1.31.2011

Day 10: First Love

Describe your first love and first kiss.

These two things do *not* go hand in hand, let me say that first and foremost. My first kiss happened when I was fifteen, during the credits of a bad movie, while the recipient's friend sat behind us and watched.

Not romantic.

Now that I've gotten that little awkward detail out of the way, I can get to the real meat of this question. Because as tired as you all are of hearing me talk about how much I am in love with my husband, I would honestly consider him my first love {even if he wasn't fortunate enough to be my first kiss}.

Sure, I said those three little words to a few lucky boys before I met my husband, but looking back I realize that I had absolutely no idea what they meant. But once I met Robert, this whole new world opened up to me. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders; I didn't need to worry about so much anymore, like what I looked like or trying to be cool enough or smart enough. He loved me for the actual person that I was/am, and I don't think I can say that about anybody else {other than maybe my mom}.

Our first kiss was about two weeks after we first met. We were sitting on our friend's curb, waiting for my grandma to pick me up and take me home {we were teenagers, remember}. He had mentioned to me a few days prior that he wasn't going to kiss me. I was going to have to do it. And so, there we were, talking about my algebra test from earlier that day{it was a Wednesday} and I just did it. No warning. I just took a breath and did it.

And boy, am I glad I did.

xoxo,

1.29.2011

Happy Weekend!

It's 9:30 on Saturday morning, and I'm just sitting on the couch, in my pajamas, with one sock on. Why one sock? I don't know. It fell off in the middle of the night and I just haven't found the other one to put back on.

Aaaaahhhhhh...I love the weekends.

My wonderful weekend started yesterday, when I got a little package in the mail from my mom. Remember how I said that she likes to decorate for every holiday? Well, she gets most of her cute decorations from the sweet store that she works at and sometimes, if she finds something cute, she picks it up for me. That's how I already have so much stuff to decorate for Christmas!

Anyway, she had some adorable little things in that package {that just made my day Mom, I hope you know that}. 

  

And the best part about my package?


I only have one picture of my grandmother, and I've been telling my mom for a while that I wanted some more pictures. So she sent me some, and I absolutely love them. I love these old pictures of my grandmother {wasn't she pretty!} and I can't wait to get some nice frames and put them up on my inspiration wall

Oh, and there's a picture of my brother and I in there too. I love that picture and I love my brother {even if he does annoy me most of the time}.

I don't have anything big planned for this weekend, other than some good cooking and shopping. It all started this morning. 


I bought some new organic maple syrup yesterday, so I just had to make something to eat it with this morning. Thus the ableskivers. We got our pan on our honeymoon and I LOVE it. Do any of you make ableskivers? They are amazing!

Here are a few other things that I'm planning for this weekend:

Red Velvet Cupcakes {for no reason other than to just make red velvet cupcakes...}

Fish and Chips for dinner tonight.

Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast tomorrow. 

I haven't quite decided what I want to make for dinner tomorrow night, but I'll figure it out soon. 

I also get to do laundry this weekend. Confession: I'm terrible at doing laundry regularly. Since we have a community laundry room downstairs, I can't just throw in a load every other day or so. We have laundry days, where we literally do six to eight loads at a time. Today is going to be one of those days. 
Please don't judge me. 

Usually I'm desperate to do laundry by the weekend, but picking out clean clothes hasn't been too difficult these past two weeks. I think I've figured out why, too. Do you remember my Wear Everything challenge?

So far, I've stuck to it! I haven't bought any new clothes or accessories or shoes, and I just have to say I'm quite proud of myself. I don't think I've ever gone this long without buying anything. And so having to find things to wear from the overabundance of clothes from my closet has allowed me to skimp on laundry a bit. 

I actually feel bad for not doing laundry because of my poor husband. He is starting to see clients in the on-campus clinic at his school and can't wear jeans. He only has so many nice clothes to wear, and those nice clothes are starting to dwindle. It's a good thing I have nothing else planned for today than red velvet cupcakes and taking a family trip to the post office. So laundry, here I come!

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day too. Have any of you ever been to a real flea market? I haven't, but the semi-annual flea market is coming to town tomorrow and I can't wait to go! Maybe I can find some pretty frames for those pictures up there. 

