Click Chicks Photo Challenge // Water

 I live less then 30 minutes from the Pacific ocean so you might think my water photo challenge would be something awesome like the beach with a beautiful sunset in the distance.  I would have loved that but my weekend outings did not quite take me all the way to the coast and with gas prices being just over $4 per gallon and all I went with what was in my own house. My own refrigerator to be exact.  I'm probably going to feel really lame when I check out other awesome water shots on the link up.  Maybe I should have gone back to the archives from our trip to Europe where we spent 7 days on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Ocean.  I got plenty of breathtaking water shots but that was last year and this is this year so I'm gonna go with what I got.  And what I got is the water that I strive to guzzle as much of as I can every day in my lovely Tervis Tumbler.  I like my water cold and I love it that these cups don't sweat and leave annoying water rings all over the place and have handy lids for travel.    

60% of the human body is water so I guess it's kind of important that we keep it hydrated.  I used to be terrible about it but about a year ago I made it my mission to drink more and I think I've done pretty well.  It helps a lot that it comes right out of the refrigerator.  I still don't understand how that happens but it's nice not to have to keep running to the store to stock up.  It feels like an unlimited supply so I drink it accordingly.  I do not get in 64 ounces every day.   Sometimes I barely make it to 32 oz but every single day I have a giant water bottle by my side most of the day and have definitely increased my intake a lot.  I'd like to say that I'm experiencing all of these wonderful side benefits from it but I really can't.  Maybe I am internally in ways that I'm not specifically aware of but overall the only side effect has been that I sweat a little more at the gym and to be honest I really could do without that one.  I haven't seen a change in my skin, energy or anything else but if everyone says I'm supposed to drink it up then drink it up I will.
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Oh, Monday's

Oh Monday's. I try not to hate you but you just make it so hard. Yesterday was crazy. I felt like I was rushing from one thing to the next all day long. Nobody wants to get out of bed on Monday after a nice weekend of sleeping in to your heart's content.  I hit the road by 7:20am and sat through a 1 hour 40 minute commute to work that normally takes 30 minutes. You know those trucks that carry sheets and sheets of glass? Well one of them got into an accident and there was glass all over the road causing a morning commute nightmare. I got to work about 40 minutes late, rushed around getting my breakfast and coffee, then took a moment to read a few blogs dove headfirst into work.  There is so much work right now with no end in sight that I wanted to cry!  Things are just really busy for us right now and the database that we use to facilitate all this work is perpetually broken so it's a little bit overwhelming.  I barely took a lunch break.  Work, work, work.  Eat a granola bar, drink some water.  More work.  The upside is that the day flew by.  Then I realized I hadn't even taken the time to get up to use the bathroom all day and I had to go BAD.  I rushed to the bathroom then rushed back to my office and locked the door so I could do a quick change into my Pilates gear.  It's always weird taking my clothes off where I work.

At 5:01pm I was running out the door.  I have 30 minutes to get there but if anything goes wrong traffic wise I'd be screwed because there are no refunds on missed classess.  It's Reformer Pilates so it's just a tad bit more rigorous then the regular kind.  It felt good to stretch out those stiff muscles in my back and neck from sitting at a desk all day.  Definitely the highlight of my day.  Fifty minutes later I jumped into the car and headed home.  I rushed into the house and put my things down so I could start making dinner right away.  It was 6:45pm by then so I wanted to get it going.  I'm no chef on a good day but especially on a busy Monday it was just Mexican Pizza on Flatouts.  Tasty and easy.  I popped them in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes then rushed upstairs to take a quick shower.  No shaving involved so I could get back downstairs and eat while it was still hot.

