6.28.2013

Confessional Friday Time!!

I'm linking up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition again for Confessional Friday.

I confess that I haven't bought a new bra in five years and five years ago I didn't even buy the bras.  Mj did.   He really spoiled me while we first started dating and somehow I ended up with 5 Biofit Bra's in different colors.  And a Tiffany's necklace.  Anyways, when my go to nude bra broke in half in the dryer a few weeks ago it was time for a new one.  I caught the Victoria's Secret semi annual sale and got 2 for $49.50.   Bra shopping is not fun!! No wonder it's been so long.  Plus, they are expensive!!

I confess that I have been totally overwhelmed by my DVR since I got back from vacation two weeks ago.  I can't believe it's come to this.  Watching TV like it's my job.  Maybe I really do watch too much TV.  I've been so busy that it just kept filling up with more and more shows that I didn't have time to watch.  I finally got that day I needed last weekend to just chill at the house and got caught up.  I feel much better now!!

I confess that I got really jumping around excited when I got to deposit a paper check to my bank from my iPhone.  Mj's been doing it for years but I couldn't because I didn't have a USAA Credit card.  Well, I finally got one and I was all kinds of excited.  I took a picture and bam!  It was in my account.  Technology is beautiful.  Well, when it's not pissing me off that is.  Why do I even have a paper check in this day and age of direct deposit you wonder?

I confess that I have been the unwitting recipient of a countless number of class action settlements.  I've moved, I've changed my name but they still find me.  This time it was for $8.32.  Apparently I've been wronged again.  It just came out of the blue so hey, I'll take it.
Cardigan: Victoria's Secret // Top:  The Limited // Capris:  old (can't remember) // Shoes:  DSW (Kelly & Katie)
I confess that I really like my casual Friday outfit today. All that shopping I was doing has paid off and I've been having a lot more fun getting dressed in the morning these days.  I've been making some better choices and I'm finally at the point where I'm not depressed when I look in my closet and annoyed that I have all this stuff but nothing to wear.  I would have never worn pink and green together before and I don't usually accessorize for work.  The fashion bloggers are rubbing off on me.  It's taken me a long time but maybe, just maybe I'm starting to become somewhat fashionable.  And I like it.

I confess that I'm kind of digging these sneaker wedges.  I saw the ladies wearing them all over Europe last year and they looked so cool.  I like to be comfortable AND still look cute  This totally fits my more casual style but I'm afraid to pull the trigger.  Thoughts?

I confess that changing your blog name and design is a pain in the butt!  I had to go around and do all kinds of updating.  I couldn't rest until I had everything the way I wanted it.  But it's totally worth it.  I love my new name. It's short and sweet.  I love my new design.  And I love it that all of my social media handles are now the same and reflect my blog title.  I'm feeling very blogger organized and efficient. By the way, if you have me on your blog roll I don't think it updates to the new blog title.  If you get around to it re add me!

This weekend is a beach weekend if ever there was one.  I live about 30 minutes from the beach but I hardly ever go.  The weather is great here but sometimes it's still a little too chilly at the coast for me.  Well, we are having a heat wave and our weather has been simply amazing so we are going to spend tomorrow with the cool breeze on our face and our toes in the sand.  I will not bake because we are bringing our little half tent. 

Have a great weekend everyone!! 

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6.26.2013

New Name New Look

So, as you can see things look a little different around here and I am sooooo excited about it.  I'm not even sure how I got the bug.  When I started this blog as Frugalista Getting Married I was planning our wedding on a budget.  After the wedding dropping Getting was easy enough but after four years I was ready for a change.  All of a sudden I was just really itching for a name change. I thought about it for a while to see if I could actually come up with a new blog title that I'd want to keep forever and ever.  Once I had the name I could not wait to get it changed up.  Like, I needed it done now!! I came up with a different name at first but then suddenly Pink Sunshine just came to me. It's perfect. Pink is my all time favorite color and I can't imagine that ever changing. I love Pink.  It's dainty, feminine and tutu's all wrapped up in a pretty satin bow.  I'm a girly girl.  It fits me.  And being a born and raised So Cal girl who is more likely then not cold even when everyone else isn't will probably never change either.  At least until I hit menopause.  I crave warmth and Sunshine.  I can't guarantee that I am going to live here forever; although I can't see myself living anywhere else but I know I'll always love the Sunshine and hate the rain. So there you have it. Pink Sunshine.

I had a new name and then a blog designer fell into my lap via referral from Jasmine who just had hers done.  It turned out she was available to work on it right away and it all happened faster then I expected it to.

I'm not changing my url thank goodness so it should be pretty seamless.  I'm going to be updating my Bloglovin', Twitter, Facebook, Instagram usernames accordingly.  The only ones who have to actually update anything will be my handful of RSS subscribers and one e mail subscriber so those folks, please update your feeds accordingly as I will be changing that too.  Also, if you currently have one of my buttons on your blogs you will want to switch that up as well.

I was kind of nervous about changing my name because a lot of people find my blog by searching the blog title. What if they can't find me anymore?  Once I decided to change the name I wanted it yesterday so there really was no getting around it.  I had to do it.  And since I'm not the biggest fan of change I'm 99.9 percent sure that this will be the last time it happens.  I figure I better do it now before I blow up in the blog world.  Which I know is about to happen any day now. 


Blog Designed by:
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The first time I had a blog make over I wasn't too sure of what I wanted but this time I was more specific in my requests.  Especially since I plan on keeping this design for a looooong time.  My blog designer is Rekita who blogs over at Her & Nicole and her design site is Designed Lovely Studio.  I have to give her a big giant THANK YOU because I was relentless in my e mails about this, that and the other and she was relentless in the way that she responded to me and did everything she could to give me what I wanted.  We e mailed back and forth constantly for days!  We're talking over 60 emails.  All. Day.  Long.  Change is really hard for me, I am a perfectionist, I am a control freak and I am obsessed.  I'm sure she's thrilled to have her life back.  I know I am!  I really appreciate her hard work on this.  There were a few glitches at the end but she figured out how to fix everything and she even made some last minute changes for me.  She never made me feel like I was a pain in the butt even though I probably was.  I know I was!!!  

Frugalista Married is now Pink Sunshine.  Hope you enjoy my new look as much as I do.


6.25.2013

Target Gift Card Giveway

Ruthy over at Discovery Street is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her Birthday and I was really happy that she invited me to be a part of it.  I consider her one of my "old school" blogging buddies because we've both been at this blogging thing and following each other for so long.  She's also throwing a Mad Men themed Birthday party since her house is the perfect backdrop.  I hear good things about that show but I've never watched it.  I already have too many shows in the lineup.  They just bought this amazing Mid Century modern house and it's been so fun watching their renovations come along.  Not so much fun for her living in a reno as you can imagine considering she has a 9 month old baby.  It's a fixer upper and they are making it beautiful so surely it will be worth it in the end and I can't wait to see the finished product.

There is only one day left to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter widget below.  And you can still enter to win a  Customized Cell Phone Case here.

(Update:  I've switched blog titles and social media links mid giveaway.  If you are trying to access Frugalista Married Bloglovin' the updated link is Pink Sunshine Bloglovin').

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6.23.2013

8 Tips For a Happy Marriage

Please read this post because I deleted the entire thing and had to start from scratch!!  I was totally demoralized but determined that this post should be written so I dusted myself off and did it all over again.

Mj and I have been together for five years and we have never had an argument.  I can hardly even believe that myself.  We don't always agree but we come from a similar enough starting point that it just works.  We push and pull each other with just the right amount of force so that it never results in a verbal altercation.  Our biggest issue is that he's on the messy side and I'm a neat freak who sometimes nags.  If that's our biggest problem I figure we are doing something right.  We are far from perfect but these are some things that have been working for us.  There really is no magic secret to a happy marriage.  Everybody is different and carries their own personality, baggage and expectations into a relationship making each one unique.  What works for one couple may not work for another.  There is no one size fits all solution but we can still learn a lot from one another.

Pic from Christmas Day last year // No white Christmas around these parts

First of all, it really helps if you are compatible.  This is not really a tip.  I'm just stating the obvious.  They say opposites attract but if you don't agree on anything in life it will be really hard to make a relationship work.  Perhaps not impossible just a lot harder.  And not that you want to be with a carbon copy of yourself but it helps if you share similar values, morals and beliefs.  It will be that much easier to relate to each other, get along and deal with life.

1.  Never forget why you fell in love with each other in the first place. We get annoyed at each other.  Sometimes our partners drive us nuts.  It's going to happen.  But anything that bothers me about Mj is insignificant compared to the many things about him that I love. If there are more things about your partner that you don't love then things that you do love that's a problem.

2.  Respect each other. You don't always have to like your partner but I think it's really important to respect them as a person.  Respect breeds trust, kindness and empathy for one another.  It sets the tone for how you relate to each other which sets the foundation for how you handle problems and disagreements.   

3.  Communication.  Tell him what's wrong.  Men are not mind readers and we can't expect them to be.  If I'm visibly disgruntled and Mj asks me what's wrong if I don't tell him that's it.  He will not ask again and my pouting goes ignored.  This is actually a good thing because it makes me realize how much time I'm wasting stewing alone in my anger.  Lack of communication is so often the root of arguments.  Typical scenario.  She's mad but won't say why.  He get's annoyed because she's stomping around yet won't say what the problem is.  Now they are both annoyed.  Any little thing can set either one of them off and the next thing you know there is a fight.  It's best to avoid that whole charade altogether.  If I'm just in a mood and there is no reason for me to be grumpy I apologize in advance and tell him it's not him it's me.  I just need to be a brat right now and he lets me be.  And if it is him that's bothering me even though it's hard I need tell him.  Being upset about it but keeping it to yourself accomplishes nothing.  The longer you wait the more the situation festers and then it's even worse down the road. 

4.  Think of yourselves as a team.  Don't keep score and don't play the blame game.  Just because he screws up it certainly doesn't give you a pass to do something wrong out of spite.  Our mama's taught us this one.  Two wrongs don't make a right.   It's also very destructive to keep score and then throw the mistake back in each others faces later.  It only builds resentment over time and creates a you vs him type of dynamic which is terrible for a relationship.  Nobody is perfect.  People make mistakes.   We need to learn to forgive each other and move on.   Together.