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Much love,

1.28.2011

Day 9: The Future and a Baby Giraffe

Didn't I already answer this question? How you hope your future will be like. Strange wording, but here it goes.

All that I hope for, for my future and for the future of my family, is to be happy, to be satisfied, and to be loved.

That's not too much to ask for, is it?

But enough of the questions. Happy Friday. And you know what makes Fridays happy?

{What Joelle?! The fact that it's the weekend or that I get to dress casually to work today???}

Of course not! A baby giraffe makes this Friday happy!

 
Sorry...I got these pictures in an email from my mother-in-law yesterday and I couldn't resist. They made me smile.

That's all. If I get rid of this ridiculous brain fart that I have going on right now, maybe I will write some more later.

Oh! I do have one more thing to say...it's more of a confession, if you will. So, I have all of these wonderful followers that I appreciate and love dearly. But recently I've realized an irrational fear of letting all of you down with my writing. You are all so supportive and wonderful to me, and I get scared that I will either let you down by A) not showing you my appreciation or B) that you will eventually become disappointed in my blog. I really hope that neither of these happen, but it's just something I've been thinking a lot about recently. Does anybody have any advice to get over this?

I promise, that's really all I have {for now}. And I hope you know that...

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

xoxo,

1.27.2011

A Little Love Story

So, guess what...

Katie has graciously decided to post my love story for all the world to see! I am just so happy right now! If you have a chance, go visit her blog. It's just so sweet and fun. And really, who doesn't love a good love story???




Much love,

1.26.2011

Day 8: Satisfied

A day that I was most satisfied with my life. It sure as hell wasn't yesterday. We didn't get into Ellen {we only had standby tickets}, but we did get guaranteed tickets for another show in April. And we did the Warner Brothers Studio Tour! Anybody recognize these:


How about now?
 Merlotte's Diner, True Blood
 Luke's Diner, Gilmore Girls
And...I'm sure you recognize this. 

So, yesterday wasn't so bad. We actually had a really good time! We saw Conan playing catch on the backlot {he even stopped for a couple minutes to say hi}. We got to go on the set of Two and a Half Men and got sorted into our Hogwarts houses at the WB museum {worth the $40 by itself!}. 

But, back to the question. A time when you were most satisfied.

This is going to sound super cheesy and cliche {and maybe it is}, but my wedding day was absolutely one of the best days of my life. Not only did I get to commit myself to the man I love, but I got to do so in front of everyone else that I love. We had friends and relatives that traveled from all over the country just to celebrate, and it meant absolutely the world to us. 
This last photo is important to me because even those that weren't physically with us got to celebrate with us. I tied my mother's wedding ring, both of my grandmother's wedding rings {one of which passed away four years ago}, and one of my great-grandmother's wedding rings to my bouquet. 

This is the part where I tell you about the funniest part of the night. Some close friends have heard this story, but I am trusting that all of you will find this entertaining as well {Mom, I'm including you in this generalization, humor me}.

So, my friends decorated my little car with balloons and streamers for us to drive off into the sunset together in {we didn't have enough funds to pay for anything fancy, like a limo or a color coordinated Vespa}. As we were leaving the reception, we realized that we forgot something slightly important for the wedding night. So we made a detour to the drug store. It wouldn't have been a very big deal had my new husband not convinced me to go into the store with him...in my wedding dress.

There we were...newlywed and googly eyed. Standing in line at CVS. Buying protection. 

Aaaaaaaaaand it doesn't end there. Because one of the female workers {she was older} felt the need to give us a little marriage advice. Direct quote: "Husband, love your wife. Wife, be submissive to your husband."

Needless to say, we won't be forgetting our wedding night anytime soon {and not for the reasons you're thinking}. But that's my story. I hope you find my awkward night just as entertaining as I did. 

Much love,

1.24.2011

Day 7: Zodiac Sign (and some other stuff)

I am a Pisces.

Generally, I don't really buy into astrology, though I've never really researched it before. So, for today's blog post, I went to an extremely credible source {duh, Wikipedia} and looked up my sign. According to whoever wrote this page, Pisces is considered a feminine and negative {introvert} sign. I'm not really sure what either of those mean in relation to astrology, but the general connotations pretty much describe me to a T.

It also goes on to say that it is one of the mutable signs. Apparently mutable signs have a have a longing for movement and are extremely restless. It is constantly trying to adapt itself to its ever-changing feelings and to the moods and whims of others.

