Confessional Friday Time!!

Linking up with Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition

I confess that it has taken me all week to recover from my weekend Vegas trip.  Today is the first day that I don't feel exhausted, ragged and about to fall over.  If you read my Vegas post you know why.  The day is still young though.  Let's see if it holds.

I confess that next time I go to Vegas I will simply accept that I'm old and can't hang and I'm not even gonna try.  Something about that city makes me want to be up and out and in it all night long but realistically that kind of up all night sleepless Vegas experience is not for me.  I still can't believe my very pregnant friend outdid me.  Okay.  Maybe I can. 

I confess that when I got back from Vegas I felt positively rotund so I did my 3rd juice fast in 2 months.  I was gonna buy juice because I didn't have time or energy to make it but my sweet husband offered to do it for me.  I really needed it.  And I feel so much better now. 

I confess that I really like the word rotund.  It's different, it rolls off your tongue and sounds so much nicer then fat.

I confess that I'm more then slightly bewildered about the prospect of having to pack all over again for our Washington DC trip next week.  Yes, NEXT WEEK and I just got back from Vegas.  There is like no down time and you know how I need my down time. And naps.  We have plans on Saturday day and my busy body husband is trying to get me out of the house on Sunday but I think I need to mentally focus on packing and all that other pre vacation stuff that needs to get done.

I confess that the last time I read a book was in September when we went to Europe. That's 8 months. I used to read all the time but it's just gotten away from me. I feel like I don't have time to make the trip to the library to see what's there. And I can't just see an interesting book and say oh, I'll get that.  My reading options depend on what's at the library.  Yes, I still use the library for books. I'm old school like that. I don't have a kindle and I don't buy them because I hate having to store them when I'm done. Plus, they are super expensive. Now that I think about it maybe that's why I haven't been reading that much. I'll be heading off to the library on Sunday to see what they have for my trip.  Am I the only one still using my library card?

I confess that I want to change my blog name but I'm having a really hard time thinking of something new that I will really want to stick with forever.  For someone who has a hard time coming up with post titles this is REALLY hard.

I confess that I'm two pages under my 15 page monthly goal for my novel.  Today is the last day of May.  Can I really squeeze in two pages today?  Possibly, but not likely.

I confess that I'm terrified of speaking in public.  I've only had to do it once, I forced myself and I actually did a pretty good job but it's a very scary thing for me.  I was nominated at work for Outstanding employee of the year and I was terrified of winning just because I didn't want to have to go up there and say anything.  Not winning was kind of a relief.

I confess that I have a giveaway coming soon!  I know right?  It's been a really long time since I did one. Stay tuned.

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Why I Can't "Hang" in Vegas

Vegas, Vegas. Aahh...where do I begin. Well first of all it's like a black hole with lots of people and bright blinky lights.  Cell phone reception there sucks.  I don't remember it being this bad last year but text messages went unsent, calls were dropped and my access to social media was severely limited; which was actually a good thing.  When my friend Jana told me she wanted to meet up in Vegas I said sure. She lives in Alaska now, I don't get to see her often. I'm there. Then when I realized she'd be 7 1/2 months pregnant I was a little concerned. Should she even be flying? Is she really going to be able to handle hot Las Vegas at 7 1/2 months pregnant? A lot of pregnant women are waddling by then. Well...not only did she "handle" Vegas but she did it with a hell of a lot more energy then I did. She is like my pregnant mama idol! The girl did not stop from the minute her flight touched down to the moment she left.  Me, on the other hand.  Not so much.
Body Parts at the Bar at the end of the haunted house
Friday: We stayed at the Flamingo Hotel.  Our room was so cute and the beds so comfy!  Their theme color is pink which makes me love them even more.  After a five hour drive to Vegas where I wasn't even the one driving I proceeded to take a nap while Jana and my sister Dani went down to the Casino.  That night we met up with a friend that Jana and I have known since we were kids and we all went to a haunted house; Eli Roth's Goretorium on the strip.  Every time the chain saw guy came out I screamed and ran.  It was pretty fun...if a little cheesy.  We got tickets for $15 on Groupon; I would not have paid $25.  We had a drink at the bar there but then after that it was still too early to go to bed in Vegas even for us so while Jana went off to gamble the night away my sister and I walked to Fat Burger for drinks.  They play good music, have plenty of outdoor seating and always have a two for one drink coupon lady posted outside.

At the Pool

Me and my pretty preggo friend Jana

In front of the Caesar's Palace with Bellagio Hotel in background
Saturday:  We hit the pool at 9am.  If you don't get there between 8-9 am and you don't want to spend $350 on a cabana or sit on the concrete don't even bother going until 2pm or 3pm when some of the morning crowd starts to leave.  The pool gets packed quick and you have to hunt down lounge chairs.  There is the party side with the DJ and bikini clad go go dancers and the more relaxing side that allows children.  We did not choose the party side.  Every single chair on that side was already taken anyways.  After that much to my sister's annoyance I had to take another nap.  We went to the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace.  Express was having 40% off everything in the store.  I have never seen that before ever and even though I told myself I should stay away there was no way that I could miss out so I couldn't resist buying a few things. I even got an extra 10% military discount on top of that.  Score!! Then it was time for dinner because it's always time to eat when you are in Vegas.

