1.31.2013

Saving You Money, Honey!

 
 {2 year old me on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Any questions on how I got to be the way I am?}

I've mentioned before on here that I graduated college with whopping $35 dollars.
Thank goodness I had a graduation party and job lined up so I was all set by the time my first rent check was due!
Since then my bank account has definitely been padded a little, but I still love to save money.
Even more, I love saving money without even trying. I wish I could be that person who has a huge coupon binder, but I just don't have the time or patience.
Then, thanks to some other bloggers I discovered Ebates!
You seriously just shop like you normally do online, and then you get cash back!
All you have to do is go to the site through Ebates.  For example, if you want to go crazy at the VS Semi Annual sale, instead of just typing in www.victoriassecret.com, you go to Ebates, and then click on Victoria's Secret through their site.  Then? You get cash back for your purchases!
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
So go now and sign up. You won't regret it!

***
Now, what if I told you you could still make money off of your left over textbooks from college?
If you're like me you saved some of your main textbooks for future reference, and now they're currently sitting on the bookshelf collecting dust like Lindsay Lohan collects criminal charges.

Well, Campus Book Rentals has a new program called RentBack, where you can rent your old textbooks to other students each semester! Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
If you know anyone still in college, there are a lot of other great things about Campus Book Rentals.
Instead of spending 6 million dollars per semester buying textbooks from your college bookstore, you can rent them from Campus Book Rentals for up to 90% less than bookstore prices, you can highlight in the books (a must!) and the best part...with each textbook rented, the company donates to Operation Smile! This year they are donating 1,000 life saving cleft lip surgeries to children in need.
How could you not love this company?
So, if you're like me and are planning to go back to school, or know anyone who is in college, please spread the word about Campus Book Rentals. They are truly a great company, and I can't wait to use them when I go back to school!


*I was compensated by Campus Book Rentals for this post, but I make sure to research every company before I agree to post for them.  You can always be sure all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

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1.29.2013

Hey Y'all, I'm Tate.

Hey, there.
My mom is busy (read: lazy) today, so I decided to take over the blog today.
I've been around this house for about a month, and I'm ready to meet all you invisible people my mama talks about.
I knew my mama was crazy from the day we met.  She looked at me with these crazy googly eyes and talks to me in a baby voice.
I'm like "Dude, I'm a dude." But alas, it never ends.
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Now my dad is pretty cool.  He picked me up, I pooped on him, and it was love.
Since then, he hasn't wanted to get near me because he was scared I'll somehow give him a hedgie flu before some test thing he's got going on, but I'm not offended.
You see, I have a confession.  I'm scared of something too.
My mom has this huge contraption named Canon and likes to come at me with it while talking in the creepy aforementioned baby voice.
Then it makes this awful "click!" sound that I just now will cause me death.
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 So I do my thing and get into a pokey ball and wait for it to go away. What can I say?
I'm a baller.
Instead, Mama comes at me with some white thing to take her 23486786 million pictures of me a day, which doesn't seem quite as bad.








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 There are some things I really love too.  My favorite thing is couch snuggles.  I like to curl up on my mama's shoulder and chill.  She pretends she loves it, but I know she's terrified at any moment I'll turn into a baller again and poke her face.  I won't, but she doesn't know that. Muahaha.







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I also love my Auntie Alexa and Mama's cocktails.
They tend to go hand in hand, and I'm not sure what that all means.  I have a cousin Holly too! I think she loves me so much if we met she would just eat me up. Literally. 






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There's one more thing I really love, and I got it from my dad. Torturing Mama.
Toilet paper rolls are my weapon of choice.  I swear, you haven't lived until you've gotten stuck in one.  I get to act all mysterious and watch my mom freak out that I'm stuck and going to die. So, I randomly stop moving until she panics and then move again. I also like to burrow really deep into my shavings so she can't find me.  Girl, that lady flips out.
It's hilarious.




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Well, that's enough about me for today!
I can hear mom wailing over Teen Mom, or Glee, or something equally life shattering.  Gotta go be cute and cuddly so she'll go back to being as close to sane as she gets.
Wish me luck, folks.

We all know she's a nut job.

1.28.2013

MCAT. Dancing Nana. Haiti.

Or in other words, my weekend.
After three months of studying literally 9 hours a day, 7 days a week, Dom took the MCAT! He felt a lot better about it this time, and after whipping out a 32 on his last practice exam, he went into it feeling confident.
I think I speak for anyone who has had a loved one take the MCAT that I am SO thankful it is over! I have literally barely seen Dom in the past three months, and now I feel like we're in the honeymoon stage all over again :).  That is, for the 12 hours I had with him before he jetted off to Haiti, but that's for later in the post.

In true Dom fashion, he headed straight from the testing center to our new favorite place downtown, World of Beer.  In the 10 minutes it took Dom's Nana and me to gather our things and get there, he had already chatted up the bartender, been told they are desperate for bartenders, and when we walked in he was already being interviewed for the job by the manger. I mean really?! I searched for two months for a job! I swear, I want to come back as Dom in my next life.
I'm such a creeper.

After a round (or two) there, we headed down Clematis Street to a sushi spot we've been dying to get back to since we went on Halloween night.  It was definitely much calmer in there this time...at least until Nana started on her sake and insisted the decorative flower on our plates were edible. And proceeded to eat a petal (just fyi...they weren't the edible kind haha ;)).
 {Spicy Tuna and a Jalepeno Tuna roll. Nom.}
  I was the only one who didn't have any sake, and while we were driving home and little Calvin Harris came on, and we all realized why Nana was definitely not driving that night...

I die. Seriously.
It was so much fun to have my lighthearted relaxed mancake back, but I didn't get to enjoy it for too long.
At 4:30 am our alarms went off and we headed down to Miami so Dom could catch his flight to Haiti.

He's going with one of his fraternity brothers on a medical mission to help build and run a clinic in Port au Prince.  I keep stressing out since it is not safe and there is a travel warning for Americans going there, but as Dom puts it, "If it was safe there I wouldn't have to go." 
Touche.
So, I ask for more prayers, thoughts, and vibes for Dom to have a successful, life changing week in Haiti, and get his cute butt back to me on Saturday!
He's going to save the world, and I'll be at home having a heart attack.


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1.24.2013

{30 Second VLOG} The Worst Gift I EVER Received!

Never should you ever...record a VLOG the minute you get home from work.
Well, ladies, that is exactly what I did!
I'm sure you can look past my scratchy voice and crazy hair and love me anyways. Right? Pretty Please?!

Okay, then.  Here's the story of the worst gift I ever received! My poor brother... ;)

Heyyyyyy sexy lady!


Go link up with Kaitlyn and share your story!
As for me? I've got a date with my couch and a very sizable bottle of wine.
Peace out girl scouts.




30 Second Thursdays



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1.23.2013

If I Were A Boy...

Today I'm linking up with Erin and Gay about what I would do if heaven forbid I woke up...a boy.

 Source

-I would believe that real men wear pink, and appreciate the power pastels have on women.

-I would look like Shemar Moore or Luke Bryan without even trying.

- I would learn to do the laundry without destroying priceless items.

-I wouldn't touch Ed Hardy with a 10 foot pole.

-I would always aim when I pee.

-I would realize that "fine" means whomever I ask is a lot of things...but "fine" is not one of them.

-I would walk around the house opening jars and lifting heavy things just because I could.

-I wouldn't play games with women.  I'd be honest and straight forward.

-I would refer to my girlfriend's blogger friends as "Catfish Friends."  And yes, that is inspired by a man in my life!

-I would probably be in the doghouse for doing something.

-I would enter the room with a football helmet and box of tissues during my girlfriend's time of the month. And probably some chocolate too.

-And then? I'd get a sex change, because women just smell better. 




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Great Valentine's Day Idea And Giveaway!

It's about that time of year.
The time when we all try frantically to figure out what to get our mancake for Valentine's Day.
Is it just me?
Okay fine. Well, I have a lot of trouble deciding something cute and fun to get Dom for Valentine's Day every year, so I was so relieved when Datevitation contacted me about doing a review/giveaway for all you lovely ladies!
Unless you live under a rock, you probably already know about Datevitation.
Just in case you don't, I'll give you the rundown.
Datevitation offers the cutest custom love coupon books you can get to give to your significant other.
They're perfect for couples like Dom and me, because we love do give gifts that involve doing something more than material things.
They have over 200 date ideas to choose from, from fun and flirty, to hot and steamy.  They even have a lot of food related ones in case you're a fatty like me and all perfect nights somehow involve food. ;)
I got Dom a book that I was originally going to give him for Valentine's Day, but now I'm going to give it to him to celebrate being done with the MCAT!
Guys will really enjoy these because they aren't all romantic picnic-in-the-park girly dates. There is really something for everyone!
Here are the dates my mancandy is getting...





I have no doubts the last one will be his favorite! Especially since we just discovered a fabulous beer garden downtown.

Here is where it gets exciting for you!
Because I love you and Datevitation is fabulous, you can use the code SUNSHINE to get your own Datevitation book for $10 until the end of the month!
Enter the giveaway below, and you might be lucky enough to win your own for free!
The giveaway will close in a week, which will give the winner enough time to make their book and have it delivered before Valentine's Day.  So what are you waiting for? Go enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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1.22.2013

Facts About Me!



I'm 23

Half Puerto Rican, Half  Canadian (aka half hot, and half cold. I like to say I'm just right :)) We don't really associate with my Puerto Rican side (except my spicy latina Grandma Carmen) but I'm very grateful for the tan!
 You can tell which part of me got the Puerto Rican genes.

Obsessed with primates, but not in a weird way... I spent my college Saturdays interning at the Smithsonian teaching them to use computers.

I can mess up any recipe without even trying.

When I sneeze? I sneeze at least 8 times.  Usually 15-17.

My brain is exactly 13 mm too big for my skull

I have a hedgehog. Named Tate.
 

I'm allergic to gluten, coffee, apples, pears, plums, peaches, carrots, celery, almonds, pecans, green beans, cherry tomatoes, soy milk, pollen, cats, shaving cream, and all detergents except tide. BAM.

I will watch every season of the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. No matter how cheesy.

Dom and I are in the background of a Kourtney and Kim Take Miami episode this season.  I'm in a purple dress. Keep your eyes out.

I left my heart in Australia.


I have an uncanny ability to spill on myself in every situation.  I spilled my drink during Dom and my first THREE dates. Yet, I still love to wear white. And he still loves me. Both are very surprising.

The Pope and I are besties. It's true.

I suffer from an extreme case of wanderlust.  I get home and itch to travel to the next place.

However, I have an irrational phobia of airplanes.  I also have to kiss my hand and plant it on the plane as I get on or I will freak out. I'm just a tad superstitious. 

One time on a horrendous blind date to a fraternity semi formal Bennett and I ditched our dates, stole the desserts from the caterer, and locked ourselves in the bathroom and ate them all.

My favorite foods are french toast, cheeseburgers and pizza.  Yes, I know I can't eat any of those things anymore. :(

I graduated college with $35.

 The Presidential Motorcade once drove by me while I was on the curb dressed like a cowgirl.
(#GWUgirlproblems)

I don't have any particular talents (except, of course, spilling).

I love windows.

I love lamp. (Sorry, I had to.)

I trained in ballet for 15 years.  I spent my summers in NYC or Vermont for dance.
 When you're the soloist you're also the least dressed.

Miss America 2008 told me I looked like Princess Jasmine when we were 14 (while we were both in Vermont. Dancing out little hearts out. Then, she became Miss America and I didn't. It's fine).

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1.21.2013

Are You Wedding Obsessed? I Need Your Help

A few months ago I blogged about my best friend's engagement party.
Well, the wedding is officially less than 6 months away!
As this all gets more real, so do my bridesmaid duties.  After about 4 changes, I think Felicia has finally settled on a color scheme. That means we can start planning her bachelorette party and bridal shower with explosions of green, pink, yellow, and pastel happiness.

