Thursday, June 27, 2013

June Cara Box Exchange

This was my second time doing the Cara Box exchange hosted by wifessionals. The theme for this swap was Carnival! When I first heard the theme I was all like what the heck? How will I do that? But the more I thought about the theme, the more excited I got about the challenge! 

I was linked with two lovely ladies again this month. I sent a box to Mallory, and Kyetra sent a box to me! I got to spend time reading their blogs and getting to know them through e-mail. Which is not a bad way to spend a month! Now on to the goodies from Kyetra! 

First off? Don't you just love the wrapping. A popcorn bag! Brown paper packages tied up with string (makes me want to start singing the Sound of Music Soundtrack)! Now to unwrap!

I loved it! She knew Essie is my favorite nail polish! And mint candy apple is a color I don't have yet, and I can't wait to try out the sugar coat polish. The animal themed thank you notes are so cute, and I don't think you can ever have too much stationary! And the lip-smackers are so nostalgic for me! I remember having lip smackers necklaces as a kid and loving trying all the different flavors (did anyone else have the Dr. Pepper one?). The lollipop she sent didn't last an hour, and I can't wait to try the Hawaiian punch flavors!  Thank you so much,  Kyetra!

Now here is a little sneak peak of what I sent to Mallory (picture is taken from her blog). Click on over to her blog to read all about my picks!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

For the Love of a Geek, The Nintendo Experience, & Google Reader Sadness

You know how much I love my geek? So much that I was willing to stand in line for two hours at Best Buy, on a day I was super sleepy and a tad bit cranky, for ten minutes of video gaming of some new games coming out for the WII U (which we already own of course). We own a ridiculous amount of game consoles, so please don't ask me to name them. 

And that is right Adam is definitely a video game geek. Do you know how many weeks I've listen to him go on and on and on about all the faults of the upcoming release of the new Xbox console (if he ever ends up buying one, I will roll over and die). So much so that I don't even know what to say about it anymore! I'm just like, "that is awful, honey," all of the time. I have nothing else to contribute. Not that I mind listening, I'm a geek about history. I could go on and on about history for days. 

But I also learned that Adam is not as big of a geek as most other geeks. Some of those people we waited in line with were pretty out there. Adam has other interests and other hobbies that make him him. Video games probably only make up about 40% of his interests. 

We played the new Mario Kart, which is our favorite game to play together. I've always been obsessed with that game. And I have an innate talent for it too because I almost always win. Which is hilarious, because I suck at video games most of the time. I think I am a better driver on Mario Kart, when bananas, shells, and bombs are being thrown at me, than I am at driving in real life! I was a little sad that I couldn't play as my favorite character, Birdo. I love that little gender confused bird/dinosaur. We have had a lot of success together. But I'm hopeful Birdo will be playable in the full game version. Otherwise I'm going on strike.

I beat Adam as evidence by my rockin' Luigi hat. He only got a little Mario flag. He was a little sad by his loss, and I offered to let him where my hat. But he felt he didn't "earn it." 

He is ridiculous, but that is why I love him. 

P.S.-I just wanted to announce, in case you haven't heard, which you had to be living under a rock if you haven't, that Google Reader is shutting down July 1st. That freaked me out for about a day, since I only have ever used google reader since I started blogging. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. I was just as sad when geocities shut down, and I lost all those cheesy websites I made in middle school/high school (complete with auto start music, flashing backgrounds, and mouse cursers with strings of stars). But anyway, this is all to say I'm using bloglovin now, and I love it. So make sure you switch me over to that. I've heard lovely things about feedly too! Both sites make it super easy to switch your blogs over from google reader!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spirted Art

Last weekend, My mother and I went to Spirited Art Studio in Huntsville to do some painting! And the lesson of the night was in painting peacocks! Now I have to say that I have no painting or art skills whatsoever. When I was in high school, my youth group at church went on a mission trip. I was running a group of little kids who were drawing pictures of their families. And I tried to draw mine. I think it would have went well, if I hadn't tried to draw hands. My picture looked so bad that preschoolers were laughing at it.

But on the website, it said if you know your shapes, you can paint! And I might have failed geometry on my first try, but I do know my shapes.

I had told my mom before we got to the studio, that you got to drink wine! Because I honestly thought they did provide wine. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw my mom pouring herself and me a class of wine. But she couldn't pop the cork, so a lady comes up and says, "I'll take that." We thought she wanted to help! But no it was her bottle of wine, and the studio did not provide any wine. She probably thought we were stealing her moscato! That was super embarrassing and super hilarious. She wouldn't let us give her the wine back, so I guess we still got some free wine from the deal.

