Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where did the time go?

I cannot believe another year has already flown by! 2009 was certainly a year of ups and downs, and I'm more than ready for a new year to begin. Its time for a fresh start, a new beginning and a clean's time for 2010!

I want to do a 2009 recap and initially considered going month-by-month, but I think it'll be easier to follow Classy in Philadelphia's lead and do more of a listing of the highs and lows of the year.

So, please come along with me as I share my year (in no particular order):

The Highs: My best friend, Jamie, moved back to Denver for a year-long position at The Denver Zoo (January); I officially ended a bad relationship with my less-than-stellar Ex, 2 months after the break-up (February); I visited my Baltimore Bestie, Corey, and her fiance, Matt, for the first time since their move in 2008 (April); My love for history and museums was nurtured with a trip to D.C. (April); I celebrated my one-year anniversary at my beloved job (December); I went to Virginia Beach with 3 wonderful friends (September); Family vacation to Mount Rushmore (May); I bought my first original piece of artwork (December); I celebrated my 23rd birthday with friends, family, dancing and happiness (June); Saw Wicked, and loved it (October); Played hookie in Vail for a day (September); Went hiking with Jamie (April); Lost weight and started living healthier (all year); Incredible visit from Corey and Matt (May); Dancing in Denver with Olivia and Jamie (March); Got a new car (January); Corey came out for a visit (August); Moved into my own apartment (July/August); Went to The Molly Brown House (November); Finally got rid of the Ex *fingers crossed* (December); Corey and Matt got engaged, and I was asked to be Corey's Maid of Honor (July); my parents provided unconditional love and support through everything (all year); Cirque du Soleil (August)...and sooo much more, I'm sure!

The Lows: My car was totaled in an accident (January); My friend Justin died suddenly of heart failure (July); One-year anniversary of the death of a good friend who was killed by a drunk driver (July); Extensive hail damage to my poor car (July); My grandfather passed away (September); Baby Jake died (December); I was unable to attend my grandfather's funeral and am still bothered by this (October); The Ex proved just what kind of person he truly is and refused to pay the $400 in back rent he owes me (April-July); My grandmother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and while it was successfully operated on, still greatly changed her life (November); Great-Aunt Dode passed away (December)...

The highs of 2009 certainly seem to outnumber the lows, but the lows this year were pretty intense. There was a lot of death, which is always heartbreaking, but I certainly think makes a person stronger. And, the numerous battles with the Ex, while being redundant and frustrating taught me a lot about myself and really showed me exactly what I will not stand for in a guy. To say that my standards have been raised is certainly an understatement. I found myself this year more than in any previous year, and for that I will always be grateful! Even though 2009 has not been one of my favorite years, it was a year of growth. I know just how much I've changed in the past year, and I know that it's been noticeable to my friends and family. I do not regret a single choice that I made in 2009, and to me that means it was a successful year. Nonetheless, I am very excited to see what 2010 has in store for me!

I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year and a safe and fun New Year's Eve!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I just wanted to share...

Obviously, I'm avoiding work because this is my second post in roughly an hour...meh!

I just felt the need to share this lovely ee cummings poem with you all. You may recognize it from the end of the movie In Her Shoes...I love it. I think it's romantic, truthful, heartfelt and simply lovely; plus, ee cummings' poetry always fascinates me.

Please tell me your inner sappy romantic sighed just a touch at this...

Where in the World Wednesday

For weeks now I've been meaning to participate in Classy in Philadelphia's "Where in the World Wednesday", but each week Wednesday seems to pass me by with no post. So, I'm finally doing it! I cannot guarantee that this will be a weekly thing, but I would like to get more into a habit of participating. The majority of my travels are within the US (hey now, I'm poor but still have the travel bug!) but I'll try to dig out pics from my European travels 10 YEARS AGO (pre-digital camera era)! Wow, has it really been that long?

Anyway, the idea of WITWW is to post a picture of you someplace in the doesn't have to be somewhere foreign or tropical. Just a picture of you somewhere that you consider traveling.

So, without further ado, my first WITWW post:

April 2009 - Washington, DC with the bestie for the Cherry Blossom Festival

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas's all about the traditions!

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas this year!!

Christmas in my neck of the woods was low-key and relaxing; absolute perfection. I was off of work from the 23rd until today, so it was a nice chunk of time to just spend with friends and family. My best friend, Corey, and her fiance were in town for the holiday (as I mentioned...ok, raved about earlier) and it was wonderful to get to see them and spend time with them over the past week. I miss having her around and Matt is one of the craziest, funniest kids I know! There was a lot of laughter, which is always a lovely thing in my book!

Other than Corey and Matt, I spent most of my time with my parents. We always do Christmas just the 3 of us, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Obviously, having grown up with quiet, intimate Christmases, I don't know any different, but I also don't desire anything else...I like our little family tradition. My mom and I browsed the stores on Christmas Eve so we would know which places we wanted to hit on the day after Christmas. This is tradition! I was able to meet Corey and Matt for lunch so I could see them one final time before they headed south to see Matt's family and then back to Baltimore after the holidays. This good-bye wasn't as bad as others have been, probably because I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be moving back in 6 months...and, I plan to fit in another East Coast visit between then and now. Following lunch, it was back to my parents' house for drinks and hors d'oeuvres with my Dad's best friend. Another tradition! Anyone seeing a theme here...? This lasted most of the evening and then it was time to wind down with some TV and a book and off to bed to anxiously await Santa's arrival!

Christmas started off with coffee and quiche-making, followed by mimosa's and presents! We went through stockings and started in on the gifts while the quiche was baking, took a little break to devour some deliciious quiche and then finished up round 2 of presents. I got everything I wanted and more, including (finally) a new winter coat! But, jewelry seemed to be the theme this year, both for my mom and for myself. And, my Dad surprised my mom and me with gift certificates to get manicures together; he can be so thoughtful! After presents, the 3 of us just lounged around, took our sweet time fitting in showers, and basically munched our way through the day. Dad cooked an amazing beef tenderloin for dinner and made hot fudge for dessert...yum! All in all, it was the perfect day!

The day after Christmas began early for Mom and I with stops at Pier 1 (they have the best after-Christmas deals and are rarely busy in the am), The Cupboard and Perennial Gardner/ Sense of Place (amazing local stores here in my town). Obviously, we fit in coffee and a scone while waiting for a couple of the stores to open up. Going shopping with my mom on the day after Christmas has been a tradition (there's that word again!) for as long as I can remember. We used to hit more stores and end the morning by going out to breakfast with my dad, but we've gotten more low-key over the past couple of years. I love being able to re-stock my gift stash at amazing prices, but I find I am more controlled in my purchases, which is a good thing. After the shopping, things went back to being low-key. Mom, Dad and I ate a little lunch, I headed back home where I cleaned and did a few things around the house, then I hit the gym and settled in with my book. 'Twas lovely!

And finally, the highlight of yesterday was seeing "Sherlock Holmes" with my parents. It was a great movie and I highly recommend it! I read the Sherlock Holmes books when I was younger and have always enjoyed the characters. The story kept me interested, I liked the way the movie was filmed and the cast was superb!

How were all of your Christmases?! I hope this holiday was as wonderful for you all as it was for me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I believe...

I just finished watching the "new" Miracle on 34th Street -- not to be confused with the original black and white version -- and cannot believe that: a) it took me all the way until December 23rd to do so; and b) I had almost forgotten just how much I truly LOVE this movie!!! I think it speaks to the magic that fills the air around Christmas and to the lovely, child-like quality that embodies the holiday (at least for me). It's all about believing, and even though I'm 23 years old, I honestly still believe in Santa and Christmas miracles. I think Christmas reminds people to be selfless and to appreciate the way it feels to give to others. And, of course receiving is fun, but don't you feel giddy when you give someone that perfect gift or when you adopt a child in need for the holidays? I know I do.

And, an added bonus to Miracle on 34th Street is the most perfectly gorgeous traditional house at the very can you not want to call that place your own?

In case I don't make it back to blogland before Christmas, I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas filled with laughter and surrounded by loved ones!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reunited At Last!

There is nothing in the world quite like that sense of belonging that comes from time spent with those who know you best (and love you despite yourself). And that is exactly what I got to do this weekend: My 2 best friends in the entire world were both in the same town with me! *gasp* That's right, the Baltimore Bestie (aka Corey) is in town for the holidays and the native Minnesotan currently calling Denver home but ready to fly off for Aussie adventures (aka Jamie) came up for the night! The last time this happened was in August, and while 4 months doesn't seem like a long time, we had been used to seeing each other multiple times in a week, if not daily, so really once every 4 months is practically a lifetime.

(in Denver back in August)

After lots of airline drama, Corey and her wonderful fiance finally made it to Colorado around 4 am Saturday morning, and as of 11:30 she was all mine! I dragged her along on a few errands with me, took her by my parents' place because they love Corey as much as I do and then we went downtown to our favorite coffee place, Starry Night. This is where we used to spend every Monday after classes, just gossiping and chatting away with our closest girlfriends. I still miss those Monday coffees every single week. After sipping on hot chocolate and catching up for over an hour, we moved on to a little last-minute Christmas shopping and then it was pedicure time! Heck yes! Corey went with a lovely, festive reddish-pinkish color and I went with a dark purple...not exactly festive. but still fun. Pedicures are just kind of our thing. We always get them when she comes to town and it's something I look forward to splurging on with her.

(at Lucky Joe's)

Jamie made her appearance after the pedicures and it was just like old times again. After Christmas gifts were exchanged and clothes were changed we headed back downtown to hit up our very favorite spot: Lucky Joe's. Once again, another tradition. This is by far my favorite bar in town, plus it has great food and a lively atmosphere. We gorged ourselves, indulged in a couple drinks, continued with the constant chit-chat and eventually made our way back to my apartment...after a quick stop at the liquor store and Target, of course. Jeans were quickly exchanged for pjs, Jamie played bartender and created some lovely mixed drinks and we settled in to play Partini for the first time. Technically, this game is meant to be played with at least 4 players in order for teams to be established, but we tweaked the rules a tad and had a fabulous time! I highly recommend giving this game a go at your next get-together!

The night ended with a bottle of vodka downed, half a bottle of wine enjoyed, therapuetic tears shed (Jamie's nephew did just pass, and it's only been 4.5 months since we lost our mutual friend, Justin), laughter and reminiscing shared and that comforting sense of a "forever friendship".

Next to nothing beats time spent with these 2 amazing gals, and I cannot describe to you all just how happy I was to have my 2 best friends home again. They are the 2 people who know me best and I cannot imagine my life without them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A successful evening

I think I've discovered my key to a great cardio workout: an addicting book! I find that I ride the bike harder at a higher level for longer, or stay focused on the elliptical for more miles when I'm reading an engrossing novel than when I just have my iPod or an ok book. I know, I know, another post about reading...oh well! I completely lost track of time while I was at the gym tonight. I was 60 pages away from the end of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and before I knew it, I had been riding the bike for nearly 50 minutes and my book was finished. I rode the entire time at a level higher than I usually do and never once realized just how long I had been at it. I'm sure my legs will be sore in the morning, but I feel great now! And bonus, the book was lovely!

As promised, I'm happy to report that last night's first book club gathering was a success! Despite no one in our group knowing the best way to structure the discussion, we delved right into everyone's thoughts and opinions on the book and then went from there. I think it was great! It was nice to hear everyone else's take on the characters, ending and story in general. There were mixed reviews on the book and a lot of insight into the motivation(s) behind the characters' actions. I'm already looking forward to our next get together! We're read The Language of Baklava this time and I can't wait to pick up a copy and start reading this weekend!

Oh, and I have to give a shout-out to Lisa for the amazing sangria she made and for hosting last night's book club. Each lady brought an appetizer and/or wine. All of the food was wonderful and you all know I never say no to a glass of wine. Like I said yesterday, good food, good wine and good company make for a lovely evening!

Now, I'm settling in with my blanket, pjs and the 2nd disc of Roar. I do so love (and miss) Heath Ledger!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random thoughts on a Tuesday morning

I have my first ever book club meeting tonight and I am very excited! We read The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel and while it wasn't a book I would have normally selected for myself, it was wonderful! It's based on the life of Eastern Jewel, a Chinese princess banished to Japan at a young age by her father. She spent her life seeking the love she never received by carrying on numerous love affairs and constantly searching for a true female friend. Always feeling more like a child of Japan than of China, she attempted to prove her Japanese citizenship by acting as a spy, which eventually led to her imprisonment and death in 1948.

Having never been a part of a book club (despite always wanting to join one), I'm not quite sure how tonight will go, but I'll let everyone know tomorrow. What I do know is that there will be good food, good wine and good company, so I'm sure it'll be a lovely evening.


I'm having a skinny day! I am not a super skinny person, so keep it in context, but I feel good, I look good, I'm well-dressed today and I like it! I've lost roughly 30 pounds in the last year or so, and I always love days when I actually feel like I've lost that weight. Hooray!


That being said, I'm not having a fantastic hair day. I really, really should've conditioned it this morning, but I thought I could go another day or two...apparently not. Oops! Rather than looking nice and soft, it's shouting, "see this frizz? This is from your unhealthy love of your hair dryer and curling iron!" In my defense, I have kind of fine hair that, when conditioned too often, becomes weighed down and limp. Nonetheless, I will obviously be conditioning my hair tomorrow morning and I'm sure we'll be back on good terms then.


I cannot wait for Saturday!! Corey (my Baltimore bestie), Jamie and I are finally getting to hang out! Corey and her fiance are flying into town Friday night and she and I are going to have a girls day on Saturday. This means pedicures...hooray! And, once Jamie gets off of work, she'll be heading to my place and the three of us will be off for dinner, drinks and gossip. It'll be just like senior year of college all over again!


And, because I'm in such a good mood today:

...words to live by...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coming March of 2010...

Yep, another book nerd post, folks. Obviously, this is going to be a theme here.

Anyway, just a quick bit of excitement to share: Carol Goodman, one of my favorite authors, is releasing a new book in March! It's called Arcadia Falls and sounds quite good.

I've read all 6 of Goodman's novels and have been impressed with each one. She is, above all, a mystery writer, but there's always an overarching theme of family; often a single parent (typically a mom) due to the loss, either physically or mentally, of the other parent. The mystery in Goodman's novels usually require knowledge of a character's past so she frequently switches between present time and past vignettes, which I love. I'm intrigued when books have dual time periods and character's discover things about themselves with memory flashbacks. I guess it's just kind of my thing.

I highly recommend checking out any one of Carol Goodman's novels. They've been released for a while, so local libraries and used book stores typically seem to carry her work. No need to spend $15.00 on a book (unless it's a perfectly beautiful story that speaks to your soul and must have a place of honor on your bookshelf) when you can just hit up your local library!

Has anyone else read anything by this author?

ps- The Lake of Dead Languages was my first Goodman read and I was hooked immediately! The minute I finished it I hopped online and searched for any other titles by this talented began my need ( it what you will) to read every one of her books.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another thank you and an award

First and foremost, I want to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading my blogs about baby Jake, who have said prayers for him and his family and for all of the lovely, supportive comments. It was a really rough week and I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it was to have everyone's comments to draw strength from. Jakob Locke Talus was laid to rest yesterday afternoon in Minnesota surrounded by friends and family. As I've said before, I have no doubt that he will be forever watchful of his family as he sports his new Angel wings in Heaven. And for the family, now begins their long, painful process of healing, so everyone please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Onto a happier topic: I was tagged for the Happy 101 Award by the lovely Ashley over at Kiwis and Cocktails yesterday! Thank you, Ashley! This absolutely made my day. If you haven't checked out Ashley's blog yet, I highly recommend you do so; she's extremely entertaining, has a husband with an accent and is Mama to an adorable dog! What's not to love?! Hers is definitely a daily must-read for me.

As for the rules to this award (everything has to have rules, doesn't it?), they are sweet and simple:
1. List 10 things that make you happy, and
2. Tag 10 fellow bloggers that brighten your day...
Piece of cake!

My 10 happy things:

1. My parents -- My Mom is my best friend, my #1 confidant, my biggest fan and my reality check (when I need it). My Dad is my protector, my go-to guy for questions that are far out of my realm of expertise, my giant bear hug when I really need it and one of my biggest supporters of sticking to my goals. My parents are my pillar of strength and the best example I've ever seen of what a loving, healthy marriage looks like.

2. Finding the perfect gift for someone. I get giddy like a schoolgirl and cannot wait to see the person's face light up when they open my gift.

3. That feeling after finishing an exceptionally good book when my soul sighs and all I want to do is go back and start from the beginning again!

4. The smell of freshly brewing coffee when I first wake up in the morning.

5. Rainbow sprinkles on frozen yogurt. How can you not feel happy when you're eating something smooth and delicious that is also sprinkled with little rainbow bits?!

6. The 6th floor of the old part of the Denver Art Museum -- I can (and do) literally spend hours just taking in the European Renaissance and 19th century French art pieces that fill this floor. I never fail to feel a sense of peace and awe when I visit this part of the museum. In fact, I have been known to go to the museum specifically to visit the 6th floor and then promptly leave (after a quick stop in the gift shop of course!) without seeing any other exhibits. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for not only instilling in me a love and appreciation of art, but also for the DAM family pass that allows me free visits!

7. Drinking wine while wearing sweats and enjoying deep EJ conversations on the couch. EJ = Erin and Jamie, and our mutual love of wine and sweats, the fact that we are often on the same brain wavelength (scary!) and the amazing conversations I can only have with her make me very happy. I have 2 best friends and this one is pretty freaking awesome.

8. The fact that the other best friend, Corey, (often referred to here as the Baltimore Bestie and also pretty freaking awesome) and her fiance may be moving back to Colorado this summer!!!

9. My apartment. I love that this place is MINE! I love coming home to it, getting to decorate it, not having to share anything in it and proudly showing it off to visiting family and friends.

10. When my parents' neighbor's dog (did you catch all of that?), Lilly Pad, sees me drive up and can hardly contain her excitement until I get out of my car. She comes racing over from her house and just loves on me. It's the best feeling!

