Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If my closet were a store...

And, we're back for another Wishful Wednesday! Kelsey hosts Wishful Wednesday every week, so visit her blog for the topic and to link up your post.

This week, we're talking about something I've always dreamt of...

'I wish' .... I had the J.Crew store 

as my personal closet 

and could shop from it daily.

Women's new arrivals - jewelry - Crystal tides necklace - J.Crew, $98

I threw this set together, inspired by Jenna's Picks for July on the J.Crew Web site. I love J.Crew's beach wear, and so many of their pieces are timeless quality. While I have stopped shopping there because they are starting to lean towards designer prices, if I could walk into the store and have my pick every day, I would have the perfect wardrobe! I also chose this store because they have everything: casual wear, work wear, shoes, jewelry, sleepwear, workout gear, swimwear and formal wear. I don't think I'd need a supplement!

So, what's your style? What store would you transplant into your closet?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am a walrus

Not really, but for some reason this post reminded me of that song. LOL! I've had this saved for a while, after first seeing it on Let Me Help You Help Me. I always love reading Morgan's blog, so go check her out. After you read my post, of course!

If I were a month, I’d be July.
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Saturday.
If I were a time of day, I’d be when the stars come out to play.
If I were a planet, I’d be Saturn.
If I were a sea animal, I'd be a dolphin.
If I were a direction, I’d be West.
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be the plushest chair and a half.
If I were a liquid, I’d be iced tea.
If I were a gemstone, I’d be a sapphire.
If I were a tree, I’d be Palm tree.
If I were a tool, I’d be a drill.
If I were a flower, I’d be a Gerbera daisy.
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be snow.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be an acoustic guitar.
If I were a color, I’d be light blue.
If I were an emotion, I’d be happy.
If I were a fruit, I’d be kiwi.
If I were an element, I’d be water.
If I were a car, I'd be a sports car.
If I were a food, I’d be Italian.
If I were a place, I’d be a tropical island.
If I were a material, I’d be seersucker.
If I were a scent, I’d be rose.
If I were an animal, I'd be a tiger.
If I were a facial expression, I’d be a wink.
If I were a song, I’d be "Over the Rainbow".
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be flip-flops.

I am ashamed to admit I do not have a single picture from my birthday weekend! I'll give you the rundown, though. Friday night, Jed and I went to my parents' house for dinner. My dad made me lobster pie with potato salad and corn on the cob. Delicious. Mom got me a Coldstone chocolate ice cream cake, and then she got me a whole bunch of "tea stuff" for my gift: a kettle, a set of mugs, and cream and sugar bowls. So sweet. My sister gave me a bright, fun Vera Bradley tote bag.

Saturday, I slept in until my heart's content. Jed came home with the cutest dog card -- it looked like Morris -- and potted flowers and a tomato plant! He's also giving me my Cape Cod necklace that I'll be getting Friday (more about that later). His mom stopped by to drop off some candles and a Border's gift card for me! I love buying books! Then we headed to the beach for a couple hours with my sister and best friend. BFF's mom was nice enough to let us us her beach house to get ready in, and then we headed down to Newport, RI for dinner at The Red Parrot, followed by drinks on the marina. All in all, a good weekend! 

I don't think I need to tell you that Sunday was spent recovering!

How was your weekend?

{Image via vi.sualize.us}

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do you know how much a human soul weighs?

I have a confession to make: While I consider myself a reader, and I love to read, I am clearly not as big of a reader as many others out there in the blogosphere. I found this meme through Classy in Philadelphia, and these people are reading multiple books IN A WEEK! I'm lucky if I'm reading one book a month, but I wanted to play along at least for this week.

My goal is to read at least one book a month, and I'd like to do more if I could. This month I'm reading...
I read and loved Brown's Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. This book does not disappoint as the final piece to the Robert Langdon puzzle. If you read this book, you will know the meaning of the post title. Brown leaves you anxious to turn the next page, and the plot takes some quite unexpected turns.

I'm about 75% done with this book, and I have absolutely no idea how it is going to end. I'm certainly looking forward to it though! I'm hoping I won't be disappointed.

The next book on my list, for July, will either be one of four marketing books that come highly recommended, or one of the books off my 30 Before 30 list.

