Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blog Change


Normally, Saturdays are meant for scheduled posts but today I write from this cozy chair as I mentally prepare myself for work in a few hours.

Since my wedding, I have really tried to get organized with my blog and posting.One of the things I am considering is a blog re brand. As you may or may not know, I chose my blog name when I was lost in life, trying to deal with my mom being gone and none of the expectations that I was told happened after you get that college degree.

And now, I am happily married, making my own family and life in a new place. I have come so far from that time in my life and I want my blog to show that. I want a new name, new design but it has been so hard to come up with anything. It has become a serious conundrum. Even enlisted the hubs brainstorming ideas.

Basically, I refuse to change my blog design (aka spend moola) until I figure out a new name for this blog. So if you still see the old engaged info and wedding planning tab, that is why my friends. I am seriously indecisive and it has trickled over to this blog.

Then there are all the other questions that come with changing your blog name. Twitter, facebook, Instagram, web hosting, RSS feed...ahhh!

But I figure if I'm writing about this all of you can help me out and give me a little kick, right???

And that is my nonsense post and jumble for the weekend. Have a great weekend!
Friday, November 29, 2013

SparkleLouder and Win| New Year's Eve with Hpnotiq

http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest

I surely hope you have entered multiple upon multiple amounts of times for the Sparkle Louder contest. I mean, you can win a girl's night in New York City, at Times Square on New Year's Eve. Talk about the best party scene and the best way to enter the New Year with some sparkle.

If you are just joining the convo about the Hpnotiq SparkleLouder contest, let me give you the 411.  

Hpnotiq’s SparkleLouder contest runs from November 4 through December 8, 2013

Hpnotiq challenges you to upload a pic showing how you plan to Sparkle Louder on New Year’s Eve - whether it’s a glam outfit, you with your girlfriends or a selfie. Then use Hpnotiq’s “SparkleLouder” app to make your photo shine!  


Just like this! #SparkleLouder

All you have to do is upload a pic, add a little sparkle (purple, blue, white!) of any design you choose, add a quote if you choose then ether to win! 
Every entry gives you more weekly chances to win one of 20 EFFY Diamond & Blue Topaz Rings Sweepstakes Prizes (four each week)! 
They look a little something like this.

The entry that Sparkles the Loudest will win the Grand Prize: A New Year’s Eve trip for you and three girlfriends to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the ball drop in Times Square! (Who doesn't want that opportunity?!)
The app and contest entry can be found here: http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest.
And be sure to use #SparkleLouder when sharing all your fun pics on social media!


Last New Year I was ringing in our wedding year with my fiance and I can't believe how the year has already flown by to us ringing in the New Year as husband and wife! As much as I would love to be joining the lucky winner in NYC, as per us our plans are very last minute. We might end up at my BFFs again, where we will down 12 grapes at midnight and make a wish. Or maybe we might shake it up and venture off somewhere new.

But either way, what would New Year's Eve be without a little Hpnotiq cocktail? No fun. That's what. Here are 2 of my favorite recipes and I just might be shaking up come NYE.

 

 

Sparkle-Tini

You Will Need
  • 2 oz. Hpnotiq
  • 2 oz. Premium Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Grenadine Sinker
Instructions
Shake and strain into a martini glass.

 

Coco Berry Bliss

You Will Need

  • 3 oz. Hpnotiq Harmonie
  • 1 oz. Premium Coconut Vodka

Instructions

Pour over ice, stir, and serve in a rocks glass. Rim with coconut flakes.





Make sure to enter and seriously consider bringing me along for the fun!




http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Seriously Thankful.

Throughout this month, I have participated in the Thankful Project. I have had the opportunity to share many stories and truly be thankful for the most special things that are in my life.

Well, just to get back on track of not always being *so serious* about things. Today, I want to dwell on the completely wonderful and sometimes materialistic things that I absolutely love and adore.

This guy. My husband. As we are coming up on our first holiday season as Mr. and Mrs., I know I am so lucky to have this man as my husband. I mean, he cleans the kitchen and takes out the trash. What more could I ask for?
Handsome devils.


