Monday, September 30, 2013

Something Old

Happy last day of Blogtember!


For our final prompt of the month we are to share a picture of something old. I have been so fortunate to have received family pieces from my mother that came from both sides of my family. It's hard to choose just one to share about because they all bring so much happiness to me. To see the history and to bring it along with me as I go through life. One Christmas my father framed the picture above along with one other framed picture. They both are of my grandfather. My grandfather was one of the most wonderful men I have ever known. I am so fortunate that I got to enjoy being around him for twenty of his ninety some years. Without this man I wouldn't of had the opportunity to go to the University I chose. He set up an educational fund for my siblings and I when we were very young because he knew the importance of an education. The man didn't go to school himself, but ran his own business for many years. I think he saw more for his grand kids though. He saw that in this day and age education is a must. He didn't want us to be burdened by money issues when thinking about what we wanted to do with our lives because that sadly happens when it shouldn't. I am forever thankful for his generosity and support. When I walked across that stage on graduation day, and when I started my first day of training for my career, I thought of him. I wished so hard in those very moments that he was there to experience them with me. To know that without him, I might not have the wonderful life that I live. The two pictures my dad gave me sit up on my dresser so that everyday I have a little piece of him with me to remind me of where I come from and how fortunate I am.

I love you, Grandpa.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dear Facebook Friends...

Ok, So I'm a little late on this post but during the past few days I've realized that I really need to do this blog prompt, even if it is late. Also, this isn't really a letter to my Facebook friends but more to those "friends" who drive me nuts yet I don't delete them because they kind of make me feel better about myself. Am I going to hell for saying this? So here goes:

Dear Facebook "friends"-
I'm writing you to thank you for giving me entertainment. Sometimes when you post statuses like this one

I really have to pause for a minute and reflect on a few things. First, how did we ever become friends on facebook? Because I dated someone you knew from back in the day and therefore thought it was appropriate to friend request me, and then I for whatever reason at the time thought it was a good idea to accept? I'm too nice? Second, I cannot believe you are comparing two really awful things and making it sound like one is better than the other. Is one really better than the other...I'm just seeing two real bad situations that I don't ever want to be a part of. Congrats on staying out of jail and getting placed on house arrest instead. A great life accomplishment.

I think we all have a few "friends" on Facebook that provide us entertainment, and sadly (or not) you are one of those "friends" for me. I wish I knew that I'd be writing about this on my blog one day because I would have been documenting your status updates a little bit more so I could share my laughs with the blogging world. Sometimes I don't know if you realize how you look to the world when you post these statuses. Maybe I'm being too mean, but I really don't need to know about your child's potty happenings. That's just going too far.

Bottom line: I'm not going to delete you because I get a good laugh at you and your status updates make me feel a bit better about myself when I'm having a rough day.

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PS. I hope I didn't offend anyone with my facebook "rant" :-) I promise I'm not mean.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Writing in the Coffee Shop


Today's prompt tells me that I need to go to a coffee shop and write. Just write. This is hard for me to do since I normally don't know what to write about, hence why I jumped on Blogtember for the month. I have to tell you something. I'm not at a coffee shop writing this. I'm at home. On my couch. I wanted to go to a coffee shop, and had all the intentions to. However, life gets in the way and I'm left with not much time and definitely no time for a trip to a coffee shop. Shoot, I'm just happy that I'm typing up a post at all so lets pretend I'm sitting in the coffee shop pictured above (Which I was, about six months ago).

Let's talk about blogging. Am I the only one on here that feels like they need to attend Blogging 101? I have loved writing in my blog and have loved reading others blogs even more, but I feel like I'm missing out on things. For starters, how do I reply to people's blog comments so that it gets sent to their email and not just posted on my blog? Does that happen automatically? I would love to learn how to manage my side bar so that if I ever decide to take on sponsors, I can easily put their pretty buttons on my page. It would even be cool to eventually learn some blog design stuff. I don't even know if any place offers a basic blogging class, but I feel like it's probably offered at the learning annex and will be filled with senior citizens. I would love it if anyone out there has any great tips or blogs/posts that they can throw my way to help with my situation. I'm not super tech savvy, but I feel like some of the things I'd like to do are pretty basic.

So there you have it, the ramblings of a wannabe blogger trying to be a better blogger. I hope I actually make it to a coffee shop soon to write, maybe it will give me better inspiration.


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

At Least You're in Tuscany..

I've been meaning to do a book review for a little while now so I am happy to see today's Blogtember! prompt. It is as follows: Review a book, place or product.

A month or so ago I learned about NetGalley. Have you heard of it? If you love to read books on your kindle/iPad/e-reader, but get annoyed at having to pay money to read then look this site up! You can request books from all sorts of authors. They either deny or allow you to download and read their books. It's a good idea to fluff up your profile and mention things that a publisher would like to hear. Tell them you'll do a review on your blog or review it on I'm not very quick on my reviews, but I still do them. The first NetGalley book I read was so-so. I ended up only doing a review on Amazon. I liked the book I'm about to review more than the last one so I figured it was deserving of a blog post :-)

At Least You're in Tuscany is a story of a real life attorney turned writer who up and leaves her life in New York city, packs up a few belongings, her dog and heads to start a new life in Tuscany. The book chronicles the ups and downs (a lot of downs!) of what it entails to move to an entirely foreign country that speaks a different language than you, and has different customs and traditions. What I loved the most about this book (besides her way of writing) was the lack of sugar coating what was really occurring while she was on this adventure. I think it would be very easy for her to make up a beautiful story about how she lived in a cute little cottage, fell in love with an amazing Italian stallion, and lived happily ever after. I appreciate the honesty and reality of her situation. She had struggles. It took Jennifer a long time to secure employment, and part of that was the difficulty with getting her citizenship in order. She found romance, but realized it wasn't the kind she wanted. She had to patiently wait and work hard to sharpen her Italian language skills. I felt as if I could relate to some of the things she was going through. Those make for the best books.

There were at times some slow moments, and I did struggle with not finishing it as fast as I wanted to, but as I mentioned-this was a true story. There was no hyping it up to make the story better to try and get more readers. It has always been a dream of mine to visit Tuscany so that was what drew me to this book in the first place. In reading this, I definitely still plan on making it to Tuscany one day. 

Even if this book doesn't interest you, still go check out NetGalley. It's pretty stinkin awesome to be able to score free books to read.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Nail Files!

A couple days ago I recieved this month's Birch Box. Inside I found this amazing color called fox hunt. It screamed fall color. I looked at the shellac on my nails and decided I needed to fix them immediately. I'm not a do it yourself-er when it comes to my nails. I have the attention span of a small child when it comes time to drying the nails after they have been painted. It also worked out well that Birch Box sent me a base/top coat in last months box otherwise I probably would have thrown the fox hunt color in a bin never to be seen again since all my nail colors and top/base coats are at least five years old. Why I don't just throw them away is beyond my daily thinking :-) This manicure turned out decent enough, but HOLY MOLEY I remember why I go to the salon to get my nails done! It took at least an hour and a half to dry (using the cool blowdry and ice cold water methods too!) and even then they still got messed up while I slept. I think next time I'll only use one coat.

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I've been slacking at Blogtember for the last few days, but I promise it's because I have been slammed at work and I get home at the end of the day and just want to eat and go to sleep. I hate that I've missed some days, but that's life. Today's topic is a reflection of the word comfort. 

To say that the word comfort means only one thing would be wrong. It would also be wrong to say that the meaning behind the word is always positive because it is not. If everyday was comfortable and easy, life would be boring, and we would all stay the way we are. When people get comfortable a funny thing happens. People stop trying at life. Whether it's getting comfortable in a relationship or a job, things start to even out and people fall into the same routine. They don't challenge themselves to keep the growth going in their job or keep fueling the romance in their relationship. The two love birds stop going out for date nights, and instead sit at home in sweat pants watching Netflix. They stop caring about working out at the gym to look smokin hot for eachother. The employee spends their day surfing the web instead of determining what they can do to further their career.

