I Won an Awesome Giveaway

Godet Cardigan, $95

Linen Cardigan, $165
I love to win!  Who doesn't right?  It doesn't even have to be much in order for me to get excited about it but I really hit the jackpot on this one.  One of my favorite and most fashionable bloggers Leslie over at Blonde Ambition hosted one of the best giveaways I've seen yet.  By the way she just got engaged and I cannot wait to see how beautiful her wedding turns out.  This is actually the first blog giveaway that I've ever entered.   We got to choose 2 of 5 items from Charli Girls.  Oh how my heart was yearning for these lovely sweaters as I did my entry even though I didn't really believe I had a chance in hell of winning.  Until I did!! I'm sure there were well over 100 entries and I was lucky #85! I'd never heard of this company before but I checked out their website and they've got some really cute stuff.  I love the muted colors and the weekend wear meets dressy style.  The fabrics are all soft and flowy.  This is truly the perfect prize.  I am always cold so sweaters are my best friend.  I try to have cute ones in a variety of neutral colors that go with everything because I don't ever leave the house without one.  Not only is the prize perfect but the timing couldn't be better.  I'm on a very limited budget right now and winning this gives me my little shopping fix. 

Mj laughs about my sweepstakes/contest entering ways.  It is not at all unusual for me to be simultaneously entering several different online contests at a time daily.  Part of me doesn't believe I will win but the other part of me figures why not try anyways.  Most of the time I don't win but this is a perfect example of how you just never know-for once it could be you!  It's been a long tiring week and I haven't been sleeping well.  Last night was my first good night of rest and finding out about this prize was the best way to start out my Friday.  Thanks again Leslie!!  Now, if I could just win that Dream house on HGTV I'd be all set!

An Award for Me

I got an award!!  Adorably Distracted gave me the Versatile Blogger award.  I love her blog because it's real.  She tells it like it is and that's that.  No sugar coating required.  Getting an award for being versatile seems sort of ironic at the moment because lately I feel like I never have anything interesting to write about.  Well, at least now I do!  I love it that the questions do not require soul searching or totally profound answers.  I always get stumped on those and never know what to write.  These I can do.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Answer 10 questions*
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy*
4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award
Disclaimer:  I must add this note because I don't want anyone to feel obligated to answer the questions and/or pass it on.  Awards are great and all but not everyone is into it.  I will not be offended and will still happily read your blog!

The Questions:
1.  Why did you create this blog?
I didn't do it for a specific purpose but just because it's what I do.  I can't help but write.  As soon as I discovered blogging I wanted in!  I love writing AND I love it that here I get to share my writing and read the writing of others as well.  I have diaries dating back to age 10!  I journaled all through middle school, high school and college.  That's a lot of writing, a lot of spiral notebooks and a heck of a lot of secrets.   I always joke that I want to have them buried with me.  It's hilarious to go back and read them and I love it that I actually have a running narration of my whole life.  To satisfy that need I still have a secret journal online.   I will always be writing something somewhere.
2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
I tend to follow blogs of people who I can identify with and who are in a similar state in life as me.  It's fun to see the goings on of others all over.  There is reality TV where we kind of get to peek inside the lives of others but that's actually not reality.  Watching the Kardsashians jet off to New York or Miami and buy things I can only dream about isn't the real world for me. 

3. Favorite make-up brand?
Mac and Clinique.  I also like my Rimmel London mascara.
4. Favorite clothing brand?
I love Express and The Limited...when I have coupons.  I haven't been to H & M in a while but I like their clothes too.
5. Indispensable makeup product?
Blush.  Even on days where I wear nothing else which is most of the time I sweep some blush over my cheeks and it gives me a nice glow.
6. Favorite color?
7. Favorite perfume?
I LOVE Burberry and Glo by J Lo.
8. Favorite film?
Some favorites are Brokedown Palace, Return to Paradise, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the remake with Jessica Biel in it).  I'm a horror movie nut.
9. What country would you like to visit and why?
Italy and Greece.  I would like to go to both if I ever get the chance to go to Europe.  They both look so beautiful in pictures and TV.  I want to see it and experience it for myself.
10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?
I'd rather forget blush.  It's easier to wipe off the other cheek.  That is if I realize it!

