Friday, May 31, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - A Vivid Memory

Today is the last day of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up!  Are you so glad I won't be bombarding you with posts every day?!  For our last post, we're supposed to talk about a vivid memory we have.  Here's mine:

As you've heard me lament before on this here blog, I have a horrible memory. I  forget things the second they happen and I often end up getting confused about whether or not something actually happened or I imagined it.  Unless it's something really bad.  Those memories I usually can't shake.  But I've written about enough dark things on here this month so we'll go with something happy.

One good vivid memory of Mike and I is from the day we got engaged.  I can remember how I felt sitting in that jewelry store literally sweating from the stress and excitement of trying on engagement rings.  I can remember picking out the one I liked and Mike telling the salesman that he wasn't going to be able to get me to give it back to have it sized.  And I can remember Mike stopping me outside the store to spur of the moment ask me to marry him.  But most of all, I can remember the feeling of elation we both had the rest of the day; shopping and eating lunch, and walking around.  We walked through the stores, hand-in-hand, with huge goober smiles on our faces.  It was a fantastic, memorable, and romantic day in our own weird little way and I hope I never forget it.



Right after he proposed.  You can read the long version here.






Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Year Ago

I love this post that Mish did comparing where she was a year ago to where she is now by looking at her blog post from a year ago today.  So I'm copying her.  Because I'm a copy cat and that is that.


Here is the picture I'm using from this post that I wrote a year ago today.

Then:

- We were on a trip visiting my dad and Monica on the East Coast and we spent the whole time talking about how much we wanted to move there
- I had bangs...oh I miss those bangs
- I was thinner, man what the hell happened?
- We had just celebrated our first anniversary and made it through a tough and awesome year
- We lived in a home we owned and loved
- I hated my job
- I was in grad school and about ready to die from it
- I had no idea what the future held

And here we are a year later:


Now:


- We live on the East Coast...crazy!
- My bangs are gone and in their place is my giant forehead
- We just celebrated our second anniversary and our relationship is better than ever
- We miss our home and rent an apartment we don't love, but are having fun deciding where the heck to buy a house one day
- I don't have a job and I love/hate that
- We miss our friends terribly
- I'm done with grad school!  And with no job to show for it. Hurumph.
- We definitely have a better grasp on what the future holds a year later and are working towards making it happen...

It's crazy how different everything is, but even with missing people and money problems and not having a job, I'm still so much happier than I was this time last year.  Here's to he future!

Blog Every Day in May - Letting Go

For day 30 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to write about letting go.  This subject could very easily go way too deep and way too dark for a Thursday morning blog post.  So I'll keep it short and simple.  Here are my initial thoughts on letting go:


I need to learn to let go of the what-if's and should-have's.  I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what my life COULD have been like.  If I had been a happier person, if I had been more active, if I had chased my dreams, if I had stayed in college, if I hadn't done things I won't talk about on here.  Hindsight can be such a nasty bitch.  This is something I need to let go of or it really could drive me crazy.  One thing I do to let go of this is remind myself that all those could haves/should haves might have made it so I didn't end up with Mike and that's definitely not worth it at all.


I also need to learn to let go of the past.  I need to stop beating myself up about mistakes I've made or opportunities I've missed.  I need to stop being angry at people or missing people or even just being embarrassed about things I've done.  The past is the past and I need to learn from it and then let it go.





Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Five Songs

For day 29 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to list five songs that speak to us or bring back memories.  Here are mine:


(1)  Normal Like You - Everclear
I had the lyrics to this song on my wall when I was in highschool; going through my "no one understands me, I'm weird and will never be happy" phase.  I loved Everclear and how sad the singer's voice always sounded.  Dear Lord, my love of this song outs me as such a child of the 90's...


(2)  On My Own - Les Miserables
I was raised in a family that loved musicals and I feel so lucky to have been able to see Les Mis on stage along with Phantom, Wicked, and many more.  If there ever was a dream I didn't pursue that I will force upon my future daughter, it's to sing on stage.  Especially this song.  This song is my all-time favorite.  I've sung it for choir and voice class before and oh how I wish I could belt it as it's meant to be.


(3)  No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
Mike and I never really had a song, but when we were getting ready for the wedding, this is the one song he requested for the playlist.  Ever since then, in my mind at least, it's been our song.  And every time it comes on, I can remember the first time he played it for me and the feeling I got when he asked me to have it play at the wedding.



(4)  Sideways - Citizen Cope
This one brings back a memory I'm going to keep to myself.  Love this song though, makes me tear up every time it comes on.


(5)  Marry You - Bruno Mars
Mike and I walked down the aisle to this song after saying "I Do" and now every time it comes on the radio, I get a huge, goofy grin on my face.  Happy happy memories.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blogger Book Swap

Well, our blogger book swap is over.  It was so fun, a great way to get to know other bloggers, and an inspiration to get away from the tv and read more.  My book swap buddy Audrey was really sweet and I definitely hope we keep in touch.  Here is what she sent me!

Book 1 - Can't wait to read this!

Book 2 - She knew I was wanting to re-read this and I love that she picked a non-movie cover.

The whole package.

A serving plate for our chocolates.

Coffee mug filled with tasty chocolates.


A big ole' box of DELICIOUS chocolates.  Having a Belgian book buddy, rocked!

Thanks Audrey!!


Blog Every Day in May - Just Pictures

For day 28 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're just supposed to show you some pictures; no big story or write up.  So here are some pictures we took at this lovely little B&B we found about 15 minutes away from our house with a wine shop in it where you can taste Slack Winery's delicious wines, and a bang playing on the front porch.  It was a perfect, lovely little day.













Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - A Letter To You

For day 27 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, I'm supposed to write a letter to you guys; my readers.  Uhhhh okay?  Here goes!

Dear Readers,

Who the hell are you and why do you read this blog?  It's really a mishmosh of nonsense with some awkward fashion posts thrown in.  You guys must be really bored.  Do you only hang around for the random hot husband pictures like this one?


If so, I totally get it.

Or is it for the comedic relief and stomach unsettling fashion pictures like this one?


If so, I totally get that too.

Or, do you just really like to listen to midgets whine about their boring life and be sporadically funny?  Or to make yourself feel better about your own life because mine is so bad?  Or because you're secretly in love with me?  Or because it's some sort of punishment your parents are giving you for ignoring your homework and spending too much time looking at Reddit?

Whatever the reason, thanks for reading you weirdos.

Val



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Something You Read

For day 26 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to share something we read online with you.  Here's mine!


saved by the bell cast

Hilarious

You're welcome.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - About You

For day 25 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to talk about something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget.

I can't think of anything.

I'm sure people have said lovely/inspirational things to me that helped me at the time, but nothing that I can remember.

I am the worst at these questions on the dang link up.

Since this is an utterly useless Blog Every Day in May post, instead, go check out my first published article over at NewsForShoppers.com here!  And while you're at it, head on over to TipMine.com where I'm interning and submit some tips!

Thanks guys!!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Bad Traits

For day 24 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, I'm supposed to tell you guys my 3 worst traits.  Here goes!

(1)  Jealousy:  I tend to get very easily jealous of other people.  Of how much money they make, their clothes, their looks, their cars, their careers, their bodies.  I can get very wrapped up in what I don't have as compared to other people.  And that is ugly.  Jealousy ain't cute and it is in no way going to benefit you ever.  Gross.

(2)  Regret:  I have made some mistakes in my life.  Some were mistakes and some were mistakes.  I tend to torture myself with these big or small and relive them over and over and over wishing and hoping I could go back and fix them.  Looking backwards and focusing on those things you regret is going to get you nowhere...look forward and plan for the future bitch! (this blog became a pep talk to myself all of a sudden)

(3)  Depression:  Does depression count as a trait?  It's a big part of my personality at least so I'm counting it.  I have struggled with depression since I was young; feeling very dark, hopeless, and suicidal.  I catch myself repeating the phrase in my head, "I hate her" referring to myself on my bad days and thinking it might be better if I weren't around.  These feelings with me, as they do with most people, ebb and flow.  There are good days and bad and thankfully, as I've gotten older and more stable, there are much fewer bad days.  But it's a pretty ugly trait and one that affects every other part of my life.

This post became such a downer, I'm adding to it a list of my 3 best traits too.  Gotta be positive, right?  Here they are!

(1)  Humor:  I'm pretty darn funny if I do say so myself.  I'm really good at finding the humor in anything.  I love making people laugh and I'm willing to make a total ass of myself to do so.  Mike and I laugh all the time and it's my favorite thing about our relationship.

(2)  Nurturing:  I love to take care of people and be there for them when they need it.  The second I hear someone is sad or hurt, I immediately want to (poorly) bake them something, send them a card, and give them big, squishy, inappropriate hugs.

(3)  Hard working:  I love being lazy as much as the next guy...like I have been for the last 6 months during unemployment...but when I have a job, I will work my ass off.  Even for a soul-sucking office job like my last two, I will work my hardest, give them everything, and go above and beyond.  It drives Mike and some of my family nuts when they watch me working so hard for not great people, but I can't help it.  I just hate walking away from my desk with work not done.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Things I've Learned

For day 23 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, I'm supposed to talk abut things I've learned that school hasn't taught me.  Here are some of mine:

(1)  Communication:  the school I went to for kindergarten to graduating high school was pretty strict Southern baptist so they were pretty closed minded and judgmental.  Sorry Southern Baptists out there, but this school really really was those things.  They didn't want to hear your opinions or thoughts on things.  They wanted to tell you that your parents were going to hell if they got divorced and that was that.  No seriously, they told us that.  I cheated on a Bible test in that teacher's class as retaliation.  :)  So outside of school and especially in my current relationship, I have had to learn how important communication is.  There is not ever one side to something; we all have our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions and we have to be respectful of that.  Listening is just as important as speaking.  And most important is being honest about what you're thinking and feeling.  If I don't communicate to Mike about things that are bothering me or things that I want or need, I shouldn't be allowed to be frustrated or sad that I don't have these things.  

(2)  Science:  I mean.....seriously....we were taught creationist science so yeah....had to learn actual science outside of school...

(3)  How to Dress Yourself:  our school had a dress code and uniforms on and off (aren't you jealous of my schooling?!) so learning to properly dress myself was learned wayyyy later.  Good god, looking at old pictures of myself, I was dressing so unflatteringly.  Is that a word?  This might sound dumb, but learning to dress yourself in a flattering way is super important for women and can help so much with your confidence.

(4)  Saying No is Okay:  I used to be a big people pleaser and it made me end up with a lot of friends who were not good to me and took advantage of me.  You can say no to people and you can stand up for yourself.  You will lose friends, but they are not worth keeping!

(5)  To Be Yourself:  I hid a lot of myself in school because I was afraid of being judged, losing friends, and just afraid of being honest.  Putting on a facade of being a happy person when you are really struggling with internal issues is only going to make you unhappier.  Just be honest with yourself, be true to who you are, and don't be afraid of reaching out to people for help.

No Reply Bogger

Okayyyy so I've been responding to my blog comments lately via e-mail not realizing that a bunch of you don't have an e-mail attached to your profile so I've been basically e-mailing the great void.  Whoops.  So if you've ever commented on my blog and thought I didn't respond, I'm going through my posts today and catching up!  Sorry guys!  And thank you for all the wonderful comments, I just love you weirdos.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Rant

For day 22 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, I'm supposed to rant on something; get on my soapbox and tell you how I really feel.  The only thing I would feel really comfortable ranting about on here would be unemployment and I already did that here.  The other things that would inspire that from me would be religion, politics, gay rights, etc. and I just don't want to bring those kind of argumentative issues to this space.  One thing I actually really hate that people who are staunchly one religion or one political side do is to force their opinions on you and not care whether what they are saying offends you.  So, there's no way I'm doing that on here; I'm not shoving my opinion down your throat or ranting at you about something you may believe or feel passionately about.  If you're curious about how I feel on a certain topic, just ask me, but I won't be standing on my soapbox any time soon.  Instead, here is a cute picture of my dog.  Have a great day lovies!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Archives

For day 21 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, I'm supposed to share some of my favorite posts from my archives.  Here they are!

A Letter To My Fellow Patrons of Stater Bros - This post still makes me laugh every time I read it.  This was one of my first blog posts from way back when I was unemployed (for the first time) in 2009 and spent my days grocery shopping for my mom and Mike and apparently cracking myself up on the internet.

Engaged - Our engagement story.  Still one of the greatest days ever even though I'm pretty sure our engagement is super unromantic compared to most people's it's so perfectly us; I love it.

Some Well Placed Capers - our wedding ceremony words by John, our officiant.  Make me weepy every time I read them.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.

The Big Day - a post all about our wedding.  

Baby Flu - when baby fever gets overrun by fear and the overwhelming feeling that you should not be allowed to procreate.

Happy Yellow Cardigan - my first real outfit post.  Oh man I miss my bangs...

Pretty Housewife - some of my prettiest outfit photos ever.  Pretty proud of taking these myself.  Also, how shiny are our counter tops?!

My Boys - just a regular day with my husband and dogs.  I love this post because I love those darn boys so much and I miss our little house and backyard.

Soccstars - because who doesn't want to look at 8 million pictures of my husband being a soccer stud?!

Full Circle - because a story about me sharing ice cream with my dogs from the same spoon just about sums me up perfectly.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunny Day

There are days I hate being unemployed.  It makes me feel useless and pathetic and terrified.  But then there are days when on my afternoon walk, my pug finds a patch of grass he loves and starts euphorically rolling around in it.  And I let him do it because he looks so incredibly happy and excited about this patch of grass.  And I stand there for so long, that my corgi gets tired and lays down in the grass panting and squinting up at the sun.  And an idea comes to me that I should keep the dogs out here; enjoying the grass and the sun and the rare moment of perfect weather in this otherwise rainy week.  So I tie their leashes up to a tree outside our apartment and plop down on a towel with my kindle and a bowl of water for the pups.  And just like that, unemployment isn't so bad.  Because today, on a Monday, I'm outside sitting with my feet in the grass, the sun on my face, a breeze ruffling through my hair, and my two sweet pups laying beside me staring out at the world.  And then I just feel nothing but lucky.






Blog Every Day in May - A Struggle

For day 20 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to talk about something we're currently struggling with.  Which, to me, is basically the same thing as what we talked about on day 16...but maybe I did that day wrong?  So I had to really dig for something else to talk about.  Which I guess is a good thing?  Having a hard time coming up with things to complain about?

Other than the always frustrating unemployment which in turn results in money issues, my other struggle is my mental issues when it comes to fitness.  As you've read on here, I've recently gotten more into working out and I love what it does for me.  My upper body is getting more toned than it's ever been and my legs are looking great.  Mike constantly comments on how high my butt is now and how much he can see my leg muscles.  These are all great things and make me feel so good about myself.  BUT for some reason, most days when I show up the gym, I feel like shit about myself.  I put on my super tight workout pants and although I realistically know I look good in them, I immediately start to think I look like a fat load.  I sit in that stupid squat press leg machine thingy and it makes me have to bend at the waist and I get a little fat roll and I feel like shit the whole time I'm doing the squats.  Instead of focusing on the fact that when I first went to the gym, I couldn't move that machine and now I'm doing 4 sets of 12 every time, I focus on how not cute I look while doing it.  I stare at myself in the mirror in between sets and decide I have a double chin and my hair looks stupid and my skin is bad and it goes on and on.

So, my struggle is to overcome that mental crap.  Instead of beating myself up, I need to feel good about the fact that I got off my ass and went for a run and then walked our dogs for half an hour and then went to the gym for an hour and a half.  Every night.  I should be proud of that.  I beat myself up about the fact that if I dieted better, I would be thinner, but I just don't want to diet.  I need to get over that.  I'm not going to be thinner, this is how I look and I should just get over it.  I need to stop calling myself fat.  I need to stop beating myself up.  I really need to stop this before I end up having a girl and teaching her this awful behavior.

So that's what I got.  Girls are nuts, eh?




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blogger Book Swap - Character Crushes

For this week's Blogger Book Swap Link Up, I'm supposed to either do a soundtrack for a book I love or talk about a character crush I have.  I've been horrible at these link ups because I wasn't reading a ton when I started, I have a horrible memory, and Mike and I are in the middle of our yearly reading of all the Harry Potter books.  We're nerds.  So my character crush is weird and inappropriate, but I have literally been having dreams about making out with this guy.  Even though I'm like 5 years older than him and in my mind he's always going to be like 13 which makes me creepy and I should shut up now.

But seriously?  He's adorable.





Who is your character crush, appropriate or otherwise?

Blog Every Day in May - 5 Blogs We Love

For day 19 of the Blog Every Day in May Link Up, we're supposed to tell you about 5 blogs we love and why.  Here are mine!


(1) My absolute favorite blog of all time is Nat The Fat Rat.  Up until her, I had been haphazardly blogging and reading pretty much solely fashion blogs.  Then I found her and read her entire archives in one weekend.  She was the first lifestyle blog I'd ever read and the first really true-to-herself, silly, weird, random blogger I'd encountered.  Her blog is cute and silly and makes you feel like you're part of her life and really makes you want to be her best friend.  (That makes me sound creepy)


(2)  Couldawouldapica is a DC blogger who blogs about fashion, life, recipes, design, and her love for DC.  She's one of the only bloggers I read who isn't out there putting her blog button all over other people's pages, trolling for affiliate links, or pushing sponsors.  In fact, it took me ages to find an actual picture of her to post on here, she's too busy posting beautiful pictures of the city she loves and her adorable dog.  She's just herself and blogs about whatever she wants to; it's really refreshing.

5.14.13-6

(3)  Kendi Everyday is the first fashion blog I ever found and she's still my favorite.  She is really one of those rare blog success stories that starts with a regular Joe taking poorly lit outfit pictures and ends with them being one of the biggest bloggers out there making their living in the fashion industry.  And she's cute and down to earth to boot, love her!


(4)  If ever there were a blogger that I could meet in real life and feel completely comfortable with and have an immediate bond, it would be Mish.  I feel like she's an Asian, prettier version of me.  Seriously you guys, she's so weird.  I love her.  Her blog has BLOWN up in the last couple of years, especially since she quit her job and spent six months travelling the world with her hunk of a boyfriend.  She's hilarious and inappropriate and I just love to read her blog.


(5)  I love reading Faux Fancy because these girls are real and you can tell they really love the things they're blogging about.  Their blog eats, sleeps, and breathes blogging and you can tell their love for all things fashion, DIY, cooking, and event planning in their posts.  Also, I know MK in real life and I'm pretty sure that crazy bitch is my spirit animal.


What are your favorite blogs?