I think we are all guilty of getting comfortable with life and all it's happenings. I know I have done it a time or two before. Now that I've gotten a bit older and have had some serious personal growth in the last few years I look at comfort like this; don't let the years pass you by so that when you look back you wonder why you didn't break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Take comfort in the small things, and get comfort from those things, but don't get wrapped up in them for too long. I'm lucky (and sometimes unlucky) that I have a job that doesn't allow me to stay comfortable for long periods of time. Everyday I am given something new that challenges me and often puts me in a situation where I am uncomfortable. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that makes me stay on top of my game to make quick decisions when necessary. When I get home from work, change into my yoga pants, and hang out with my cat on the couch; I take comfort in that. As silly as it sounds.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer of '10

Blogtember: A Memory You Would Love to Relive

I don't know why, but it's hard for me to think of one specific moment I would like to relive. Maybe it's because when I wrote this entry I had just put in a twelve hour day today and my brain was shot. I decided to peruse some of my old photos stored on my computer for inspiration. I came to a decision: my "moment" would be the end of summer 2010. I was newly single, and it was the last summer I had before I became a big kid and no longer had summer vacations. I vowed to myself that I would make the best of the bit of summer I had left over. I chalked that last month and a half so full of activities! I look back now and realize that it was the most fun summer I've ever had. I'll let the pictures do the explaining.

I explored the area around me..




I had the Vegas trip of a lifetime..





Went to BBQs and rodeos..



It was a summer for the books!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

A Love Letter of Sorts

Day 10 of Blogtember!

Today's Prompt: Write a public love letter to someone in your life

To my wonderful friends,

I'm writing you this letter to thank you for all that you have done for me lately. This has been a difficult few months, and I know I probably haven't been as good as a friend to you that you have been to me. I have realized this at times, and it has even gotten to the point where I think to myself "I'm in such a low place that I can't think about my friends because I myself am not doing well so how can I worry about someone else?" Breakups with boyfriends are hard. They are even harder when you didn't see it coming, and the circumstances in which they came were horrible. I appreciate you understanding my struggles. Taking time out of your day to send me a text to see how I am doing means the world to me. To know that you care about my well being is what a true friend is really about. Inviting me over to your house, making me dinner and playing cards against humanity with me was a welcome distraction. You got me to laugh and eat when I couldn't during that first week.

I'm a little over a month into this singlehood again, but you know that things have been off for a few months longer than that. Thank you for challenging my thoughts and feelings. For getting me to think about what might actually be going on, for not telling me what to do but for letting me know that what I was feeling was perfectly OK. That I am not crazy.

The happy hours after I broke up with KC meant a lot too. The bitch sessions over carafes of wine we had about how much better I was, and how undeserving he is. How we talked about how he must be crazy because the other girl is nothing compared to all aspects. The fact that we could laugh at it in the end even though we plotted ways we could seek revenge and ruin his life. Those nights made me feel better. 

I think that during my struggles with KC I would sometimes get too wrapped up in not getting enough attention from him that I forgot to see the unconditional love I received from you, my friends. I'm usually pretty good about not losing my friends when I'm in a relationship with someone, but this time it reminded me of that. I shouldn't have to focus on one or the other, and that's what happened in the last few months of KC and I. 

I'm so fortunate to have amazing friends like you, and I can never thank you enough for being there for me. 

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lazy Sunday

There is just something so wonderful about today. It's wonderful in a sense that it's nothing special, but it still feels good. After a busy week at work and a busy social calendar, the kind of week where you don't get home until it's time to crawl into bed, I'm more than happy with today. The weather is even encouraging me to do nothing. 

I love Sundays. It's my day to play catch up and also get things done around my house. To get order before jumping into another week. Having everything together makes me feel content. I don't know about you, but my house seems to start clean on Monday but by Friday it's a different story. Today I was able to wash clothes, clean the litter box, and tidy up my kitchen. After that I sat down on my couch, which may have been the first time all week, and began watching episodes of Parenthood as the thunder rumbled outside my window. As crazy as it may seem, I love Seattle's gloomy days for this purpose. I don't feel guilty that I'm not outside enjoying the sun. It makes me want to curl up on the couch and watch Lifetime as I sip a pumpkin spice latte.

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Friday, September 13, 2013


Day 9: Blogtember!

