Saturday, April 30, 2011

oh, happy weekend!

Hope your weekend is full of over-the-shoulder belly laughs + bubble gum smiles! =)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

on a happier note...

I would be lying if I said yesterday was any better than the day before (reality really bites sometimes!)... but on a much happier note, I have one more shift tonight and then I am off for an entire 5 days and I cannot think of a better way to spend it than with my darling niece, Reese + my skista (who safely survived the tornadoes last night that tore through Tennessee)!

On a royal note, I'm pathetically excited to tune in to Will & Kate's Wedding tonight as I love weddings!! and Princess Di is like my 42nd cousin (fo real!) so its so wonderful to see fam get married off... & lucky for me, I will already be awake (& getting paid) at 4am so double awesome!

On a maintaining-anxiety-free-note, I'm tackling my to-do list one task at a time... One of the many things that has been super stressing me out is being offered a contract that doesn't start until June 28th... one month after my current contract ends... A part of me feels uber guilty for taking a month off work in the middle of summer but another part of me says Hell ya, I need a month off! since I will be starting school June 20th + will obvs need time to get my first graduate class in order (that's a legit excuse)...

On a when-are-you-too-old-to-love-B.Spears-note, I'm also reuniting in Vegas in June to see B. Spears & I'm going to need the entire month to mentally prepare myself for this up&coming *epic* weekend! I'm also running a half marathon, going on a babymoon and will be driving across the country + settling in on the West Coast (who wants to take a road trip?!... no seriously, any takers?) ... so I'm thinking I'll be too busy to work in June anyways!

SO YAAY! ... 12 more shifts and this chick is back in retirement!! =)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

hidden behind a {smile}.

Being completely raw + vulnerable, the photo on the left was taken literally minutes before the photo on the right yesterday (it was not by choice I had to do a mini-photoshoot, too... where naturally, the light was all wrong + the poses were all awkward). From the moment I woke up, I knew it was going to one of those days... where nothing seemed to go right. Where you feel overwhelmed because your overcommitted self is being pulled in a million different directions + all you can do is spin recklessly in circles. Where you feel uncertain about where your life will be in a short four weeks from now. Where you find a family photo that is missing you. Where a post titled "six" you scheduled to post April 26th way back in January surfaced on its own yesterday... and sent a surge of pain through my spine. Where you cannot silence the whisper from the void of your heart that has been growing louder and louder as you figure out what it is that makes you undeniably happy... instead of fading away, like everyone promised would happen with the passage of time. It will get  easier, they said. Just give it time. Where you fear the unknown + struggle with the things you cannot control. Where you are starting to realize your  pursuit of happiness is leading you right back to where you started... and you wonder if he feels it, too...
Be still my heart, sometimes right back where you started from is right where you belong.

Monday, April 25, 2011

much-to-celebrate Monday

Every Monday after I write this post, I think to myself What ever am I going to celebrate next week?! I spend my entire week celebrating the exciting new opportunities each day brings living for the moment & staying in the present making sure to not take any ray of sunshine for granted... certain that the next week will never top the last... but then the next week comes & there a cajillion more fabulous things to celebrate & I start this incredible circle of a {wondrous} life all over again! =) Life is good... so, so good.

I'm celebrating the afternoon showers that permeate southwest Florida this time of year... sweet sunshine all day and then like clockwork around 5:00, the dark clouds roll in, the skies open up and a fabulous rainstorm comes down! Yesterday, I got caught in the rain on my long-run-Sunday and it was the most refreshing finish to my long miler. Today, I laid silent + still in the yoga studio listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the tin roof; occasionally a clap of thunder, seemingly perfectly choreographed, would cue the next position change. I absolutely love the curling-up-on-the-couch-with-a-hot-cuppa-tea-kinda-rain the most. I can't wait for those May flowers you promise me, April showers but for now, I'm enjoying the amount of use I'm getting out of my Wellies splashing in the puddles you create daily!
I'm celebrating that tomorrow I am getting my hair cut and coloured for the LAST time as a blonde! Blondes really do have more fun but I'm thinking this grad student is going to need to get serious with her studies & coupled with my new pair of Rx specs, becoming a brunette again in the Fall will be the perfect I'm-a-hardcore-graduate-student ensemble!

I'm celebrating that I will reach my 700th blog post this week!! 700!! That is insane {like bat-shit crazy}. I'm not fashionable {my wardrobe spends more time serving as carpet & "clothes mountains" & filling a huge void as the one that sleeps next to me... than as put-together "outfits"}. I don't have a husband {although I have an entire wedding planned}. I rarely ever write about my career {albeit it's a fabulous one}. I don't have kids {but check back in 10 years & I promise I'll have four of them}. I don't own an ETSY shop {although I have made a craft out of shopping on Etsy}. What the hell do I write about seven hundred times over?
I'm celebrating that I'm 2/3 through my first travel assignment and I am still ABSOLUTELY loving it! There is something just so fabulous about relishing in all the perks of nursing and not being responsible for the politics of the job... I'm celebrating that I will more than likely find out where my next assignment is this week... and I'm thinking the West Coast is screaming my name! San Fran, anyone?
I'm celebrating that this weekend I will be loving + kissing + squishing on my favourite little girl in the entire world + spend time with her mama who just so happens to be my favourite sista! I might even get to see my Mama, too which would just make my fickle heart so happy! Speaking of happy hearts, I'm celebrating how over-the-moon happy my heart is in this moment. Nothing so undefined has made this much {non}sense in a long time but I kinda like it that one-day-at-a-time way...

Oh, happy heart!

Bon Lundi, les amis et la famille!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

mixed tape: Spring Break 20{Eleven}

I am {un}officially on spring break this week... my pseudo-SB actually started on Saturday when Kara flew in to Orlando & drove over to T.B. with Kelley for the J Buff concert {which I will post about as soon as I can figure out how to edit out the greasy/drunkenness that permeates every photog... except this one... mmm hmm... I brought my yoga mat to the concert... which I may or may not have smuggled beer in with...}.
We had a fabulous time celebrating not only her 26th birthday but the fact that SHE PASSED HER PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT BOARDS last week, too!! So proud of you, K.!
My bestie, Megalina, who is a teacher and on a real spring break this week, flew in from the D. of C. to spend some Q.T. with me + her 'rentals! Me working the fantabulous schedule that is a nurse's schedule arranged my 3 shifts so I am off the entire four days she is here, too! We are celebrating her 25th birthday {which was also last week, on the same day of Kara's!} and are consuming lots of wine & good food being total Florida tourists {Read: stopped in the Everglades to take pictures of the alligators on our way back from Miami today}!!
Because I am not actually on spring break, I have included some old songs & vintage pictures that remind me of the "real spring breaks" I went on way back when I was in college... and my thighs didn't touch! =) Good times; great memories!! ....
Mixed Tape: Spring Break 20{Eleven}
Side A:
1. One Republic - Good Life
2. KeSha - Crazy Beautiful Life
3. Corey Smith - If I Could Do It Again
4. Justin Timberlake - Chop Me Up
5. Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved
Side B:
1. Jimmy Buffett- Margaritaville
2. Gritz- My Life Be Like (Ooh Aah)
3. Cisco - The Thong Song
4. The Lonely Island (ft. T-Pain) - I'm On a Boat
5. Rihanna (ft. Britney Spears) - S&M
**Bonus Track #11 --- this one's for you, Grams!!

Happy Spring Break, y'all! It's beginning to look a lot like summer... 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

swOOnday! swOOnday! swOOnday!

((... say in your best Jan C. Gabriel voice...))
After a whirlwind weekend, I'm enjoying a quiet Sunday evening, unwinding with a petite glass of red wine paired with a yummy homecooked meal {not by me, duh!... but a chef I will be introducing you to in the very near future!}, followed by a long hot bath {to wash the parrot feathers out of my hair} & curling up with a good book to practice for four days of R&R&Fun that begins at approximately 3:10 tomorrow afternoon when the girl I've been relaxing with for spring break since I was twelve arrives in Florida...
Now that I've set the perfect {swOOn} setting, here are all the lovelies I'm gushing over lately:

This little man's (who is almost ten. I can hardly believe it. TEN! A decade! A double digit! Ohmyword.) presence in my life. You, my tiny angel, touch the life of every person you meet... and continue to single-handedly inspire the amazing course of my own life's work! Your sweet voice will be heard by tens of thousands HERE this summer and I wouldn't miss it for the world! Can I get a standing 'O'?!
Spirit Airline and their $77 flights from Tampa to Costa FREAKA!! When a fabulous friend of mine texted me recently in dire need of some R&R (I'm a professional R&R'er!) I gleefully obliged to join her at this ahmazing resort for an ENTIRE WEEK of white, sandy beaches! surfing! sunshine! volcanoes! monkeys! Can I get a zipline through a cloud rainforest?! Aahhh yaahh 

Mangoes are the new avocado. Truly. Ever since I learned how to properly eat a mango {thank you, YouTube!} & that I'm not severely allergic {thank you, immune system of steel} I have been craaaaving mangoes all. the. time. Raw. In my Greek yogurt. In my smoothies. On top of my froyo. In my salsa. Flavoured my lip balm. My addiction is getting a little out of control... Can I get a fist pump for the Produce Picker Podcasts?! Holla.
I'd like to thank Groupon for allowing me to rekindle my love/hate relationship with hot yoga! Much to my kidneys' dismay, I got an unlimited month {valued at $150} for $40 at a fabulous studio down the street from me casa! In Florida, they don't even have to heat the room for it to reach 105 degrees! I love that I can feel the toxins being rung out of my organs as I twist and contort in all the crazy positions whilst sweating profusely! Can I get a downward dog?! Namaste.

I'm in love... with Blake Shelton. There's something about the man + all that scruff. He performed at CountryFest last summer & totally redeemed his fiance's awful performance the night before rocked out! He puts on such a fabulous show + he's just so adorable! Every time a commercial for The Voice comes on, I get all excited to hear him talk in his adorbz country accent! & his new single!! ... Can I get a strong+steady, shot-of-whiskey, shade tree, honey bee?! Good night.
Canada I was little delayed to jump on the smartphone bandwagon but when I moved back from the Great, White North I was soo excited to throw my Blackberry on the pavement, run over it, put my car in reverse and hit it again get an iPhone. A lover of all these Apple, I knew I would love it but swoon THIS MUCH, I had noo idea. It makes reading all my favourite blogs so easy. Boarding passes on my phone. Google continuously at my fingertips. Skyping with Reese while I'm laying out. Using it as an iPod while I run following a route I created with my mapmyrun app! Playing Scrabble with Grams on road trips. Rockin' out to Pandora 24/7. Booking cabs with taximagic. Finding restaurants with urbanspoon.  Learning my surroundings with AroundMe. Making reservations with opentable. Using all my different cameras: hipstamatic, instagram, etc. I LOVE IT! Can I get a slooow clAPP?! You rock, Steve Jobs! 

Okay, that was corny. The vino is kicking in... Cin! Cin!

Joyeux SwOOnday, mon amours!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

much-to-celebrate-monday: Seattle style

Oh. My. Word. This week's celebration is SO BIG that I started celebrating, Seattle-style, last Friday at approximately 11am PST...which lasted welllll in to MONDAY (when I started writing this post!)... and I don't plan on stopping the celebration any time in the foreseen future {Read: Jimmy Buffett concert Saturday with Kara & Kelley!!}...
I'm celebrating that the instant I stepped foot on University of Washington's AMAZING historic campus I knew it would be where I would be going to school this Fall Summer!! They are allowing me to start in June... and finish next August! =) I'm going to be a Husky! {Cue purple & gold confetti shower!}
I'm celebrating that Carly knew exactly what I would want to do to celebrate this incredible {bright, glittery, yellow, cobblestone} road I'm heading down: beer & pizza & root beer floats!  {Cue smiling heart.}
After a little afternoon Space Needle Site-seeing, we headed to Nordstrom to pick up the "essential wardrobe piece" of a Seattleite: HUNTER RAIN BOOTS! {Cue splashing in puddles!}
It was our last night in the Emerald City so we went all out with a celebratory bottle of bubbly {Sparkling Reisling, that is!} & a lovely dinner at the schmancy Wild Ginger {yumm! singing fish satay!}
... before heading over to The Crocodile {a bar where grunge originated} to listen to a Weezer cover band whose name was actually Teezer but a misprint on the flyer read Tweezer, which is just hilarious. {Cue sticking out like a sore thumb in a crowd of Kurt Cobain wannabes... but secretly loving every minute of it.}
I sadly departed at midnight Friday night back to Florida but I am celebrating in the sunshine that I will be back in the very near future!! =) {Cue crackin' open books, replacing balanced meals with tubes of cookie dough, pulling all-nighters studying, consuming incessant amounts of caffeine & merrily, kissing my social life good-bye until next summer!}


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

eat, drink & meet Murray!!