Okay, so that pretty much describes me too.

The last thing that struck me about this description is the compatibility with other zodiac signs. The first on the list? Scorpio.

Robert, the stars have spoken. We are meant to be together.

Enough of that nonsense. I have other, more important things to talk about today. Like how we went back to Malibu Wines yesterday with two good friends and had the most amazing day. Anything negative that has happened in my life these past few days has been negated {or forgotten} by a truly incredible experience yesterday. It's good to know that I do have friends that not only care about me, but trust me and love me as well. I am so very grateful for these people in my life and I think I'm only beginning to understand the depth of my friendships. I am grateful for friends who will drop everything to come be with me just because I've had a terrible day. I'm grateful for friends who enjoy my company. And I'm grateful for friends who don't think I need to change, and who understand and accept me as the person that I am. That's honestly the best feeling in the world.

And...end cheesiness. I know some of you commented on Saturday about the cooking class that I got to take yesterday afternoon. If you watch Top Chef {it's okay if you don't...I don't even watch it}, you would recognize the name Fabio Viviani. He was on Top Chef Season 5 and is now on the current season of Top Chef Allstars. He owns a restaurant near where I live and my friend convinced me to take a cooking class with her yesterday. We weren't able to physically make the food {he said there was too much liability}, but he {as in Fabio himself} demonstrated how to make gnocchi and fresh pasta. It was delicious! After a day at the winery, gorging ourselves on cheese and crackers and spreads and brownies, and then going to Cafe Firenze and eating some of the best Italian food, I would just have to say that Sunday, January 23rd was an incredible food day.

Also, if you're interested in watching the video of the cooking class, you can find it on Fabio's blog.

I also have an announcement to make to all of you. I will not be blogging tomorrow. Would you like to know why?

Of course you would. It's because I will be here!

 {click on the picture to see more about Ellen's Surprise Birthday Show}

Jealous? It's okay, I'll tell you all about it. And be sure to watch on Wednesday to see me in the audience!

Okay, and last but definitely not least, I need to announce some winners to my very first giveaway!

The winner of the Pangea bottle is Alisha! And the winner of the Warpee is Tiffany. I will email both of you so that I can get your information and send you your gifts!

I guess that wasn't last, because I have one last thing to say.

Thank you!



I've finally hit 100 followers and I am so very grateful for each and every one of you. These past two months have been absolutely incredible, and I can't wait to share my life and my thoughts with my next 100 followers. I love you all!

So that's my novel of a post today. I'm sorry it's so long, but I appreciate you all taking the time to listen. I hope you all have a beautiful Monday.

Much love,

1.23.2011

Day 6: Interesting Facts

Interesting facts that may or may not be interesting.