At 7:45pm I finally got to sit down.  I started watching Teen Mom 2 and everyone except Chelsea was annoying the hell out of me so I found myself talking yelling at the TV.  Which is weird because normally she drives me crazy too.  Maybe I should have picked a different show to watch.  Maybe I should just quit watching this show altogether but we've already discussed my addiction so that's probably not going to happen.  Whew.  There was some cuddle time on the couch with Mj while he watched one of his shows then before too long it was time for bed.  And that was my long busy exhausting crazy Monday. 
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Click Chicks Photo Challenge // Nature

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to find any nature in time for this blog post since there isn't anything all that beautiful and nature like outside my front door.  Then we were driving down the street on the way home from football on Saturday and I saw these beautiful trees all lined up and blooming just waiting for me to snap a picture.  I don't remember seeing them before but then again I don't remember exactly when I last drove down that street.  Wendy's and Save-A-Lot kind of spoil the tone of these pretty trees so I cropped them out. I love the bright blue cloudless sky in the background.  It was a perfect 80 something degree day.

  I have no idea what kind of trees these are but the flowers on it look really pretty up close.  In the immediate area where I live I can see beautiful mountains looming in the distance.  There are trees here and there but not a whole lot of greenery so it was nice surprise to discover these.
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Four Day Weekend

I heart four day weekends.  I slept in and went to a 10:30 am Yoga class on Friday.  Then I came home, relaxed and started dinner.  I rarely make dinner so this was a big deal and for some reason I actually enjoyed doing it.  It was very strange, but I liked it.  That night we watched a movie (Stolen).

Saturday morning I got up early with Mj and went to his flag football game.  I started out in a sweatshirt drinking coffee and ended up sweating.  The sun was blazing and by the time we left it was in the 80's.  I got some really great action shots of the game using the zoom lens.  He's the organizer for these flag football games and I was unofficially hired with no pay to take shots for his group Facebook page. 

After football we went to an open house in our neighborhood.  We're definitely not in the market but it's still fun to look and pretend like we are on House Hunters.  Then it was time for lunch  and we had to eat outside because the weather was so perfect.  We went to Downtown Cafe because it's in our neighborhood and they have a great outdoor seating area.  That sourdough cheesy bread was so delicious that I'm still thinking about it.  I'm such a carb junkie.  It's an appetizer but I ordered it as my entree.  It was only $4.95 so once again I was a cheap date.  Mj got a juicy burger with fries.  I couldn't believe I was wearing flip flops and shorts in February.  Okay, I can believe it and that's why I love living here so much.  But don't be too jealous because it's supposed to start raining any minute.

My husband's job clearly doesn't care enough about their employees so he didn't get Friday or Monday off.  How sad is that?  Monday I got up and hit the gym by 9am for some cardio.  Since I was in no rush I spent about 30 minutes afterwards stretching and working on my flexibility.  I ran a few errands, did laundry and spent the rest of the afternoon watching TV and blogging.

Not having to go to work is the life, I'm telling you.  I had time to exercise, relax and get stuff done without feeling like a chicken with it's head cut off.  Long weekends are the best.

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That Time I Got Ditched on Valentine's Day

I could have skipped this post altogether.  I mean, this isn't exactly the Valentine's Day post I expected to write but this is how it went down so I'm sharing it anyways.

My husband hates Valentine's Day.  I knew he hated this so called fake Hallmark holiday but for the last four years he's played along.  Special deliveries at work, a specially baked dessert, a dinner out.  It's always been very low key but we have acknowledged the holiday for my sake, but this year I got ditched.  He finally had enough and boycotted the whole thing altogether.  We didn't have plans together, but I certainly didn't expect him to leave me at home alone and go out to dinner with anyone else.  I find out that he's going to dinner with the guys for burgers after work.  Half the guys that went are married.  Sounds like the ultimate F you Valentine's Day if you ask me.

Am I hurt?  I have to be honest and say yes, but not mortally wounded since I was never really all that crazy about Valentine's anyways.  I've never placed much importance on what I got or what we did, but I did enjoy it.  I don't see anything wrong with an extra day to celebrate love.  He doesn't like the idea that there is a certain arbitrary date on which men specifically, receive a lot of extra pressure to do something that will show love.  My husband's tolerance for this day has clearly run it's course.  He wasn't having it this year, and while it's a little bit of a bummer, I'm okay with it.  And here's why.  I love my husband and I know he loves me.  I don't need Valentine's day to know this.  I don't want him feeling roped into doing something he really doesn't want to on my account.  If it's not genuine, there's no point and we didn't get married so we could force each other to do things we really don't want to do.  Sometimes we do things we don't want to in marriage for our partner, but Valentine's Day is just not important enough to me that it should qualify as one of those things he does anyway.  I see no need to force it upon my husband if he doesn't want to partake.  Marriage is about give and take, and it looks like it's my turn to be the one to give on this one.

