Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Kindle, or not to Kindle?

Recently, I spent a whole day soaking up some sun with the family at a fun waterpark. It was a great time! Like many, I like to get my tan on. So, I got outta the water and sat on my towel, I pulled out my latest read, Hunger Games, and I sprawled out for a nice glowing tan - this is the usual procedure.

I noticed a woman come and sat in the water with a ziploc bag and a Kindle! She was reading in the water as I was reading out to the side of the water, trying desperately to keep my fingers dry to turn the pages.

Well this got me thinking: maybe I should get a Kindle! But then my mind made a list, as it normally does when I want to buy something new:
  • I like to sneak and read the last page before I get to it (don't judge me - I'm curious).
  • I like to be able to judge how much of the book I have left to read by feeling the thickness of one side of it.
  • I like knowing which books I read in the summer by looking at those watermarked pages.
  • And knowing which books I read in the winter by those coffee rings on the pages.
  • I like that noise the pages make as I turn them.
  • I won't be able to smell the new pages and old books (yes, books have a smell).
  • I like to look at the folded corners and see where I stopped and started last time (I usually re-read my books).
  • I like to see all the books I've read on my shelf, like little trophies.
So while I will have to lay out instead of sit in the water to read my book, I'll still enjoy all the little pleasures that come with reading a book.

I have been waiting...

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and...... yes, waiting to say this one little line..... I am engaged!!!!!

Awww, thank you, thank you! No need for the standing O... sit, sit.

It is official. Oh, so official. Ring on the finger. Blessing from our families. Even the date set! It is finally happening and the best part is: it's actually happening to us. Seven years in the making to get to this point in our lives, and loving every moment.

The day was simply ours. The fiancé (like the sound of it) surprised me with a weekend at a beautiful suite and reservations to a frou-frou restaurant with oh-so-delicious food!

And so it began...

As we sat at out fancy dinner, I knew the moment was amongst us, but where and when?!?! I was antsy. I playfully looked at the bottom of ALL the glasses at the table and asked him, "So, no ring at the bottom of these, huh?" Pastry time!!! Oh, the ring must be in my chocolately goodness! FAIL!

But I know the fiancé ,and he is not the one to put on a big show, especially in front of strangers. So private setting it must be. Which, either way, was fine with me! As long as I had him.

Dinner was done. Tab paid for. On our way back up to our room and I was dying!!!! Not for a possible engagement, but for the potty!!! I had to pee and pee bad! Door opens, I run in literally screaming, "I gotta pee, I gotta potty!" Pee pee dance and all!!!! Then....

pee pee dance!

I round the corner and see smiling faces from all the people that I love more than life itself: my family..... our family. SURPRISE!!! And good jebus it was! Mouth wide-open and nothing coming out... great surprise. The hugging fest started and, soon after, I felt his hand touch mine. He led me to the side and he started to speak. He addressed our families and thanked them for sharing in this moment. Then......

He looked at me, and I at him.

"I couldn't have hand-picked anybody better to ask this to."

Box in hand.... teary eyes in place..... knee gently on the floor.... hand reaches out......
"Will you marry me?"

duh, i said yes
It was perfect because it was us. Hugs came. Beautiful words of advice and congrats from our families continued.

It was perfect.

Hey, fiancé, you did great.

The Dames

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meddlesome Mondays

Hey! Take a break from that mountain of paperwork and check these links!

From Ana, to you:
This fall you will need a blazer! Here are two I have my eye on!

From Linda, to you:
Seriously diggin' this sweet haircut.
I just really need this dress in my life. Like, now. (I told you I love polka-dots.)

From Sylvia, to you:
This song is stuck in my head today.
This is why. I'm kind of excited!

From Diana, to you:
For people that love to see transformations: Better After
Cool video to get the creative juices flowing:


Friday, August 26, 2011


As you should already know… I am, among many things, an extremely amateur baker. Where did it start? When will it end? At home, through my mom, and it will end when I do. I love to bake! When I get a chance and when I get in the mood, I enjoy whipping something up, either from scratch or from the box. Most recently, I baked some chocolate chip & pecan cookies for Benny’s dad. It was his birthday, so I made him what he likes: my cookies! I love baking those things. Every time I do, I think of two people: my mom and Benny’s dad. 

 Took me about 30 minutes to get these babies in and out of the oven. I love to bake!

I have waited all week to bake my next concoction: a two-layer, two-flavor cake (yes ,chocolate is one of them... love it!). I will post a picture and a description of it when it finally gets into and out of the oven. Excited! 

Point is: I love to bake!! Too bad there are issues with posting comments - I would really want to hear everyone’s best dessert ever and I would like to hear some suggestions on what to try next!

P.S. - I still want this, because I want to bake some ganache filled cupcakes (!!!):

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Excerpts from My Bucket List

I daydream. A lot. I am so scatter-brained with my interests and aspirations that sometimes it's hard to remember all of the things that I want to experience while I've got the vitality to do so. Allow me to let you into my head a little. Here are five things that I want to do before my time here is up:

1. Attend the Jazz Age Lawn Party.

This soiree is held bi-annually on Governors Island in New York. People dress to the nines in '20s garb, eat from wicker picnic baskets on blankets, and dance the afternoon away to a live orchestra. Just looking at pictures creates an instant smile; it looks like so much fun! Plus, I've always wanted to live in the 1920s, and this is the perfect opportunity for some pretending. Wear red lipstick at 2:00 pm, dress like a flapper girl, and eat pie all day? Dance the Charleston with a dashing fella in suspenders, twirl a vintage umbrella, and bask in your own fanciness? What's not to love here, people?
polka-dots, hats, and pearls - just some of my favorite things

get it, y'all
this is a dancefloor i really get down on

2. Ride a train country to country in Europe.

Alright, alright. This might be super cliche, but let's look past that for a minute. Riding in a train is good for the soul. It's a time for conversation and self-entertainment. It's so romantic and old-school. It makes you feel like you're traveling in a different time, and you're peeping scenery that you definitely wouldn't get to see on a plane. You often travel through the country, so there's greenery stretched farther than you can see. And you can basically ride a train anywhere in Europe! All of the countries are connected. Look at this craziness!

3. Be a thespian.

I'm desperate here. I saw Midnight in Paris with Sylvia last week, and it sparked my desire to try theater! If you remove yourself from the plot of movies, TV shows, and plays, you can see a vibrancy in the actor's movements and words. I have a new-found appreciation for the way they glide so effortlessly and deliver lines so crispy. I want to do that! And I really love costumes! If anyone has an acting gig for me (I'll even take a low-budget Education Connection commercial), my resume is quite impressive: I played Rosa Parks in the 6th grade play. Boom!

 i really hope to be NPH in another life

4. Climb the Inca Trail to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu.

I know I just told you how awesome train rides can be, but I really, really love hiking way more. So if I ever get the chance to see Machu Picchu, hell no, I ain't takin' no train. Save the sales pitch, PeruRail, 'cause I'm trekkin' this shit. It's a 4-day excursion, covers about 25 miles, and altitudes reach up to 14,500 ft (which makes hiking 3x harder). Oh, and you can't drink the water. And there's probably some wild pigs and dogs and insects that will eat you alive. But wouldn't it be worth it for this? Holy crap.
5. Adopt an Asian baby.

It's likely that I'll get a lot of side-eye for this one, but I don't care. I want an Asian baby. You can buy anything in Tokyo, but apparently their offspring are not for sale. What a let-down! They're the cutest babies you'll ever see (no offense to your own baby, but it's true). Each one I've met has been so obedient and eats noodles in such an endearing way! And it's likely they'll develop a great fashion sense as they mature. Unfortunately, I have had unsuccessful dating experiences with Asian men (why don't y'all like me?), so my only option is to adopt. Just tell me where to sign.

baby so cute that kanye tweeted about her. this could be mine one day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Glass Box

I work in a glass box! Windows on both sides of my office! I see people on the street to my right, and people in the bank lobby to my left. I have always worked in a cubicle without windows! This took some getting used to! I had to realize that everything I did could potentially be looked at! Eating at my desk, watching YouTube videos, napping, or booger picking (not that I do), or anything!
[through the glass the lobby, through the reflection the outside]

I was used to being in my cubicle, my bubble, my friends would tell me. Not only physically, but also metaphorically. I used to think that being mysterious was sexy, and I never wanted people to know my thoughts or ideas. I used to be secretive and selective with my friends and close-minded to new friends.

Sitting in this glass box daily made me realize a few things: I wanted to be transparent! To be open-minded and let people see the real me. The reasons I choose to do things, the thoughts leading up to ideas and my dreams - I want people to know them! What’s more sexy than letting people see the real you, the you even you're too afraid of?

But there is a downside to this: not everyone wants to be transparent like you, so be careful who you share things with, and let your heart guide you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Time Traveler

If anyone who knows me has ever paid attention to what I say, or read what I wrote in my last post, you would know this much about me: I want a time machine. NOW!

I recently saw the movie Midnight in Paris (watch it!). It’s a good movie on its own, but what I loved more about it was the different eras it was set in (trying not to spoil the movie). I’ve always wanted to go back in time, to live in any era, experience those events firsthand. The medicine, the science, the fashion - it all interests me. I ask certain people, “If you could go back in time, what era would it be?” Most people say the 50s through 70s. I say the late 1700s through early 1900s (don’t laugh at me)! I love watching movies, short series, or shows set in those times! 

The fashion! So detailed and intricate!

First autopsies! So interesting to me!

It’s not so much that I want to go back and spend my entire life in those days, but if I had a choice, I would spend a year or two in a certain, ever-changing time period.

Think about the excitement in living the time when the light bulb was invented! The telephone! Billy the Kid! Harriet Tubman! Susan B. Anthony, and with that, Women’s Suffrage! Insane asylums! When the first successful dose of vaccine was created and tested! I can go on and on. These were the days when the country was growing and people were learning so many NEW things that were out there!

Needless to say, I love history, if I could, I would want to LIVE it!

Here is one of my favorite shows!

Learn something old that is something new to you, TODAY!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY Di: Mason Lights

Let's DIY your mind!

This DIY world has been invading my life after being introduced to it by some of my favorite fellow bloggers. Example: Centsational Girl. Through her site, I was finally able to awaken this little creative monster that has been suppressed for years due to work and school. 

BUT… now is the time to welcome out DIY DI!!! (Cheesy, I know… just go with it.)

I am truly enjoying every moment and learning so much about myself along the way. Now I am here, eager to hopefully give someone else that ignition to his or her own creativity! Here is a little something I worked on recently…

Mason Lights!
Metal Cutting Scissors
Ikea Hemma cord set
Light bulbs
Zip ties
Mason jars

Drill a hole in the center of your jar lid.

Cut the correct size hole from your jar lid to fit the light set (of course measure it out prior to cutting).

Place your light set in the lid and secure it.

Screw in the light bulb.

Place on your mason jar.
Finally, zip-tie all your cords together and hang over any wall of your choice.


Never thought creating something would ever bring me so much excitement and joy!
Look at my baby shine!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weight Issues

OK, so everyone has weight issues. Especially us new moms who are trying to lose that baby weight. It's so hard to feel comfortable with the extra weight that you are just not used to. Getting the motivation to lose the weight is the problem. I know some of you are thinking "Duh, work out, or go on a diet." It's so hard to do those things when you are not used to it. I sometimes tell my husband to go on a diet with me, or to work out with me. It never happens. We end up forgetting about it. 

I guess my point is that losing weight after having a baby is so hard. It makes you feel like you are never going to fit into those favorite jeans of yours. I start to think about it, and sometimes I just tell myself that I look fine, and that I just had a baby. It works some days, but other days it doesn't. Hopefully one day I will get back to my normal weight. In the meantime, I'm just going to have to suck it up and embrace my extra curves.  

