Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I love Barnes and Noble New Release Tuesdays

Folks, here's my confession: I am a sucker for a good romance novel! While this is perhaps not my very best, nor most worthwhile trait, it is true and I'll wear it proudly. Sometimes all I want after a long day is to escape into a smut novel that requires little brain power, but never ceases to keep the smiles coming. Now, what is so wrong with that? I'm a hopeless romantic (despite being surprisingly logical and realistic in real life) and lover of a nice, sappy happily ever after; throw in some historical drama or a little mystery and I'm set!

Reading is a passion that I inherited from my mother, and reading a good romance is something I can directly link to her mother, my grandmother...at least I'm keeping it all in the family! When I was about 12 or so, I spent 2 weeks back in Michigan with my grandparents. The night before my departure, as always, Grammy pulled a few books off of her shelves for me to take back to Colorado with me. One of these books was The MacGregors: Daniel & Ian by Nora Roberts. It was right up my alley: love, Scottish men, strong-willed females and just one in a series. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked! From that day on, I was a romance novel convert. Since then, my tastes have changed and my horizons have broadened, but romance novels are always my "comfort food" so to speak, and Nora Roberts' books are my ultimate.

Well, my dear Ms. Roberts has a new book out today and I.WANT.IT! It's called Bed of Roses and is the 2nd in her new Brides Quartet; and considering how I devoured the first book, I can only assume it will be wonderful. As I've said before, I get the majority of my books from the library, but this is one I will absolutely be buying...this weekend...after pay day...when my justifications will be "stronger". I can't wait!

ps- my side table looks like this, which is another reason to wait until at least this weekend to give in to my book wants:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Fabulous First Award

Courtney, my fellow fabulous blogger, friend from high school and person who inspired me to start blogging, nominated me for my very first blogging award last week! A big thank you to her!

I'm supposed to name 5 things that I'm currently obsessed with and then nominate other fabulous blogs. Since I am still new to the blogging world, and am just starting to get to know other bloggers, I'm going to hold off on the nominations for now.

So, without further ado, 5 things I am currently obsessed with:

1. Fashion. I've always loved clothes and putting together colors and outfits, but up until recently had never hit the obsessive level...well, I've hit it! I have this desire to look as good as I feel all.the.time! and to put the extra effort into getting dressed stylishly in the mornings. I know it sounds kind of snobby, but I want my coworkers and friends to notice what I'm wearing and to genuinely like my outfits. And then, I want to be able to tell them where I got it and what a great deal I got on said outfit or piece of clothing (because I'm a bargain-hunter extraordinaire) so they can go out and have as much fun fashion shopping as I have. I want to spread the wealth!

2. Jamie, my best friend in the entire world. She is currently living close-by in Denver, but come January will be heading back to Minnesota and then off to Australia for graduate school. I have several posts started about her heading to AUS and my feelings on it, but have kept them just for me so far. Eventually, I'm sure I will go into more detail here, but until then I will just say that I'm absolutely thrilled for her! I've known for a while that heading to AUS was her plan, but it didn't fully hit me until a couple of weeks ago that I'm going to have go from seeing her nearly every weekend to possibly only seeing her once a year if I'm lucky. Wow, can we say reality check?! So, now I'm trying to make the most of the time she has left here in CO and get my Jamie fill before she heads off on her next adventure.

3. Meeting new people. In line with the bestie leaving (and my other best friend already living in MD) and the fact that I feel like I've become an entirely new woman over the last year, I've been wanting to broaden my horizens by doing more things and meeting new people. I'm always jealous of people who can run out after work for a drink with work friends or are able to easily put themselves out there and meet people, but that's just not me (yet...hopefully). I am one of the youngest people at my job (and the youngest in my division), which makes it a little more difficult to really form work friendships. Luckily, I do know a couple of very outgoing gals in another division who have been on the job longer than I have and know more of the younger crowd than I do, and they've kind of taken me under their wing. These ladies are wonderful planners who really put forth the effort to get us 20-something year olds together for non-work related activities. It's been great! So, I'm slowly but surely getting to know more ladies at work and will, hopefully, start forming some friendships. As for wanting to be better at putting myself out there?...one step at a time for this gal. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day (gotta love the cheesy cliches)!

4. Re-decorating my guest room. In the beginning, my guest room was decorated with my at the time live-in boyfriend's 3 year old son in mind. It had a boy color scheme, not a lot of decorations and hardly any sense of Erin in it. Well, the relationship is over, I'm in a new apartment that is all mine and it's time for me to take back my guest room. I live on a budget, so re-decorating has been a slow process, but it's coming along and I'm loving it. The furniture was mine to begin with, and I've been collecting accessories here and there, so the guest room is starting to look and feel like a welcoming space with just enough "Erin" in it to fit with the rest of my apartment. Next up: recovering the throw pillows to better match my new color scheme.

5. Books. I'm a self-described book nerd and wouldn't have it any other way. I am a Barnes and Noble member, Library newsletter subscriber and cheap book-stalking fiend. I've had my library card number memorized for years due to the outrageous number of books that I place on hold. I would literally be broke if I purchased all of the books that I read, which is why I am such a huge proponent of libraries. I love the places that books can take me to and the characters I get to meet. Books have always been my safe haven and my quick escape if I need it. They bring me comfort after a rough day and provide endless entertainment on quiet, cool evenings. I've had a love affair with books for as long as I can remember, and plan to keep it my life's longest lasting relationship...I did warn you right off the bat of my nerdiness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10 reasons why I love my life today:

1. Total jam sessions in the car on the way home from a long day at work
2. Coffee at Starry Night on a cold Fall evening
3. Hobby Lobby Christmas decorations that make my heart smile and my checkbook cringe
4. Warm, cute, stylish sweater coats with toggle buttons
5. Yellow Tail Rose wine.
6. Gossip with a fabulous friend.
7. A stellar performance evaluation at work
8. Planning a weekend phone date with my Baltimore bestie (and looking at creative invites for her wedding)
9. Starting a new book
10. And the best for last: Texting about jam sessions, sexy cops, TV addiction, wine addiction, smut novel covers and anything else we can think of with my best friend

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bright Star

I desperately want to see Bright Star...it looks absolutely stunning and the movie description alone makes the sappy romantic in me sigh and smile contentedly. Plus, I literally get chills whenever I watch the trailer.

How can any true romantic resist this:

London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year-old English poet, John Keats (Ben Whishaw), and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), an out-spoken student of high fashion. This unlikely pair begin at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, while she was unimpressed not only by his poetry but also by literature in general.

However, when Fanny heard that Keats was nursing his seriously ill younger brother, her efforts to help touched Keats and when she asked him to teach her about poetry he agreed. The poetry soon became a romantic remedy that worked not only to sort their differences, but also to fuel an impassioned love affair.

When Fanny's alarmed mother and Keats' best friend finally awoke to their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept deeply into powerful new sensations, "I have the feeling as if we're dissolving," Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that only deepened as their troubles mounted.

When Keats fell ill a year later, the two young lovers faced no marriage but separation. In Keats' own poignant words, "forever panting and forever young."
(from imdb.com)

Friday, October 16, 2009

And she's off...

I've been horrible at blogging this week, and unfortunately will probably remain so until Sunday or Monday because I am off to Denver to spend the weekend with my bestie!

Tonight: sweats, wine, munchies and a movie
Tomorrow: Denver explorations, maybe a haunted house or perhaps a D-Note date?
Sunday: Homeward bound for me...

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Any fun plans?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Clicking and Clacking along

I LOVE the click-clack sound of heels on a hard surface as I walk. I know, it's kind of a strange thing, but the sound just makes me smile. I don't wear heels all that often and the majority of my shoes are either wedges or flats, so this sound is rare for me. But, I bought the most amazing pair of boots over the weekend, and even though they have small, wedged-heels, they still make that highly-coveted click-clack sound as I strut my stuff! I feel business-like, mature and fashionable in these boots, and something about their click-clack tune just reinforces these feelings in me.

What can I say...I'm a nerd (with very cute boots)!

ps- I won my first blogging award! More about that later...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I never thought I would say it, but...

...I'm voluntarily watching football. Yep, football; that sport that I bitched about all last season, dreaded Sundays for and could never understand everyone else's excitement for.

And, I finally figured out why I hated it so much last season, but don't mind it now: I no longer associate football with my ex. Sundays were usually his only day off and regardless of my feelings (or opinion), he would drag me off to wherever the game was playing, so I could watch him drink beer and shout at the TV; not exactly my cup of tea. Plus, I've never done well with being forced to do anything. It makes me bitter, mad and usually a bit vindictive...I know, lovely qualities, right?

Well, after stumbling across a game on TV a few weeks ago and finding myself getting into it, I put my Psych degree to good use and realized that I didn't actually hate football, I'd hated the Sunday coercion, the loss of a possibly productive day and the "but I thought you wanted to spend time with me" whining. The sport is actually entertaining and easy to get into; it had just fallen victim to my misplaced bitterness.

So, I am happy to announce that I am a football-convert (for now) and enjoying this new side of me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009

I'm venturing into my first blog challenge, which, of course, involves reading...no shock there! Katrina at Callapiddler Days has offered up an awesome challenge called Fall Into Reading 2009. It runs from September 22 - December 20 (a.k.a. FALL 2009) during which time you create a list of books you wish to read and/or complete and then see how far you make it!

I'll admit that I'm horrible at sticking to a designated list of books to read (because I have a bad habit of reading multiple books at a time), but I'm more than willing to give it a try!

With that being said, here's my Fall 2009 Reading List:

1. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
2. Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
3. And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
4. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
5. finish my re-read (3rd time) of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
6. Rumors by Anna Godbersen
7. The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4) by Melissa de la Cruz
8. The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley
9. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

...and here's what I actually read:

1. Tempt Me At Twilight

2. Twenties Girl
3. And Only to Deceive
4. Black Hills by Nora Roberts (not on my original list)
5. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
6. To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt (not on my original list)
7. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne by John Keats and Jane Campion (not on my original list)
8. The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (not on my original list)

Wish me luck* and happy reading!!

