Five Friday Favorites

Well, it's been some time now since I've done Five Friday Favorites, but here are 
five of the things I'm loving this week....

I've been a loyal Diorshow user for years, but after getting this Tarte sample from Sephora a few weeks back, I'm officially a convert.  I love this brush, and the fact that it doesn't clump up at all.  I highly recommend giving it a try.

2.  RHOC is Back
I thought that this season of RHBH was so boring, so I'm thrilled that the original crazies are finally back!  Can you believe all of the work Vicki has had done?  Yikes!  

3. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
I bought this CD the day it came out, and haven't been able to stop listening.  It especially makes my morning drives to work a little peppier.  Strawberry Bubblegum and Mirrors are my absolute favorites!  We've already got tickets for the Legends Tour at the Rose Bowl this summer, and I CANNOT wait!!

4.  Less Than 40 Days to GO
This school year has been an absolute doozie, and I officially have less than 40 work days left.   This summer vacation can't possibly come soon enough.  

last, but NOT least....

(photo borrowed from Virginia Belle)
5. I'm Going to be an AUNT!!!
If you read Virginia Belle, you already know that my BIL and SIL are expecting a baby boy this summer.  CAhusband and I are beyond excited for our sweet nephew to arrive this July!  

What are you loving this week?

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Spring Break Travel Advice

My Spring Break is quickly approaching (thank God), and we're in full on planning mode!  The hours of researching online are getting exhausting, and rather than spend more time searching the Internet and Yelp, I thought I should come to you guys for some travel tips.

In just a few weeks we plan to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and stop in....

Santa Barbara


and San Francisco!

If you have any favorites I'd love to hear them!  We already have dinner reservations for most of the nights, but I'm not against changing them around if you share something a little better.  I'd also really love to hear about your favorite wineries in Napa.  The sheer number of places to choose from have me completely overwhelmed.

Give me your best shops, restaurants, hikes, whatever!  Any tips and recs would be greatly appreciated!

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Read. Watch. Listen

I've got so many good things to share, that I figured it was time for another addition of
Read. Watch. Listen.

Here are the things I'm currently loving....


Safe Haven was added to my book list the second I realized that it was being made into a movie.  I really liked this book, and look forward to seeing the movie soon.  It was pretty typical Nicholas Sparks, but if you've liked his others, you'll enjoy this one too!  

Is Everyone Is Hanging Out Without Me? was a quick and funny read that I truly enjoyed.  It's not quite as funny as Tina Fey's Bossypants, but I really loved hearing her story.  I wasn't really a fan of her show The Mindy Project before reading this book, but now I'm tempted to give it another try.  


Smash is finally back for a second season!  I really loved the first season, and was really happy with a lot of the cast changes they made coming into season 2.  I love the addition of Jennifer Hudson, and really think the story line is going to take some interesting turns.  I still can't stand Ivy, and am confused as to whether or not they want us to like her or not?  Are you watching? What do you think?


Darius Rucker Wagon Wheel
Dare I say, that I might like this version more than the original?  CAhusband prefers to Old Crow Medicine Show version, but I've got this song stuck on repeat.  What do you think?

What's on your Read. Watch. Listen. list?

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Life Lately

Leave it to me to make yet another return to blogging, and then stay away for nearly a month!  Life lately has been great, but extremely busy!  I've had plenty to blog about, but I just haven't been able to find the time to sit down and write.  Hopefully that is changing soon!

My Birthday
On the 29th, we celebrated my 27th birthday!  Unfortunately, my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, which is the most dreadful day of my school week, but I still managed to have a great day!  My kiddos at school spoiled me with lots of gifts and well wishes, and CAhusband and I celebrated throughout the week.  After 3 previous years of being deathly ill on my birthday, I'm happy to report that I was healthy as can be.  I guess my flu shot worked!  Overall, it was a great birthday and I can't wait to see what my 27th year will bring.

Oscar Project
We always do a horrible job of seeing movies in the theater, and each year make it a goal to see at least a few of the nominated films before the Oscars.  So far, I've seen Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.  I absolutely loved them both, and think I'll be really torn on who to root for in the categories where they are against each other.  They were both excellent films, must sees!

The school year is now more than half-way over, and I am really starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This school year has been a trying one at times, but I truly do love my little class of second graders.  We've got a busy few weeks coming up at school, and I'm confident that Spring Break will be here before I know it.  I think we've got about 75 days to go (but who's counting?) until summer.

Yoga and Barre
A new yoga studio opened just down the street and I decided to buy a new student package to give some of the classes a try.  I was mainly interested in their barre classes, because we don't have a Purre Barre here and I've heard so many great things about the classes.  I absolutely loved the barre classes, although I'd hoped my years of ballet would have helped me out a little more than they actually did.  I've decided to try the Vinyasa Yoga classes as well, which are still super intimidating.  I'm really inflexible right now, so it has been really challenging, but I'm getting better each time.  I really hope to stick with it!

I typically have a hard time getting into the Grammys because I don't really follow music that closely.  I listen to what's on the radio and the iTunes top charts, but that's about it.  Overall, I didn't really care too much about any of the awards, and the fashion didn't really make an impact on me.  I did really like Rihanna's red Azzedine Alaia dress though, and was thrilled to see Mumford and Sons win Album of the Year.

Visitors Coming
My parents are coming to visit in less than 2 weeks and I can't wait!  I haven't seen them since July, and am thrilled to get to see them 10 days in a row!!  They haven't been back to the desert since they moved almost 2 years ago, and I can't wait to take them to some of the new restaurants and soak up all of the quality time with them as I can.

I was actually off work yesterday, and have another 3-day weekend next weekend, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to find the time to get ahead on this whole blog post thing!

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2012 Book List

**I know this is a little late, but I love reading other book list posts, so I decided to still share mine.

If I'm remembering correctly I wanted to read 30 books this year (yes, I'm too lazy to look back at my post to make sure).  I fell short on that goal, mainly due to the fact that I got stuck on one book for about 5 months once the school year started (The Next Best Thing, in case you were wondering).

Overall, it was a year of pretty bleh reading for me (lots of James Patterson, and a Lisa Scottoline kick I started the year with).  Although there was nothing too spectacular, I did manage to find a few gems that I recommended in 2012.

(not pictured: Rosato and Associates books 1-6)

I have given each of the books below a starred rating 1 through 5:

1. Everywhere That Mary Went (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline *****
2. Final Appeal (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline ****
3. Running From the Law (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline ***
4. Legal Tender (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline ***
5. Rough Justice (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline *
6. Mistaken Identity (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline **
7. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks ****
8. One Day by Dave Nicholls ****
9. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James ***
10. Fifty Shades Darker by EL James ***
11. Fifty Shades Freed by EL James ***
12. Insurgent by Veronica Roth ***
13. Bloom by Kelle Hampton *****
14. The Next Always by Nora Roberts ****
15. Private Games by James Patterson ****
16. Guilty Wives by James Patterson ****
17. Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson **
18. 11th Hour by James Patterson ***
19. The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts ****
20. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn *****
21. Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker ****
22. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin *****
23. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella *****
24. Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson **
25. The Innocents by Francesca Segal **
26. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan *****
27. The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner **
28. I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley ***

Overall, the most memorable books for me this year were Gone Girl and Bloom.  I loved them both for very different reasons, and highly recommend them to anyone and everyone.  I was also really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Sophie Kinsella's newest book, I've Got Your Number.  I found it easy to read and really quite enjoyable.  I was also happy that the most recent Emily Giffin book, Where We Belong didn't disappoint (as her 2 previous books had).

The 50 Shades books had to be read given all of the hype, and were complete crap.  That being said, the story draws you in, and I'm glad I read them.... if only to participate in conversations about how bad they truly are.

I really wanted Insurgent to be better, and thought it was pretty dull.  The Innocents and The Next Best Thing were other books I had high hopes for, that I really struggled to get through.

Did we read any of the same books in 2012?  What did you think?

Anything I need to add to my MUST READ list for 2013?

Book lists from years past:

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Golden Globes Recap

Yay, awards season is finally here!!  I loved watching the Golden Globes on Sunday, and thought the whole show was really great.  Although I have hardly seen any of the movies that were nominated, I do watch almost all of the nominated TV shows regularly, which still made it fun.

My only real complaint from the show was that we didn't get to see more of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! I thought they did such a great job with the opening, and I really wish we'd been able to see more of them.