We really enjoyed the painting class and I was pleasantly surprised that I loved my peacock. I mean I'm not going to quit my day job and start painting on street corners (and maybe it is not living room worthy), but you can tell it is a peacock, so I'm proud!

I can't wait to take some more painting classes, in fact I'm doing a date night class with Adam next week.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Plain Truth

The Best Bits of Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult:

"In your world, people can reach each other in an instant. There's the telephone, and the fax - and on the computer you can talk to someone all the way around the world. You've got people telling their secrets on TV talk shows, and magazines that publish pictures of movie stars trying to hide their homes. All those connections, but everyone there seems so lonely.”  
“If you didn't remember something happening, was it because it never had happened? Or because you wished it hadn't?”
“The English judged a person so that they'd be justified in casting her out. The Amish judged a person so that they'd be justified in welcoming her back. Where I'm from, if someone is accused of sinning, it's not so that others can place blame. It's so that the person can make amends and move on.”  
“She wanted him to tell her that when you love someone so hard and so fierce, it was all right to do things that you knew were wrong.”  
“You can be happy for someone else's good fortune but that doesn't mean you forget your own bad luck.”  
“...I stopped trying to figure out American juries around the same time Adam Sandler movies started raking in millions at the box office--people just don't act predictably.”  
“If she spoke, she would tell him the truth: she was not okay at all, but horribly empty, now that she knew what it was like to be filled.”  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum

After Cassie's graduation, we loaded up the car to head to Jackson, Mississippi, to spend the night with our friends Jana & Austin. But first we had to stop in little ole Gibsland, Louisana! Why you may ask?  Because Gibsland is where the famous Bonnie & Clyde bandits were ambushed. Last year, when Jana and I were road tripping to Alabama, I saw a sign for the Ambush Museum. And I filed that away in my memory and I knew I had to find a way to get there ASAP.

The Ambush Museum combined several of the things I love: history, quirky road trip destinations, and museums. So I was looking forward to this stop for weeks! The museum didn't allow pictures inside, which really bummed me out, because I love to take pictures wherever I go.

The museum is run by a Bonnie & Clyde historian. It is a small place, but has a lot of wonderful exhibits. They had items that belong to Bonnie and Clyde, and very informative displays. I loved these pictures that Bonnie & Clyde took when they were just goofing around, I think these pictures seem to personify how history looks at Bonnie & Clyde.

After we left the museum, we drove 8 miles up the road to check out the actual ambush site. There is a little monument there, that we accidentally drove past 3 times. Unfortunately, people have vandalized it over the years, but they are trying to put up a new one.

It was so cool to be standing where such a famous moment in history occurred, and to picture Bonnie & Clyde driving over the hill we drove down before the ambush. And if you have any doubt that we were in the right place. Compare our picture to an actual picture from the scene! How cool is that?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cassie's Graduation

Last Friday night, was a big night!  My beautiful niece Cassidy graduated from high school. Words can not express how proud I am of her or how much I love her.  I remember so vividly how excited I was when I found out I was going to be an Aunt. I was only 8 years old and I spent hours practicing holding a baby doll, so I would be able to hold her when she arrived! Adam was not quite so lucky, he has only known our nieces and nephew for four years. But he often comments how lucky he is to have them in his life, because he has no siblings, and would otherwise never gotten to be an uncle.

We left for Texas, last Thursday night after work. Meaning we didn't get on the road until 6 o'clock! But we were going to go no matter what! Sleep deprivation be darned. The ceremony Friday night was lovely and Cassie looked so gorgeous.  I got to see my sister-in-law and brother for the first time since my wedding. And although seeing my brother was heart wrenching, and I burst into tears immediately after he left because he didn't look healthy, and I never know when the next time I will see him will be, or if I will ever see him again (for reasons I don't want to share) I was happy to get to hug him.

Cassie had a nice party at her house the next day, and it was lovely to just sit around the pool, eat some good food, and enjoy some time to catch up with my family. It happens so rarely anymore.

My youngest niece, Kayla, graduates next year, and I just can't wait to see her in her cap and gown.

P.S.-How has it been almost ten years since I gradated high school? I mean WTF, mate.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cotton Row Run + Summer Running

On Memorial Day, Adam and I did a patriotic run in downtown Huntsville, The Cotton Row Run! The Cotton Row Run is a Huntsville tradition and has been going on for many years. So I was happy to participate. Plus downtown Huntsville is simply beautiful.

The Alabama summer is in full force so it was pretty hot, but luckily it was an early morning run. There was a 10k, 5k, and mile fun run. We did the 5k. Before the race there were speeches, a cannon ball fire, and a band playing taps.

The cannon ball scared me to death! I so wasn't expecting it! But I got it together and we finished the race in about 45 minutes. Pretty much dead last, but I don't really care anymore, just glad to be out being active!

