Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book (and TV Show) Discussion
Game of Thrones

One word for this book (and show): Throwback!

I recently subscribed to HBO and let me tell you, it’s been awesome! I am so sick of regular TV; there is never anything good playing anymore. I despise reality TV and I think I’ve seen every episode of CSI, the Mentalist, Law & Order, etc. So when a friend raved to me about Game of Thrones, a new show on HBO, I thought, “why not?” I wanted to get HBO so I could watch the new season of Trueblood anyway (started 26 June)!

Once I started watching Game of Thrones I was hooked right away! Then, to my delight, I found out that the series is actually based on a series of books. You all know how much I love watching TV shows and movies based on books and then comparing them.

The Game of Thrones series of books are sci-fi/fantasy novels. The reason why I chose “throwback” for my one word description of Book 1 is because this genre used to be my absolute favorite genre to read when I was younger. The story is set in a medieval-type time period that includes kings, knights, queens, and princesses. The sci-fi/fantasy flavor of the book has to do with sorcery, dragons, and other things like that (I don't care if I'm a dork!). Book 1/Season 1 centered around introducing characters & relationships, and the different people vying for the throne.

I recently finished reading Book 1 and watching Season 1 of the show. They were both awesome. The main characters are really well developed – my favorites are Tyrion (the Imp), Daenerys, Drogo, Ned, and Arya. Tyrion has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and always says exactly what everyone is thinking, and is not afraid to do so! It’s hilarious and so refreshing to hear someone speak the truth of situations instead of always defaulting to courtesies and lies. Daenerys is beautiful and fun – I don’t know why I like her so much, I just do! Her husband Drogo has a really powerful presence, and kicks serious butt. Ned is an admirable “good guy” and a Lord with the utmost regard for honor and doing the right thing. Arya is a Ned’s daughter, but she is not the typical “lord’s daughter” in that she is a strong willed and tenacious little tomboy that doesn’t bend to customary expectations for girls in her position.

The story line and complexities of this narrative are incredible. I felt like so much happened during the TV episodes that I always had to re-watch them! And there are so many little intricacies with all the characters and their relationships, I was glad I was reading the books so I could keep up a little better.

There were only a few things that I didn’t like about this book/TV show. First, as I said before, there are about a million characters so it is sometimes difficult to keep everything straight. Second, at some points the story was sort of slow moving. Also, the book and the show don’t follow each other exactly – they jump around in each to different scenes so sometimes ‘x’ is talked about before ‘y’ in the book but ‘y’ is shown before ‘x’ in the show – so I got a little confused here and there!

I can't wait for Book 2 & Season 2!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June Birchbox!

I received my June Birchbox! Woo hoo! This is what it looked like when it arrived, the pink box is an outer box and the tan box was inside.


Here's the goodies inside the box. The inside is wrapped with pretty pink and purple tissue paper. There was a card listing each product sample, two tubes, and a little package wrapped in pink tissue and tied with a bow.


Inside the little package were three other products:


These are the two cards that were in the box. The first is a detailed listing of each product with the name, a short description of the product, the sizes/prices in which it is sold, and a little note at the bottom saying you can go to the Birchbox website for how-to articles, videos, and to buy the products that you love. There was also the little card shown on the right (tied to the little package that was inside the box) that refers you to travel size items that are available at their travel section on the website.


Here is the first product - the Xen Tan self tanning lotion.


Product #2 - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion.


Product #3 - Herban Essentials Orange Towelette. They are antibacterial hand wipes (2 included).


Product #4 - Laura Geller Baked Blush and Brighten. It's a blush and highlighter. I've been wanting to try a highlighter!


As you can see from the reflection of my camera - there is a little mirror inside!



Product #5 - Kate Spade Twirl perfume.


I love the inside of the package - on the left side it reads "she had a cocktail in had and confetti in her hair"



First impressions - this is going to be pretty awesome. The face lotion sample and the blush are both what I would consider full sizes. I was surprised. They will last a long time! The packaging was so pretty and fun - it was like buying myself a little gift wrapped present as a monthly subscription. Ha!

I will post another review soon once I have used each product!


Let me refer you to Birchbox! If you want to sign up, email me at diaryofasmartblonde@yahoo.com!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Before & After :-D

Me and my sister as sweet little girls and then as sweet adult girls. :-D

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vivaaaaaaa Las Vegas!

While Jessie and Chris were visiting, we headed out to Las Vegas for one of the weekends...here are some pics!

The first night we were there we went to Bond in The Cosmopolitan...it was really fun! It was just a little bar in the casino, but it was really hoppin'!



Friday we went to Wet Republic - also an awesome time despite the really ridiculous line to get in!


That evening we went to RM Seafood for dinner and re-celebrated Jessie's birthday! It was really yummy and we all ate so much we were in pain by the end. Ha! Afterwards we just chilled out in Mandalay Bay, went to eyecandy, and Jessie and Chris gambled a little.


The next night, we went to Lucky Bar at Red Rock and danced our feet off! 



The weekend ended wayyyyy too soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Funny :-D
And That's How the Fight Started...#2

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'

'No,' she answered.

I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'

She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying, 'Yes..'

So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."

And that's how the fight started...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Omg - YUM!

Have you tried the new Lean Cuisine Market Creations? This is what they look like - they come in a little steamer bag and are in the freezer section!



So far I have tried all of these, with the exception of those containing shrimp (I am not a fan of shrimp - it is snappy!). They have all been extremely yummy! The only one I was not overly impressed with was the Mushroom Tortellini. That disappointed me because I love mushrooms. The one that I loved the most was the Sweet and Spicy Ginger Chicken (when I ate it I immediately thought, "I need to write a blog post about this!"). I also really loved the Chicken Pot Stickers. The chicken is always really tender and delicious, with no fatty pieces or dark meat (either one would make me hurl; well, the dark meat wouldn't be too bad but it's not my favorite). The veggies always taste fresh and are not overcooked at all. The sauces are all very delicious, flavorful, and not too heavy. The only thing I would maybe do to improve these meals is to add some additional veggies. 

These are seriously a God-send for me because, honestly, I don't usually have the time or the motivation to pack a lunch every day. I'm good with snacks (fruit, veggies, yogurt, string cheese, etc.), but I usually need something as my "main" portion of my lunch. Considering the fact that going to lunch can get really expensive, and it is usually hard to reign yourself in to eat the correct portion of a healthy choice, I need something that is easy and healthy for lunches. These are great for that purpose! If you are a busy working person on-the-go - I really recommend these meals!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mr. Sandman....Bring Me a Dream Doo Doo Doo Doo

Lately I have been having the most hilarious and ridiculous dreams - I just had to share them with you.

1. I dreamed I was dating Edward Cullen (Twilight) and I had a Porche. I kept wondering, "what about Robbie?!"

2. I dreamed I traveled to Italy for work and while I was going into my hotel room, a big group of people came out to tell me I won 12 million dollars! I kept thinking it was suspicious!

3. I dreamed I had really long hairs growing out of the tops of my toes. I clipped them off and showed them to my sister so she wouldn't feel bad about the ones she had growing out of the tops of her toes.

4. Robbie and I had an impromptu wedding - nobody was ready, more than half the people weren't there (even the wedding party), the photographer and DJ weren't there, the ceremony was in some really ugly inside location with no windows, my dress was hideous and I had no idea where it came from (I think it was someone's old prom dress or something, and somehow everyone there ended up swimming in a lake - in our clothes.

Aren't those ridiculous and hilarious!? Every time I read #3, I crack up!

On a side note, the title of this post just reminded me of the fact that my mom used to always play Mr. Sandman for me on her accordion when I was a little girl. :-D Yes, she knows (knew?) how to play an accordion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is Today Mondayyyyy?