All dolled up and sort of ready to go

Giant Margaritas at the Club
There is a very good chance that this is my last hurrah.  Getting all dolled up to go out that night was so exhausting for me that I had to take a break.  I wasn't sure if I was gonna make it.  I took a deep  breath before I put on my make up.  I had to drag my butt into my little short shorts and will my feet into those heels.  I just can't hang like I used to.  We met my sister's husband at Senor Frogs at Treasure Island and we got a buy one get one drink coupon on our way in.  When we got inside we discovered that the only option on it was a GIGANTIC margarita on the rocks and it cost $26.00.  We went with it.  My sister gets one of those suckers every time she goes but it was my first time.  I just knew I couldn't drink all of that but by the end of the night it was gone baby gone and so was I!  And I love it that it never even crossed my mind to imagine how many calories were in it.  We couldn't hang at the club for very long so the two of us left, stopped at the room and changed into flats and then walked back to our favorite hang out Fatburger.  Eating greasy delicious french fries while intoxicated is pure bliss I tell you.  We didn't get back to the hotel until 4am and Mrs pregnant lady was still out!
Getting on the Vegas Tram at Aria

New York New York Hotel and that awful roller coaster

Las Vegas City Center // Aria Express Tram
Sunday:  When we went to bed Saturday night it was basically a nap because we didn't get to bed until about 4:30am and we were at the pool by 8:45am.  Jana actually woke us up.  She was all bright eyed and bushy tailed of course.  It was hard not to hate her as I jumped out of bed in a tired haze and then felt my head pounding.  We found a perfect shaded spot and since we didn't have to sweat like pigs in the sun we were able to stay for a while.  A long while.  We didn't leave for five hours and I was able to multi task by getting my nap on at the pool.  We took the tram from Aria to Monte Carlo to cut out some walking.  It was my first time on it.  I don't do roller coasters anymore.  Especially not ones with a loopy loop on top of really big buildings but my sister wanted to try the New York New York roller coaster so I really had no choice in the matter.  It was awful!  We basically got jerked around the whole time and I couldn't stop screaming and begging to get off.  The sign said it was $7 for a re ride but they wold have to pay me to get back on that thing.  We got in our obligatory Vegas buffet that night for dinner at the MGM Grand Buffet.  There was so much to choose from and the food was delicious.  After two not even very loaded plates of food I was done.  I don't think I've ever skipped out on dessert at a buffet but after my meal I couldn't even look at it.  By the time we finished dinner it was late; for us anyways.  My sister and I weren't even trying to be out that night.  Just couldn't do it.  I love the water show at the Bellagio so we stopped to see that then just hung out in the room.  Jana was not trying to hang out with us worn out tired folks so she hit the casino while we hit the hay.
Bally's and Paris Hotel
Bellagio Hotel water show with Caesars Palace in the background
Monday:  Jana had to catch a 12 hour flight back to Alaska so she was gone by 8am but we didn't make it out until around 10:45am.  We had gotten so little sleep over the weekend that I just couldn't drag my butt out of bed and I think my sister needed to get some sleep so she could drive.  Getting breakfast was a debacle.  We thought nobody would want to eat at Denny's.  Wrong.  It was packed.  Even McDonald's was packed.  We stopped in at a buffet but the prices were jacked up to about $32 bucks for the holiday so that was out.  We ended up back at the Flamingo in one of their restaurants and it was just a short wait.  The French Toast was well  worth the trouble.  Then we hit the road.  It took us 7 freaking hours to get to my mom's house!!!  From there I had a 45 minute drive to my house so I didn't get home until 10pm.

Tuesday:  Exhausted.  Juicing.  Work.  Gym.  Boo!!!

Just pretending.  I didn't spend a single penny on gambling
I had such a good time with my sister.  We always have fun on our little sister trips and I'm so sad that this will be the last one for a while.  I think it finally hit me that she's moving in 2 months and I spontaneously burst into tears while we were eating breakfast.  Crying in public is awesome.  I'm going to miss her so much.  It was so nice to spend some time with Jana.  Even while carrying around an almost fully formed human inside of her she outdid me in Vegas.  She is that same force she was back when we were teenagers.  She hasn't changed a bit.  But I have.  We're the same age but I'm old...and there is nothing like Las Vegas to remind me of it!!

Vegas is great!  I love the energy, the lights, the beautiful buildings, the shopping, the food and the anything goes relaxed kind of vibe.  It makes me want to be out and about all night long.  You never know what you're going to see.  There was a contortionist on one corner and Chewbaca on the next.  I love seeing everyone dressed to kill as they head out for a night on the town.  Carry around a six pack of beer in the streets and drink it as you go.  Walk down the street in a bikini and high heels.  Or those awful high waisted denim shorts with the slanted cut off bottoms that are universally unflattering for every figure.  Why are people wearing these?? Drink from a gold colored bottle of champagne hanging around a chain from your neck.  Yes, they were actually selling those.  Do whatever you want, wear whatever you please because it's Vegas and anything goes.