I know, I want to hate them too.

The downside of being completely wedding obsessed is that there are so many possibilities and so many directions you can go with planning how to make this whole process perfect for the bride-to-be!
This is where I need your help. I need to start picking out bachelorette party and bridal shower invitations.  I know everyone always thinks about the wedding invitations, but bachelorette party and bridal shower invites are so important too!

 If you have never heard of Wedding Paper Divas you are seriously missing out.  They are in the shutterfly family and have millions of adorable, creative, and affordable ideas for all your wedding needs.  My only problem with them is that there are literally so many options I'm in love with that I can't decide!

Let's start with the bachelorette party invitations.  Hopefully, all the girls will be able to come down to Florida for the weekend, so I wanted the invitations to be beachy, cocktail,  and girly themed.
With Wedding Paper Divas you can search by theme, color scheme, and even layout.  It makes it so easy to find what you're looking for and not spend hours getting distracted by all the prettiness (although that can me just as fun)!  You can also add pictures to the invites, and I was completely won over by this one...
Cuteness. Overload.

The bridal shower invites were no easier to decide between.  They have cute, fun bridal shower invites, as well as classic, pretty and feminine designs.
Here are the ones I'm trying to decide between!
I'm partial to the bottom right, because it just seems so "Princess" to me, but I love them all!

So...which are your favorites?! I need all the input I can get. And while you're at it, hop on over to Wedding Paper Divas and see all the prettiness for yourself!


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1.18.2013

Our Real Love Story: Part 2!


See Part 1 here!

Chapter 4: When reality is better than your dreams
We stayed in contact the entire time I was on vacation with my family, even with the 16 hour time difference.  When there was no service to BBM, we would exchange Facebook messages to stay in contact.  How I love modern technology!  Even though I decided I wouldn’t let my guard completely down until he came through on his word and we planned my weekend visit, I knew I was toast.  He was on my mind constantly and I was desperate to see him again face to face to solidify what we had.  My fears about him returning to his old life were invading my happiness and I couldn’t shake them.  I think my parents thought I was just sad to leave the program and jetlagged, but really I was in a constant mental battle with myself.  One minute I’d convince myself he was back with his ex and our trip would just never really happen and it would fade away.  Then, the next minute I would hear from him and know that there was no way someone could talk to me this way and not mean it.  It was the most emotionally draining week of my life.

As he has proven since the first day I met him, Dom stayed true to his word and I went to visit him one week after I got back to America.  Our weekend was perfect, and being back in New York made everything seem more real.  We weren’t just living in an exotic fantasy anymore, it was normal everyday life and we still found each other thrilling. By the end of the weekend he asked me if I was ready to consider myself unavailable to other guys, and if I wanted to try and make this work.  Even though we were both returning to school, him to New York and me to Washington, D.C., there was no hesitation in my yes!

Side note: I knew this meant we were exclusive, but I was still not clear on our boyfriend/girlfriend status.  Thus, for 4 months I referred to him as my Boyperson until he finally cleared it up and I knew we were official. End side note. 

That beautiful sunset in July became the backdrop of the beginning of our long distance relationship.  It was hard being 7 hours away from each other, but we never let that passion die.  After 2 years of long distance we packed up our lives and moved to West Palm beach, Florida together. Our love has rocked me to the core and I know that this is what true love is.  No one has ever known me so thoroughly, inside and out.  We can just look at each other and know what is going on.  We are so much a part of one another that I can’t even fathom what my life was like before him.  He has taught me to love, laugh and live more than I ever thought possible.  He is truly the man of my dreams and I am so happy I found him, even if I had to go around the world to get him! 


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1.17.2013

Our Real Love Story

17 is both my lucky number, and Dom's.  17s make me so happy, and even better, our anniversary is July 17! Which means that today, Dom and I have been together for 2 and a half years. :) 
Even though we don't celebrate half anniversaries, I thought it was a great time to share our real love story.  
That one on my Love Story page? It's the spark notes version.  Almost a year ago, I wrote out the whole thing, and today you get Part 1.
It's a little lengthy...so I suggest some coffee, wine, or other happy beverage before you begin!

{Sydney Ice Bar}
This is not a story of love at first sight.  It’s more of a boy meets girl, girl doesn’t like boy, boy drunkenly invites girl on a tropical vacation where girl falls in love with boy kinda thing.  Classy and traditional? Not so much.  Romantic? You bet.



Chapter 1: Meeting around the world

When I was a junior in college I decided to study abroad in Sydney, Australia.  I had been there before to see the 2000 Olympics and had been counting the days until I could make it back.  In February of 2010 I boarded a massive airplane (terrifying!) and flew half way across the world for 5 months of sun, adventure and hot Aussie men. (A girl can dream, right?)  Once I had arrived and got situated with my abroad program I met Dom, and immediately decided I didn’t like him.  He was definitely good looking, but seemed to know it and his Jersey Shore-esqe look was just not doing it for me.  I remember thinking that he was completely not the kind of guy I would ever be interested in, and knew I’d never be the kind of girl he would want.  I figured he liked the tight low-cut dress, dancing on a bar, pouring vodka down her throat kind (I’ve neeeever done that…really, mom, I swear ;)), not the more girly, spastic type.  Now, it strikes me as ironic I would think that because I never think like that about guys, and why would I care if I’m not his type?  I knew I didn’t like him anyways.  Obv.

After that initial meeting I can count on one hand the amount of times we interacted over our time abroad.  He began seeing one of my best friends in the program, while I started seeing another person.  I didn’t give him a single thought.


Chapter 2: We’ll always have Fiji

With three weeks left in our program we had a huge party to celebrate one of our friends’ 21st birthday.  As my friend Caitlyn and I mingled we overheard Dom talking to his friends about how he was headed to Fiji that Friday to spend a week of our time before finals traveling.  In our very slightly inebriated states, Caitlyn and I decided we wanted to go too.  Things had just ended between the guy I was seeing and me, and I wanted to get away.  Luckily, Dom was in the same mental state as we were and invited us along.  We excitedly (and drunkenly) booked our flights and Dom planned with the people he was going with to get us in on their trip.  All was wonderful until the next morning when we woke up and realized what we had done. 



As excited as we were to go to Fiji, neither Caitlyn nor I were close with Dom, and didn’t even know the other people on the trip.  Even though things between him and my friend were long over, I worried that might cause drama.  
 I also remember thinking it was so strange when Dom called to finalize plans the next day, and make sure we actually wanted to go now that the punch was out of our systems.  We had almost never spoken in person, and now he was calling me, the girl who would never be his type.  Not that I cared. Obv
What’s more, another guy I was infatuated with had also invited us to Fiji the same week.  After much back and forth, Caitlyn finally won and we decided to go with Dom and his friends.  Looking back, it makes my stomach flip to think of what would have happened if we had gone with the other guys.  The scariest part is I don’t think I would even know what I was missing out on!   
I hate to think about it.



Once we arrived I knew we had made the right decision.  Our tiny Fijian island was just as beautiful as you could imagine…and then a little more.  Over the course of the week we all became very close and spent days cooking under the sun and nights playing music and talking around a bonfire on the beach.  You know how people say good things change their lives?  It was about to be one of those times.  I can honestly say that June 11, 2010, our last night in Fiji, changed my life forever, even if I didn’t realize it then. 



That night we were partying with everyone on the island like usual, and when the electricity shut of at midnight (we were in Fiji after all!  Not exactly a 5 star resort, but in my opinion way better) we headed to the bonfire.  Except this time, Dom scooped me up in his arms and carried me there, sitting me down square on his lap.  By this point I had changed my views on him.  I didn’t think he was full of himself, but rather a genuinely nice person, actually kind of shy.  He wasn’t stand offish, just quiet.  I liked that.  I stayed planted in his lap the whole night, liking the feeling of being enveloped by him and feeling like I was “his” for the night.  I liked what I was feeling, but didn’t dwell or analyze it.  I was happy and didn’t give it a second thought, something I always do (to a fault).   

 {Robinson Crusoe Island, Fiji! Yes, that's the whole thing :)}

A while later we found ourselves lying in the sand staring at a sailboat floating in the water, lit up by the million stars and the moon.  Dom asked me what the most beautiful thing on the island was.  Of course, I said the sailboat, completely not getting the hint and thinking it was weird he would ask me such a random question.  After all, the island had no running water, so I had only taken bucket-showers the whole week, wore no make-up and my hair was a curly explosion…not exactly sexy.  “Nope,” he answered in my ear, “that would be you.”  I know it’s a line and you are probably rolling your eyes right now, but I promise it worked!  I have much more respect now for one liners.  When used genuinely on a romantic tropical beach they are very, very effective!  Needless to say, when he leaned down to kiss me I was elated.  We were on a beach in Fiji, beneath millions of stars. What could possibly be more romantic?



Chapter 3: Back to Sydney…and reality

Nevertheless, it was what happened next that was the most shocking.  I didn’t go all girly and get all goo goo eyed and fall too hard too quickly like usual.  I kept my feelings guarded and in check.  I liked Dom, but I was suspicious of his intentions, and didn’t know what would come of this kiss in the only two weeks left of our program.  I knew there was an ex back home anxiously awaiting his return, fully expecting to get back together with him.  I didn’t want to be a last minute abroad fling just so he could have fun before returning home to his old life.  The whole plane ride back to Sydney I convinced myself that’s all he was interested in and planned the speech I would give him about how much fun I had in Fiji, but I was not the kind of girl he was looking for.  If he wanted a two week fling he’d better keep on looking. 



Although things with Dom and my friend were over, and she’d already moved on to another guy, I kept everything that happened between us completely secret, even from Caitlyn.  I didn’t want to start any drama at the end of our program, especially since I was just going to deliver my speech and go. 



That night, once everyone had gone to sleep I snuck down to visit Dom and deliver my speech.  I knocked quietly on his door and waited in the hallway with my heart practically beating out of my chest.  I was terrified someone would come out and ask why I was knocking on Dom’s door, for all they knew we still didn’t even talk, and I was nervous for how he would react to my speech.  However, the next most-shocking-thing-ever happened.  Dom opened his door with the biggest, most welcoming grin I have ever seen.  I was immediately at ease, something I have never ever felt with a guy I just met, and especially not one as attractive as Dom.  I’m usually the quieter semi awkward one.  With Dom, I felt completely comfortable. 



I didn’t deliver my speech.  Instead, we watched a movie and talked…a lot.  I went back to my room that night happier and more confused than ever.  He didn’t make a move at all, and I had never had so much fun talking with someone.  I was weird and awkward and completely normal, except that it didn’t seem weird and awkward with us, it seemed natural.  Still, I didn’t like the fact we were going back to America in 2 weeks.  What could possibly develop in such a short time?



Actually, a lot.  We continued to see each other every night in secret.  He propped a suntan lotion bottle in his door so it appeared closed, and I snuck down after everyone had gone to sleep.  We had so much fun and I knew I was falling harder, but still convinced myself I was just making a great new friend for these two weeks but nothing would come of it.  Never before have I been able to control my emotions, but I can honestly say I was in total control this time.  Then, while I was out dancing with the girls, I got a text.  “What if I was around this summer?” This was the first time any mention of the future had come up, and subsequently when my control began to unravel.  Suddenly our time together became more vibrant and alive.  The prospect of time beyond our last weeks was intoxicating.  We planned a trip to visit each other right when I returned to America, since I was staying an extra week to travel New Zealand with my parents.  He only lived two and a half ours away from me at home, so it was absolutely possible. I wish I could bottle up the feelings I had that week and give it to everyone in the world.  It was a happiness I can’t put words to, one that anyone who has met their true love can feel.  I was the most exciting beginning because it was slow and steady.  Yes, there were crazy sparks, but we also could not stop talking and laughing.  I had never felt more alive in my life.




The two weeks flew by and then came time for our goodbye.  It was absolutely excruciating.  All I could do was cry as he napped before his early flight.  We had our plans to visit, but was it all just talk?  What if I never saw him again?  I had prevented my self from falling completely, but I wasn’t far away.  The thought of experiencing something so genuine and perfect, just to find out it was all fake was heartbreaking to think about.  When I finally said goodbye I went numb and counted the minutes until he reached Los Angeles and would be able to contact me.  I told myself not to go crazy, maybe he would wait until he got all the way home to contact me, just because I didn’t hear from him exactly 14 hours later wouldn’t mean anything.  I went through the motions of showing my parents around campus and all my favorite places but my mind and my heart weren’t in it.  I was in full fledged zombie mode until just over 14 hours later when my phone buzzed.  

 It was him.


Our love story- Part 2!

1.16.2013

I Can't Believe...


I can't believe...How much I love my EC planner! I had one last year, but this cover is so me and literally puts me into the best mood whenever I see it.  If that doesn't motivate me to get organized, nothing will.  I'm even excited to look at my To Do lists now (sometimes).  Now all I need is a social life...

I can't believe...Dom has 4 friends! Okay, only 1 from his MCAT class that he has hung out with, but he still has me beat.  I have my work friends, and he has his CrossFit "MILF" friends. Hehe.  Eventually we will hopefully have some actual friends.

I can't believe...how much the gel manicure I got in November destroyed my nails! I knew they weren't good for your nails, but I didn't expect them to get quite that destroyed.  Guess it's back to cheap manicures for me!

I can't believe... at work last week I did my 12 tiny rapid fire sneezes, per usual, and a coworker burst out laughing and told me I reminded her of Mama June.  I can't remember the last time I was so offended.

I can't believe...how amazing our new tempurpedic mattress is. What is even more unbelievable is that the HOA of our community doesn't allow any deliveries after 5pm (clearly no one here works) so we were going to have to hold it on top of the car and drive really slowly from the gate to our house, and then reload our old mattress and bring it back to the truck at the gate to take away. Umm no. Luckily their truck broke down and they had to come the next morning. Problem solved!

I can't believe... I started running and made it exactly .5 miles before I almost keeled over. I have a long way to go...
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1.15.2013

The Day I Got Slapped By Reality

 
The other day my morning started in the same way many mornings start for 20-something women.  I was standing in my walk-in closet full of clothes and thinking, I have absolutely nothing to wear.
Everything was going to be too warm for our weather, or I'd be too cold in the AC. I just wore a cardigan (don't tell Raven! ;)) yesterday, so I couldn't possibly wear another today.
You know, the big dilemmas in life. 
I eventually decided on something, slipped into my over-worn and over-loved Tory Burch Revas and walked out the door to work.

I work in Wellington, Florida, about 10 miles west of West Palm Beach. You'll notice when you get outside of the touristy areas in Florida that the economic class can change from traffic light to traffic light.  I took a wrong turn trying to get to a gas station a few weeks ago and had to do a U-turn in the driveway of a completely broken down trailer, only to pull into the gas station 50 yards away behind a Maserati.  It's something that's hard to miss, but like most, I'm guilty of turning the other away and not thinking about it too much.

That is, until I found myself surrounded by it one day at work.  We were all in our cubes, doing our thing and chatting when the sweet woman who has the cubicle next to me was asked how her husband is doing.  He suffered a terrible leg injury the year before, and has been on disability, in and out of the hospital for the past year.  She answered by saying he was doing really well except they needed one more medicine, which was just too expensive.  We all nodded in agreement, as working in a pharmacy makes it very clear just how expensive medicine can be.  Then she said, I don't know what we're supposed to do.  Where are we supposed to get an extra $40?

That's when my head popped up, and I tucked my TB flats under my desk, suddenly very aware of all the pictures I had decorated my desk with, pictures of Dom, my family and me in different countries doing crazy things.  I had been worried this morning about not choosing the right combo of clothes from my full closet, where this lady was worried about finding 40 spare dollars for her husband's medicine.  How many times have we gone to Target for one thing and spent tons of money on cute things we don't need? I look at my receipt, laugh, and promise myself I won't do it again, until next week.  I never thought about how lucky I am to be able to spend money on fun things, even when I'm on a budget.

Then in the kitchen, one of the men I work with was asking questions about where I went to college and if I liked it, etc.  His daughter is a senior in high school and wants to be a doctor someday.  He was telling me how she has been studying so hard all four years so she can get into her dream school, the University of Miami.  They've been crossing their fingers every night she'll get a full ride scholarship, otherwise she can't go.  He shrugged his shoulders and laughed, saying you know how that goes.  I gave a nervous laugh and nodded.

 For the second time that day, I grew embarrassed and tried to remember the last time that I actually thanked my dad for paying for my schooling.  I wanted to major in International Affairs, and the best place to do that was GWU.  Very expensive GWU.  I remember my dad saying in high school that if I got in, he'd figure out how to pay for it.  We both kept our end of the deal and I moved to D.C. in August of 2007 to start college.  I didn't even think about the financial strain that going to GWU put on my dad.  He started taking paid speaking engagements around the country and called them "GW units."  We giggled at the name, but I didn't really think about all the extra work my dad was doing to give me the best education possible. It wasn't that I wasn't grateful, I just never thought about it.  I was obviously thankful, but did I thank him after every trip? No. And I should have.  Where I'm from, everyone goes to college.  My sheltered self didn't think of the families I knew as well off, we were just normal.  (That is, until I got to GW and quickly realized what kind of wealth there really is out there.  I was the first girl my freshman year roommate had ever met that didn't have a copy of her dad's credit card to shop with.  And then, of course, there were the heirs and spattering of international dukes and dutchesses in my freshman dorm. But that's a post for another day). As absurd as it is to say, I never thought about someone not being able to go to school because they couldn't afford it.

Talk about a realty check. Sometimes it takes seeing a situation from another point of view to open your eyes.  There's nothing wrong with accidentally spending lots of money at Target, but don't forget to be appreciative of the fact that you can blow some extra money without worrying about putting food on the table.  Be careful before you complain that your designer flats are getting frayed.  The person your chatting to might only wish they could have a pair. I sometimes say I wish I could fast forward the next few years so I can get my next degree but not have to do the work of going back to school.  What should I be doing? Be thankful I'll have the wonderful opportunity to go back to school.

 I think we can all stand to take a few extra minutes to count are blessings, and be thankful for the things we take for granted.  

News flash, Robin, you do have something to wear, and if that is the biggest problem of your day, you've got it pretty damn good.
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1.14.2013

Tiny Tidbits From Life



* Dom and I got a baby hedgehog! His name is Tate, and we love him.  More details on our newest addition will come, but for right now the poor sweet baby is scared of the camera "click!" Whenever I try to take a real picture he curls up into a little spiky ball and shakes. Break my heart!! But he'll make is blog debut soon enough. :)

*I am definitely one of those girls that watches every pageant, and this year was no different! I had to completely avoid social media Saturday night since I couldn't watch Miss America until Sunday, but I was proud to watch Miss New York take the crown! Although, if I'm being honest, I thought Miss South Carolina had it in the bag. Girlfriend is flawless.
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*Along with being mildly obsessed with pageants, I am also beyond obsessed with awards season! I love the fashion, the glitz, the glamour and the movies.  I even watched the Golden Globes last night over Revenge. That says a lot!  My favorite is of course, the Oscars, and my family has a party every year.  Yes, we have Oscar bingo and yes, I have won two years in a row! #nerdalert. #itsfine.

*I currently have a sunglasses tan of epic proportions.

*Dom takes his MCAT for the second time in 2 weeks! This has become a very anxious household, and I think I speak for everyone who has ever had a loved one take the MCAT that I cannot wait for it to finally be over. He's also leaving for Haiti a few hours after his exam to go build a hospital, so I have an extra week to be scared and anxious!

*Bennett shared this video with me last weekend. I really don't think it needs any introduction. 

Happy Monday, folks!


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