Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Letting Go of the Fear...

I wish I remembered how I finally got the courage to tell my mother that I needed to go to the doctor to get my breasts checked because there were two large lumps growing on the right side of my right breast. I guess the combination of fear, anxiety, extreme exhaustion/insomnia & Epstein Bar can cause memory loss. All I remember is being with my mess of an ex fuck buddy friend at a car convention in western P.A. when I guided his hand to the side of my breast and told him to push in. His large brown eyes bugged out and he actually freaked out because he never "noticed the abnormality" while you know we were "together" *cough cough*. I remember crying to my best friend Danielle in 2004 that I had felt a knot in my breast and I was too scared to go the doctor just in case it was "something". 

When I finally mustered the courage to tell my Ob-gyn, who actually was my mom's doctor & delivered me as a baby (very weird btw), and I never forget his sigh and how his santa clause-ish laughs ceased. He scheduled me for a sonogram and I have never had more discrete men and women basically feel me up. At no point was I embarrassed...they were all very kind and helpful. Eventually when I got to my surgeon, whose first name was actually Faith, I burst into tears before she could examine me. She kept her doctor demeanor, but gave me a hug I so desperately needed. After a small biopsy, which I literally felt like Neo in the first Matrix movie when trinity put that machine on him to get out that squiggly bug out that Mr. Smith put in his belly button, I found out that I had Fibroids. Fibroids that were slowly disappearing, but were too large so there was an apprehension that within the holes created by them, a possible malignant tumor could form. 

Fibroids...are non-cancerous tumors that are caused by hormone imbalances. I was swamped with relief but the whole process was a mental hurdle I never thought I'd have to go through in my early 20's. I was 23. At 27, I have a faded line where the surgeon delicately removed the two nodules that were also luckily not attached to any breast tissue and sort of just popped out. If I hadn't told my boyfriend, he told me he never would have known. At 24 I had to remove another small fibroid from the same breast and that half moon is a lil more visible to this day....

I will never and can never forget the pain that I was in one Friday night after work. I had a shooting pain in my lower back that had my crawling on the floor of my parent's bathroom in gasping clueless agony. I knew I wasn't pregnant and it wasn't my time of the month so I was at a loss for words & ideas. I was a sweaty ball of disaster for 24 hours, only getting a small amount of relief when a stupid doctor, who couldn't pinpoint what the problem was, gave me a shot of pain medication and viccodin for possible severe menstrual cramps. The pain radiating from my ride side was so horrible but not low enough to be a appendicitis. 

The doctor missed that I was having a gallbladder attack. 

In his defense, my blood wasn't showing the usual signs of a burst or bad gall bladder because it had apparently not been working for quite some time and the gall stones filling my gall bladder were lodged in my bile ducts so where he pressed there was no pain. He wasn't pressing in the right spot to ignite the pain to the surface.

Once again I can't remember how it was finally determined that my gall bladder was in fact not working & when I finally had it removed, another surgery, the surgeon speculated it was probably not working for a year. I have to ask my mom about it, because I really am blanking on it. I'm staring down at my 5 lil slit scars on my tummy, so I know it all happened, but I can't remember who figured it out. I remember getting up on the surgeon's table but not how we finally figured it out. 

May 1st, 2013
For the past almost 3 years I haven't had more fibroids or other odd surgeries that people gasp about for my age.  But I think the scars are holding me back in more than ways than one. I'm not scared to show my gallbladder surgery scars to my boyfriend or  even my breast scars...they just look like I got scratched by cat...but I'm scared to push the envelope when working out & exercising. I've banished myself to the treadmill & bike because they are "safe" for me but I am missing out.  I know my stomach is isn't going to fall out or a wound isn't going to open but I have held back for a long long time at the gym claiming it's only been a few years...no more thinking what if I'm not healed all the way? It's been 4 years since the first surgery and I think it's time to not be afraid anymore. I think it's time to use the torso rotation machine and not make an excuse of why it may hurt me...I think it's time to use the arm work-out machines and not think oh it might hurt my breasts. It's time to let go of the clutch that I don't have anymore or need anymore. It's time to be a healthy & positive me that lives with no fear. 

Dieting & exercising is a process...a process I'm learning you need to be honest with yourself about your true goals and true weaknesses. One day at a time I know I can do it. 

On your Fitness Journey, What are some Fears & Weaknesses you've had to Overcome? 

I'd love to hear...

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Lil Victories... The Defeat of Popcorn, Pretzels, & Donuts

Today at 3:51pm
We heard the determined footsteps right before we saw the head of accounting sniffing the air in the middle of our cubicle block. He peered into my cubicle, the girl's one diagonal from me, my bosses one, and even the empty one that completes the cube. 