Today's prompt is simply: Self Portrait. 
This self portrait was shot using my iPad. I was sitting on the windowsill of my tiny hotel room in downtown Oslo, Norway. I really like the lighting and texture that was caught in the amateur shot.  It was the beginning of April, and it was still really cold in Norway. The town didn't have any snow, but when I rode the train in from the airport, snow covered the hill and countrysides outside of the city. I loved it because it was chilly, but the sky was completely blue and sunny. The streets were flocked with outdoor seating areas, and heat lamps turned on. This would never happen in Seattle! Oslo was my first ever overseas trip (I know, I know, it's sad it took me this long!), and I was loving it. It was the perfect intro to traveling outside of the US. The people spoke English, were super friendly, and I felt like I was walking around a movie set...That's how cute Oslo is.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

PS. What a crazy-busy week. I am super excited to catch up on everyone's postings this weekend.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Online Shopping

Welcome to Day 7 of Blogtember!

Today we're going to talk about some of my favorite places to shop online. I have to admit something though. I don't do a ton of online shopping these days. Usually I'm worried that the item won't fit right and I will have to send it back and pay even more shipping than I did to just receive the item. I hate paying for shipping. If a website offers free shipping, I'm that much more likely to make purchases from them.

The first place I'm going to talk about it GroopDealz. This website is pretty cool. It has reasonable prices for some pretty cute stuff. They sell items from all sorts of different sellers, and these items are usually up for sale on the site for 24-48 hours, and then they disappear FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER. Haha. Not always forever. Sometimes things come back, but don't count on that. Just buy now! Here's some things I've bought from the site.

Next up on my list is Dorothy Perkins. I haven't shopped this site a whole lot, and when the Kardashian's started supplying their Kardashian Kollection at DP I lost a lot of respect for the company, but I did manage to find a few good things there.

I found this dress that I wore for my friends wedding rehearsal dinner. I also found coral skinny jeans that actually fit my tall self.

Other than these two places, I usually stick to the normal, well known online stores. I am on almost everyday. I hit Nordstrom up on a regular basis. Deal News is another daily read website that features a collection of good deals that can be found across the World Wide Web. It's hard to remember all that I've purchased through other websites because of this one, but this is a great everyday site to check out. They mention sales from Kate Spade, and coach to what laptops and vacations are best priced at right now.

Excited to discover some new places to shop from all y'all!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life Takes a Turn


Day 6 of Blogtember! Let's talk about a turn in my life.

As you all probably can figure out: That's Seattle up there in the picture. Isn't that a great shot of the city? I took this photograph shortly after I moved to Seattle. It was taken at Kerry Park. If you ever come to visit you must put this park on your To Do list. 

I've lived in Seattle for about five years now. I would say that five years ago my life took a major turn. The first major turn as an adult. I decided that I needed to leave small town life behind and explore a city that gave me more options. Seattle was within a few hours drive, and had become more appealing to me as I went to visit friends who had already made the move.


This was a major move for me. Something that I can look back at now and realize how fortunate I am to have had everything work out the way I wanted it to. I was so naive when I packed a U-Haul full of my belongings at the end of my final summer at home. I guess I need to back it up a bit. When I first contemplated moving to Seattle I was attending community college. I was getting tired of said community college life. I felt like I had finally (after two and half years!) figured out what I wanted to major in and I needed to get to it ASAP. I only applied to one university, and crossed my fingers I would be accepted as a transfer student. My only back up plan was that if I wasn't accepted I would move anyway and finish my two year degree at a different community college in Seattle. I just needed to go.


So off I went. I got in to the one school I applied to. It's crazy to think back now at how fortunate I was. Living in a big city was a fun, and exciting new adventure. I was able to explore and learn new things. I, for the first time, was on my own. That first quarter was a tough one. I was stuck taking all classes that I didn't enjoy, and I had a depressing college adviser that made me want to go home and cry into my pillow after any conversation the two of us had. I avoided her as much as possible. I spent way too much money. I was so overwhelmed with all the awesome shops in this city that I purchased without thinking about what my actual account balance was. Whoopsies! Some days got lonely, but I was thankful that I at least had my feisty little Matilda to keep me company in my little studio apartment.


After a while though, I could feel myself really settling in to the big city. It started to feel less foreign and more like home. I started to make less trips back to my hometown, and when I did visit, it just didn't feel the same to me as it had when I first moved. It's when this happened that I realized I was growing up and transitioning from a kid to an adult. Although don't get me wrong: I still don't think I'll ever feel like a true big kid. A big city and a lifelong career still doesn't make the difference :-)

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