My fellow bloggers, whose lives I love to follow, that I'm passing this award onto are (in no particular order):

Brandi at Excess Baggage
Classy in Philadelphia
Kaylee at Kisses from Kay
Katie at Love and Peace
Caitlin at Love Life
My darling, B at Real.
Courtney at Starting Out
Lawgirl at Stumbling in Stilettos
Kaity at ambition never goes out of style
Brenna at Buzz de la Abeja

Each and every one of you has a fabulous blog that I enjoy reading and commenting on. Thanks, ladies!

Monday, December 7, 2009

This weekend was...

...very low-key. I'm battling one of my infamous sinus infections and actually ended up staying home from work on Friday. I'm glad I did, because not only did my whole head hurt from sinus pressure, but it was an emotionally trying day. As you can see from my last post, Baby Jake passed away late Friday afternoon. An EEG found that Jake didn't have enough brain activity to survive, so the family gathered together, supported one another, took turns getting to hold this precious child and then let him go. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the family's own personal angel in Heaven, watching over them for the remainder of their lives. It was so much better to be able to cry on the phone with my mom in the comfort of my own home, rather than hiding in the break room at work. It would've just been too much for me to take.

The rest of the weekend consisted of relaxing and marking things off of my to-do list, such as starting to wrap Christmas presents, washing multiple loads of laundry, sending out sympathy cards, etc. We're in the middle of another winter storm here in Northern Colorado, so along with snow (started Saturday night and still hasn't stopped) came bitter cold temperatures. I had almost forgotten what it's like to step outside and feel your nose hairs start to freeze! Brrr! Obviously, avoiding having to go outside played a major role in the weekend as well.

I helped my Mom decorate the Christmas tree at my parents' house and gathered up all of my own decorations from the basement. I haven't tackled my decorating yet, but at least I have everything readily available now! As always, my parents' tree looks classy and gorgeous. My mother has quite the knack for decorating her Christmas tree and I have to admit I'm envious. I've picked up a few skills here and there and I really think my tree looks lovely and fun (it's a silver tree) every year, but it never quite compares to my Mom's...and, let's be honest, probably never will.

I think the highlight of this weekend came on Saturday evening. I'd been out running errands, still wasn't feel well at all, had a heavy heart over Jake and just needed some Erin time, which means: Barnes & Noble. B&N is my safe haven! This is where I go when I just need to lose myself a little. I always feel comforted by all of the books and conversations going on around me; there's a warmth to that store that I rarely find other than at my parents' house or in my own apartment. So, I bought a cup of extra hot coffee, picked a copy of Bright Star off of the shelf, settled into one of the comfy arm chairs and just indulged in some Me Time. It was wonderful. I was curled up in the chair long enough to read the entire book (a little over an hour), savor my coffee and get a few chuckles out of the conversations going on around me. By the time I vacated the arm chair, I was feeling much better and had a smile on my face. My throat and sinuses still hurt and my heart was still broken over Jake, but my soul felt refreshed.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby Jake has passed away.

Please take a moment to say a prayer for Jakob Locke Talus, Heaven's newest little angel.

Also, please say one for his family, who will need all of the love, strength and support we can give them during this unimaginable time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


(Baby Jake)

I feel so helpless. I can bow my head and pray for Jake. I can think every single postivie thought that comes to mind. I can send my love and support. I can make Jamie laugh with little text messages because I know she needs to smile. I can talk with Mama A and get updates. I can post for prayers on Facebook and here.

...but I can't be there. I can't give my best friend a hug. I can't tell her that my shoulder is hers whenever she needs it. I can't send encouragement and strength through a smile to Mama and Papa A or Katie and her husband. I can't even keep the dogs out of trouble at Jamie's parents' house. I can't do anything that feels even remotely useful.

I know this has a touch of pity party to it, but I'm angry and frustrated that this is happening to such a wonderful family. I'm a strong woman and I am surprisingly good at handling stressful situations...until I'm alone and my walls break down. Well, here I am alone in my apartment looking at pictures of baby Jake and I've never felt so incredibly helpless in my entire life. I hate it; I hate this situation; and I hate that the people I love as much as my own blood family are in so much pain right now.

I just needed to get the words out of my head...

Thank You and an Update

I just want to say a huge thank you, not only from me, but also from Jamie and her entire family for everyone's continued positive thoughts and prayers for baby Jake. It means the world to them!