Is today Monday? This is how I feel right now:


What do you do if you are really dragging and have so much to do that you can't afford to be? Here are a few things that help me sometimes:

1. Take a walk outside in the sun (keep roll up flats in your bag for this lol)
2. Run to the store for something random that you need to pick up
3. Have some tea or coffee with your favorite creamer flavor (CINNABON!)
4. or....Make a run to Starbucks!
5. Clean up and organize your desk area
6. Shred any papers that need to be shredded
7. Walk down the hall to say hello to a co-worker for a quick chat
8. Eat 100 mini-bags of Cheetos. Ha! Just kidding :-D

I tried to think of 10, but I can't. As you can see from my list, I usually try to do something quick that gives a change of scenery or a short break from the day. Help me think of more!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Super Sweet Anniversary Gift! :-D

Robbie and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary just over a month ago. I can't believe it has already been that long! And in less than 6 months he will be here - and in less than a year we'll be married! I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!

Isn't this photo frame so adorable? This was my anniversary gift from my love! He obviously knows me well because I am obsessed with personalized things and I am obsessed with photos and photo frames! LOL.


The engraving on the side reads, "To love is to find pleasure in the happiness of the person loved."

Awww :-D I heart him. :-D

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Discussion
Sing You Home

Three words for this book: Jodi never disappoints!!!

Have I ever mentioned that I adore Jodi Picoult? Hmmmm...maybe I have here and there, oh, about a MILLION times. I love her!!! I was so excited when I saw this book at the bookstore. And I love her so much that I had to get the book immediately, in hardcover. I didn't want to wait - and I didn't want it as an e-book!

(Beware - spoilers to follow.)

The story is about Zoe Baxter, a music therapist. She was married, and after having difficulty conceiving for many years, the stress of the situation eventually drove her and her husband apart. Zoe ends up developing a relationship with a friend - who happens to be a woman. They get married and want to conceive a child with frozen embryos that Zoe has saved from previous fertility treatments. Her ex-husband (a "recovering" alcoholic) ends up living with his brother and sister-in-law, who happen to be really involved with an evangelical church. Opposing views, court cases, and overall craziness ensues....Also, as a bonus and unique addition, the book comes with a CD to listen to as you read the book! Fun!

While writing this post, I was trying to think of some things to say about Jodi's writing that I haven't said before. I think one thing I love that I have not mentioned previously is that her descriptions are absolutley amazing and so true. I couldn't think of a great way to say that....(hence, I am not an author lol), so I instead decided that I would give a few examples from this book:

On girlfriends:

Here's what your girlfriends do for you: they provide the reality check. They are the ones who tell you when you have spinach between your teeth or when your ass looks fat in a pair of jeans or when you're being a bitch. They tell you, and there's no drama or agenda, like there would be if the message had come from your husband. They tell you the truth because you need to hear it, but it doesn't alter the bond between you. I don't think I realized how much I missed that, until now.

On falling in and out of love:

If there is a physical component to falling in love - the butterflies in your stomach, the roller coaster of your soul - then there is an equal physical component to falling out of love. It feels like your lungs are sieves, so you can't get enough air. Your insides freeze solid. Your heart becomes a tiny, bitter pearl, a chemical reaction to one, irritating grain of truth.

Aren't both of those descriptions so eloquent and TRUE?! This book was so amazing. I could not put it down.  

Here is a photo of me with Jodi (from 2008)! I went to her book signing at my local bookstore and got to meet her!

Woot!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Super Fun Recommendation from Jessie - Birchbox!

When Jessie came to visit me, she told me about this new subscription that she had recently ordered - Birchbox! It is basically a monthly subscription for a delivery of "deluxe" beauty samples. When she told me about it, I thought it sounded fun - but what totally sold me was trying one of her products that she had learned about from her Birchbox samples (it was a facewash - Befine Exfoliating Cleanser - omg it's seriously the awesomest facewash I've ever used!).

When you sign up, you fill out a profile that has your skin type, hair type, hair color, skin color, style (modern, classic, etc.), skin concerns, etc. Then they send you "deluxe" samples according to your profile. You can purchase a whole year up front and get a discounted price, or you can subscribe for $10 a month and cancel any time. I chose the second option.

I am so excited to share with you about my samples and tell you what I think of Birchbox and everything involved with it! I just got an email today that my first box has shipped. Bring on the beauty! Woot!


Let me refer you to Birchbox! If you want to sign up, email me at diaryofasmartblonde@yahoo.com!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maaaake Yourself Comfortable...

