Wednesday, January 30
Happy Half-Way to the Weekend. Wednesdays are the best days, no? Second only to Fridays. And Saturdays. So I guess they're the third best days.
Last weekend I was away again. We were working in Charlotte to begin our girls' preparations for the national competitions this summer. I complain so much about being "stuck" in Aiken (never really aloud, just to myself) yet I've hardly been home for a week solid since October.
But I still want to go more. And do more. And see more.
Wednesday, January 23
I haven't been sleeping well. Feeling restless is one of my least favorite things, and my brain's inability to stop fretting over the unknown at night is becoming unbearably frustrating.
Sometimes I think about my day. I replay scenarios a million different ways even though it's not fruitful labor. Often I plan my week - conversations I ought to have, things I ought to do, decisions I ought to make. My best laid plans come together between midnight and 2 AM and are never acted out in any reality outside of my bed. Partly because I forget those fleeting thoughts so easily, but mostly because I'm afraid.
Most of the time I question my feelings - my instincts, intuition, and emotions. I wonder what I could be doing differently. I wonder what I'll be doing differently in 5 years. I have not changed all that much these past 5.
It must be easier to confront things in the still darkness of my bedroom. Maybe my brain waits until night-time on purpose.
Tuesday, January 22
On Saturday, Kelsey (AKA BFFFFFF&F) drove up from San Diego to see me! We ate an early (and long) lunch in downtown Pasadena at a place called Slaters 50/50. Their burger patty was made from 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon. Yes. You read that right.
Afterwards we decided to visit Griffith Park Observatory and try to get a good view of the Hollywood sign. We only got lost once. Or twice. Or three times. I don't remember. Driving in LA is hard. We finally got there and it was beautiful.
After that we headed to the Chinese Theater and Hollywood Walk of Fame. That picture was actually taken when I was there on Thursday before Kimmel. We decided to try to get to Rodeo drive and walk around for a bit, but I had to be back in Pasadena earlier than expected so our day was cut short. We ended up heading to my hotel and having a drink at the bar before Kelsey drove home to San Diego.
Saturday night we had a nice dinner and then went to the Miss California USA preliminary pageant (the real reason for our entire trip to LA), and on Sunday afternoon we went to the final competition. Sorry, all I had was my cell phone.
Monday we had a few hours to kill, so we drove around Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Again, I was in awe. It's so beautiful!
I really didn't want to leave and wish we'd had a few more WEEKS to explore. I'm so glad I got to go, it really was an amazing weekend.
Monday, January 21
1. 11 AM Margarita...when in Cali? // 2. My best friend came to see me! // 3. So excited to be in Hollywood! // 4. Overlooking L.A. // 5. Hiking in Griffith Park // 6. Hollywood Sign // 7. Being foxy in downtown Pasadena // 8. So excited to be hiking in my boots... // 9. The Griffith Observatory
Friday, January 18
1. We rode by Rodeo Drive on the way from the airport to a friend's house! // 2. At a viewpoint overlooking the Hollywood Sign // 3. Out front before Jimmy Kimmel Live // 4. In front of the theater after Jimmy Kimmel Live // 5. Lights! // 6. Hollywood & Highland Center // 7. A church in Pasadena // 8. City Hall, Pasadena // 9. Wearing my yellow pants in Pasadena
Thursday, January 17
On Thursday night we had tickets to Jimmy Kimmel live along with Green Room access courtesy of a connection with work. When we walked up to the theater, the guy outside said we weren't on the list and I almost started crying. My fingers were numb bordering on frost bite, my tongue was recovering from a near-scalding run in with some hot cocoa, and there was a line of people staring at us and I know they were thinking we cut the line or something.
So we stood there waiting for him to figure out why we were on the Green Room list and not the audience list. And pretended there wasn't an angry mob 10 feet away. It eventually got sorted and we sat in the third row during the show after some complimentary wine back stage.
After the show we rode around looking for a nice view of the city. We ended up on Mulholland drive and luckily did not cause any car wrecks. I tried to snap a few pics of the skyline but my lack of tripod made getting anything decent next to impossible.
Friday I had time to kill on my own so I walked around Pasadena for a few hours. There were several very photogenic churches and City Hall was pretty impressive. Actually, most of the architecture is pretty impressive.
Are you in love with Pasadena yet? I didn't want to leave. I don't think the temperature rose above 55 degrees while we were there, but other than that the weather was beautiful and I could have walked around for days on end.
After my little adventure we went to dinner at a place called Mi Piace - the wine was bottomless and the bread was pretty good so I went to bed happy.
I think I'll save the 2nd half of my trip for another post - this is a few too many pictures for one day.