It was like a parade of sweets, flowers, love notes and special dinners on Instagram, but I didn't have a thing to show off except these little conversation hearts I bought myself at Big Lots.  The upside is that I didn't get the chance to OD on sweets or gorge myself at a restaurant.  I spent the evening alone watching a movie on Netflix and eating Cheese Quesadilla's with carb stopper tortillas.  It was a little bit of a let down to be shut out of the V day festivities, but I realize that my marriage is more then what I did or didn't get on Valentine's day.

A tiny part of me wanted to pout and throw a little hissy fit over it, but I put on my big girl panties and sucked it up.  We didn't make plans, so in his mind Valentine's Day was a non thing, however it still meant something to me so I thought we'd just spend a cozy night at home.  I didn't realize we weren't acknowledging it all, since we'd always done so in the past.  Whelp.  I certainly know now.  I told him I felt sad and hurt that he went out, but that's it.  No point in getting super offended over something like this, when I have such a wonderful husband.  He's kind, generous, and he puts up with all of my crazy ways.  We do fun things together all the time, and show our love for each other on other days in other ways.  I felt pretty spoiled on my Birthday and Christmas.  Not getting this one day is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.  After you've been together for a while there comes a point where it just doesn't matter that much anyways.  He loves me for who I am, and I have to return the favor even if it means Valentine's Day is a thing of the past. 

And yes, I did get him something.  Just some football attire he needed.  It was not romantic in any way, but I did put a sweet handwritten note with it.  I can't really say I got nothing in return though, because I got him.

Click Chicks Photo Challenge // Hearts

Remember these little candy conversation hearts?  They didn't even taste that great but was always THE Valentine's Candy to give and to get and it was so much fun reading all the little goofy sayings on each one.  I saw a package of 8 of these little boxes at Big Lots for $2.00 and just had to get them.  I will say that these hearts taste much better now then I remember.  They bring back hazy memories of cutting out construction paper hearts and Elmer's Glue in elementary school.  Which reminds me of how we used to smear it on our hands and peel it off.  It was really creepy because once it dried up it looked like you were peeling off your skin.  I never had a Valentine in elementary or middle school.  Ever.  I was a late bloomer but it was back in the days when you handed out candy and cards to your entire class so it didn't matter.  Then in high school it was all about balloons, chocolate and exchanging little gifts with your group of friends.  I was jealous of my friends who always seemed to have boyfriends just in time for Valentine's Day.  Even then I didn't have a Valentine because I guess was still blooming.  I'm so glad those days are over.  My Valentine pretty much hates Valentine's Day but he's all mine and I love him anyways.


What I'm Not Watching and Why

Reality TV has gotten so out of control. Every single channel from Animal Planet to National Geographic has gotten in on the craze. Some I refuse to watch and others I'm hopelessly addicted to. 

Not Watching:
It's way too long, way too much drama and nobody ever stays together.  I can't bear to watch the girls crying about how they love him and they don't get to spend enough time with him.  This guy that they just barely met and are somehow falling in love with.  I love it that Trista and Ryan actually met this way and stayed together but they are the exception and not the rule.  I lost hope that it would ever happen again so I stopped watching after the Melissa Rycroft season of The Bachelorette.

Ridiculous.  I can't believe they made a show about a bunch of ex wives of famous people.  I don't know much about the show but all it took was one preview for me to say NO WAY!

I watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding but the buck stops here.  It was really interesting finding out about their culture and lifestyle but those sister's are crazy and I just don't feel like getting into their shenanigans.

I never watched this and never will.  This family is just too much for me.  I'm appalled and very turned off by a lot of the clips I've seen so even though I was curious at first left it alone.

The last season I watched was when Ruben Stoddard won but up to that point I watched it religiously.  Sometimes I think about watching but I guess I just lost interest.