I am concerned about running this summer. So far this summer, I've been working so many hours, that I don't have time in the evenings to run, and I'm already getting up super early for summer day treatment. I don't mind taking a little summer break from running, but I'm worried that I will have to start over at square one in the fall. I was thinking about just running on the weekends, so I could at least keep up my stamina. I am constantly on my feet and running around all day at work now, so I'm not worried about not being active. Just not running consistently. Any joggers have any suggestions?

And believe me, I'm not lying when I say I have no time! I might literally have two hours between getting home from work and going to bed, if that!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival

Guys, I'm so behind on my posts lately! But I've been so busy! I just started working a summer program at work, which basically means not only am I a therapist now, but I'm also a camp counselor, first aid administrator, bus monitor, cafeteria lady, activity coordinator, and temper tantrum tamer to about 50 ADHD kids. I'm not complaining though, I love it, it is just EXHAUSTING. You have no idea how many times I hear "Mrs. Brittany!" in one day. I'm changing my name, I swear.

Anyway, this is all to say that over memorial day weekend, Adam and I attended the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival in Decatur, Alabama. I have been wanting to do this since I first heard of it, so I was just a little excited! And it did not disappoint. 

We got there before the festival started, so we got to see them inflate all of the balloons. It was interesting to see how they did it. With the torches, hot air, and quaint little baskets. Then, when they were up in the air they were just beautiful! My favorite balloons were the ones that weren't covered in company logos. 

At night time, they do a balloon glow, where they light up the balloons in the night sky. We couldn't stay for that, so I guess that will just give us a reason to go back next year!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Belated Mother's Day at The Melting Pot

My mother and I couldn't celebrate mother's day on mother's day for various reasons, so we decided to celebrate last weekend instead.  This is the first year in a long while that I'm actually living near my mother, one of the many things that rock about being back in my beloved ALA-FREAKIN-BAMA.

My mom is like me and she likes doing different things and having new experiences, so I thought taking her out for fondue would be fun (although you would think that growing up in the 70's, she would have been a fondue aficionado, but not so my friends).

I have done fondue once before with Adam on our 3rd anniversary. I loved it! But Adam not so much, but that is because he is so picky. I knew my mom would enjoy it so much more.  We started our meal with the melted Wisconsin Trio of cheese. And did you know that apples dipped in cheese is the best thing ever? Who knew, it seems like it would be disgusting.

For our second course, we picked the caribbean style of cooking (known as the Mojo). Which basically involved dipping the food in a boiling flavored liquid. I choose a Cajun sampling of meats, and my mother choose a standard land & sea platter.  We had a choice of 6 sauces to dip our meats in. My favorite was the yogurt based sauce. This portion of the meal was my favorite because the cooking process took a while, and it really gave us a chance to talk and catch up!

Finally, it was time for dessert. They brought us a tasty platter of fruits, sweets, and other goodies to dip in our White Chocolate Creme Brulee  (which they set on fire when they first brought it out). I think the moment I dipped the rice krispee treats into the white chocolate and tried it, I was in nirvana. I don't even like rice krispee treats that much, but it just made such a great combination!

This mother's day was so fun, and I can't wait to enjoy many more here in Alabama!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Favorite Things: May 2013 Edition

1. My New Kicks
My old running shoes were getting worn out, so last week I went and picked out a shiny new pair! New Balance shoes are definitely my favorite! They just fit the shape of my foot perfectly. And I love that bright colors are so in right now.  They have been super comfy when I'm exercising lately.
2. Victoria Secret's So Sexy Shampoo & Conditioner
My mom got me these for my birthday. Not only do they smell amazing, I love how soft they make my hair feel. I can't believe such awesome hair products could come from Victoria Secret!
3. The Happiness Project: One Sentence Journal
A few years ago, I read a book about a reporter who found a five year, one sentence a day journal from the 1920's. She then dedicated her time to finding the writer of the journal and writing her life story. I really loved this book, and I loved the idea of a 5 year journal. So I bought this one, hopefully I can keep up with it that long!
4. Lush Bath Bombs
One of my favorite stores is Bath Junkie, which I used to go to when I visited my family in Texas. But recently that store closed down, and I was so sad because I couldn't get my beloved bath bombs anymore. But I started buying these pretty ones from LUSH. They are not as good as my bath junkie ones but a close second.
Recent Favorite Tunes:
1. Paris in The Morning by Joe Purdy
2. One of a Kind by Melissa Ferrick
3. Bruises (feat. Ashley Monroe) by Train
4. Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker
5. Young & Beautiful by Lana Del Ray
What Makes Me Laugh Lately: