Friday, October 1, 2010

Fave Vaca Spots

Happy Friday Blog Peeps!

Today's Fave Friday is about vacation spots, since I will be in one...TOMORROW! I can't wait to step through the baggage claim doors at the LAX airport and see palm trees, feel the ocean breeze and see my dad! California is the best place for Tim and I to have our family reside because it makes for a great vaca spot every year.

My fam is in LA and Tim's is in the OC. In fact, one of his aunt's and uncle's have a beach house in Laguna Beach that we will be enjoying for a few days. Not bad, eh?!

I will take tons of pixs, per usual...but here are a few from last year's trip:

Our view from the beach house (Laguna Beach):

Playing on the beach (Malibu):

The feeling of incomporable peace and relaxation (Laguna):

Other fave vaca spots include: Hawaii and Mexico (the Caribbean side). I am def a warm climate, beach vaca kind of girl.

How about you? Where are your fave vaca spots??

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back from the Dead

At least that's how it feels once you've recovered from the flu.

It came out of nowhere. Seriously. I didn't feel sick up until the very second I "got sick".

*Disclaimer: Please do not continue reading if you are one of those who can't handle any gross detail.

It was a normal Thursday and I was doing site visits with an associate.  The day was great until I started to feel warm around 3pm and asked to use the restroom. There I was, alone, in a random and dirty public restroom.  And all of a sudden, I got sick.  And it was major.

And what is the dealio about getting sick when you're alone. I hate it. It makes me feel so scared and sad.  Probably just me...what about you? (please say yes..haha)

Anyways...the only thing that I wanted to do at that moment was lay down, so in my moment of weakness, there I lay, on the cold, dirty floor of a public restroom in full contentment, because it made me feel so much better.  I know, gross, but sometimes you don't have options.

So, I finally get the "umph" to pick myself up off the floor.  I cleaned myself up, put on my sunglasses, left the restroom and whispered to my associate, "I'm sick, let's go, tell you in the parking lot".  Thankfully, my co-worker was very kind about the whole situation and drove me home, despite seeing me in my dress with water spots all over accompanied by a pale flushed face.

I put on my PJ's, got in bed and stayed put until what seemed like Saturday. Thankfully, this strand of the flu was short lived, but whoa did it zap every ounce of energy out of me.  I cancelled all of my plans for the weekend to be in bed and I wasn't slightly sad about it. My only regret is having to cancel on my Jax date night, but we'll get that rescheduled. ;)

So yeah, it's good to be back.

Heads up ya'll, there's definitely "something" going make sure you wash your hands lots!

P.S. Totally random...I just read that Jonathan, "the weatherman", will be the next Bachelor. I am so disappointed. I wanted Chris to be the lucky man. Of thinking about it, Jonathan might make some really awkward TV which always equals entertainment, so maybe it won't be that bad. Eh...we'll see.

Happy week to everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Art of Negotiation

If you work in any kind of business, like myself, and are responsible to adhere to a budget...negotiation can be key to success.

I am a strong believer in negotiating. And , for the most part, I actually enjoy it.

Fortunately for us, the current business person, we can communicate and yes negotiate over email. I honestly believe that negotiating in this way can really make someone feel more powerful and less likely to cave in moments of awkward discussion. I certainly feel powerful.

I've negotiated over email in my personal life, like with the purchase of my beloved MDX and with mostly all business life vendors. I have learned that people want my business and always leave room for some negotiation to take place. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with asking and have yet to find a vendor not be able to meet me at some compromise so that it becomes a win for them and a win for me.

Here are some important steps I do before entering a negotiation period:
  1. Be prepared. Know everything that you are looking for and draft a formal list. Do not forget anything.
  2. Investigate Comps. Make sure you are educated on what others in the business are charging for the exact same services.
  3. Be precise. Communicate with precise descriptions and ask for detailed service estimate breakdowns.
  4. Be polite. Always treat the vendor as you want to be treated, because the start of this relationship will spill over into the whole relationship. You want them to want to work with you.
  5. Don't be afraid to ask. Once you have established your relationship and collected everything from their proposal, if the number is too high, don't be afraid to ask where negotiation can take place. There's always somewhere or something. Remember, they want your business and want to make this work for you.
Negotiating is an art and can be enjoyable. Your end result of a successful negotiation should lead to both parties feeling like they have both won.

That's my little tidbit for the day...inspired by successfully negotiating a deal of mine today. I feel empowered and I hope you will too!

Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fave Friday: Fall Faves

Today’s Fave Friday is all about our Fall favorites. Once a year, we are treated with lovely and tolerable weather in the Midwest that stimulates our senses for new menu items, wardrobe changes and recreational activities.

Growing up in the Southern California, where we did not experience the different seasons leaves me at a bit of disadvantage for the deep appreciation of this season, but after living here for a number of years, I do have some.

Probably my most favorite thing about Fall is the change in temperature which equals a necessary wardrobe change, of which my favorite is pairing skinny jeans with boots.

What are some of your Fall Faves??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Breakfast Club

I'm working on a fun project right now. It's a "Breakfast Club" themed photo shoot workshop for photags. I'm in the middle of casting the models and then will start the styling process., right?!

I think so.

Come know you love the song..."Don't you forget about me..."

Anyone have any chic ideas for the female characters wardrobe...lonely girl and preppy girl?

I'd love to hear your style input!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting Back to It

Seriously…why do I have a blog if I’m not writing?! Naughty, naughty! (I’m slapping my hand as I type).

I keep thinking I need to write about substance...yadda yadda yadda. Maybe sometimes I will and maybe times I won’t. ;) (Feeling sassy)

For now…how about a little weekend recap (following suit from my dear friend and blogtastic mentor…ze lovely Jax)

Saturday was pretty lazy, lay around the house and vegg out kind of day...don’t you love those? Few and far in between, but well deserved, if I say so myself. My fabulous hubs went to Kansas City for his brothers birthday weekend. They are headed to a KC Royals game this afternoon and the NFL opening Chiefs game this evening. Not bad, eh?!

Anyhow…this left me playing single mom for the weekend…and I just gotta say that I have major respect for single parents…MAJOR.

CJ and I did lots of fun things over the weekend, which included:

Letting him eat dinner in my bedroom:

Eating chocolate chip pancakes:

Playing at the mall:

Trying on sunglasses at the mall:

And seeing a cute kids movie:

BUT for some reason I maintained a constant sense of “panic” in my chest the whole time…lots of ”what ifs”. So weird too, because everything went perfectly and I can totally do it on my own…but I guess I’m just not used to it. At.All.

What is my dealio?!

Oh! And…I started watching Gossip Girl (via Netflix) this weekend and super excited to finally board that ship. I love it so far, but have lots of catching up to do before I can enter the GG convos.

Now…fast forward to present time and we’re all back to work. Happy Monday everyone…thanks for enduring a blog about nothing super cool…but a blog none-the-less.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today is a Special Day

Tim and I met in college. He was “the cute guy” on campus, but he had a girlfriend so we actually were just good friend for my first semester. Once he became single…we started to get closer. With the foundation of a great friendship, we dated for 3.5 years and got married NINE years ago today on September 1st, 2001.

Today is a special day.

Yes, I got married as a baby. Haha! But seriously, I was sooo young. Yet, somehow by the grace of God, I married a truly incredible man and am one of those very lucky girls that has an amazing husband.

Over the past 9 years I have changed so drastically as a woman. I’ve learned who I am and what love and marriage really are. I’ve learned that love and marriage isn’t about feelings, but rather about a choice you make every day to love, serve and be faithful to your spouse. I’ve learned that life can and will throw you a lot of obstacles and if you can work together and cling to one another, you will be better for it. I’ve learned that focusing on your partner’s strengths is far more rewarding to your relationship than their weaknesses. I’ve learned that actively fighting to fade out other distractions in life is a powerful key to making things last.  I am so thankful for the past nine years and I pray and hope for at least 100 more to come!

Here is our invitation (a friend and I made these):
Me before the ceremony:
Lighting our unity candle during the ceremony:
Kissing during our church exit:
Post ceremony in the park photos:

I am so thankful to say that I love him today more than ever before.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Babies all Grow Up

Its weird how it doesn't seem like 5 years has passed, but it does. 5 years ago today, after enduring 30 hours of wicked hard labor and an emergency c-section, our son, Caleb Joseph (CJ) was born. I was exhausted, in pain and on meds, but nothing was more physically scintillating than holding him for the first time. The last 5 years have been full of memories with an amazing child. He is our treasure and we are soooo blessed that he is ours.

Here he is on his birth day at the hospital:

Here he is at his bowling party last weekend:

Here's our happy lil' family:

I'm glad we still have many more years and memories ahead. Babies may all grow up, but he'll never stop being mine/ours.  And that's all that matters to me. ;)

Happy Friday all!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ooops…We Did It Again!

I have a twin sister. She’s my soul mate. I honestly don’t believe people can share a bond closer than ours.

From time to time, we get to experience MAJOR twin moments. Finishing each others sentences, running into each other at the grocery store and thinking the same thing. BUT, the twin moment we get the most kick out of is when we show up somewhere in the SAME outfit and it’s 100% unplanned.

Case(s) in point.

Earlier this year in May, we took a trip to Vegas for our 30th birthday. We showed up to the airport like this:
(Me, Nicole)

And then, this past weekend…we showed up to our ladies night like this:
(Nicole, me)
I’ll admit it. I love it. Its fun being a twin and experiencing crazy moments like these. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Lots of love to Nicole, my twin.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fave Friday...Jeans Edition

Today is Jeans Day at my office. Woo hoo! Thanks to our internal United Way campaign, we have one day out of the entire year that we can wear jeans. In fact, you have to buy a pass for $5 or pledge at a certain level in order to even do so.

Today is actually the first time in 4 years that I’ve worn jeans to work. Whoa.

It was kinda funny overhearing and participating in conversations this morning about what jeans everyone is wearing. Seems so odd that it is such a big deal, but let me tell you…around here…it is.

Fittingly, today’s Fave Friday will paying tribute to mine and your favorite jeans.

My favorite jeans are True Religion. I’ve owned about 6 pairs and every one of them fit me well. It’s almost like their tailors are fitting them to my exact body type. Well, at least I like to think so.

Here I am in my one of my fave pairs of True Religions at work today:

I heart cute pockets:

Other faves include Citizens and Hudson’s. I love designer jeans, for their incomparable fit, however I’m not a fan of their insane price tags. Nordstrom Rack and Los Angeles upscale resale shops are my secret weapons to getting designer jeans at a fraction of the cost…it’s the only way I’ve ever done it and the only way I will.

What are some of your faves??

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fave Friday..the 13th!

Uh oh! It's Friday the 13th!

What does that mean? I dunno...I guess something creepy or unexpected is supposed to happen?

Thank God I don't get into superstition or would I be a wreck.

However for today's Fave honor of the fear of this day...let's share our favorite scary movie.

I can still remember seeing the scariest movie I've seen in the theater. We were with my husband and his aunts, uncles and cousins. We all picked which movie we wanted to see and went in our separate directions. Most of us went to see this movie though and I was I scared out of my mind. Horror flicks don't really bother me...although I honestly don't watch them anymore. BUT, a really good thriller movie will cause me to search the house for months afterwards checking know. Ha! I confess I might have even asked Tim to accompany me to the bathroom...just sayin'.

Anyhow...without further's my favorite scary movie:

What's yours?

(BTW--have a fabulous Friday and weekend!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thankful for Our Justin and Mary

It's Monday...and I'm drinking my beloved caramel macchiato. As sad as it sounds, it can sometimes be the reason I force myself to get out of bed on Monday mornings. Just being honest. :) Today is a new day, a new opportunity to love and experience the blessings and treasures in my life. I have learned that if I don't recognize that everyday, I take them for granted and miss them completely. How sad, right?!

This weekend we had the absolute honor and privilege of having our dear friends; Mary and Justin visit us from Colorado. Tim and Justin have been the best of friends since high school and although we don’t get to see them often, it is certainly the kind of relationship that picks up right were it ended. Don’t you just love those?! They are an incredible couple who have faced so many obstacles in their life, but handled them with such beauty and grace. Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer as a young 30 year old woman, with 2 very young children at home. Over the next 2 years of her life, her whole world would be rocked and she would be faced with unspeakable fears…am I going to die? Will I be able to raise my kids? And so much more. Her battle with cancer and road to recovery was intense, body consuming and life altering, yet she remained strong and clung to God as her source. She is now a cancer free survivor who lives and breathes relationships. Her kids and family is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to her. She is patient, kind, generous, wise and knows how to properly align her priorities. This is much to be admired. Even more admirable is her incredible strength and confidence that is the foundation of who she is. I learned so much from just watching her and her husband interact; they are tremendous examples of how truly loving someone looks.

Now for the fun.

We started off the weekend by attending the charity event that Tim and I had been helping with for the past 10 months…The American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball. We raised a ton of money at the event and had an absolute blast too!

Saturday was an entire day of fun. We enjoyed the beautiful afternoon at the pool and then headed to dinner at one of our fave places, Red Rock Canyon Grill.

Then, we headed to a nearby casino to play and enjoy some gaming for a few hours and ended up at a local pizza place to have drinks and play shuffle board.

It was hard to say goodbye to dear friends that we know we won’t see for a while, but at the same time, elated to have had such a wonderful weekend with them.

Today I am thankful for great friends in my life that I also can learn from.  We love you, Justin and Mary!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ode to Netflix and Cable Shows I love thee. If you are one of the many subscribers to Netflix, you are both smart and lucky. Some love it for the instant stream or to watch the newest movie releases, but the reason I love it is to watch cable shows. Instead of paying a monthly premium for cable, I enjoy the "season" after the season...via Netflix.

Have you seen or heard of Entourage? It's kinda a guy's show...but there's something about these guys that I endear. Sure, they can be quite crude, but each character has so many layers, even the ladies gotta love them. Plus, they play in the city I was born and raised in, so it's fun to watch. Two thumbs up!

What about the United States of Tara? This show is sooo craaaazy! Tara is a surburban mother and wife who suffers from multiple personalities. The main actress is incredibly talented and the show keeps you hooked, wanting to know why Tara developed the personalities in the first place.

Or perhaps Big Love? Who doesn't love a show about polygamy?! Haha! But seriously, it's so interesting and entertaining to see a family trying to live normal lives in spite of being polygamists. Whoa. It's intense and a lot to soak in. Be advised.

And lastly...Dexter? Ahhh...Dexter. The serial killer who kills serial killers. Need I say more?!

Does anyone esle love any of these shows??!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fave Friday

Happy Friday! Yes, everyone at my work uses this phrase everyweek too. :) Since Friday is one of most people's favorite days of the week, I've deemed Friday's on my blog as "Fave Friday". Friday's will be all about our favorites... movies, bands, celebrities, colors, designers, memories, retail shops, ice cream flavors, websites, blogs, vacation spots, etc...

Today's "Fave Friday" is all about your favorite motivational song. This can be the song that gets you going in the morning. Or maybe it's the song that helps you press through the dreaded 3 'o clock know the one when you start to nod off at work. Or perhaps it's the song that makes you push through a grueling workout.

My favorite motivational song comes from my favorite musical (although I am a fan of ALL of them) is Wicked. My husband has in fact made the comment and I quote, "I feel like you love Wicked more than me". Haha. I don't have memorabilia or anything, in fact I've only seen the production once, but I do own the soundtrack and man can it make me laugh, cry and smile! I could talk about the story for hours. Seriously. Anyhow, here's my fave motivational song (Defying Gravity):

What's YOUR fave motivational song?

I hope you have a fabulous Friday and weekend; enjoy all of the blessings you have!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Top Ten

I believe that knowing the things (big or small) that you bring you joy and happiness are priceless. Here is a photo summary of my top ten:

1. My Family

2. My Girlfriends

3. Caramel Macchiatos with extra whip!

4. Waterside (Ocean or pool) and yes, with a mojito in hand is a bonus. :)

5. Pedicures (my fave part is the massage)

6. Vino, especially my fave...

7. Express (head to toe; I love it all!)

8. Wicked (the musical) It evokes every single emotion of mine.

9. Dessert (everyday please)

10. Vacation (Vegas below for mine and Nicole's 30th)

What are some of YOUR top ten faves??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Can Losing a Dream Can Become a Blessing?

There's no use in denying it. I admit it. I tend to live in the clouds. I know, it's not reality and I will only set myself up for disappointment, but it's my nature and where I default.  *shrugs*

Seems fittingly that my twin sister, whom I shared almost every moment of the first 21 years of my life and my husband, whom has taken over that role for the last 9 years are both realists and tend to bring me back to reality. I admire their tendencies to not be so effected by life, yet somehow cannot seem to replicate it in my life. Do opposites seems to attract in your life too?!

I have had so many dreams in my life. Graduating college, getting married, having a family, establishing a career for myself, owning a home and the list goes on and on. Many of my dreams have been realized and I really appreciate the importance of having dreams. However, as in most of life's situations there is usually another side to the coin.  

Have you ever had your heart set on something that you knew could not, would not or should not happen? Getting in this place is dangerous and can be somewhat paralyzing for me. Getting stuck in this place is when I can tend to lose sight of contentment. Sometimes being focused on something else means not appreciating or realizing all of the blessings that you already have. 

When I realize that my focus is set on what I don't have instead of appreciating what I do have, I experience discontentment. Once I re-focus my attention on my reality, I start to notice the amount of blessings in my life. 

I am in support of every dreamer including myself, but I also believe that sometimes losing your dream can become a blessing. It just may allow you to realize all that you already have to appreciate in life.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why blog?

Some say it's their outlet. To some it's for sharing their story. For others it's a way to keep people in their life updated. The list goes on and on and the better question becomes rather "why not blog?"

The sole purpose of this blog is for women who can share and relate to a desire to find contentment. Perhaps it's something that you've felt before but have lost. Perhaps you experience it everyday and don't want to lose sight of it. Or perhaps you've never felt it and desire so badly to.

I am not a therapist or a professional by any means. I'm simply a modern day woman with the same daily challenges that many women face. I'm on this journey that we call life as well. My pursuit of lasting happiness and contentment is just like yours. I hope that my words, thoughts and experiences can be empowering, encouraging and helpful to you on your journey.

Thought of the day: What does true contentment look or feel like to you? (btw: there are no wrong answers)