“Give hugs this holiday season…

…they’re one size fits all and can be returned.”

I just love that, don’t you? I’d like to take credit for it, but really I saw it on a sign driving by a church.

Over the last few days, we’ve been decorating our Christmas tree. We found a really nice 8-footer. We’re not quite sure how we got so lucky… the xmas tree gods must have been looking down on us (lol).

I have no idea how B got him to sit still long enough to take this picture (maybe because I wasn’t there for him to run to), but either way, he looks so cute ☺ And even better, we don’t have any problems with him and the tree… wait, wait, wait… let me eat my words… we haven’t had any problems… as I’m typing this, he’s trying to chew the tree. But for the most part, he just circles around it, runs away, and/or growls at it.
Lots of fun! I prevented myself from getting too OCD about placing the ornaments, ‘cause in the end, it looks good no matter what!

…taking a little break with my buddy boy…

Ta-Da! I think it looks pretty good for our first tree. Red, silver, and gold. It’s simple, yet classic.

Let the countdown begin…
10 more days til my 23rd birthday
15 more days til Christmas

Okay, gotta go to work!

I Love New York, Part 2

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been back from The City, but I’m finally getting around to dishing about my trip. (Thanks 10-hour work days for getting in the way.) I don’t even know where to begin. I had the BEST time with my BEST FRIEND, Dana! I’d have to say though; my least favorite part of the trip was having to drive an hour and a half to the airport at 3:30 in the morning!! WHAT?! Am I crazy? I was nervous I was going to be way too tired because B and I spent half the night talking and laughing—I was so wired with excitement; but any way, thank goodness for adrenaline because that’s what got me through the drive. That, and John Mayer’s new jams.

Apparently it was supposed to be rainy the entire time I was visiting (Thursday-Sunday), but I must have brought the Florida sunshine with me because it was gorgeous weather! Cold, but beautiful.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture with this tree. I don’t get to see this EVER in Florida. This was taken at Columbia University.

I’ve been to New York a few times, but I never got a chance to go to Central Park. This is where a scene from the movie “Enchanted” was filmed.

Again, I can just swoon over these leaves. LOVE IT!

I was a little early for the revealing of the tree, but here it is being put together. Pretty cool! AND we went ice skating at Rockefeller Center… definitely a fun (but pricey) experience.

TIMES SQUARE! I know it’s touristy and I’ve already done it, but I couldn’t resist. (P.S. I looooveeee Wicked… and B loves The Phantom, although he hasn’t seen it yet on Broadway.)

Yes, the ROCKETTES! It was Dana’s birthday gift to me. Oh, how I love her =) They were awesome, by the way, but I wouldn’t expect anything less than perfect from these leggy ladies. I’ve seen the Rockettes on TV, but it doesn’t do them justice. There’s nothing like seeing them live at Radio City Music Hall.

Hey, we’re in the window display at Bloomingdales! Bloomies was the only one who had their Xmas displays revealed when I was there.

We ate at “Serendipity” from the 2001 movie with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. They’re notorious for their frozen hot chocolate. Oxymoron, I know, but let me tell you… it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted!!! I can’t even explain how delectable it was!

Central Park, again. We rushed our first visit to Central Park because we didn’t want to be late for ice skating and The Rockettes, and since we had some time before I had to go to the airport, we picnicked in the park. I could come here everyday. It’s prime for people watching (a favorite pastime of mine—LOL).

Again… these trees!! I’m so jealous. I’m so thankful for my best friend for showing me the best time in New York. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

One thing I didn’t get to do and I was extremely disappointed about was visit my Grandmother’s grave. She passed away at 91 years of age when I was in 9th grade. I set up a car service to take me there before taking me to the airport. I didn’t even think about calling to see if the cemetery was open, but my dad suggested it at the last minute and sure enough, it was closing in fifteen minutes when I called. UGH! I wanted to cry. I was so sad I wasn’t going to be able to visit her. On the bright side, B and I are talking about taking a trip up to NY this summer since he’s never been and I know she’ll still be there. More bright news… when I went home to my parents for Thanksgiving, my dad let me have her wedding band. And that, I am happy and thankful for.

I Love New York, Part 1

No, I’m not talking about the [trashy] VH1 show; I’m going to NEW YORK! In six short days, I’ll be on my way to the city that never sleeps. Why am I going to New York? ….To see my best friend since preschool! Dana and I were in the same class together from kindergarten to eighth grade. (Seriously!) We then went to separate high schools and were an hour and a half away for college, but we still managed to talk on the phone every week, as well as visit one another. We have a kind of friendship that will surely last a lifetime. Don’t you love friendships like that?

