Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick Little Daisy Pic

I've been slacking big~time on getting pictures posted of Daisy, but in my defense, she has me absolutely exhausted! Here's a quick little picture of her with Nate's adorable niece, Zoie, the day after we brought her home.

More pictures coming soon, I promise!

My Name is Heather and I am a Ribbon Addict

I have a teeny, tiny confession to make ~ I am addicted to ribbon. I love shopping for it, buying it, looking at it, and creating with it. And I absolutely cannot stop buying it! I get these fabulous ideas for new garters, discover that I don’t have the exact ribbon I need, and then the buying frenzy begins! This past week, I have bought:

Some heart, cherry, and pirate ribbons for the novelty garters I would like to add to my collection. {These can also be used for hair bows that I hope to start making if time ever allows.}

Satin ribbon personalized with “Just Married” for a collection of wedding night/honeymoon garters I recently envisioned.

Beautiful satin ribbon for garters that are a bit more on the elegant side that most of the garters I currently have in my Etsy shop.

I. Have. To. Stop. Buying. Ribbon. And I just can't figure out how to do that!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ July 4th Celebrations!

This week's FFM is being hosted by Shawn at Seriously. Visit her blog for details and to join in the fun! Shawn has asked us several questions about our Fourth of July plans and traditions:

What are you doing this July 4th?

We don’t have our plans finalized for the 4th yet this year. Usually we spend it with family, but this year is a little different because my almost~mother~in~law just had surgery so she is laid up at home and my parents are going to be out of town so we are cat~sitting for them. I want to spend a big chunk of the day at their house with the cats who HATE fireworks and will freak out and hide under the beds when the neighbors start setting them off. {I’m hoping that they’ll stay a little calmer if we’re there, but in reality, if we’re there, they’ll probably just be under the beds anyway as that is where they prefer to hang out when we bring Daisy over. So our presence probably won’t make a big difference either way. :o)} Nate wants to watch the big fireworks show they do out over the water in our town, so we’ll probably do that too.

What is your favorite dish to pass around when attending a 4th of July party or summer barbecue?

I LOVE piggies in a blanket. Seriously, once I start eating them, I can’t stop until I’m absolutely stuffed. Definitely my favorite summer party treat!

Do you have any July 4th traditions?

Not really, besides spending time with family. For years and years, we always went to Colorado to spend the 4th with my dad’s side of the family {which is actually what my parents are doing this year} but my work schedule makes it hard to make that trip anymore, and it’s just not the same going back there for the 4th now that my grandpa is gone, and most of the grandkids have spread out and don’t make the trek back so it’s not the fun family reunion it used to be.

Share your favorite July 4th picture.

My favorite July 4th picture has not been digitalized so I’ll just have to describe it from memory. It’s a picture of me and my cousins goofing off in my grandpa’s yard ~ we are all decked out in our stars and stripes outfits and having a blast. It was back when we were young and had zero responsibilities, and looking at the picture always makes me long for those times again!

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, everyone!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garter Giveaway Winner!

Becca @ The Texas Darlings is the winner for my garter giveaway! Congratulations, Becca! You have your choice of the garter below or any other garter I have listed in my Etsy shop!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Daisy is Home and Happy!

Here's a little video of Daisy on her first day home! She and Nate are playing with the laser pointer ~ one of her favorite games! {On a side note, I must tell you that Nate is not allowed out of the house with socks and sandals. It's an at~home~only fashion for sure!}


Friday, June 19, 2009

Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions ~ June 19th

Whoo hoo! It’s Friday! And of course, that means it’s time for Fabulous Finds Friday and Friday Confessions! Here we go!

Cake Boss. I discovered TLC’s Cake Boss while suffering from the flu last week. {Our cable provider has an On Demand program which allows you to watch multiple episodes of your favorite shows any time you want. Do other areas have this kinda thing too?} I watched four episodes in a row and am completely hooked. The show follows the happenings at a New Jersey bakery run by an Italian and his family. Their edible creations are absolutely fabulous ~ whether it’s a fire truck cake with sirens and lights or a life~size roulette table with working wheel, Buddy, the Cake Boss, never fails to amaze. If you get a chance, check out the show ~ you won't be disappointed!

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cones. 150 calories. 3 grams of fat. Delicious. Just as good as a real Drumstick. Enough said.

magicbeanbuyer. While doing a little blog browsing this week, I ran across Jamie Ferraioli’s blog. She makes the most adorable little cake toppers. What she does with clay and a little paint is simply amazing. I want to get married NOW so I can get a set! You can visit her blog here and her etsy shop here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And onto my confessions...