And if you all already didn't know, this kitty has out heart. She will always be our first "baby" no matter how many come after her. She drives us crazy on a daily basis but also makes us love her no matter what.

Lily also loves the iPhone. Her fish live there.



My iPhone. It entered my life just a short 3 months ago but I can not tell you how much I am so glad I have it. It makes life easier with shopping, emails and blog things. And don't forget all the cool pics I can post on Instagram.

Speaking of Instagram, I am thankful for social media, this blog included. It has really given me a community of people I could never imagine and allowed me an outlet to share some of the best days and some of the not better days. My writing reaches people and I am so thankful for that. Plus, I can be a crazy cat lady and am not judged. Well, ok maybe just a little.

NSync Christmas Album. More specifically this song.




My wedding pictures. I have probably looked at them everyday since we got them back. No, I am not exaggerating.I just look so perrrrttyyyy.




My family and friends near and far. If your family and friends are far this holiday season, we just have to remember how lucky we are to have people so special we just miss them so much.




And to top this thankful post off. Christmas.


Enjoy your turkey everyone! Gobble, gobble!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Coping with Grief During the Holidays



This is the fifth holiday season I am embarking on without my mom. Does it get easier? In a way , yes But in other ways, no. It's always been important to me to share what I know and anything that can help others on here. So I want to share my advice, experience on grieving during the holidays.

Let yourself grieve and feel the loss. My first holiday season without my mom I can barely recall. But I do know I did the same activities as the year before when my mom was there. Got up. Unwrapped presents from my sister. Got dressed. Went to my dads. Then went off to my uncles. Same exact routine. There was no place in that routine to acknowledge my mom was gone. That it was OK if I wanted to sit home and remember her. Let yourself miss that person. And let yourself change or alter a routine if you need to. Do not let others tell you how to grieve.

It was then the next year when we had Christmas Eve at my mom's house, the house I still lived in by myself. My sister and uncle made the decision and I never said no. I was working and came home to everyone there that had eaten dinner without me. Talk about remembering my mom when she would have never let anyone celebrate and eat without me on Christmas Eve. Lucky for me, my best friend got engaged that Christmas Eve and gave me a reason to smile. Do not be afraid to say, "It's too much." Only you will know when it becomes a burden and bouncing around from place to place might not be the best fit for you to deal with your grief. Its ok.

Talk about them. Never let the great loss of someone be the elephant in the room. Laugh and joke about silly family traditions you had. OR maybe the time that person had a funny holiday moment. My favorite will always be this moment at her last Thanksgiving. It defines my mom more than any other picture. Just a little bit crazy.

Chances are, other people who lost the same special person in their life will enjoy the conversations about the person. And it might help with their loss during the holidays.

Most people will not understand. And you might want to yell and scream and shout at them when they are bouncing happily from house to house with all their loved ones in tow. "Why can't that be me?"You really do not understand and think about people experiencing a loss until you are there yourself. Then as you are on your grieving process, you think how it is for other people that have lost people before you. And you realize that you, yourself, never even saw the hurt that was present. So expect that same misunderstanding from even the closest of people to you.

Talk about the loss. If you are having a particularly rough day, talk about it with someone. If that makes you uncomfortable, start by saying that. "So I don't know how to talk about this with you but, I'm really missing my mom today and I need to talk to someone about it." Chances are, they will be more than happy to listen. And it will help you heal by just talking about how much the loss affects your holidays.Keeping the loss and pain in might only increase your feeling of loss and sadness.
1st Christmas without Mom; 1st Christmas with this special kitty

Acknowledge that some times it just plain stinks. If you wake up Christmas Eve and there is an ache in your heart missing that person, acknowledge it. It IS sad they aren't there with you and are missing out on holiday moments. But then do not let yourself dwell in it. Participate in the joy of the season and everything and everyone that is around you.

2011 Christmas
 









Reflect back to the previous holiday. I say this because every year it will be different. One holiday you don't think you want to do anything then the next you slowly add your old traditions back. The laughs and happiness flow back in and you remember the joy of the family and friends that are around you everyday. And it's when you remember the last year, that you see how you are healing and grieving. And just how strong you are for going year to year.