5.  Pick your battles because you will never win them all nor should you because a relationship is about compromise.  You will never get him to understand or agree to your point of view on everything and vice versa.  Push for what's important and pull back on the rest.  Ideally, he will do the same thing for you and you can meet each other half way on most things.

6.  Be willing to admit when you are wrong.  Nobody likes a know it all who always has to be right and have the last word.  All it does is build resentment over time.   

7.  Never stop dating.  It's good for you to see each other in something other then hang around the house comfy cotton casuals.  Have fun together!!  Going out and doing fun things together reminds you of when you first started dating which makes you feel all lovey dovey inside which can do wonders for helping to keep the romance alive.  

8.  Give each other space.  Mj and I lived in a 400 square foot studio condo for about 6 months and it was really hard.  We were basically living on top of each other and that makes anything that annoys you about your partner multiply by 10 because it's in your face all the time.  At first I missed being able to see him all the time when we moved into our house but having two living spaces not to mention two sinks has been wonderful.  Sometimes you just need moments to yourself to just BE.  Take moments away from each other.  Do things apart.  Have experiences apart from each other so that you can come together and share what you've been up to.  Miss each other a bit even if it's just for a few hours.  It makes you even that much more appreciative of your time together. 

I am no expert.  Half of the advice I give are things that I'm still working on myself.  This is my 2nd marriage.  I have screwed up in the past and don't know everything but I have learned a lot from my mistakes.  There are many times where I don't feel worthy of this wonderful sexy man that I have managed to snag.  But lucky for me I love him, he loves me and we are both willing to put in the effort it takes to make our relationship work.  It's a work in progress but that's okay as long as we're both committed to working on it.

Linking up with Emily from Newlywed Moments.

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6.21.2013

My Husband Thinks I'm Fat and Other Confessions

I confess that I have a really bad habit of forgetting to zip up my fly.  When I got out of my car yesterday to meet a few friends for happy hour thinking I looked all cute in my outfit I hear a male voice call out "Your fly is open."  I still don't even know where he was or exactly where that voice came from.  I never did see him but I did zip up my fly.  Oops.  How embarrassing!!

I confess that I've actually been kinda loving this whole eating clean thing.  I was eating like such crap and it feels good to know that at least 90% of what I'm putting into my body is healthy.  What's the other 10% ?  About 10 ounces of coffee in the morning and there was that one glass of wine last night but I have stayed away from candy, baked goods and severely limited my carb intake so as far as I'm concerned that's a win.

I confess that my husband thinks I'm fat.  Well, what am I supposed to think when he says that I need to work on toning exercises?  As a women it's my right to get all indignant about such comments.  I know he doesn't think I'm fat.  I've been doing almost all cardio for the last three years and he just wants me to switch it up.  Muscle building is important too.  And he wants me to be ripped.  Noted.  See next confession.

I confess that I'm kinda proud of how the 30 Day Shred Level 1 has not kicked my butt nearly as much as I was expecting it too.  Maybe I'm not in as bad of shape as my husband thinks I am.  Yes, I was sore but mostly upper body and not even terribly so.  I better not get too confident because it only gets harder and Level 2 will probably be my undoing.
Latest Giveaway Win!!!
I confess that I'm currently part of two giveaways at the same time.  Talk about all or nothing.  One is for a Personalized Cell Phone Case and the other is for a $60 Target Gift Card.  Check them out and enter.  I personally have won 12 giveaways so I am proof that it is possible to win these suckers.  Make that 13.  I just won another one today.

I confess that I'm a little nervous about this new video thing on Instagram.  People in the blog world don't know me in 3D.  It's just different.  I may or may not ever post a video.  We shall see.

Confessional Friday // Linking up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition
I confess that I had no idea that there was actual hot water in the hot water heater. We were watching the episode of Breaking Bad where he goes out and buys an expensive tankless water heater. I ask Mj. So what is actually in the tank that you would need that giant container for anyways? He looks at me like I'm crazy and says water. That's where your hot water comes from when you turn it on and that's why you can "run" out of water. Oh. My next question was, well then where does the hot water come from when you have a tankless heater but I didn't want to miss anymore of that episode being schooled on things that I should apparently already know.

I confess that I had no idea where the brakes on a car were. One day we were driving down the highway and I noticed a red metal circle inside the tire of a car next to us and I asked Mj my usual question. What's that? Again, he looks at me like I'm crazy and says their brakes. But they aren't like that on every car are they? I've never noticed a color like that. Suddenly it was like a whole new world opened up to me. I saw breaks in the wheels of every car I looked at. Well, where did you think the brakes were? He asks.  I actually thought they were somewhere under my foot when I pressed the brake.  That general area.  I've been driving a car since I was 16 so maybe I should know that.   For the record I don't know how to change a flat tire either.

Happy Friday all!!! This day could not come fast enough.
 

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6.19.2013

iPhone Case Giveaway (And Why I Can Never Get a Tattoo)

I finally got around to posting this.  It's my first self hosted Rafflecopter giveaway.  How exciting!  I don't do these a  whole lot but I really love it when I do because I appreciate every single person who reads this little blog and it's a nice way to say thank you.  The only down side is that not everyone has an iPhone and not everyone can win! 

My new iPhone case illustrates one of the main reasons why I can never get a tattoo. Besides the fact that I'm too chicken. Tiny Prints offers iPhone cases with tons of options to personalize it. I've seen people with personal pics on their cases and thought, how cool. I want to get one. But when I finally had the opportunity to do so I froze. I absolutely could not choose. There are way too many pictures that I love and way too many to choose from that it was virtually impossible to pick.  I mean, what if I changed my mind?  How could I possibly narrow it down to just one?  There were way to many options for something that felt so...permanent.  So in the end I didn't choose one at all. If I can't even pick a picture for my cell phone case you know I can't pick one for my body.  I simply have no clue what I want on my body forever so in the end I just don't do it.  Plus, the whole pain thing. 


But that's okay.  If you are terribly indecisive like myself Tiny Prints has tons of other customization options to choose from.  Sadly, I even had a hard time deciding on that.  I had to email my sister and aske Mj before I could make a final decision.  I really need to work on this.  I love the one I, or should I say we, picked.  It has my favorite color Pink and my initial on the back but I could've picked a design with my full name or anything else I wanted.  It got a kick out of getting the e mail that my case had gone to print.  It's always fun when something is literally made just for you.  It's cute, sleek, slim and my precious phone is protected.  Heaven forbid anything happen to it.  I dropped it last week at PF Chang's and my heart dropped for a minute but it was fine. 

If you want a personalized iPhone case of your own you are in luck because I'm giving one away.  Check out all the iPhone Case options  here at Tiny Prints.  And if you win I really hope you won't agonize over it as ridiculously long as I did.  Just pick one!  They're all great.

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6.17.2013

Teeth Whitening, Superman and Father's Day

Every day since we got back from vacation I've really wanted a day of rest where my only responsibility is breathing.  And that is not technically even my responsibility per se as it's an involuntary process.  We got back from DC on Tuesday afternoon and I've been on the go ever since.  The day we got back I went straight to the gym, then to a baseball game, then right back to work for the rest of the week.  It continued with a weekend that turned out to be much busier then I expected.
Looks like some kind of weird science experiment
Lunch at PF Chang's  // Sister and nephew

We had the patio to ourselves
I skipped out of work really early on Friday to spend the day with my mom and sister.  We had a teeth whitening date.  Haven't you heard?  That is THE latest thing to do with your friends.  When I found out that my mom and sister bought a teeth whitening Groupon I had to buy one too.  I actually wasn't all that interested in getting my teeth whitened.  I just didn't want to be left out and thought it would be fun to do together.  The procedure took 30 minutes.  There was a lot of drooling involved, at least for me.  I had about 5 different trays filled with gel to bite down on for 10 minutes at a time while the LED light shines on your mouth. By the 3rd round my lips were feeling numb and spicy.  We got maintenance gel filled pens to take home.  My teeth were already pretty white.  White is basically white so I don't know how noticeable it is but I think my teeth did brighten up a few shades.  Afterwards we had a really nice lunch at PF Chang's.  I'm trying to come off of my juice fast the right way so I stuck with veggies, rice and tofu.  They hung out at my house for a while before heading home.
Goofy Glasses.  It's impossible to look sexy in these things.
Saturday morning Mj felt like going out to breakfast so we got up and did that.  I got egg whites and coffee.  Then, we went to see Man of Steel at Cinepolis.  We had to leave the house by 3:50 to meet our friends for pre movie drinks at 4:30 pm and the movie started at 5:30pm.  When talking about this movie it simply has to be said.  The man is hot.  Central Casting made an excellent decision when they cast Henry Cavill as Super Man.  I didn't understand some of what was going on but it was entertaining and Henry Cavill is really hot.  Did I already say that?  We saw it in 3D so the tickets were $22.50 each!  Oh well.  I ordered a Chicken Caesar salad during the movie and Mj ordered a whole bunch of stuff to recover from having been forced to go into work on a Saturday.  I may or may not have had a few bites of his chocolate molten dessert.
Dani, Mom, Me at IHOP

Me and my Daddy
Sunday morning I was up at 7:30 am to meet my family for an early breakfast with my Dad for Father's Day.  We went to IHOP where I had ...more egg whites!  I made it home around 4pm and went straight for my laptop to download some photos and get some blogging done.  I was working on a guest post for another blogger on Thursday to send out Friday and just putting on the finishing touches when it somehow got deleted from Blogger.  I was totally devastated!  I was so upset.  I didn't think I had the heart to start all over but I got an extension on the deadline and managed to re write it by Sunday night.

