Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's that time again....time to announce our new year resolutions to the world. Except I'm not making "resolutions" this year because, let's face it, I only stuck with my 2010 resolutions for about 2.5 seconds (okay, a couple of months). Instead, I am just going to make a list of things I want to accomplish and do, starting now.

Find a new job that allows me to reach my full potential instead of hindering me from doing so.

Move (from my apartment, but more importantly, from LA).

Seriously, pay my bills!

Get engaged..I kid, I kid...(sort of...)

Read 2 (or more!!) new books a month on my cool Nook. I'd love any suggestions on what to buy...I mostly read mystery/crime novels (think Kay Scarpetta and the Body Farm) and quick, fun romantic comedy reads.

Eat healthier.

Get back into blogging. I enjoy being a part of this community, but I feel like my blog has taken a turn for the worst. I have over 700 followers, but hardly get feedback from anyone. I am mostly to blame for this because I have not been the best at responding to comments or getting back to people. But honestly, it's discouraging and I'd like to find my place again in the blogging world.

Comment on 5 blogs a day.

Actually use my $45/month gym membership instead of just thinking about it.

Take at least one picture a day.

Go home to see my best friend after she has her baby.

Start planning my Christmas presents for next year. I want to get my Mom and Dad an awesome present, as well as my brothers and their families.

Plan my weekly menu and set a budget of $75 for groceries a week.

Cut coupons!!

Win big in Vegas :)

What are your New Year's goals?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Year in Status

I have to admit that I'm not really that big of a Facebook user. I get on when I want to post pictures, message friends, or see what my family is up to. I definitely don't play games, use credits, invite people to answer questions about me (or answer questions about other people!), etc...

I saw this "My Year in Status" on Brittany's blog, and thought it would be neat to do. It's funny that I didn't even put up a status until my birthday weekend, which was in April. The biggest chunk of my status updates were posted while we were in Hawaii! It's fun to look back at my updates and remember what I was doing when I posted them.

I think I'm going to try to update my Facebook status more in 2011.

And apparently, I really like smiley faces... :)

Happy Thursday, everyone! If you're like me, you're counting down the minutes until a 4 day New Years weekend. I can't wait to have some time off again. I know I just had a vacation, but it was spent with family, and now I get to spend a few days off for New Years with C! Perfect ending to a great year!

Tomorrow, I'm posting my 2011 Resolutions GOALS! I can't wait to get the new year started off right!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Recap

This holiday season only made me realize even more how truly blessed I am. I have a wonderful life, and while it isn't perfect, it's my life and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Going home for the holidays is always special, and I loved every minute I got to spend with my parents, my brothers and their wives, my nephews, and the pets (can't forget the pets!). I didn't have a camera with me so all of my pictures were taken with my iPhone.

home sweet home

Mom's Christmas tree - Red, White, and Blue Theme

The newest addition to the family - Phydeaux

My BEST friends!

There is a funny story that goes along with one of my Christmas presents. My mom knows how much I love Lilly Pulitzer, and one day, she was shopping at Barnes & Noble. She was shocked to see a LP product there, and bought it without realizing what it was. When she got home, she realized that it was a Nook cover, and I would need an actual Nook in order to get any use from it at all! So she went back and bought the Nook, haha! A little reverse shopping, but I'm happy!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this Nook cover!

And the Nook!

Our Christmas dinner!

So exciting to see snow on Christmas!
My nephew built a mini-snowman so I had to
put the gingerbread house next to it...cute!

A White Christmas in Georgia!

I'm now back in Los Angeles, and am feeling a little depressed that Christmas is over! The only thing that made it better was picking up C from the was a long 12 days without him!

Tonight, we're going to get massages and then probably go out to dinner before opening our presents to each other. Actually, he has to wait for his since I didn't have the space in my suitcase to bring them with me. They'll be here next Tuesday. But....I get my presents!!! :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. ~Margaret Thatcher

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author Unknown

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens

Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age. ~Carrie Latet

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. ~Harlan Miller

Dearest Blog Friends,

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, spent with friends and loved ones. You are all so special to me, and one of the greatest gifts I've ever received is your listening ear and your kind words. Blogging has changed my life, and I am excited to see what 2011 brings! Until then, have a safe and happy holiday!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Tomorrow, I get to see two of my best friends in the entire world! We grew up together, and all of my favorite memories revolve around these two. Unfortunately since I moved, we see each other very rarely, but when we do get together it's like I never left. Megan is having a baby early next year so I'm so excited to see her looking all pregnant and cute!

Megan's bachelorette party, 2006

Megan's rehearsal dinner, 2006

My going away party, 2007

At the Georgia Aquarium, circa 2007

Believe me, I have thousands of pictures of us, but these are the only ones floating around Facebook. Most are back from a time where you had to take film to be developed and were given negatives...crazy, huh? :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

another christmas activity!

I had a Top 5 Tuesday post idea, but didn't have time to get it together...hopefully next week!

Only 5 more days until my final class of graduate school!

I'm pretty much done with my portion of my group's business plan so all that's left for me to do is practice, practice, practice. We've got to give a 45 minute presentation in front of the Dean, our professor, and two additional professors on Saturday morning. It's also going to be in front of about 30 of my peers. I'm not nervous per say, but that could easily change as the day gets closer.

I had some time on my lunch break to explore Target. I haven't been in at least a month! I was feeling a little crafty and had an idea in mind for an easy, inexpensive Christmas decoration.

I did something similar to this idea, posted by The Pleated Poppy.

Target had hot pink wreaths in their bargain section, for $2.50. I then went to scour the ornament section, and I found an 8-count ornament set for $5 and matching mini ornaments (set of 24) for $5. Then I picked up a silver bow from the gift wrapping section for $3. And, that's all I needed!

I'm horrible at posting "step by step" directions because let's face it, most of my crafting ideas are not my own, and the original blogger has already posted detailed tutorials so I can just direct you there instead of repeating it with that said, here's the final result!

[edited using iPhone app, pictureshow]

Here is the unedited version, so you can see the actual's really bright! I guess it's not traditional Christmas colors, but everything is better when it's hot pink, right?! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade (and Cuuuute) Ornament!

I'm sorry my appearances here on the blog have been spotty lately. I have been so busy with my school project that I have barely had time to do anything besides work, research, and meet with my group. It's been a long time since I've gone on this little sleep, and it's really wearing me down. I am counting down the days until my final presentation....9 days! That will be the best Christmas present ever :)

I have had absolutely zero Christmas spirit! In years past, I would be baking and decorating by now, but there just isn't any time. I'll be home in less than two weeks for a few days so I'm really looking forward to that. There really isn't any point in decorating my apartment because it will be empty soon enough.

I did however decide to get a little crafty the other day! C's parents have asked all of the family to make an ornament for their tree this year. I really didn't have any ideas of what to do, but C suggested I make a cupcake...of course, it's my thing! I did a google search, and was led to these instructions on making the cutest homemade cupcake ornaments!

Cute! And really super easy!

The detailed instructions can be found on Bake It Pretty. Check it out if you are looking for something crafty to do this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I made the most incredible cookie over the weekend.

I had bookmarked the recipe ages ago, but didn't get around to making it until now. I'm glad I finally did because it is delicious!

Chocolate Chip Bacon Pecan Cookies
Makes: 18 thin and chewy cookies
5 strips bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning several times, until browned and done, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop finely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just blended. Add the dry ingredients; beat until just incorporated and the flour is dissolved. Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and bacon.
Drop one large tablespoon cookie dough 2 to 3 inches apart (as they will spread) on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges, and still slightly soft in the center.
Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

Yum...seriously delish!

Just some of my own personal notes:
* I didn't use pecans because they were super expensive. They were just as good without.
* I made my cookies the size of a regular ice cream scoop. It made 9, but they were huge. I added a couple of minutes to the bake time to accommodate the larger size.
* I stored the extras in a ziploc bag on the counter. Still super yummy and moist the next day.
* Chocolate and bacon might seem weird, but it's actually a great combination. Give it a try!

Monday, December 6, 2010

it's party time

What a weekend...actually, it was really just a crazy Friday and it's taken me a whole weekend to recover! We had our annual work Christmas party at Fleming's, and it was so much fun! The wine was flowing freely, the food was delicious, and I was surrounded by some of my best friends. The best part was the after party! I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but C and I no longer work together anymore. Since he couldn't come to the actual party, he came to the after party :)

I also never shared what I decided to wear! I did try on the dresses from this post, but nothing was really working. Then I walked past an outfit on a mannequin and it just spoke to me. Ha! I ended up getting this top (in silver) and this skirt. I was so happy with my outfit because it was festive and comfortable plus I can see myself wearing both pieces separately (and often).

Here is a shot of my entire outfit.


On a completely different note, there were a total of 29 entries in the Dixie Bell Designs giveaway. The winning entry is #4, Polish and Pearls. Congrats! I will be emailing both you and Stacy shortly so that you can work out the details of the $20 credit.

Tomorrow, I have an amazing recipe to share with you all. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

odds, ends, and a giveaway.

Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers for my mom. She had heart surgery and is recovering nicely. The doctors said that if she hadn't gone in when she did, she would have likely died within 2 months. Needless to say, our family really had reason to give thanks this year.

C and I had a quiet Thanksgiving weekend. It was nice to have the four days off, that's for sure! We ate too much, watched football, napped often, and generally lazed around. We did make it out to see Harry Potter and I thought it was fantastic! I know some people said it was slow in areas, but I didn't think so at all.


Fellow blogger, Stacy, recently contacted me about doing a giveaway and I thought it would be just perfect for the Christmas season! Stacy has an etsy shop, Dixie Bell Designs, where she sells items like key fobs, headbands, and belts.

This giveaway is for a $20 credit to her etsy shop. Her key fobs make great stocking stuffers, and with nothing over $6, you could definitely stock up on cute gifts!

I'd love for you all to enter! Just leave a comment letting me know what you want for Christmas (1 entry). If you want extra entries, just follow Stacy's blog (1 entry) and Facebook (1 entry).

Let me know in your comment how many entries you get...1, 2, or 3.

Thanks Dixie Bell Designs for this fun giveaway! I'll announce a winner next Monday, December 6.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hot Coupons, What I'm Wearing, and a Prayer Request

I had to share this coupon deal with you!

I visit Hip2Save on a weekly basis and she always posts amazing coupons and deals. Yesterday, she posted about Kraft coupons and Target deals and it was like hitting the jackpot! In addition to the items I bought with the coupons, I also snagged a few other coupons that allowed me to get even more for less.

The best part of the whole thing? I needed all of these items for Thanksgiving!

I bought EVERYTHING in the picture for a little over $10. When each item is usually around $2 or $3 at regular price, I found this to be a steal! I just used the Kraft coupons and combined them with the online Target coupons to do this.

Shredded cheese - 80 cents each ($1/2 Target; $1/2 Kraft)
cream cheese bricks - 44 cents each ($0.50/2 Target; $1/2 Kraft)
Nabisco crackers - $1 each ($1/2 Target; $1/2 Kraft)
Ranch dressing - $1.39 ($0.50/1 Target)
Crescent Rolls - $1.41 each ($0.50/2 Target)
Pie Crust - $1.99 (in store promotion of $0.55/1)

This shopping trip saved me $9.55 off of my total price. Amazing what you can do with a little coupon clipping!


And on a completely different note, my Wardrobe Wednesday outfit!

It is COLD here (we're talking 50's here, people) so I've been sticking to my typical cold weather gear - leggings, boots, sweaters, and scarves. This outfit is incredibly boring, but I do love the pashmina I'm wearing. I got it when my family and I were vacationing in Rome over Thanksgiving, 7 years ago this week. The pashmina is varying shades of orange and gold. It's warm, soft, and it reminds me of one of my favorite family trips.

On a family note, my mom is in the hospital for some tests to check her heart, and I'd appreciate any prayers for her. I'm very worried, and it stinks to be stuck so far away, feeling like I can't do anything to help/comfort her.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Things that are Currently Making me Smile:

1. Three cheers for a short work week!

2. A new haircut! My last haircut was over 6 months ago so it was looking pretty tragic. I was wearing it up in a ponytail 24/7 because I couldn't do anything with it otherwise. Enter my fantastic (sam's) stylist, Marian, and I now have a cute cut again...and my side bangs are back!

3. 50% off all clearance at Old Navy last weekend! Hello, deals! I snagged a really cute plaid top that I can't seem to find online and two tanks for less than $14 total :)

4. My recent discovery of the famous "airline cookie" available in my local grocery store! I'm not kidding you, I was jumping up and down in the middle of the store. Now I can finally enjoy these without having to pay $350 for a Delta flight!

5. Having 4 days to catch up on sleep, work on my school project, go to the movies (I'm dying to see Harry Potter this weekend), take naps, and spend time with C! I may even sneak in a Black Friday shopping trip if I gather up the courage to fight the crowds...I'm still undecided!

I won't be blogging again until after Thanksgiving, but I hope all of you have a wonderful time with your loved ones. I'm thankful for all of my readers and the friendships I have with many of you!