Celebrate the joy in your life as your loved one would have wanted.
Monday, November 25, 2013

The Thankful Project | Something You Know





I am thankful that I know after suffering a great loss, grieving someone helps you remember and heal. Remembering someone so close to your heart is something to embrace and enjoy even if it is in the craziest ways.

I am glad I can share my story with other people that might share the same grief or might be experiencing the same pain. Because I know. I've been there. My heart was broken and some days, the cracks of pain come back.

I know that people grieve in their own way and it does not make you weak or make something wrong with you. It makes you the strongest person to be able to cry and miss that person because you loved them so much. And I know, not everyone understands and not everyone ever will. But I know, I am not weak, I am strong.I miss my mom everyday. I know grief never ends but you will heal.
Friday, November 22, 2013

The Most Epic of Splits this Friday

Well, hi there! We have made it to another Friday and are one week away from Thanksgiving!



Dear everyone- Please enjoy this hilarious video of Channing Tatum





 Dear self- Enjoy your weekend because your 50 hour week next week is going to kick your butt! And please, sleep in on Sunday.

Dear Friendsgiving- I am so excited we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends. This is the second year in a row and I think it will become a great tradition. I also hope everyone likes my mashed potatoes.Peeling 10 pounds of potatoes here I come!

Dear Beauty 
and the Beast-You know my love for you. Belle, you are my absolute favorite. Happy 22nd years!














Dear Christmas-Get in my house!! I am having serious withdrawals that is almost December and there is a small Merry Christmas sign and no more in the apartment. Sad business. 


I will end with this.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

Happy Weekend everyone!!

The Thankful Project | An Expectation




Expectations. They can be what someone else expects of you, what society expects of you or what you expect of yourself. Expectations are what drives us as a people and a society. The one expectation I am thankful for is having the expectation to be a MILF.

Now, you might laugh or think this won't be something serious. But hear me out.To me that acronym means so much more than a mom who is super hot and boys have fantasies about. To me, it is a symbol of a mom who is pretty darn awesome. And might look hot on occasion.



I see a milf as a supermom. A woman who wants to be the best version she can be for her family. I want that mom car that will make me look super cool when I take my kids to dance class, soccer and the many other activities they will participate in. And maybe blast my Carrie Underwood in.

I want to work hard so I have that pool to lay out by and watch my kids have friends over for pool parties and are able to create those memories. Friends were never in and out of my house growing up do to the distance it required for them to get there. SO if I am able to provide that spacious house and great backyard for my kids to enjoy with their friends, I think I do deserve a nice suntan once in awhile.

I want to keep myself in the best shape for my kids and husband and myself. looking good is also about being healthy. And I want to live a healthy lifestyle to be around for my grand kids and maybe even great grand kids. My mom is missing so many moments with her kids and won't even get to see her grandkids. Something that always hurts me and I know, God willing, I want to be here for all of this for my kids. I also want to pass that healthy lifestyle onto my kids. So if that keeps me looking great, well that's a bonus! And plus, I've heard when you dress nice, it keeps you feeling young. Win!


You can agree or disagree with me. As I am not a mom yet, I know that is a tough job. But I want to excel at it and I have given myself the expectation to hold up to give my kids the best mom they can have. The coolest mom they can have. The mom that they are proud of. And that's my version of what a milf really is.

And the expectations to be that is what drives me to work so hard now to be that in the future and give my kids that great future. And I am thankful that I may have this, albeit strange to some, expectation for myself. 
Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Cara Box

It's time for another round of Cara Box reveal! In case you aren't familiar with it, straight from Kaitlyn, the genius creator..

You will get paired up with two other women, email back and forth to get to know each other, and will crazily stalk their blog (if they have one)...in the most non-creepy way. Each exchange will last for three months. By the end of the second month, you will create a box or package, specifically for the woman you were paired to send to, and ship it off to her. Your other partner will do the same for you.

This month I got paired with Kortney at Brett & Kortney Boyett and Laura at Mrs. Laura Beth

I loved getting to know both of these wonderful ladies over the past few months. And I am so glad they survived through my emails issues (Sorry ladies!) Both of these ladies just celebrated their first anniversaries and I loved reading about both of their adventures.

Laura has kitties she absolutely adores as much as I adore my Lily. She lives on a farm which is a totally different epxerience than anything you could imagine, or so I've heard from her ;)


Laura spoiled me (and Lily!) so much and I love everything she got me. 




A wine cork vase with a tea light candle. She had these at her wedding and knew I loved my wine. So thoughtful! 

Chestnuts! Actual chestnuts to roast on my open fire. Or to be decorated as a pretty Christmas centerpiece.

Journal the quote is perfect and I have already started using it. She got the same one for herself so it's like we always have a connection. Sounds stalkerish I know. 

Perfectly Plum Bag My fave color of green and so lightweight. I always love having a new bag to carry around and will go perfect with some Christmas things.

Catnip Lily and catnip makes Lily the craziest kitty of all. And she loves it.


If you are interested in participating in next month's Cara Box swap, you can sign up here. And I highly suggest you do!

The Thankful Project| Something You Take for Granted





I actually had another post in mind for this but am currently experiencing a life without electric. Currently, there is no electricity in my apartment. I am not sure why but that is neither here nor there. In just this one hour I have realized this is truly something we all take for granted.

Without electricity, the temperature in my apartment has started to dip to a cool 62. Those that know me, know that is borderline freezing. I am bundled up to keep in the warmth. Many people in other worlds live like this day after day. And there are many homeless people that fight the freezing temperatures every night. I take the fact that I get to have constant heat and be warm for granted.

Without electricity, my super fancy iPhone is going to lose charge quickly and I will not be able to charge it. Electricity provides us with the convenience to carry our cell phones with us day after day and have the world at our finger tips. Or any smart phone or cell phone you have in your possession. I take that I have the privilege and means necessary to have an iPhone for granted.

Without electricity, the food choices for my lunch are limited to bread and some sort of lunch meat. I am used to hot lunches of soup and small Smart Ones meals. Again, many people in other worlds would love to have my bread and meat. And a hot meal to them is even more than what Christmas means to us. They do not have refrigerators or microwaves. They rely on whatever they can find for the day or cook over a fire. I take for granted that I can have hot meals in minutes and multiple times a day if I wanted.

Without electricity, I can not write this blog post on a computer. The nice Mac I have sitting on the desk is fueled by said electric. If you remember I whined and had a complaining post about my dear laptop biting the dust. When in reality, I still had this beauty in front of me that my husband so graciously allows me to use. I take for granted being able to turn on a computer to write out my thoughts, connect and share with so many people.

Without electricity, there are no lights in the bathroom. I will shower and use the bathroom with a small flashlight to get ready for work. I have complained about the vent noise that goes along with out bathroom light. Many people use a bathroom in the woods or an outhouse or in less than sanitary conditions. I take for granted that my bathroom is a working bathroom, proper shower and toilet and allows me the light day after day.

And in lieu of my post earlier in the week, without electricity I would never know what a superhero was. I wouldn't have a TV to watch or movies to play. I wouldn't be able to research them online and obsess. I wouldn't have cable that lets me watch Agents of Shield every Tuesday. I take for granted my use of television and the ability to enjoy the entertainment offered by them.

We are all given this gift of electricity and we all take it for granted some days. Just remember to be thankful next week when we all sit down with our families to a hot meal, cooked in the oven and are watching Thanksgiving parades and football games in the warmth of our homes.
Monday, November 18, 2013

Superhero Obsession

Today I have a confession. I love superheroes. And I mean LOVE. Borderline obsession.

If iron man is on FX, I am watching it. And I always have the newest movie the day it releases. First step is admitting, right??

Iron Man is my favorite.

To pinpoint when my obsession started is quite hard. I had always loved Transformers from day 1. Then it kind of exploded from there. With the help of my husband , of course. He can rattle off about any superhero, his personal fave of Batman especially. (Don't even get me started on how much I heard about Ben Affleck as Batman)

I have been known to drag my best friends to see superhero movies with me. And being good friends pretended I wasn't crazy and they actually liked it. And imagine how crazy excited I was for Agents of Shield. I mean, it's genius. Tying in all the Marvel movies with the show and back to the movies. Whatttt?!

Moral of this story, this weekend we finally went to see Thor! I was clearly prepared. 

A red cup Starbucks in a t-shirt?! Never thought I'd see the day. 

I always root for the bad guys. Always wanting them to change good but I was disappointed yet again in Loki. But Kat was a pleasure yet again. She always know how to deliver the cracks. I mean, she has an intern when she is an intern. And there is an appearance by Captain America himself. Do not fret. I did not reveal any spoiler. 

And to sum up the rest of my weekend: work. The end. 
Friday, November 15, 2013

Curel Intensive Healing Cream {Review}

I have always been blessed with dry skin on my hands. And by blessed, I mean plagued.

 If I forget lotion one day they start to get that stiff feeling of all kinds of uncomfortable. Lucky me. I have a few creams and ointments I have as go to but am always excited to try new ones out. 

Especially when it gets serious up in these hands.



BzzAgent gave me the opportunity to try the Curel Intensive Healing Creme. The Curel creme is more of a lotion than a heavy creme like you would think. Smooths on my hands easily and with no leftover grease. A definite win when I am in a hurry on the go.

After using it a few weeks, my hands were definitely softer and I saw them getting less dry on occasion. I could go more than a day without having to use any lotion to "refresh."

However, my hands take a turn for the worse as the temperatures drop and that's when my lotions and ointments really have to hold up. I will be curious to see how intensive this creme is on my "intense" dry winter hands. 

I would definitely recommend this for anyone that has been plagued with dry skin and has been trying and trying to find the right one. No mess residue. easy to apply and great for on the go.

I am a BzzAgent and received this product complimentary to share my honest opinion. 
Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Thankful Project | An Annoyance




This was tricky one. Unfortunately, not because it was hard to find one but because there are so many annoyances that happen everyday that I, and we as a whole, forget to be thankful for.

That traffic you sit in? That annoyance gives you a few extra minutes before you step through those work doors and start your day. Blast your favorite song whenever you sit in traffic to get you through. Note to self. 

My husband being "quiet" and waking me up every morning? Thankful I have each day to wake up to him even though it might be by the fog horn nose blowing ;)

Trying to split all the holiday plans between families, kinda annoying. But so thankful we have so many family members who want to share our first holidays with us.

These are just a few of the things that happen that so quickly can be an annoyance to me. But in itself it is actual something I should be thankful for. 

The Thankful Project| A Blessing

http://www.thechasinghappyblog.com/2013/10/thankful-project-blog-challenge.html



Admittedly I am behind and skipped about a bunch of days but I figured I would jump back in today.

The biggest blessing in my life is this kitty. I know I joke and laugh about being a crazy cat lady but there's a reason. 



It was the end of November in 2009 when I was working a terrible part time job, still trying to find a full time job after I had graduated in May. I lived by myself, didn't really do much due to the limited funds I had coming in and was kind of down in the dumps. Then one night I got a call from my sister asking if I wanted a cat, deep down I was screaming, "yes!" But knew I couldn't afford the extra expenses or have the time for her. I was then gifted this blessing by my sister.

I am so glad I was wrong and decided to get her because even if I knew it or not, I needed her. She made me excited to come home, let me chat with her and cuddle with her. Made me feel less alone.


Does that make me crazy? No. Anyone with a pet knows that special place they hold and just exactly how it feels when they want to snuggle with you and no matter what happens, they love you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Very Hpnotiq New Year's Eve | SparkleLouder and Win!

http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest



Now that we are we well into fall and embarking on the holiday season, it is time to start thinking about ringing in the New Year and what your plans will be.

Perhaps you might be interested in the New Years of a life time in Times Square, yes? Hpnotiq is giving you the chance to win the ultimate New Year's Eve. The fudge on top of the cherry, on top of the fudge experiences in NYC. Yea, it's that big. You can be right there in Times Square being gloriously squished between thousands of strangers watching the ball drop and loving it!


All thanks to Hpnotiq's SparkleLouder Contest.
 
Hpnotiq challenges you to upload a pic showing how you plan to Sparkle Louder on New Year’s Eve - whether it’s a glam outfit, you with your girlfriends or a selfie. Then use Hpnotiq’s “SparkleLouder” app to make your photo shine! 