~ I drool during naps. Never at night, just when I snooze during the day!

~ I have the stinkiest feet ever. They can rival Nate’s little brother’s after he’s worked all day in steel~toed boots. Sometimes they’re so bad that I can smell them through my shoes!

~ This week, while at Safeway getting gas, I used my mom’s phone number and subsequent $.40 a gallon discount! Shhh! Don’t tell! {In my defense, I use her number when making my purchases, so part of that discount was mine anyway.}

~ I totally hate wearing bras. If I could get away with it, I would never wear them. As soon as I get home from work every day, off comes the bra. Fortunately, my girls are small and perky so it’s not too noticeable if we have any unexpected guests stop by. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself…

Have a fabulous weekend! I know I will ~ as of tomorrow at 11 a.m., I will be a puppy owner! Get ready for lots of Daisy pictures starting next week!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ My Fridge

It’s Wednesday and time for Extreme Makeover: Me Edition once again! For those unfamiliar with EM:ME, basically those of us that participate share our successes {and failures} of the week and our goals for the following week, and answer the question or complete the task that Amber has posed for the week. To join in, visit Amber’s blog here.

Not a lot to report this week ~ Nate kindly passed on his flu bug to me last Wednesday, and I am just now starting to feel normal again. I didn’t get a whole lot of working out in {which is no big surprise considering how crummy I felt!} and managed to gain back the 1 ½ pounds that I lost after just one day of not eating. What a bummer that was! What was surprising was how noticeable the 1 ½ pound loss was while it lasted ~ even Nate said he could tell a difference. So while I’m bummed that I couldn’t maintain that loss, I’m inspired that just a tiny loss can make a visible difference at this point for me.

Goals for the week:

~ Continue with daily calorie schedule I outlined last week.

~ Start dancing more. Nate and I have now taken two Argentine tango classes and really love it. {It helps that we’re pretty good at it, which our teacher constantly is pointing out!} After a few more lessons and practice sessions at home, I think we’ll be ready to go to a milonga, which is an Argentine tango dance party. These two classes have reminded me how much more I enjoy dancing than doing a traditional workout at home, and I’m really hoping that we’ll start venturing back out into the dance world so I don’t have to do so many cardio workouts in our upstairs roasting, stagnant~air workout room.

~ Work on upping my water intake. I’ve been slacking on this one lately, and think that I may have O.D’d on Crystal Light. It may be time to switch back to regular water for awhile!

~ Remember that I don't need to have a snack every time Nate does. He's a lot bigger than me, he can eat a lot more than I can, and I don't need to join him for the many snacks he has every night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This week, we are sharing the contents of our fridge! I apologize for the horrific, grainy cell phone pictures ~ I didn’t know what today’s task was until I got to work, and Nate was kind enough to take a few pictures on his phone and send them to me. I’ll try to take some better pictures when I get home tonight. I’m usually pretty organized, but obviously that doesn’t extend to my refrigerator. Who knew it was such a mess?!?

Let’s start at the top with the freezer. We have some yummy Crystal Light popsicles, several Eating Right frozen dinners {these are Safeway’s attempt at healthy frozen entrees, but I’ve found that they have far more calories and fat grams than Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones}, some frozen fruit that I bought weeks ago to use in protein smoothies {haven’t quite gotten around to making those yet…}, a few bananas I plan on using to make banana bread, a bag of frozen ravioli and two Cornish game hens. On the door, I have a bunch of Smart Ones frozen dinners, including my favorite: Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables.

Onto the fridge… There really is no rhyme or reason to how I have this organized, is there? Oh the top shelf, we have some tortillas, salsa, carrots, ham, a bag of spinach, and leftover lasagna from Sunday night.

Middle shelf ~ strawberries, eggs, more spinach and salad mixes, some uncovered jello from last week that by now probably tastes like everything else in the fridge, cheese, blueberries, a cut kiwi that Nate took a few pictures of on Sunday, butter, and leftover white sauce from last week.

The drawer under the middle shelf contains various cheeses, including my favorite Laughing Cow Light wedges.

Bottom shelf ~ a can of Classico marinara that I love to cover grilled chicken with to mix things up a bit, yogurt for the as~yet~unmade protein smoothies, beer {it’s hidden behind the Classico and yogurt}, milk, water, and a pitcher of Crystal Light.

Not pictured ~ produce drawers containing apples, oranges, and who knows what else? :o)

The fridge door ~ 50 thousand different kinds of salad dressings {I told you all I was on a salad kick!} and various other condiments.

