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???


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 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 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....


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!