  1. The meals that I make most often are chicken curry, pork chops, and...frozen pizza. 
  2. My favorite book is The Awakening by Kate Chopin. 
  3. I love pink {no surprise there}. I also love green, blue, purple, yellow, red...
  4. My favorite type of wine is Cabernet Sauvignon.
  5. I love beans on my breakfast burritos. 
  6. Last year I took the Jeopardy test {but didn't hear anything}. I'll take it again this year. My husband and I try to watch Jeopardy every day and being on the show is on my bucket list. Categories I'd kick ass at? Art history, world history, languages, geography, presidents...I know, I'm such an exciting person. 
  7. I was raised by a single mother.
  8. I have a problem with authority; especially people that abuse their authority. 
  9. My biggest celebrity crushes are Johnny Depp {obviously}, Daniel Craig, Hugh Laurie, and {confession time} Robert Pattinson.
  10. Did you know? I'm kind of obsessed with Twilight {though I try to keep my infatuation hidden...it's not so attractive sometimes}.
  11. I don't have a favorite flower. I love tulips and peonies and hydrangeas and gerber daisies and mums...{just about everything pretty}.
  12. I often spend hours on Etsy. 
  13. If I had the money I could furnish my wardrobe at Banana Republic, J. Crew, and Macys.
  14. I love ice cream. No, I don't think you understand. I love ice cream. 
  15. Everyone has a drunk food, right? Mine is spicy chicken bites from Jack in the Box. Yup, pretty much only go to Jack when I have a hankering for those spicy chicken bites...
  16. I've spent the night in the hospital twice {that I remember} in my life. Once was three years ago, when I had my appendix taken out. The other time was in September. Hopefully those will be the only two times. 
  17. I have a fascination with pregnancy and giving birth. I have already made up my mind {and I'm not even pregnant} that I want a natural birth and not necessarily in a hospital. I follow a few midwife and doula blogs {definitely getting me one of those when the time comes} and have watched multiple pregnancy documentaries {Pregnant in America and the Business of Being Born are both very good and informational, in case you're interested}. 
  18. I used to play Counterstrike when in high school {remember internet cafes???}. Still do, on occasion...
  19. I miss having long hair. I swear I will never cut my hair again. 
  20. I love candy, especially peanut butter M&Ms and Milky Way Midnight. 
  21. I own {and know the words} to every released Taylor Swift song {minus the Christmas ones}. 
  22. Most days, my husband and I eat dinner on TV trays sitting on the couch {duh, watching Jeopardy}...yeah, we're old cool like that.
  23. I bite my nails. I used to have acrylics, but ever since I got them taken off {they were too expensive}, my nails have been stubs. 
  24. On our anniversary, my husband and I decided that we are going to get In-N-Out and drink the $90 bottle of wine that we bought on our honeymoon. 
  25. As bad as this sounds, I am really bad at judging blogs before I read the content...meaning, if the blog isn't aesthetically pleasing to me, I will more than likely leave. It's a bad habit that I'm trying to get over, so I apologize!
  26. I love Nutella. 
  27. Do you see a recurring theme here? I love basically anything with sugar. Especially {but not limited to} tiramisu, creme brulee, cheesecake {white chocolate raspberry from Cheesecake Factory, anyone???}, red velvet cupcakes, gelato, champagne chocolate truffles, raw cookie dough...
  28. I'm an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of girl. My husband is a late-to-bed-late-to-rise kind of guy. Needless to say, we spend on average four hours a night actually sleeping next to each other.
  29. I don't have a favorite season. My favorite season is in between the seasons, when they're changing. 
  30. I drive a white 2010 Toyota Corolla. It's my baby and I love it.
xoxo,

    1.22.2011

    Things I Don't Love...Weekend Edition

    Waking up at 6:00 a.m. on my Saturday morning to proctor the SATs. But hey, it's extra cash that will pay for this:


    Passive aggressive internet catfight bullshit.


    Keith Olbermann leaving MSNBC.

    Bread that turns moldy only a few days after buying it. 

    Speeding tickets. 

    The button that just came off my new Lucky jeans.

    Day 5: Ending Your Life

    I've been avoiding this one. A time you thought about ending your life. Nobody wants to admit it to anyone, least of all themselves. But it's a part of life. Whether or not you act upon those thoughts is the real issue.

    I can't give you one particular instance. A lot of these thoughts are just jumbled together; if the thought ever crosses my mind, its just an extension of a previous thought. There is no reason for it. Even if there was, the reasons don't matter. Because I won't do it.

    I have too much time left on this earth. I have babies that need to be made and dreams that need to be met. I have yet to go back to Paris or publish a book. My mom still needs grandchildren. And who would feed my husband dinner after a long day at school or wash his socks?

    See? The world needs me. Obviously.

    Love,

    1.21.2011

    Love is in the Air

    Christmas is over, which means that the next coming holiday is Valentine's Day.

    Valentine's Day isn't really that big of a deal for me. Last year, in fact, was the first year that my husband, then fiance, and I spent the holiday together in four years. This never bothered me. I like to think that we celebrate our love everyday and not just on February 14th.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to Valentine's Day this year because it gives me an excuse to decorate! If you wonder where I get my enthusiasm for decorating for the holidays, you can blame my mom. To her, every holiday deserves some type of decoration. More specifically, every holiday deserves some type of hanging decoration, i.e. snowflakes for Christmas, hearts for Valentine's Day, bats for Halloween...you get the picture. Funny story: when my husband and I first started seeing each other, it was around Easter and my mom had hung Easter eggs from the ceiling. Needless to say, he thought he was going crazy.

    Anyway, don't you think these are the cutest Valentine's Day decorations?

