2.28.2011

One of Many Homes

**Typical Joelle disclaimer: This post is not an "I love Jesus" kind of post. I promise that there is a point.**
 
As you all are {well} aware, the title of my blog is Where We Love is Home. For four years of my life, my physical home was the residence halls of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Though its been almost two years since I moved out of Grace hall, I still consider this university one of my many homes. I have had so many incredible experiences at this place. It allowed me to grow and learn, in so many more ways than I ever could have imagined.
 
I am not an overly religious person, though I was raised in the Lutheran church. Being at CLU gave me the opportunity to truly develop my beliefs. I was able to not only question the Christian faith, but to create my own understanding of what being a Christian meant.
 
I think that was, and is, the beauty of CLU. We are a community founded on the basic principles of Christianity; a community that encourages diversity, questions, and love.
 
While I'm sure almost every student at this school would agree with the above statement, it seems as if being an exceptionally open Christian university isn't enough. Now, I agree that there are plenty of areas in which CLU could develop and grow, but removing the Lutheran identity from California Lutheran University isn't exactly the way to go.
 
Here is a little background information, in case you are interested {which, if you're still reading this post, I assume that you are}: the student body president at CLU, a self-proclaimed atheist {of whom I know personally and have no problems with his non-religious identity} supports a measure by another student to replace the phrase "to further Christian growth" with "to further faith and reason" in the  ASCLUG {Associate Students of California Lutheran University Government, for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym} constitution. This change is very minor, and probably would have gone almost unnoticed had the local newspaper {not exactly a reputable source, but still widely read} not printed an article about the proposed change.
 
I am so very disappointed that the current students of CLU would allow this change to happen. Granted, the ASCLUG constitution isn't typically a platform for controversial discussion, but it is important in the regard that it is an official statement on what the students on ASCLUG, representatives of the student body as a whole, are working toward.
 
As much as I want to refrain from the whole, "would this happen at a {insert other religious university} school?" argument, it's really common sense. This wouldn't happen at another Lutheran {or Jewish or Muslim or Catholic or Mormon} school, and the fact that it is happening at CLU makes me believe that our open environment is being taken advantage of.
 
We believe in diversity and love and acceptance because we are a Christian university, not despite it. All of the things that these students love about the university are a direct result of that Christian identity. I like to think that we prove the misconception that Christians are not open to diversity and acceptance, wrong.
 
Again, this is a minor detail in the grand scheme of things. The official mission statement of the university explicitly states that CLU is "rooted in the Lutheran tradition of Christian faith, the University encourages critical inquiry into matters of both faith and reason."
 
We get the best of both worlds. Why can't we just leave it at that?
 
Much love,

A Weekend Review...

So here's my obligatory weekend review...
 
Did you all have a good weekend? Robert and I went back to Orange County for the weekend to visit family, and while we had a good time, it's stressful coming home on Sunday night without having been productive all weekend. I usually use Sunday nights to get ready for the week: clean the bathroom and kitchen, plan food for the week, pick up the living room, etc. I got absolutely none of that done last night though, so I'm slightly overwhelmed at the moment. Overall, however, we had a good weekend.
 
My mom, Auntie, and I went to see "The Tourist" on Saturday at the cheap theater {cheap theater = $3 movie tickets}. My mom's review of the movie was pretty much perfect: If Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie weren't such beautiful people, the movie would have pretty much sucked a** {I added that last part in there for dramatic effect...}. It's kind of unfortunate, because the concept was really good. It was the execution {and honestly, the acting} that lacked.
 
Saturday night we celebrated my birthday {again} with some pizza and margaritas. It was a great time, even without my husband's deceivingly strong margaritas. I got the most adorable serving set from my Auntie, with a little square cake plate and a tiered serving dish. I'll post pictures as soon as I make something equally adorable to serve on them.
 
Yesterday we visited with Robert's family, who took us out to lunch at a great little sport's bar in Downtown Fullerton. We couldn't stay long though, because we had to be in LA at 4:30 for Jimmy Kimmel Live. The company that organizes the audiences is really unorganized, and I've found that I just really don't like going to events where that they coordinate. I understand that there are a lot of people that show up and it's stressful, blaah blaah blaah, but really? You can treat us better.
 
I think my biggest pet peeve with this kind of stuff is just that they don't appreciate their audience enough. If it weren't for the supporters of the show {i.e. "normal" people, like us}, there would be no show. We are forced to wait, standing in the cold in the middle of a sketch part of Hollywood, for hours while we wait for the workers to get their shit together, herded like cattle onto buses and yelled at when their directions aren't clear. The worst part is that a lot of the workers are just kids who think they are so cool because they work for an entertainment company, when in reality, Jimmy Kimmel could give a rat's ass about them. They are unorganized and rude...and it's unfortunate that they are one of the biggest audience companies in Los Angeles.
 
Okay, rant over.
 
The show itself was kind of a let down. We were supposed to watch the actual Academy Awards from Jimmy Kimmel's studio, but we didn't get into the place unil 6:30, so most of the show was rushed through {even Jimmy's people use Direct TV}. Tom Hanks was there, and the segments that we saw were hilarious, but Cee Lo didn't perform last night and our "gift bag" was really just a bunch of leftover promotional stuff {think random bags of chips, sample CDs in cardboard cases from unknown bands, and XL "one size fits all" T-shirts}. Overall, almost not worth standing in line for two hours, in the cold, in heeled boots. My feet hurt today.
 
And I don't have any pictures. I'm really bad at that. I'll try better in the future.
 
Did any of you watch Jimmy Kimmel last night? What did you think of the Academy Awards? I need to do a little more in-depth research on dresses before I can make any type of formal statement regarding Oscar fashion last night, but you can be sure that it will come eventually.
 
I hope you all had a good weekend too.
 
Happy Monday...{<------prime example of why we need a sarcasm font}.
 
xoxo,
Joelle

2.25.2011

Love Bomb

A few weeks ago, I joined a blog called "Love Bomb." If you have never heard of this project before, the concept is simple: every week, a fellow blogger is nominated that needs some love and support. We then go to that person's blog and leave that love and support in the form of comments.
 
This week I got an email about Roxanne, a young wife and mother who lost her husband last week to Mestastic Melanoma skin cancer. Needless to say, once I visited her blog and read her story, I was in tears.
 
Anyway, if you're interested, I encourage you to visit her blog and leave her some love. There is nothing we can say to make the pain she is feeling go away, but we can at least show her that she isn't alone in the world.
 
And if you like this concept, I also encourage you to go to Drop a Love Bomb and sign up. It's really the little things in life that make life worth living, and this is a little thing you all can do for someone. It doesn't take much time, and you only get one email a week telling you who the recipient of the "love bomb" is.
 
If you know of anyone that might need a little love bomb of their own, feel free to nominate them. Or let me know and I'll make a little post about them. I know that I don't have as much influence as the people over at Love Bomb have, but if all my followers left a little love, it would definitely make an difference for somebody.
 

Happy Hour

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for...


This is week three of this little party I’m throwing, and I’m still very excited and optimistic about it. It seems like those of you joining in are having a good time and I hope that more of you decide to link up today. There’s no need to do anything fancy, just add your button and link down below and visit some blogs.

Anyway, this week has been a relatively fun week, what with my birthday and Universal Studios and all. I have some pretty amazing people in my life and they made sure that my birthday was everything I imagined it to be.

And that includes my husband, of course! Now, some of you might already know what I mean behind that since you wrote about how wonderful he was in all the birthday cards I received! If you’re not following, my dear husband actually contacted some of my best blog friends and followers and asked them to send me a birthday card. It was absolutely the best gift I could have asked for!

  Alisha from Alisha and Brandon
Carrie Jo from Life of the Liles

It’s truly wonderful to me that, as Carrie Jo put it, "blog world" and "real world" are coming together! I can’t say enough how much of a blessing you all are in my life and how truly thankful I am for each and every one of you.

Anyway, we went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner Sunday at Universal CityWalk and I had the most amazing margarita of my life. What made it different from other margaritas was that it had both cranberry juice AND orange juice in it, along with quite a bit of tequila…My husband concocted his own recipe, using this margarita as inspiration, and I think that might be what I’m having tonight for Happy Hour.

Here’s his recipe:


3 oz. tequila
1.5 oz triple sec
1 oz. lime juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Splash of orange juice

Yum.

I can only drink one tonight though, since we are driving down to Orange County to spend the weekend with family and friends. We haven’t been back since Christmas, which is a pretty long time for us.  We aren’t doing much; just the usual dinners and barbeques, but it will be fun.

And on Sunday night, on our way home, we get to stop here:

 
Jimmy Kimmel is having an Academy Awards viewing party at his studio {which is right across the street from the Kodak theater} and then filming an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live with  guests Tom Hanks and Cee Lo Green, among others. We also get a gift bag to take home, which I’m excited about. Hopefully we actually get in…

So that's my uneventful week/weekend. What are you up to?

*     *     *     *     *

We do happy hour all day on Fridays. Because it's five o'clock somewhere, right?

What are you drinking today?

Happy Hour is my weekly blog party, where we get to meet new friends, find new blogs to read, and destress from our week.  We're all busy ladies and sometimes we just need to get out with some friends, chat, and have a drink.


How to enter the party:
  1. Must be a follower of Love is Home to participate. If you aren't already a follower, just click that "follow" button over there to the right.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter. 
  3. Add your blog's information and button. 
  4. And you're done!
How to play:
  1. Write a post about anything you want to write about. Do you need to vent about a stressful week? It's okay, we all have them and that's what we're here for {because like my friend Andrea says, not everything is ohmygodilovesunshineandknitting!!!}. Vent away. Did you have a fantastic day? We want to hear about that too. Or do you have big plans for the weekend? You know what to do...
  2. Visit two other blogs linked below and leave a comment, saying that you are from {Where We Love} Happy Hour.
  3. Come back and leave a comment below telling us who you visited and any wonderful new blogs you found.
But there are some rules...
  1. Don't paste and run...that's not cool. And if you do, your link will be deleted.
  2. I thoroughly dislike "copy and paste" comments...you know, the ones that say "I'm a new follower from Happy Hour, I would love for you to follow back..." blah blah blah. Don't do it, please. I don't want to have to delete a link for doing that either. The purpose of this is to find new blog friends and support each other. We like authentic followers, ones that actually enjoy our blogs and aren't blindly following a bunch of blogs in hopes that they will gain more followers. 
And if you want, you are welcome to use one of my buttons in your post!












Much love friends,

2.23.2011

So here's the deal peeps {yes, I really just said peeps}. Minus my complaining the other night, I've been kind of MIA from the blog-o-sphere recently. And by MIA, I mean that I just haven't really posted very much {which you may or may not have noticed}.

Anyway, I wanted to write a little post to let you all in on my thoughts these days about this little blog here. You see, I'm a perfectionist and sometimes {okay, maybe a lot of the time} I'm not 100% satisfied with what I do or make. That definitely goes for this little blog. So, I've been doing a lot of soul searching and reading up on how to make things a little bit better around here. It's still a work in progress, but I'm begging you to bear with me and my {perhaps unfounded} insecurities.

First things first, my design. I know that a lot of you love it, but I don't. I created it when I didn't have a whole lot of experience, and it was kind of spur of the moment. I sat down at 10:00 a.m. thinking that I wanted a new design and learned photoshop while I created said new design, all in a span of about eight hours. This time I'm going to do it right. I am going to spend an honest amount of time truly thinking about what I want, and go from there. No more spontaneous I think I'm going to change up my blog today. I'm going to change it one more time, and it's going to be good. Promise.

I've been doing a lot of research about just how to make my blog better. I've read articles about content and themes and reader interaction...there's a lot of information out there. But I want to make my blog something that I'm honestly proud of. Not that I'm not proud of my blog now...I just know that there are so many things I can do to make it even better.

So, from here on out, I'm going to really focus on my posts. I have to admit that in the past I've posted haphazardly, not putting as much effort into my writing as I should have. So from now on, if I post, you can know that I'm proud of it; that it's something with purpose.

I'm going to focus on my writing, because that's what this little blog really is about. You all know how much I love writing, but I get really discouraged when I see so many blogs out there that are so full of pictures; pictures that both the author takes or finds somewhere else. I don't have a nice camera to take nice pictures and I don't necessarily have the discipline and patience to spend hours on the internet scouring for things that I like, but I have the words in my head. And so far, that seems to be enough for all of you.

I know that I've said it before, but this blog has turned out to be such a blessing in my life, something so much more than I ever imagined it could be, and I want to make sure that I really take the time to get it to it's full potential. It's a work in progress, but I am so thankful for each and every one of you. You have stuck around regardless of these insecurities, and it's really inspired me to push through any roadblocks or brain farts I might have.

xoxoxoxo, 

2.21.2011

Yesterday was amazing. 
I'll tell you about it soon. 

But all I can think of right now is how I don't feel well. 
How I really, really don't feel well. 

I don't want to go to class tonight. 
I don't want to go to work tomorrow. 
I don't want to cook dinner or do homework or clean the house. 

All I want to do
is get in my pink flannel pajamas. 
The one's that are two sizes too big 
and have white clouds all over them
{they are Robert's favorite}
and crawl into bed. 
Preferably for the rest of my life. 

I'll read a few books.
Maybe watch a Disney movie or two. 
And eat some lemon sorbet, 
because that makes me feel better.

Hopefully the doctor will call soon. 
Maybe?
Possibly?
I guess we'll see...

Isn't it pretty? 
It makes me feel a little bit better. 
But not a lot. 

Okay, done complaining. 
I promise I won't have another one of these posts for a while.
Say, next week?
Okay, at least a few weeks. 

Love you.

2.18.2011

Write it Down and Love it!

So, I'm kind of obsessed with handwriting, which is why when I saw Katie's post over at Love is Everywhere I knew that I had to steal the idea.

The rules are simple. There are 8 questions but you have to answer them by writing them out on paper. Easy enough.

1. Your Name/Blog Name
2. Blog URL
Photobucket

3. Write: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 

Photobucket

4. Favorite Quote?

Photobucket

5. Favorite Song?

Photobucket

6. Favorite Band/Artist?

Photobucket

7. Anything else?

Photobucket
  That's my signature. 

And did you know I do calligraphy?
Photobucket

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8. Tag three awesome bloggers. 

Photobucket
Krista at Alla Fiorentina

Feel free to steal this idea too! I'd love to see what everyone's handwriting looks like!

xoxo,

2.16.2011

Day 20: Education

Importance of education...

There isn't much to say on this topic, other than the fact that formal education is a {perhaps unfortunate} necessity to get somewhere in this world. Well, get somewhere easily, that is.

That isn't to say that there aren't plenty of people out there who have managed to be successful without an education. It's just to say that it might be easier for those of us who do have a degree.

It also isn't to say that I necessarily agree with this fact. But it's just that: a fact. In my perfect world, more focus would be placed on alternative forms of education: real world experience and internships, vocational training, etc.

So that's that.

Love,

2.15.2011

The Kitchen

I think I'm going to start a new blog project today, and it goes a little something like this.

You all know of my obsession with my yellow house. I found a picture of this yellow house a few months ago {November?} and decided that someday I am going to live in it.

{Image courtesy of Country Living}

I love this house. It is everything I could imagine a house to be, minus the fact that it's currently in Texas. So, in my dream world, this house would be picked up and moved somewhere on California's Central Coast, preferably near the beach {though not directly on the beach} and surrounded by lots of green and trees.

Seriously, I daydream about this house. I daydream about how it would look inside and how beautiful our property would be. I daydream about my own personal garden that would be directly outside the French doors that lead from my office and the barn that we would have {without any animals in it, of course}.

I love to gather pictures about what my dream house would be like, and that brings me to the topic of this post, and the topic of {hopefully} a few more posts to come. Now, even if you own your own home {unlike myself}, I'm sure you still think about the perfect home and what it would look like for you and your family. This is my perfect home.

For the next few days/weeks, I'm going to post about each part of my perfect home. I'll show you what I envision in this beautiful yellow house. And I'm going to start with the most important room of all.

The Kitchen.

I love white. I love white cabinets and white couches and white walls and white carpet. Now, believe me, I understand the impossibility of things staying white with children, but hey. A girl can dream, can't she?

So obviously, the cabinets would be white. That's a given. And the floors would be a light wood, a very beachy feel for a beachy area {my house would have it's own walkway down to the beach}. And at the moment, I'm very interested in concrete countertops, such as these:

{Image courtesy of Pure Style Home}

I really like the industrial feel along with the softness of the white counters and walls. I've heard, however, that white concrete is very inexpensive and longlasting, it gets grungy easily, so I'm not so sure about how realistic these would be if I wanted to keep them for a long time. But I don't have to worry about that just yet. 

Along with my concrete countertops and white cabinets,  I love the look of open shelves rather than upper cabinets to house dishware. 

{Image courtesy of House Beautiful}

And, of course, I would have an island in the center of the kitchen. But not just any island. It would have to be beautiful, and have a butcher block, like this. 

{Image courtesy of Country Living}

And while we would have a formal living room, I would still want a little breakfast nook for us to eat informal dinners and do homework at.

Nathan Kipnis Architects, Inc. traditional kitchen
{Image courtesy of Nathan Kipnis Architects}

I really *really* love the idea of built-in bench seating and a table. It just seems so cozy and comfortable, perfect for a family. 

As for colors, I'm not really a fan of the above orange and green. I prefer soft neutrals and pops of yellow. Like the lemons in the bowl on the island above. I really love the idea of using fruit and food as decoration. 

It's really all about the accents though. Like pillows in this fabric for the bench:

{Image courtesy of The Needle Shop}

And a clock like this on the wall: 

{Image courtesy of DecoyLab}

So that's my kitchen. For now at least. I'm sure it will keep changing as time goes by and new trends come and go. 

Much love,

2.14.2011

Enchanted...

I am dying right now.

So you all know that I am completely in love with T. Swift.

But did you know that I have a thing for Owl City too? Love. Like, love. A lot.

And have you seen this?


Oh. My. Gosh.

And as if it couldn't get better. This

Maybe she's finally found that perfect Valentine.

Some Valentine's Day Cheesiness

So, if you didn't already know, today is Valentine's Day. That means it's the one day of the year that I can be exceptionally cheesy and ridiculously romantic without anyone judging me. Except for the fact that I saw my husband for about fifteen minutes this morning before I left for work and won't see him again for another fifteen hours...so we celebrated Valentinte's Day last night instead.

I made the most delicious dinner for him and he gave me an adorable coffee cup with two little birds kissing on it. I gave him a sweet Taylor Swift card that played "Hey Stephen" when he opened it {it's his favorite T. Swift song...no really, I hear him singing it at random times throughout the day} and he gave me a card with a sexual inuendo. It's how we work.

Anyway, I wanted to dedicate today's post to my husband. I'm not, however, going to write some cheesy love letter for the entire world to see. Instead, I want to share with all of you two things that mean a lot to my husband and I. First is the poem we had read at our wedding and second are the vows that I wrote.  
  
*     *     *     *     *
 
The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
 
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
 
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
 
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring with your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
 
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
 
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
 
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
 
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!".
 
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
 
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand alone in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
 
*     *     *     *     *
 
Vows, July 23, 2010
 
I promise to encourage your compassion, because it's what drives your need to serve others, and it's what inspires me to live more compassionately too.

I promise to cherish all of your unique eccentricities, because they are what make sure that I smile every day.

I promise to not only support your dreams, but to help you reach them too, because your ambition is what motivates me to dream big too.

And lastly, I promise to love the person that you are, fully and unconditionally, because without you, I wouldn't be the person that I am, and the person that you love.
 
*     *     *     *     *
 
Happy Valentine's Day lovelies. 

2.13.2011

Parisian Love

Today is a rather busy day, what with all the cleaning and cooking and homework {what?!} and whatnot. Anyway, I was taking a small study break and looking at my favorite blogs and this little video was posted on  Lurve You. Some of you may have already seen it, but I kind of love it.



Happy Valentine's Day sweethearts.

2.12.2011

Things I Love...Shopping

So, as some of you know, I'm not shopping right now because of my Wear Everything challenge that I started at the beginning of the year. I'm still very proud to say that I have gone exactly forty-three days now without buying anything for myself. Well, at least clothes/shoes/accessories-wise. I think the only reason that I've been able to handle not shopping for almost a month and a half now is the hours that I've spent on websites like boutiques.com and shopstyle.com, looking at clothes that I love and putting together outfits. Here are a few things that I've come to love in these past forty-three days:
Left from top:
3. Dress: Aqua Maxi-Dress
I have never gotten anything from ModCloth.com, but I know that if I actually had money, I would buy my entire wardrobe from the online store.

And look at this beautiful jewelry I found by Marolsha on Etsy:
I think that when I'm done with my challenge, I might need to reward myself. And go shopping. Duh. 

What are you all into these days? Have you ever gotten anything from ModCloth? 

Much love and Happy Saturday!

2.11.2011

My Happy Hour Post

So, like I said yesterday, I'm doing things a little differently this week in regards to Happy Hour. Most of you saw my post yesterday about my new blog party, and this my own first Happy Hour post. Usually I will just write my post at the top of the blog party, but since I wanted to give you all fair warning about my plan, I wanted to give it to you yesterday so that you could think about it for a little while.

Anyway, I forgot to tell you how I came up with the concept. My husband and I always do something for Happy Hour on Fridays. We used to go out and get drinks and dinner, but lately we've been saving money by just doing it at home. He's been dabbling in bartending lately, and I have to say that he's really good! So, we get to drink without having to worry about who's driving, and I usually make something really easy for dinner {think frozen pizza, nachos, sloppy Joes}. It's just a great time to destress from the week and spend a little time together. I have no idea what we are eating tonight, but I think I might be in the mood for one of my husband's delicious margaritas.

This week has been so exhausting in so many ways. Don't get me wrong, it was a good week too, but it was just stressful and tiring and I am honestly glad that it's {almost} over.

Work has been slightly crazy these days...definitely one of the biggest stressors in my life. My company is going through some major changes and organization and everybody is confused...I'm not even really sure who my boss is anymore. A few weeks ago, I was given some new responsibilities, and I'm doing really well {thanks for the support everyone}, but I'm definitely looking forward to the day {hopefully soon} when there's more stability.

I took the Jeopardy test last night and I don't think I did very well...those questions are so hard! Much harder than the questions on the show. Last night's Jeopardy was so easy that I was really pumped to take the test, but there's just no way that I did well enough to get anywhere.

I've been feeling really sick lately too, and no, I'm not pregnant. I'm having some serious stomach issues and they are making life exceedingly difficult for me at the moment. I crawled into bed last night and almost cried because it hurt so bad. It was no fun. I'm getting some tests done next week, and as much as I want there to be nothing wrong, part of me hopes that they find something. Because if they find something, that means that they can {hopefully} fix it. So wish me luck.

As for the weekend, I'm really just looking forward to doing nothing. We have absolutely zero plans for tomorrow, and I'm very excited about that. Sunday we are celebrating Valentine's Day since I have class on Monday night. We've decided to stay in, but I have planned an amazing dinner of prime rib, potatoes, asparagus, and tiramisu. Yum!

So, there you have it. My very first Happy Hour post. I'm so excited to hear what all of you have to say, so make sure you link up in the post below this one!



Much love and Happy Weekend friends.

2.10.2011

Happy Hour

I'd like to introduce my very first Happy Hour blog party. Instructions on how to join are below.
I've decided to post this on Thursday this week instead of Friday because it's new, and I don't want to surprise anybody with a new blog hop on the day that we are supposed to do it. So, if you want to participate and don't want to post now, the linky will be open until tomorrow {Friday} at midnight.

I will be posting my first Happy Hour post {other than this one, of course} tomorrow as well, so keep a look out!

*     *     *     *     *

We do happy hour all day on Fridays. Because it's five o'clock somewhere, right?

What are you drinking today?

Happy Hour is my weekly blog party, where we get to meet new friends, find new blogs to read, and destress from our week.  We're all busy ladies and sometimes we just need to get out with some friends, chat, and have a drink.

How to enter the party:
  1. Must be a follower of Love is Home to participate. If you aren't already a follower, just click that "follow" button over there to the right.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter. 
  3. Add your blog's information and button. 
  4. And you're done!
How to play:
  1. Write a post about anything you want to write about. Do you need to vent about a stressful week? It's okay, we all have them and that's what we're here for {because like my friend Andrea says, not everything is ohmygodilovesunshineandknitting!!!}. Vent away. Did you have a fantastic day? We want to hear about that too. Or do you have big plans for the weekend? You know what to do...
  2. Visit two other blogs linked below and leave a comment, saying that you are from {Where We Love} Happy Hour.
  3. Come back and leave a comment below telling us who you visited and any wonderful new blogs you found.
But there are some rules...
  1. Don't paste and run...that's not cool. And if you do, your link will be deleted.
  2. I thoroughly dislike "copy and paste" comments...you know, the ones that say "I'm a new follower from Happy Hour, I would love for you to follow back..." blah blah blah. Don't do it, please. I don't want to have to delete a link for doing that either. The purpose of this is to find new blog friends and support each other. We like authentic followers, ones that actually enjoy our blogs and aren't blindly following a bunch of blogs in hopes that they will gain more followers. 
And if you want, you are welcome to use one of my buttons in your post!












Much love friends,

Day 19: Disrespecting Parents

Even if my mom didn't read my blog, I would still say that it's important to respect your parents. Well, to a certain extent, at least.

I think that every person comes to a point in their life when they realize that their parents aren't perfect. This can be really difficult to learn, and I think sometimes people rebel against their parents, using any little mistake as an excuse to be disrespectful.

Now, I'm not saying I was an angel child; far from it, in fact. I was a spoiled brat who didn't appreciate what my family did for me. Looking back, I feel badly for the way that I treated my mother and grandmother, who definitely didn't deserve it. But the past is the past and I am trying to live a better life now. That's all I can do.

Questioning your parent's authority is a rite of passage for all teenagers, but there's a fine line between finding who you are as a person and putting other people down in the process. It's a balancing act, and finding that balance can be tough.

There's not much more to say about it. So that's all for this post.

I will be back a little bit later to post my exciting new blog hop, so keep a lookout!

Much love to all of you {especially my mom},

2.09.2011

Anthropologie. Wedding dresses. Enough said.

I'm sure you've all seen this by now, but Glamour has posted the first sneak peak of Anthropologie's new wedding dress line.







Now, the actual line isn't scheduled to be released until February 14th {how cliche sweet}, but I can already tell that I like what I see.

New York Magazine gave this little synopsis about the greatly anticipated line:

"Urban Outfitters' bridal collection, titled Bhldn, launches online this Valentine's Day, and its first freestanding store is expected to open by August. (It won't be sold at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie stores.) According to Women’s Wear Daily, the line "is more likely to make a large, lopsided taffeta bow the focal point of a dress, give a wedding gown an unfinished hem or cover elaborate pearl-studded flowers with a sheer layer of tulle." From what we can discern from the Bhldn website, colored sequins will also be featured. Event dresses are priced from $200 to $600, while bridal gowns are $1,000 to $4,000."

Ugh. Love.

What do you all think? Are you waiting anxiously for the full reveal {even if you're already married, like I am...}?

xoxo,

Alive



Alive
[uh-lahv]

-adjective
1. having life; living; existing; not dead or lifeless
2. living
3. in a state of action; in force or operation; active
4. full of energy and spirit; lively
5. having the quality of life; vivid; vibrant

Live
[liv]

-verb [used without object]
1. to have life, as an organism; be alive; be capable of vital functions
2. to continue to have life; remain alive
3. to continue in existence, operation, memory, etc.; last
4.to maintain or support one's existence; provide for oneself
5. to feed or subsist (usually followed by on  or upon 
6. to dwell or reside (usually followed by in, at,  etc.)
7.to pass life in a specified manner
8. to direct or regulate one's life
9.to experience or enjoy life to the full

*     *     *     *     *


I found this quote by Howard Thurman a few weeks ago, and it really struck a chord with me. I put it up on my quotes page, though I never really mentioned it in any posts. Consider it mentioned.

Too often, I think we look at the world and think of all the things we can do to change it. I know this was especially true with my friends and I while we were in college. We were surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things with their lives, and the answers seemed to be right there. We knew what we were supposed to do for the world. It was actually doing it that was the hard part.

I think a lot of young people have this conundrum. We are taught to believe that we truly can change the world, though we are never really told how. It's up to us to discover, and many times we look to others to see what they are doing. But that's the problem, isn't it? We can never be as passionate about someone else's dream as they are, or as we would be with our own dream.

But what if we just threw that whole "I'm going to change the world" concept out the window? Life would be a hell of a lot less stressful, that's for sure. What if, instead, we did what made us come alive?

I just love that concept of "coming alive." It just seems so powerful, yet so attainable. It's something that I feel I can do, even when life isn't necessarily cooperating.

A few weeks ago, I wrote what I call "My Mission." If you haven't read it yet, you can find it here. The part that, I think, really goes along with this whole concept of being alive is this:


And I want to live passionately.
I want live and love and just *be* passionately.
I want to truly believe in what I believe,
And stand by it without being ashamed.
I want to discover the things and people that I love,
And truly love them.


If we all just truly believed in things and acted upon what we believe in; if we honestly and completely loved the things that we loved, don't you think we would be more alive than when trying to meet some unknown and abstract goal? Perhaps if we stopped worrying so much about what we can do for others, and just started living the lives that we want to live, we actually would change the world.

Much love,

2.08.2011

Day 18: My Beliefs

I believe that there is no better medicine than good friends and good wine.

I believe that there is beauty in everything.

I believe in spending my Saturday nights in my pajamas and watching bad TV movies.

I believe that the best thing you can ever experience in life is love.

I believe in crying until you can't cry anymore, just because.

I believe in fairy tales.

I believe in high heels and a good push up bra.

I believe that art is anything that you make with your hands.

I believe in God.

I believe in my family.

And I believe that uncooked cookie dough is meant to be eaten straight from the bowl.

Love you all.

{Virtual Coffee}

So, it's Tuesday. Which means it's time for Virtual Coffee.

First, let me tell how much I wish we could actually meet for coffee today. And donuts. Because donuts are delicious too.

If we were actually meeting for coffee today, I would tell you how exhausting yesterday was. Mondays are pretty intense for me, but I think I can get through it. I'm usually out the door by 6:45 a.m., getting to work at 7:30 or so. After work I drive a half an hour to school in the Valley, and find some little hole in the wall restaurant to eat at {last week was Mediteranean, this week was Indian} and then have class from 7:00 to 10:00. I'm usually home by 11:00 p.m. That's a long day.

Unfortunate events last night didn't make for a happy Joelle. I needed gas, but didn't want to stop on Reseda blvd. at 10:30 p.m. {for obvious reasons}. So I waited until I got to Westlake Village, where the gas stations apparently close at 10:00. But, for some reason, the one gas station I decided to stop at hadn't closed completely yet, because all the lights were on and the credit card machines still working. So I paid, ready to pump my gas, and the damn nozzle had a lock on it. Whaaaaaat? So I went to another gas station, and put in my debit card.

Denied.

I wanted to throw something.

The bank shut down my card because of "suspicious activity" {i.e. that stupid closed gas station}. That's what they told me on the phone this morning when I went to the gas station again to get more gas {I only got $5 last night since it was effing cold and 11:00 at night} and my card was denied. Again.

Needless to say, I really hope today gets better for me.

Anyway, sorry for that little rant. I just hate banks. And gas stations too, apparently.

Today should be fun though, because its Tuesday and Tuesdays are the best day of the week! We typically have Glee/family night, but since trivia was so much fun last week, we are doing that again instead! Glee will be on Hulu tomorrow, but we won't be able to relive trivia, happy hour, and friends. It's going to be a good day.

That's my mantra today.

I found an interesting blog post about positive thinking yesterday, and I am going to do a little bit more research before writing more about thinking positive later today.

Until then...

Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.
...

2.07.2011

Day 17: Highs and Lows

Highs and lows of the past year...

2010 was a pretty fantastic year, if I must say so myself.

Highs

Going to the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
Moving out of my parent's house and in with my then fiance/now husband.
Getting an amazing job.
Establishing Glee/family night.
Making some wonderful new friends and reconnecting with old ones.
Getting married.
Starting this little blog.
Spending our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.

Lows

Awkward work situations.
Money problems.
Two of my best friends moving away.
Cutting off all my hair.
Getting sick and being in the hospital.
Battling some sad feelings.

Looking back, I would say that 2010 was overall a great year {with a few valleys in between the mountains}. The first month of 2011 was pretty fantastic overall, so I'm hoping it's a good sign for the year to come.

Much love,




2.06.2011

Day 16: Mainstream Music

I'm skipping two days because it's my blog and I can do what I want. But really, I can't think of my earliest memory right now and I don't follow any Tumblrs, so they are kind of irrelevant anyway.

But my views on mainstream music...

Basically, it comes down to this: it's popular for a reason. I may not like everything, but some people do and that's fine. I don't have to listen to it if I don't like it or don't want to. It doesn't really bother me.

I do like some mainstream music, and that's okay too. I also like some not-so-mainstream music. I like what I like, and that's all that matters. It's nobody's business but my own.

I don't know that there's much more to say on this topic. Kind of a strange question, but I answered it.

Here are some of my favorites right now though:

Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans: The Other Side {feat. Cee Lo Green and B.O.B.}
 Taylor Swift {duh}, Speak Now: Long Live {I was there!}
 
 Florence and the Machine, Lungs: Drumming Song
Britney Spears: Hold it Against Me

Love,

2.05.2011

Grateful.

Today I'm grateful for...

The sunshine. 

Best friends. 

World Nutella Day. 

Books. 

My Mom. 

Breakfast burritos. 

The weekend. 

Payday. 

My brother. 

Much love,

2.04.2011

I have a question for you...

I have an idea and I want your input, especially since it involves all of you. I am thinking about starting a link party {think Virtual Coffee, Mingle Monday, Saturdays Around the World}, and I was wondering if you would all participate if I started one. I'll keep the specifics a secret for now {I do have an idea}, but just give me your initial reactions...

Do you like these parties/blog hops? Or are they lame/pointless/overdone?

I like them because it really does give me {at least} a chance to meet other bloggers that I have things in common with. And since you all know about my pet peeve with copy and paste comments, those would be a no-no {i.e. your link will be deleted if you do that}.

I would just love to be able to host a place where we can all meet new blog friends and find good things to read. A place that's personal and intimate and authentic...

So what do you think?

Oh, and go vote {please} in that little poll over to the right...can't decide if I should give my little blog another makeover.

Love,

Day 13: Places

It's funny, because just last night Robert asked me where in the country I would want to move if we had to. You see, he is in his first year of grad school and for year five he has to get an internship somewhere. People pretty much go all over the country, and since I was born and raised {and currently live} in Southern California, it might be nice to try some place new.

My first choice?

Hawaii. Duh.

Pretty sure even I would go in that water. 

But D.C. wouldn't be too bad either.

What can I say? I'm a history/politics nerd. 

But California's Central Coast is where I want to end up permanently, though I don't know how many internships are available there...


As long as it has my yellow house...


And isn't this...


But if I could move anywhere in the world, you all know where I would go. 


xoxo,

2.03.2011

Calling Cards

I got the fabulous idea to make calling cards the other day over at Young Married Chic, and I decided that instead of ordering them from somewhere, I wanted to design them. Now, I'm only an amateur at PhotoShop, but I have to say that they turned out pretty good, don't you think?



I can't decide which one I want to get printed. What do you all think?

Much love,