Tuesday, January 8
1. Alligator statue outside of Truffles // 2. Sporting my new feline fancy shirt // 3. Our fabulous bedroom at the Inn // 4. Ryan and Paula on the bikes // 5. Making a bubble chart // 6. On my bike // 7. Found a new friend // 8. Before dinner // 9. At the top of the lighthouse //
Monday, January 7
As a surprise, my boss took me and Pam on a trip to Hilton Head for our beginning of the year Planning Meeting. We stayed at the beautiful Inn at Harbour Town in Sea Pines. I'd never been to Hilton Head before and this area is absolutely gorgeous! We left on Wednesday morning, and the weather that afternoon was overcast and cool, but we rented bikes and explored the area for a few hours before dinner.
My hair soaked up literally every ounce of moisture in the air. On Thursday we spent the majority of the day "planning" out the year - everything that needed to be addressed was put on a list and prioritized. By lunch time we were suffering from cabin fever, so after grabbing a quick bite at the Crazy Crab (don't ever eat there unless you're emerging from a month of being stranded in the wilderness and every other restaurant is closed), we did a little shopping/walking, climbed the lighthouse, and then headed back to the Inn to get ready for dinner.
The next day the weather was beautiful. We grabbed breakfast and explored the South Beach area until its novelty wore off. Most of the shops were closed so we hit up a nearby TJ Maxx.
It was our last night, so we caught the last 30 minutes of happy hour before dinner and then headed to bed early. I didn't want to leave! And now I get to unpack, do laundry, and then pack my suitcase all over again for an impromptu trip to Los Angeles on Thursday.
Friday, January 4
1. Moose was working on growing a beard over the holidays // 2. Buffalo acting snobbishly towards Christmas // 3. Up to no good, like usual // 4. Christmas watch from Mike // 5. Christmas watch from Mama // 6. Latest purse obsession // 7. Went for a run for the first time in months // 8. Words // 9. Bella playing dress up
It's Friday. Again! Back to business as usual on Monday after three long weeks of vacation from work. I don't know if I'm ready to give up my lazy couch days or staying in my PJ's for 72 hours straight...
Thursday, January 3
I kicked off 2013 on Tuesday at TJ Maxx. I hoped they might be having a big sale on winter stuff but was instead met with little-to-no new merchandise (since I was last there at Thanksgiving) and at regular prices. BOO, TJ MAXX. On my way out and after making a detour through the handbags, I stopped in the jewelry section.
I have always had issues keeping my jewelry organized. I have a coat hanger on my wall for necklaces, a make-shift picture frame turned earring organizer, and an old jewelry box I bought at Target a few years ago. I also have a fat lady for hanging up necklaces. My dad bought her for me at a street market in Italy and I love her. The coat hanger, while not super beautiful, is definitely functional, as is the fat lady (despite her tendency to be unbalanced). The picture frame is pretty and definitely gets the job done, though I probably should have used screen instead of burlap when I made it. And the jewelry box holds next to nothing.
So in TJ Maxx I was excited to find this plastic earring organizer drawer. Call me sheltered, I'd never seen anything like it before, and for less than $9, I had to buy it. What you see above is how it looks on my dresser with the rest of my jewelry stuff. What do you think? Had you ever seen these before? It was the only one they had at TJ and was sitting on a shelf with some drawer inserts. I feel like I struck gold. My life is exciting...
I overheard some ladies talking about a sale at Dillards, so after I checked out at TJ Maxx, I headed to the mall.
Which brings me to these boots. I know the cat pictures are completely unrelated but Moose looked so cute napping on the bed.
These Arturo Chiang boots were originally $149.99 (why not round up to $150???) and were marked down to $99. Dillard's shoe department was having a 50% off the permanently reduced price kind of sale (MY FAVORITE), so the boots' final price ended up being $49 or $53 with tax. And I loves them.
I also got this J Simps coat:
It was originally $100 and I paid $59. There were a couple other Jessica Simpson jackets I was eyeballing, but as badly as I wanted it, I couldn't bring myself to purchase a hot pink pea coat. Maybe one day. Not a bad haul to get 2013's wheels in motion.
Wednesday, January 2
Mike had to work on New Year's Eve. Apparently when you combine alcohol, explosives, and the promise of a fresh beginning, drunk driving and other dangerous behavior become more common during the night and into the wee hours of the morning. People also report hearing gun fire a lot. Which is weird, right? Especially in small town Southern America.
Since I wasn't going to get a real New Year's Eve, we went to lunch and a movie during the day and I tried to at least put together some sort of sparkly ensemble.
So, Mike was out fighting crime and I toasted to 2013 with a bottle of champagne (sparkling wine?) and the cats/dogs while Skyping with my mom. They didn't seem to appreciate the evening, although Moose did enjoy the Christmas lights I busted out for the sake of my photos.
So, Happy New Year. Hope yours was a little more exciting.