"What's up Roger? You lose something?" my boss asked. 

Roger scratched his head in wonderment. "Did any of you make popcorn? The accounting side smells so bad of it, yet I can't find out where the hell it's coming from." 

I sniffed the air and there wasn't a trace of popcorn smell. Roger, defeated, left our cubicle block & we heard his still audible footsteps march to the next block to inquire there. 

Well...the word got out that the head of accounting was in need of popcorn. My boss sent out the mass email that they will be indeed making popcorn from the carnival popcorn machine that even after two years of working there I still can't get a straight answer on why it was bought. Nevertheless, the herd of hungry people rushed in to hear the pop pop and get that warm bowl of buttery goodness. 

I now smelled the intoxicating aroma wafting onto our side of the building from the kitchen and continued to sit patiently in my chair for my 5pm exit. Yup! I didn't go for the popcorn and instead had a bowl of very delicious & crunchy carrots that made me smile to myself at my lil "Eating Good Today" victory.  =)

I hear a small swivel of a rolling chair on the plastic mat diagonally from my desk, followed by the telltale (I hate when erotic novels use this word, but here it fits) sound of a lid turning swiftly open, & then hear the rummaging fingers claim a peanut butter filled pretzel or a pretzel rod from the two pretzel jars on our lil blue table in the middle of the cubicle block. If it's my boss I hear the crunching on the other side of the wall...if it's my co-worker I am pleased that there is just enough distance to mute the chewing sound. 

Meanwhile I don't skip a beat on my spreadsheets. The sounds are heard but happily there is no swivel of my chair to mimic their motions I hear constantly throughout the day. I never thought I'd be able to resist free delicious sourdough pretzels...but I am gleefully smiling at the realization that it is not a weakness of mine! =) For my willing resistance this definitely counts as a mini victory. 

Today at 7:58am
As I finally put on the last dash of eyeshadow I gasped at the time. "Fuck" I said out aloud and the two kitties I now own as of yesterday looked at me like I was nuts. I went to pet one of them and slowly but surely the Pop 'em donut box left open by Craig, who left the house 20 minutes ago, came into my sight. I have to have breakfast, I thought and I have to put my hands on that dreaded box because somehow Craig doesn't get it that if you leave the box open they will be stale in a day. Three pop'ems is a serving and it's too late now to go to the super market and be at work by 8:30am....

I sighed and picked up that white & blue box to put it in the bag. I wrestled with the thought of grabbing just one, only one... I closed the box and a puff of that sugary tempting smell assaulted my nostrils. Yes, assaulted. As I glanced over to the clock I noticed a small lil coupon I had clipped right before the wedding for a $1 off of  (2) Quaker Real Medley oatmeal containers that I love so much. Thank goodness for the coupon. I snatched up the coupon, chucked the pop'em box on the fridge in a bag and ran for my dear diet's life out the door. 

It was a struggle, but still a victory. 


This week I've decided to celebrate mini victories in my diet and not be so hard on myself. I found the willpower to go to the gym everyday last week, even if it was just to walk for a mile on the treadmill. I hope to continue the stride and find that mental determination. The key is that I tried and was more active. It was a big victory to me that made that scale needle go left. Finally. =)

What's your Fitness/Diet Goal this Week? 
Have you celebrated any Mini Victories lately? 

Scene from the movie Fever Pitch, 2005

Sunday, April 28, 2013

One More Wedding Done...Bridesmaid Dress #2 Hung Up for Good...

Me in the limo ride to the reception of my friend's wedding...

I've finally realized why there are so many chick flicks showing when and how everything goes horribly wrong and others that show women how things are supposed to be on your special days. Well it's a tutorial. It's lessons from past experiences of the screenplay writers and authors. I feel like I can write a plethora of chick flicks and novels from the past 5 years of my life. Hopefully Lena Dunham will leave one or two stones unturned so someone else can shed some light on things people need to know but somehow it eludes daily conversation. =) 

This past wedding on Friday was such an eye-opener & the whole ordeal from start to finish was a learning experience that I have to share what might just make it into a story I HAVE to write one day...

1.) Future Brides - If you have hired a photographer and they are coming to your home or family members' home before the wedding to take pictures...DO NOT PUT YOUR DRESS ON! The photographer will  want to snap pictures of the dress.  I thought I was speaking another language when I said, "Don't get dressed yet to my friend". She was like, "Why not?" and didn't realize they want to take pictures.

2.) Bridesmaids - BRING AN EXTRA PAIR OF FLATS FOR THE RECEPTION! Also, for the hours of pictures you will take. Your feet will kill you...those heel inserts for cushioning only last so long. 

3.) Bridesmaids - If you will be taking a car or limo to the next location if the reception is another venue than the ceremony, bring one bag for the other Bridesmaids' belongings, cameras, and EXTRA SHOES.  Have One bag and give it to the most responsible person. It will cause less stress.

Craig & me from the Photobooth! Yeah we kinda gave the operators a lil show..Va Va Voom! =P

4.) Activities - Have something for the guests to do. Sometimes the DJ's are annoying and it's nice to have something at the reception for guest participation. I personally are a fan of the PHOTO BOOTH! It is always so much fun and it's interactive. Another wedding Craig went to had a casino night type deal as a guest interactive. It makes the time go by funner. I know it is an expensive luxury to have photo booths but makeshift ones work well too! =)

5.) Wedding Favors - GIVE APPROPRIATE &/OR USEABLE FAVORS - I love appropriate & re-usable wedding favors. I was relieved that my friend gave a very appropriate and monogramed goblet that I will definitely keep as a beautiful keepsake for the wedding. My cousin on the other hand gave us a mini plate & mini cup set that was pretty much a tiny tea set. I don't know when I'm going to use it because it's so small. The wedding Craig and I went to in November, they gave us all cheese plates w/ a knife. It was awesome! I have used it several times since then.

6.) Cameras on the table - We've all seen this in the movies and TV shows. DO IT! The bride and the groom will probably not be able to make it everyone to even say hello so definitely put disposable cameras at all the tables! =)

7.) Wedding Guests - DO NOT GET SLOPPY DRUNK! Open bar does not mean I'm getting wasted, especially to the cousins of the bride who have been dating the same guy for 8 years. Yes, we know you wish you would be the one getting married, but please hold back the urge to get tanked. IT WILL BE ON THE WEDDING VIDEO and they all will know it was you. 

8.) Bridesmaids - BRING YOUR ID'S. I almost wasn't served a drink because I didn't have my license on me when I went up to the bar. Luckily I had given it to Craig just in case before the wedding. I know I don't look under 21, but I still was ID'ed. 

9.) Everyone - REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN! I know there are lots of photos, lack of eating & drinking due to lipstick, but trust me...your up-do is not falling out, you don't have lipstick on your teeth, and please remember to breathe. =)

10.) Bride: Take the veil off at some point. It will just get ruined or matted to your sweaty face. The lights are bright so you will sweat and from all the hugs it will just be in the way. 

Here are few photos I have so far...I will post more when I have more!

My friend, the bride. 

Makeup check for me! =)

I feel like I'm at prom...Before the wedding. =)

Did I Leave Anything off that list? 


I'd love to hear =)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Living Together + Enjoying the Little Moments


Is it possible to have a Honey Moon phase a few months AFTER you've moved in together? I've been thinking a lot about this lately and ever since the rocky seas of adjustments have passed, I've been asking myself "Hey, what's left?" Oh right, my three relationship with a man I truly can say I love with my all my heart. There have been a few moments & return of past moments that have me really happy with our current living together status.

When Craig lived at his mom's and on nights where I wasn't there he would cuddle up with his cats or sprawl the length of the bed haphazardly just because he could. When I slept over or when he slept over my place he would curl his arms around me and it was like a valium to me. I would fall asleep immediately because I had his warmth and affection. This stopped when we moved in together. It wasn't an abrupt stop, but it eventually sizzled away. I assumed it was to give us the illusion of space in a one room studio, but it wasn't coming back as the weeks progressed. He slept w/ Angel our cat snuggled on his side and I was left alone on the other side of the queen bed.

It was honestly freaking me out, so I came out and recently asked him why he stopped putting his arms around me when we slept. I tried to ease it carefully into conversation and do it calmly.  He sort of bugged his eyes out a lil bit, looked at me like I was nuts, but then after a few seconds apologetically said lowly, "I didn't realize I stopped doing it. I'm sorry, Chloe. I'll definitely do it again." He hugged me, and I said he was sorry again.

Almost immediately three weeks ago, he bought Angel this uber soft pillow bed to put at the foot of the bed and his arms were right back to being around me. It's not every night, but I've noticed he's added a lil kiss to my shoulder when he wakes up & still thinks I'm asleep, he'll pull me back from the wall (I have a bad habit of rolling to the wall in my sleep) and curl around me softly, almost when we're both asleep he'll murmur "I love you", and he's finally realizing that he is a cover stealer so he's paying extra close attention to me that I have covers left in the middle of the night.