Mj and I watched one season of this together.  It was so time consuming!  Two hour long episodes is just too much and I got annoyed that they only focus on exercise when diet accounts for a good 90% of weight loss.  I wish they would show more on what they are eating and the challenges of trying to maintain a healthy diet.  I thought about watching again since Jillian Michaels is back but didn't.

Real Housewives of Anything
I watched Orange County, New York and a few seasons of Atlanta then I quit.  I got sick of watching these people living their excessive lifestyles.  It was too much fighting, arguing and drama among people that aren't even friends.  If they hated each other so much they wouldn't hang out but they do because they are thrown together for the show and the drama that they will hopefully create.  I can't stand watching spoiled grown women act so immature and petty.

There might be a bunch that I won't watch but I have plenty of guilty pleasures that I can't get enough of.

[Photo Source]
This is one of my favorites!  I love watching these talented girls perform.  They are so cute.  Chloe is my favorite and she was getting a lot more solos but is now suspended.  Maddie has fallen from grace but seems to be on her way back up after finally getting another solo and winning.  Abby is straight evil.  It's not just being a tough teacher she is down right rude and mean.   The mom's react to it of course and then it's just this terrible yelling match and power struggle.  It's getting harder and harder to watch.  Just when I think it can't get crazier it does.  The moms are upset and screaming, the kids are crying.  I don't know how these girls focus on their dancing with all the drama going on.  There has got to be another dance studio in Pennsylvania that they can go to.   There is so much jaw dropping drama on this show that Mj has even started watching it with me.

I know, I know.  It's so terrible that these little girls are wearing more make-up then I do, fake nails, fake lashes, fake teeth, fake hair, tanning and then being trotted out onto a stage to be judged on their facial beauty.  I removed it from my DVR one season only to manually record a bunch of them and add it back the next season.  I'm fascinated by mom's who spend thousands of dollars on these pageants and the little girls who control them.  There are even a few pageant Dad's that seem to love it.

I used to be a cheerleader.  I can't not watch this show.  I like watching the girls perform at practice and competitions.  This show comes with it's own set of mama drama.  Anne in particular drives me crazy because for some reason I haven't figured out yet she thinks she's way better then everyone else.  How superior can you be if you think that when you go #2 on a coach bus it falls into the street. 
Uggg.  I did a whole rant about this one.  You can find it here.  19 year old Leah who is already a mother to twins had a miscarriage which is indeed sad but she was beyond foolish for wanting another baby in the first place.  Chelsea is still having unprotected sex with the father of her child who is an absolute mean jerk.  I mean really.  Haven't these girls learned their lesson?  The new season starts up again next week and according to the previews the drama is a MOTHER and I'll be right there watching it.  As annoyed as I get with these girls I can't help it.

I will watch any and all modeling reality TV shows because I love modeling.  This is a new one on Oxygen and Nigel Barker who got booted off of the judging panel of America's Next Top Model is the host.  Successful models Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and Naomi Campbell each lead teams in challenges against each other but only one girl will be the face of an Ulta campaign.   I predict lots of drama, cat fights and tears as one by one their modeling dream shatters.  Too bad Oxygen doesn't have an HD channel.

Always!  Mj is way over it but I never get sick of this one.  The only drama on this show is when couples don't agree on if they should live in the city or the suburbs.

We got into Walking Dead, Son's of Anarchy and Breaking Bad on Netflix.  I didn't even want to start watching those.  We also watch Modern Family and The Office together.   Those are my "scripted" shows.  I love how there is now that distinction of scripted vs non scripted since reality TV has taken over.  There are so many good shows I'm not watching and that's fine with me because I don't want to spend time watching them.  The Carrie Diaries looks really cute and Smash looks like my kind of show. Mj's watching The Followers and The Americans but I can't  want get involved.  As much as I love my couch I don't want to spend my life on it watching TV. 