Wow. I am going to organize my fridge as soon as I get home. What a disaster!

Good luck to all this week!

Oh and be sure to stop by and enter my garter giveaway here if you haven't already! This is the garter that's up for grabs!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Photo Fun

Last week, Vivienne at The V Spot {who, by the way is abolutely hilarious ~ be sure to check out her blog if you haven't already} tagged me for some random photo fun. Here's what I've been instructed to do:

~ Open my first photo folder
~ Scroll down to the 10th photo
~ Post that photo and story on my blog
~ Tag five friends to do the same

So here's the thing ~ my first photo folder includes pictures of a time in my life that I don't like to revisit. And the tenth photo in the first folder is cute ~ it's a picture of my ex's dog. But for obvious reasons, I think it's best that we pretend that I no longer have pictures from that time in my life. Moving on... The second folder included pictures from my best friend's wedding. And the tenth folder happens to be a picture of her father~in~law. He is a nice man and all, but I don't really know him and I highly doubt any of you would get a big kick out of seeing his picture. Onto the third folder, which contains grainy, cell phone pictures from the past 4+ years. SCORE! A sharable, fun picture!

This is a picture of my kitties' mama with her mama. I love love love to share this story, even though it starts during that time that I don't really like to talk about. Sometime during 2004, a tame outdoor cat "adopted" the house that my ex was living at. I have always loved cats and didn't have one at the time, so it seemed natural that I would start to feed this sweet, loving little kitty. The next summer, I was excited to discover that my kitty had had a kitten. I made several attempts to bond with the kitten, but she was just about as feral as they come. She was adorable though, as you can see in the picture. We kept meaning to take both cats into a cat refuge in our area to get spayed, but just never got around to it. Fast forward to the next summer. The kitten was now a year old and a mama herself to these little angels ~ Lily and Jasmine.

As soon as they were old enough, I snatched them up and took them home with me. They have turned out to be the best cats ever and I love them dearly. They live with my parents now {I moved home for a short time, and during that time, the girls fell in love with my parents and their cat; when it came time for me to move out, there was just no way I could take them away} and I am so thankful that I started feeding their grandma so long ago.

I would like to tag:

Mrs. Soup
~ Lins @ Goodbye Martha
~ Shawn @ Seriously
~ JennyKate @ JennyKate's Spot
~ JenJen @ Tatertots & Jello

Can't wait to see your pictures!

New Hobby ~ Digital Scrapbooking!

I have attempted to scrapbook several times {my aunt used to be very involved in the Creative Memories company, and we would sometimes scrapbook during family get-togethers} but I could never seem to get too excited about it. I’m such a perfectionist, and struggled to get every page perfect, which turned out to be next to impossible. Then I discovered digital scrapbooking! You simply download digital scrapbook kits {available free or for purchase EVERYWHERE!} that include different papers and embellishments, use a photo-editing software program such as Photoshop to create your pages, and print them out! And you’re done!

This seems like the perfect alternative to traditional scrapbooking for me. I’m pretty good with Photoshop, already have the majority of my pictures on my computer, and don’t have the space {or patience and understanding of my dear boyfriend} to store the supplies necessary for another hobby. {On a side note, Nate is amazing and usually very patient and understanding when it comes to my craft supplies {which have slowly begun to creep out of my sewing room and take over the house}, but I think he would throw a fit if I took on a hobby that’s as space-consuming as scrapbooking!} Plus, I’m pretty busy with my garter business and other projects, and don’t necessarily always have the time to get out the supplies and prepare for a new project. Digi-scrapping is something I can work on as time allows, even if it’s only a few minutes a day ~ the only prepping I’ll have to do to get going is turn on my computer! I’m oh so excited about this!

I’ve already found some great inexpensive kits! Here are a few of my favorites:

~ From Sugarplum Paperie ~

~ From Designs By Krista ~

Does anyone else out there digi-scrap? I would love any advice or tips that you can offer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Garter Giveaway!

In honor of my 100th sale on Etsy, I’m doing a garter giveaway! Okay, I know what you’re thinking ~ garters are for weddings. And most of my bloggy friends are already married. You all don’t need a garter, right? WRONG! I’m giving away a garter so fun and fabulous that it can be worn any day of the year! This one is one of my bestsellers, and it’s my personal favorite to wear out. I always feel so sassy knowing that I have a cute, flirty garter on under my little black dress that no one else can see. And believe me, your hubby will love when you surprise him with this sexy little garter! {If you win and would prefer a different garter, that’s okay!}

You can enter the giveaway multiple times by doing any of the following:

~ Leave a comment noting that you would like to be entered.
~ Start following my blog if you don’t already. {You’ll be entered if you already follow me. :o)}
~ Visit my Etsy shop and leave a comment sharing which garters you love.
~ Spread the word about the giveaway on your blog or via Twitter.

Enter the giveaway by Monday, June 22nd at 11:59 p.m. I will do the drawing sometime during the day on Tuesday!

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Confessions!

This week for FFM, Kasey has asked us to fess up and share some of our dirty little secrets. I started doing Friday Confessions several months ago, and decided to be a little lazy this morning ~ rather than making a few new confessions, I’ll just share some of the best of my previous confessions. Here they are!

~ I have the worst short~term memory on the planet. It is not uncommon for me to ask Nate 2 or 3 times within several minutes if he slept good, how his day was, or if he had a good workout. Not only do I forget that I already asked him the question, but I also FORGET HIS ANSWER! At first, this really irritated him, but now we both just think it’s really funny. Well, I think it’s really funny. He may just tolerate it silently…

~ I have a rather extensive collection of beer bottle caps. I started collecting them last year when Dear Almost~Little~Brother~in~Law jokingly suggested it would be fun to collect a bunch ~ I thought it would be fun to make some sort of project out of them, maybe a table top for our game room or something. I now have two boxes full of them (a friend gifted me some from a friend of a friend’s dad or something like that), and if I’m honest with myself, I know that I will probably never make anything out of them. But I can’t get rid of them and I can’t stop collecting them!

~ I am incredibly anal when it comes to drying my clothes. I am so paranoid that something I love will shrink in the dryer! To be honest, I don’t really even need a dryer as I air~dry everything except my socks and a few knit tops that tend to grow in the wash. But it’s worked out well ~ I have bras and panties from my brief stint at Victoria’s Secret six and a half years ago that are still in like~new condition. Wash that lingerie on the delicate cycle and air~dry it, ladies! If you do, it will last forever!

~ When I'm sewing, I sometimes drop pins on the floor. And if I can't find them after a quick glance at the potential drop area, I sometimes leave them there. Horrible, I know. Especially considering that Dear Almost~Little~Brother~in~Law's feet seem to be a magnet for pins...

Stop by Kasey’s blog to join in the fun!

And be sure to enter my garter giveaway here!

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 12, 2009

The ABC's of Me

I’ve been sick with the flu the past few days, so I haven’t had the energy for a Fabulous Finds Friday and Friday Confessions post, but I saw this on Tanielle’s blog this morning and thought it was the perfect little meme for today.

~ ~ ~ ABC’s ~ ~ ~
A -Age: 29

B -Bed size: queen

C -Chore you hate: taking the garbage out ~ that’s man’s work!

D -Donuts or Kolaches: maple bar, please ~ I don’t even know what a kolache is!

E -Essential start your day item: potty stop and shower

F -Favorite color: pink

G -Gold or Silver: silver

H -Height: 5' 1/2” {when you're only 5 feet tall, you gotta get that half inch in there too!}

I -Instruments you play: I used to play the piano until a disastrous piano recital put the kibosh on that

J -Jokes or Rhymes: jokes, I guess… not really big on either

K -Kids: none yet!

L -Living arrangements: with my sweetie, Nathan; we’ll be joined by Daisy in a little over a week though!

M -Movie: favorite? Crocodile Dundee

N -Nicknames: Nate calls me Cupcake sometimes but that’s it as far as nicknames go. Oh, my mom calls me “H” sometimes, which drives me batty

O-Overnight hospital stays: none

P -Pet Peeve: when women use toilet paper for a seat cover and exit the stall without making sure that the T.P. has been flushed ~ this really grosses me out!

Q -Quote you like: “I love you more today than yesterday but only half as much as tomorrow.”

R -Right or left handed: right

S -Siblings: nope

T -Time you wake up: 6:20 during the week, and usually around 7:00 on the weekends

U -Underwear: yes ~ thongs during the day and boy shorts when I’m relaxing at home

V -Vegetable you dislike: how about I list the veggies I do like instead? that list is much shorter: carrots, lettuce, corn :o)

W -Ways you run late: I always underestimate how long it will take me to get ready

X -X-rays you've had: feet {when I was eleven to make sure my feet had stopped growing so I could start pointe} and teeth

Y -Yummy food you make: I don’t cook, but Nate makes a delicious chicken and white sauce meal that’s my absolute favorite {can’t give him full credit for it though ~ we got the recipe from my mom}

Z -Zodiac sign: Taurus

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Favorite Beverage to Drink While Trying to Lose Weight

For those unfamiliar with Extreme Makeover: Me Edition {hosted by Amber at {aefilkins}}, here is the skinny:

This is a group of mostly women, {but everyone is welcome} who are on a mission to get healthy. To make themselves a priority. To take care of themselves, as well as taking care of everyone else. Are you ready to join in? Well, let's go!