     
     
    {clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to the respective Etsy store}

    I'm kind of tired of decorating with red since Christmas was less than a month ago, so I think I might need a pink color scheme {are you really surprised??}. I think these flowers would be a lovely addition to our table as well:


    I'm really loving peonies these days...

    And, even if I don't buy anything this year to decorate {since the funds might be lacking...}, I swear I'm going to make this wreathe, from Sew Much Ado:

    {click on the picture for a tutorial}

    Do all of you decorate for all holidays, or just the major ones? Even though my husband and I have been living in our little apartment for almost a year now, the novelty of decorating my own space hasn't worn off yet. 

    Thanks for listening, and don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends tonight. If you're on Twitter, follow me and tweet about the giveaway for an additional entry!

    Love,

    Words

    Words can be powerful. What you say or write to someone can have a profound effect.

    That is, if you're deliberate with your words, of course. I am very deliberate with my words. I guess that just comes with being a writer. Writing something is a much longer process than just putting the words down on paper. It's researching; trying to find the words that are in congruence with what I'm thinking and with what I honestly mean.  Often, even if I know the basic definition of a word, I'll still look it up in the dictionary to read the exact meaning and to find out if there might be an alternative definition that I didn't think of at first.

    I'm not one to throw around words haphazardly for the sole purpose of creating a reaction. Because if the word has no true meaning other than to elicit a response, it has no meaning and is therefore of no importance to me. I guess you could say that this is another one of my recent epiphanies and I've found that it helps quite a bit. That old saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me" can be very true if those words are insincere.

    I've been thinking a lot lately about words that do mean something to me. Here are two that have entered my thoughts these past few weeks.

    Sincerity
    [sin-ser-i-tee]

    –noun, plural -ties.
    freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness.

    I mentioned this one above; the idea that if words are insincere then they mean nothing. But I've been thinking a lot recently what it means to live sincerely. It means to live with integrity and with intention. And that's exactly how I want to live.

    Support
    [suh-pawrt, -pohrt]

    –verb (used with object)
    1. to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for.
    2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
    3. to undergo or endure, esp. with patience or submission; tolerate.
    4. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
    5. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.
    6. to uphold (a person, cause, policy, etc.) by aid, countenance, one's vote, etc.; back; second.
    7. to maintain or advocate (a theory, principle, etc.).

    I realized yesterday that some may misunderstand me when I say that what others think doesn't matter. If that were entirely true, then the idea of support doesn't matter either. But support is essential to being successful, regardless of where that support comes from. I've recently come to appreciate just how much support I do get in my life, and I think that makes all the difference. To know that you have someone, whether it's a significant other or a friend or a parent, to support you unconditionally is the best feeling in the world.

    Thanks all, for listening to me. And if you feel compelled to leave a comment on this post, please only do so if it's truly sincere.

    Much love,

    1.20.2011

    The Beginning of a Story

    You were all so gracious to me yesterday when I asked of you that small favor and I got such a wonderful response! It is so very uplifting to hear that there might actually be interest in what I write. I've decided to post a little of the beginning, just to see what you all have to say. I so value your opinion, though Felicity was right when she said that I should write it anyway. I guess it just comes down to being inspired to write.
     
    So this is the first few paragraphs of my story, which has a good thirty thousand words written so far {i.e. over half of the book}. I write in a different style than most contemporary authors, and I've come to realize that this is okay. I don't want to sound like anyone else anyway.
     
    I don't mind criticism as long as it's constructive. But if you are going to leave a mean comment just because you have no purpose in life other than to just put others down, I have to ask you {politely, of course} to leave my blog now. Because there is no room for your inflated ego and sour personality here.
     
    That being said, please leave any feedback that you have, positive or negative, and I will take it into consideration when revising and writing this piece. I just warn you now, however, that this is a work in progress. I have edited these few paragraphs more than any other in the novel, and I'm still not sure if it's the way to go. Also, I apologize if anyone from Kansas is offended. I think I randomly picked a place on the map to set my story, and it's definitely not a personal attack in any way. So, enjoy.
     
    *     *     *     *     *
     

    Chapter 1  

     

    Jane Austen once wrote that "happiness in marriage is purely a matter of chance." While this antiquated notion of matrimony may not fit with the modern requirement of love in marriage, it's still a truth universally acknowledged (though generally unspoken) in the small town of Selden, Kansas. To understand Selden requires abandoning all previously held beliefs of morality, equality, love, and compassion, and replacing them with the simple fact that all young, single women must surely be in want of a husband.   