Seattle Day 2: Happy Hour & a Flirt Failure.
After a little shopping in downtown Seattle, Carly & I decided to head up to Capitol Hill to see what all the hype was about! My camera died doing a *certain filming* in the bars so I don't have pictures to accompany our night but it went a little something like this...
Bar #1: Grim's Butterfly Lounge
Well, we kinda got there at oh, i don't know... 4:30 so the butterflies were still sleeping lounge itself wasn't lit up yet but we did enjoy our purple cocktails coupled with a gourmet grilled cheese appetizer... and vino!
Bar #2: From there, we walked a couple of blocks to a Mexican restaurant named Barrio where we opted to sit at the bar, drink a few mojitos, margaritas, and micheladas and flirt with the bartender while we ate our guacamole & quesadillas!
Flirt Failure {again}:
JK: You went to Cornell?
Bartender: Ya, I played soccer there.
CH: Did you know M.C.?
Bartender: Not personally, knew he was damn good hockey player though.
JK: What about D.M.?
Bartender: Goal tender? From Texas? Ya, they always towered over me in the locker rooms...
JK & CH: Check please!
... and that was when we hailed a cab & headed back down to the Downtown District. We asked our cabbie to take us safely back to our hotel but he said "It's 10:30. Too early to go home!" so we said "Fine, take us where we should go then!" He proceeded to drive past our hotel & drop us off at the top of a staircase near the waterfront.
Bar #3: He said "Go down those stairs. You'll see ZigZag Cafe." Walking a little zigzaggy ourselves, we were a bit concerned where we were headed...
 {we retraced our steps the next day and took these lovely pictures in the alleyways along our way! Oddly enough, these walls looks waaay less creepy in daylight.}
We didn't realize where our cute, little cabbie dropped us off was actually a big deal...

Murray was voted "Best Bartender in America" last year and came out from the bar when we walked in & personally invited us to take two seats at his coveted bar. He asked us what we wanted and when we said "something sweet but not too sweet" in true typical-tipsy-girl-ordering-a-drink-at-the-bar fashion..."Clear or dark liquor?" "CLEAR!" ... he came up with the perfect concoction: A Cryin' Bryan!
The night ended with two annoying guys drinking a cocktail that tasted like yoga water who claimed that we "stole the seats they've been waiting for all night" buying our drinks and us making a mad dash out the back door {& apparently, I took this picture I just found on my phone to prove it!}... Good night!

The following morning, I got up early and headed to the University of Washington's campus to meet the program coordinator... can you guess where I decided to go to school?? Stay tuned to find out...

Sleepless in Seattle.

Seattle: Day 2
The weather was cold & dreary the next morning but we embraced the rain, donned our Wellies and little, yellow raincoats, & set out in search of a hot lunch!
After much success finding The Olsen Twins Japonessa! our first night in Seattle, we tried our luck again using the urbanspoon app and found a delicious "off-the-map" place on Post Alley to eat a delectable bread bowl of clam chowder!
After lunch, we explored the public market where we happened upon the cutest little doughnut shop, Daily Dozen, run by total hipsters.
We decided to take our assortment of mini doughnuts to the original Starbucks just down the cobblestone street!
The perfect pairing! We listened to the street performers and took in all the different people while we warmed up!
After our afternoon in the market, we headed up to Capitol Hill to eat, drink and meet Murray, the country's best bartender! More pix to follow! =)

Monday, April 11, 2011

market price{less}.

The Pike Place Market was seven blocks down from our swanky hotel & Carly & I spent A LOT of time perusing the aisles looking at all the lovely things vendors had for sale; trying on hats, taste-testing orange honey flavoured hazelnuts and chocolate spaghetti. A unique energy, partially filled with tourists snapping cameras next to Rachel the brass Pig but equally filled with locals buying items they could cross off their grocery list... it was this unexpected dimension of mingling amongst the locals that made our aimless wandering through the market priceless.
The bouquets of flowers were breathtaking. We ooo'd and awe'd over the beauty & massive size of all the pretty tulips...
There was teyberry jam and raspberry honey, aplenty.
Crimini + shimeji shrooms, galore. Fiddleheads? They've got 20!
But the seafood! It was insane. Gigantic scampis & humongo crabs! It was all so fresh! And you can't forget the adorable men and their rubbers flying fish...