Directions: Every week, you'll do a specific post on your blog in regards to Extreme Makeover: Me Edition.

----Pretty much, just update us on your progress. How did your week go? Did you struggle? How were you successful? Do you have any great tips? {I think it's also important to celebrate even little successes.}

----Answer the specific question or topic that I pose each week.

After you've finished your post, view that specific post {either view your blog & click on the title of that post, or go 'edit posts' and 'view'}. Grab the url and post it into Mr. Linky on Amber’s blog. Simple as that!!!

~ ~ ~

It’s been a frustrating week as far as weight loss goes for me. {I’m only down ½ a pound from last week, and have decided that part of my struggle is due to the fact that I don’t have a lot to lose and my body doesn’t want to give up the few extra pounds I think it doesn’t need.} I am trying my best to stay motivated, and I did have some major epiphanies during the week. Here they are:

~ It is not a good idea to deprive yourself of the foods you love. Case in point: I am a lover of bread. I can’t help it ~ it is my carb of choice. Last week, I didn’t eat any bread AT ALL {unless you count the hot dog bun I had with my 40 calorie hot dog and I don’t because it didn’t have garlic on it}. By Friday, I was craving cheesy garlic bread like nothing else. We picked up a few loaves of garlic bread and some cheese for our weekly Friday Night Happy Hour with Nate’s family, and I managed to eat no less than EIGHT pieces during the three hours we were at Happy Hour. Not good at all. {Maybe this was why my weight loss for the week was minimal?!? :o)} So from this I have learned that I cannot avoid the foods I love because when presented with them after deprivation, I will totally pig out. I think portion control is key, and I’m really going to work on working in some of my favorite foods in small portions in my diet.

~ 1200 calories a day is too little for my body to lose weight. When I eat 1200 calories or less, my body goes into starvation mode and the numbers on the scale won’t budge. Anything over 1450 or 1500 calories is too much. So I’m going to try to keep it around 1350-1400 calories and see if I can get some results eating in that range.

~ My body doesn’t like when I have only given it 600 calories for the day come dinner time. I will overeat when I do this. My new goal is to eat between 700 and 750 calories throughout the day, and have a dinner that’s between 450 and 500 calories. That way, I still have around 150 calories available for an after~dinner snack. I’ve started to eat cereal that is a little higher in calories than the Kix that has been my morning staple for months each day for breakfast {Kashi Go Lean Crunch is my favorite}, and the extra calories are totally worth it because the cereal keeps me full for so much longer than Kix does. {I should have known ~ how can cereal that’s half air be filling anyway?!?}

So with those thoughts in mind, here are my goals for the week:

~ Eat between 700 and 750 calories throughout the day, and have a dinner that’s between 450 and 500 calories. Have a small after~dinner snack that is around 150 calories for a daily total that is no higher than 1400 calories.

~ Continue on with my Pilates challenge. Although my weight hasn’t changed, my body is changing ~ I have started to see more definition in my legs and arms, and my tush is finally starting to firm up!

~ Keep the pre~packaged, processed foods I’m consuming to a minimum. Over the past few weeks, I have really cut down on the frozen dinners and other processed foods I had been eating, and I feel so much better and healthier eating more “whole” foods.

~ ~ ~

Here is Amber’s question for the week: What's your favorite thing to drink while you're losing weight? We all know how important it is to get that water intake up, especially with summer almost here. What's your favorite way to spice it up?

Crystal Light, Crystal Light, and more Crystal Light! I am completely addicted, and it is pretty much all I drink anymore. I have the individual packets I put in my reusable Camelbak water bottle during the day, and at night, Nate and I drink from the pitcher that’s always full of Crystal Light in our fridge. {if you don’t have a Camelbak water bottle yet, go pick one up immediately ~ they are fabulous and so easy to drink out of. You just bite down on the straw and suck on it a little bit and up comes the water/Crystal Light/etc. ~ no more need to tip up your bottle and get water all over your face or chest while you’re working out! Can you tell I’m a spiller? :o)}

Of all the Crystal Light flavors I’ve tried, the only one I didn’t love was Natural Berry Splash ~ the rest are all pretty delicious. I’m drinking Natural Classic Orange Sunrise this morning, which is very yummy and claims to be a good source of calcium. Cherry Pomegranate is another favorite, but I have to warn you that if you have pale skin, it will stain your lips and surrounding area, making it look like you downed a whole box of cherry popsicles in one sitting. Use a straw! :o)