I may not have what it takes to really "hang" in this city.  I never really did.  Everything is really expensive and I don't like to spend a lot of money.   My outfits never come close to Vegas level hoochie.  If I drink even a little bit too much one night I can't even look at alcohol for another 24 hours at least.  I don't put on make up and do my hair to go sweat at the pool in 90 degree weather. I need naps.  I barely made it out for our one club night, Roller Coasters make me ill and I can't even eat at the buffet like I used to.  But even so, I love Vegas and I know I'll be back.
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I Need A Break

Packing sucks! I pretty much hate it. But traveling does not suck and I pretty much love that so packing is a necessary evil. I'm REALLY proud of myself this time for not freaking out. I'm usually such a hot mess before a trip but I think I've literally grown exhausted with stressing out over it.  You can only agonize so much.  Or maybe it's just this cute little pack this notepad my little sister got me for my Birthday.  It's been a lifesaver.  It keeps me sane.  It gives me a place to write all my little reminders and check things off because I have this overwhelming need to check things off when I feel stressed.  It has EVERYTHING you could ever want or need to bring with you on a trip so that nagging awful feeling that I've forgotten something doesn't haunt me so much.

I'm off to Vegas this weekend.  The timing couldn't be better.  I'm tired.  Burnt.  Fried.  And certainly not because I've been getting any sun.  Sitting at my desk day after day at work and being tired because I'm lame and never get myself to bed on time has taken it's toll.  I've been in this position for 3 years now and it was a grueling year.  I need a vacation.  I always need a vacation but right now I REALLY need a vacation. Not that my job isn't awesome or anything.  I mean, who doesn't love curriculum right?  Not to toot my own horn or anything because I didn't actually win but I was nominated for Outstanding Employee of the year.  This week was employee appreciation week and I got gift cards to Starbucks, i tunes and Jamba Juice.  I got green tea and a really pretty pink water bottle too.  It was like Christmas in May.  Our bosses are really nice to us, I like the laid back atmosphere and I have great co workers but I can only take so much and I need a break.

Usually when I go to Vegas it's in the 100's but it should be mostly 90's which is perfect.  The only thing I'm not looking forward to is traffic and the crowded see and be seen party vibe at the pool.  My sister will be driving us up there Friday morning and we're meeting one of my BFF's there.  She's almost 8 months pregnant and she wants to go dancing so this should be interesting.  The weird thing is that due to what I will call extenuating circumstances both of their husbands will be there.  The  three of us have our own room and it's still a girls trip as far as we are concerned.  The men are just a side thing.  And no Mj does not feel left out at all.  He gets annoyingly excited when he gets the house to himself.  He talks about all the things he's gonna get to do while I'm away like go see Hangover 3.  Like I'm some kind of jail warden or something.  Yeah, I may get on his nerves just like he does mine and there might be a little nagging on my end but for the record that man does what he wants.  I guess it's just freeing to have some alone time when you co-habitate 99% of the time.

I got my club outfit ready and my bikini packed.  Off to the land of pool parties and flip flops I go.

Magazine Musings

I subscribe to 3 magazines. Half the time they end up piled up in the backseat of my car so I can read them when I have hair appointments. When it's time for vacation I usually have a stack of them saved up.  I'm so distracted by everything else that reading magazines literally takes a back seat.  It may take me a while but I read every one cover to cover.

Here are some random things that caught my eye in the May issue of Marie Claire, which by the way I can't believe I actually got to it in May!  And even posted about it in May.  If you want to read the full article just click each link.

Second Class Soldiers?
If you are part of a same sex marriage and your spouse dies in combat under the current law the surviving spouse is not awarded the spouses Purple Heart or granted the same benefits as the surviving spouse of a straight couple.  The 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as a union between a man and woman and therefore does not include same sex couples.  It's another example of the neverending process that is updating laws to our current reality.  Our laws can't keep up.  I think that if the same sex marriage is legally recognized then they should receive those same benefits too.  I hope that gets changed.

Babies in Burkas
Islamic culture doesn't require the wearing of a Burka until puberty but in certain areas they want it to start at infancy.  Why?  Can't they just just let a baby girl be a baby girl?  Her life becomes more and more complicated and difficult the older she gets.  I don't understand what harm the sight of an innocent baby girl could bring.  It sends such a terrible message and and is such an unfair double standard.  That picture is so sad.  I think it teaches them to be ashamed of themselves.  This little girl is hiding under a blanket living in a culture where she learns from infancy that she is so inferior that she is not to be seen or heard and should basically just disappear. 

Splurge vs Steal
These always crack me up because at outrageous as the splurge price is even the steal price is out of control.  The outfit on the left is $15,010.  But if you pinch your pennies and bargain hunt you can get it for the low price of $920 purchasing the items on the right.  I can't help but wonder why are clothes so expensive?  I can buy a car for that much or less so how could something you wear on your body be so costly?  Is anyone buying this stuff?  I guess rich folks are but I wouldn't know a thing about that.  I won't be getting the splurge or the steal.  I'll stick with following my trusty fashion bloggers who shop at Forever 21, Old Navy, splurge at J Crew and could probably put this outfit together for $50 bucks.

Italian for Beginners
John and Ondine were a typical couple living in NYC until they threw caution to the wind along with a lot of money and opened a posh boutique hotel in Tuscany.  Not only was that one a success but they just opened a second one.  I loved Italy when we were there but I did not come home with any kinds of ideas of moving there let a lone starting a business there.  It's one of the few places I'd actually consider living which is probably not a good thing because I'd probably want Pizza every day.  I already want Pizza every day living here.  As cool as it sounds to live in Italy and be your own boss I can't even say I would want to.  I mean, in a faraway fantasy maybe; but in real life....I don't know.  I just wouldn't know where to start.  They felt the same way but they did it anyways.  Major guts.

Scarlett Johansson on Social Media
All of it drives me crazy.  I don't understand this need to 'share.'  We almost exploit ourselves in order to feel seen.  

She makes a good point.  I like it when I post something and it gets liked or commented on.  It means that someone paid attention.  Someone was interested in something I had to say.  Who doesn't like that?  On the other hand, I'm not gonna put out a sex tape just to see how many hits I can get on You Tube.  Not that anyone would be all that interested in my sex tape since I'm not a celebrity and all but you know what I mean.  Some people take their sharing way too far.  I felt like I was getting really caught up in posting everything all the time so I'm really trying to be conscious of it and not be so "into" it.   You start to wonder why you are so interested in what everyone else is doing and spending so much time scrolling through feed after feed on your phone. It can be fun, but when I realize it's sucking up too much time it gets annoying.

Jordana Brewster
I just love this girl!  The first movie I saw her in was The Faculty. She's such a good actress and has such a natural beauty about her.  Olive complexion, dark hair, dark eyes.  Oh, how I wanted her bangs! I wish she were in more movies.  I feel like I don't see her in all that much but she's kept her role in Fast and Furious 6 which I really can't believe took off the way it did.  I don't even know if I've seen them all because there are just too many to keep track.  I'm not the biggest fan.  They are all so phony and kind of the same thing over and over.  The car scenes are so over the top. I'm sure I'll watch it but it's not on my must see movie list.  I'm mainly interested because she's in it.  Oh, and Vin Diesel is fun to look.

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Life Lessons From The Office

The people on The Office are weird.  Only three of them are normal.  Pam, Jim and Darryl.  Okay, and maybe Erin when she's not being so dense.  There is nothing outwardly desirable or interesting about their life.  Their clothes are blah.  Their jobs are blah.  Their lives are one big blah.  They are working 9-5 stiffs at a paper company.  Could there be anything more boring then paper?  In a boring town that nobody would ever really want to visit.  And their office parties are terrible.  
People don't want to see that.  They like watching young beautiful people who look like they fell out of a magazine working at glamorous jobs, wearing the latest fashions and doing trendy things.

Except maybe that's not always the case.  Maybe sometimes people get tired of all that high gloss perfection.  Sometimes we just want to see normal people doing ordinary things.  Well, actually there is nothing normal about Dwight and Kevin or about Andy crapping on the hood of a car but still.  In general, they are just regular people.  Like me.  They are flawed.  Goofy.  They are not Forever 21 and they don't always make sense.  They go to work in a colorless office building, sit in the same desk and see the same people every day.  They go to meetings in the conference room.  They joke around.  They meet up for happy hour.  They become friends.  The months turn into years.  I can relate.  I get to do really fun things and I savor my weekends off but by and large because it happens five out of seven days of the week the day to day is about going to work.  It's a normal every day sometimes hum drum life and I liked seeing it on TV In all of it's embarrassingly awkward yet funny yet what the hell just happened glory.  It's way more exciting then what goes on in my office but at the same time so real. And really bizarre.

The Office figured out a way to make ordinary interesting and there is nothing ordinary about how interesting these ordinary characters could be and how they kept people wanting more for 9 seasons.  

When my husband was getting ready to delete the very last episode from our DVR I made him stop.

Why?  Because.  I just wasn't ready to let it go yet.  I have a thing for words.  I love words that make me feel something inside.  The quotes at the end of the show were so moving.  I guess I just wanted to hear them said one more time.  And I didn't want to forget.

It took me so long to do so many important things.  It's just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy then I could've been.  Be strong.  Trust yourself.  Love yourself.  Conquer your fears.  Just go after what you want and act fast because life just isn't that long.  -Pam

If you film anybody long enough they're going to do something stupid. It's only human natural.  (big goofy smile) -Kevin

When are we all going to be here?  Together again?  -Angela

If you are ever in the area.  You'll have a place to stay.  In my barn.  -Dwight

I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.  Someone should right a song about that. -Andy

You take something ordinary, like a piece of paper.  It's not much. But if you see it in the right way......-Oscar

How did you do it?  How did you capture what it was really like.  How we felt?  How we made each other laugh? And how we got through the day.  How did you do it?  Also, how do cameras work? -Erin

Everyday when I came to work all I wanted to do was leave.  So why in the world does it feel so hard to leave right now? -Darryl

No matter how you get there or where you end up.  Human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home. -Creed

I worked for a paper company all these years and I never wrote anything down.  -Phyllis

Even if I didn't love every minute of it.  Everything I have I owe to this job.  This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job. -Jim

There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things.  Isn't that kind of the point?  -Pam

Who knew those nutty people could be so worldly and wise?  Here's my takeaway from The Office. 
  • True love will find a way.  
  • There is significant value as human beings in every single one of us.  
  • Every person we meet touches our life in some way whether you realize it or not.  
  • Don't forget to take delight in the ordinary every day joys of life.  
  • Be present and soak it all in.  
  • Life is not always perfect or what you expected but it's still yours and it has the potential to be whatever you want it to be so it's up to you to make the best of it. 

Adventures in Juicing

I'm weird and decided to to another juice fast.  Five was hard so this time I went for 3 days and then eating clean and low carb for the last two days. 
The Juice Factory//The Omega VRT350  

 I decided not to be lazy and actually make the juice instead of buying it.  If you make it all at once it's really not that bad.  You don't have to cut them into very small pieces and cleaning out the juicer parts wasn't that bad either.  If I ran out and needed some more I'd definitely just go buy it.  Instead of just tossing things into the juicer without counting everything out this time I kept track of how many vegetables it took to make how many ounces of juice.  This will help the next time I'm crazy enough to juice because I'll know exactly how much of everything to buy. 

Just in case you were wondering.

1 cucumber = 8 oz
2 apples =8 oz
4 carrots = 4 oz

3 cucumbers
29 carrots
16 apples
6 oz (4 cups) spinach
8 pieces of ginger root
Equals 148 oz (18.5 cups)

This should have given me enough juice to cover 48 oz per day for 3 days.  Or so I thought.  I counted each pour but my measurements must have been off probably because of all that foam at the top and I was about 8 oz short.   Which is about 2 Apples.  That was fine because instead of juice on Wednesday night I figured I'd just break my fast with a snack.

Nutritional Data per 16 oz
Calories 213
Total Fat  1g
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 160mg
Carb 68.5g
Fiber 0.5g
Sugar 45g
Protein 4

In order to come up with these numbers I added up the amount of Fiber in all the fruit being used and subtracted that number multiplied by calories per gram of Fiber which is 4.  I did however leave 0.5 grams of Fiber because I'm sure I'm getting a tiny fraction even through the juicing process.  I suck at math and numbers but when it comes to knowing that the calories in a piece of string cheese is 80 or that 16 oz equals= 1 pound =2.2 kilos = 14 stones or that there are 28 grams in an ounce I know it by heart.  I don't even have to look it up.  Just another mostly useless talent of mine!

The total cost was $22.  I'm still trying to figure out if that seems like a lot of money or not.  It averages out to about $7 per day.  I'm scared of Kale now because I had a really bad experience with it last time.  AFTER washing it but BEFORE I put it in the juicer I discovered a tiny caterpillar that came thisclose to making it into our juice.  The Horror!! Never again will I buy the Kale that has all the nooks and crannies in it.  It has to be the flat kind or pre washed until I'm able to get over that horrible experience.  They didn't have either at Sprouts when I went so I used spinach instead.  Pre washed spinach just to be safe.

Just like last time the first day was the hardest.  Going to bed too late and not getting enough sleep didn't help.  I don't even know how I dragged my butt to the gym on Monday and Tuesday.  On Tuesday I almost drove right past it.  I was sooo sleepy.  Day 2 and 3 were better.  All I could think about all day on Wednesday was the cheese and nuts I was gonna get to eat that night.

For the last two days I've been avoiding obvious carbs like bread, pasta or crackers and sticking to foods with high nutrition density and/or are not processed.  No snack monster allowed.  No candy.  No sweets.  I should probably eat like that every day or at least the majority of the time.  It's not that I'm eating a ton of unhealthy foods it's just that a lot of them are nutritionally void.  You don't get much in the way of nutritional value from Fat Free pringles.  I like to get my snack on and I like to eat like a 10 year old.  For dinner I like to eat Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches or a Cheese Quesadilla and I could eat the same thing every single day.  Mj practically has to wrench the PBJ right out of my fingers to get me to eat the healthy meals he cooks.

It's not a quick fix for weight loss and it's not for everybody.  My older sister won't try it and some believe it's just too extreme.  I had two other bloggers join me and like Mj one of them couldn't make it.  It's not the easiest thing to give up food for days but I've always had a high threshold for tolerating hunger.  I've never been that person that thinks they are about to die if they get a hunger pang.  Another useless talent?  I'm not sure how much of a habit I'll make it but so far it's been really good for helping rid myself of chocolate and sugar cravings and just get back on track.  Sometimes you just need a re set button.

Mini Cooper for Mother's Day

Opening her Mother's Day gift

The best gifts are ones that you already know someone wants but won't buy for themselves.  When we were shopping in LA last month we went into Victoria's Secret.  My mom tried on a Navy Blue "Pink" sweater but didn't get it because it was "too expensive."  When she opened her gift she was so surprised to see that very same sweater she left on the rack.  It felt really good to give it to her.  I loved her reaction.  I knew she would be surprised.  She started opening it and I said wait and ran to get my camera.  They are so cute I had to get one for myself.


Pancho's Surprise // No surprise that this was delicious
For lunch we went to Anita's Mexican Restaurant.  We used to go to there all the time when I was a kid.  It's been a really long time since I've been.  It will probably be a while before I go again so for sentimental reasons I had to get Pancho's surprise.  I think it's the only thing I've ever ordered there.  It's this sloppy cheesy bean filled chicken enchilada.  Yum!  Just as good as I remembered.  The restaurant is right by the beach so we took a walk over there afterwards.  The thing about the beach is that even if it's 80-90 degrees everywhere else that good weather doesn't always make it to the coast.  The sun was trying to break through but there was too much cloud cover and it was mostly chilly and grey.  There were all these crazy people getting in the water and laying out in bikini's.  Didn't they notice the sun was missing?  I was freezing in my skirt and tank top and I wasn't even wet.   
At the beach

My cute nephew DJ // He was being a little bad that day but when you are 2 that's what you do

One non mom  and two moms
She gifted herself with a really cool Mother's Day gift last week.  A brand spanking new oh so cute Mini Cooper.  It's on my dream car but probably won't happen for another 5 years or so if ever list.  My sister and I test drove it.  I loved it and so does my mom.  It's about time she finally got a car that she REALLY wants and not something she settled for or got stuck with because my dad picked it out.
Mom and her Mini
I have a great mom.  She is selfless when it's easier to be selfish. So often she puts others needs in front of her own. She is kind, fun to be with and is the best mom I could ever ask for.  I feel very fortunate to have her for a mother and am so grateful for the close relationship that we have.  Sometimes I really wish I could do more for her.  She's worked hard all of her life.  If I was rich I would buy her a house, tell her to go on vacation and enjoy the rest of her life without worries because she deserves it.  I didn't buy my mom a Mini Cooper for Mother's Day but I really wish I could have.

Happy Hour or Bust

Most of the time a chair is just a chair and a table is just a table.  It's there.  You sit in it.  You eat at it.  You don't really think about it all that much.  But when you are in a club or a bar setting a chair is not just a chair and a table is not just a table.  It's turf.  And the competition to control them is fierce.

When the husband told me he wanted to go to Truluck's Seafood, Steaks & Crab House for his Birthday dinner my first thought was damn!  That place is really expensive and he wants to go there again?  They don't even have a parking lot so right off the top that's $8 for valet.  My second thought was if that's what my sweet husband wants then that's what he will get.  My third thought was that we had better make happy hour.   Happy hour is from 5-7 and we got there at 6pm.  I had a back up reservation for 7:15pm if the unthinkable happened and we didn't get a seat in the bar area but I was determined not to need it.  When I walked in I was on a mission.  Happy hour or bust.

It was Friday so the bar area was jam packed.  We joined the ranks of the lost souls floating around without tables.  On my way back from the bathroom I saw 3 people swoop in and grab seats on Mj's watch.  Mj, you gottta be on the look out!  So I'm standing there cutting my eyes left and right looking to see if anyone was wrapping up their meal or if a waitress was bringing anyone their bill.  Another couple happened to be standing near a table where people were leaving and they swooped in and stole that one.  Darn.

A girl walks in glued to her cell phone.  She stalks around scouting for a spot.  She was in the right place at the right time and even though we were there before her she snags two seats at the bar.  Timing  and location is everything when you are competing for bar real estate.  We stand around some more.  By this time it's 6:35pm.

We were standing behind this couple at the bar that looked like they'd been there for a while but she looked a little too cozy and he had barely made a dent in his beer.  They weren't going anywhere.  Another couple wearing black walked in and started trolling the bar.  I'm not the pushy type but I  couldn't let them snatch the next table from us.  My wallet was depending on it.  The couple behind us seemed to be wrapping it up so even though I could see the guy in the black suit pretty close to the table with the same idea I spoke up before he could and asked if they were leaving.  Black suit didn't go away so the girl pointed at us and said she thought we were there first.  His wife did not look happy that they didn't get the table but I told him.  Sorry, we've been looking for a spot since 6.  That table was ours.  And just in time because we had 25 minutes left of happy hour.  The waitress has seen physical fights break out over tables.  I believe it.  I've seen similar situations at other places and my friends and I have been known to be very possessive of "our" chairs.  I'm so glad I didn't have to fight.  Not that I would have.

I cancelled my 7:15 pm reservation on Open Table and ordered sliders, sweet potato fries and two glasses of champagne at 50% off bar menu happy hour prices.  Those are literally the only things I even liked on the whole menu.  Everything else was seafood.  Mj can have his $39 seafood trio in Bearnaise sauce off the dinner menu.  I'm a cheap date.  He's not.  His taste is expensive.  He claims he just likes "good" food and I guess I don't.  I have the palate of a 10 year old.  I don't need a $25 fillet when I'm just as happy with bar food, a simple grilled chicken or a good Cobb salad.  I enjoy eating out I just don't need anything fancy which usually means expensive.  But I don't like chain restaurants either.  The prices are good there are just too many other fun restaurants to explore in our city.

Once we got settled into prime real estate we had a really nice dinner.  I love the ambiance at this place.  When I'm not stalking people for their table that is.  The mouthwash dispenser in the bathroom is pretty cool but they also have a live singer and really great decor.  And they have the best sliders AND sweet potato fries I've ever had.   I took my husband out on a date.  He got his "good" food, I got my budget friendly eats and a good time was had by all.

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Friday Confessions

Happy Friday everyone!  It feels like it takes just about forever for this day to come lately.  I have a date night planned for tonight and will be spending time with family on Sunday for Mother's Day.  Right now, I should be getting ready for work but I'm linking up my post with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for some confessions.

I confess that I'm doing another juice fast next week starting on Monday.  Call me crazy but I actually liked it the first time around.  Link to how that went here.  This time I'm doing it for a more reasonable 3 days and my mom is joining in.  I haven't decided if I'm going to be lazy and buy my juice or actually make it in the juicer.  For those of you ladies who were interested in joining me stock up on veggies and juice this weekend.

I confess that I don't go to Starbucks for the coffee.  My Starbucks treat of choice is the reduced fat turkey bacon and egg white sandwich. It eats like a high calorie fast food equivalent but is only 320 calories.  My Starbucks Gold Card holding husband has introduced me to skinny cafe mocha's and vanilla latte's so I finally know what to order there instead of just plain coffee but I actually prefer 7-11's.  It's so good and only $1.25 with my refillable mug.  I LOVE 7-11!! If you don't have a one it's the equivalent of your average convenience store where you can buy everything from beer and slurpees to mini chicken tacos, pizza, greeting cards and aspirin.

I confess that I entered a giveaway and didn't even realize that I had entered to win an area rug until I came across my entry tweet on Twitter.  I told you I was a giveway junkie and that half the time I don't even know what the prize is before I'm already entering to win.  I'm actually okay with not winning that one because we don't actually need an area rug.  My win count is now up to 5.

I confess that I believe that Amanda Knox is innocent of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher.  There was no real evidence against her, she was crucified by the Italian media and I agree with her when she says she didn't stand a chance.  Jodie Arias on the other hand.  Guility as charged.  I believe she did murder her ex boyfriend and that the lies and evidence speak for itself.  She has the nerve to be tweeting.  She is some kind of crazy.  I confess that I've really gotten into watching the trial on the news. 

I confess that I was totally traumatized from the unfortunate incident of having to kill a daddy long legs in our bathroom yesterday morning.  It was awful.  Mj had already left for work and I knew if I didn't find the sucker I'd be terrified to go in my bathroom later on that day.  There were several screams of bloody murder and I spent the first hour of my day at work very unsettled. What haunts me the most is that I have no idea where it came from.  One minute I was putting on deodorant and the next there was this ugly spider on the counter right in front of me.

I confess that I still can't believe I got a pair of Limited Edition skinny jeans from Banana Republic with a tag that said $69.99 for only $19.99!  Don't you love it when the price is even lower then you thought it would be? And while we're at it why does shopping have to be so fun?

I confess that May kicked my booty financially as usual.  Even when I tell myself to watch out for it somehow every year I'm always left feeling overwhelmed with Car registration, Mother's day and 2 Birthdays.  This year I put off my optometrist appointment for that very reason but I threw in a shopping trip to the outlets and a trip to Vegas (in 2 weeks and counting).  These are all good and fun things; they just cost money.  Minus the car registration.  Necessary evil.  Not fun.

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Baseball. Bar Hop. Shop

From the rooftop bar at Altitude we can see Petco park.  That area with the blue umbrellas is where the party was
Our weekend plans kicked off Friday right after work.  We went straight downtown because Mj's job put on an event at Petco park during the Padre's game.  All you can eat Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Pasta, Beer, Peanuts and Crackerjacks and a baseball game.  So delighted were we with the culinary offerings that we forgot about the game and didn't go to the bleachers to watch some of it until the end.  So this is how it went that night. Altitude for a drink, Palace bar for a drink, Petco Park for a party, baseball game....and a drink, back to Palace Bar for a drink then onto Bar Basic for a drink and a slice of Pizza.  I did not drink at every stop but someone else (my husband) that you all know and love did.  He is really celebrating his release from jail school.  We didn't leave until 1:30am.  At one point I thought I'd fall asleep but I got a 2nd wind and somehow managed to keep it moving. 
Shopping at J Crew by day // Eating a giant wedge salad for dinner by night
Saturday morning started with cleaning.  Had to get that not so fun bit out of the way so I could get on to the good stuff.  I met my girlfriend Ebony at the Las Americas outlets by the border.  It's so close to the border that you can see Tijuana and a giant Mexican flag waving in the wind from the parking lot.   What brought us out there was 40% off the entire store at J Crew but while we were there we were pleasantly surprised to find 50% off at Gap and 50% off the entire store at Banana Republic.  For reals.  I was in shopping heaven.  I pretty much cleaned up and have vowed never to shop again.  Which won't actually happen but I do need to take a break.  It was so fun to shop and catch up with my friend.  She has a 17 month old and is very busy so we don't get together a lot.  Time flies when you are in shopping heaven.  Next thing we knew it was almost 5pm.  We got a snack in the food court and headed home.

Then it was time for part 2 of my Saturday.  We met up with some friends in Hillcrest at the Tractor Room for dinner.  This place is so tiny.  It's basically a house that got converted into a restaurant so we were eating in what probably used to be the living room.  There are only about 9 tables but they also have some outdoor seating.  They have things like wild boar, duck and lamb on the menu.  Weird.  I ordered a salad that I had to eat with a fork AND a knife.  Afterwards we walked over to Babycakes.  It's this weird but really cool bar/cupcake shop hybrid.  You have your typical dimly lit bar with dark wooden tables on the left and a cozy cupcake shop on the right.  We got a peanut butter chocolate cupcake to share and ate it in the bar.

Sunday was all about relaxing.  I didn't do a dang thing.  Mj is still in utter disbelief that he doesn't have to do homework so it's been fun listening to him say that he can't believe he just gets to go home and play his game and bake and do whatever he wants. Which on that particular day meant baking Cinnamon rolls.  He took most of them to work and I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  I wanted to drink a beer or eat some cheesy Mexican food in honor of Cinco De Mayo but I was all partied out and my appetite for party-ing or party food was gone.
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You Know How I am

My husband is so...I guess a good word would be unaffected. He doesn't stress. He doesn't worry.  He is like, whatever about most things.  So when it comes to his Birthday I'm usually at a loss as to what to do for him. He wants to treat his Birthday just like any other day but I think he is special and therefore his Birthday is most definitely not any other day.  What do you want?  I don't know, I don't really need anything.  Do you want cake? No.  Do you want anything special for dinner? No as long as it's low carb and healthy I don't care.  Do you want to go out to dinner? No, it's a Thursday.   He want's nothing and wants to do nothing.  Am I just supposed to ignore my husbands Birthday and act like it's not happening just because he tells me he doesn't care?  Well, luckily his tennis shoes are on their last legs.  They broke this week so a gift card to get new ones was the obvious perfect gift.  Birthday Present-check.
Wine // Meatloaf muffins // Bundtini's
I briefly contemplated picking up KFC on the way home for dinner.  It was a long busy week and we all know I'm not the cook in this operation but it felt wrong to allow my husband to eat KFC on his birthday when I technically had time to make something.  I surfed the interwebs and decided that he was having meatloaf for his Birthday dinner.  Yes, meatloaf but I impressed even myself with how I got creative with it.  I came home, I cooked and I conquered because I made the meatloaf into muffins and he loved them so much that he had 4.  They are only 85 calories each so why not.  Birthday dinner-check.  I've never made him a Birthday cake.  It just feels lame because I would go Duncan Hines and he makes cakes from scratch.  On my lunch break I picked up bundtinis in five different flavors from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  This cake is really amazing.  It literally melts in your mouth and we both love it.  Birthday Cake-check.  We spent the evening drinking wine with dinner, eating cake and watching a movie.

My husband may not care about his Birthday but I do.  I've already established just how awesome I think he is and I would feel like the crappiest wife ever if I didn't at least try to make it a little special for him even if it was a Thursday and he could really care less.  What to do for a man who wants nothing to do with his Birthday.  I mean, you can't do nothing.  A thoughtful gift, a tasty dinner and something sweet and indulgent.  That about covers it.  When we went to bed that night I told him that I hoped he had a good day.  His response.  You know how I am.  And I do.  Which is how I knew he would say that he didn't care and that I would take it upon myself to care for him and do what I could to make it special anyways.

My Husband is Awesome

I don't think working full time and going to school is for everybody.  Lots of people are doing it but I seriously don't know how they survive it.   I am weak.  I'm a baby when I don't get enough sleep and I get stressed out when I have a lot on my plate.  I did two semesters part time at community college and it just about killed me.  I came home from class in tears because I was so exhausted and so tired and had no idea where I would find the time or energy to get everything done.  My husband is a lot stronger then I am.  I already knew that.   WE already knew that, but doing what he did is just one more example of how much stronger.  For the past three years Mj has been a fixture at the dining room table doing homework for hours and hours on end.  I come home from work and there he is posted up in front of his laptops.  I'm chilling on the couch on Sunday catching up on the old DVR and there he is doing homework all. day. long.  I really did feel sorry for him slaving away while I dozed in and out of sleep on the couch.  Some week nights we'd hardly even talk because he'd be doing homework from when I got home until we went to bed. 
He's been counting it down month by month, week by week and day by day.  Literally.  I got an update every week.  I "used" him as motivation to get some writing done and got him to come with me to my favorite coffee shop to work.  I wish I'd started it sooner because I got a lot done with him and it was fun.  He spent all Sunday working on his final project and now after years of hard work he finally has his degree and is so happy to be getting his life back.   Not that he ever really stopped living it.  My husband is a busy body.  He still hung out with his friends.  He cooked and went through all kinds of random baking phases.  He did his Army Drills.  We went on vacations.  We had date nights and DVD nights at home.  He went biking.  He did two cycles of P90X last year.  He did kick ball, dodge ball and is in his second flag football league in a row right now.  In fact, he's in two different leagues.  He just does not stop.  Needless to say he's really good at multi tasking while I'm tired just thinking about it. I'm such a slacker. He says he doesn't know what he's going to do with all this extra time and I'm thinking he may not want to tell me that because I'm sure I can think of a few things to help fill the void.

I'm so very proud of him.  When we met he told me that getting his Bachelor's degree had been a goal that he set out for himself a long time ago.  He did active duty Army, traveled the world then once he went to part time Army the degree was next on his list.  He had some setbacks.  It took him longer then he planned.  Army reserve training, deployments and life in general got in the way but he buckled down and got it done.  And what's really awesome aside from the whole getting your college degree thing is that between the GI Bill and his job benefits he hasn't paid a dime out of his pocket.  How freaking amazing is that in a time where most college graduates are drowning in student loan debt?  He even has a new job position lined up for next month.  He's a smart one alright, and he's cute. I'm just glad I snatched him up when I did.
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