I didn't realize how much I missed these lil intimate moments of our relationship until they came back. It's a wonderful feeling sleeping next to him. I feel home and loved.  =)

Now, if only I can get him to stop banging the Keurig every morning though at 6am...hmmm...I still have to work on that one! hehe =)

What Are Your Favorite Lil Moments in Your Relationship? 
I'd love to hear...

A scene from The Vow, 2012

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

52 Lists Week 16 - List Your Favorite Books...

Oh dear...where to begin with this list...

Ever since my boyfriend got me a Nook two Christmases ago I have read so much more and it has filled my heart with such supreme happiness that I wish I could read all day long. But my love for reading didn't start there. I've been a lover of literature for as long as I can remember. This is another list that could go on for days for me...

Mooreaseal from her awesome 52 List Project wanted us to take a deeper look at our favorite books and see if possibly there was a connection. My list...yes definitely. I think it shows that I have a vivid imagination and like to get lost in a fantasy world for a day or two. Sometimes the real world is stressful and I think I gravitate towards the supernatural to unwind a little. No wonder I'm drawn to writing about fantasy and science fiction too. Another theme I'm noticing is that there is always a strong female lead that I get lost in when I'm reading. I almost feel like I am her, fighting the inner battles.  With the exception of Gatsby. There is a line amongst it's pages about "I hope my daughter is a fool". That quote has made me learn what NOT to be in my life, and it deserves a post of it's own one day. I also like books about the past. I've always been told I'm an old soul so it's a learning experience every time. I'm recently reading a whole bunch of victorian romance novels and it seems I just can't get enough of them! =)

Hmmm...Let's see here...

#1 - Dracula by Bram Stoker
#2 - Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
#3 - And then there were None by Agatha Christie
#4 - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

#5 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
#6 - Bared to You by Sylvia Day
#7  - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
#8 - Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

#9 - Julie & Julia - by Julie Powell
#10 - The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
#11 - Lies my Teacher Told me - James W. Loewen
#12  - The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson

#13 - Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
#14 - Sunshine by Robin Mcklinley (A surprisingly good vampire story)
#15 - Wuthering Heights  by Emily Bronte
#16 - Unmasqued  - An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of Opera - Colette Gale

Some of these titles you may have heard of before and others not. If you have any questions about these novels don't hestitate to ask. I've read each and everyone at least twice. Yes twice & I have to say Dracula is probably my favorite book ever. The structure of the story is amazingly different and it's NOT told by the conventional characters as seen by the movie. It's mostly narrated through diary entries of a Dr. Seward, who is in the 1994 I think movie, but it's more of the case study of events from Reinfield's doctor. It's truly fascinating. 

Another one of my favorites I forgot to put is Phillip K. Dick's Bladerunner novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". It's also one of my favorites! =)

From creating this list it has dawned on me that I haven't read many classics. I need to change that. Depending on what high school you went to, you read certain books. Somehow I got through high school never having to read The Cather in the Rye or books like 1984. I did not like Animal Farm (I know I'm like the only one) but I think I need to grab a reading list or two from the HS summer reading list and see what I can enlighten myself with! =)

I'd love to hear!

As always on Tuesdays, Linking up with MOOREASEAL's 52 List Project. 

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Monday, April 22, 2013

How Are You, Chloe Moon?

Sometimes you need to take a breath of fresh air and step away from the computer. But then you come back and see all the wonderful things people have been up to and it motivates you even more to believe in yourself and be yourself. 

This Monday was a rush rush of work, emails, and deadlines. My mind wandered to the past weekend and exciting things to come...

#1) - The photo of a lady gazing at the Effiel tower has always been a favorite of mine and maybe just maybe I'll get to see that wonderful view. My best friend Danielle and I have decided that for our 30th birthdays WE ARE GOING TO GO TO PARIS, FRANCE!! We are turning 28 this year so I think that's more than enough time to save up and dream of french macrons and find the perfect beret to wear!!

#2.) - Let's face facts here...For any wedding, Either the Future Bride or the Future Groom will be LATE to the Rehearsal dinner. I have never been to one where both have arrived on time and it's okay. This past Saturday was the Church Rehearsal & dinner for my friend's wedding and the future groom was late. At least he showed up though...for my cousin's wedding...neither him nor his now-wife showed up to the dinner. Yea, it was awkward as hell. 

#3.) - The Lucky One - For starters, let's just say after "A Walk to Remember" & "The Notebook" I've pretty much ruled out EVER watching a Nicholas Sparks movie again. I didn't think my emotions could handle it. But then the Librarian saw me have this movie in my hand and she jumped for joy. She was like "Oh I just love LOVED that movie. It was so good. It's not exactly like his other movies. It's so much better." I'm not giving away the ending but it's a great lil love story that does make you cry but in a good way. I promise. =)

#4.) - All the things we do for love...Well, I'm going to see Rancid, the ska punk rock band this June and I'm actually pretty excited about it. I can't wait to see Craig in guyliner and be all punked out for the rock show. I might have to dust off a corset and my combat Hot Topic boots for it too!! The energy of this rock show is going to be insane! I will be bringing ear plugs though!! 

#5.) - My friend's wedding is finally here on Friday. This is the wedding I helped plan the Cinderella themed bridal shower for & the other lil dramas that ensued. The bridesmaid dress still fits thank god! I really hope they are happy. There are a few secrets on my friend's side she hasn't told her future husband and it does bug me but it's not my fight. I'm going to try and look at the positives and be there for my friend to ensure she has a great day. *Fingers Crossed* 

Here's hoping for a better week! Oh and Happy Earth Day everyone. If you can, try to use one less styrofoam cup for coffee a day, remember to cut the soda can 6-pack plastic rings so an animal may not get caught, plant a flower or a tree in your backyard if you can, don't litter - use a trash can, and remember to go outside and enjoy the beautiful sun on the days that you can! =) 

Until Tomorrow...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Short Story - "Pepper" - Part I

Inspiration from BladeRunner, 1982

“Hello! How can I help you sir?” The brunette sitting behind the desk asked the tall gentleman, staring quizzically at her. The man looked back at the door, he seconds before walked through, debating his decision to find out more. The brunette cocked her head to the side sharply, showing impatience at the man’s lack of response.

“Sir, are you in need of maintenance or are you here for an inquiry?” The brunette added, attempting to coax a response out of the man.

“Maintenance?” The man, startled by the brunette’s assumption, added, “No, No. I am not one of them. I, um, I’m here for I guess, inquiry.” He waved his hand to motion the no response & furrowed his brow at his last statement.

“Okay. Please be seated. An advisor will be with you shortly. For precautionary measures, your visit will be logged due to the new Section 24 Agreement. To confirm, you are human, right?” the brunette prodded.

“Yes, Yes. I’ve been human for 31 years. What about you, Missy?” The man, annoyed, retorted back.

“Whether or not you are human is a standard question for this facility. Additionally, I am not governed to answer your question because I am not on trial here. Please state your full name."

"John. My name is John Strummer Morn. My father had a thing for The Clash." The man half smiled to the brunette, expecting a sign of emotional response from her. If she was one of them, she would know who Strummer was from the programming, but, she blinked without showing any recognition of the old name. She looked down and wrote in perfect cursive the man's name on the yellow sign in sheet. 

"Thank you, Mr. Morn. Please be seated. An advisor will be with you shortly.” The brunette repeated in the exact monotone she previously used to say this trained statement. 

“Oh, okay. My apologies miss. I did not mean to be disrespectful of this establishment. I have a situation and I don’t know how to handle it. How long is ‘shortly’ for an advisor?”

“Ten minutes is the maximum allotted time to keep a human waiting. We feel that is enough time before patience levels become an issue. Does your situation warrant the presence of an authority figure? 

"I'm not sure. I think the love of my life could be one of the androids but is pretending to be human. I can't tell. She breathes, she eats, she uses the bathroom, her body responds when I touch..." The man's cheeks became flushed at his embarrassing thought.  

The man could have sworn he saw a fleeting expression of emotion on the brunettes' face when her mouth parted slightly and her perfect makeup creased around her eyes. The mask went back up immediately or he could have imagined her worried response. The brunette looked up at the camera that was behind the man for her safety and then inched forward towards the man so she was out of view of the seeking eye. 

"The best test is blow pepper in her face. It's harsh, I know. If she is one of the androids she would have no reaction. It's not programmed for them to respond to the effect. If she's human, of course she'll sneeze. That's your test. That's the only conclusive test there is to try." The brunette whispered fast into John's face. The man gasped at the simplicity of her confession and the change in the woman he pegged to being one of them. How could he have missed something so simple, he thought.

The pair of strangers heard the loud footsteps coming closer from down the hall. A police officer appeared in the space of the hallway leading back to the facility. "Savannah, is everything okay?"