Dana now goes to grad school at Columbia in NY, and I’m sitting pretty on the West Coast of FL. Any way, now that we’re getting older, it’s just going to get harder and harder to see one another. Who knows where I’ll be living in three and a half years when B does his residency? So… I had a last-minute four day mini-vacay from work and decided—what the heck?! I’ll fly to New York.

I’ve been to New York a couple times before to take dance classes at Broadway Dance Center, and again for my grandmother’s funeral. I’ve done most all of the touristy things. This time, I want to do what New Yorkers do! However, I’ve yet to go to Central Park (my parents went without me while I was dancing). AND, I’m so excited because for my birthday (coming up next month), Dana’s going to treat me to a Broadway show! I’ve seen several so I’m really pumped to see something new.

Dana called me the other day to plan my visit and this is what we’ve come up with so far:
*Ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza (okay, it’s touristy, but hey! I’ve never gone to NY in the wintertime)
*Central Park
*Shopping at H&M (a must)
*See a Broadway show
*Go to a wine bar
*Eat at Little Italy (I loooove Italian food)
*Go to Times Square (again, it’s touristy, but the atmosphere there is just awesome)
*Go out to a bar or club that only New Yorkers would know about (I’m really not a club gal, but I think it’s a necessity to get the full effect of being a New Yorker)
*Take lot of pictures

Like I told Dana, I’d rather spend my time there creating memories with my best friend, than spending lots of money sightseeing. What are some things you like to do when you go to New York, or wish you’d done?

One thing that irks me is the airlines now charge you for your luggage. What’s up with that?! (P.S. I hate flying. I know it’s supposedly safer than driving, but it still scares me.) Any who, I’m determined to NOT have to check-in any luggage. I’d rather spend that money in New York. I’m determined to fit everything into my carry-ons. I’ll just borrow some of Dana’s things—what are best friends for, right??

Well, I leave next Thursday, and I’ll be sure to report on my adventures. You never know, maybe I’ll run into Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl?
“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving [today] Thursday. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.”

Update: 101 Things to Do

Here’s an update of my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days. I’m coming quite along, if I do say so myself.

#10. Join a gym. (I recently joined our local YMCA. It’s awesome because it’s literally right next door to B’s med school.)
#36. Go pumpkin picking. (You can witness below!)

In progess:

#17. Write in diary at least once a week
#20. Stretch, every day
#21. Go to the Farmer’s Market at least 6 times (I’ve been once so far!)
#32. Go without Startbucks for an entire month (It’s been two weeks… but I’m supposed to have a book club meeting at Starbucks this weekend. I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist!)
#46. Read the Harry Potter series (I’m halfway through the 2nd book. I can’t put them down.)
#73. Go to yoga at least once a month (I’ve been twice in the last four days. Go me!)
#81. Wear sunscreen every day (YES! I use lotion with SPF 15 so it’s not greasy.)

I can’t wait to knock some more off my list.

Happy Harvest!

I always forget how much I love Fall! Just a few short weeks ago, B and I went to a pumpkin patch and petting farm out in the middle of nowhere… literally! It was a lot of fun, except for the part where I got attacked by fire ants in the pumpkin patch 🙁

Here are a few fun Fall pics…

AND…. Here is what B and I dressed up as for Halloween. Originally, I wanted to be Hermione Granger, since I have a new-found respect (and love) for Harry Potter, but we literally waited until the day before to put together our costumes. That’s what being a full-time nanny and first year med student will do to ‘ya! I think we still managed to pull off some “rockin” Halloween costumes…

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Thanksgiving! Do you think it’s too soon to start playing Holiday music?!

101 Things to Do

I’ve decided to try something new!

Jane, over at Wishful Thinking, gave me this fabulous idea. It’s called DAY ZERO: The Home of the 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days Project

The Mission:

Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria:
Task must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable, or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of effort on your part).

So, in no specific order, I present my list of 101 Things To Do:

Personal & Social

1. Complete Master’s program
2. Learn how to snow ski
3. Buy a house
4. Figure out where to live after B’s first two years of med school
5. Reconcile friendships
6. Contribute to my 401k and/or Roth IRA
7. Pay off credit cards
8. Get a teaching job
9. Plant an {organic} garden
10. Join a gym
11. Get engaged
12. Get a desktop computer
13. Write a children’s book
14. Get married
15. Go skydiving
16. Write a novel
17. Write in diary at least once a week
18. Learn how to use a sewing machine
19. Take a photo every day for an entire year {5/365}
20. Stretch, every day
21. Go to the Farmer’s Market at least 6 times {1/6}
22. Make a personal recipe book
23. Read 50+ books {0/50}
24. Plan/execute a surprise for someone
25. Plant a tree
26. Squeeze fresh orange juice at least 12 times {0/12}
27. Go to Disney World during the Christmas Season
28. Go para-sailing
29. Go on a picnic
30. Learn how to shoot a gun (Bonus: own a gun)
31. Buy a new camera
32. Go without Starbucks for an entire month
33. Try a new sport/physical activity
34. Throw a party
35. Prepare a Thanksgiving dinner {with assistance still counts}
36. Go pumpkin picking
37. Make a new friend outside of work
38. Stay within monthly budget
39. Only buy clothes on sale, unless it’s an absolute necessity (i.e., for work)
40. Go to a play/musical
41. Go on a hot air balloon ride
42. Teach a child how to read
43. Try 7 new things {0/7}
44. Go to a concert
45. Get a facial
46. Read the Harry Potter series {0/7}
47. Overcome a fear
48. Take a week off of Facebook
49. Quit a bad habit
50. Bake a cake from scratch
51. Bake a pie
52. Create icing from scratch
53. Go on a “Girls Only” getaway
54. Say yes to 10 things I’d normally say no to {0/10}
55. Travel outside of the U.S. at least 1 time {0/1}
56. Take B to New York
57. Go to California
58. Go on a cruise {preferably Mediterranean}
59. Go to an aquarium
60. Stay at a Bed & Breakfast
61. Visit D.C. when the cherry blossoms are blooming
62. Go on a family vacation
63. Go to a vineyard
64. Take a road trip to another state
65. Go to a water park at least once a year {0/3}
66. Go on a mission trip
67. Go camping
68. Go snorkeling
69. Visit family in West Virginia
Health & Wellness
70. Keep weight between 105-108lbs
71. Complete the 100 push up challenge
72. Participate and complete a race
73. Go to yoga at least once every 2 months
74. Walk/run at least two times a week
75. Go on at least 2 hikes {0/2}
76. Go white water rafting
77. Get at least one massage every year {0/3}
78. Go without chocolate/candy for an entire month {0/30}
79. Get a pedicure at least once every 6 months {0/6}
80. Go to the dermatologist every year {0/3}
81. Wear sunscreen every day
82. Exercise mind with some sort of puzzle at least twice a month
83. Drink at least 32oz water a day for 30 days {0/30}
84. Go without alcohol for 30 days {0/30}
85. Get yearly physicals {0/3}
86. Go to the dentist every year {0/3}
87. Get eyes checked yearly {0/3}
88. Don’t eat out for an entire month {0/30}
89. Don’t drink soda for an entire month {0/30}
90. Buy a bicycle
Giving Back
91. Volunteer or donate to Crohns and Colitis
92. Volunteer at least twice a year {0/6}
93. Donate clothes to Goodwill instead of throwing them away for entire 1001 days
94. Donate bag of food for either Thanksgiving OR Christmas every year
95. Donate 10,000 grains at freerice.com {330/10,000}
96. Show kindness to a complete stranger
97. Donate to Locks of Love
98. Volunteer for kids
99. Write hand written thank you notes for every thank you necessary
100.Send someone flowers
101.Donate $1.00 for every item not completed on this list

Completion Date: Monday, July 23, 2012

I’ll be sure to give updates on my progress periodically. So, what do you think? What are some things you wish to accomplish in the near future?

Friends + Family = Perfection

Anatomy is officially over! YAY! After two and a half months, B is finally finished with anatomy (and with an A, no less). I’m so proud of him because he really worked hard. People said this was going to be the hardest time (for both of us), but honestly we were able to have dinner together every night, and he plays sports 2-3 nights a week, too. To celebrate the end of anatomy, we went back to see our families. Saturday we went to our college’s football game, where I got to see all my sorority sisters and girlfriends. I really needed some girl time!

It surprisingly got down to the low 50’s, and I was the only one prepared! I brought a jacket and flannel blanket. I love cold football game weather. 97 degree weather, it’s been nice, but it’s time to say, “Bye Bye!”

Sunday was B’s nephew’s first birthday! We celebrated all day and it was absolutely wonderful spending time with his family.

We got his nephew his first wagon. [Puppy not included] Every little boy needs a wagon. He’ll have many adventures with it. B also got him a Sock Monkey (they’re back!) because he had one when he was little. Indy decided to test drive it–gotta make sure it’s safe and FUN! B’s nephew loved his new wagon! He climbed right in and wouldn’t get out!

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Friends + Family = Perfection. There’s nothing better than being surround by those you love, and who love you.