In the midst of all of this I still need to buy a new bra since my only good nude one broke and I'm trying to get caught up on my DVR.  What kind of world is this where we catch up on TV watching like it's our job?  I don't know, but I have a ton of shows I need to watch and haven't really had the time to do it.  I also have three movies that I have to return to Blockbuster by mail.  We canceled and if I don't send them back in time they are charging $20 bucks each which is ridiculous.  Figures that all the movies I have left are between 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  I watched one on Saturday and Les Miserables yesterday.  Has anyone seen that movie?  It was so good and so sad that I was bawling.  The acting was amazing and I have always loved the music.  Mj heard me sobbing and came upstairs to see what was wrong with me. I can't wait to see the play live in NYC again.  We haven't actually planned a trip to NYC just yet but when we do that is definitely on the itinerary. 

Today is Day 1 of the Advocare Cleanse and the 30 Day Shred.  We'll see how that goes.  So maybe this weekend I'll get my do nothing but breathe and catch up on DVR day?  Probably not.  Mj is already talking about going to the beach, we need to go grocery shopping and I will need to clean my house.  It's been a delightful 75-80 degrees and sunny since we got back.  I guess it makes perfect sense that I'm out there enjoying it with friends and family even though the homebody in me just wants to chill on the couch.


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6.14.2013

From Dover to DC and the Stupid Rain

Clockwise:  Cracker Barrel Pancakes // Rural road from Dover to DC // Travel Naps // Margarita Pizza
Our trip to the Washington DC Metro area was a friends and family trip. There were no real plans of what we'd door when we'd do it. Mj decided how many nights we were staying in each place, but other then that our itinerary evolved on it's own day by day.  No extensive internet research required.  We slept in most mornings and did a lot of sitting around on the couch with friends and family.  A total departure from the frenetic exhausting pace of Europe.  And it was nice.  And cheap since we didn't have to pay for hotels.  We spent two nights in Dover with my Mother in law and one night with my Father in law. The last 3 nights we spent with Mj's friend L in Maryland.  The states are so small and close together that half the time I didn't even know what state we were in.  The weather was hit and miss.  Mostly miss. The humidity is ridiculous.  78 degrees there feels a whole lot different then it does in California.
Out to dinner with mom and Mj's nephew
After a very early five hour flight that went way faster then I expected we picked up our rental car in Baltimore and made it to his Mom's house by Wednesday evening.  The 2nd night we were there we went out to dinner at a BBQ joint.      

Spencer's // The Amish Farmer's Market
There isn't much in Dover.  It's really weird how everything you need is there and yet there seems to be not much of anything at all.  Such is small town life.  There are no snazzy restaurants or bars to speak of and not much to look at either.  If I lived there I'd probably quit shopping and there is a very good chance I'd let myself go.  I'd try not to of course but just being in this town you just kind of get this feeling that there is no point.  Unless you want to get all gussied up to go to Boscov's.  The best thing about Dover is contained in one single Amish Farmer's Market that goes by the name of Spencer's.  I have this odd fascination with the Amish since I've been watching Breaking Amish so I got really excited whenever I saw them in their long dark dresses and white bonnets.  And boy can they bake and cook.  I wanted to eat almost everything in there.  It was wall to wall with baked goods, candy, cheese, bread and delicious foods.  Where else can you get Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Crackers?  I ate one and the other one was for Mj but he left it in L's fridge.  Oh well.  It was really good and so was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and Coffee Cake that Mj bought.  I really wanted the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Popcorn and some cheese but after buying Chocolate Peanut Clusters and Gummy Bears I was already pushing it so I had to let it go.

On Friday and Saturday we visited with Mj's grandmothers.  They live in two different senior living communities in two different states.  Going to an old folks home is good and bad.  It makes me feel very young and spry when I'm surrounded by grey hair and walkers.  But it also makes me feel kind of sad about the prospect of getting old.  It's totally inevitable.  I get that.  But it's gotta be hard to watch yourself and your friends kind of deteriorate before your very eyes and lose their independence. Okay, that took a turn for the depressing.  Moving on.
Mj and his Dad

I got my Cracker Barrel on Saturday morning with Mj and his Dad.  It is always a must do when we go out there because their pancakes are crispy edged perfection and the closest one we have is in Arizona.  Then we hit the road for Maryland.  There are no actual highways between Dover and Maryland so we spent a long time on surface areas before we finally hit the highway.  It's so green and rural.  We spent the next 3 nights there at L's.  His girlfriend Em was in town and they made dinner for us that first night.   

At L's house

In Georgetown in front of the Potomac River

Sunday was the nicest day of the whole trip.  Still humid but sunny and no rain.  The four of us stopped for brunch then went to Georgetown at my suggestion.  Why?  I don't know.  It was something to do, I thought it might be a fun place to see and I heard there was good shopping.  I totally struck out shopping which was actually a good thing.  Most of the shops are super expensive and really; I just don't need anything else.
Botanical Gardens in Washington DC
Capital Building
The actual White House.  Not the US Treasury Building

Monday was the first day of the trip that we had on our own.  It was with a sense of dread that I set out for DC because of the stupid rain. I really couldn't see sitting in the house so even though it was supposed to rain for most of the day we decided to go for it anyways.  At first it was just light scattered showers.  We saw the Capital Building and went inside the Botanical Gardens and Air & Space Museum.  We met one of Mj's friends for lunch and after that is when it really hit.  We decided to skip the Lincoln Monument, head straight for the White House and get going.  There was ponding everywhere.  That's a new word I picked up watching East Coast news station.   It means giant puddles.  I had an umbrella in one had so I asked Mj to help me so I could get the camera out and take a picture.  Turns out that wasn't the White House.  It was the US Treasury Building.  Coulda fooled me.  So we walk some more.  It was raining hard and then it started raining even harder.  We snapped a few rushed pics of the White House and Michelle's famous garden.
Water Logged


We still had a long walk to our car and by and by this time we were soaking wet.   Mj more then me because he didn't even have an umbrella.  Then, I realize I have to go to the bathroom.  Really bad.  The rain coming down isn't helping matters.  Then we realize we have only 13 minutes left on our meter. Then there is a long line at the museum to get in.  So we rush into the next museum.  It was humid and sticky.  I felt gross and itchy from my jeans sticking to my legs.  My hair was a damp frizzy disheveled mess.  Our socks and shoes were soaked. Converse and ittly bitty pink umbrellas aren't exactly made for East Coast rain.  Fun right? Well, somehow it actually was.  As we rushed down the street with my hot dripping wet hands holding his I was okay because we were out there doing it together.  And these are the times you tend to remember most right?  That one time we got caught in the rain and ended up soaking wet while speed walking through the streets of DC.

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6.12.2013

Vacation Over and a Broken Bra

We're back. The 2nd thing I relished as I stepped off the airplane was the crisp cool air.  Don't get me wrong.  In two seconds I was getting chilly again but it was a huge departure from the muggy, hot, heavy air that permeates the DC Metro area. It's like a hot musty blanket hanging over your head and that's when it's not even raining.  When it rains it's worse.  The 1st thing I relished as we came in for landing was the beauty that is San Diego.  It's so nice to be home.

Our flights there and back were obscenely early.  Both departed at 6:30am so coming and going we had to wake up at zero dark thirty.  I hated ever single second of our flights to and from Europe and normally I hate every second of air travel just going coast to coast but surprisingly it just wasn't that bad.  And I didn't feel like a total wreck when I got off the plane.  I may have looked like one but I felt okay.  I am NOT plane pretty.  I am more like plane plain when I have a long flight ahead of me.  It's yoga pants, converse, glasses and Vaseline on my lips.  I asked Mj.  Do I look awful?  He said no and he would totally tell me the truth so that's good enough for me.

On the way there I worked on my novel for about 4 hours.  No new pages really, just fine tuning.  Which was definitely too long for me to be staring at a white screen with tiny words thousands of feet in the air because by the time I shut my lap top my stomach was queasy and I was looking around for the barf bags.  The five hour flight was over before I knew it.  Same thing on the way home.  I worked on my novel for most of it then napped.  Maybe early morning instead of our usual red eye flights is the way to go.  Airport bathrooms however are always terrible and awkward.  Mj never had to use them but I did.  I bend over to pull my pants down and my head hits the wall.  Then I'm hanging onto the hand rail for dear life as I hover and squat because nobody sits on those toilets right?

We made it home by 11:30am which was great.  We unpacked and by that I mean threw almost everything in the laundry.  I decided to hit the gym.  If not now then when?  Turns out it was the most awesome elliptical work out ever.  I had an hour to burn.  Literally.  So Mj suggested I take a movie he'd ordered off iTunes (Hit & Run) and watch it on his iPad.  I forgot I was working out and it flew by.  It was like I was sweating profusely while watching a movie and the whole burning 630 calories thing was a bonus.  I watched the last 20 minutes later that day.  When I got home Mj was winding down for a nap.  I was tired but that gym work out revved me up a little. I just didn't feel I had enough time to sleep, wake up and still be functional.  Between finishing laundry, eating, watching a few shows and recovering from the shock of finding out that my favorite bra had split in half I never got around to that nap.

Yes, you read that right.  When I took my bra out of the dryer it was literally split in half.  Normally I don't put them in the dryer but I wanted to wear it that night so went ahead and did it.  It's been in the dryer plenty of times before back when I used to dry them so I figured no big deal.   It's a Victoria's Secret Biofit bra and honestly, I've had the thing since 2008 so I guess it was just time for it to split.   It's my only nude bra with straps so now I have to add trip to Victoria's Secret to my list of things to do.

So on top of the five hour flight, gym and laundry we went to a 7:00pm Padre game that night.  The Braves were in town and Mj had to see them so that was that.  Bedtime did not come until around 11:30am but it was so deliciously wonderful to be in my own bed.  I'm on the juice for the next few days to cleanse myself of all the crap I've been foolishly putting into my body and then I'll be starting the Advocare herbal cleanse.  It's a detox that includes food so that's pretty exciting.  I need to get back to making better food choices again.  No more vacations until December so that should help!  I'll be back with a vacation recap and that darn giveaway I keep mentioning.  I promise! It's really going to happen.

By the way thank you soooo much for all of your wonderful comments on this post and crystallizing the concept that popularity is totally overrated.  I have such great readers and have made such amazing connections with other bloggers just being who I am.  Nothing else really matters.  Duh.