Savannah looked up at the police officer and smiled, rejuvenating her sleeping laugh lines. "Yes. We have a gentleman here for inquiry. Please let Dr. Feingold know. It has been 3 minutes of wait time, George." The policeman nodded and turned to go back the way he came. 

"Please be seated, Mr. Morn. An advisor will be with you shortly." Savannah once again, directed. 

"Are you human, Savannah? I assume that's your name?" John asked still staring intently at the brunette.

"Wouldn't you like to know... Please be seated." 

To be continued...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Year Ago Today...I Miss You Grandma.

My grandma dancing w/ the water glass on her head. =)

Every time I laugh I hear and can see her in my mind laughing. I never thought I'd be able to have such a vivid memory, but I'm so grateful I do. Every time I call for my Craig's cat I remember her shaking the Friskies bag for our old cat, "Bright Eyes". I can still see her tending her garden...all the Dogwood trees, the Rosa sharon bushes that we my favorites, and all the roses. She was always digging in the rock garden, probably to calm her nerves. She used to dance w/ a glass on her head to any calypso or spanish song on the radio. She used to never spill a drop...I can still see her now twirling with that bright smile on her face.

I learned about death when I was 8. Both of my great grandmothers passed away, one before Halloween, one before Christmas. It was so hard because I was so young but I was old enough to understand. Then a few years ago I feared picking up the phone because it was just that batch of time where it was too many people's times to go. When a certain person who never called picked up the phone I knew. That batch of time eventually passed, but then I lost my father's mother when I was 26. But I'm ever so grateful I had those 26 wonderful memories of her playing the piano and her laughter. She played so passionately I swear she must have been a piano in another life. We never got to the finish the Moonlight Sonata and I'm sorry grandma for not finishing it. I promise I will finish it one day or your future great grandchild will.

I'm not afraid to cry, but I feel like this week I've held it back too much. The craziness of Boston has had me glued to the new stationsand radio, waiting for an update. I wish all the strength in the world to the wounded and their families. I hope somehow and someway the police or whoever it is gets answers. Answers so we can prevent this from happening again.

I just finished The Lucky One movie w/ Zac Ephron & the tears just keep coming down. It's hard to explain to Craig that the movie was actually good and women sometimes need to cry even if it was an emotionally charged great movie. It was just what I needed to watch to the bring the tears to the surface. I was the lucky one that grew up with all her grandparents in her life to teach her things, make her laugh, and throw ya that extra 20 bucks now & again.

But I have to put the tears away because she was a very happy and beautiful women and she is forever in my heart. She would want me to be laughing along with her. I love you Grandma Carmen & will miss you always. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Living Together + My Cousin's Baby in the Baby Carriage...

The Vow, 2012

For the past two & a half months on &/or almost every Wednesday I've been constructing a "Living Together" post describing the trials & joys of my boyfriend and I living together in one studio apartment. It is & still is an incredible and eye-opening experience with not one ounce of regret on our decision to live together. Well, when I spend 45 minutes doing the dishes and only when I emerge from the kitchen in my dishwashing victory does Craig, my boyfriend, ask, "Hey Babe do you need help w/ the dishes?" I will clench my teeth together sharply and stifle a "What did I get myself into..." scowl look on my face. But it's not all bad, he will then do the dishes for the next two nights after. =)

Today though at lunch I finally got to hang out with my cousin Alex and his wife Carol. I can count the number of times I've seen since their wedding last May on one hand...no exaggeration needed. Their wedding was one for the WTF history books, but now I had to shred a tear of joy when I saw them because they are expecting a lil girl this coming August.  The lil baby on the sonogram wiped out all the stress of today and I could barely find the right adjectives to tell them how I overblown with joy I was for them. Her lil due date is around my birthday too and I immediately called dibs on godmother status ASAP. Yes my cousin has a sister, but I told him if not this lil one, I would love to the opportunity to be a godmother to one his future children. I'm an only child and so is my boyfriend so my cousin's lil ones will be the closet I have to a niece and nephew. I really can't wait to meet possible lil "Skyler" or "Skylar" Marie. 

What to expect when your expecting...2012

I've danced around the topics of marriage and babies here, and honestly moving in with Craig has brought all those thoughts closer to the surface. From the beginning of our relationship I knew we would live together before anyone dropped down on one knee and now that this step is moving along smoothly I can't help but be excited for the next steps. I want to have that sparkle in my eye that Carol had today at lunch where we were oogling Pinterest inspirations for her baby shower...I want to have that wedding that people talk about months after in a great sense. I freaked out a bit a few months ago when Craig's biological clock started at some point over the winter, but it was silly to freak out when I knew mine was softly ticking in the background of my mind.  I think I'm ready not be in denial of those wants & dreams.