     

    Disagreeing with this basic value of Selden is a crime paralleled only by voting Democratic or missing church on Sundays. Being guilty of all three unforgivable transgressions is virtually unheard of, save for one young woman.   

    To be clear, Kate Devlin did not dispute all aspects of this "fairytale" life that many young women in Selden aspire to. Her want of a husband paralleled, if not exceeded, that of other comparable girls in the town. Where she differs, however, is her possession of a quality which is noticeably absent from the debutante balls and bridal showers.   

     

    It may seem appalling that self-respect is an unfamiliar attribute to the majority of women here. This is because the one value that surpasses all others is the importance of family; and being true to your family means accepting whatever role that family has assigned to you.  

     

    It is apparent, therefore the value of women in this place. Kate accepted this fact, until she was confronted with what it truly meant. When her beau of eight years was exposed as a philanderer, as most men were tolerated to be, she committed another inconceivable act by refusing to forgive him. It was at this decisive moment when she realized her potential as a human being and refused to accept that life anymore. 

     

    It took Kate approximately forty-eight seconds after discovering Daniel's betrayal to reject his apology. It was another twelve days, however, before she understood that her meaning in life exceeded all expectations to her family and friends. This epiphany came in the form of a referral to a prestigious internship at a publishing company in Los Angeles, a city that is arguably the exact opposite of Selden. The time it took for Kate to accept the position was incalculable, however, as she was packing the moment the letter touched her fingertips.

     

    Leaving Selden had not been difficult for Kate, who had wasted no time before buying a one-way plane ticket to California. However, after the first week of her new job, in which she found her only responsibility to be the quality of the office coffee, she was seriously starting to wonder if her mother was right when she said Kate was making the biggest mistake of her life.  
     
    *     *     *     *     *
     
    Thank you all again for taking time out of your busy day to read what I have to write. I hope you all know how special you all are to me!
     
    And, I hope you entered my giveaway! It ends tomorrow night, so there's still time.
     
    Much love {and appreciation},

    Day 4: Religion

    There is an infinite difference between religion and faith. Religion is an organized institution. Faith is what you personally believe.

     

    I'm going to keep this short and sweet, but I will say this: I will never go to a church to have them tell me what to believe.

     

    Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to find a church that I can be at. It needs to line up with my beliefs; not the other way around. Not only that, but I need to feel comfortable with the politics and social principles of the church.

     

    I am at the point in my life where I am trying to figure out exactly what I believe. I grew up in a church and I love that church. It helped raise me to be the person that I am today. I just don't know if it's the right place for me at this point in my life.  

     

    But I do know this: there is a God and he loves me unconditionally. That's all that matters.
     
    Love,

    1.19.2011

    A Little Favor?

    Hey, would you do me a favor? Please? Pretty please?
    Would you read this for me:
    This is a story about a girl. A girl in love, of course. But this girl doesn't want to be in love. Well, not with this boy, anyway. Because this boy is beautiful and wanted and completely smitten with this girl {though she doesn't realize it at first}. He's also famous, and that's a problem. You see, this girl already has a broken heart and she doesn't know how many times it can break before it's irreparable. But he's persistent.

    This story, however, is more than their love story. This story is about a girl, trying to figure out her place in this world. She was raised to be one thing, and one thing only: a wife {and definitely not a wife to a movie star}. She was raised in a place where women are supposed to be passive and quiet and compliant. She was raised in a place where women had no voice. And this story is about her finding her voice.
    What do you think? Would you read this book? You see, I'm have a difficult time right now, trying to figure out if it's worth finishing. I have a better synopsis, but I don't want to give too much away. But if you're interested, I would be happy to share it. It would be nice to get some feedback.
    Much love,

    Day 3: Drugs and Alcohol

    I've seen so many different faces of drug and alcohol use. I've seen what it does to people that are completely dependent on the substances and I've seen what it does to people that abstain entirely. That being said, I fully believe that there is happy medium that is somewhere between both extremes. And while the thought of abstaining from drugs and alcohol doesn't necessarily seem negative, it's the unhealthy prejudices and biases against drugs and alcohol that are detrimental.

    I like to believe that I lie somewhere in the center of the spectrum. I'm sure all of you know by now my infatuation with wine, though it hasn't and hopefully never will, turn into a dependence. There is so much more to alcohol than just consumption, and I think that's where my interest comes from. It's the entire culture of wine; the natural beauty in the process behind growing and producing it; the fact that it can be enhanced by how you drink it and what you eat with it. Truly, wine is a culture. It has its own language and history and rules. It's a hobby, not unlike viewing a beautiful piece of art or creating an exquisite meal to share. In its purest intention, I fully believe that there is nothing negative about enjoying a good glass of wine with dinner every night.

    Other alcoholic substances don't necessarily have to be dissimilar to the description of wine that I just gave. There are plenty of breweries producing exceptional beers that can be enjoyed in much the same way. The same goes for liquor as well. It's when people begin to abuse these things that the problems begin to arise.

    I don't want to say that I have never enjoyed more than my fair share of alcohol. I'm sure my friends can tell you of plenty of times where we have gone out with the sole purpose of getting inebriated. Drinking, if done in moderation and with a group of trustworthy individuals to keep you in check, isn't necessarily a negative thing. Binge drinking with the purpose of blacking out and/or sleeping with strangers, on the other hand, may not be such a positive thing.

    The topic of drugs is one that I am not personally familiar with, though I have seen the effects of drugs on individuals. I don't judge anybody for anything that they do, but that's not to say that I wouldn't rather people enjoy life without substances before succumbing to the temptation of an altered {some might say enhanced} experience. However, it's a personal choice, and I have already made my choice. As long as the actions of the individual aren't harmful to others, I can't impose my personal viewpoint.

    I did, however, vote no on Proposition 19 {legalizing marijuana in California}.  My rationalization is this: we are already aware of the negative side effects of alcohol and cigarettes, though it took years for us to realize the extent to which both can be hazardous to our bodies and to others. Why would we legalize another substance without knowing the full effects? There is so much disagreement regarding how marijuana affects people that the truth isn't clear. And I don't want to legalize it now and then find out in twenty years that it is shown to contribute to some rare form of brain disease. It's a can of worms that I just don't want to open. Authorities {in California, at least} are already so lax with rules regarding marijuana; we should just keep it that way, and criminalize those that use the drug in a way that negatively impacts others.

    So, those are my thoughts on drugs and alcohol. Thanks for listening.

    xoxo,

    1.18.2011

    {Virtual Coffee}

    Coffee is necessary today. I don’t need anything frilly; my travel mug filled to the brim with the delicious stuff {straight from my brand new French Press, mind you} is all I need. I’m sitting at my desk, and while I don’t mind it at all, I would much rather be sitting with you somewhere, actually having a cup of coffee together.

    If we were having coffee together today, I would tell you how bad I feel for my husband right now. He didn’t get to sleep until 4:00 this morning and I had the unfortunate responsibility of waking him up at 6:00. I guess that’s what happens when you are in grad school. All nighters. *Shudder*

    If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I’m just starting to get those “I’m following you so visit my blog and follow me” comments. I have to say that I don’t really appreciate them {and I’m sure, neither would you}. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are extremely annoying and that I might just delete them as I get them. It is rude and a serious breach of blog etiquette, in my opinion at least. I follow blogs that I find interesting. If you leave me a sincere comment, I will more than likely visit yours and follow it {if I like it, of course}. But blatantly telling asking me to follow you back is just not okay.

    If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how excited and nervous I am for work right now. Our company is going through some major changes, including changes in my own department, and I recently found out that I am going to be given a lot more responsibility soon. I just hope I’m good at what they give me.  

    If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how boring my life is and how I can’t really think of anything else to tell you. I would ask you, though, what exciting things are happening in your life {because I’m sure it’s much more exciting than my own}.

    So tell me, what exciting things are happening in your life?

    Much love,

    It's in the Bag!

    Today is my very first blog crawl! It's been so much fun getting to know so many fabulous bloggers by taking a peak inside their most personal possession: their purse. If you haven't been following along, you can find the complete schedule at A Hasty Life.

    Yesterday, Jilly from Jilly Loves posted the contents of her purse...how refreshing it is to see such an honest blogger!

    And so, without further ado, here is my bag.