I don't have too much information yet this morning, but I can tell you that as of last night Jake's pH and CO2 levels were improving, but there is still a lot of concern as to the functioning of his brain and major organs. He is currently on a cold pad in order to keep his temperature down to 85 degrees in the hopes of preventing any further damage to his little body. After he's been on the cold pad for 72 hours, neurologists will run a full MRI to help determine what kind of, and how much, damage Jake has. We're all continuing to throw our miracle cards into the mix and praying that the little guy keeps fighting!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please Continue Praying


The prognosis for Baby Jake is not good. Due to the lack of a main blood supply and oxygen when the umbilical cord was severed, neurologists are pessimistic about Jake's brain and organ functioning. The family will know more once a full MRI has been completed, but it truly looks like a miracle is needed. Please, please, please keep Jake and the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Everyone's hearts are breaking right now...

Prayers Needed

As some of you may know, I am an only child and as such, I have taken it upon myself to turn my friends and their families into my pseudo-siblings, parents, grandparents, etc. Well, Jamie, the bestie, is as close to a sister as I will ever have (she truly is considered a 2nd daughter by my parents) and her family really is my 2nd family. Because of her I have a pseudo-big sister (Katie), pseudo-little brother (Sean), 2 crazy pseudo-parents (Mama and Papa A) and 2 wonderful pseudo-grandparents (Mom-mom and Pop-pop).

Katie's water broke at 2 AM this morning and after getting to the hospital and realizing that the umbilical cord was showing, she was rushed into an emergency C-section. The placental tear that caused this was close to a vein and Baby Jake was losing blood. He was rushed to the pediatric ICU and from there transfered to the Children's Hospital. His father went with him, and doctor's are hoping to transfer Katie there some time this morning so the family can be together.

Jake is currently fighting for his life. So, please keep Baby Jake, Katie and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers this morning; they need it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Wish List of sorts

I'm fairly certain that not only do I desperately want this, but I need it:

And one of these in French Lace would be lovely, as well:


I'm not feeling overly attached to Colorado today, so being whisked away to Bellinter House in Ireland would be splendid!


And this handsome Scot is more than welcome to join me...

(it is my wish list after all...)

Happy December, everyone!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm impatiently waiting for these releases!

I have so much to blog about from this amazing past week, but I just don't feel up to it today. It was absolutely wonderful, as always, to have my Uncle in town (from MA), and I got to spend 2 full days with my bestie in Denver. Thanksgiving was a fun-filled day as it is every year, and we were lucky to have perfect Colorado weather for the entire week. I have lots of pictures to share and want to go into more detail, but like I said, I'm just not up for that task this morning (call me lazy, it's ok), so instead let's talk about all of the amazing-looking movies that will be coming out in the near future:

Letters to Juliet
Release Date: May 2010
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal and Christopher Egan
Plot: An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered "letter to Juliet" --one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover's Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by the "secretaries of Juliet" -- and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter (

I cannot wait to see this lovely-looking romance set in gorgeous Italy! How can anyone resist that scenery?! Amanda Seyfried is certainly making a name for herself, and I am sucker for Christopher Egan (he reminds a bit of Heath Ledger with his smallish eyes and deep voice).

Leap Year
Release Date:
January 2010
Starring: Amy Adams and Matthew Goode
Plot: A woman (Adams) who has an elaborate scheme to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, an Irish tradition which occurs every time the date February 29 rolls around, faces a major setback when bad weather threatens to derail her planned trip to Dublin. With the help of an innkeeper, however, her cross-country odyssey just might result in her getting engaged (

Ireland + Amy Adams + Romantic Comedy = my perfect movie! Enough said. :-)

It's Complicated
Release Date: December 2009
Starring: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin
Plot: A romantic comedy in which two men vie for the affection of a woman (

I rarely find fault with Meryl Streep, especially in a comedic role, so I have high hopes for this movie! Add in Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, and I expect to have a happy side ache from too much laughter!

Release Date: December 2009
Starring: Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman
Plot: The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match (

I love awe-inspiring movies based on true stories and Morgan Freeman is by far my favorite actor. I cannot imagine this movie being anything but magnificent; the preview alone gives me chills!

Dear John
Release Date: February 2010
Starring: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried
Plot: A romantic drama about a soldier who falls for a conservative college student while he's home on leave ( FYI- this plot summary contains movie spoilers).

I must confess that I have not read this book and do not intend to. Due to Nicholas Sparks always killing off a beloved character, I've sworn off his books for the most part. Nonetheless, this movie looks to contain all of the Nicholas Sparks essentials: drama, romance, heart break, a hot guy (yum, Channing Tatum!) and the promise of a few good tears. Plus, another starring role for Amanda Seyfried!

What movies are you all looking forward to seeing? Do you prefer new-idea films or based-on-a-book films? I must confess that I love both!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


It's going to be a good day full of family, horseback riding, incredible amounts of food, laughter, sunshine and crisp, Colorado air. It doesn't get much better than that.

I hope everyone has as lovely a day as I have planned.
Enjoy today and all you have to be thankful for.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday I'm in Love

Ahhhh, it's Friday! Is anyone else feeling a sweet sigh of relief that the weekend is nearly upon us? I, obviously, am.

After spending yesterday pouting with my cranky-pants on, I am happy to report that I'm back to my chipper, smiley self today! I feel like a new woman with my freshly chopped and revitalized hair, and I must admit that a Corona and conversation with my dear friend Betsy last night went a long way towards improving my mood. I'll also give a shout out to those sneaky, little endorphins released during my afternoon workout yesterday, even if I did grudgingly hit up the gym with my cranky-pants firmly in place. It may not have been my best workout to date, but atleast I went, right?!

I have a low key evening ahead of me, which suits me perfectly today. My Uncle flies in from Boston tomorrow evening (hooray!), so I will be happily cleaning my apartment tonight in order to get it spick and span for company. Not that my Uncle will actually be staying with me (he'll stay with my parents who live in town), but I'm living in a new apartment and am excited to show it off to him. Luckily, I come from a family of OCD-like clean freaks, so my place is usually neat and tidy, but the bathrooms need a good cleaning, I'd like to vacuum and there are some piles that need organizing before it meets my expectations. All in all, it'll be a piece of cake to get ready!

That being said, I think I'm going to stop by a couple of bookstores on my way home tonight before tackling my apartment. I'm on the hunt for a couple of elementary school-age appropriate books for 2 kids my mother and I are sponsoring this Christmas...think old-school Goosebumps books, Princess Academy and Hannah Montana. I'm excited! I'm also hoping for a couple of good finds for myself at one of my favorite used bookstores. Today just seems to call for a cup of coffee and a little book-hunting; thank goodness this particular bookstore is attached to a coffee shop. Obviously, this place is like heaven-on-earth for me...I'm such a sucker for a good used book!

So, there you have it folks: the exciting Friday night life of a single, twenty-something year old gal! Luckily, I love it...

ps- I'm resisting my urge and avoiding the scary, teeny-bopper crowds and waiting until tomorrow morning to see New Moon! I'm absolutely, disgustingly excited!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Short hair love

"Short hair may be low-maintenance in the style department, but it's like a needy boyfriend when it comes to trims."

This sentence just made my morning! It not only makes me smile at the less-than-subtle jest, but it makes me smile at the truthful comparison.

I have short hair. I love my short hair. I adore my bob and think it is a great cut for my face, but it truly is a needy little thing, let me tell you! Not only does my hair grow quickly, but it grows unevenly. Note: we are talking needy, clingy boyfriend-like hair now! The back grows faster than the front, which means that despite getting the back nicely stacked, by the time 5 or 6 weeks have passed it's hard to tell what my cut originally looked like. I feel disheveled and find myself getting angry with my hair in the morning. I am more than willing to admit that this issue is far more noticeable by myself and my hair dresser than by anyone else, but it still irks me.

I am currently hitting that I-feel-disheveled point, but am happy to say that I have a hair appointment already scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. My hair has behaved far better this go-around than usual, so my morning battles have been minimal. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to getting my scalp massaged, my dead-ends trimmed and my short hair refreshed!

On a side note, I recently tried a new shampoo and I LOVE it! It's L'Oreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo for color-treated hair, and it's getting my seal of approval so far. I usually find that moisturizing shampoo makes my hair too soft and takes any body out of it, but not this lovely product; this makes my hair soft, light and healthy-looking. And, bonus: it smells like an Aveda product (rosemary and juniper) without the associated ridiculous price tag. I am in heaven!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The best of intentions...are sometimes delayed

Every Sunday I have the very best intentions to blog about my weekend. Obviously, this hasn't really happened yet. So, I am going to force you all to bear with me while I play catch-up on some highlights of the past couple of weekends. I'll do my best to pepper this post with photos and keep my ramblings to a minimum.

I've been putting my bargain-hunting skills to good use, both for myself and for Christmas presents. I wont go into any details on the pressies (my family and friends do read this afterall), but I would love to show you a few of the deals I've found for myself. After cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago, I realized that the majority of my winter clothes were either too big or just old and worn out, so I have been slowly finding new sweaters, blouses and long sleeve tees. I will admit that there were a few really good deals (Banana Republic!) on tees and sleeveless shirts that I couldn't pass up, but I figure, hey, I love layering so give me a cardigan and I'll call it good!

BR bargain find that looks wonderful under a cardi

NY & Co 70% off in a yummy raspberry color

Among a few other things, I also managed to find the perfect belted, long, black button-down blouse and an amazing navy and white striped v-neck tee (I love BR sales)!