Each day I can feel the ease of the pressure Craig and I were initially feeling in the move. Today in the car ride to dinner we talked about "Possible Baby Names that start w/ A that we might name a child" with a fluidity and a comfort that had us giggling, yes giggling, and it was a lot of fun. BUT I will not if we ever have a boy have his middle name as Strummer after The Clash's lead singer. It's my fault dating a guitarist. lol.  We also exed out Albert & Arichibald. It was a great moment and it made my dream seem like it might be a reality one day.

Tonight I'm patiently hoping for the future and finally being upfront and honest about it. It feels good to admit it too. Now I have to plan a teddy bear themed baby shower!!!  =)

What to expect when your expecting...2012

One day, I hope...

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

52 Lists // Week 15 - List Your Favorite Quotes

This week's list from MOOREASEAL, couldn't have come at a better time. My thoughts and prayers go for the people in Boston in this time of need & confusion. I saw it on yahoo yesterday and I think I couldn't process yet another incident at first, like I didn't know what I was reading because it was so shocking. I hope the Boston police & investigators find anything to pinpoint how this was done or who so this does not happen again. 

From this event, a bubbly comedic actor said a great quote to start off my list that obviously from the power and strength of his words went viral. Patton Oswalt said,

“So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’”  - Patton Oswalt

Also a quote came back up the years,  I never knew came from my favorite trolley owner morning cartoon friend, Mr. Rogers:

Yes there are always helpers. 

I truly am a lover of quotes. I have notebooks full of them and I keep fortune cookies as well. I could write this list for days, maybe even weeks.  So I can only give you a few...

Here are just a few of my other favorite quotes:

“I'd much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they are the first to be rescued off of sinking ships.” 

 "It's always something..." 
― Gilda Radner 

A year from now, you will wish you had started today
- Karen Lamb

"If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough."
-Ellen Johson Sirleaf

"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."
-Neale Donald Walsh

"Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dream?"
- Tim Burton

"I'm so proud of you."
- My Mom & Dad

"I have a head for business and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?"
- Working Girl movie

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy" 
- Anne Frank

I could literally go on forever with this list so I'm going to stop here. 

Be safe everyone, and I will see you here tomorrow. =)

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Can't Cook Therefore I Go To Williams Sonoma Free Demos!

Photos I took from the Williams Sonoma Demo on Pan Roasting...

Okay to be honest I had no idea exactly what Pan Roasting was until I went to this demo on Saturday. "Roasting" to me is burning chicken and praying it's not too burnt so we can still eat it. One of the things I love about Craig is that he loves my burnt chicken. He even goes for second helpings!! But after this demo I'm hoping maybe I can actually pan roast some chicken and MAYBE not burn it? =)

Well, let's start at the beginning - Pan Roasting is the two step process of initially sautéing food in a small amount of oil in an oven proof pan on the stovetop and then the food within the pan is placed within the oven to finish cooking. This is taken from a snippet on the Williams Sonoma demo worksheet, see here. An oven proof pan will definitely be a purchase of mine in the near distant future. 

This demo featured one pan-roasted dish of Pan-Roasted Chicken w/ Herb Compound Butter & a Spicy Pan-Roasted Cauliflower. Both of which I got to try at the end.

Spicy Pan-Roasted Cauliflower - Recipe HERE.

I've always loved cauliflower raw but I think I can count the number of times I've had it cooked as a dinner side on one hand. This recipe & roasting technique was absolutely delicious & an eye-opener. It was roasted cauliflower, not mushy cooked cauliflower like when you boil it in a pot of water like broccoli, but firm cauliflower jam packed with flavor. The rosemary water soaked raisins were just a extra kick of flavor and it was yum yum!! I asked for a second helping after the demo. I will be making this at home. 

Pan-Roasted Chicken w/ Herb Compound Butter - Recipe HERE

The beauty of these demos is the instructor went through every step, even showing us the initial sautéing of the chicken using a Splatter screen for her oven roasting pot. I've never seen a splatter screen before so that will also be a future purchase. This recipe was more self-exclamatory. Sauté the chicken, then place the chicken in the oven for the allotted time the recipe calls for. The herb butter and the champagne finishing sauce was added to the still hot chicken after it was taken out of the oven. It was melty goodness. 

The only thing with the chicken that I was a little disappointed about was that the flavor was really only in the skin, not the chicken under it. I asked for some more sauce/herb melty concoction so I could dab the chicken in so then I got the full effect. It was very delicious. I might try to remove the skin after the oven roasting and add the herb butter to the chicken breast itself. 