    I love my bag. I got it way back in September as an impulse buy and I haven't had the urge to buy a new purse since! It's smaller than the bags that I usually buy, but that's probably a good thing because it has forced me to downsize.

    1. That's my wallet. It's pink. 
    2. I don't think I realized that I had *ten* lipglosses/lipsticks/lip pencils in my purse until I did this. Needless to say, I now have only four.
    3. That's my business card holder that I got from something in college. It still has my maiden name on it, but I kind of love it. There are no business cards in it. I mainly use it as a mirror...
    4. My work badge. I always keep it in my purse or else I know that I will lose it.
    5. Pink lotion from Victoria's Secret. I love this lotion and it's the only lotion I use. I just smells so pretty!
    6. My life phone. I can't live without this thing. It's my calendar and my address book and my lifeline to the digital world.
    7. My husband's inhaler. I learned early on in the relationship that I should probably carry one with us at all times, since he doesn't like to think that far in advance...
    8. My old iPod. I got this thing two years ago and I don't really use it anymore since most of my music is on my phone. But since I couldn't transfer everything, I still keep it with me just in case I get the sudden urge to listen to something that isn't on my phone. Oh, and it has Twilight {the movie} on it, but don't tell anyone I told you. 
    9. Headphones. The only thing that gets me through the workday. 

    And now, I'm going to admit to all of you something that I am not exactly proud of. Well, not really admit, more show...


    That's my wallet, and it's gotten so full of random crap that I'm kind of afraid to even try and clean it out. I can't tell you how many receipts and coupons and deposited checks {with the Chase app} that are in there. I think I'll just wait until it's too heavy to carry...

    Anyway, that's my purse. I'm definitely one of those women that can't leave the house without her purse. It's like a security blanket...

    I hope you all visit some of the other blogs that are doing this blog crawl {link above}. Tomorrow Alycia from the Curious Pug is posting, so be sure to check her out!

    Much love,

    1.17.2011

    Day 2: In Ten Years

    In ten years...

    We'll be living in our big yellow house. 


    I'll have a book {or two} published. 

    We'll have one {or two or three} little ones running around. 

    And we'll be even happier than we are now. 


    Love,

    A Perfect Day

    Yesterday...

    was perfect.

    We don't get out as often as we would like. With a limited amount of financial means, as well as two spouses with full time jobs {well, one full time job and one full time job as a student}, it can be hard to find things to do.

    That wasn't the case yesterday, however. Because California was blessed with the most beautiful day {sunny and a perfect 75 degrees}.

    Our first stop, after Starbucks of course, was the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

     
     
     
     
     
     

    This museum is absolutely gorgeous. If you ever happen to find yourself in Malibu, I would highly suggest it. It's free to get in, but there is a rather steep parking fee {understandable, however}. The main collection consists of Roman and Greek art, and the architecture is designed after these ancient models.

    As much as we enjoyed this museum, however, we still saw everything in slightly over an hour. At this point, we were hungry and pulled over to a random restaurant on PCH to grab some pizza.

    Do you ever go to a restaurant randomly and then find out that it's well-known for it's food? It's a nice surprise.

     

    Anyway, after wasting some time at Giovanni's and eating delicious pizza, we made our way to our third {and final} stop of the day.



    Oh. My. Goodness.

    I think I have found my favorite place in the world.

    Maybe that's an exaggeration, but it was really wonderful there. Tucked away in Malibu Canyon, it's basically looks like a park; a park where your I.D. is check at the door and where people are drinking bottles of wine while sitting on picnic blankets, of course.

    They had tastings, which is what we did, but you can buy bottles to accompany the food that you bring with you. They also had live music playing {an ambient appropriate acoustic guitarist} and a small horseshoe area to play with friends.

    My aunt gave us a Groupon for Malibu Wines for Christmas, and I am so glad she did! We each got a tasting and got to bring one bottle home {though I insisted on buying another}. The wine was very good {the two they have are Semler and Saddlerock, one of which is actually grown and produced across from the tasting area}. I am so very excited to come back with friends and a nice picnic!

     
     
     {Don't you just love that wine glass chandelier? We did, and we've decided that we just have to have one when we get our own home. I actually found it online too: Vintage Chandelier}

    Anyway, yesterday was truly wonderful. I just love spending time together, and finding new and fun things to do.

    Thanks for listening.

    Love,