3.30.2011

My Party: The Dress

So, I’m throwing a party next week.

It’s on my list. And I really just want to throw a party.

I think a party is the perfect excuse to break my no-shopping resolution. And so, I need a little black dress.

Finding the perfect LBD is also on my list. But I have a dilemma.

If I had unlimited money, this would be my first choice, hands-down.

Dress3

Strapless Lace Belted Dress from Bergdorf Goodman, $1,995

Obviously, that’s not going to happen. And so I found this one.

Dress2

Donna Morgan Black Lace Zip Dress, Nordstrom, $64.97 {on sale!}

Well, that was the price yesterday. Today it has no price, because it’s sold out…but I might make a desperate attempt to find it at Nordstrom Rack. I’m kind of in love with it.

I also found this one yesterday:

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Subtly Sublime Dress, Modcloth, $179.99

WHY DOES MODCLOTH ALWAYS SELL OUT OF THEIR CUTEST DRESSES AS SOON AS I FIND THEM!?

So, if all else fails, there’s always this one. Still super cute, but not perfect…

Capture

ASOS CURVE Slash Neck Lace Dress, Asos, $80.69

I think I need new shoes too…

Love you.

Food Network Magazine

I love magazines. I come from a magazine family. My aunt has a subscription to pretty much every women's magazine available, and my mom supplies me with stacks {literally, stacks} of reading material every time I go home. A few months ago I was lucky enough to get a subscription to the Food Network Magazine as a gift from my aunt, and while I used to think that Real Simple was my favorite, it definitely isn't anymore.

Seriously, this magazine is amazing.

There are some things you just can't get online anymore. They don't post everything on their website, and I don't think they have an online subscription. But there's something I just love about reading a magazine from actual pages and not from a computer screen.

Anyway, you want to know why I love this magazine so much? Because in this issue...

I found this fantastic {and relatively inexpensive} wine aroma kit, to help me learn more about my wine.

via Cooking.com

I got a recipe for Macaroni Grills' uh-freaking-mazing rosemary bread. 


 I'll let you know how it is once I try the recipe.

I also got some great dessert ideas for the party I'm throwing next week. Like...

Cheesecake Pops

{via Hostess with the Mostess}
 and Tiramisu Trifles


There are so many recipes and ideas in this magazine, like the recipe for Monster Marshmallow cookies, that have melted marshmallows mixed into the frosting for the tops. I can't post everything in the issue right now, but I will definitely let you know how it all is once I starting making it all!

Happy Wednesday friends!

3.29.2011

A little note to my readers...

Forgive me if I'm being cheesy or ridiculous or annoying in this post, but I feel the need to let you all on a little secret.

You see, I've been feeling slightly...frustrated isn't necessarily the right word...overwhelmed{?} by all of the wonderful and sweet comments that you all leave for me.

I guess this something that all bloggers need to figure out at some point in their blogging lives, but just how am I supposed to interact with all of you? I try, believe me, I try, to respond to each and every comment that you leave me, but not everyone has an email address attached to their blogging profile. I've left my own comments on the post in response to some of the things that you've written, but I'm not really sure if anyone follows up with their comments. I know that I usually don't go back to a post that I've commented on, just to see if someone has responded to what I've said.

That being said, connecting your email address to your account is really one of the only ways that I respond to comments. And if you've left me a comment and never heard from me again, it probably means that you haven't attached your email to your profile. If you do, I promise I'll respond!

Sometimes, if I have a chance, I will visit your blog and leave a comment in response, but that doesn't always work out either...

I suppose this post is coming about after realizing how some bloggers don't interact with their readers at all. How do you do that?! Honestly, I try very hard to show my appreciation for all of you. Whether or not you actually realize the sincerity of that appreciation is inconsequential at this point, because I've realized that I notice it a lot more when bloggers don't show their appreciation. If I've never gotten any type of response from anything that I've commented on, or if I never see any "I love my followers, you are all wonderful!" comments in the post itself, it truly makes me question their intent behind blogging in the first place {and makes me wonder how on earth they have so many followers...they obviously don't appreciate them!}.

So that's another silly little post for today. But really, if you want to talk to me {because, you know, I am a real person...}, attach that email address to your blogging profile! It's easy and I'm sure that all of my fellow bloggers will appreciate it as well.

That's all.

Love you. Truly, I do.

