Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Poor, Sad Mailbox

Every year, I send out so many Christmas cards, and get so few back.

And every year, I tell myself that I'll only send cards to the people who sent one back the previous year. I just can't bring myself to do it. I like the tradition, and I enjoy sending out cards, even if I know that people aren't going to return one.

I guess Christmas cards are just an outdated tradition, and I'm an old-fashioned girl.

I am already excited to send out my Christmas cards for next year. It will be Marc and I's first Christmas as husband and wife!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ridiculously Awesome Christmas Music

I'm sentimental, so my favorite Christmas album will probably be Kenny and Dolly's Once Upon A Christmas. My mom had it on record when I was a little kid, and I loved listening to it every Christmas.

However, the past couple years, I have discovered some really awesome Christmas music.

(Links go to YouTube. Take a listen.)

A friend burned Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis for me a couple years ago. It is my favorite song to listen to first thing in the morning, on my drive to work. This hip hop Christmas song came out in 1987 and has a hilarious music video!

Relient K has one of the best Christmas albums I have ever heard. They are pop-punky versions of traditional Christmas songs with a few original songs thrown in. I like "Santa Claus is Thumbing to Town." It's a catchy tune with awesome lyrics such as:

"Because, Rudolph's puking boughs of holly! Old Saint Nick ain't all that jolly. And the sleigh's in the shop 'cause it's broken down, but Christmas won't stop 'cause Santa Claus is thumbing to town."

And their version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is my ultimate 'going home for Christmas' road trip song.

Finally, I can't go through the holiday season without cracking up and singing along to Taking Back Sunday's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas." They're just so hilarious and adorable!

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Christmas Shopping Sucks

There are people on my list who have everything. And never seem to want anything. They are so hard to shop for!

I found a fun website that helps,

You can do a personality profiler where you can answer questions about the gift recepient (or yourself) and it will pick out gifts for you.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poor Chanel! (UPDATE!)

My little girl kitty is at the vet today. I had to drop her off before work, and can go and pick her up after I get off.

She's getting checked out because she may have a urinary tract infection. I haven't heard anything yet, and I'm a worried mama.


After a terrible experience at the vet, I finally found out that Chanel has a urinary tract infection. It cost nearly $200, but she should be better in two weeks. We had to buy special food, a second litter box, different litter and antibiotics. Pets are expensive, but I love my little girl, so I'm glad she's going to be better soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fun Christmas Games

(Photo courtesy of:

In the middle of another tragically boring work day, I decided to check up on the NORAD Santa Tracker, and I discovered that they have games.

Magically (thanks, Santa!) the games aren't blocked by my work's Nazi-like computer program, that usually makes playing games impossible.

The games, found on the "Children's Countdown," are pretty fun. They are set up like an advent calender, with a new game available every day. I would suggest playing the game for building number one. You have to connect all of the Christmas lights to the power source. It's really difficult!

While you're there, check out the story about how the Norad Santa Tracker began. It's really sweet.

Wedding Survey

(Photo courtesy of

Now that I'm thinking about weddings again... I've got a couple questions for you masses:

- From weddings that you have been to in the past, what have been your favorite parts?

- If you are married, what was the most memorable element of your wedding?

- If you have been to a wedding where you felt something was really boring and unnecessary, what was it?

Leave your answers in the comments, and feel free to share your favorite wedding stories. I'm looking for inspiration for our wedding, and also some good entertainment, as I'm heading off to work in a half hour!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I love Ikea.

I love their fat free, 99 cent frozen yogurt cones and lingonberry juice.

I love their tiny showroom apartments. I especially like the one that is something like 275 square feet, and is so awesomely decorated and designed that it makes me want to downgrade our apartment.

I love their oodles of goodies on the bottom floor, and their excellent prices.

We went to Ikea today, and I loved that they had almost all of their Christmas goodies on sale! We got ornaments for the tree, little note cards and tea light holders... all at discounted prices. I love a good deal, especially at the holidays.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hurray Weddings!

So, being in the weddings I was in recently, and helping with their planning, has got me really excited (again) to plan my own wedding.

I was really into it after we first got engaged, but after I realized that I had two years to plan a back yard wedding, I became disinterested. After all, there is only so much you can do from 24 months out when you already know where you're having the wedding, and that you're not going to have many vendors.

But now, we're less than 11 months away! I can get excited again. I am going on a diet HARDCORE after Christmas is over, because I'm going to start shopping for dresses around April. I am going to talk over plans with my Mom while I'm up at her house for Christmas.

It's good to be excited again, and for it to be less than a year until the wedding. I just can't wait to get married!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretty Christmas Quote

One of our receptionists, Laurie, writes a quote on the envelope for the credit card receipts each day.

This is the quote for today:

"Heap on more wood! The wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will. We'll keep our Christmas merry still."
- Sir Walter Scott

Isn't that just perfect?

Christmas Traditions.

I have tons of Christmas traditions... decorating the house after Thanksgiving dinner, exchanging Christmas jammies and watching It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, having Mom's home-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning... the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite traditions is also one of the newest. Every Christmas since Marc and I have been dating, he has got me a Christmas-themed book to read during the holiday season. The first book he got me was The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. He gave it to me right before I got on the plane to go to California to visit with my family for the holidays.

Our second Christmas together, Marc gave me Skipping Christmas, which was made into the movie "Christmas with the Kranks." Last year, I got The Paper Bag Christmas, which is a lovely book.

Last night, Marc gave me my book for this year. It is a collection of Charles Dickens stories, including A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth. I am excited to read it, as I have never read the original version of A Christmas Carol!

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Congratulations Joe and Kerry!

Our friends Joe and Kerry got married yesterday in a lovely garden ceremony at Joe's parents home.

Although we haven't known the couple very long (less than three months, I believe) it was wonderful to share in the special moment with them. They are two people full of love and passion for each other.

I loved the feel of Joe and Kerry's wedding. It was a small, informal ceremony with friends and family, personal vows and lots of laughter. Kerry and Joe are thrilled to be married, and that's the best part of all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tiger Woods drama.

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. That is bad. We all know that. Of course, being a soon-to-be wed female, this bothers me.

However, that is not my biggest problem with the whole situation. News stations, radio programs, gossip websites, newspapers... basically everywhere you look Tiger is being condemned.

Shockingly, the problem that the media seems to have with the situation is not that Tiger cheated on his wife, it is that he got caught. The local newspaper this morning said "No more racy texts, okay?" and a local radio station host proclaimed that Tiger should have not left a "paper trail" by leaving voice mails and sending text messages to his mistress(es?).

It seems that Tiger is at fault for having a sloppy affair, not for having the affair itself.

I heart Chicago.

Chicago is my favorite city that I have ever visited. I went for the first time when I was 13, when my family drove over from Anderson, Indiana to catch a Cubs game. Riding in the car along Lake Shore Drive, I fell in love. Ever since, I have wanted to go back every chance I got.

So, when Marc and I went up to St. Louis for the wedding last week, we decided to check on flights out of Chicago back home. Turns out they were several hundred dollars cheaper than if we flew out of St. Louis.

We took the train from Alton, Illinois to Union Station in Chicago. It was so cool! I had never ridden on a train before!

We kicked butt in Chicago. We ate at The West Egg and Burrito Beach and White Castle while we were up there, which are my favorite places in Chicago to dine. We saw The Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue, The Sears Tower (technically it's the Willis Tower now, but it will always be the Sears tower to me), Wrigley Field and Millenium Park (from the car).

It was incredible, even though it was rainy and cold the entire time we were there. Marc had never been and I loved experiencing things with him that he had never done before. As much as we loved visiting the city, we were exhausted and very happy to lounge at the airport and get started on our trip home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Congratulations Lisa and Zach!

Lisa and Zach's wedding was this past Saturday, in Bethalto, Illinois.

The wedding was beautiful, and the result of many hours of hard labor put in by the bride and groom's friends and family.

Their baby, Curtis, successfully made it down the aisle, and was pretty good... except for a little fussiness during the ceremony.

Diana, Lisa's 12 year old sister, and Maid of Honor, nearly fainted while they were saying their vows and had to go and sit by her parents for part of the ceremony. However, she managed to get to her feet again in time to be escorted back down the aisle.

Lisa stepped on her dress several times, and once I thought she was going to topple over. Her crinoline made a little "crunch crunch" noise every time her shoe came down on it, and somebody always had to be there to lend a helping hand.

But, on the whole, the wedding was wonderful! I felt glad to help out with so many family members who were there to support Lisa and Zach. Their families came together and worked all day Friday and most of Saturday morning to give them the best wedding they could have had. I really enjoyed the sense of family and togetherness that they displayed, and felt like I was part of the group almost immediately.

Being a bridesmaid is probably one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It was extremely hard, sometimes physical, work. I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the wedding! That said, I wouldn't change any of it. I was there for my friend, to get all the single ladies on the dance floor for the bouquet toss, to hold her dress up while she peed, to clean up after the reception... whatever she needed.

Now, Kerry and Joe's wedding is in less than four days! They are having a much more low-key ceremony and reception, and I don't think the work shall be as exhausting!

Either way, I can't wait to be a bridesmaid again. For all the hard work, it's a pretty rewarding job!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Day.

It was a very unusual but fantastic Thanksgiving this year.

Marc and I usually do the traditional Thanksgiving at our house, or go to my parents house. Either way, we spend the day watching the parade, cooking the food, and watching It's A Wonderful Life after supper while decorating the house for the Christmas season.

This year, we woke up in our gorgeous hotel room at the Hilton St. Louis Downtown, ordered delicious room service (coconut and pecan crusted french toast for me, and eggs and potatoes for Marc), and then walked down to the parade route for the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We heard MJ, the Tampa morning show DJ's, voice coming from a radio station tent and wandered over to say hello. Since I lived in St. Louis before I lived in Tampa and St. Petersburg, I knew that they are one of the markets that plays MJ in the morning. When we went over there and started chatting, the people working there gave us two free tickets to sit in the bleachers to watch the parade from the old courthouse.

After grabbing a very warm and delicious Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks, we grabbed our seats on the bleachers, which had an amazing view of the Arch. We watched the floats, bands and balloons(which were lacking helium, and dragging on the road a bit) go by, often centered in the Arch from our view.

It all made for some really cool pictures, which will be seen in a ridiculously huge photo posting that I will do after we get all settled in at home.

After the parade, we raced back up to our hotel room (so I could defrost) and caught the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Hearing Al, Matt and Meredith (how I miss Katie on Thanksgiving) really made it feel like Thanksgiving for me. Following the parade was the National Dog Show. I spent the rest of our time in the hotel room pointing out to Marc which dogs I "absolutely have to have."

Shortly thereafter, Lisa's friend Kassy, (who came to visit us in Florida when Lisa came down for vacation) picked us up and dropped us off at Lisa's Mom's house in Collinsville, Illinois. Since nobody was there at the time, we took a walk down to my parent's old house, just down the street from Lisa's parents. We trespassed in the backyard so I could show Marc the windows to my old room and the deck on the pond where I used to sit and talk on the phone as a teenager.

After our trespassing adventure, we went back to Lisa's parents house to wait for Lisa and her fiance and hung out with her Mom's dog, Prince, a little chihuahua who vibrates like my cell phone he shakes so fiercely. Less than an episode of Mythbusters later, (did you know that fourteen boxes of pepperoni pizza in the warmer things that delivery boys carry will stop a bullet from killing you?!) everybody showed up and we headed over to Lisa's grandparents house for their family Thanksgiving.

It was nice, and good to be around a big family for the holiday, but they had already eaten dinner by the time we got there! However, we were just in time for dessert, which was delicious. We even stuck around long enough for the leftover turkey to be pulled out for sandwiches, so we (kind of) got some Thanksgiving dinner in the end.

Afterwards, we were exhausted, and went back to Lisa and Zach's apartment to watch kiddie cartoons with their adorable son, Curtis, and work on the final planning for their wedding.

Definitely different from our normal Thanksgiving, but wonderful all the same.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hello, St. Louis.

After nearly eleven hours at the airport in Orlando, we finally made it to St. Louis yesterday around 10:30 am.

Even though I have only met my friend Anja in person twice, including this visit, we had a great time together. We met online in 2004 on and have been friends and 'pen pals' ever since. The last time I came to St. Louis, for Lisa's baby shower, we walked around and met for the first time.

Anja is totally cool. There is no awkward moments and weird silences when we're hanging out. I enjoy spending time with her whenever we are in town, and I'm glad we got a chance to run around St. Louis with her again this time.

We went to The Loop, and had lunch at Blueberry Hill, which was delicious and very cute. Afterwards we walked around, hung out at Anja's apartment, and had custard (it's not really available in Florida) at Ted Drewes, which is very St. Louis.

After all our running around, Anja dropped us off at our fancy, schmancy hotel, the St. Louis Hilton. I felt very spoiled, with their 12 foot ceilings and floor to ceiling curtains on the windows, and my king sized bed.

After a total of 5 1/2 hours of sleep over a period of three days, I was pooped and almost missed out on the marble shower and cozy sheets, because I nearly fell asleep on top of the comforter in my jeans. I finally convinced myself to shower and put on my night gown, and crawled into bed and slept for 10 hours!

I love being in St. Louis. I am definitely not a Florida girl, and up here is a lot more my style. It's beautiful, but I can't wait to go to Chicago later this weekend. It's my favorite city I have ever been to.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy my time in Illinois with Lisa and Zach while we get ready for their wedding!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Benches Aren't Cozy

We are about four and a half hours into our overnight stay at the airport.

So far, it's been alright. Orlando International offers free wi-fi, which is a life saver. Marc watched Heroes on Netflix while I tried (unsuccessfully) to nap on a wooden bench. Now I'm guarding our luggage while he sleeps, and watching the first season of South Park.

We aren't able to check in our luggage until 5:30 am, and then we'll be able to go through security, grab some breakfast and maybe nap more comfortably inside the terminal.

Then, it's off to St. Louis!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leaving... on a jet plane!

Technically, I'm getting ready to leave my house in a car, to go to the airport, spend the night there, and THEN get on the airplane.

Either way, the ball is THIS CLOSE to rolling, and my vacation has ALMOST started.

I have this thing for airports.

It's not quite like my thing for a shirtless Taylor Lautner, but I still like them a lot.

That's why it doesn't even bother me that we are going to have to spend the night in Orlando's airport to wait for our flight tomorrow morning. In fact, it kinda tickles my fancy.

When I'm making travel arrangements, whenever possible (and as long as it doesn't jump the price) I try and have layovers (which, apparently most people avoid), especially if it's in an airport I have never been to before.

What can I say? I'm a freak.

Who else is a travel fanatic?

Icky Nasty.

I just had a customer who smelled like he had been swimming in an ashtray for the last 30 years. It wasn't even fresh cigarette smoke smell, or cigarette smoke breath. It was stale, gross cigarette smell, like when you leave an ashtray outside and it gets water in it and you discover it several weeks later.

I literally had to hold my breath while I was waiting on him, to avoid throwing up.

People are just gross sometimes. How can you not know that you smell that bad?

If you're ever around me, and I stink to high heaven, please tell me so I can go take a shower.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Harry Potter vs. Twilight

Both Harry Potter and Twilight are a series of books, full of magic and fantasy, that have been turned into very lucrative movies.

However, there are differences.

I personally believe that the Harry Potter books were much better adapted into movies. And the Twilight saga obviously wins in the sexiness department.

I love both the books and the movies in each series, but if I had to choose, I think I would go with Harry Potter.

What do you think? Make your arguments in the comments.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Overtime Win!

I'm working overtime pretty much all day today! I'll get about 45 hours this week, which is pretty good considering I usually only get about 30 hours a week.

No wonder I'm exhausted.

And, to make things even better, we aren't even busy today. Which means, I'm going to be getting paid time and a half to sit here and read New Moon (again).

After today, I only have two days of school/work before my vacation! I'm incredibly stoked.

I just have to make it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like... Well... nothing, actually.

Reason I do not like Florida #25662: Thanksgiving and Christmas DO NOT FEEL like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I got up early today (this growing up thing is weird... I used to sleep until the very last second I had before I had to get up) and turned on The Today Show.

They had the Rockettes flapping their legs around, and I said to myself, "Oh yes, it's nearly the Holiday Season."

Honestly, I forget all the time that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. It's easy to do that when the weather is over 80 degrees during the day, there are no leaves that turn on the trees, and the sun shines constantly (well, you know, during the day).

Perhaps it's just because I am a transplant, or maybe it's the fact that I have seen about a million Christmas movies that show the perfect holiday setting, but Florida holidays just don't do it for me.

I guess that's why I'm planning on spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas out of town this year.

New Moon > Twilight

I think that is the general consensus.

Better character development, better action sequences and digital effects.

Oh, and Jacob is SO much hotter than Edward.

While reading the books I was definitely "Team Edward," but I definitely want to change sides after watching New Moon. That Jacob is just so adorable.

After waiting and looking forward to the midnight premier, it's all over. ::sad face::

I don't usually go to see movies more than once in the theater (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Dark Knight are the only ones), but I think I might have to go and see New Moon again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movie Night!

I think I finally figured it out.

Even though I am working overtime this week and have tons of schoolwork to do, I have managed to make time to have a social life.

It's all about balance, they say.

It's all about learning to run on little to no sleep, says I.

Either way, I'm going to ... you guessed it, New Moon tonight. What can I say, I get a thrill out of the midnight showing and even the squealing girls. The hot shirtless guys don't hurt either.

So, after a day of school, going to work (twice), and grocery shopping, I'm going to go to a movie that starts after midnight. The point is, I'm going with friends!

Who cares if I am exhuasted tomorrow? That's where the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead" comes in.

Anger, I had it.

A few moments ago, I was very upset.

Our company wastes a lot of paper. TONS. It makes me sick.

I just found out that we have a new policy, implemented today, that makes us reprint customer's paper work to check for mistakes. The mistakes could be easily seen on the computer screen, but we now have to print 6-10 extra pages of paper.

I like trees, so I got pretty upset. Then, I found out that the excess paper gets recycled after we toss it. It's still a waste, but at least our extra paper doesn't end up in a landfill.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Group Projects Suck

I haven't really ever liked group projects. I am usually one of the ones who does my share of the work while some of the others get the grade without doing very much.

In high school and middle school, it wasn't that big of a deal because we had class time to work.

Now in college, I detest group projects. There is still the same problem with group members who do not participate as much as they should.

I have two group projects for final grades this semester. You would not believe how ridiculous it is trying to schedule meetings for five or six people, all of whom go to school full time and work, sometimes more than one job.

At the same time, though, it is a good way to see how people interact with a group. I think this is an important process, especially since my major is journalism. In my profession, if you can't work well with others, you aren't going to make it very far.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thunder Thighs = Death

I have a hole in my jeans. Not in any place intentional or trendy, like the knee or back pocket.

I have a worn through, stringy hole on the inner thigh. I just noticed it.

The rest of these jeans are fine. They are in perfectly good working order and could easily last me another year, if it weren't for my holey thigh.

Now, I have to go buy a new pair of black jeans, because I have friendly thighs that like to rub against each other. Constantly.

Prior to holes, this causes a little phenomenon that I like to call "thigh balls." This is the first step to holey thighs, in which the fabric starts to come apart and rub into little balls right there in your crotch. Nice, right?

Urgh. Here's hoping Old Navy is going to have a sale on denim soon.

Pumpkin Apocalypse?

Today's edition of the Tampa Bay Times calls the canned pumpkin shortage the "pumpkin apocalypse."

While I have to agree that having no canned pumpkin for hot pumpkin loaf and pumpkin pie is nothing short of a disaster, I think the panic is unwarranted.

Libby's is the brand that everybody talks about when they discuss canned pumpkin, and they happen to be having a shortage this year.

However, there are other brands of pumpkin out there if you know where to look. My local health food store, Rollin' Oats, has had cans of pumpkin every time I have gone in this season. It's organic pumpkin, and it costs a little more, but it makes excellent pumpkin loaf.

Afraid that people would rush the store to get the last bits of pumpkin, I bought four cans and stockpiled them in my pantry.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bridesmaid Squared.

I was so excited nearly a year ago when my best friend in Illinois, Lisa, asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.

Technically it will be my second time being a bridesmaid, but I don't count the first time. I was invited to a wedding in Las Vegas a few years ago to be a date for a friend of mine from high school who lived in California. He was friends with the bride.

Me, my friend from high school, a friend who lived in Florida with me at the time and the bride's brother were the only guests at the wedding. I helped the bride get ready, and stood by her while she was saying her vows, but it was also the first time I had ever met her. So it doesn't really count, right?

Lisa lives in St. Louis, and I can't really be a part of the bridal festivities until the week of the wedding. No bachelorette party or bridal showers for me to plan and go to.

Since I've been looking at stuff to plan my wedding for over a year now, my friend Kerry (you remember her from one of the first posts of my blog), asked me if I could help her with planning earlier this week.

We sat at a diner for less than two hours and basically planned her entire wedding. This was necessary because she is getting married in 24 days... and she hadn't picked colors, a theme, and she hasn't even picked a dress.

After we got done going over details, Kerry asked me if I would like to be her bridesmaid! Even though we haven't known each other for very long, maybe a little over two months, I was delighted.

Now I've got ideas about bachelorette parties, lingerie showers and vintage bridesmaids dresses running through my head. I finally get the experience of being a bridesmaid for somebody who I know, and who lives in my zip code.

The only thing... Lisa and Kerry's weddings are a week apart. Lisa's is on November 28th in St. Louis and Kerry's is December 5th in Tampa. Should make for an interesting couple of weeks. I'm thrilled.

Fuzzy Happiness.

My mother often calls me her "perpetual five-year-old." It's true. I have a deep love of days at Disney World. I enjoy spending my break between classes and work watching Spongebob Squarepants. I bring a stuffed animal with me on vacation.

I don't see this as a problem.

I find joy in so many little things that so many people don't think twice about. For instance, I met a new friend yesterday. Meet Frosty:

I made Frosty yesterday at Build-A-Bear Workshop. My friend Kerry, Marc and I all warmed up a heart for Frosty, and Kerry helped me fluff him up and wash him. We all picked out accessories for Frosty (the pipe, scarf and broom, naturally.)

I know that Build-A-Bear is a store for elementary school kids. But I had a great time. We giggled and played and had a fun time. It's refreshing. And childish or not, I think that's a good thing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nerd much?

Today I was bored at work, and decided to see how much tickets were to go and see the premier of New Moon at the movie theater near my house. Even though the first showing of the movie isn't for another 10 days, the 12:01 am and 12:05 am showings are already sold out!

Mildly panicked, I decided to buy tickets for my fiance and I for the 12:10 am showing before we didn't get a chance to go see the movie on opening night.

Because that would be, like, horrifying. (sarcasm)

Best. Haircut. Ever.

My fiance works at a kayak shop a couple days a week. A few weeks ago, he sold a boat to a guy who works at the Aveda Institute in St. Petersburg. As a thank you to Marc, he gave us two $20 gift certificates to get our hair cut at the training school.

It was the best haircutting experience I have ever had! My haircut was $12, and I got a clear glossing treatment (shiniest hair ever!) for $10. With my gift certificate, my haircut was $2 (plus a $5 tip). My stylist's name was Kayla, and she was wonderful. Not only did we bond over our hate of the sun, love of cold cloudy days, and a mild Twilight obcession, but she did a fantastic job on my hair.

Since the stylists are all students, they are learning all aspects of salon care. So, included in the price of my haircut was a shampoo and conditioner (which I love), hand/forearm massage, a full style including blowdrying, and a make up touch up when I was all finished. All in all, I was at the salon for a little over three hours... and loving every minute of it.

Not bad for a $22 bill, huh?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fun Assignment

My little sister works as an au pair for a freelance journalist who writes for Vogue Italia. JEALOUS.

The other day, she needed to get some e-mail addresses from publicists for Michelle Pfeiffer and Sofia Coppola. Awesome, right?

Well, since my sister doesn't have a very good phone connection (she uses Skype to make phone calls), she asked me to call the publicists offices and get the information for her. I didn't get to talk to anybody extremely important, but it was a pretty cool experience.

I don't think I would mind working for a celebrity news magazine or website sometime in the future. It was fun trying to get ahold of people who work with famous people, haha.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Diet: Day One

I hate diets. It always seems like I work extremely hard, sacrifice much, and then see results very slowly, if I see results at all.

Today I started my post-Halloween diet. I had enough junk food over the last week to last me months. I am going to be the bridesmaid in a wedding at the end of the month, and am going to do some traveling for Thanksgiving. I would like to be 15 pounds thinner by the time I leave for my vacation, and 25 pounds lighter by Christmas.

So far, so good. I have managed to avoid leftover Halloween candy all day! Mondays are rough... lots of running around, but I have only eaten healthy snacks. Hopefully I can behave myself for the rest of the day. I have a fitting for my bridesmaid's dress on Thursday!

Is anybody else working on a goal right now? How is your progress?

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I'm back from the brink of death! And, unfortunately, back at work. Which means I'm bored.

I found this little gem, the Insider's Guide on It has interviews with experts who have advice for how to do just about anything. It's a pretty good waste of time, and I learned some pretty neat tricks!

How did everybody's Halloween go?