I was overjoyed to see Homeland win big in the TV Drama categories.  Homeland is one of the best shows on television, and shouldn't be missed!  I don't know how I'm going to wait until next fall for season 3!

Girls was another big winner of the night!  Although this show is definitely a little different,  I can't wait to see what happens in the new season.  This show is definitely the next Sex and the City, with a little more quirk and a little (maybe a lot) less fashion.  Both of Lena Dunham's acceptance speeches were so sincere, and made me so incredibly happy for her success.

The only nominated movie that I have seen was Moonrise Kingdom.  Okay, I've seen The Hunger Games and Skyfall too, but since they were only nominated for songs they don't quite count.  I really want to see Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Silver Linings Playbook soon!

What does it say about me that I have absolutely NO DESIRE to see Les Miserables?  I just can't get into musicals.

Now, onto the red carpet....

Overall, I was pleased that none of the fashions were too tragic at The Globes this year!

I wasn't really a huge fan of all of the blush looks in January, and for the most part I thought a lot of people played it pretty safe.

I know I'm not the only one that was crazy impressed with how amazing Claire Danes looked less than a month after having a baby.  She looked fab in this red Versace.


Both of these black McQueen looks aren't something that I would normally go for, but I found myself really liking them.  Nicole Kidman is usually tragic on the red carpet, but she looked gorgeous in this dress.  Kate Hudson killed it in this gown, loved it.  

Unfortunately, I think Olivia Munn in Armani was one of my biggest disappointments.  I really love her, and think she could have pull off some really amazing looks.  This was just so boring.

Who were your favorite looks?
Which nominated movies were your favorites that I need to see before the Oscars?

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It's Been Too Long...

Well, it's been far too long since I wrote here on the old Internet.  I think most of this stems from the fact, that I can't really write about a lot of the things that are on my mind: my job, CAhusband's job, our future, etc.  Some things just can't/shouldn't be shared with the world wide web, and that's why I've been stuck.  Most of the things on my mind fall into the "keep it to yourself" category.

Anyway, these last few weeks I've been getting a slight urge to write again.   Who knows if it will stick or not, but one thing I can promise is that I'm not going to write for comments, or just for the sake of putting a post out there.  When something comes to me, I'll be happy to share.

Gone are the days of racking my brain for a post.  Gone are the days of caring if anyone comments or responds.  If this little blog continues, it will be for no other reason than for me.

Since I've been away for quite awhile, I'll share a little bit of what wasn't blogged about....

CAhusband and I took a trip to LA in November.  It was wonderful, and we squeezed as much as humanly possible into those 3 days.

  • A USC football game
  • Shopping on Robertson Avenue and dinner at The Ivy (such tourists)
  • A Backstreet Boys concert at The Grove- no wonder it was so busy, we had NO IDEA
  • Cocktails at The Beverly Wilshire and window shopping on Rodeo Drive
  • Hikes at Runyon Canyon Park and the Griffith Observatory
  • Shopping and lunch at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica
  • Dinner at Craft
A few weeks later we shared our first Thanksgiving without family.  I think we were both a little sad that we wouldn't be seeing any of our loved ones, but we ended up having a great holiday with our friends.  We actually hosted Thanksgiving for ourselves and two other couples (+ their babies), which was pretty impressive given that I'm known for my failures in the kitchen.  CAhusband smoked a turkey breast that even our friend the chef raved about, and I managed to make stuffing for the first time ever that was delicious!  We were both so nervous about everything turning out, and were so relieved that it was all a success.

This year we traveled home to Indiana for Christmas and it was wonderful.  We were able to see so many of our family members and friends, and even got snowed in for a few days.  After not seeing snow for about 3 years, we loved every second of the blizzard, and even went sledding.  Lots of Pizza King pizza, a visit with Blue Eyed Bride, and a Colts game rounded out our trip.  

After a fantastic Christmas we headed north to Chicago for New Years with CAhusband's parents, and Katie and Jake (our brother and sister-in-law).  Although I nearly froze in the Windy City, it was a perfect way to end our trip and bring in the new year.

Okay, I think I've caught you up on most of the big and "fun" events from the last few months.  

I plan to share my 2012 book list, thoughts on the Golden Globes, and some birthday wish list items this coming week!

For all of you that are still tuning in out there- thank you for reading! 

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