Thursday, May 27, 2010

A bit of catching up

Things have been busy! Do you ever feel like you plan too much, even though, when you look at it on paper, it doesn't really seem like all that much? Yea, sometimes that's how I feel about my social life. I'm an only child who relishes in her alone time, right? Yet I can have entire months where I have something going on nearly everything single evening. WTF?! So, apparently I am actually a social butterfly who plans, plans and plans until one day she feels overwhelmed by too many people and activities, goes into cranky-bitch mode and then takes some much needed time for herself before starting the process all over again. Yep, that sounds like me!

All kidding aside, I really love doing things with my family and friends, and because I'm a planner, I do like seeing my calendar full of writing...but sometimes I need a break. And this past weekend served as such for me. It was my first weekend since finishing up my Accounting class (I got an surprise A!), the sun was shining, the weather was CO-gorgeous and my pool was open! So, naturally, I spent a lot of time reading by the pool, frying my poor little body to a crisp and lazing about with my coffee. It was wonderful. It felt like summer break and I felt like a student again. My love of reading has been renewed and I once again have a stockpile of books from the Library. Yes sir, feels like summer break to me.

This week has been busy, and I've had some frustrating encounters at work, so needless to say, I am once again ready for a break. A real break, not just a weekend. You know, like a vacation break. And, lucky for me, I get to hop on a plane to Baltimore tomorrow evening and soak up some Chesapeake Bay sun, gossip with my Baltimore Bestie, eat fresh seafood and just RELAX. Hooray for 3 day holiday weekends from work and accumulated comp time. Oh, and, I also get to see Sex and the City 2 with said bestie! She had just moved East when the first SATC came out and we've pouted ever since about not having been able to see it together, so now we're making up for lost time and planning a girl's evening complete with Sex and the City amazingness! I'm pretty sure this weekend will have to involve a cosmo (or two) at some point, don't you think?

Tonight it's dinner with my parents, painting my nails, maybe dragging my butt to the gym (becuase I will be gorging myself on stuffed sopapilla goodness) and hopefully doing a load of laundry. I'm working from home tomorrow in order to put my multi-tasking skills to good use, and then it's off to the airport!

Does anyone else have something fun planned for their Memorial Weekend?

ps- I cried during the LOST finale and am not 100% in love with how they ended it, but that's ok. Still, my Tuesdays seem a little sad and empty now.

pps- I officially have business cards at work...that's right, I'm legit now!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday


I really do love Fridays. I love that it's the end of the work week and the start of the weekend; I love that everyone's in a good mood on Fridays; and I love that I get to fill in Lauren's clever and fun blanks each week.

1. One fashion trend that I really regret is overalls. Those were never flattering on anyone, but were certainly popular. Why yes, I did own a pair that I accessorized with pins. I loved them and thought I was so cool.

2. The one thing that always completes any outift is: I'm going to have to agree with Lauren on this one and say earrings. It is very, very rare for me to not have earrings on unless I'm working out.

3. I would describe my personal style as classic, slightly preppy and usually comfy...think cardigans like 4 times a week and sandals so long as it's not snowing. Ha...

4. My fashion muse is Reese Witherspoon. She keeps most of her outfits simple, while always looking perfectly put together. Dressed up or down, she looks lovely. Plus, I think her wardrobe is attainable. So many stars dress in styles that I cannot imagine ever really seeing on the street, but Reese dresses normally (for lack of a better word).

5. If I could own one designer piece of clothing it would be a Chanel dress. I think Chanel is the epitomy of beautiful, classic fashion and there is always something lovely to swoon over.

6. I would love to raid the wardrobe of Carrie Bradshaw. A lot of what she wears is a bit too out there for me, but the pieces are gorgeous! A girl could have a lot of fun in Carrie's closet!

7. Today I'm wearing a denim pencil skirt, grey cami, watermelon-colored short sleeve cardi and black sandals. It's sunny, warm and I'm comfy but still work appropriate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remembering Rebecca

Nearly 2 years ago my friend and co-worker, Rebecca Allen, was killed by a drunk driver. She was out for an early morning (5 am) bike ride with a friend when they were struck by a 20 year old driving home from a house party. Rebecca was rushed to the hospital where she died of her injuries. She was only 32 years old and one of the best people I've ever known.

I will never forget that phone call as I left my apartment for work and the instant stomach-clenching and tears that came with it, nor will I forget the sound of my mother's crying when I walked into the house. Before Rebecca was my co-worker, she had worked with my Mom and was a wonderful friend to both of us. She was part of a tight-knit group of my Mom's former co-workers that were both friend and 2nd family to me. And her death rocked this group to the core.

Well, yesterday we had the unveiling of a memorial bench in Rebecca's honor on CSU's main campus, and it was lovely. It was wonderful to see everyone and to know that Rebecca will be able to touch people's lives long after those of us who knew her are gone. Anyone walking past the Clark C-Wing building will see this bench, be drawn in by the bronzed flip flops sitting under it (she was a flip-flop kind of gal!) and will read the plaque commemorating her life. They'll wonder who this woman was, and Rebecca will continue to live on in people's thoughts.

Rebecca Anne-Emily Gumtow Allen
June 23, 1976 - July 22, 2008
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Friend,
Cyclist & Earth Advocate
CSU Alumna, Staff & Advisor
Loved and Missed By All

Those of us who knew her will always remember that she was an avid recycler, biked absolutely everywhere, loved her husband with her entire being and put herself out there for each and every one of her students; she was a beloved daughter, sister, aunt and a wonderful friend; she loved a good beer, typically snacked through her lunch before noon rolled around and always had a smile on her face. She was our Rebecca.

I drive by the spot where she was killed nearly every day on my way to work, and it gets a little easier each day. I cried almost every morning for the first 6 months or so, but now I can see the little white cross that was placed on the light pole and I can smile when Rebecca's face flashes through my mind.

She's loved, missed and remembered always.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For all Pride and Prejudice lovers... must check out today's "living in:" feature over at Design Sponge! I swooned ever so slightly, as I always do whenever Mr. Darcy is mentioned.

I've been sick, but I so love filling in the blanks...even several days late!

I'm alive, I swear I am! Nearly a week away from Blogland was making me a little crazy, but I just didn't have the energy to even attempt a post.

I had to go to Pueblo (in Southern Colorado) for work on Friday, which meant that my day started at 6:30 am, and then due to weather and traffic through Colorado Springs and Denver, I didn't actually get home until 8:15 pm...a very long day. Added to the already long and tiring day was the fact that I was starting to get sick.

So, come Saturday I was feeling pretty crappy, and wasn't really in the mood to do much of anything. I did a little thrifting and some shopping, but mostly just kept it low-key. I studied a bit for my Accounting final and went to bed early.

Sunday was another easy-going day. I planted my little herb garden, my Mom planted a couple of pots for me, and my Dad bought me a patio tomato; I took my Accounting final (horrific) and did a little shopping with my Mom. We both found some awesome deals at Ann Taylor Loft and I picked up a couple of cute tops at American Eagle.

I still wasn't feeling too hot yesterday, so I did some work from home and just rested for the majority of the day. I finally finished the book I was reading, Angelology, soaked up some sun on a nice, long walk and ended the day by enjoying dinner with my parents. I still sound a bit froggy and have a lingering cough, but am feeling more like myself today!

And, now that the recap is taken care of, on to some of Lauren's fill in the blanks (even though Friday has come and gone):

1. The very best thing about Summer is that carefree feeling that the evenings hold. Even though I've been in the working world for 2 years now, and "Summer Break" no longer exists for me, there is still such a sense of freedom when I leave the office. Summer evenings are full of possibilities!

2. My first crush ever was a boy named David in 5th grade. He was my very first boyfriend, and such a sweet boy.

3. This may sound really silly but I'm kind of afraid of the dark. Yes, I am 23 years old and still turn on every light in my apartment when going to bed. I get freaked out walking into my dark bedroom from the dark hallway.

4. I squeeze my toothpaste from the bottom. I'm a bit of a control freak, and have been known to re-squeeze my friends' toothpaste if they are middle squeezers.

5. My absolute favorite "comfort" food is green beans. Canned or fresh, I really don't care, but there is something about a giant bowl of green beans that just makes me smile.

6. A random fact about me is that I sometimes dream in German. I took 5 years of German in Junior High and High School, and even though I've lost a lot of it, I still dream entirely in German every once in a while. It's kind of cool!

7. The one piece of technology that truly makes my life better and I couldn't live without is my cell phone. It allows me to stay in touch with family and friends, holds my calendar, can serve as my alarm clock and just overall keeps me connected.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Still loving...

I watched The Young Victoria again last night and may have fallen even more in love with it than after the first time. What true romantic's heart isn't touched by the beauty of a real life, society defying love story in a time when marriages were politcal and women were supposed to be ruled by their men? Not this romantic's, that's for sure.

Victoria: Do you ever feel like a chess piece yourself? In a game being played against your will?
Albert: Do you?
Victoria: Constantly...
Albert: Then you had better master the rules of the game until you play it better than they can.
Victoria: You don't recommend I find a husband to play it for me?
Albert: I should find one to play it with you, not for you.

Albert: I'm going back to England.
Baron Stockmar: There must be a reason if you wish to visit Her Majesty.
Albert: Then find me a reason.

Duchess of Sutherland: Look at that demure little head. And all of us wondering what's inside it.

Albert: Good morning, wife.

Sir John Conroy: How changeable they are. They hate you, they love you, they hate you.
Duchess of Kent: They punished her. They never hated her.

Victoria: Why did you do it? So stupid, why did you do it?
Albert: I had two very good reasons. First, I am replaceable and you are not.
Victoria: You are not replaceable to me!
Albert: Second, you're the only wife I've got or ever will have. You are my whole existence, and I will love you until my very last breath.

Where in the World Wednesday

It's certainly Spring time in want to know how I can be so sure? Well, let me tell you: it's the middle of May and it's snowing! This is, of course, after having weather in the 70's recently. Those of us who have called Colorado home for quite a while are never shocked by Spring, and even Summer, snow fall, but it's kind of fun to listen to Colorado newbies whine over our unpredictable weather (at first...then, when they still can't seem to wrap their heads around it, it's just annoying). Spring really is horrible in terms of unpredictability, but our proximity to the mountains and the curve ball that they throw into normal weather patterns always keeps us on our toes!

Anyway, snow or no snow, today is Wednesday, which means it's time for Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday. The idea behind this feature is to post a picture of you someplace in the world. It doens't have to be foreign or tropical; just somewhere that you consider traveling, including your hometown or a destination you've only dreamed of visiting.

If you do decide to participate, feel free to use Feris' button and make sure to link back up over at Jess' blog so everyone can travel along with you!
Today, I'm off to:
London, England

I was only 13 when I was lucky enough to visit this amazing city, but my time there has really stuck with me. I love London and everything it has to offer. Unfortunately, sll of my pictures from this trip are in albums at my parents' house, so you'll just have to make due with one off of the internet. I vividly remember stepping onto the sidewalk from the Underground, having no clue where in the city I was, only to look up and find Big Ben towering over me. Added to it was the fact that I was standing right by one of London's quintessential red phone booths. It was, by far, one of the most incredible moments of my life!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekend recap and a little Baltimore Bestie bragging

Hi everyone! I feel like I've been gone from the blogging world recently, although in reality, I haven't, but whatever. It feels like I haven't blogged in a bit, so I say just go with it.

This past weekend was fabulous! Busy and tiring, but lovely all together. My Baltimore Bestie, Corey, and her fiance, Matt, were in town this weekend! Woohoo! I just love that girl to death (and Matt, of course) and loved having her in the same town again. I miss our weekly coffee dates, our running commentary through the worst stats class ever (Senior was that already 2 years ago?!), homework dates with hot tea and sweats, going to see chick flicks and weekend drinks at Lucky Joe's. I miss having someone around who just gets me and who I can tell anything to. Neither Corey nor I are really phone people, so we make due with Facebook, texting and flying to visit each other. When we do finally get each other on the phone, we have to clear our schedules because we'll chat for at least an hour and a half, or until one of our phones dies. She's one of my kindred spirits and I'll love her forever for that!

Anyway, Corey is pretty much amazing and has spent the last 10 months planning her wedding while working full time and completing her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. She has drive and time management skills like none other, and has worked her butt off to accomplish her goals. And, I am proud to announce that she is officially a Master's Program graduate; that's right, she wrote her thesis, completed her coursework and can now add M.S. after her name! Like I said, this girl has ambition!

So, school is over, the wedding is just a few short months away and Corey and Matt took the opportunity to come out for the weekend and get a few more things checked off of their To-Do List. Corey got her dress fitted, I bought my MOH dress (loves it!), she had her hair and make-up trial run, Matt and Corey met with the florist, we managed to fit in a few drinks at Lucky Joe's and ended the weekend with a little DIY-ing with both families. Out of town guest bags were put together, a lovely card box was made and lots and lots and lots of tissue paper flowers were created. In fact, I would say that Corey, her Mom, Matt, his Mom and I could be called master tissue paper flower pomander-makers! Everything is turning out gorgeous, and I cannot wait to see the whole set-up in August. The wedding is going to be beautiful!

It's always bittersweet to say goodbye to good friends, but I'll be heading out to Baltimore in 2 short weeks, so it wasn't too bad this time around. I miss them already, but Memorial Weekend will be here before we know it, I'm sure! Now, I just need to find the time to catch up on my sleep...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Lauren over at the little things we do... is sticking with her themed blanks, and this week it is all about books. Obviously, anyone who reads my blog on a semi-regular basis knows all about my love of reading, Libraries and just books in general. So, I think it's safe to say that I am pretty excited about today's feature! Feel free to hop on the Fill in the Blank Friday bandwagon (you know you want to)...just head on over to Lauren's blog, grab the blanks and link back up when you're finished. Happy Friday!

1. My favorite book growing up was either the Anne of Green Gables series or the Animorphs series. Two very different genres, but I loved them both!

2. The funniest book I've ever read was any book from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series. These books hit on nearly every New Jersey stereotype we have and are absolutely hilarious! Even more so now since MTV's Jersey Shore has helped to highlight Jersey stereotypes' best of the best.

3. The book that has truly changed my life is Nora Roberts' The MacGregors Daniel - Ian. I know that sounds very strange, but it was the first romance novel that I ever read and I instantaneously fell in love with both Nora Roberts and cheesy romances. To this day, I still read every book that Nora Roberts publishes, and when I really need a comfort read, you're most likely to find me perusing the Romance section at Barnes and Noble.

4. If you're looking for a real "tear jerker" you should probably read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It's heartbreakingly beautiful and you can't help by admire Claire for everything she puts up with and goes through all in the name of true love. If the ending doesn't bring tears to your eyes, then your heart is far too closed off to be healthy.

5. If I could meet any author, living or dead, I would want to meet Jane Austen. I'm copying Lauren here, but I am so intrigued by this woman that history really knows so little about. Pride and Prejudice made me fall in love with Austen and I've been obsessed ever since.

6. The next book on my "to read" list is unknown. I don't have a next book in mind, so once I finish Angelology I guess I'll have to shop my bookshelves and/or see what I have on hold at the Library. I'm always up for book suggestions!! (hint hint)

7. If I was snowed into a remote cabin in the woods and could only choose three books to bring with me I'd bring The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay Trilogy (cheating a little, but it is one giant book) and The Time Traveler's Wife. I love all three of these and could read each and every one over and over again!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where in the World Wednesday

It's time for Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday feature once again!

The idea of WITWW is to post a picture of you someplace in the world. It doesn't have to be foreign or tropical; just somewhere that you consider traveling. This could include your own hometown, new photos of past destinations that you've already freatured or even locations that you WISH you could travel too. Get creative!

If you decide to participate in WITWW, remember to use Feris' button and to link up your post with Jess' so the rest of us can travel along with you.

Today I'm traveling just a bit up the road to lovely
Boulder, Colorado

Boulder's famous Pearl Street Mall is well-known for it's abundance of brightly colored tulips that, rumor has it, get replanted each and every year! Walking and shopping along Pearl Street has long been one of my favorite things to do, along with people watching. Boulder is known for having quite the electic population and it never fails to deliver an entertaining sight or two. Plus, with tulips being my favorite flower, I can't help but be in hog heaven during the Spring in Boulder.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"if you never do anything, you never become anyone."

I finally watched An Education last week and I must say, it was wonderful! Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard were fabulous in their respective roles, and had undeniable chemistry as "pupil" and "mentor".

I've never been much for the 1960's, other than some of the music, but after swooning over the classic dresses and perfect up-dos in this film I have a newfound appreciation for the era. I want to sip on cocktails in a full-skirted dress while dancing and gossiping in a crowded music hall!

Ahh, and to be swept away to 1960's Paris, where my romantic heart thinks of ex-patriots smoking and chatting at outdoor cafes, and of strolls along the Seine, stopping to browse at the book-dealer's stalls. And perhaps sitting for a quick, hand-drawn portrait on the way to Sacre-Coeur. I'll probably always prefer my romanticized image of Paris over it's actuality: dirty and sometimes unfriendly, but still Paris nonetheless.