Poor Zach has been neglected lately because I have been traveling so much....I was so happy to see him when I got home, despite the fact that he ate one of my tank tops and killed the evil toilet paper monster while I was gone. It wasn't an expensive tank top at least. Ha :-D Here he is sprawled out comfy as can be with me in bed a few nights ago:

Snuggle Fur Fur Time
He's so sweet and pleasant when he isn't meowing incessantly and chewing things (and subsequently barfing them up...).

Actually, I consider myself pretty lucky because I worked out an agreement with a friend to stay at my apartment while I am traveling. That way he doesn't have to drive his insanely long commute, and Zach has a friend to snuggle with while I am gone. Zach seems to love him and my friend even told me the other day that they slept next to each other for 13.5 hours.

However, not long ago I did come home to a note that read, "I hope you had a great trip, Zach is a little bastard!" Ha ha ha!! Gotta love the Zach Attack! Or as my Granny calls him - Zach-a-diddle! :-D

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area Hike!

While Robbie, Jessie and Chris were in town a few weeks ago, we went hiking at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. It was gorgeous! Here are some photos!



It was a beautiful (but realllllyyyy windy) Los Angeles day that day. There were TONS of families and kids at the park playing softball, Frisbee, having barbecues and parties, and generally having a great time. When we arrived we found it a little difficult to find the start of the trail (even with the map they provided at the gate - it was a little rough, and I am not a map person at all lol), but eventually we did find it and were on our way.

Our first stop was the Japanese Garden, a cute little area with a small pond with lily pads and a little bridge (the bridge was blocked off though...boo), then after passing a GIANT tree, we made it to the first overlook area that had a waterfall. The waterfall was cute but a little disappointing - it was man made and pretty cheesy. But the view was great! After leaving there, we walked along the trials and enjoyed more amazing views of the city. When we reached the top of one point, we could see all the way to the ocean! It was awesome!!! When we reached the top of another point, there was a gigantic open grassy area. It was so huge, we couldn't see to the other side from where we were standing! It was really cool, and the perfect place for a mid-hike picnic. Also along the trail there were tons of cacti, flowers, and strangely enough, snails! I thought snails needed water? There wasn't much water around!
Overall it was a really fun hike, not too difficult, and had some amazing panoramic Los Angeles views! :-D

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Funny :-D
And That's How the Fight Started...#1

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security.

The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's License to verify my age.

I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later. The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'.. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair.

She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.

She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too.'

And that's how the fight started...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

....no....brain....juices....remaining.....arghhhhh.....

I had it all planned out to come home from work last night and write a very well thought out, informational and colorful post including many photos - but, alas, I ended up working 12 hours - all of which was spent in the same conference room, most of which was spent engaging in Death by Powerpoint.

So.....I got nothin'.

I did, however, have a very nice bubble bath with a great book and a glass of wine when I got home.

:-D

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

No Time! Cripes!

Hello everyone! I absolutely CANNOT believe it has been so freakin' long since I last posted! I have been so busy!

For starters, I was blessed to have one of my best friends, Jessie, visit with her boyfriend for 10 days in May! That's about when I stopped posting! LOL. Usually I plan posts in advance in those cases but it didn't happen this time because of work travel and otherwise not feeling creative. Ha! They got here and we spent the first weekend and week in Los Angeles (and Robbie came out), and then we went to Las Vegas for the second weekend. We had such a great time the whole time they were here! It was awesome! They mentioned that they were considering moving to Los Angeles possibly...if they do I will be SO EXCITED! Woot!

Right when we got back from Las Vegas, Jessie and Chris hopped on their plane home (boo) and I proceeded to unpack and then repack my bag - because two days later I flew back through Vegas and went to Mexico!!! I went with Robbie, my sister, and my brother-in-law. We were there for 5 days. We had the most amazing time! We didn't stop laughing the whole trip, I swear. Mexico was gorgeous!

After flying back through Las Vegas, I made it to Los Angeles the next morning and then one day later went to Denver for work (are you still with me here?)! As soon as I got back from Denver, I left the next morning and went back to Las Vegas for the weekend!

I'm tired just typing all that....so now I see why I had no motivation or energy left to post!

The good news - I have many travels and fun things to post about that hopefully you will enjoy reading!