*I may just need it the way my attention span's been lately

The First Snow

It's snowing big, fat, gorgeous flakes outside!! I am just beside myself with excitement right now! This is Fort Collins' first official snow, and I am so happy that I'm able to watch the flakes fall from the warmth of my office.

As I was driving into work this morning I just knew there would be snow today (I know the weatherman said this, but come on, it's Colorado, which means unpredictable weather), and sure enough, Mother Nature didn't make me wait for very long. The mountains were completely shrouded in dense, grey clouds and there was a fine mist hanging in the air. I could smell the snow that was bound to come...and here it is!

I love the way the flakes stick to the few leaves that are left on the tree by my window, and how they coat the pine needles with a jacket of white; I love when the flakes are big enough to catch on your tongue and how the first snow always carries a little magic with in.

It snowed while I was up in Vail this past weekend, so I guess I can't say this is my first snow of the season, but this is the first snow in my home, and that makes it all the more meaningful.

My mind is already filling up with thoughts of Christmas movies (what's your favorite?), hot chocolate in the evenings by the fire, flannel pajama pants and comfy sweatshirts, slippers in the morning to guard against those chilly tiles, cuddling up with any number of wonderful books, giant bowls of steaming soup and maybe, just maybe twinkling christmas lights...I suppose I should get through Halloween and Thanksgiving before getting too excited, but hey, it's the first snow and there's magic in the air!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Go Twinkies!!

I love baseball. I loved it as a child...and then I hated it...and then I discovered my Red Sox and the Twins and the love affair began all over again. I do, of course, support my Colorado Rockies, but anyone who knows me well knows that my one true love is the Red Sox with the Twins playing mistress on the side. Granted, the Twins certainly do not get my attention quite like the Red Sox do, but they know they're loved.

So, today I'm giving a shout-out to the Twins for their win against Detroit last night, and for their success in winning the AL Central Title!! It was one hell of a game, and I was lucky enough to catch the final inning (12th inning!!) while enjoying dinner with my bestie, which made it all the better (She's from MN and a die-hard fan). The Twins played their final game in the Dome with their whole hearts and it paid off!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Boston day-dreaming...

Today is a Boston-in-the-Fall kind of day in my world...aka, as much as I love Colorado, I'd rather be back in Boston right now.
There was something about the way the air smelled and felt this morning that reminded me of Boston. I really can't describe it other than to say it was cool and crisp, and smelled like Autumn in Boston. It took me back to standing in my uncle's bathroom, putting on my make-up with the window open just enough to fill the room with that deliciously chilly air. Thank goodness for slippers on cold tile floors!
*Boston Commons*

October is my favorite month, and Boston in October is simply beautiful. The trees and bushes look like they've been lit on fire and give the entire city a kind of glow. The streets and highways are lined with red and orange foliage, and every scene around you feels like it could be a postcard. Now, I know I am probably painting a more "perfect-Fall-in-the-city" picture than actually exists, but Boston is one of those ultimate places for me, so in my head, it really is this perfect...just bear with me. :-)

Today, I'd like to start my day off with a steaming cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee (Vanilla Spice, please!), and then hop in the car and head out of the city. I'd like to take roads off of the beaten path, where the cars will be fewer in number and the trees and fallen leaves will get thicker as I go. I want to find a place to pull off, throw on my hiking boots and do a little exploring. I'd inevitably take far too many pictures in my attempt to document the changing of the seasons and the beauty that is an East Coast Autumn. Then, I'd like to head back into Boston, grab a quick lunch with my Uncle and head over to the Library. I want to see what the current displays are, grab a new read (or an old, weathered favorite) off of the shelf and settle into the Reading Room for an hour or two. Nothing screams library like bookshelf-lined walls, barrel-vaulted ceilings and green and brass reading lights...ahh, heaven!

I want to top off my perfect day with lobster ravioli and a glass of cabernet sauvignon at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the North End, and then indulge in a fresh cannoli while wandering through the lively streets of my favorite city neighborhood. I want the perfect Boston day that is circling through my mind right now.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wishing for shabby chic creativity

I have to say I am SO jealous of people who have the time, inclination, creativity and eye for refurbishing/refinishing pieces of furniture. I tip my hat to each and every one you out there who can take an old, sometimes sad-looking armoire or chair, see the potential it possesses and then act upon it. I'm full of grand visions and ideas, but have zero creativity or follow through; it's been a horribly sad realization for me. Lol.

I would characterize my desired style as shabby chic, and I say desired because my apartment is a work in progress (s-l-o-w progress) towards becoming a shabby chic home. I love the elegant, yet comfortable feel that the shabby chic look has, and whenever I show a friend a picture of a truly shabby chic-ed room she never fails to say, "Oh, that is so you!" It's definitely an Erin style! But, it can be an expensive style as well, which is why I pout over my lack of creativity. Thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, etc all have those hidden treasures in them that are just waiting for the right person, with the right eye and skill to shabby chic-ify them! Why oh, why can't that person be me? Hmmm...I just might be looking at my 2010 New Year's resolution.