{Virtual Coffee}

I'm back to drinking the delicious stuff, though I'm not really feeling any better. But it's necessary if I want to get through my day today. All I want to do is go home, crawl under the covers, and stay there forever.

I'm tired.

Maybe once I got tired of sleeping, I would stay in bed and read a book.

{via We Heart It}

Did you know that I like Twilight? It's a bad book, but a wonderful story. I haven't read it in {shock!} a few months, but if I could go home and do nothing today, I think I would pick it back up and start from the beginning.

Did you also know that today is slightly random? I'm so tired that my thoughts are all jumbled together in my little brain and it's making me say things that you probably aren't very interested in.

Like the fact that I just spilled coffee down my shirt and all over my desk before I wrote that ^ up there.

But I do have something to tell you that you might actually be interested in. I'm having a guest post soon. It's about my house. And his very own room in my house.

That's right, my husband is going to be posting about his man cave. He's kind of nervous because he doesn't want you all to think that he's a big dork, especially when he puts up pictures of all the video games that he wants.


Okay, so maybe he is kind of a dork. But he's my husband and I love him and his dorkiness. A lot. So be nice.

I mean, if he is still willing to post after this...

That's my virtual coffee today. Sorry it's so random. Maybe I'll start doing a "Wednesday Random." Or maybe not. It's kind of hard to write about being random when it's not actually spontaneous.

I love you.

3.28.2011

If I woke up in Paris…

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers, Aspiring Kennedy, held a guest series called “If I woke up in Paris…”

Since Paris is absolutely my favorite city in the entire world, I just had to do my own post.

If I woke up in Paris…

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I would stop for breakfast at one of the city’s many wonderful boulangeries  to get a delicious pain au chocolat…

Boulangerie
chocolate_croissant

After breakfast, I would head to the Musee de Louvre, where I’d sit and write for a few hours in my favorite hall next to some paintings by Jacques Louis David.

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Then I would window shop along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for a little while.

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I would take the metro to Montmartre

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Where I would take my time walking up the hill, maybe stopping for une crepe au sucre along the way…

funnyface050_largeCreperie.JPG

And I would end my day with the most beautiful view of the city, from the summit of Montmartre and in the tower at Sacre Coeur…

Sacre Coeur

Maybe someday I really will find myself waking up in Paris.

Love,

3.27.2011

A Vlog.

Here it is. My very first vlog. Don’t make fun.

Love you all.

The Flea Market

The Ventura flea market only comes every three months, so I get very excited when I get to go. My apartment is pretty small, and we already have quite a bit of stuff filling it, but it’s fun to just see what they have and to imagine what I would do if I had unlimited money and my own house.

Bottles

Flowers

Random

Ribbon

Thread

Typewriter

I only got one thing today, a candle sconce for my dining room wall.

Basket

Wall

I hope are all having a wonderful Sunday.

3.25.2011

Happy Hour

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all had a wonderful, fantastic week.

I still can't have any alcohol, though I would absolutely love a nice glass of red wine tonight. I guess I'm sticking to lemonade for now...
This past week wasn't too bad for me. My friend and I decided to start up again with our blog, and we are in the process of starting an event planning business. Event coordination and design has always been something that I've loved and wanted to get into. Neither of us want to work in a cubicle for the rest of our lives, and it would be pretty awesome to be our own bosses. Wish us luck!

My husband has been on Spring Break all week, and while I'm slightly jealous, he's been repainting our dining room table and chairs and I can't be mad at him, of course. It's been raining all week though, so we have a drop cloth in the middle of our living room. It makes leaving in the morning, when it's still dark outside {and inside} somewhat difficult. 
This weekend is going to be pretty laid back, but I do have the flea market on Sunday which I'm very excited for! I'll be sure to share with all of you anything that I find.

Here are a few things that I want to share with you from this past week. 

Changes are coming to Blogger. Eventually. Thank goodness.

One of my best blog friends is getting married and I'm so excited for her!

Favorite wedding of week. Love it.

Want something easy to make for dinner? Like really easy?

When I can drink again, I'm making this. Delicious!

*      *     *     *     *

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. 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 post 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,

3.23.2011

Did you know that I'm pretty awesome?

Sometimes, I try to make something really easy for dinner, and it doesn't turn out very well. I made sauteed carrots on Sunday night, and I added too much brown sugar. They didn't taste very good.

Most Saturday nights, instead of dressing up and going out, I like to sit in bed and watch HGTV. Actually, I pretty much do this every night.

I really hate bad drivers. Like, really hate bad drivers. But sometimes I get honked at too. I guess we all have some not-so-stellar driving days.

Yesterday I didn't wear makeup to work. I was feeling sick, and just didn't want to spend any more unecessary time standing up in the bathroom than I already was. I barely noticed all day that I had no makeup on my face, and I'm kind of okay with that.

I've had Citizen Kane sitting on my TV stand in the little red paper package from Netflix for over a month now. I just can't bring myself to watch it.

I really love to do calligraphy, but for every word that I've written that I love, there are dozens of pieces of wasted paper with scribbles all over them.

I have a lot of debt. Like, a lot. And it bothers me sometimes, but I don't regret it. I don't regret having a wonderful wedding or buying plane tickets for my husband so that he could go on grad school interviews. Money {and, especially, money problems} are just a part of life.

My apartment gets messy a lot. And sometimes I can't handle it. But then I remember that a home with stuff lying around isn't necessarily messy. It's just well-lived in.

I am the worst at getting back to people. It doesn't matter if it's via email, text, or phone. And it's not even because I forget. I'm just too lazy sometimes.

And I'm really bad at commenting on other people's blogs. Most of the time it's not because I don't read posts. Again, it's just because I'm kind of lazy.

I'm not a very consistent blogger. I don't have a schedule and I don't usually plan in advance what I'm going to post. Like today. I had no idea what I wanted to say when I got up this morning, but I knew that I wanted to say something, and I guess this is it.

I could say that despite all of these things, I'm still happy, but really, it's because all of these things that I'm happy. I'm happy because I'm me, and I don't want to be anybody else. These things make me who I am, and while I look up to people for inspiration, I don't want to be them. I just want to be the best me that I can be.


Hope you have a beautiful day everyone.

3.22.2011

The Dining Room.

I was going to post about my wine cellar next, but I’m having a bit of trouble finding pictures of what I’m looking for. So up now, the dining room.

There will be lots of windows and doors to let the light shine in.

Doors

I imagine a big, light, solid wood table, with lots of seating for when our extended families come to visit during the holidays.

Table 2

Table 1

It will have a beautiful, yet unique, chandelier.

Candle Chandelier

And a little bar, nothing too extravagant. The real bar will be in my wine cellar.

Capture

Bar

It won’t be too decorated. I like simplicity for the dining room, with neutral colors and natural fabrics, like this table runner.

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{via Pottery Barn}

And I’ll have some wonderful cake stands and serving platters to serve lots of yummy things.

Cake Stand

{via Neiman Marcus}

I absolutely love this wine rack for the wall.

Wine Bottle Wall

{via Home Restyle}

But whatever the season, and whatever the décor, it will always have fresh flowers.

Flowers

{all images, unless otherwise specified, via Houzz}

Love,

{Virtual Coffee}

Photobucket

It's been quite a while since the last time I did Virtual Coffee, but I really think it's necessary today. I'm not actually drinking coffee though...the antibiotics that my doctor put me on are really making my stomach churn, so I'm just having a nice cup of green tea today.

If you're new to my blog, and read my last two posts, you might be a little confused. You see, I've made the crazy decision recently to really focus on my writing, and my goal is to get published. This year. But it's hard to keep going without knowing if what you're writing is interesting enough for readers. Or really, any good at all. So while a little comment might not mean a whole lot to you, it truly means the world to me. All of your sweet, kind comments {and even those giving me constructive criticism} are giving me the motivation to keep writing. So thank you.

This week has been really hard on me, for a variety of reasons. First, as I mentioned before, I'm on a pretty strong antibiotic cocktail and it is making life exceptionally difficult at the moment. I've been having some stomach issues since September, when I was in the hospital for severe colitis. They hooked me up to IV antibiotics for two days, and I thought it was over with, until I started having issues again in November. Needless to say, I've been in pain since then and they still don't know what's wrong with me.

On the up side, though, they ruled out any type of inflammatory bowel disease {IBD} via a colonoscopy I had a few weeks ago. Now we are just waiting to see if these antibiotics work. If not, I have no idea what's going to happen from here.

Other than health issues, money issues, and work issues, life is treating me pretty decently. I'm actually happy, which is saying a lot, especially considering above issues. When I began this blog, I had no idea what it would become. I had no idea that I would find such amazing, supportive friends, and I can't say enough how much I appreciate each and every one of you. When my follower count hit 200 the other day, I was absolutely floored. So, thank you again. Really. Having a venue to vent and write and express my creativity is amazing enough, but having all of you, to love and support me, is really something else.

Thank you for having coffee {or, green tea} with me today. You've just made my day a little bit better than it was before.

And it will get even better when I leave work, because tonight is trivia night! While I can't have my usual ginormous margarita, I'm still excited to play and maybe win again. Last week we got third place {and one ticket to their Sunday buffet...}, but tonight we are going to get first, and win all the money! So, if you have any bit of random information that you think might be useful {it's just random trivia}, leave it in the comments and I'll be sure to remember it.

I love you all.

3.21.2011

Chapter One, Part Two.

The incident at the coffee shop that had occurred only moments before was almost entirely forgotten as Kate made her way home. There were more important things for her to be concerned with at the moment, such as the missed call from her sister-in-law, or the impending rent check that was due the day after next. Kate could have used the fifteen minute distance from the coffee shop to her apartment to call Anne back. Ever sensible, however, she knew that walking next to a busy street while talking on the phone was distracting and dangerous, so she opted to wait until she was in the safety of her own living room.

Her feet were only beginning to feel the stiffness from walking half a mile in heels as she climbed the three flights of stairs to her top story apartment. It was a small studio, with only a partial wall separating the living space from the bedroom. Though it wasn’t the most ideal living situation, it had an updated kitchen and, surprisingly enough, a walk in closet big enough to house her substantial collection of pumps and wedges.

Kate settled herself onto the second-hand couch in the living room before dialing her sister-in-law’s phone numbers. Kate and her brother’s wife typically skipped any standard pleasantries when calling one another, seeing as their time to talk was limited. Well, limited in comparison to the hours they would spend together before Kate moved away, talking and gossiping until well into the night. But now they were thirteen hundred miles away from one another, and their conversations were constrained by Kate’s full time job and a two-hour time difference.

Regardless, Kate still felt the need to use at least ten minutes of their precious time together to tell Anne about her unfortunate circumstances, the most pressing of which was her job. The position at the prestigious publishing firm in which she had procured a highly coveted internship only three months prior had once been a dream come true, though it certainly didn’t seem that way anymore. After the first week, in which she found her only responsibility to be the quality of the office coffee, Kate was seriously starting to doubt her decision to move to Los Angeles at all.

“You know, if you come home now, all you’re going to get is an I-told-you-so,” Anne said when Kate halfheartedly mentioned packing up and leaving LA.  Home was Selden, Kansas, a small town of only a few hundred people, sitting on the edge of middle America. It was where Kate was born; where she grew up and fell in love for the first time; and it was the town she had left behind, much to the disappointment of her parents, to chase her dream of becoming an editor.

This uncharacteristically harsh sentiment on Anne’s part (she was typically known for exaggerated attempts at encouragement) snapped Kate back to reality. It wasn’t only that her inflated sense of pride would never (ever) let her move back to her childhood home. She wasn’t even sure if she would even still be welcome.

 “Well, of course not,” Kate said. “I just didn’t think it would take so long to prove my parents wrong.”  Though it wasn’t the most honorable motivation, Kate didn’t feel the need to hide her realistic need to show not only her parents, but every person in that small town, what she was capable of.

“I know that patience isn’t exactly your best virtue, but just wait it out. Working your way up the corporate ladder takes time, and every executive at that company had to start somewhere.”

“I know,” Kate groaned into the phone. “I just feel like complaining.”

Anne laughed at her favorite sister-in-law’s melodramatic misery, causing Kate to hold the phone close. She wanted desperately to just crawl through the receiver and right into Anne’s waiting arms. Anne, though only seven years older than Kate, was somewhat of a surrogate mother to Kate, who often found herself deprived of any motherly affection from her true mother. And though they weren’t related by blood, Kate couldn’t remember a time when Anne wasn’t there, babysitting Kate as a child or offering sound advice as a teenager.

“Do you believe me when I say that it really will get better?” Anne asked.

Kate huffed in stubborn agreement, refusing to talk in an effort to wallow in her own self-pity for just a few minutes longer. Anne took that as a sign to change the subject.

“Have you talked to your mother recently?” she asked casually, as if there was no point behind the seemingly innocent question.

“What do you think?”

“Okay then,” Anne said, ignoring Kate’s sarcasm. “Well, I guess I should tell you then. Your sister’s pregnant.”

“Of course she is,” Kate said, her cynical tone unabated.

“She’s due in March.”

Kate paused before responding, counting the months in her head. She was due in March. “When do you think she would call to tell me?” Kate and her sister had never been particularly close, so she didn’t really expect to hear it from the source. Her mother, however, never gave up the opportunity to remind Kate of her inferiority, because at twenty-three years old, unmarried and with no children, she was already a disgrace to the family. Apparently, however, not even news of another accomplishment by her greatest child could bring Lydia Devlin to pick up the phone and call her daughter.

“I couldn’t tell you sweetheart,” Anne said gently. “In her defense though, it’s not like this is news.” It was true. Samantha, Kate’s older sister, had been pregnant for the majority of her six year marriage. This pregnancy was her fourth, and she was only twenty-five years old.

“I know, but it still hurts that my mom can’t even pick up the phone to tell me something like this,” Kate said quietly, any trace of lightheartedness. It had been over three months since the last time Kate had spoken to her mother. The words, said the day Kate had gotten on the plane for Los Angeles, hadn’t been pleasant.

“She’ll get over it eventually.” That was Anne’s idealistic optimism shining through. Kate didn’t think she would.

It wasn’t long after that the phone call ended, both affected by slightly awkward tone the conversation had taken on. Even after saying her goodbye, Kate didn’t move from her spot on the couch. She just stayed put, staring at nothing in particular.

Kate had never been a particularly emotional child or teenager. She could probably count on one hand the number of times she remembered crying in her life, mainly because she had always been taught that austerity was of the highest virtue. Often, before the tears had even fallen, she was reminded of the frivolity of such emotion by her kind, yet strict, father. Such lessons had been learned hard, and were even more difficult to forget; in three months of living on her own in a new city, almost completely alone, she had yet to shed a tear.

Tonight was no exception. There was nothing that a glass of wine and television show couldn’t distract from, and that is exactly what she did. 

Chapter One, Part One

3.20.2011

Chapter One.

He was the kind of cute that could make even the most sensible woman swoon; the type of man that had such unnaturally good looks that it often triggered behavior in women typically reserved for those under the age of fourteen. He was no model or rock star and had never starred in a hit movie or even a reality TV show. He was just another exceptionally beautiful face in the land of a thousand beautiful faces, where that perfectly disheveled hair took hours to style and hundreds of dollars in beauty products to maintain. The land where a gorgeous body is really only a few thousand dollars away and where abnormally tanned skin is always in, regardless of the season.

At this particular moment it was an actual group of adolescents that had, by fate, found themselves sitting next to the hottie in the nearly empty coffee shop. He, of course, was entirely accustomed to the overt attempts at flirtation by the underage girls: the hair twirling, obvious attempts at eye contact, and copious amounts of shared pink lip gloss. But, of course, they were minors after all and no amount of Daddy’s money and trips to Victoria’s Secret could make that important detail disappear.

Even if the girls were of age, however, he had more important things to deal with at hand. Like the equally beautiful (he wouldn’t dare admit that she be better looking than he, of course) woman only five feet to his left. He had purposefully refrained from settling himself at the table directly in front of her, in case she considered him too conspicuous. The chair he had chosen, therefore, put himself directly in her line of sight without seeming too eager. But she had yet to look up from the book in her lap.

Though he had experienced the occasional woman that gave him no more than a second glance, there was always, at least, a second glance. It wasn’t often that he encountered any female completely indifferent to his presence. These rare occurrences were typically reserved for those with a wedding band on their finger or a baby on their hip. Kate Devlin had neither.

So, after a few minutes of complete silence with no attempt on Kate’s part to initiate contact, he pondered what should be done next. He could tell that she was coming down to the last drops of coffee in her cup by the way her head began to tilt farther and farther back with each sip. He could easily offer to buy her another and then ask if the empty seat at the table across from her was free, but that would be too desperate. He needed something more subtle, just a way to get her quick attention. If she would only look up from that damned book for a second, she would notice him sitting right in front of her.

What he didn’t know, however, was that she had noticed him. She had noticed him before he had sat down at the table next to her. She had noticed him before he had walked through the doors and ordered his nonfat soy latte flavored with sugar-free hazelnut syrup. She had noticed him before he even stepped out of his car, though it could be argued that at that moment all she noticed was the ostentatious yellow Porsche that pulled into the parking lot of her humble little coffee shop.

The young man let out a sigh and pulled out his blackberry, scanning indifferently through his various social networking pages. He was now acutely aware of the empty coffee cup that sat on the table in front of her.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, though in reality was less than fifteen minutes, she stood from the table and began to collect her things. He knew that if he was going to act, now was the time.

“Hi,” he said as she was placing her book into her handbag. “I’m Jake.”

“Oh, hello,” she said, looking up from what she was doing. He frowned slightly when she gave no indication that she would reciprocate the introduction. His arrogance attributed the now awkward silence to a lack of social skills on her part rather than just a general disinterest in the situation.

“And you are?” he asked, struggling in his attempt to remove any trace of annoyance from his voice. Though he was exceptionally good looking, he was no actor, no matter how hard he tried.

She paused for a moment before responding, which only increased his irritation. “Kate,” she finally said, giving him what could only be described as a courtesy smile.

Anybody looking at the scene from an outside perspective, such as the barista at the register who had paused in giving her customer his change so that she could take in the awkward situation, would realize the sarcasm hidden in the gesture. At this particular moment, however, it was the young man that was now oblivious to apparent social cues.

“Kate,” he said, flashing a crooked smile. “I couldn’t help but notice what a beautiful woman you are. I would love to take you to dinner sometime, if you’re interested.”

Kate bit her lip, hoping desperately that she wouldn’t laugh at his attempts to woo her with his smooth charm and devastatingly good looks. After a few moments of internal struggle, she was finally able to compose herself long enough to issue a response.

“I appreciate the offer Jake, truly I do, but I believe it would be unwise of me to accept such an invitation from an almost complete stranger.” At that, she grabbed the bag the still lay on the table beside her and turned toward the door.

“Wait,” he said, placing his arm gently on her own to discourage her from leaving. “You’re right, we don’t know each other. So, why don’t I buy you another cup of coffee so that we can get to know each other? That way, if you still deny me, at least you have good reason.”

Kate sighed. She didn’t really like letting men down, but the fact that she no longer had a ring on her finger seemed to draw them in like vultures. It was only somewhat flattering at this point. Much more than that, it was overwhelming and absolutely irritating.

“I really don’t think that is a good idea, but thank you again. Now, I really do have to get going. Enjoy your latte.”

He didn’t try and stop her again; he was too surprised by the unexpected turn of events to actually form full sentences, let alone convince her to stay. He watched in stunned silence as she made her way out the door, through the parking lot, down the sidewalk, and out of sight.

Giveaway Winner!

Aaaaaaaaand the winner for the free blog  header is.....

Lauren from Outside Voice

Congratulations dear! Just email me with your information and we will get started!

And, if you are one of the ten that I'm writing something for, I will get back to you within the next few days, I promise!

Thank you all for your support! I can't believe I'm almost at 200 followers. Crazy!

Much love,

3.19.2011

Oh Coach, how I love thee...

I did a bad thing today. I went into the Coach store at the outlet mall.

My husband and I went to the outlets because we both needed wallets. We headed straight for Fossil, and both found wallets pretty quickly. I got a cute pair of sunglasses, too. And then I decided that I needed to a new purse, so what was supposed to be a quick trip to the mall became a two hour adventure.

Now, I am the biggest bargain shopper ever. Really. Just yesterday I went to the grocery store and saved $35 on a $45 purchase.

I had seen some cute purses on the Aldo website, so we made our way to the outlet store. I saw a few that I liked, for a pretty decent price, but I wasn't sure of the quality of Aldo purses. So we ended up going into every store at the shopping center that could possibly have a purse I wanted.

And then I saw this.


I've never had a Coach bag before, and really, I just wanted to see what they had. When I walked in, the lady at the door handed me a 30% off coupon, and I knew I was a goner. Especially since they had another 50% off their clearance. 

This bag was originally $358. It was marked down to $340. With the extra 50% and 30%, it would have turned out to be $120.

I almost cried when my husband said no. What can I say? I have a weakness for purses. 

We made our way through the rest of the shops, both of us ready to go after that. But on our way to the car, we had to walk by the Fossil store one more time, I saw a sign in their window for purses starting at $29.99, so I dragged him inside to see what they had. The lady pointed me to a shelf of purses that I had missed during our first trip inside, marked down an extra 50%. And that's when I fell in love with this one. 


Originally $188, marked down to $99.99. I ended up paying $50. 

Okay, so it wasn't as good a deal as the Coach bag, but it's still cute, right? I can't help it. I love a good bargain.

I hope you all had a good-shopping Saturday too.

Goodnight loves.

3.18.2011

Happy Hour


As many of you know, today is the Bloggers Day of Silence, and I really struggled with whether or not I actually wanted to post today. Some might consider such a frivolous post as insensitive, when many other blogs are staying quiet to help Japan.

To be honest, the only reason why I even considered participating was because I almost felt bullied into it. I would see posts on other blogs about the day, and even tweets, saying that they would be sad if they saw someone post today. Now, I'm not saying that it isn't well intentioned. I just don't know that's entirely necessary {don't be mad, please}. I've made my peace with the issue in Japan, and its on my mind a lot. I've written my thoughts, and me staying silent today is, really, not going to make a difference. They want to raise money, which is fantastic, but what if instead we used this day to all post the same thing, asking our readers to donate? I just don't want to feel pressured into doing something that I don't feel like I need to do, is all.

That being said, I understand if I don't get as many participants today as I have in the past. I still want to have Happy Hour available for anyone who wants to be involved, however.

So, it's Friday. What are you drinking today?

Unfortunately, my doctor has put my on an antibiotic cocktail, and the instructions on the side of the label explicitly state that I can have no alcohol for the next two weeks. Bummer. So tonight, I think I might just be having a nice coke.

This week has absolutely flown by. It's been a busy week, but not too busy. I wouldn't say it was an exceptionally good week either. It kind of just...was...

This weekend is going to be semi-lazy/semi-eventful. We have an engagement party to go to tomorrow night, and my friend and I are taking another class with Fabio Viviani at his restaurant, Cafe Firenze. This time we are learning how to make risotto, and if you are interested in watching the class live on Sunday at 11:30, you can view a live stream here.

Other than tutoring, cleaning, and making food, that's pretty much all I have planned for the weekend. I'm excited to spend some much needed lazy time in bed, watching HGTV. My life is exciting.

Anyway, here are a few things that I found that I wanted to share with you this week:

This is cute. But let me know what you think of the mom...

Wedding = Gorgeous. Bride = Even more gorgeous.

I have strong political opinions, and I try not to express them too much here. But this makes me sad.


And you still have time to enter my giveaway {until midnight tonight}.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend too, my friends. And be sure to link up!

*     *     *     *     *
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. 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 post 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,

3.17.2011

Call Me Crazy...

I think I might do something crazy soon.

Facebook.

I love/hate relationship with the damn thing.

I love that I can stay in contact with family and friends that I don't normally talk to; that I can stalk see what people are up to in a completely legal way. I can post pictures for my mom to see, and I can promote my blog.

But people annoy me. This is not news.

Granted, my automatic linking from Bloglovin to Facebook has probably caused the removal of my Facebook activity from the newsfeed of some "friends", if they haven't removed me from their precious list of friends completely. But in all honesty, if I haven't noticed that I am no longer their friend, we probably weren't very good friends in the first place.

I cringe when I wake up on a holiday and realize that I'll have to wade through countless amounts of Happy {insert holiday here}, as if wishing all of your 1,397 friends via status update really means something to any of them. I have been known to delete anybody from my own friends list if they tend to post any type of extreme political opinion, from either side of the debate. But the worst, for some strange reason, is the weather.

Really?

"Dear rain. I hate you. Please go away and never come back. Love, Me"

Yes, it rains in California. It's also cold in the Midwest and snows in the Northeast. This is not news either.

I know a few people who have deleted their Facebook recently, for a variety of reasons. They spend too much time on it. They aren't maintaining true relationships with people. They get sad every time they see one of their friends get engaged.

I'm not sure that any of these reasons actually apply to me. I don't spend as much time on it as some people I know. They only people I *really* interact with on the site are the same ones I spend my actual time with. And I actually love the fact that I get to hear about engagements, marriages, and even the ocassional divorce, all while finding out what you ate for dinner or that you lost your cell phone.

My best friend deleted hers a few weeks ago, and she's still alive. Even the high schooler I tutor was thinking about deleting hers, in an attempt to focus on studying for her AP test. If a fifteen year old can do it, why can't I?

My husband thinks I'm crazy. Well, that's not entirely true, because I've really only mentioned it in passing. This post was my first real attempt at trying to figure out whether or not I really want to do it.

I could make a Facebook page for my blog, which I know that some people do. That way I can still use it to promote my blog. Or I could just delete every person that annoys me from my friends list. Or I can just delete it altogether and forget that Facebook ever existed.

Have any of you ever made such a drastic and life-changing decision? {<------ sarcasm}

Thanks for listening friends. Be sure to enter my giveaway if you haven't already. And visit my guest post. I promise you'll love it.

xoxo,

Guest Post!

Guess what guess what guess what!

Today, I'm guest posting for one of my favorite blogs everrrrrrrrr....


So go visit her. And be jealous of how amazing California is. Because you know you wish you were here too.

Much love my wonderful friends, and I hope you have the most fantastic Thursday of your life!

3.15.2011

A Little More About Me

I know, this is entirely too late, but Jillian tagged me in her survey and I have finally found a chance to post it too!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Cabernet Sauvignon, Paris, my husband.

What is your biggest fear?
Losing someone I love.

Which figures do you most identify with?
Women who aren't afraid to follow their dreams.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My tendency to get annoyed at things that shouldn't be annoying.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hypocrisy.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their loyalty.

What words or phrases do you most overuse?
Obnoxious {see above}.

What is your most favorite journey?
My marriage.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Hard work.

What is your favorite occupation?
Event planner. Interior decorator.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My skin {but not my freckles}.

What is your greatest regret?
I have a lot of them, but I don't like to dwell on them. 

Who is the greatest love of your life?
Duh. 

Where and when were you happiest?
Other than my wedding day, right now. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be less socially awkward. 

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Other than marrying my husband, and getting my degree? Making the commitment to follow my dreams. 

What is your most treasured posession?
My wedding ring. 

 What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Hopelessness.

Where would you like to live?
In my yellow house, in California wine country.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My big ideas.

What is your greatest extravagance?
My Mac makeup. I won't use anything else.

What are the qualities you like most in a man?
Quirkiness. Motivation.

Who are your favorite writers?
Nicholas Sparks. Jane Austen.

How would you like to die?
Without pain.

What is your motto?
Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Tagged:
Maegan @ Chesterrific : :  Jillian @ Iron and Sunshine : : Morgan @ Living in that Blonde Moment 

These aren't the answers to any of the questions that you've asked me {or, if they are, it's pure coincidence}. If there is anything else you are wondering about me, feel free to leave a question in the comment of this post or email me at joelle@whereweloveishome.com. I'm planning a post {possibly a vlog...} for later this week, so keep a look out!

I've also gotten quite a few questions about my blog design, so I'm planning on doing a pretty thorough post about my tips and tricks. If you have any specific questions about blog design, leave them in a comment or email and I'll be sure to answer those too!

And if you haven't emailed me yet about my giveaway, I still have a few spots left! You can always enter for a custom blog header too!

Hope you all are having a fantastic week so far! I'm really excited about all of these fun posts coming up!

xoxo,

3.14.2011

Happy Pie Day. And some freebies. And a giveaway.

In honor of National Pi Day, have some pie.

Pie Day

That’s my chocolate pie I picked up from Marie Callender’s especially for Pi day. Yum.

Today, I’m going to try something new. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments and questions about my layout, header, and design. And since all of you are such wonderful blog friends and followers, I wanted to give something back.

Enter, my first freebie.

I have no idea if anybody will actually use these, but I figured I would give them out anyway.

Love

Beautiful

These are .GIFs, so if you save them to the computer you can insert them into pictures and stuff. Kind of like this.

Beautiful(2)

Now, here is the real freebie. For the first ten people to email me at joelle@whereweloveishome.com, I will write something for you. Do you want a new signature? Or maybe a phrase or word for your header? Let me know, and I’ll write it, scan it, and send it to you.

And, if anyone is interested, I’ll do a giveaway. If you would like me to design a header for you, just leave a comment below. I will choose a winner on Friday night, March 18th, and work with you to make something that you love, with or without my handwriting.

Good luck friends!