Along with the clothes I picked up this lovely bowl in the clearance corner of one of my favorite home goods store. It looks perfect on my breakfast bar, and sparkles in the sunlight.

Last Sunday my mom and I wandered through The Hall of Trees at a local theater in town. This has been a mother-daughter tradition for as long as I can remember and always sets the mood for the holiday season. Local stores put together Christmas displays to showcase their favorites for the season, and it is so much fun to look at the ornaments, stockings, flowers and table settings. It makes me want to run home and turn my house into a Christmas-y winter wonderland!

I love the teal with the gold and chocolate brown!

Elvis even came out of hiding for the event

And finally, the weekends have been full of good food, coffee and tea, good friends and the ever-present wine. All of my favorites filling my weekends, and I wouldn't have it any other way. A highlight: The bestie and I went to see "A Christmas Carol" in 3D and it was great! This is my favorite Christmas story and I am happy to report that it stayed true to the story and nicely incorporated the obvious Jim Carey touch to it. Have any of you seen it yet?

I couldn't resist myself

I hope everyone else has had as lovely weekends as I have...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day (a day late)

I realize yesterday was Veteran's Day, so this post is a little over due but I just wanted to take this moment to wish every a Happy Veteran's Day and to thank all of the people who have served, and are continuing to serve, our country. Regardless of political belief or views on war, our troops deserve all of our support; they are risking their lives for us.

I feel lucky to say that I do not have anyone close to me who is currently serving in the military, but both of my Grandfathers fought in World War II and I grew up on WWII stories from my Grandpa Don. Grandpa passed away in September and I really missed him yesterday. He was the proudest American I think I've ever met and was very defined by his time spent in the military. He risked his life for our country and sacrificed a leg in the process. And I will be forever grateful that he shared all of his war stories with his children and with all of us grandchildren. Even when we didn't want to listen to another war story, he talked and emailed articles and referenced books, and now that I'm older and he's gone, I feel so very blessed to have his stories in my life.

I miss you Grandpa Don, and I love you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My new description...?

My mother just called me "a romantic Bostonphile" due to my wanting this:

and this:

...and I think she may be right!

I am now officially deeming myself a romantic Bostonphile and will wear that title proudly! I'm embracing my love of romantic quotes, black and white cityscapes, metro-maps, coffee, tote bags, the East Coast and any combination of the above.

Do any of you have a favorite city? Or consider yourselves hopeless romantics? Surely I'm not the only "romantic (insert favorite city)-phile" out there!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I do love a good exchange!

As I'm wandering through Blogland this morning, I'm noticing a theme emerging: Christmas! Halloween is over, lights are starting to go up around town, Starbucks has its holiday drinks on the menu (eggnog lattes? yes please!) and of course stores are already pushing their Christmas merchandise, so naturally, my blogging friends are starting to squeal with delight over this wonderfully magical holiday.

Now, don't get me wrong, I truly love Thanksgiving. My Uncle flies out from Boston every year and we play up in the mountains, go horseback riding, explore Denver, watch movies and eat entirely too much food on Turkey Day. It is always a fun-filled week that I look forward to it all year long...

...but it still isn't quite as magical as Christmas. (word to the wise: I will be using "magical" A LOT for the next month or so, I'm sure)

Ornament Exchange

I'd like to give a shout out to the ladies over at Random Moms for hosting a Christmas Ornament Exchange this year. If you're anything like me and have waaayyy too many ornaments to count, but simply cannot resist continually picking up new ones this exchange is for you! Check out their blog for all of the details, and hopefully you'll get another ornament for the tree that comes with a smile, a story and a good memory.

...weekend recap and lots of things I keep meaning to post about to come later...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Commitment? I think not...

I'm having intense commitment issues! I cannot seem to just sit down and focus on one book right now. Why? Because I'm loving all 3 of the books that I've started and picking just one is proving impossible.

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel is for my book club and actually isn't a book that I would normally pick on my own. It's based on fact, has an amazing story line and is beautifully written.

Black Hills because I.Heart.Nora.Roberts! I put this book on hold at the library before it was even published and I waited a good 3 months for my turn to finally come; obviously, I cannot pass up this chance to read it before my 3 weeks are up with the Library.

Mr Darcy, Vampyre feeds my love of anything, absolutely anything, Pride and Prejudice-esque. I am one of those cult-like followers of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and would gladly give my right hand for my own Mr. Darcy (lol). I also jumped on the Twilight Saga bandwagon a couple of years ago, and have become a bit of a sucker for vampire stories. So, voila! this book combines 2 of my loves, hence my inability to set it aside for one of my other reads.

HELP!!! Ahhhh....