I really haven't added too many new blogs to my blog roll lately so I will pass this award along to some I think are somewhat newer then others at least!

Kristin in America:  She just did some awesome recaps of her awesome backyard wedding and is now making the transition from living in Japan to being back in the US of A.
Fitting Back In:  This is actually my newest addition to my blog roll.  She is a married gal who exercises regularly AND she cooks up a storm.  Basically, an inspiration!  If I ever am at a loss for a recipe I KNOW I can find something on her site.
The Chocolate Knot:  A fairly new newly wed like a lot of my readers.  She blogs about a lot of relationship stuff even with her busy schedule.
Lovely Little Details:  I've actually followed this one for a while but Jacin has totally revamped her website and has turned into quite the wedding blogger.  She even created the love for planning her own wedding into a business and she styles weddings now.  Amazing!!
In Sickness and In Health:  I have followed her other blog for a while and she recently created this one to document her husband's fight with cancer.  They are both so young but they have an incredible attitude about what they are being forced to deal with.  My heart goes out to them and I wish only the best for her husband's quick recovery.

Fall Down Go Boom

*Scene of the accident*
There I was yesterday at 5:03pm power walking down the hallway that leads to the office lobby at work and out the door.  When I got outside to the stairs something went wrong with the traction in my boots and my foot slipped out from under me.  It happened so fast.  One second I was taking a step down the stairs and the next I was forward cartwheeling down the hard concrete steps.  It took half a second for me to realize that this wasn't just a slip and fall on your butt kind of thing.  I actually pitched forward and the only thought I can remember having before it was over is, "Oh no, this isn't going to stop."  I couldn't tell you what actually happened but somehow I managed to hold onto my purse, lunch bag and keep my i phone clutched in my left hand.  No worries.  The i phone is fine.  Thanks to my hard case there is only a black dig in the corner that will always be a reminder of this hilarious incident.  And yes, it is funny so if you are laughing right now I understand that you are laughing with not at me.  If I can't laugh at myself I certainly wouldn't be posting this here for anyone to read laugh about.  Once my body stopped flailing down the stairs I brought myself to a sitting position for a minute and looked around to see if anyone actually saw what just went down.  Pun intended.  There was a gal sitting in her car parked in the 1st spot at the bottom of the steps but she was so into her phone I think she missed it.  Thank goodness.  But the kid in the back seat sure didn't.  I could see him craning his neck to take a look at me as I limped by after sitting there to compose myself.  Oh boy did my scraped up knee ever hurt on the way home.  I rolled up my jeans to prevent any blood transfer.  Gotta protect the Seven's.

"Hi...." I replied to Mj's hello as I walked in the front door.  "What's wrong with you?" he immediately said even before he saw me.  My pain was acutely obvious of course even in my voice because I'm such a wimp when it comes to stuff like this.  It was my night to make dinner so hurting or not the show must go on.  I covered up my knee and got to cooking.  After falling down the stairs I didn't exactly feel like stopping at the store to pick up broccoli so I omitted that from the recipe and got on with it.
Twice Baked Potatoes 
Dinner was delicious and Mj raved about that even if a couple hours earlier I was referred to as his "Clutso the Clown."  I redeemed myself.  Even as I type this now I have a little smile on my face and it turns into a giggle when I try to visualize how I must've looked.  Falling as an adult is so embarrassing, not to mention at work!  We've been walking way too long.  We are not supposed to fall and being so much higher from the ground makes it even more comical when we do.  Chances are I'm still going to rush out of work like a lightning bolt today especially because it's Friday and there is another warm sunny weekend that I can't wait to get started on.  I'm wearing my flat brown boots today instead of the heels and I'll just have to make sure I stay on my feet this time!

The Bench Debacle

More Mud Bench on display at Cost Plus World Market
We don't wear shoes in our house so I've been looking for a cute little bench to put inside our front entry way that will make it easier for guests and myself to take shoes off when coming in.  A couple weeks before Christmas I saw this beautiful $229 bench on display at Cost Plus World Market.  I love that store.  It was not in the budget right then but I had just signed up for their club and figured that after the holidays I might have some coupons by then or it might even be on sale. 

A couple days after the new year I looked up the bench.  They are having a furniture sale and there it is on sale for $129!  I even had a $10 off coupon that I could use and I would use some money got we for Christmas to pay for it.  I went that very day right after work and bought it.  They didn't have one on display but I had the item name and they were able to find it for me in the back.

This worked out perfectly.  The bench I wanted AND in stock and on sale!  I got the very last one.  I triumphantly walked into the house and said to Mj, "Yeah, I got that bench we liked.  It was on sale!"  I go through my pics on my lap top to check out the bench and the dimensions again.  I am startled to see that the bench that I took a picture of before Christmas cannot be the same bench that is now sitting in a box inside my front entry way.  I zoom in on the pic and see that the not only are the dimensions different but so is the item name.  In my excitement over seeing this cute bench I thought it was the same one as before when in fact, it's totally different.  How lame am I?  Seeing the pictures side by side it's obvious that they are different but I absolutely did not realize it until I did this.  Feeling a little deflated I try to find the More Mud bench on the website and it's actually nowhere to be found.  It's almost like it was a figment of my imagination except I happen to have picture proof that it was not.  Strange.  I like the "new" bench but I'm thinking that I would have liked the other one better.  It's been difficult finding one we both like that is in our price range and quality that I can trust.  The Malay bench is very similar and I certainly don't feel like lugging it back to the store so I decided to keep it.
Malay Upholstered Bench
We opened it up and put it together on Sunday and it looks good.  It's not the More Mud Bench but I like it.  Even if I feel like a bit of an idiot for getting all excited about the wrong one.  It didn't come with the baskets like the other one did but it's made to hold them so I can get some if I want.  I actually kind of like just having the shelf and this bench is longer so it actually has more storage and sitting space then the other one.  It's cute, functional, the price was right and I can check one more thing of my list of things we need to get.

76 Degree Date Night Perfection

Getting ready for take off

Boat Ride munchies
 I could not have asked for a more beautiful Saturday for this outing.  It's mid January but the sun was shining, the sky was blue and we saw just one single lonely cloud in the sky.  Last weekend was freezing but today it was a balmy and perfect 76 degrees.  I planned date night this time around and it turned out perfectly.  The Gondola Company provides the antipasti appetizer platter, we bring the wine and off we go.  I went to the gym AND did not eat.  By 2:30 pm I had created the perfect recipe for drunkenness.  Sitting in that boat with the sun shining on my face and the wine moving through my system was heaven.  I about fell asleep it was so relaxing.  The sound of the water lapping against the boat and the soft sounds of Italian music playing in the background was so soothing.  It's an hour ride and we are taken through a private marina area where boats are docked and the houses with this as their back yard must go for millions.  It was quiet, peaceful, and such a beautiful day.  A really nice way to spend some quality time together chatting and drinking wine.

Our 1st Gondola Ride, 2008.  Also our first pic together.
It brought back memories from the first time we did this.  The first time I ever went up to see him in The O.C. back in 2008 he surprised me with a gondola ride for our 3rd date.  It took us forever to find the marina where the boat was to depart.  It was a really hot day and we walked up and down this street for what felt like forever asking directions along the way.  He even gave me a piggy back ride to give my tired feet a rest.  We picked up a bottle of wine on the way and I had absolutely no idea what he had up his sleeve until we walked up to the boat.  I was 98 % sure that I really liked him or else I would not have driven all the way up there.  At the time, I really didn't go out of my way when it came to dating men but I had this feeling he was special.  I was so glad that I gave him a chance and so impressed at how thoughtful he was to come up with something so unique for us to do together.  Something that I didn't even know existed.  This time around he's my husband and it's not our 3rd date but a number that has gotten so high I actually can't count but it was just as romantic and just as fun. 

It's My Story

I meant to write this post last week.  Just like we meant to take down the Christmas tree.  At least we don't turn on the lights anymore.  It WILL come down this weekend.  For sure.

I want to take a moment to say thank you for the wonderful and kind comments I received on my blog post What A Decade It's Been.  First, let me back up and say thanks for reading my blog at all.  A lot of you commented on how honest and real that post was.  That it's brave to just put it all out there.  Me strong?  I never felt that way.  Ever.  But thank you so much for saying so and making me realize that maybe I am.  I  left some things out of course, but it's the general gist of that period in my life.  At the time I would have been way to embarrassed to discuss what I was going through but now that it's behind me I'm not afraid.   I'm not that person anymore.  Like it or not it's a part of me and what got me to where I am today.  Not exactly my proudest moments but it happened and I AM proud that I managed to overcome it.

For so long I believed that I didn't deserve happiness.  I thought it was something that only smiled upon others but that I should never expect it for myself.  The last two years have proved that theory all wrong.  The majority of the decade was pretty miserable but things really did turn around for me.  I am just so darn thrilled that things are different now.  It's my story and it just felt right that I share it on my blog, ugly details and all.

Tuesday Tidbits [01/11/11]

  • Bridalplasty is down to just a few brides!!  I'm hoping they all get together and put Jenessa in her place.  OUT!  I Can't believe I watch this show.  It's a little embarrassing actually.
  • Still debating over The Bachelor.  I quit many seasons ago when it stretched to two unnecessary hours.  I half watched it while making Chili on Sunday and the new one is in my DVR.  Do I really want the time commitment?
  • Hubby LOVED my Chili!  I know this because he went back for seconds AND took some for lunch the next day and said it tasted even better.
  • My tenant was served eviction court documents last month the week of Christmas.  I know, way harsh-but she's the one not paying rent.  Anyhow, it's supposed to take about 6 weeks to evict.  I'm scared to see what the place looks like.
  • Last Friday I went to happy hour with some friends.  I had a blast, drank a bundle and ate way too much yummy cheese.  It's the only time and place that we seem to get together.  So much fun! 
  • I love hanging with my family.  Mj had drill last weekend so I went to mom's on Saturday.  My big sis did too.  We literally just "hung" out.  We went to the grocery store, picked up Subway for dinner and took turns holding DJ. 
  • Poor hubby got his iPhone stolen on Saturday night.  He JUST bought the sucker too.  Without contract prices it's $500 bucks!  Nasty.  He spent about $900 in iPhones within the last two months between his, mine and the replacement.  I would have been an inconsolable wreck but he just bought the new one and moved on.  No whining or crying involved.
  • Speaking of which.  Is it possible to be in love with a phone?  If so then consider me smitten.  I really didn't know what I was missing until I got it.  I love my i phone! 
  • It looks like I'm "back" in the gym now.  Hopefully for good!  I went twice last week and yesterday after work.  600 calories burned last night and I'm going back for more tonight. 
  • Fiber 1 is the bomb!  I've been eating just 1/2 cup of the original dry or in yogurt for only about a week now and let's just say that I feel like a "regular" girl for the first time in...well EVER!   The side perk is that it is actually filling.  I eat it at lunch and I'm not rooting around in my desks for junk to get me through the rest of the day.
  • My wedding album is FINALLY done.  I kept staring at it and changing things excessively but I am going to order it from Shutterfly tonight because their current sale ends on the 12th.
  • My new job is going well.  It's been about 2 1/2 months and I manged to make the transition without completely freaking out...which is what I usually do because new jobs tend to scare the hell out of me.  I guess that's what happens when you stay at your first job out of college for 7 years.  I may still get confused in meetings and there is still a lot I don't know but I think I'm right on track and that they don't regret picking me.
  • I am just on week 2 after a 12 day break from work.  Why do I feel like I need the upcoming 3 day weekend so badly?

Do I Really Have To Go Back To Work?

Today is the last day of Winter Break.  I knew it was coming but somehow I have still managed to be in disbelief that I have to go to work tomorrow.  After 12 days.  The horror!  And the fact that it's supposed to rain makes it even more delightful.  I've felt bad watching Mj get up and go to work every day while I sleep in but oh how wonderful it was not to have to do it myself.  I have enjoyed each and every nano second of every TV watching, magazine reading, hanging out with family, house cleaning, and gym going day.  That's right I said gym! I went to the gym four times last week.  Not only did I enjoy it I actually looked forward to it.  This from a person who hadn't step foot in the gym in over a year!!  All I can say is that The Lady of Leisure lifestyle suits me well.  It is everything I dreamed it would be and more.  I have time for errands, for house cleaning, for relaxing, cooking and the gym.  Not once have I felt overloaded, worn out or even bored.  Granted, one might find it gets boring after a while but I'm pretty good at keeping myself occupied and it's got to be better then 40 hours a week in the office.
The only pic I got of me!!