I had a great little party with some awesome friends. I injested too much food coloring, though, and ended up with bright orange poo today! Trick or treat!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kate Gosselin's hair is ridiculous

(Photo: Getty/Pacific Coast News)

Also, I am almost over my near-death experience with the flu. Posting to resume normally tomorrow... hopefully.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It must be "get angry at your co-workers day"...

I think I need to take a chill pill today, because I'm all riled up again.

One of my co-workers just got back from taking a customer home, because his car will not be finished by the time we close today. As my co-worker walked in the door, he says to me,

"That guy was just as gay as can be."

I shrugged.

"I just can't stand that. I can't stand those people."

He shivered in disgust, as if he was trying to make sure none of the gayness got on him. Since I don't want to get fired, I let it go with a "Well, it doesn't bother me any. Not our place to judge, right?"

I got a dirty look, and then he left. I guess he expected me to laugh, and then we'd make jokes at the customer's expense.

The other day, a different co-worker was telling me that he didn't understand why his 3-year-old daughter liked the show Little Bill, because it was the one with the "little black boy." He thought it was weird that she enjoyed it, even though the characters were black.

This is 2009, right? Are people seriously still that ignorant?


My wonderful fiancé, Marc, shared this game with me to keep me entertained at work. It's a fun little car game, and has succeeded in keeping me occupied for the past hour.

Everybody at my work is addicted to this, much simpler, game. It is called Escapa!, and it's game of skill. It's pretty addicting, especially if you're competing with other people.

Enjoy, and e-mail me at if you have any other suggestions for fun games to play online.

People need to relax

At my work, we are provided with a free lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. While I might not always like the food that is brought in for us, I don't complain. It's free food, after all.

However, some of my co-workers are not as gracious. They are always going on about something or another. For example, today we are having pizza. Pizza! Who doesn't like pizza? But apparently, we have pizza too often and some of them are tired of it, and are complaining. I think that is so ungrateful. If you don't like your free lunch, don't eat it and shut your mouth.

Okay. I'm done venting now.

Friday, October 23, 2009


People who say that Halloween is a holiday for children don't know what they're missing! There is no reason that once you reach the age where trick-or-treating is no longer acceptable (13 according to my mother) that you can't have fun.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Towards the end of September every year, I start to plan... my costume, Halloween party, and pre-holiday events. For the past three years, going to Howl-O-Scream has become one of our traditions. Held at Busch Gardens, in Tampa, it has something for everybody. There are haunted houses, wild roller coasters in the dark, "scare zones" and beer (if you're willing to pay nearly $8 for a plastic cup, and almost $13 for a "yard of beer").

This year we went with nearly all strangers. Out of the 8 people in our group, I had only known two for more than a month. Regardless, we had an excellent time, and a couple of new friends. I laughed my way through the haunted houses and screamed on roller coasters. I can't imagine missing something so fun just because I've decided that I'm a "grown up."

New and old friends at Howl-O-Scream

Wedding Budgets

Yesterday a co-worker and I were looking at his son and future daughter-in-law's wedding website. He enjoyed pointing out different members of the family in the photo album section, and we looked together at the resort where they are to be wed. While looking at photos of the day they got engaged, I came across a picture of the bride-to-be's ring. It was gorgeous, with a huge diamond. My co-worker told me that his son had informed him, in all seriousness, that the ring had cost more than his father's house. We both thought that was a little over the top. With shows like Platinum Weddings, and Bridezillas, I think that people get the idea that weddings have to be extravagant, and expensive, to be good.

Last night, a friend of mine showed me her engagement ring. She's been engaged for a while, but just got the ring this last weekend. It is small, has a pretty little pearl on it, and cost less than $4. She knows that it isn't the ring that matters, but the sentiment behind it.

When Marc and I first got engaged, we originally talked about having a wedding of around 100 people, and having a budget of "around $10,000." I laugh now, because I have no idea where that money would have come from. My ring is nowhere near the cost of a house, or a small car, but I love it. It is exactly the style that I want, and the size is perfect. I wouldn't want it to be different, just so I can say that it cost more money or had a bigger karat count.

Our budget for the wedding is now somewhere around $2750, but we're hoping to do it for much less than that. My parents have very graciously decided to let us have the wedding at their house. We're thinking of inviting around 30 of only our closest friends and family. A friend of ours had agreed to actually marry us. I may buy my dress at a department store.

We don't want to go into debt to get married. We don't believe that is a good way to start our lives together. We are going to do our best to save money while we're engaged, and use nothing more than we have to get married. We know that it is the act of getting married, of committing ourselves together, that matters. We want to share our special day with our friends and family. We want it to be about love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


In one of my journalism classes the other day, we had a guest speaker. He talked about a story called "The Girl In The Window," published in July of 2008 by the St. Petersburg Times. He told us that it was one of the most read articles on their website for that year, even though people generally don't read long, drawn out articles on news websites.

He peaked my interest, and I decided to look up the article. It was accompanied by a Special Report by

I read the article at work, on the verge of tears the entire time. What I found was a story of bravery, sacrifice, compassion and love. The little girl, Dani, has been through hardships in her short life that I can not even imagine. And yet, she manages to perserve, accomplishing things many never thought possible.

The article is a little long, but if you have the time, I definitely recommend it. It is a nice dose of perspective for those of us who complain about the little things that go wrong in our lives.

Two Sisters

Whenever I tell anybody that my sister I used to fight all the time, they never believe me. "But you two seem so close!" is always the response. I think that a lot of the time, siblings who are close enough in age (Lyndsey and I are four years apart) are destined to fight when they're younger. My sister and I fought up until the time I left for college, a two days drive away from where my family lived. After that, there didn't really seem to be any reason to fight anymore. And I'm glad.

My younger sister, Lyndsey, and I

It wasn't always bad, though. I was just telling my fiance last night about when Lyndsey and I shared a bedroom in Key West. We had matching pink, flowered comforters, and our twin beds were in an "L" shape, with the foot of her bed connecting to the head of my bed. This was before Lyndsey had her tonsils and adnoids removed, and she snored extremely loudly. I remember making a stockpile of beanie babies on the foot of her bed every night so that I could chuck them at her when she got going really bad. It was the most convenient way to shut her up, since I didn't have to get out of bed.

Lyndsey, Jared and I in Hawaii

And when we were even younger, and we lived in Hawaii, some of our favorite games were "photo studio" and "school." I was the teacher or the photographer, and Lyndsey (and sometimes our brother, Jared, who was just a baby at the time) would be my eager students or subjects.

Lyndsey and I at a pumpkin patch in California

As we started to get older, we had the same taste in music and books. We found more things to talk about and do together. When either one of us would have sleepovers with friends, we would all hang out together. I took her to her first concert (where she almost died, just ask her). This was also the time when there was the most fighting. Hormones, I think. Too must estrogen for one basement.

My sister and I right before she left for Italy

My sister is in Italy now, working as an au pair. I'm going to college in Florida, working on my degree in Journalism. Although we get to talk all the time, it's not the same as being able to see her whenever I'd like, or even be able to pick up the phone and call her. I think the hardest time will be at Christmas, the first time any of us kids will ever be missing. She's my best friend now, and she'll be my maid of honor. I miss our silly childhood games, trying to supress giggles so Mom wouldn't come down and scream at us for still being up, dancing along with our favorite music videos. I don't regret the fighting. It makes the relationship we have now that much more special.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding & Diet

When Marc and I set our wedding date for November 6, 2010, there were a lot of factors that helped us determine which day would be best.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors, the weather, and the general feeling of togetherness that people feel around this time of the year.

Marc proposed on November 6, 2008, so that date was significant to us as a couple.

My sister would be out of the country, living in Italy from the summer 0f 2009 to summer 2010. We certaintly couldnt have the wedding without my maid of honor, so it would have to be after that.

November 6, 2010 seemed like the perfect date.

What I didn't consider was my diet. I usually try and eat pretty healthy, and stay away from sweets, especially now that I know I'm going to start shopping for wedding dresses early next year. However, it just seems to get so much harder during this time of the year.

When picking the date, I must have forgotten about Halloween candy, and Halloween party food, and how tempting pumpkin loaf smells while baking in my oven. I forgot about pumpkin pie and edible haunted houses and hearty cold weather favorites like chili and potato soup. I forgot about peppermint mochas and pumpkin spice lattes and hot chai.

How in the world am I going to maintain the figure I'm going to work on for the next year when the month prior to my wedding is full of delicious, fattening goodies?

I guess I'll just have to start building up some will power.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Press Pass

It's not really a big deal... except it kind of is to me.

I got my very first press pass today. It even has my name on it. Granted, it is just a little laminated piece of paper. It doesn't have my picture on it, and it clearly states that I'm just a student. It expires at the end of the semester.

But, it makes me feel good. I feel powerful, important, like people are more apt to listen to me and take me seriously. I feel like when I go to do interviews for my classes, I will go with more confidence. I feel more like a real journalist.

It's funny how little things in life can mean so much to people. Whether it's a job title, a trophy, or a little laminated press pass, sometimes knowing that what you're actually getting somewhere is all you need to keep going.

Me and my press pass.

Ode To Starbucks

My freshman year of college, I went to the University of South Florida's Tampa campus. I didn't have a car, and had to wait around on campus for rides a lot of the time. I would spend most of my free time in the library, studying or reading. There was a Starbucks on the first floor of the library, tempting me every day. In 2005, I wrote this poem:

Ode To Starbucks

Oh, how I'd love to have Starbucks
Sadly, I can't; I have no bucks.

How wonderful the coffee looks.
Too bad I spent all my money on books.

In the library looms that coffee smell.
It makes studying a living hell.

It would be great to have just one drink.
But I can't afford it, I sadly think.

This is the reason I came to college,
Not for good coffee, but to gain knowledge.

Perhaps if I save every nickle, dime and dollar,
Once a week, I'll give Starbucks a holler.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cold Weather > Hot Weather

The weather channel online lists the temperature in St. Petersburg as 59 degrees right now.

Today I feel the best I have in months. I walked outside and breathed in the crisp air on my way to work this morning. I'm in an excellent mood. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a connection between my exhiliration and the cooler temperatures. Too bad the 10 day forecast shows that we'll be back up near 90 later this week. I'll just have to wait patiently for the next cold front to come through. Until then...