Relaxing & Crafting

This past weekend and week has been really wonderful. On Sunday, I took Indy with me to a marina about fifteen minutes from our house. B was basically on lockdown studying for a huge test so I wasn’t about to sit around doing nothing. I laid out a huge towel in the shade for me to lay on and Indy to run around on, and read my book. I didn’t get too much reading done because everyone who walked by wanted to meet Indy. I can’t wait until the weather gets cooler here (not for a while though!) so I can spend more time there.

On Tuesday, B got home from school early and I had the day off so we went out and had ice cream near the beach. Other restaurants and shops surround a park there so we brought Indy with us. It sure looks like he wants a bite of my scoop. What do you think?!

Also this week, I got inspired by these precious flower broaches I saw on Martha Stewart and decided to get crafty. The directions are pretty simple and I did I better job than I thought I would. I added a little pearl to it to add a little southern class. I also ended up sewing a smaller yellow flower onto a hair clip. I think they turned out pretty cute:

I keep forgetting how much I like the fall. As you know, Halloween costumes and decorations are already flooding the stores. Even pumpkins are waiting to be picked. I love dressing up for Halloween. Last year B and I were a dentist and a tooth fairy. I love couples and themed costumes. Do you know what you’re going to be yet?


Well, it’s been over a week since I had my first “Big Girl” breakdown, and I’m here to say that things have definitely turned around! Instead of continuing to feel bad for myself, I decided to reorganize my life. I took my mama’s advice and am waking up early (before the sun) and getting all of my Master’s work done before going into work. Even after taking Indy on a thirty minute walk, I still have time to read the paper and watch a little Martha. Then, when I come home from work, all I have to do is fix dinner (unless it’s already been made… always nice), play with the pup, and read my book. (I’m currently reading “Eat, Pray, Love”) Oh yeah, and visit with my boyfriend—ALWAYS the best part of my day!! Mom’s are always right….

Morning walks:
Such a big boy, he can already walk himself!

Speaking of mom’s, mine had a birthday this weekend. I went home to celebrate with her. She, along with my dad, got to meet my little fur baby. And Indy got to meet more members of the family, Sassy and Joey (Shih Tzu and Yorkie). They were so cute playing with one another!

They look too cute in their bandanas:

So to sum things up, I’m really thankful for my breakdown because in turn, I was able to have a great (and very necessary) breakthrough. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments!

Breaking Down

After this weekend, I can now officially say I’ve entered the real world and am a “Big Girl” now. It’s taken nearly two months, but it finally hit me. Blake thought it would take me about a month before I broke down with all the new changes in my life, but I made it to two months.

It was Friday night and I had just got home from work around 7:30. Blake was leaving to go back home for the weekend and a football game, and I was left working on my Master’s. I started stressing out because I had to work the next day (yes, on a Saturday), and three assignments are due on Tuesday (mind you, I have to work today, Labor Day, also). I started thinking about all the things I have to do, and started crying. It all just hit me like a big rock. I finally broke down. The stress of not getting enough sleep because I’m trying to work on my Master’s after work (when I get home around 7:30), the responsibility of keeping house, not living with my parents anymore, and the new adjustment to paying for everything by myself made me lose it. (Is that everything???) I called my mom telling her I wanted to quit my Master’s. It was too much. I wanted to throw in the towel.

After speaking with my amazing mom, she made me realize it’s all possible. I know it wasn’t her intent, but I also felt guilty and well, honestly, stupid. I mean, come on, how blessed am I? I have my health, I have the most incredible boyfriend of almost three years, an adorable little puppy, I’m renting a house on a golf course, I get to take care of two great toddlers by the beach, my friends are always there for me, and I have the most supportive and understanding parents. There are people out there who are single moms of multiple children, working multiple jobs just trying to get by, who still find time to finish school! I need to stop complaining and get myself together!

My mom helped me figure out that I need to stop sleeping in and watching Martha Stewart. (Instead, I subscribe to her mailing list.) If I wake up early in the morning before going to work (because I don’t go in until mid-morning) and work on my Master’s, I won’t have to do it when I get home. Therefore, when I get home, I will have time to spend with Blake (of course, that’s only if he isn’t studying), play with Indy, cook dinner, and do any other miscellaneous chores or whatnot.

I am determined to make it happen! Things are changing in my life and although it won’t always be easy, there are definitely wonderful things to come.

Have a happy Labor Day everyone. Stay safe!

P.S. I now understand what people mean when they say, “I wish I were still in college.” It’s so true. I couldn’t wait to get out, but now I wish it never ended! Where did the time go?