Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead.


Looking Back
I must say, 2010 was a pretty great year.  I started this blog in March, went on my first cruise in July, and won my first jury trial in September, just to name a few of the big events.

When I started this blog, I just wanted to have a place to vent and/or chronicle my life. I had no idea that the 52 of you that I didn't know would care to read what I have to say. I'm so thankful for each of my followers and the friends I've made through this blog. You guys truly have made my year.

Looking Ahead
I hate vague "resolutions" because they just fly out the window pretty quickly.  So, I have set some goals for the year.  Specific, concrete goals that will make them more easy to accomplish than "lose weight," "be more organized," etc.
  1. Run a 5k
  2. Completely unpack boxes in my house (from my move in July 2009, yes a year and a half ago).
  3. Take a class to learn something new.
  4. Other than my mortgage and student loans (which will NEVER go away...) be debt-free, including to my parents. 
Here's to an awesome 2010 
and an even better 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Recap-- With Lots of Pictures.

Wednesday, December 22 was Christmas with my Dad's side of the family.  We had a great time with the whole gang.  For the past few years, Christmas has been the only time I see my aunt, uncle, and cousins, so it was nice to see them and hang out for a while.

My brother Drew

Drew and me

Drew, me, and our cousins, Ella and Erin

The twins-- they were quite entertaining!

Uncle Allen, Aunt Angela and the twins

The whole gang

Dad

Mom

Moi


Then on Christmas Day, we had Christmas morning at my parents' house then went to my other grandma's in the afternoon to celebrate with my mom's side of the family.

Maggie loved her present.  She's a great present-opener.

My brother got me some Benefit makeup that I wanted since his girlfriend works for them (thanks Morgan!)

Drew got a bunch of stuff for his new place.

My mom always has a gorgeous tree.

You can (kinda) see the spread we had for Christmas lunch-- all Mexican themed!  It was DELICIOUS.  Recipes and more to come later.

The whole crew

 My grandma and step-grandfather opening their new digital camera!

 My grandma's little Christmas tree.  Isn't it cute?

 I had my Uncle Mike's name for Christmas, who literally only wants gift cards to Lowe's every year.  So, this year, I followed this tutorial and made a snow globe with the card inside!

My brother was super-thoughtful this year in his gift giving all around.  He had my mom's name and made her some CDs with a bunch of songs she wanted.

Then, it was BIRTHDAY TIME!  It's true.  I was born on Christmas Day.  I get asked all the time if it's horrible, but it's really not.  I like it.  No one ever forgets, I'm always with my family, and I never have to work.  So, it turns out pretty good for me.

Hope you guys all had a great Christmas!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas! I am taking a much needed vacation from work, so there won't be much blogging from me this week (since I don't have internet access at home).

But I will certainly be posting the obligatory Christmas recap sometime soon. Can't wait to read all about yours. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things You Should Know if We're Going to be BFFs.


I love the UNC Tarheels, NY Yankees, Florida Gators, Denver Broncos, and the Orlando Magic.  
(If you're a Red Sock or Dukie, we will not be BFFs.  Just sayin.)

Cream cheese belongs on a cracker, not in icing on a cupcake.

I will put on my makeup in the car or in my office at work to give myself an extra ten minutes of sleep in the morning.

I run into things all the time-- walls, my desk, tables, etc.  This is why I shop for furniture with rounded edges.

Unlike most girls, I hate horses.  They're smelly and gross, not to mention huge and dangerous. 

When shopping, I'll pick up several items but frequently put them all back and not buy a thing.

Speaking of shopping, my favorite store is Sephora-- I rarely walk out of it without buying anything.

I absolutely cannot keep my house clutter-free, but I wish I was a neat freak.  

I hate having to do something on Saturday.  It's my day of relaxation.

I rarely take naps anymore, but when I do, they're two hours or more.

I love dogs and REALLY want a puppy.

I have successfully weaned myself off Diet Coke and haven't had once since before Halloween.  Sigh.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tebow Sunday.

Tim Tebow

Tim made his first start yesterday against the Raiders due to Kyle Orton being injured (and Brady Quinn being inferior).

He ran for a 40 yard touchdown on 3rd and 24 and threw for a 33 yard touchdown in the Broncos' loss.  A pretty good start for Tebow.  The Broncos were in it until the 4th quarter, when they fell apart a little bit.


Hopefully he can help pick up a team that hasn't won since mid-November for their last two games.  I hear there's a pretty good chance he'll be starting again.  :)

UPDATE-- It's official. He'll be starting next Sunday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last Weekend Before Christmas.

Eeek!  It's the last weekend before Christmas??  How did that happen?  That means tomorrow is the busiest shopping day of the year, and who has to get out in it and finish up her shopping list?  Me.


I may need a helmet and football pads (or more like bumpers around my car) to make my way through the throng of people.  All I have left to shop for is my brother and my work Secret Santa.  I have a game plan, so it's just a matter of execution.

You guys all done with shopping or procrastinators like me?  Hope you guys all have a great weekend!  :)

PS-- Welcome to everyone from the Friday blog hops.  Let me know you stopped by, and I'll return the favor!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wee Bit Wednesday-- Christmas Edition.



{one} did you buy a christmas tree this year?
No, I have a little tabletop Christmas tree that I love, but not a big one this year.

{two} what is your favorite holiday tradition?
On Christmas Day, we go to my grandma's house and after food and presents, we play board games (either before or after my birthday celebration) all together.

{three} do you open your gifts on christmas eve or christmas day?
Christmas Day.  We have "Christmas" at my other grandmother's house on a different day to accommodate out-of-town relatives.  This year, it's Wednesday, the 22nd. 

{four} at what age did you stop believing in santa claus?
Kindergarten, I think.  So, 5 or 6 years old.  But I was a good big sister and didn't ruin it for my brother.  :)

{five} do you fill stockings?
Absolutely.  Everyone has a full stocking-- mom, dad, brother, me, and the dogs.  The dogs getting their treats out of the stockings is the best part.

{six} handmade presents or store bought presents?
Store bought-- I can't make anything.  Except baked goods.

{seven} do you have a favorite christmas meal?
They're all my favorite.  My dad's mom always makes my favorite macaroni & cheese plus a DELICIOUS pork tenderloin.  

Then, on Christmas morning, my dad fries up country ham and we have them on biscuits--yum.  

This Christmas Day afternoon, we're doing something different at my maternal grandma's house.  We're all bringing Mexican-themed dishes for a Mexican Christmas lunch!  I'm super excited about it.  

And of course, we have birthday cake for me.  :)

{eight} is your christmas tree real or artificial?
This year, it's artificial.  I've always had a real one in the past and like them better, but they're a lot more to maintain.  My little 2 ft. fake tree is perfectly maintenance-free.

{nine} what is your favorite christmas song?
"Christmas Time is Here" from the Charlie Brown Christmas.  I love it.



{ten} did you send out christmas cards this year?
Nope.  I mean to every year, but I never do.  I'll just stick with my usual "Merry Christmas" text, FB message and/or Twitter. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ebates.

Have you guys tried Ebates?


I just found out about it a few weeks ago, and it's amazing.  Basically, you go through an Ebates.com link to shop online at whatever store you were going to shop online at anyway.  Then, you get a percentage cash back from your purchase.  This week, I've gotten 6% back at Sephora.com, 8% at Ulta, and 3% at Restaurant.com.

Plus, they also have a listing of current valid coupon codes for all the stores.  And right now, they're having double cash back for select stores.

So far, the only place I've found that I can't use Ebates with is Amazon.com.

If you sign up and make a purchase through Ebates using my referral link (http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=H1kRrJK3sXWH3g6G0meZeg%3D%3D), I'll get a $50 credit!  Then, you can turn around and refer your friends and get your own $50 credits!  


It's pretty awesome-- I've already gotten a fair amount of cash back for Christmas presents I purchased.  It probably won't accumulate at such a high rate throughout the year, obviously.  But a little cash back is always appreciated, even in small doses.  I highly recommend it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Newest Addition to My Christmas List.

Is Benefit's Bella Bamba -- "a 3D, multi-dimensional pink face powder" (aka-- blush)



(all images courtesy of Makeup and Beauty Blog)

Isn't it gorgeous!!  I love the slightest hint of shimmer.  And the new-and-improved flip top lid.  If nothing else, it will be a Christmas (or birthday...) present to myself.  :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Perfect Timing.

Most of the time, I don't mind being single.  In fact, I love it.  I love time by myself, being able to do whatever I want whenever I want.  I love that I don't have to worry about anyone else's feelings or deal with their drama.

But every now and then I get a twinge.

A thought that it would be nice to have a man around.  To take out the trash.  To keep my feet warm when my socks come off in the middle of the night.  To laugh with at Modern Family or scream at the refs during a game. To travel to new places.

Being an adult is awesome, but there are lots of responsibilities.  And sometimes I think about how nice it would be to have someone to share those responsibilities with me.

Every now and then I get a twinge.  They're few and far between, but they happen.  I try not to think about it too much because I love my life.

More than that, I know that God's plan and timing are perfect.  I am still single because that's his plan for me.  This is where he's teaching and molding me right now.

Who am I to question Him?

So, I choose to focus on how great my life is right now.  Everything will fall into place in His perfect time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas List. Really?

My dad got a list of Christmas ideas from a relative for their kids. It was so amusing to me that I thought I'd share:

Hello, H--

Here is a list of ideas.

(13 year old boy) - Gift certificate to Pottery Barn Teen

(10 year old girl) - Gift certificate to J Jill or Ann Taylor 

T & T (16 mo twins) - Anything all natural, non toxic and chemical free

Are these serious gift ideas for their children? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Ultimate Gift.


This weekend was our church's Christmas Celebration.  We had five performances over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It was AMAZING and such fun to be a part of.  My shoulders and neck are pretty sore from playing my flute and piccolo for 20+ hours in the last week, but it was worth it.

I hadn't played in the orchestra for the last few years due to law school, bar exam, etc.  But not being part of the program last year made me really want to be back, so I was beyond excited to participate again this year.

The orchestra started off the program with an arrangement of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Wizards in Winter.  Our pianist, Jeremy, was the focus of our version of this piece, and he was fantastic.  If only I had video of our performance, I'd post it.  But, the original guys will have to suffice for you.  :)


Here are a few pics from the weekend (forgive the poor quality of my iPhone camera...).  I loved the backdrop they did.  The lights changed colors throughout the program as needed-- very cool.

My friend Liane-- and our only cellist

The "Madrigals"

Six geese a'laying-- these geese honked the whole time.  Hilarious.

The final song-- Joy to the World

This is one of my favorite songs that was part of the program-- Sound of the Round
(Note: This video is not our choir, but these folks did a pretty great job with it.)

I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit now!  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Have a Confession.

That is, Benefit's Confessions of a Concealaholic.  It usually runs $36, but I got one that was "imperfect" for $21.  It was a pretty sweet deal considering all that is included:
  • That Gal (0.25 fl.oz)
  • Erase Paste in 02 (0.11 oz)
  • Boi-ing in 01 AND 02 (0.04 oz each) -- you get both shades to blend to match your skin tone
  • Lemon Aid (0.03 oz)
  • Eye Bright (0.03 oz)
  • Plus TWO double-ended concealer brushes in different sizes
As with all Benefit products, the packaging is super-cute.



It even comes with a little booklet to show you how to apply all the products.


I've been dying to try the That Gal (highlighting facial primer) and Erase Paste (brightening camouflage for eyes and face) so I was thrilled to get a sample of them.


But, what I was really after were the Boi-ing (high-strength concealer) and Eye Bright (as the name suggests, this is an eye-brightener, otherwise found in pencil form).  And of course, the two (really, four) brushes.  (ps-- you can see the imperfections in my packaging around the Lemon Aid and Eye Bright)



I love that there is a separate brush that is labeled for each product so I don't have to worry about cross-contamination.

My favorite product so far is the Boi-ing.  It's one of the best concealers I've ever tried.  The 01 blends perfectly with my skin and completely covered both old acne scars and new blemishes.  It also lasted all day, which is great (and highly unusual).  Love it!

I tried the Lemon Aid this morning specifically with some eyeshadow that I knew creased and faded throughout the day.  It definitely made a difference.

All in all, I'm beyond pleased with this purchase.  It was totally worth the money (even if I had bought it at the $36 regular price), and I'd highly recommend it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday.


I'm loving... that I'm getting my hair cut today!  I haven't had it cut since July (don't judge me).  I've been letting it grow out (and saving $$), but it really needs to be thinned out with some more layers in the back.  My hair is super-thick, and it's getting heavy to where it's stretching out the curls!  And we can't have that.

I'm loving... that my church's Christmas program is this weekend!  Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus rehearsals tonight and tomorrow makes a busy weekend, but it's always so much fun.

I'm loving... that my firm is switching from Westlaw to LexisNexis.  I loooooove LN-- it's so much more user-friendly than Westlaw.  Plus the customer service is amazing-- got a Starbucks gift card from our rep today.  :)


I'm loving... Bath and Body Works' "Fresh Balsam" wallflowers.  Every day I come home to a wonderfully-scented house.

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