Five Reasons Cold Weather Is Better Than Hot Weather:

5. Sleep is better
Something about cooler air in the house makes me sleep so much better. When I get too hot, I toss and turn, shoving the covers off me. When the weather drops below seventy, we open up the windows and patio door and let the temperature in the house drop. Once it gets below 70, I am in heaven. I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day.
Not to mention the fact that cuddling is so much better when you're chilly.

4. Lower electric bills
We keep our thermostat set at 73 at the highest. When temperatures in Florida get to over 95 degrees in the summertime, our air conditioner runs all the time. Once the weather gets cooler, we turn off the a/c and open the windows. Much cheaper. Cheaper = good.

3. It's easier to get warm than it is to cool off
Let's face it. When you're hot, you can only take off so many articles of clothing before you get arrested. When you're cold, however, you can just keep piling it on until you're nice and toasty. Not to mention, I HATE TO SWEAT. Cold weather = no sweating. 'Nuff said.

2. Pumpkin Spice lattes
I love Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks. They are so delicious. Most of the time, though, I have to settle for a Pumpkin Spice Frapuccino. I just can't handle a hot drink when it's near 90 degrees outside. It makes me sweat. I had my first Pumpkin Spice latte of the season this morning. It was amazing. I wrapped my fingers around the cup and warmed them up.

1. Cute clothes
I LOVE cold weather clothes. Long sleeved t-shirts and sweaters and scarves and fuzzy hats. Tall boots and hoodies and mittens and skirts with tights. I can't wait to pull out my cozy winter clothes. They make me feel so cute.

And this concludes "Cold Weather with Kelsie."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who gets to determine whether or not your life has been successful? Is there some cosmic grading sheet that you are compared to?

Education? Check.
Marriage? Check.
Great job? Check.
Family? Check.

But what if you decide to come up with your own checklist? One that adds a million other accomplishments that most other people even imagine doing. One that is missing some of the more conventional quantifiers.

Maybe you'll spend your whole life traveling the world. You'll never get a 'real' job, and you'll never have a lot of money. You meet thousands of interesting, fantastic people and live your whole life searching for adventure. You are ridiculously happy. Isn't that successful?

Or maybe you'll decide to that you want to be an artist. You drop out of school, and devote your life to your art. You never get anything published. You never become famous. You make just enough money to get by and support your family. Your life is full of passion. Isn't that successful?

Perhaps, when you're still young, you'll get a taste of the world, and decide that you need to see the whole thing. During your travels, you find the perfect partner for you, and you fall in love. You decide, independently and together, that you'll never want children. You decide to make sure this never happens. You spend your life loving and learning, even without children of your own. Isn't that successful?

Meet Kerry.

Recently I made a new friend. Her name is Kerry. She's 24, British, and just as adorable as can be. In the few short weeks I have know her, I feel like I've learned a lot about Kerry. She and Joe (who is pretty fantastic, too) are going to get married at the end of this year. She has traveled to many places, is a couch surfer, and she's loves my pumpkin loaf.

She has also decided that she never wants to have children. Ever. So, before her wedding, she's going to make sure that it never happens. She's going to be sterilized.

Kerry wrote about the trials and tribulations of deciding to have an operation to make her infertile for the UK's Daily Mail's online edition.

The article has caused a lot of people to speak out about Kerry's decision. As of right now, it has over 600 comments. Many people are supportive of her decision, calling her a strong woman who is brave for her choice. Others claim that she is selfish, or worry that she'll change her mind after it's too late.

Kerry and Joe.

Although I can't imagine not wanting children someday, I applaud Kerry for being so open, honest and for making what must have been a very difficult decision. I think that it is responsible of her to make sure that she never has to worry about whether to have an abortion, or to give up a baby for adoption, should conventional birth control fail.

Do I feel like Kerry and Joe's lives will be less full, less meaningful, because they aren't going to have children? No. I think that they will write their own definition for the word success, and will fulfill their goals for a happy life together, full of adventure and love.

You can find Kerry's article at the Daily Mail.

5 fun things under $5

Who ever said that fun has to be expensive? Five cheap finds:
Connect Four, $4.99 Target

Just in time for Halloween.
The Blair Witch Project, $4.86 Wal-Mart

The Ultimate College Prank Book, $4.99 Urban Outfitters

Multi-Colored Dino Scarf, $4.99 Hot Topic

Hinged Owl Necklace, $4.80 Forever21

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wanderlust 101 defines 'wanderlust' as "a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about." Aside from the literal meaning, I feel as though my brain has a serious case of wanderlust.

I used to write just for the joy of it. Since I have started taking my journalism courses, I feel as though I'm always writing for somebody else. While I am enjoying learning about the craft that I have chosen, I miss writing for fun. I miss writing because I knew what I said would spike somebody's interest or make them laugh. I want to write for fun, and bring the passion back.

So, I plan on using this blog to rant and complain, to share things that I have learned, to introduce others to something new, to share things that have made me laugh. We'll see how it goes.



Sometimes, I'm stuck, trapped. I can't breathe.

Grounded, the same place, though there's so much to see.

Monotony, every day feels the same.

Wasted time, only myself to blame.

Flighting to keep from a life too stable.

Experience as much as this life is able.

You have just one life, try not to waste it.

The world is yours, go out and taste it.

-Kelsie Elaine 10/17/09