6.05.2013

Boys and Their Toys


I'm not sure what's so fun about this little toy remote control helicopter. A friend of Mj's had this and when Mj saw a Groupon deal for it he bought one too. I shook my head a little and wondered why he wanted such a thing. Boys and their toys. But when he started the little thing up and sent it flying about the room I found myself fascinated. It's so cute and it's just fun to watch for some reason.  On his first try he  crashed it into walls and even me! Now he's so good he can land it in the palms of my hands.  This little helicopter is indestructible.  It doesn't break upon impact and it also doesn't destroy things that it crashes into because it's made of a really lightweight plastic material.  It's fine to fly it in the house as long as you don't run it into fragile objects.

This is an Estes Remote Control Helicopter. It takes 6 AA batteries and I recommend rechargeables because it kills batteries pretty quick.  If you are looking for a fun and different gift for your guy this is perfect. Father's Day maybe?  It's not just for kids. And chances are you'll get a kick out of it too.

30 second video of the helo in action

So, it's time for me to be off on trip #3 for the year.  I have not organized any guest bloggers so it's going to be pretty quiet around these parts.  Which is fine.  The old blog will be here when I get back.  Hopefully.  I've heard of two bloggers that had their blogs randomly deleted by blogger but it won't happen to me.  Right?  I'm off to my 2nd trip in as many weeks and I haven't felt a single ounce of anxiety.  Which is completely unusual for me.  Maybe I'm finally getting a hang of this whole not freaking out before a trip thing.  The packing was done in advance and I'm only going to Washington DC not Timbuktu so aside from my glasses and my Rx I can buy anything I forget when I get there.  Our flight leaves obscenely early.  6:30 am!  Which is probably why we got such a great deal on our airfare so it's worth it.  I packed way too many clothes and I'm really wishing I didn't see thunderstorms in the forecast but I'm ready.

When I get back I'll be trying aout the Advocare Herbal Cleanse.  I'm sure my body will be screaming for a good detox when I get back because I plan on hitting up Cracker Barrel at least 4 times while we're there.  Kidding.  One time will do.  I've also got a great giveaway planned.  See you then!!

6.03.2013

I'm not the Popular Type

Okay.  This is a long one but I want you to read it so grab a coffee or wine if it's after 12 noon if you are so obliged.

In middle school there was a girl named Phaedra. She had brown curly hair with giant bangs teased sky high and shellacked with hairspray.  Our generation of 8th graders single handedly put a dent in the ozone with all of that aqua net.  Me included.  She had thick shiny braces on her teeth, brown hair, blue eyes, an outgoing personality and she was popular.  Everybody liked her.  In High School there were several queen bees that ruled the roost.  One of them was a fellow cheerleader and friend.  Let's call her Lena.  She was smart, pretty and sweet.  She had an upperclassmen boyfriend who was one of the cutest boys in school, she had a big house, everyone thought her dad was cute and she even had a car.  Everyone liked her too.  People just flocked to her and wanted to be her friend. 

I was never that popular kid.  I was always on the fringe.  I wouldn't exactly say I was a nerd.  Okay, I definitely was a nerd up until 10th grade but somewhere around that time things started to improve for me.  I was already on Varsity Gymnastics but I made the Cheer leading team.  I joined student government.  I ditched glasses for contacts and started to get a handle on what to do with my hair.  By my senior year I could call a lot of those "cool" kids my friends and  I even made prom court.  To this day I still can't believe that happened.  I didn't have that outgoing personality that draws people in.  I was quiet.  I wasn't the star anything.  I wasn't loud enough, confident enough, smart enough, different enough or pretty enough.  I didn't have the right clothes.  People didn't flock to me the way they did to them.  I mingled with them.  But I couldn't BE them.  

This post was featured as an editor pick on BlogHer.com

I've been blogging for about 4 years now.  At first I was totally oblivious to the whole blogger industry that was exploding around me.  I started seeing other bloggers post about comparing themselves to others, feeling inadequate and reading a post and wishing they could have written it.  I was like, what are they talking about?  Then I came out from under whatever rock I was hiding under and realized that there were some really popular blogs out there gaining thousands of followers and that blogging was moving in a new direction.  Then somewhere along the way I started having some of those feelings myself.  It was a feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And then it dawned on me that some of those old feelings of wanting to be accepted and liked that I had in high school had resurfaced but substitute high school for the blogging world.  And it was kind of weird to realize this because as an adult I thought that I'd put those kind of emotions behind me.  I work full time, I pay bills.  I have a greater awareness of the world. I have a full happy life with fulfilling relationships.  I have a mortgage and a husband.  Why am I concerned about being popular, liked and coming up with a really witty status update that will stand out?  'Aint nobody got time for that.

The blog world is full of popular kids, cliques and social hierarchy.  And it can feel very competitive.  I'm not saying any of it's bad, good or intentional but it's there.  I think it's just the nature of the beast.  Here's the thing.  I've never been and will probably never be that cool kid.  I didn't win Prom Queen my Senior year in high school and I'm certainly not winning any popularity contests in the blog world today.  Popularity was important to me as an insecure teenager but it's not what I'm after now as a slightly less insecure adult blogger.  

