out this week that Ryan's child support is not going into her bank account and she wastes no time getting legal on him.  Thankfully it ends up being a banking glitch and the child support shows up.  Now Maci is wanting Kyle to meet Ryan and Kyle is refusing.  Red flag, Maci, red flag!

Amber's back and she's just as much of a hot mess as ever.  She's dating this new guy, Chris (an equally hot mess), and good ol Gary shows up and wants to get back together.  Amber makes one of the smarter decisions she's made in her life and decides to go back to Gary to have their family back together again.  Well, we know how well that works out (ominous foreshadowing!)

Farrah has now decided that her boobs aren't big enough to support her fledgling modeling career and of course the obvious next step is to call around to different banks until she finds one who will give her a loan for breast implants.  Yes, I'm serious.  The rest of her segments in the episode depict her pain and suffering post-surgery.  I don't even want to waste any more of my life talking about her.

Tyler and Catelyn are sitting at Catelyn's house when she realizes, oh, someone has tried to pry my bedroom window open.  And look, someone has actually pried my younger brother's window open, and what's that, Mom?  You say that a door was open when you got back home earlier today?  GEEZ.  Let's call the police and report a break-in.  So Tyler & Catelyn decide to make lemonade out of those lemons and get an apartment together.  Of course, Tyler's mom is not overly pleased but let's be honest here....they've had a baby.  I think the jig is up.

Most Awesome Moment: Ryan, Maci's baby daddy, sending her a text while sitting right across from her: "Is Kyle slow?"  Later, Ryan claims, "I've had hundreds of people ask me."

Dumbest Moment: It's a tie between Farrah and Maci.  You see one clip of Farrah tossing pizzas at her job and complaining about making ends meet as a single mom......but then she decides it's a great idea to get a loan for breast implants.  Do you think she will be able to write this off as a business expense?  Then after Ryan calls Maci's current boyfriend Kyle "slow," Maci tells Kyle about this and then complains when Kyle gets mad at Ryan.  Sheesh, haven't you kids learned anything by now?

Best Performance: I have to go with Tyler & Catelyn for this week.  I would have hoped they had noticed earlier that the house had been broken into, but I suppose that's just as much Catelyn's mom's fault, bless that woman's heart.  She needs help.  Anyway, Tyler & Catelyn didn't make any stupid decisions this week, and Catelyn's younger brother has a child mullet, so I'll give them the award.  Also, has anyone else noticed how much Tyler looks like Justin Bieber?

Cliffhanger: Will Amber get sheets for her bed?!!?  I can't tell you how much seeing Gary sitting on a mattress without sheets disgusts me, and not because of Gary!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recharged

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine." - Robert Gallagher

It's probably the understatement of the year to say that it's been awhile.  Of course, I didn't expect to just start writing again and not explain to my 23 followers (and the hundreds of you that anonymously read - I know you're there - I see the numbers) where I have been.  So we'll start at the beginning.

I wouldn't say that I'm a person who invites change.  I don't go out of my way to avoid it, but at the same time, I don't actively seek out opportunities to change things up.  I'm a fairly habitual person and so most of the time, when I experience an event that results in a moderate-to-serious life change, it puts me "out of sorts" for awhile.  So you can imagine, when over the course of two months (late February - late April) I: got engaged, resigned from my old job, moved out of my apartment into Daniel's house in a new city, and then started a new job (in that order), it was a little, you might say, unsettling.  One major life change at a time is enough but to experience four in such a short time is....interesting.

In retrospect, it was probably better for me that everything happened all at once because I had less time to process each individual event and overanalyze everything.  I had already planned on moving and that was a blessing in disguise when I left my old job.  Being unemployed was a humbling experience and I can honestly say that I will never consider being a stay at home mom now - I have realized that I really need to have a professional outlet in order to feel good about myself and feel like I am helping to contribute to the family.  I have a wonderful new job now and I honestly love my coworkers and my new environment.  I won't say too much, but leaving behind massive amounts of stress and a toxic working environment, all while doing a job that doesn't make you feel fulfilled and proud of your work, can really make someone's quality of life increase drastically.

So here I am.  It's been a crazy past few months, but thanks to the love and support of my fiance, family, and friends, I made it through the hard times and have been able to rejoice in all the good that these changes have brought to my life.  I am finally settled in my new life and routine and if this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life, I'm one lucky girl.  There is so much to be said about faith and I am so glad that somewhere in my life I realized how important it was to have faith in yourself and that in the end, everything will work out - maybe not the way you want it to, but the way it's supposed to.

Don't worry - while I've been taking some time to recharge and get settled, I've come up with some really great blog posts to write.  You didn't think I would come back without quality material, did you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!


It's Wednesday, and that means I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind Of Love to tell the world what I'm loving this week!  Strangely enough, I realized that everything I have loved this week has to do with either food or drink....so we'll call this the WILW Food & Beverage Edition.

Starbucks.  Yes yes, I know we have always loved Starbucks, but since going back to work last week I have rediscovered my love for this tasty (and expensive) coffee concoction.  At my old job, it used to be really easy for me to avoid going to Starbucks - there wasn't one close to my office, and unless I left my house early enough, I didn't have time to make it there.  However.....there just so happens to be a Starbucks on the way to my new office and it's been very hard to resist.  So hard, in fact, I've been 5 times since last Monday.....yeah, I have to get this under control.  My drink of choice is a grande non-fat raspberry latte, closely followed by a skinny vanilla latte (remember this in case you need to bribe me to do something for you.)

Lemon wafers.  Technically this picture is of vanilla wafers, but lemon wafers look the same.  I discovered these little gems in the cookie aisle at Kroger while trying to find stuff to put in my lunch.  I thought, I like lemon, I'll try these....and with the first bite, my life was changed.  They aren't overly lemon-y, but have just enough of a bite to make it a refreshing experience.  I went through a box in about, oh, three days.  So much for my "white dress diet."


Raspberry citrus-flavored Diet Mountain Dew.  First let me say, I hate even admitting that I even tried this drink.  I think it's widely accepted in the world that Mountain Dew is like water for rednecks.  I mean, some people (mostly in the eastern part of Kentucky, but let's not judge) drink Mountain Dew from the time they can hold a bottle....and then of course, all their teeth rot out, but that's beside the point.  I am ready to publicly admit that my beloved fiance is a DMD addict (he drinks Diet, so I'll give him a little credit) and while restocking his supply, I was attracted to this pretty blue beverage.  After reading on the bottle that it was a raspberry citrus version of DMD, I had to try it.....and I love it.  I am so embarrassed to type this right now.....but it tastes just like a carbonated version of this blue lemonade Kool-Aid that I loved as a little girl.  Want to hear the worst part?  I bought a 12-pack.  You don't have to tell me, I know I'm headed down a slippery slope.

Convection oven.  Not really food or drink, but in certain cases (such as this evening) it allows you access to food.  I mean let's be honest - sometimes, the oven (for whatever reason) doesn't get your chicken cooked all the way, and you have a hungry man to feed.  What's a girl to do?  I considered turning the oven back on and letting it heat back up, which would take forever....and then I thought, why not put them in the convection oven?  Until tonight, I have never been able to say I found this contraption particularly useful, but it cooked the chicken more in 20 minutes than the regular oven did in 45.  Which leads me to wonder....can I just bake everything in the convection oven?  And, do they come in bigger sizes?  I don't think all my pans will fit in there.  Listen guys, I'm a WIT (wife in training) right now, and if I can find a shortcut...please don't rain on  my parade.  Unless you know I am going to set the house on fire by trying this method...then please, by all means, speak up.

What are you loving this week???

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!


It's Wednesday, and that means I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to tell the world what I'm loving this week!


Frozen onions.  Strange, yes, but such a big help when cooking.  I just re-discovered my love for frozen onions tonight while cooking enchiladas.  You don't have to do any manual labor; they don't make you cry; and your hands won't smell like onions for hours afterwards.  Perfect for the Suzie Homemaker who would rather expend her energy chopping up something for dessert.  To me, everything about frozen onions is a win-win situation, and that's my favorite kind of situation to be in.



Zyrtec-D.  I don't think I would be able to leave the house right now without it.  I grew up in Ashland, smog/dirty air capital of the world, and never had a problem with allergies.  I move to central Kentucky, and whoa, twice a year (spring and early fall) I lose the ability to breathe.  Can anyone explain this to me?  Clearly I am now having seasonal allergies, but what am I allergic to?  Clean air?


My Vera Bradley desk calendar.  Oh, Vera, you never let me down.  Your beautiful patterns and bright color combinations always make me so happy.  I bought this desk calendar (same pattern as in the picture) at the beginning of this year at a great clearance price.  Seriously, I think I paid $5 for it.  At my old job, I already had a desk calendar so I didn't have a use for it, but I think God was sending me a sign when he told me to buy it.  When I walk into my new job on Monday, I'll be taking my lovely VB desk calendar with me :)  More on my new gig very soon.



Coupons.  I've been at it again, and I have to tell you, couponing gives me a rush.  I know that's sad, but it's a thrill to figure out ways to cleverly coupon and save more money.  I think they call it "stacking" coupons in the business.  Here's what I pulled off this week:
1. Kroger had 12-packs of Pepsi products on sale 4 for $10 with a Kroger card.  I had a manufacturer's coupon for an additional $2 off, so I got 4 12-packs for $8.  Okay, that's not that clever, but considering that 12-packs are about $4 each, 4 of them would have cost me $16 and I got them for $8, about a 50% savings.
2.  This one is my pride & joy.  I had two manufacturer's coupons for Old Spice - one was $1 off two Old Spice products, and the other was a buy one get one free Old Spice bodywash.  I purchased two bodywashes (at $3.50 apiece) and first scanned the $1 off coupon, so the machine still thought I was purchasing two products.  Then I scanned the B1G1 coupon to get the second bodywash free.  So, I got both bodywashes for $2.50 when it normally would have cost me $7.  I was so proud of myself!!!
3. Then at Wal-Mart, I saved about $13 from manufacturer's coupons I had cut out of the newspaper.  I would have saved more but Wal-mart wouldn't let me "stack" the coupons - has anyone else had this problem?  Anyway, this week we saved about $30 on things we would have had to buy anyway.  That's my rule - I won't buy it unless it's something we need now or would need eventually.

What are you loving this week???

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Funny To Get You Through the Week...

Earlier this evening I was wasting time on Facebook, and I ran across this picture I had posted and tagged my dad in:


Yeah, you read right.  My dad has Facebook.  The day I got a friend request from him was probably one of the 10 most awkward days of my life.  But, I digress.

One rainy November evening (insert "November Rain" or Guns N' Roses comments here) I discovered this highly entertaining website called Face-In-Hole.  I discovered this website because my best friend Cathy posted a picture of me "with" Justin Bieber - I found this uproariously funny and decided to spend my entire evening putting my friends in pictures.

I have long thought that my dad resembles Hulk Hogan, and this Face-In-Hole opportunity was golden.  I put him in the picture and promply uploaded it to Facebook, tagging him in the picture so it would appear on his profile.  About 10 minutes after I posted it, I got a call from Dad saying that he appreciated me tagging Hulk Hogan as him and that was really funny.  It took me about 30 seconds to figure out that Dad didn't realize that was his face in the picture and not Hulk Hogan's.  We argued on the phone about this for a good 15 minutes until I told him to have June, my stepmother, take a look and verify for him that it was, in fact, his face.  Even after this, Dad still didn't believe it was him on the screen.  20 minutes later, he finally conceded that it was his face on Hulk's body, only after he saw the birthmark he has on his cheek in the picture.

SHEESH.

And people wonder why I am the way I am?!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My new favorite game?

I believe that I have inadvertently stumbled upon what may become my new obsession....my new favorite game...and probably ultimately my downfall.


You see that?  Yeah, that's what you think it is.  That's a stack of coupons.

I have never been one to clip coupons.  Not because I don't see the value in it, but because I don't usually plan out my shopping trips more than 5 minutes in advance.  Typically, I will drive to Target, pull into the parking lot, and think what do I need to get here?  I make a list on my phone, and I'm off.  This also happens at the grocery store, and just about every other store I go into.  Not very conducive to couponing.

But I'm going to be a wife now, you know, and this means I am going to have to learn how to plan shopping trips.  Specifically, trips to the grocery store, because stopping at Kroger every night on my way home from work and buying a box of macaroni & cheese is not going to cut it anymore.  I have embraced this change and in trying to make myself get used to looking for coupons, I was looking through the ones that came in the mail the other day and I stumbled across a $3 off coupon for Nivea bodywash.

I use bodywash, and I thought, well, that's a pretty big coupon, so I cut it out.  I had to make a trip to Wal-Mart today for groceries (just for one dinner, mind you, I don't have the meal planning thing down yet) and I thought I would check out the Nivea bodywash while I was there.  So imagine my surprise when I only found one bottle left on the shelf (this should have foreshadowed what was about to happen.)  I smelled it; not my favorite scent but I could live with it.  I look at the price tag to see how much I'm going to have to pay for this and the tag says: Rollback!!  $3.00.

WHAT?!?!?

I blinked about 20 times and realized that yes, the bodywash had been on sale for $3.38 but was on sale for $3.00, and my coupon was for $3 off....which meant.....surely not.....that bodywash was FREE!  I about died right there in the aisle.  Is this what it feels like to be an extreme couponer?!?!

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think I could ever be like those women on the show.  First of all, I think it's counterproductive to have to buy 45 bottles of mustard in order to get 30 of them free.  What am I going to do with 45 bottles of mustard?  Or 45 bottles of anything, for that matter?  I am not a hoarder and I'm not going to become one in order to become a couponer.  However, I definitely now see the value in looking for coupons (for the things I need only) because clearly it could save me some dollars.

Of course I know what will happen....I'll start buying stuff I use, but don't immediately need, just because I have a coupon.  So if you see me at Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger etc. and I have a cart full of junk, please stage an intervention immediately.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and that means I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to tell the world what I'm loving this week!



Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flops - Seriously, run, do not walk, and get yourself a pair of these stat.  I have never felt anything more heavenly on my feet.  I'm pretty critical when it comes to flip-flops - I don't like ones that are too thin or ones with plastic straps that rub against the tops of my feet.  These flip-flops are the best of all worlds - yes, the bottoms are made out of yoga mat material.  Soooo cushy and supportive, even when you wear them for an extended period of time.  I could probably run a marathon in these.....okay, maybe not, but only because you will never see me running a marathon, not because these would make my feet hurt.  The women's shoes are called Yoga Mats, and the men's shoes are called Beer Coozy (no, fellas, buying these won't make you any less masculine.)


This fella.  Okay, I promise this is not going to turn into a mush-fest, but I really just have to give my man some love this week on the blog.  I have been going through some pretty big life changes recently (hence the reason for my blogging hiatus - more on this later) and he has been nothing less than amazing.  So supportive, patient, understanding, and caring - I could not ask for anything more.  Really, if this is what the unconditional love of marriage feels like, this is the best decision I have ever made.  (But honey, I would appreciate it if you would put the toilet paper back on the holder when you get out a new roll instead of sitting it beside the holder.  See, it's not all hearts and sparkles in my eyes......I kid, I kid.)



Chicks, Ducks, & Bunnies - version 2.0.  These Sweettart jellybeans were an accidental discovery, originally purchased during a moment of desperation when sugar was essential and no CDB's were to be found.  And my oh my, what a discovery.  Not only do these jellybeans come in 6 flavors instead of 3 flavors like the CDB's, but you can also eat a lot more of these before your mouth starts to get raw.  They might have less calories too, I can't say that for a fact, but jellybeans are generally lower-calorie so we'll just go with it to make ourselves feel better.  I encourage you to try them ASAP, and I'll trade you my yellows for your purples.


Giovanni's Pizza.  Oh hello delicious, how are you today?  You Ashland people know what I'm talking about.  Giovanni's Pizza, for those of you that don't know, is hands down the best pizza in the world.  Greasy, thin, and smothered in toppings, you just can't beat it.  I believe Giovanni's is a regional delicacy but I was so happy to discover that there is a Gio's in Winchester.  Sometimes it's just nice to have a little reminder of home.

What are you loving this Wednesday???

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crazy Things We Do For Love...Red River Gorge

I'll be the first to admit it....I'm not what you would call an "outdoors" kind of girl.  Far from it.  In fact, other than my newfound interest in gardening, my idea of "outdoors activity" is lounging by a pool in the summer....and don't even think about suggesting I do anything outdoors in the winter.  If there's one thing I hate more than green vegetables, it's cold weather.

That said, you can imagine the predicament I found myself in this past summer when Daniel suggested we go camping one evening with our friends Scott and Amanda at the Red River Gorge.  Are you kidding me?  Camping to me is, let's go to a creek and run around for awhile, maybe roast some hot dogs, definitely make s'mores, and then we can go home to sleep or go to a hotel, as long as there's indoor plumbing and a bed.  Unfortunately this does not align with the male idea of camping.....so it was sleep in a tent, or disappoint Daniel, neither of which I really wanted to do.

Luckily I remembered that due to a prior commitment, we had to be somewhere that particular morning and so there was just no way I could spend Saturday night in a tent.  I agreed that we could leave early Saturday morning and meet Scott & Amanda to hang out for the day and come back to town that night.

I'll be honest with you, camping wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  Although according to everyone else, I didn't go camping, I went "camping" because it's not really camping unless you stay in a tent.  I beg to differ.  But I did learn a few things that I would like to share with you now:

1.  Old Navy flip flops are not made for walking in a creek.  While I love a good pair of $3.50 flip flops, the thinness of these flops do not provide for a particularly enjoyable experience while walking on rocks in a creekbed.  However, going barefoot is not really an option either as that hurts even more.  I know, I tried doing it both ways.  The solution?  Wear the cheap flops long enough to get you to a clearing where you can sit down on a towel, and park it.  There's no need to be walking around in a creek anyway.  Unless you are trying to catch crawdads, in which case....
2.  Make sure you bring appropriate wildlife-catching equipment.  Amanda and I quickly discovered that catching crawdads, while a good way to pass the time and have a friendly competition, is just not possible with your bare hands.  I spent about two hours trying to catch a minnow and I just gave up.  We sent the boys to the "general store" to pick up some things and they came back with a net.  Bingo!!!  Amanda & I started catching all kinds of stuff.  I will caution you that if you decide to temporarily keep your wildlife in a container, make sure you cover it, for crying out loud.  I finally caught one of those fish and he jumped right out of the container.
3.  Don't wear scented lotion, unless it's scented with citronella.  Yes, I know, I really should have thought about this, but while fulfilling my desire to have soft skin, I turned myself into a one-woman bug attractor.  It was insanity.  I've always had a problem with mosquitoes but this was absolutely ridiculous.  Trust me on this one, just skip body lotion for the day and you'll be fine.

I thought perhaps I had escaped any future camping trips, but as it turns out, Daniel & I are getting married so I'm guessing this is going to be a yearly adventure for me.  I'll be ready...as soon as I buy some of those rubber-soled water shoes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You Like Me....You Really Like Me!

I apologize for my two week hiatus from blogging.....I really do.  You might have thought I was running around doing fun wedding planning things, but....not so much.  No, I've been spending my time at the ol' workplace, working some fabulous 13 hour days, and a strange daily schedule to compensate for said 13-hour days.  Yes folks, it's Telefund time, which for those of you who don't know is my station's longest annual on-air fundraising pledge drive.  It lasts for 16 nights and while I don't have to work every night, I have to work enough nights to make me cuh-razy.  Although I will say, the little bit of wedding planning I have started to do has been a real eye-opener.....but more on that later.

It's pretty amazing to me that even though I have been MIA for two weeks, I still received another blog award!  You guys like me...you really like me!  A big thank you to sweet Jessica at Running Through Life in High Heels for my Stylish Blogger Award...if you haven't checked out her blog, make sure you take a look - it's so cute!


Here are the rules:
1. Link back and thank the person that gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered blogs.
4. Contact them and tell them about their award.
 
Without further adieu, 7 things you may or may not know about me:
1.  I have a strong aversion to green vegetables and will avoid them at any cost. Strangely enough, I do like lima beans and peas and those seem to be vegetables most people hate. 
2.  Although I was raised in Ashland, I was born in Huntington, West Virginia (my mom's obstetrician was there.)  Sometimes I cheer for WVU since technically I am a Mountaineer by birth (do I like to admit this?  No.)  I like to say I have dual "state-ship" which is not quite as glamorous as dual citizenship.
3.  I am a dog person - cats are okay, but they are so creepy. Say you're doing your makeup in the morning - you can hear a dog coming up behind you and sticking their nose in your business. Cats, on the other hand....you turn around and they have been sitting there watching you for like an hour and you didn't even know it. CREEPY.
4.  I am an only child. Once I got to high school, I started wishing I had an older brother so I could date his friends.
5.  I have a small scar on my chin where I fell on a gas can and cut myself when I was 2.
6.  I have a major sweet tooth, but can easily pass up chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, and oatmeal raisin cookies.
7.  If I don't watch the Today show while I'm getting ready for work in the mornings, I feel totally lost and my day usually turns out to be bad.
I am passing this award on to:
 
Make sure and check out all of their blogs....well worth the click!  Thanks again to Jessica!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

It All Comes Back to Sweettarts.

Friday was a typical day for me - I went to work, came home, kicked my shoes off, and plopped on the couch to play Angry Birds for a minute to rid myself of work stress for the weekend.  The only thing that had happened out of the ordinary was that I received my Yoga Mat flip-flops I had ordered (you'll hear more about them on Wednesday because, let me tell you, I am loving them.)  I called Daniel to see what he wanted to do for dinner and we decided I would drive over to his house and then we would pick where we wanted to eat from there.

I get to Daniel's house and nothing is amiss, so of course I had no idea what was about to happen.  We sat and watched TV for a few minutes and I kept trying to get him up and out the door because I was hungry.  Finally he got out of his chair and I got up to get my purse and car keys together so we could leave.  Just about the time I am starting to get really impatient, Daniel says to me, "I have something to give you before we go eat so stand here and close your eyes."  I reply, "Did you get me Sweettarts?"  I knew my beloved Chicks, Ducks, & Bunnies have hit the store shelves (let's be honest, I've already been through two bags) and I thought I was about to get a sweet surprise.

As it turns out.....I didn't get Sweettarts, but I did get a sweet surprise:


I opened my eyes to find him on one knee with that amazing rock.  That is an awful iPhone picture and I am not lying when I tell you it doesn't even come close to doing my ring justice.  I was stunned silent.  That never happens.  But what an endorsement for Sweettarts - did I think I was getting an engagement ring?  Oh no.  This girl just wanted some Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies.  I hope someone from the Wonka Company reads this story and sends me a check. 

After asking Daniel about 500 times if this was really happening and making sure that I was not dreaming, I realized that he really had just asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  A flurry of phone calls and two hours later, we finally went out for dinner....although for some reason, my appetite was gone and my mind was elsewhere!

So here I am on Sunday, a fiancee.  I can honestly tell you I have never been more happy or excited in my life!  I don't know how I got lucky enough to be able to spend the rest of my life with the best person I know, but here I am.  Daniel is truly my teammate and my other half and I know it's rare for people to actually find their soulmates in this crazy world.  And he did such a wonderful job - not only is my ring more than I could have ever asked for, but he designed it himself and pulled the whole thing off without me ever finding out about it.  That's the real miracle here because I am quite the detective when I feel like something strange is going on!

I will not be turning this into a wedding planning blog because, let's face it, there are a billion of those, and why would you want to read about tasting cakes and trying on dresses when you can read about mullets?  I am sure though that my adventures in wedding planning will provide some great stories for this blog!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!



It's Wednesday, and that means I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind Of Love to tell the world what I'm loving this week!


The Amazing Race - it's back!!!!  I have waited since December for my favorite show to start again and here it is!  I'm not sure I'm sold on the whole "Unfinished Business" season thing though.  Some of these teams I didn't like seeing the first time around and so to see them again is kind of a bummer.  My favorite teams are the cowboys (I hope they don't get eliminated this Sunday!), the Globetrotters, and Margie & Luke (the deaf guy.)  My least favorite teams are Amanda & Kris (they are not very smart) and Kent & Vyxsin.  I honestly think that Kent wears more eye makeup than I do - he is a guy, and that is not okay.  I am curious about one thing though - I had read back in December a list of the teams that were supposed to be on this season and some of them are not on - the cops (Michael & Louie), the home shopping hosts from last season, and also the Asian guy & his dad from last season.  Does anybody know any gossip on what happened here???

and

Spring treats.  It doesn't exactly feel like spring outside yet, but I know the sun & humidity will be arriving soon as both Girl Scout cookies and Chicks, Ducks, and Bunnies have arrived!!  I could have sworn I only ordered two boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year but strangely enough my bag had three boxes in it...hmm, wonder how that happened?  Oh well, I'm not complaining.  And Chicks, Ducks, and Bunnies...now that is how I got hooked on Sweettarts.  You have to be careful with these though - each piece is roughly the size of two Sweettarts and so they make your mouth raw a lot faster.  Also, they only come in pink, blue, and purple so that's kind of disappointing as I also enjoy the green Sweettarts - but clearly, this is not stopping me from eating them.  Let me offer up a word of caution - as you get towards the bottom of the Sweettart bag, many times the pieces will be covered in Sweettart dust - do not inhale as you put these in your mouth!!  You will choke and cough your head off for approximately 30 minutes, leaving your coworkers to ask you an unnecessary amount of times if you are okay.
Another spring treat - my new Dooney & Bourke.  I usually buy one new Dooney a year and my dear boyfriend made this year's purchase for me as a birthday gift.  I love Dooney's duck pattern and I am so excited for it to warm up outside so I can finally carry this colorful gem - it has been in my closet since September!  I know the bright colors are going to be an instant pick-me-up whenever I need it, and as a bonus, it's huge - perfect for all the random stuff I like to keep in my purse.  I hope I can make it until April!


This guy.  Meet Sawyer, Daniel's Great Dane.  I have started to claim him as mine, but only when he is behaving and/or does something cute or good.  When he's bad, he's 100% Daniel's dog.  Sawyer and I have what you might call a love/hate relationship - I think he loves me most of the time, but he hates me when I make him behave; and I love him most of the time, but hate him when he's sassy.  And boy, is this one sassy dog - I have never heard a dog backtalk someone like Sawyer does.  If you aren't giving him what he wants, he likes to get up in your face and do this sassy half bark-half yelp noise.  It's quite interesting what happens when a dog the size of a human decides he wants to "play" - I will admit that Sawyer & I have had quite a few physical altercations and usually I'm the one who ends up hurt or bruised.  However, I am loving Sawyer this week because he really is starting to calm down and behave better and I think we have hit a new high in our relationship.  I'm definitely a dog person, and I had forgotten how nice it is to have a dog around - I mean, look at that face...then he tries to bite your feet and the cuteness somehow disappears.

What are you loving this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three Months, Three Re-commitments

My apologies for not being around for the past week, but I've been pretty busy:

We celebrated the 29th birthday of this wild & crazy guy with BD's Mongolian Grill, cookie cake, and a Shake Weight.  Isn't my old man cute?


I shopped at David's Bridal with this lovely and displayed a level of wedding-dress-trying-on organization never before seen in the store.  I'm not her Maid of Honor for no reason!  I also got to try on some "fun" (hideous) headpieces, the best of which looked like I had a live bird in my hair.  Awesome.


I hung out with these hot mamas and reminisced about the good ol days!

I realize that going a week without blogging is not really a long time in the grand scheme of things.  However, I told myself when I started this that I was going to keep up with it and not be one of those occasional bloggers who only posts twice a month.  Plus, I have a lot of stories to tell, and if I only blog once a week it's going to take me forever.

So with that, and in honor of the beginning of March (the third month of the year) coming up next week, I have decided that I am going to recommit to three things in my life:
1. My blog.

2. The gym. I am not what you would call a "gym rat," in fact, I can completely understand that the idea of me in a gym is hilarious to some (and rightly so, I'm what you might call an indoor girl.)  I joined a gym around the corner from my house about a year ago and while I can't report a 20 pound weight loss, I have lost some inches and redistributed things in a way that makes me feel better about my appearance.  I still have a long way to go though, and because of this, I am committing to myself to do my very best to make it to the gym at least three days a week.  Sometimes things genuinely come up, but like most of us, I'm also good at making excuses and that has to stop.  If I know I'm not going to be able to go after work, I am going to make myself get up in the morning and go.  There, I said it for all the blog world to see - now I have to hold myself to it.

3. Reading.  I used to read like a fool - I had my nose stuck in a book constantly.  Then I went to college, and reading became more of a necessity than a pastime, and I found myself hating books (especially books about Algebra and Logic.)  After falling out of the habit of reading I just haven't made time to get myself back into it - but I love to read, and so this is something I really want to work on.  My goal is to read a book a month for the rest of this year and then write about each book on my blog.  I am currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and up next is The Confession by John Grisham.  After that, I'm going to need some suggestions....so I need everybody to be thinking about their favorite book titles to send my way!

We're three months into 2011....what are your three re-commitments?





Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My First Award!

I apologize for being so MIA.....I haven't posted in almost a week!  Somehow time got away from me, but don't worry, I'm back with some great news....

I WON MY FIRST BLOG AWARD!!!!

Yes, you heard right....thanks to Jessica, I have won my very first ever blog award!  I habitually don't win things, so this is a big deal for me!  Jessica, thank you very much - and everyone else, make sure and check out her blog - it's super cute.


So here is how the Breathtaking Blog Award works - I have to answer the following questions:

1. Who/what inspires you?
It's hard for me to pick out one particular individual that I can say inspires me in every way.  It would be easy for me to pick out people who inspire me in certain areas, but I can't think of a specific person who inspires me as a whole.  So I will say this - people that inspire me are people who always manage to find the positive in any situation.  I know we all get down and out at certain times in our lives, but the people in this world who know how to pull something inspiring out of any situation.  People like this inspire me to work harder, love deeper, and try within myself to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bad it may seem to be.
2. What is your favorite season and why?
Fall, hands down fall.  I love the smells, the colors, the temperatures, and my birthday....I just love everything about fall.  Yes, I know, the trees are more or less dying for the winter, but there's a beauty in it that I just can't explain.  I love fall so much, it's a non-negotiable for me that I will get married in the fall (but not too close to my birthday, of course.  That would mean I would only get one holiday instead of two.)
3. What are you most looking forward to this year?
Warm temperatures, and sunshine!  I'm sure everyone is saying this but I really notice a change in my mood (and a change in others' moods) when the sun is out and it's at least 40 degrees.  With that said, this should be a good week because it's supposed to be 60 by Friday (heat wave!)  Long-term, I'm also looking forward to finding out what 11:11 means (more on this in an upcoming post, but quick summary - I'm convinced I'm getting a sign from God.)
4. If you could write a book about anything, what would it be about?
I'm not sure if I can pick one thing in particular right now, but I know that whatever I wrote about, it would be something funny.  There's just not enough laughter in the world today and if I could help contribute to making people laugh through my writing, I would definitely go that route.  Oh, who am I kidding, my book would be about mullets. 
5. What is your greatest passion?
My greatest passion in life is probably taking care of those I love and care about.  I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words and while making sure people you care about know it verbally, it's so important to also show it through your actions.  I just like to take care of people and do what I can for them - people have done a lot for me in my 26 years and I want to pay it forward.
6. If you could change one thing about your life or yourself, what would it be?
I would have spent much more time in college trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life career-wise.  We all know it's so easy in a fun college setting to get caught up in the day-to-day and enjoy the moment - which certainly has its merits, but at the same time, I wish I would have put more thought into the long-term - what do I want to do with myself for the next 30 years?  Almost every gal (and guy, for that matter) that I know in their mid-20's is in the same position - not knowing what they have been put on the Earth to do.  Sometimes it's not fun.
7. Lastly, what is your favorite novel?
I used to read all.the.time. - and then "big girl" life got in the way and I fell out of the habit.  I am trying to get back into reading at least one book a month.  With that said, as weird as it sounds, I think my favorite novel is probably The Chamber by John Grisham.  Not necessarily because of the subject matter, but because this is the first John Grisham book I read and he quickly became my favorite author.  As a matter of fact, his latest book is sitting on my nightstand, just waiting to be read.  Coming in a close second is the classic To Kill A Mockingbird (but I think that's on everyone's list.)

I get to pass this award on!  Check out these Breathtaking Blogs:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday


It's Wednesday, and so that means I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to tell the world what I'm loving this week!


My water bottle.  Mine is blue with brown polka dots, and a big "H" on it.  Now you may be surprised to hear this, but I have started to frequent the gym (meaning I go once or twice a week, three times if I'm really ambitious.)  I know that it's Fitness 101 to take a water bottle with you and drink while you work out in order to keep cool and hydrated, but I never wanted to do that because I could just picture myself falling off the elliptical while I was trying to take a drink.  I'm not good at doing two things at once.  When I went to the gym on Monday, I was so thirsty because I had popcorn at work, and so in a moment of weakness I filled my bottle up and took it to the gym with me.  Best decision I ever made!  I definitely stayed cooler which in turn helped me to keep up my pace during the workout.  Imagine that, me listening to someone else's advice!  I'm turning over a new leaf here.

Osis Dust It hair powder by Schwarzkopf.  I have baby fine hair, and so I love volumizing products and use them daily, most times to excessive amounts - but you know what they say, the higher the hair, the closer to God.  This is my latest discovery, thanks to Allison.  Aveda makes a similar product that I have tried and loved, but at $25 for a tiny bottle, I had to choose smaller hair as opposed to a smaller checking account.  I found the Dust It on Amazon for $11 for the same size bottle as the Aveda product!  Happiness!  Shake a little (and I do mean a little) on your roots and fluff.  The powder is a matte texturizer that holds like hairspray but doesn't have the crunchy feeling, and holds through humidity.  Try it now!  (I really should get some kind of endorsement deal with Schwarzkopf.)



Turkey Hill lemonade tea.  Oh my word, cut me open right now and you will find this in my veins.  I cannot get enough of this!!!  Something about the combination of lemonade and tea is so irresistible.  Most people only like to drink it in the summer but I am a year-rounder.  Maybe subconsciously it reminds me of summer, which is nice since it has been snowing yet again today.  Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who is an enabler and keeps a carton in his refrigerator for me at all times.



Tulips.  On the same token as subconsciously thinking about summer, I have been looking at pictures of tulips lately in a last-ditch effort to get myself through the snow slump.  Tulips are my favorite flowers of all time - I love them all, every color.  They remind me of spring, which makes me happy.  To me, spring is the season of hope - just when we thought it would be cold and gray winter forever, spring happens and everything is blooming and beautiful.  While I detest the humidity and allergies that spring brings into my life (after all, every rose has its thorn) spring should serve as a reminder to us all that hope springs eternal.

What are you loving this Wednesday??

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Super Bowl Prediction

The Super Bowl is tomorrow and if you're anything like me, the last thing you pay attention to is the actual game.  There's so much else going on - commercials, the halftime show.....and everybody knows it's not about who plays the better game, anyway.  Here's what decides the Super Bowl for me:

1. Which team has the best looking quarterback? 

This is Aaron Rodgers.  He is 27 years old and is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.  Not that we care so much about career statistics here, but Aaron went to the University of California and was drafted to the Packers in 2005.  He's really good at football.  More importantly, he's cute.  Look at that face!  And just a little bit of neat facial hair, just enough to say I'm a football player, I'm tough without saying I'm lazy and I don't like to shave.
This is Ben Roethlisberger.  He is 28 years old and is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He went to Miami University in Ohio and was drafted to the Steelers in 2004.  He is also really good at football. You may or may not have heard about this, but Ben has been in trouble a few times during his NFL career....we'll leave it at that and get to the relevant stuff - he is not cute.  He could have been, at one point in time, but now he has let a wooly mammoth take over his face and it's not working for him.  Additionally, he needs to get his hair cut because frankly, he's starting to get a little bit of a mullet.  It's just not cute.  Plus, for some reason he looks like he's at least 40.
Advantage: Green Bay.  Come on, was this even a contest?

2. Which team has the best rap fight song?

This is Wiz Khalifa.  He wrote a song called "Black and Yellow" all about how much he loves Pittsburgh and the Steelers.  You might have heard it, it's a pretty popular song.  Now some people don't think this song is about Pittsburgh, and that's certainly up for debate, but when the Steelers made it to the playoffs and now to the Super Bowl, they decided to own this song.  I certainly hope Wiz is being paid a kickback from the Steelers.
So Lil Wayne hears "Black and Yellow'" and decides that his team also needs an anthem.  Thus, "Green and Yellow" was born.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Weezy, but really?  He couldn't get any more creative than "Green and Yellow?"  Yes, I understand those are Green Bay's colors, but that's basically the same as "Black and Yellow."  Weezy, my friend, you have been sippin on too much sizzurp.

                                        Advantage: Pittsburgh.  Wiz Khalifa did it first!
3.  Which team has the best souvenir?

This is a Terrible Towel.  I don't know much about how this works so I looked it up on Wikipedia....and I still don't get it.  Basically the team needed some kind of gimmick, and they came up with this towel, and for some reason they decided to call it Terrible.  I don't know, I don't get it either....can someone from Pittsburgh help me?  Why would you call anything about your team Terrible?  At least you could use it to dry your seat off if it had been raining before the game.

This is a cheesehead hat!  It's awesome.  I understand the connection here: Green Bay is in Wisconsin, which is famous for cheese, thus = a cheesehead hat.  It makes perfect sense.  Usually they are made out of foam and can also be referred to as a "Cheese Hat" since it is, in fact, a hat.  Genius.  You may or may not know that humans lose most of their body heat from their head, so wearing a Cheese Hat at a football game also keeps you much warmer than a little Terrible Towel would.
Advantage: Cheesehead Hat.  I love cheese, and I like to be warm.

So there you have it.  Most may say that the winner of the Super Bowl is determined by who plays the better game, but I think it's about way more than who scores the most points.  Based on my system, the Green Bay Packers will be winning tomorrow.....and if they really do win, remember who gave you the hot tip.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Secret Life Of My iPod.....

I had originally planned on writing today's post on a different topic, but while at work today I was discussing favorite old-school songs with two of my coworkers, which led to a discussion about songs we love but are embarrassed to admit it - or, our guilty listening pleasures.  Naturally I began to think about what my guilty pleasures are when it comes to music, but of course I didn't talk about it because....well, that would be embarrassing!  So instead, I decided to share it on my blog for the whole world to see.  Just like I always say, if you're going to walk up to the bell, you might as well ring it.

Keep in mind, these are my guilty listening pleasures that until this point I have been ashamed to admit that I'm secretly crazy about....most other things I will openly admit to liking, for example, Justin Bieber.  Without further adieu, I present my top 5 guilty pleasures:

1. "Summer Girls" by LFO.  Not only is this a catchy song, it's also educational - how can you argue a song that teaches listeners that Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets?  And to be honest with you, before I heard this song, I didn't realize that the great Larry Bird wore Jersey #33.  I actually was thisclose to seeing LFO in concert - in high school, my friend Anna Conley & I escorted her little sister & a few friends to a Britney Spears concert (so yes, I have been to a Britney concert) and LFO was supposed to be the opening act.  Anna & I were all ready, wearing our Abercrombie & Fitch and everything....and LFO didn't show up because they were sick.  To this day, that really upsets me because I would rather tell people I had seen LFO in concert and not the trainwreck that is Britney.

                                                                                                                                                                       
2. "Living On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi.  Now don't get me wrong, it's not embarrassing at all to like Bon Jovi.  They are, after all, one of the most legitimate of the 80's hair bands, and Jon Bon Jovi has had a long and illustrious solo career.  This song is a guilty pleasure because no matter where I'm at, or what I'm doing.....I have to sing along.  As Daniel and most of my friends can attest, I am no Celine Dion, and me trying to hit the "whoa-OH" in the chorus sounds like a duck being strangled.  Admit it - you can't listen to this and not sing along.
                                                      
3. "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus.  As much as you love to hate Miley, the chorus of this song is just so dang catchy, and easy to relate to.  I mean, who hasn't hopped into a cab at LAX, with a dream and a cardigan, and then a Jay-Z song comes on, and you started waving your arms around like crazy?  I see people raising the roof in the backseat of cabs all the time.  While rocking out to this song, you just somehow have to forget that the girl singing it had a double identity as a Disney character and will probably turn out to be the next Britney, and that her dad could more or less be credited with making the mullet popular.  Just enjoy the music.


4. "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin.  I don't care who you are, if you can listen to this song and not wiggle in your chair just even a little bit, something is wrong with you.  Ricky's Latin beats appeal to even the whitest of white people.  I will openly admit that I purchased this CD and his first CD (featuring "Livin La Vida Loca") for my mother and I was not ashamed to rock out in the car with her.  If you like Ricky Martin and you are ashamed to admit it, just tell people that Zumba made you do it....everybody's all about that these days.


5. The "All That" Soundtrack.  I bought this CD on a whim back in, oh, probably 1995 and let me tell you, it was probably the best $16 I've ever spent.  Not only does it include classic artists like Coolio, Immature, and Mokenstef, but also sound clips of "All That" skits such as Goodburger & Earboy.  Talk about a blast from the past!  My personal favorite jam on this CD is "Candy Rain" by Soul For Real.  My love, do you ever dream of, candy coated rainbows?  There's even a Lori Beth Denberg skit on here - I know you remember who she is!  All I have to say is, "Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger, can I take your orrrrrrder?"

What are your guilty listening pleasures???  Feel free to comment anonymously if you have to!