Mj and his buddy L
New Year's Eve was fun!  One of Mj's friend L hosted a Soul Food potluck.  Mj made yams which I absolutely do not eat but it was OK because there was plenty of other fattening yummy foods to indulge in.  We had a really fun time.  Just a small group of people.  I'm usually at home in my pajamas by midnight on New Year's Eve so it was nice to do something different this year.   I only had a bit of wine and champagne.  Due to Mj's 10 beers and excessive sobriety check points I drove home. 

Saturday and Sunday has mostly just been all about relaxing.  I spent a lot of time in my jammies.  I made sure to get all of my house cleaning done on Thursday so that I could just ride out the weekend without having house work to think about.  I went to the gym, picked up a few groceries and and gassed up the car yesterday.  I'm about as ready for work as I will ever be.  I worked on our wedding album on Shutterfly for hours today.  It's finally just about done.  We're making Mexican Pizza tonight for dinner....I should probably get started on that. 

As for New Year's resolutions.  I'm not really into them so much.  There are only three things that I would like to keep up with as we roll into the new year.  I want to continue being active at the gym or otherwise.  It's so important and despite time restraints and fatigue I need to make it a priority.  I also want to take some classes at the community college and continue on with learning Spanish using Rosetta Stone.  Oh, and one more.  Just to continue to nurture the things that are important in my life.  Namely, my family, my marriage and myself.  Everything else will follow. 

2010 Was Amazing

Feb 2010-Valentine's Day
As we begin a new year I think back to what a magical year 2010 was.  I had orchestrated my little life into a tiny neat little box that was my condo where I had re built my life for the last five years.  I had my independence, my budget, and my habits.  I knew what was what and it was safe.  I had finally managed to form some semblance of happiness and now everything was about to change and fast.

We lived together for the first time in my condo for 6 months.

We went through the house hunting roller coaster.

We booked a wedding venue in December 09 and went under contract for our new house in January.

We waited 6 months for our house to be built and finally got to move in on May 26th. 
We started out with dirt.......
And ended up with our first house

I actually made an effort to start cooking. 
The Cabbage, Rice & Turkey sausage turned out pretty good
except for the crunchy rice.

We settled in, organized, painted, and started to make our house into our home.
    painting was harder then we thought

    I rented out my condo.
    Something I was (and still am) terrified of and NEVER EVER wanted to have to do.
      My condo became a rental property

      At the end of May my big sis moves back home for good at least the next five years.

      After months of planning we got married on July 10-the most  magical day of my life. 
        I do!
         In August my adorable baby nephew is born.  The first grandchild in the family. 

          DJ.  Just a few hours old
          At the end of October we jetted off for our perfect 8 day Hawaiian Honeymoon
            Hiking Diamond Head

            As soon as we got back from our honeymoon I started a new position at work in November after getting promoted.

            In December Little sis' will take her last college final and finishes up college.

            We enjoyed our first Christmas tree and Christmas in our new house.

            The only thing left to is to have a baby and I do believe we are out of time on that one which is just fine with us!!

            2010 in a word was amazing.  In two words, it was amazing and expensive!  So many good things happened.  Life changing things.  From January until July our lives were a whirlwind of house hunting and wedding plans.  There was stress, anxiety, pure joy and everything else in between.   Then, once things calmed down we got the chance to relax and just BE without a million things going on at once.   My big sis came home to stay and I love having her nearby and being able to see my nephew.  The wedding was wonderful and our honeymoon was our reward and celebration for everything that we had accomplished together.  I will always remember it as the year that my life changed for the better in ways that I never dreamed possible for me.  The year that I conquered my fears again and didn't let them overpower me as they had before.  The year that I truly believed for the first time in a long time that life is good.  It feels so good to be happy and it makes me sad to think of all the years I spent in misery hating life and hating myself even more.  I loved 2010 and there is a possibility it can't be topped this coming year but that's fine.  I'll gladly settle for happy.  It really is a new chapter for me.  I am looking forward to many more happy years in 2011 and beyond with my husband and wishing only good things for my family and yours.