Have you ever Pan-Roasted Food?
 What was Your Experience with the Process? 

I truthfully feel myself learning how to be a better cook by going to these demos. Even just hearing the questions of the other demo-goers is a learning experience that I'm all to eager to soak up! If I try out the chicken or cauliflower recipe at home I will definitely write about it. 

More photos of from the demo... 

I also purchased the ZOKU slush/shake maker w/ my 10% off! I will post about a review of that product later in the week! Move over Wendy's Frosty's! I'm going to see if I can make my own! =)

Until Tomorrow...

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gears Turning...Wheels Running...Smiles Rising...


Yesterday it rained, today it's grey, but that's not stopping me today! The gears in my mind are turning about the next few weeks. Two weddings for friends, a teddy bear baby shower for my cousin's wife for their future baby girl, a visit to Virginia - a state I have never been to before, a year anniversary of the loss of a beloved grandmother - whom I still hear her laughter in my head,  and a trip to Phoenix, Arizona - yet another state I've never been to before. It's so much to take in and so much to process in a little time. I can't wait to hold on and go for the ride.

This Saturday I'm going to try and get off of Auto-pilot mode and enjoy the day. I'm going to a Williams Sonoma demo again, I'll post about it tomorrow and I'm really excited. I hope to purchase the Zoku Slushie maker, I mentioned here with the 10% discount I will receive as well. Craig and I are taking a trip to Guitar center to get him a pedal to enhance his bass guitar. Then, I'm going to go visit my grandfather and continue on my photo project I'm not sure I mentioned here yet...

Whoever thought it was a good idea in the 1950's and the 1960's to glue, yes GLUE, dear photos to construction paper albums is beyond me. So many pictures of my relatives that I've never seen are torn because they were glued or are discolored from the glue. It's my making my goal to actually re-do my late grandmother's albums a little harder than expected. But it's something I will finish. I was her only grandchild and I feel like if I don't put all those precious photos into new albums then no one will. It's such a treat seeing her all glammed up in the old photos, seeing my dad in a Davey Crockett raccoon hat as a child, seeing photos of my biological grandfather I never got to meet in a WWII uniform, and seeing the transition of the times through the smiles and outfits. I'm grateful that she kept these photos even if they are torn from the glue. Ever so grateful.


I hope tonight is filled w/ wine glasses full of pink yellow tail lil sweet & lil fizzy moscato and a date full of kisses...lots of kisses and possibly more.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Loves on a Thursday...Ruche...

You know that feeling when you see a beautiful dress on a blog or a shop and then it's actually in your price range...Yeah total joy! I've seen the online Shop Ruche images EVERYWHERE and I mean all over the top blogs and somehow I never clicked on the price pages. I was in utter shock about how reasonably priced some of their pieces are! 

My heart went bitter batter at the spring dress possibilities. =)

#1 - Dance With Me Ruffled Dress - $46.99 (Styled in above picture)
#3 - Dollhouse Belted Dress - $59.99 (Styled in below picture)

I just love all four of these dresses and I wish I could take all 4 home with me. I am considering buying #3 for the Virginia May wedding I have to go, but I'm super sad that the Little Crush Heart dress is sold out. BUT I emailed Ruche to be notified if it comes back in stock. =) It's refreshing to see reasonable prices for pretty clothes after lusting over tons of Anthropologie favorites & Modcloth beauties that are just too out of my price range right now. Also you can only have the same type of Target dress is so many colors...

Fashion & clothes are have always been weird for me because of my body shape. I'm only 5' 5" but for some reason I feel like the trend now is for dresses to be SUPER SHORT & I just can't follow along.  I wish I could just buy dresses online without trying them on, but I would like to sit down without my butt hitting the seat because the dress hiked up so high. Is it just me that feels that way?? 

I love so many dresses from the new Kate Spade Saturday collection, but again everything feels like it's so short from the pictures? It could possibly be that the models are too tall for the dresses so it appears like they are short or I'm not sure. I've noticed even in Kohl's the Lauren Conrad collections are always very short even if you are wearing a L or XL which I do proudly at the moment. I reluctantly had to return a gorgeous Lauren Conrad mint dress because it was just too short with my mini heels.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wear leggings or those capri tights that hit the ankle (not sure what they are called) under the dresses if it's a more casual setting. =)

Where Are You Shopping for Spring Dresses this Year?

Linking Up w/ Imprintalish for

Loves on a Thursday

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