Click Chicks Photo Challenge // Selfies

Okay so I got this fancy new camera and I still don't know how to use it.  Ivy at Little Women Little Home and I have been following each other for years now.  I saw that she was co hosting a blogger photo challenge and I thought it would be fun to join in and force myself to get that camera out and shoot.  I've always loved taking pictures anyways.  Only one problem.  The first challenge is a self portrait and I literally hated every photo that came out.  I am super hard on myself and I know it.  I did them on my own with the timer.  The lighting was off, I forgot to put on lip gloss and I was in a hurry.  I almost gave up before I even started but here I am.  Cheese!! 
My Camera:
Canon Rebel T3i

Girl Scout Cookie Time

I'm about to have another oh my goodness I'm getting old moment which sucks because it means I'm getting old but here goes.  When I was a Girl Scout cookies were only $2.00 per box and the ONLY way to sell was door to door to door and begging your mom take the form to pass it around at work.  Tagalongs were called Hoedown's and the Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich were called something else.  My memory has faded but I think they used to be Savannahs.  Dulce de Leches, Lemonades, Thanks A Lot and bunch of others didn't exist, each cookie only had one name and Girl Scouts Inc didn't have a website.  That was a long time ago! Now they are $4.00, I don't even know if Girl Scouts have to pound the pavement anymore what with social media and e mail and half the cookies have an identity crisis.
Shortbread/Trefoils, Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Carmel DeLites/Samoas
One thing that hasn't changed is that people still love them including me and my favorite one of all time is the Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  I'm a sucker for anything with chocolate and peanut butter.  If you're like me you might be wondering what's up with the double naming of cookies.  Apparently, there are two bakers for Girl Scout cookies now.  Little Brownie and ABC.  The name varies depending on which baker produced the cookie and the name you see on the box depends on where it came from.  I don't understand why they wouldn't just make them decide on a name and stick to it.  Can't they hold a meeting about that or pass a law?  Anyways.  Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs and Shortbread/Trefoils are the only three cookies that must be made every single year and the others can be changed.  Good for us since we really like those.  We got all three.

For a while I didn't even know when they were being sold and kept missing out but now I have a co worker who sells for her niece and she lets me know.  Most of these went into the freezer so we don't over do it.  Turns out that we already had a box of Trefoils in the there from last year!  So yeah, we have plenty.  BUT if I just so happen to see a Girl Scout outside of the grocery store I might just so happen to buy another box of the Hoedown/Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  I really can't have enough of those.

Simple Valentine's Day Ideas

It's that time of year again.  Love it or hate it Valentine's day is around the corner so I thought I'd put together some simple low cost gift ideas for him.  My husband pretty much hates Valentine's Day but he acknowledges it for my sake.  We have fun with it, or maybe I should say I do, but we definitely keep it simple and inexpensive. 

I love this coupon idea.  It's simple, sweet and doesn't cost a lot of money.  You can make a personalized Valentine Coupon for anything you want at Treat.  Also, check out tinyprints for all kinds of really cute Valentine's cards or for any other occasion. Both are part of Shutterfly, the company I used to make my wedding album.

I found this cute little picnic set at World Market.  It might be too chilly to do this outside but who says a picnic has to be outdoors?  Your living room is perfect.  Just add champagne or wine and some candles and you're all set.  You could add to one that's already put together or make one up yourself.  It's something fun to enjoy together.

This one is perfect for the home brewer or just a guy that really likes beer.  Get him a 4 pack of personalized beer glasses at Red Envelope.

Or, you could just ignore the entire day altogether and save these gift ideas for a real holiday like your Anniversary or a Birthday.  Who needs a commercialized holiday to show love for your significant other when you already do that anyways?  I agree.  You don't, but I still think it's fun to do a little something anyways.
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Beyonce Bowl