Good luck to all this week!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Preparing for Life with Puppy

In eleven short days, Nate and I will be making the two hour drive up to the breeder’s to pick up Daisy. I can hardly believe that after all this waiting {it’s been almost seven months since I started my puppy search}, we are finally bringing our pup home! I am excited and anxious, nervous and giddy. Maybe adopting a puppy doesn’t seem like such a big deal to most people, but it is huge for me. I have always always been a cat person, so just the idea of a dog seems almost foreign to me. And I have never even been around a puppy for much more than a few minutes, so having one to take care of 24~7 could prove to be a bit of a challenge!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working on getting ready for our Daisy girl ~ we have her kennel, a bed, multiple leashes and collars, treats, a brush, shampoo, blankets, and more toys than she could ever possibly play with. We still need to pick up a few things ~ a travel carrier, a second baby gate so we can keep her confined to the living room, and a stake for her tie~out in the backyard, but other than that, we are good to go! I’ve been practicing picking up my shoes, books, and other items that may be appealing as puppy chew toys. I’ve researched pet insurance. I have read multiple books about training dogs in general and small dogs specifically, and am almost 100% sure of the potty training methods we are going to practice. In short, we are ready for our new Life with Puppy!

I am ready to snuggle her and play with her, walk her and train her. I am ready to love her and be loved by her. And after hearing all the fabulous things dog lovers keep saying about puppy breath, I am even ready to enjoy that! How could I not be? Look at that adorable little face!

Move Over Salsa, Cha Cha, & West Coast Swing ~ I Have a New Favorite Style of Dance: Argentine Tango

I have danced for as long as I can remember, starting with ballet and tap {which was short~lived ~ I am definitely not a tapper!} when I was four. I continued on with ballet through college, and although I wasn’t a fabulous ballet dancer, I enjoyed it and stuck with it because it kept me in pretty good shape. During my senior year of college, I began taking ballroom classes and soon found myself hooked. After graduation, I moved back home with my parents and got involved with a studio in our area; I soon found myself ballroom, country, swing, and salsa dancing four or five nights a week. {Oh, the joys of working part~time and having no responsibilities!} I was in the best shape of my life and having a blast.

All that came to a screeching halt when I started graduate school two years after getting my B.A. I was working full~time and going to school full~time and simply didn’t have the time to dance anymore. I’ve danced a little bit off and on since then, but nowhere near as much as I would like. When Nate and I started dating almost a year and a half ago, we took a few country two~step lessons together, and we did a few salsa classes last fall, but we were busy with other things and just couldn’t seem to get it together enough to stick with the classes. {Plus it was a challenge because we wanted to take classes together, but Nate needed a beginning class because he has zero ballroom experience and it was hard to justify paying for a beginning class for me when I already know how to do the dance.} I really missed it, and even started wondering if I could still call myself a dancer if I never actually went out dancing.

Fast~forward to last week. Nate found a four~week Argentine Tango 101 class for us to take! We went to our first class last night, and I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVED. IT! It’s the perfect class for us ~ Argentine Tango is nothing like any of the other dances I have done, so we are really on the same level and can learn the dance together from the beginning. It’s a beautiful, sensual style of dance that I think we are really going to have a lot of fun with. Plus it was great to hear that there is a huge Argentine Tango community in our area, with different places to dance or take class SEVEN nights a week. How awesome is that?!? {Can you tell I’m excited?}

I’ve attached a clip of some Argentine Tango from the Robert Duvall movie Assassination Tango. The video may or may not play; if not, you can find it here.

Looking forward to our next class on Monday!


Monday, June 8, 2009

B and Little April Rose: A Scam?

I think many of us in our little blogging community have followed the story of April Rose and her mother~to~be B, and can be counted among B’s 900+ followers. April Rose was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 and Lobar HPE several months ago, and was not expected to live. B was advised by her doctor to terminate, but she opted to continue the pregnancy for as long as possible with the hopes that she could meet her daughter alive and spend at least a few minutes with her after birth. We prayed for a miracle and received it when B made it to {and past} her due date, and April Rose was born yesterday. For most of the afternoon, we were updated by Raechel, an out~of~state friend of B’s, who told us that April Rose was born perfect and that her heart was going strong, then that her heart rate was decreasing and that B and D, April Rose’s father, were preparing to lose their daughter.

Then the updates stopped abruptly. Those of us who had been asked to pray for this sweet little baby were left wondering how she was doing or if she had gone on to join Jesus in Heaven. This morning we were shocked to find the following message posted by D on B’s blog:

hi world. it's d and i have decided to keep this blog as just updates at this time.we have received so much hate and accusations the last 2 days through the internet both on here and in our email.

i have read and heard and seen it all. a doctored image of our girl with red horns and a tail, emails about how we have done all of this for cash (for the record we have never taken in any donation money or checks. the only person who has gotten money from this blog is PASS Pregnancy Care Center) at this time it is too much.

people are entitled to believe what they want. people can say that we are cons or whatever else they would like to say. we know our hearts, so do our friends and so does God.

we do not plan on ending this blog but at this time there is no room for the hate we have received. this is not the time and we only wish people could see that as truth and not continue spreading lies and speaking hate to a family trying to live life. to those who have supported us with prayers....the most important thing anyone can do is pray and so we will continue to post prayer updates and information but at this time that is all we can do.


And that’s been it. No more updates, no more news. And rumors have started swirling that the whole thing is a scam. There is no B. There is no April Rose. The pictures posted of April Rose yesterday were of a baby doll, and we have all been deceived.

I related to B. As an unwed 20~something Christian woman living with her boyfriend, I could easily find myself in her situation, wearing my sin as a badge for all to see. I admired her bravery in a horrific situation. I spent time praying for her, and constantly wondered whether I would have the strength to carry a terminal baby to term if I were in her shoes. Sunday, after hearing that April Rose had been born alive and perfect, I rejoiced and told myself that all the pain and heartache an expectant mother would go through in her situation would be worth it if it meant getting to spend even a few minutes with a precious, dying child. I prayed for another miracle for April Rose, a prayer that this beautiful baby girl would live.

I’ll admit that in the past few weeks, as B’s due date passed and April Rose failed to make her debut, I wondered if the whole thing was a scam. And then I felt horribly guilty for even questioning the truth of her situation. Here is a kind and caring young woman who spends hours each week compiling and preparing a prayer request list for others in desperate need of prayer. How could someone so giving be deceiving us all? Are the rumors true? I don’t know. I am hurt and angry for all of us at even the thought that they are. Either way, all we can do is continue to pray for B, as Amber at The RuffleBlog suggested. If the story of April Rose is true, then she, B, and D need our prayers now more than ever. And if the story is false, then the person {or people} behind this ugly lie needs our prayers even more.

*** Update {6/9/09 7:45 a.m. PST} ***
The April Rose blog was removed/shut down sometime during the night. For those who missed it, an "update" on April and B was posted last night, stating that they were both in the hospital, and doctors were performing some blood tests on April as she had begun to deteriorate, but B and D were hopeful that they would be able to return home with their daughter that night.

We are all free to draw our own conclusions about the situation, but I personally feel that the story is false. My heart goes out to all the followers of this blog who became emotionally invested in this sad story.

New Puppy Pictures!

Here are the latest pictures of my Daisy girl! She'll be home with us on the 20th, and I can't wait!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Ten Things I Love About Summer!

This week for Friend Makin’ Monday, we’re sharing ten things we love about summer. Join in the fun by visiting Kasey’s blog. Here, in no particular order, are my ten things!

1. Sundresses. I absolutely love adorable sundresses. I try to add a few new ones to my collection each year.

2. Hiking almost every weekend. Nate turned me onto hiking last year, and I really love being out in the woods, enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and getting in a great workout all at the same time.

3. Hearing the popsicle man’s truck. It makes me feel like a kid again!

4. Long days! It is so nice to get off from work at 4 and know that I have at least five hours of sunlight to enjoy.

5. Flip~flops. I know they’re horrible for my feet but they just scream “Summer!” to me. It wouldn’t be summer without them!

6. BBQ’s with the family. Who doesn’t love meat cooked on the grill, getting corn from corn on the cob stuck in their teeth, and spending time with loved ones?!?

7. A break from all my favorite T.V. shows. Sometimes they seem to dominate my life during the “school” year. {I am a bit of a T.V. junkie.} It’s nice to have a few months without them {and a few months to wonder what’s going to happen to all the characters I love when the new season starts!}.

8. Laying out in the sun. I have to be really careful out in the sun because I’m really pale, but I do love spending time sunbathing {covered in SPF 50, of course!}.

9. Time off from work. I usually take a week off work sometime during the summer, and it’s so nice to get away.

10. Sleeping with the window open and hearing the frogs and crickets as I’m falling asleep.

Happy Monday!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions ~ June 5th

Whoo hoo! We made it to Friday! As always, I have some fabulous finds and confessions to share. Here they are!