Yum, a cheeseburger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Family We Choose

Whether we're exchanging stupid IMs at work about Kanye falling on stage, prancin' around like goons on the dancefloor, or offering kind words during life's rough patches, I cherish every minute with my friends. Unlike family, your friends have the option of having you in their lives or not. Your ass is crazy (don't fight it!), so you should feel honored that somebody wants to put up with you and your antics. I am forever in debt to my friends for that reason alone, and I bust my ass to pay my dues.

we enjoy long walks on the beach, how i met your mother, folk music, and cold beer.

I wasn't always this conscientious about my relationships with others. When you're young, life moves especially fast: demanding college coursework, serious relationships, growing families, blossoming careers, and friends are moving across the country. Sometimes we are so concerned with our own affairs that we don't give our friendships the attention they deserve. Does that mean we don't love our friends? Heck, no. It just means we're busy and life gets the best of us sometimes.

there are no words for this one. she crazy.

my favorite travel partner

But I am a firm-believer that being aware is half the battle. If you recognize that nurturing friendships takes time and effort and you're willing to work on that, then you're well on your way to reaching BFF status. Here are some pointers:

1. Make time. This is the most important rule. Make plans with others. Say yes to invitations. Keep your commitments. Don't be a flake. Show up.

2. Be a good listener. Ask questions. Be engaged. Remember things. Give them a chance to talk without coming up with a rebuttal before they finish a sentence. Care about what's going on with others.

3. Speak. Open up and be vulnerable. Tell them your secrets. Tell them how awesome they are. And if you're upset with them, say so. It's not fair to be angry without giving them a chance to explain themselves (then revert back to #2).

4. Support. Show up to their poetry slam. Eat their burnt lasagna. Celebrate birthdays and other milestones. Be that shoulder to cry on when their family member dies or their idiot boyfriend chunks them a deuce. If it's real to them, you need to step up to the plate.

5. Be honest. Don't go giving a harsh opinion on everything, but give constructive criticism when you deem fit, and especially when they ask for advice. And just tell the truth, even when it's scary. If you do this with love, they'll appreciate it in the long run.

6. Accept. Understand that friendships change and sometimes you won't be as close. That's normal and totally OK. Be forgiving and non-judgmental. Your friends are gonna do some Grade A moronic stuff, or things you don't agree with. They're gonna date someone you don't like, have opposing religious or political beliefs, or hang out with the wrong crowd. Nobody takes the same path in life. Mistakes and personality differences add meaning to our lives and give us an opportunity to grow. Make room.

7. Have fun, dammit. Don't be a freakin' drag. Keep an open mind and a light heart. Be interesting! Have inside jokes. Reminisce. Travel. Eat well. Drink well. Live well.

sylvia always encourages me to be myself. and she makes a mean chocolate cake.

this girl. di. her sightings are rare.

ana's responsible for all of my hobby hoarding

professional latin hip-hop dancer, emily

Meddlesome Mondays

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Here are some links for you to start the week off right! 

From Emily, to you:
Sublime Stitching

From Sylvia, to you:
I WILL one day bake this for a special occasion. 

Mark your calendars! Someone come eat with me!

From Linda, to you:
not everybody can pull this look off, but DAMN, girl!

oh mah gah, those tee-pees and that veil!

From Ana, to you:
Two blogs I visit daily: La Catrina & Betty!

From Diana, to you:

Friday, August 12, 2011

How involved is too involved?

Recently, I did a makeup look on a beautiful girl and she loved the look, but as soon as her boo came in the door and said he didn't like it, her opinion changed, too!

I’ve seen it all too much: guys being all up in a girl’s business about makeup, fashion, hair, and the like! These are all a woman's concern!

Girls, if you like big hair, pink lips, blue eye shadow, or if you're like me and wear dresses all the time, even if its to the grocery store (what if we see a fellow Blushing Dame?), then do it! Don't worry if the guy likes it or not! Leave the guys at home when you're shopping or getting your hair and makeup done.

And, guys, be nice about it! We love to dress up - and I know this might come as a shock to you - but not everything we do is for you. But at the same time we want you to notice! ;)