I'm not a football fan.  Never have been.  I want to be because all of America is so obsessed with it and I tried but I just can't really get into it.  Five years ago I had no clue what a down was or what the hell they were throwing the ball and tumbling all over each other for.   I made it a point to figure it out so I could at least follow along.  It was that year the Patriots won like every game except the super bowl and because Tom Brady kept throwing the ball from down to down it finally clicked for me what was supposed to be happening.  For me Super Bowl Sunday is less about the game and more about watching the commercials, what gathering I'm going to and what food will be there.  Mj and I got invited to my girl friend's house where she had a nice spread of junky party food for me to stuff my face with.  There was that awesome zero calorie margarita mix that I mixed with Tequila.  Yes, zero calorie!  But I ate so many chips that even that couldn't save me.  I'll be paying for it at the gym tonight.  I sat there and watched the whole first half of the game but after that I got distracted.
[Pic Source:  via google images Getty Images/Christopher Polk]
I loved Jennifer Hudson's performance of America the Beautiful and Alicia Keys and her piano definitely did the National Anthem justice.  Beyonce's performance was AMAZING.  I wish I could move like her but all I got is the two step.  She dances and tosses that big hair around like no other.  The way she struts, that fierce look in her eye, that big voice and the way she rocks a leather leotard is mesmerizing.  She is so pretty and so talented that when I'm watching her I kinda wish I could be her for just a second to see what that feels like.  She puts her whole heart into a performance.  I've seem her perform live once and she's incredible.  I thought it was cool that she had Kelly and Michelle perform with her because I'm guessing she really didn't have to share the spotlight with them.  I loved hearing those old Destiny's Child songs and then she did Halo which is one of my all time fav love songs.  All those women stole the show. 

Then the power went out.  After this a lot of the girls at the party checked out.  My friend is totally obsessed with Beyonce.  The only reason she wanted a super bowl party in the first place was so she could watch the half time show with her friends so girls outnumbered the guys.  She made up all these Beyonce themed challenges so we could compete against each other for Mardi Gras beads.  The guys were like, WTF is going on, but I thought it was fun.  We were having a good old time chatting and carrying on for most of the 2nd half.  I understand that the 49ers did a good job of coming back and that it turned out to be a pretty exciting game.  Not that I saw a lot of it.  I was rooting for the Ravens to win because I wanted Ray Lewis to go out with a ring.  It doesn't bother me that he cries a lot before and after the game.  I think it's sexy that a big strong football player isn't afraid to show his emotions like that.  I'm glad they won but what I'll remember most about this superbowl is the awesomeness that is Beyonce and how bizarre it was that the power went out.

Confession Time

I confess that I'm not sure I get this whole Vine thing.  It's like YouTube but not?   It's like Instagram but not? And I keep hearing things about porn.  What's the point?  I mean, how many more social media outlets do we need?  I think there are already too many as it is.

I confess that I was really excited to reach 200 followers this week.  That's pretty much my benchmark for blogger success and I can blog happily ever after now that I finally reached it.  I officially no longer qualify for the damn Liebster award! 200 is a really nice number to run a giveaway for but since I just did two I'll wait until 250 which may or may not happen....but either way I'll be doing another 'cause they are so much fun.  Thank you to all my wonderful readers.  You are appreciated!

I confess that I got all excited about seeing my face on the cover of a magazine.  So what if it's fake!  It looks sort of real and sometimes we have to take what we can get.  C'mon, you know you want to!  Click here to live out your very own cover girl fantasy.  If you do one I'd love to see it.  Shoot.  I just might do it again!

Link up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition
I confess that I'm terrified to do a legit outfit post.  How do those fashion bloggers and lifestyle/fashion bloggers do it?  Who is taking their picture?  How do they make it look so good even when they use their i phone?  I feel like an idiot when Mj takes my pic and it looks terrible when I try to do it myself.  And this from someone who has been paid to have her picture taken before.  I've got to find that confidence!  I'm slowly working my way up to it.  We'll see how long that takes.
4 lbs of creamy goodness
I confess that I bought a 4 lb tub of Peanut Butter for our family of 2 adults.  I LOVE Peanut Butter and I get anxious when we don't have any in the house.  We love PBJ's and love it on crackers.  So good! Mj is very heavy handed with it on his PBJ's.  It's expensive so I went generic and large because I know this store brand is good.  It was more economical to spend $9.99 on Von's brand then $5 on a small Skippy that we'd run out of next week.

I don't know about you but January felt very looong.  I kept checking my calendar in disbelief that it wasn't February yet.  Well, now it finally is and we have the Super Bowl, Valentines Day and President's Day to look forward to.  Have a great weekend everyone!!