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Maybe I’m the last person on the planet who had yet to try these yummy little appetizers before last Sunday. If so, and you already know how fabulous they are, I apologize ~ you’re just going to have to listen to me gush about them anyway. These little babies are delicious! At 322 calories and 6 grams of fat per plate {according to CalorieKing}, they make for a great substitute for an entrĂ©e and are incredibly filling. I can’t wait to get back and have them again. In the meantime, I’m on a quest to find a recipe for them so we can make them at home. I’ll be sure to share if I find a good one!

The Little Couple. I’m not ashamed to admit that Nate and I love our reality television. Our preferences are pretty eclectic ~ we watch everything from Daisy of Love and Charm School to Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment and Ice Road Truckers. But the best one by far is TLC’s The Little Couple. The show follows newlyweds Bill, a business man, and Jen, a neonatologist, as they experience the joys of marriage, learn to live with one another after spending the first year of their marriage in separate states, and make decisions about starting a family. The two are endearing, charming, and fun to watch. They love each other and worry about each other so much. I guarantee that you will fall in love with them and their show ~ even my dad likes it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now onto my confessions…

~ I routinely get myself locked in our bathroom and have to be rescued by Nate. If I’ve just put on lotion or washed my hands and haven’t gotten them 100% dry {I’m notoriously horrible about not fully drying my hands}, I can’t get the door open to save my life. The handle is really slippery, and my hands just slip right off it!

~ I somehow managed to drop the glue gun WHILE IT WAS ON on my foot Wednesday night. The shock and pain caused me to freeze for a moment before I could even THINK about moving to get it off my foot. Let me tell you, hot glue on bare feet does not feel fabulous. Thank goodness for Aquafor ~ it was feeling as good as new yesterday!

~ We haven't washed dishes since Wednesday. {Apparently living without a dishwasher has made me very lazy, and hey, I never claimed to be a good housekeeper!} Whoops.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Beauty Secrets

It’s Wednesday and time for Extreme Makeover: Me Edition once again. Every Wednesday, those of us who are participating update one another on our progress and answer the question that Amber has posed for the week. This week’s question is: What is your favorite beauty secret?

~ Diorshow Mascara. I love it. It is the only mascara I have found that doesn’t clump or flake off, and it looks as fabulous at the end of the day as it did right after I finished putting it on. {I’ve always had trouble with mascara “disappearing” throughout the day.} It’s a little more expensive than I would like, but definitely worth the extra cash!

~ Ponds Cold Cream. I have been using this stuff for over a decade to remove my makeup every night. It is gentle on my skin and eyes, and doesn’t make me break out or dry out the way other makeup removers do. Plus it smells good!
~ My curling iron. I have fairly thin hair that can look really limp if I straighten it. For the last few years, I’ve been curling it as in the picture below {turning the curling iron so it’s straight up and down after my hair is wrapped around it} ~ it hides the fact that I don’t have a lot of hair and gives it lots of body. A little bit of hairspray after my hair is all curled and I’m good to go ~ I have curls that will last all day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This week wasn’t a fabulous one for me. We were pretty busy with family activities, and I got slammed with FOURTEEN wedding garter orders over the weekend, so I didn’t have {or give myself} lots of time to work out. In fact, I haven’t done any sort of physical activity since we did the Relay for Life on Saturday. It’s been a mad scramble to get all my orders finished and mailed ~ yesterday after working my regular hours at work, I came home and spent almost five hours on garters. By the time I was done, I had zero energy to work out. But it’s a new week and I’m ready to start over and get back on the healthy living/working out/eating right train!

My goals for the week:

~ Work out as soon as I get home from work, before starting on my garters. I have to put myself first if I’m ever going to get back in the shape I want to be in.

~ Drink more water at home. I do pretty well getting my water in at work ~ it’s hard to forget to drink it when my water bottle is right in front of me on my desk. I’m going to start filling my water bottle as soon as I get home and keep it with me at all times so I can get my daily dose in.

~ Add more fruit to my diet. I've been slacking on my fruit intake lately and need to step it up a bit.

~ Continue to replace breads and pasta with salads. I kinda OD’d on salads last week and went a few days without eating one, but I’m ready to start eating at least one every day again. I picked up a few more salad ingredients last week ~ strawberries, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, and olives ~ so I can mix up my salads a bit more. {I was eating the same salad every day and getting pretty darn sick of it, so it’ll be nice to have some variety.}

Good luck to all this week!