I ran for class secretary my freshman year of high school.  It was a really bold move for someone like me.  I was terrified of the whole process and I still can't figure out what possessed me to do it.  Anyway, I failed miserably.  Not only because I was an unpopular nerd but because I was too afraid to 'put myself out there.'  I didn't want to put up too many signs.  I didn't want to hand out candy with a vote for me tag on it.  I didn't want to ask people to vote for me.  I was running for a class office but it was almost like I didn't want anyone to know that I was.  The more people that knew I was running the more that would know I failed.  Plus, I couldn't actually let them know how bad I really wanted it because that would make defeat even more embarrassing.  In that sense, I am just not a natural when it comes to selling myself.  I don't always like to put myself out there like that.  It makes me feel vulnerable and I've never liked asking people for help or favors.  I want you to like my blog but I don't necessarily want to ask you.  I'm stubborn.  I want you to stumble upon it and make the decision on your own. Perhaps by osmosis.   

I'm not the life of the party.  I'm more of an understated introvert and I guess my blog is too.

I can't be more eloquent, funnier, craftier, more domestic, more fashionable, more this or more that then I am.  It's too exhausting to try to be something I'm not. I can only be me.

Popularity is seductive.  We all want to be liked.  Being liked is validating.  The more validated we become the more we want it.  The less validated we are the more we want it.  It's a natural desire but I try to be conscious of not letting it determine how I feel about myself.

I have come to understand that not everybody is gonna like me even if I like them.  Not everyone will want to read my blog even if I read theirs.  And vice versa.  A lot of people are not going to be interested in a single thing I have to say. It doesn't have to be personal.  It's just life.  We can only read so many blogs in a day anyways.

I can comment 'till the cows come home and some bloggers will never acknowledge my existence.  Ever.  And I am not a no reply commenter. Again, trying not to take it personally.

There is no exact science to blogging or popularity.  It's what you make it and it's what you bring to the table as an individual.  Some bloggers will write two words or post a picture and get a million comments and the next person could post those same words with picture and get none.  Some blogs employ all the tricks in the book to gain readers and then there are others that don't have to.

I realize that if I don't do certain things I may never get noticed.  If I don't throw a party I can't expect anyone to show up.  If I don't coordinate my ideas I can't expect a lot of people to know about them.  There are many tools of the trade available for growing readership but I haven't really utilized all of them.  I can't seem to decide what feels right for me and my blog.  I do a bit of self promotion here and there but mostly I just take it as it comes.  It's the so called organic approach.  Which basically means slow. 

Then there is the business side of it all.  Thinking too much about word optimization, page views, or how to 'drive' traffic makes my brain hurt.  Marketing what?  It's too much like work and I don't think of this blog as a job.

Here are the blog stats in all their glory.  It's not anything to brag about.  Normally you see this stuff posted on the Sponsor tab of a blog but I don't have one of those so I'm putting them here and after this you are likely never to see them again.  I have the lowest number of likes in the history of any Facebook page I have ever seen.  I actually think it's kind of funny.  I'm still not sure why I even bother with it.  I don't pay that much attention to page views but I've seen anywhere between 180-450 per day based on the blogger dash numbers which are known to be inflated.  Nowhere near the astronomical 8,000 per day page views that some get.  My jaw about fell off my head when I saw that posted on someone's blog.  Maybe I should be embarrassed of these stats after 4 years of blogging but I'm not.  They're just numbers.  I wish I felt the same about my weight.

GFC:  236
Bloglovin':  68
Feedburner: 8
Twitter: 105
Instagram:  63
Facebook: 7
Pinterest:  37

I try not to confuse popularity or followers with quality.  It's really important for me to think about MY definition of blogger success.  Whatever that means to me is what will dictate the direction of my blog and how I feel about myself as a blogger.  Not everyone is cut out for blogger mogul status. Yes, you heard it here first; I've coined the phrase.  It's very impressive how far some of them have taken their blogs and I think that's great but not every blogger will get there. 

For me it can't be about followers because if it is then that means I'm a total fail and I refuse to believe that's the case.  I just want to write.  I'm working on a novel.  I enjoy documenting my life so I can look back on it later in life and I've been doing so since I was 9.  For me it's about good writing and feeling good about what I'm putting out there.  It's about consistency.  I may not have a set blogging schedule but for the most part you know you won't go too long without having me pop up in your news feed.  I love the relationships that I've formed with other bloggers.  It's about writing, engaging with other bloggers and having a good time doing it.  As long as I'm doing that I'm good.  I'm not going to sit here and say I don't want people to read my blog or that I wouldn't be happy to have higher numbers.  I wouldn't be on the internet if I didn't want anyone to read.  Having higher numbers would be cool...but not having that doesn't make me enjoy blogging any less.

I may not be good at getting a lot of people to like me but I am good at getting a few people to like me a lot.  There are some really good blogs that not a whole lot of people are reading and I like to believe that one of them is mine.  Not so much the whole nobody is reading thing, but that my blog is good.


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