We are fun people that just "sparkle"
After you visit the app, just upload your picture from your computer, Facebook or Instagram. Then you can "draw" your sparkle design on your uploaded picture (pink, purple or white!), add a quote if so desire and voila!! I told you, easy peasy. You can even add an extra kick of fun by sharing on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SparkleLouder. 

 

Every entry (Each #SparkleLouder picture you upload) gives you more weekly chances to win one of 20 EFFY Diamond & Blue Topaz Rings Sweepstakes Prizes (four each week)! The entry that Sparkles the Loudest will win the Grand Prize: A New Year’ s Eve trip for you and three girlfriends to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the ball drop in Times Square! (Um, I might be a little be jealous but so happy if one of my readers can win!) The app and contest entry can be found here: http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest  Hpnotiq’s SparkleLouder contest runs from November 4 through December 8, 2013!



Now down to what I'll be wearing this New Year's Eve. I think it's always important to have a little Swarvoski crystal in your hair like I dazzled on my wedding day in the above picture. And add a little fun with sunglasses or props to truly kick up the Sparkle for your New Year's Eve with a side of a Hpnotiq cocktail, of course. 

 Oh, and sometimes it helps to add a handsome husband to the mix as I'm dancing next to above. But now on to real life, where I sadly can't wear my wedding dress out New Year's Eve.
  
Since I will be celebrating my first New Year's Eve as a Mrs. sans wedding dress, I figure I better glam it up a bit even if I can't win this awesome prize to NYC. Take a break from my usual jeans and sweater routine. Add that sparkle and shine. Here are a few of my favorites. I'm feeling the red this year (Might be a little coincidental..or hopeful..)





New Year's Eve





So what are your plans for New Year's Eve? Favorite way to Sparkle? And did you enter to win yet?!


http://www.hpnotiq.com/SparkleLouderContest

Monday, November 11, 2013

Muddy weekend!

Well, not so much for me. But the husband and his friends had a muddy weekend. They ran the Zombie Mud Run. A little twist on the basic mud run, zombies chased them down!


I just got to be a chilly spectator with the BFF. Excuse my excessive use of layers here.




So proud of all of them for being tough enough to go through this run. I know I sure as heck am not tough enough. Cold and muddy equals me being whiny.








It was a great day spent with close friends. We had plenty of zombies as we had a viewing of season 1 of the walking dead. 


Sunday night we celebrated both my in-laws' birthdays. 







And then Monday came and I was sad. See you in 2 weeks weekend! 
Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dr. Scholls Active Series {Review}

Are you a runner who constantly has knee pain? Or someone who is on their feet a all day and comes home with achy hips? No? So it's just me.

In the case that, that isn't true let me tell you about a product you have to try. 

I have been a Dr. Scholls user for awhile. The Dr. Scholls for her was a genius idea. So naturally I was really excited to be chosen for the active series box box to try these new babies out! 



Background on my achy joints: had a slight mishap junior year of high school that landed me with all torn ligaments and stretched tendons in my left ankle. Then, sophomore year of college I ended up with a pretty severe torn meniscus in my knee. While I was on crutches from that surgery, I fell and sprained my right ankle and did something to my shoulder. 

Needless to say, I developed a definite gimp and never really got it straightened out. So when I run or I'm on my feet all day, I come home with more pain than a 26 year old should. 

I've tried sneakers upon sneakers to fix my pain and finally just accepted it. But now I was given the light into these beauties. What makes them different? 

They have a hard plastic for your arch. Which I'm told is the problem for most knee problems. So pretty much the best arch support you can get from an insole. 

And on top of that, it has great shock protection. I didn't have that harsh hitting of the pavement. Yes, I could still feel it but not as intense. That makes it great for cushioning my cartilage less knee. 

Of course I must address the fact that they are pink for women. Really dresses up the inside of that sneaker I tell ya. And they are so easy to cut and fit to your shoe size. 



Basically, I recommend this to all runners and anyone that suffers from knee or hip pain. Please do not judge me for having hip pain at 26.


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes