Monday, January 26, 2009

GR weekend

This weekend I went to Grand Rapids for a little bit of shopping and drinking. The perfect weekend in my mind. I hit some amazing sales at Rivertown with Ashley and got to spend some time with Carter too : ) After shopping, Ashley and I met up with Matt to go out for some drinks with his roommate and friends. Luckily the pictures below were taken before I spilled cheese dip down the front of me... that's what I get for indulging in calorie-laden appetizers! Matt introduced me to my new favorite cheap wine: Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot. YUMMMMY! A few glasses were the perfect pre-drinking libation. And then, Matt's friend TJ introduced me to a Hypnotiq martini, which basically added Hypnotiq to one of my favorite drinks- Malibu and pineapple juice. The result was VERY tasty and it didnt take me long to reach my 2 martini max at O'Charley's.

I love how Matt's hair looks red in this pic. We were making fun of it all night. And NO, we are NOT dating. I swear, if I had $1.00 for every person who's asked me that in the last week I would be rich.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One more down...

Well... I finished my 5th of 40 books for the year. My latest conquest was The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. My first impression was that it was a "boy's book" and that I would be bored by the content (plus it smelled bad, but I guess that's a risk you take with library books). It's actually an interesting look into the hierarchy of an all boys Catholic school, complete with a secret society. The writing was fabulous, and although I've never been a teenage boy, I can imagine it's written from a very realistic perspective. The best thing about this book is also the worst, and that's the ending. It was not what I expected and not what I wanted to see, but the more I think about it, the more I understand what Cormier was trying to convey, and the more appreciative I am of the book. It would be interesting to teach to a group of students... the lesson plans are already forming in my mind!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm a big loser...

So... like I said before, we're doing a Biggest Loser competition at work. Well, today was our first weigh in, and I was the Biggest Loser (so far)! I had a 5.2 pound loss, which blew my mind. I was pretty excited though : )

AND- I got a new workout DVD (I only have one that was unpacked and I'm sick of it). I was at Meijer Sunday and saw a whole selection of exercise DVDs that all looked fun/ass kicking. Well, I ruled out anything that had the word "dance" in the title. I'm super clumsy and uncoordinated, so I figured I'd just get frustrated with something like that. I settled on Skinny Bitch Bootcamp and I love it so far. I've only done it for 3 days, but I could definitely feel it today! There is some great cardio mixed in with sculpting/toning exercises. Plus, they have it broken down into 5 minute segments which I'm thinking will be great for the mornings I have to work in GR and I've got limited morning time. The hosts are great and tell it like it is. Of course, they were both models, so that's a little annoying, but it's forgivable : )

And... on another note- One of my friends is getting married in November. Actually, her wedding wraps up my 9 weddings in 13 months. Today she sent me a facebook message with a link to the probable dress I will be wearing. I LOVE IT! I love the style, the color, everything! Here's a sneak peek:

Isn't it beautiful! I can't wait for her wedding and I'm honored that she chose me to be one of the girls standing up with her!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I did it!!

After 2 weeks I've finally finished the Twilight saga and added another completed book to my list of 40! YAY! Yesterday afternoon I turned the last page of Breaking Dawn. It was better than I expected, but a little science-fictionish for me. The suspense was great, the characters were amazing as always, and I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. One of the good things about finishing the saga is that now I can concentrate on my school work! I was so distracted with finishing the 3rd and 4th books this week that I left all of my school reading for today. Yeah... I'm nose deep in western expansion, basic psychology, the makings of our political system, The Chocolate War, and how to evaluate adolescent literature. Obviously I've taken a break to update my blog, facebook-stalk, and catch up on some TV I missed while reading Breaking Dawn.

Another thing that's been keeping me from my studies: If you've never checked this site out, DO IT! Right now! It's like eBay for crafters. There is so much homemade and handmade stuff for sale on this site that it's completely overwhelming! From jewelry to home decor to paper products to clothing, this site has everything. It's amazing how talented some of the people are! I was shocked the first time I perused the site.

One of my favorite things are the handmade greeting cards. Check out KandRdesigns for some fabulous ideas. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, wouldnt it be nice to surprise your special someone with something other than a store bought card? This is perfect for people who want a personal touch but lack the creativity or time to do it themselves. How cute is this- seriously!?

Or, for those of you who know someone who will be having a new addition to the family, browse littlebellabean for some super cute, super trendy onesies, blankies, and burp cloths. Check out this adorable little blanket set!

Anyways, I didnt mean for my blog to turn into a commercial, but I just thought I'd share some things that have caught my eye lately. So, go ahead, check out - I dare you to NOT find something you think is adorable!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little catch up...and a little fun!

Ok, I've only been blogging about things for which I have pictures and I've decided I don't want to limit my blog to only those events where my camera is handy! I'm going to try to blog two or three times a week about whatever is on my mind, or something that catches my eye. Now... I'm not going to promise that I'll stick to this goal, but I'm going to TRY my hardest! So- here goes! This is what's on my mind today:

  • I have an addiction. And it's Carrie's fault. I'm addicted to blogs about weddings!! I'm NOT even close to being married, and I'm not necessarily trying to pre-plan my wedding, but for some reason I just love looking at pictures and decor for weddings. I'm sure some of my future blogs will feature things I've seen on the tons of blogs I follow.
  • I'm trying to keep up my New Year's Resolution of reading 40 books in a year, and so far I'm doing OK. I've read three books - Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse. These are all from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and I was very reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. More or less, I thought they would be stupid and I hated all of the buzz the books were creating. But, then I realized that as a future high school English teacher, I should bite the bullet and read books that are relevant and interesting for that age group. Well, I'm glad I did because the books are amazing. Not only are they well written and suspenseful, but Meyer writes teenage angst as if the characters' minds were speaking out loud. I can see why teenagers have devoured these books (no pun intended)- they're exciting and different from most other book series out there. If you've got some time on your hands and can handle reading about teenage romance, I would recommend this series to you!
  • At work we started The Biggest Loser for the next 12 weeks. I'm going to WIN! All of us at work are counting points and encouraging each other to get healthier. We're only about 2 days in, but I can definitely say that it's going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully after 6 weeks I'm still saying it's fun... I'll keep you posted on my progress : ) I'll also let you know if I find any yummy healthy recipes!
I guess that's all for now... I've got lots of homework to do before next week, and Breaking Dawn, the last Twilight book, is calling my name! Stay tuned for a new update!

Now for a little fun- This is something I saw on one of the blogs I stumbled upon. The poster posted 7 things about herself, and then tagged 7 people to do the same. Unfortunately, Carrie is the only person I know who reads this, sooooo TAG! Carrie- you're it! I expect to see 7 fun things about yourself posted on your blog soooooon!
  1. Like I said before, I'm addicted to wedding blogs! Photography, invitations, table settings, cakes... I love everything!
  2. Also like I said before, I'm on book 4 of 40 for the year in my New Year's resolution, which happens to be book 4 of the Twilight series
  3. One of my hopes for myself is to become an amateur photographer (after I'm done with my teaching degree of course...) and decorate my future house with my own photography
  4. I think I'm in love with Chocolate and Oat Fiber One bars as a snack... and the cereal is pretty good too!
  5. I love and For some reason, I love hearing about other peoples' lives and experiences. The postcards on the former site are sometimes hilarious and sometimes shocking, but always beautiful. The sentences on the latter sum up a story in only one sentence. It's amazing the emotion that can be conveyed in just a few words.
  6. I'm loving Matt Nathanson's music! Download him now!
  7. I discovered that I like peppermint tea- Thanks Matt! (even though I'm sure you dont read this...)
K Carrie- it's your turn!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Virginia Mountains

During my vacation, I traveled to Virginia with my grandparents for a wedding. Even though the scenery was a little drab, I thought the mountains were still beautiful! See for yourself - but keep in mind, my photography does not do justice to the beauty of the sights!

I heart Bay City!

During my vacation I spent a few days in Bay City, a place where I lived and worked during college. I love going back to visit! Every time I cross the bridge into the city I get butterflies in my stomach. Yes, I realize that's pretty cheesy but its true! My friend Erin also just moved back to Bay City after living in North Carolina for a few years. I stayed the night at her house with her and her cousin, Melissa. Melissa and I bonded a few summers ago after realizing our shared love of 80's music and Bob Seger! Both of these girls are a BLAST and I was so glad to go out to the bars with them.

Melissa, me and Erin out at the Green Hut - an awesome bar with an even better jukebox!

Yes, I realize he looks like Grizzly Adams... but this is one of my favorite Bay City people. He was my customer when I worked at the bank and we became pretty good friends. We've kept in touch even after I moved back to Ionia. He's a great guy and a hard worker. He may look a little scruffy, but I would say that owning your own snow plowing business in December in Michigan would be a little time consuming, so I think it's ok. I even kind of like the longer shaggy hair : )
Just taking some self portraits!

Cute cousins!

Ugly Sweater Christmas

This year, my family decided (because of my suggestion... ; ) )to do an ugly sweater Christmas. About a week before Christmas my cousins and I headed to Goodwill to find the ugliest sweaters we could! Bonus points if they were Christmas themed. So, we picked out sweaters for everyone in our family, even my grandpa and grandma. We had a lot of fun and got some great family pics, as you can see below. Of course, the pics don't do justice to the sweaters! If only you could see the metallic threads and sequins used... haha.
Family pic!

Linds and I with our beautiful Christmas sweaters full of bling and glitz

Although it wasnt Chrismas themed, Steph's sweater was AWFUL! But she rocked it with some blue leggings : )

This is my cousin Matt's son, Lex. He's SO adorable! Here he's enjoying the drum and noise maker set I got him.

Here he's eating one of the 49 cookies grandma fed him! I'm surprised he didnt get sick! Shortly after Christmas he got his hair cut and got all of those adorable curls taken off : (

Oakwood Lounge Pre-Christmas Party!

My uncle's band, Bailey's Comet, played at the Oakwood once again on December 20th. We had a family Christmas earlier that day, and so my aunts, uncles, cousins, dad and stepmom came out. Oh, and Lindsey, too. We had a TON of fun, as you can probably see below : )
On the way to the Oakwood - being dorks

Dirty Girl Scouts! And if you look closely, you can see the guy they tried to hook me up with in the background.... lol
Lecturing Lindsey about something

I have no idea what we're doing right here...

I was serenading Linds and she really wanted me to shut up

Lindsey was out on the dance floor for about 2 seconds... and this is what she did. Yikes!

Red Rooster (?) shots! Tequila, orange juice, tomato juice - not my idea!

Karen was stealing the most amazing cheesecake from the dinner buffet. On the way home, we stole a few more pieces, and most of it ended up smashed in my lap. But that's another story....

My Aunt Lori earned the nickname "The Clapper" and as a gag we got her a clapper for Christmas. She was clapping her little heart out to each and every song, even after it was over!

On the way home, I got the... experience... of sitting in the back seat of the car with my aunt and uncle. Apparently, they thought they were dating again because all I could hear for the ride home was them making out! Right NEXT to me!! Needless to say, the ride home was VERY interesting!