{Image via Baltimore Sun}

Friday, June 25, 2010

Did you know I'm a fabulous Sugar Doll?

Well, according to Lyndsay at He popped the question... She said yes! I am! She bestowed The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award upon me, and I'm so honored! Please go check out Lyndsay's blog. She's a new-to-the-scene blogger who writes about her upcoming nuptials.
There are rules that go along with every award -- the blogger version of the acceptance speech. The rules for this award are:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award. Thank you Lyndsay! You are super sweet, doll!
  2. Share 10 things about yourself. See below.
  3. Pass this award on to 10 bloggers whom you recently discovered and think are fabulous.
  4. Contact these bloggers to let them know they won the award.
I'm going to pass this award on to the following fabulous sugar dolls who are relatively new to my blog roll:

Dorkys at Dry As Toast
Shelley at Hand in Hand
Claire at bicoastally
Gwen at Gwen in Love

Please also go visit each and every one of these ladies because their blogs and lives are so different, but they are all FABULOUS!!! Congrats Sugar Dolls. :-) 

Now, 10 things about me... sigh...
  1. I pretend I can read way more blogs than I actually can. My reader is maxed out. I have 1000+ new items. No lie.
  2. I both hate and need change. I love being comfortable, but then I get bored and I feel I'm not living up to my potential.
  3. I am a writer who sometimes hates to write.
  4. I will scream if a bug/insect sneaks up on me.
  5. I love my dog like I imagine I would love my first-born child.
  6. A lot of people say this, but then they never mean it. I mean it: If I could travel 300 days a year, I totally would. I never get tired of vacation, and I never want to come home.
  7. I prefer cruising because it makes me less stressed; I don't have to plan hotels or restaurants. I actually have time to relax.
  8. I MUST have eight hours of sleep a night, otherwise you'll end up with a very cranky Jen.
  9. I'm a week into Couch to 5K, and I have completely surprised myself with my progress. I was never a runner, so this is huge for me.
  10. There are more times than I feel there should be when I wish I could be a kid again and let my mom take care of me.
Whew! Off to let the ladies above know about this post.

Oh, and have a lovely weekend, all of you! What are your plans? Not sure if you knew, but it is my birthday tomorrow! I'm celebrating with my parents tonight; my dad is cooking me a lobster dish. Tomorrow I'm hopefully heading to the beach, then out to the ultimate Rhode Island beach town with some friends for dinner and drinks. Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If you don't see me around these parts...

... don't panic. I have some wonderful news to share, but not yet! All I can tell you is it is very good, and it will be keeping me very busy.

I don't normally explain why or when I'm not blogging, but I wanted to share it this time. My blogging may be sporadic this summer while I take off for something new. Spread my wings and fly, so to speak.

I apologize for being vague, but I hope to post more information next week. So please come back and visit! I will be doing my best to keep up with all of your blogs as well.

{Image via we heart it}

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lost, but never forgotten

It's time for another Wishful Wednesday, and I'm really loving this week's topic because it ties into something I was thinking intensely about yesterday morning on my way to work; you know, those times when something seemingly random triggers powerful memories. That was me yesterday.

If you want to participate, Kelsey posts the topic, the button and a McLinky on her site at The Seattle Smith's.

Something silly or a prized possession, 
what do you wish would show up tomorrow?

'I wish'... I hadn't lost a good friend!!

{Me in the Jeep, June 2005}

As they say, the water has washed under the bridge (or something like that) between this old friend of mine, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss him. The actions and circumstances surrounding the end of our friendship break my heart to this day, although I'm not sure I would do anything differently if I had it to do over again.

I only really knew him for a year, and we were only really close for six months, but he managed to touch my life and my heart in such a big way in that short time. I loved who I was with him. It had been a long time since I had felt so free. I was so real. Every day, every moment with him was a new adventure.

The memories I have of our friendship (and yes, that's all it was, nothing more, nothing less) are of some of the most fun, silliest, craziest, most random, most melt-my-heart memories I have. He had such a big heart and a true soul. He would cheer me up when I was down, and he would multiple my happiness when I was up.

I remember the dancing most -- to Enrique Iglesias' Hero in a pool hall while he sang to me and to Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline in the bleachers of Fenway Park during a Red Sox game -- and the country music. He loved country music, and he totally got me into it, against my will. I love it to this day, because of him.

I remember dragging out asses out of bed early to go off-roading and all of the amazing people we met because of it. I remember him making fun of my golf swing but helping me develop it and even playing a course with me -- which never really happened because of a thunderstorm. I remember trying Alaskan king crab with him and arguing over whether it was better than lobster. And I remember taking care of him, both when he broke his foot and when he sliced open his leg playing softball, and helping him wire lights in his Jeep. Every memory, even as I'm typing them here, brings a smile to my face and a sparkle to my eyes.

It is because of him that I truly believe it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Like I said above, even though I've lost him, I wouldn't change a thing. I thank God for those six months I had with him because they were an amazing six months.

All contact has been cut since our falling out almost five years ago. I haven't talked to him, I haven't seen him, I haven't even stalked him on social media. The only glimpses I've had are seeing his Jeep parked on the side of the road years ago and hearing he's doing well from a mutual friend. I doubt he'll find or read this, but if he does, he'll know who he is, and I want him to know that I'm grateful he was in my life. I want him to know that I have nothing but good thoughts and wishes for him. I want him to know that I think back and smile, and I miss him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Would you leave him stranded on a glacier?


There were no surprises on The Bachelorette last night; the two guys I thought would go home, did. I agree with Ali's choices, and I'm intrigued for next week to learn which of the remaining guys has a boyfriend and gets chased off the show! I bet it's Justin... or Craig. They are the only two I can think would maybe do that. 

Let's talk about Justin... Man, he treats Ali like a world championship wrestling belt and every rose ceremony like a win in the ring. Get off the wrestling analogies. This is love. Or, it's supposed to be. When he talked about his two-on-one date with Ali and Kasey, all he could talk about was Kasey; I don't think he mentioned Ali once. At least he got it together for his alone time with Ali on the date. I am glad he got the walking cast though, because crossing that glacier on crutches would not be easy.

Kasey, Kasey, Kasey, Ali totally pinned you. You weren't in love with her, you're in love with being in love. Not even, you're in love with the idea of being in love. That tattoo was the final shovelful of dirt on your grave. Plus, you were really starting to sound suicidal.

Kirk was the cutest on his date with Ali around Reykjavik. Trying on the sweaters was cute, buying matching sweaters and mittens you could hold hands in was a little mushy, continually wearing your sweater that matches Ali's was way over the top. Dude wore it to the rose ceremony! Instead of a suit! It is a nice sweater though... for Ali.

Ali, I loved your rose ceremony gown. I want it. Even though Jed thinks the strap looks like Mickey Mouse in the front.

Girl, when a guy (Kirk) tells you he got really sick back in college from mold and asbestos exposure, don't just sit there and smile at him, then give him a kiss and tell him you like him or whatever stupid thing you said. You didn't even ask if he was ok now! C'mon. A little empathy and concern would be nice for a man you could see as your future husband.

Roberto, I want to have your children. Period. You can do no wrong in my book.

I also want to swim with Roberto in the Blue Lake. Amazing.

The tattoo joke Craig pulled before the rose ceremony was super risky. That could have gone so badly, and guy had no idea how Ali was going to react. Thankfully, you made me laugh... and Ali too.

Chris whatever your name is from Orlando, FL, don't be surprised Ali sent you packing. No one knows who you are, which means Ali doesn't either. You did nothing with the five minutes she gave you to enable her to know you better. You are awkward and weird. Just be thankful she didn't leave you stranded on a glacier while she flew off in a helicopter with The Wrestler.

Sound off in the comments if you watched last night's episode. Did you agree with who Ali sent home? Where would you rather fall in love: Iceland or Turkey? I'm going to go with Iceland because it really did look extraordinary, as Ali said. There's something incredibly romantic about snuggling up with your love when it's so cold outside, holding hands inside a mitten.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let the experimentation begin!

Jed found a pizza stone and giant pizza spatula set at Target, and we brought it home so we could stop ordering Domino's (yuck!). Friday night, we experimented with homemade pizza for the first time.

I decided on BBQ chicken pizza, and after reading the instructions for the pizza stone, I got to work. I used Pillsbury pizza dough for the first time, which required baking in the oven for five minutes before adding the toppings. I stretched the dough out on the stone and baked it, then I spread BBQ sauce on it.
Next I added bacon bits, grilled chicken tenderloin and mozzarella cheese. I carried the stone out to the grill, and we grilled the pizza until the cheese was bubbling and the crust was golden brown.
Yummmmm! It was so good! And I was really surprised how easy it was too. Next time, I might try making the dough myself. Jed thought it was so good that we might turn Fridays this summer into grilled pizza nights!

This was just the kick off to our "first" summer weekend (a.k.a. the first weekend we actually got to do summer things). After dinner, we went to see Iron Man 2, which I thought was a little slow and not nearly as good as the first movie. Once the movie was over, we headed down the street to catch the last hour of my BFF's husband's band.

Saturday morning, I got up to complete week one of Couch to 5K. Yes, I jumped on that bandwagon, and I'm loving it so far! I thought it would be a lot harder to motivate myself, but when I feel tired, I remind myself that it's only 20 minutes, and they fly by! I feel awesome once I'm done.

The rest of Saturday was spent in Nashua, NH, for my cousin's daughter's high school graduation party. Basically, I sat outside and ate BBQ food all day. It actually felt like summer! That was also my time with my dad for Father's Day.

Sunday, we went to Jed's uncle's for a Father's Day BBQ; his uncle makes the BEST beer can chicken -- he grills a whole chicken with a beer can in it! Even though we got two passing thunder showers, we managed to eat outside, then ducked in the garage while it rained, then hit the pool in between before heading back to the garage. We played with their two adorable dogs: a one-year-old Weimaraner and a 10-week-old Bull Mastiff (she was ADORABLE!).

Yesterday was blissful; their property is just so peaceful. They have the cutest house, a garage with an apartment above, a cabana by the pool, a workshop where Jed's aunt makes her own stained glass and a shed. The entire thing is landscaped beautifully with both a vegetable garden behind the house and a flower garden next to the house complete with archway and a stone fireplace. I told Jed that if we lived there, I would never have to go on vacation! I felt so relaxed just being there for a few hours.

Keep your fingers crossed for good things for me this week; I'm waiting on some big news. How was your weekend? Make sure you have a great week!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Sometimes I miss those sweet school days

I'm so glad this is a fill in the blank Friday week because I just don't have the energy right now for Roses & Thorns, but this blanks bring me back to a simpler time in my life (although I would have never said that back then!). If you fill in the blanks on your blog, link up at Lauren's and then comment to let me know so I can go read them. Happy weekend, readers!

1. The best thing about being in school is/was being around my closest friends every day and constantly learning new things.

2. The worst thing about being in school is/was balancing work and school, and homework.

3. My favorite subject in school is/was English/literature/journalism. I love writing and reading, and I always have.

4. On subject I wish I could master is/would have mastered was math, just because it always baffled me, and it was also the subject I did the worst in.

5. I could never get tired of studying literature. There is endless wisdom, amusement, entertainment and meaning in the words of others. It's like peeling back the layers of an onion.

6. The most memorable teacher I had was Mr. Stanford, my junior and senior year high school English teacher. He had such sarcastic wit, and he always pushed me to go further, to do more. This is tough because I have so many memorable teachers who have touched me: Mrs. Ford who first told me I was a writer, Mr. Gazzola who was like a second father to me, Professor Falla who challenged me to prove something to myself.

7. If I could choose between going to school for the rest of my life or working for the rest of my life, I'd choose going to school (another thing I wouldn't have said when I graduated from college seven years ago). While I would miss the paychecks, I'd love learning every day, challenging myself every day and exploring different subjects every day. Plus, it'd be pretty fun to hang out with my friends a lot again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We should all think like teenagers...

**Note: I tried to post this a half dozen times today with no success, so I'm truly sorry it's so late in the day.**

Minus the angst-ridden drama, of course.

Watching The Early Show yesterday morning, I was struck by something a guest psychologist said about teenagers and their risky behavior. She said that teens are, and act, very much in the present; their brains are not developed enough yet to really focus on the future and the consequence of their actions.

While this is a horrible thing as it relates to the recent YouTube phenomeneon of teenagers seeing videos of other teens engaging in risky stunts and shoot their own videos to "one-up" their peers, I think there is something positive in the teenage mindset of living in and for the present.

I never had this mindset as a teenager, and neither did the majority of my friends. We were good, conservative, high-performing, forward-looking kids. My parents raised me to believe that school was the most important thing, that good grades were crucial to my life's success and that choosing my friends well was the most important decision I could make.

Therefore, I was focused on my academic and dance success. I surrounded myself with like-minded friends. Our idea of fun was giggling through school group projects and drinking Shirley Temples at Father-Daughter dances. I always looked to the future and how my actions would affect that future, positively or negatively. First it was making honor roll and getting perfect attendence, then the goal was getting into the National Honor Society and the top of the class, next it was all-important to get into a good college, then I needed to succeed at that college so I could get a good job... then... Well, then I realized that I spent what was probably some of the best years of my life so concentrated on the future that I forgot there was a present.

Everyone seems to be harping on the importance of staying in the present, being mindful, not obsessing over the past or worrying about the future... as adults. Yet, I guarantee when most of us were teenagers, that was the furtherest thing from our minds. Now, we're examining this notorius teenage mindset in a negative light.

But, is it really negative? Wouldn't we all benefit from throwing our adult worry and stress to the wind and embracing the invincible, carefree mindset of a teenager? Shouldn't we stop analyzing the consequences and just take the risk? After all, our minds are developed now; we can, within a much shorter time than we think, realize whether a risk is good or bad, beneficial or harmful.

Pretend: You're a teenager. What risk are you going to take today?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You're going places, baby... 39?!?

I've always felt that I was going somewhere, that I would make it "big" someday. I was the girl with big dreams and what it took to make them come true. I always imagined myself living glamorously in some big city a la Carrie Bradshaw. The present begs to differ with this picture, but I'm going to keep on believing it.

That's why I'm so honored that Debbie gave me the "You're going places, baby" award. It touches my heart on a deep level. It reinforces my personal belief in myself. So, thank you Debbie! 

As part of my acceptance speech, I need to describe where I see myself in 10 years, then bestow this award upon 10 other bloggers.

In 10 years, I'll be {gulp} 39 (well, technically 38, but since I'll be 29 in less than two weeks, I'm going with it). The number one thing I see for myself is marriage, since I really thought I'd be planning a wedding by now. I also see motherhood -- a little girl named Madison who will steal my heart, my patience, my sanity and my love.

While I'd like to say I'll be living in a city somewhere, the reality is I see myself in the suburbs (around where I am now), but in an upgraded house: four bedrooms, two bathrooms, still a gorgeous kitchen, an office for me and for Jed, a two-car garage and a walk-in closet (absolute must in our next house).

Since I'll be a mother, I don't see myself working full-time, but I'll be a more successful and established freelance writer or consultant. Perhaps I'll dabble in travel planning. Oh, and I'll hopefully still be blogging.

Morris will still be around (I pray, he should be!); he will be 12, and I'll love him more than ever, and so will our kids.

My friends and I will get together for children's play dates, and then there will be times we leave the kids with husbands or babysitters so we can hit the town for a night of dancing and martinis or wine and cheese.

By 39, I'll be more travelled. I'd like to have London; Hawaii; the Panama Canal; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Las Vegas; and Italy crossed off my list.

Finally, I will be healthy and happy, surrounded by people I love.

I'm going to pass this award on to 10 bloggers in which I see amazing potential, who inspire me every day:

Doniree, doniree.com

Michelle, Oh Mishka

Nicole, La Mia Vita

Congrats ladies. I can't wait to see what's in store for all of you; I've so enjoyed following your journeys this far.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wearing your heart on your sleeve... is lame!

Time for our weekly Bachelorette recap. SPOILER ALERT!

Whoa Nelly! New York apparently brings out the creep in some of Ali's guys. But, isn't that every week?

  • Kasey needs to stop singing. He is too creepy for words. He should have gone home. C'mon, you were talking to the stuffed gorillas, and they told you Ali was cute?!?
  • Kasey should have been on The Lion King group date, so he would have had the appropriate opportunity to showcase his singing skills. However, my singing award goes to Jesse and Roberto -- clearly the best. It was super sweet that Roberto sang to Ali, and it paid off! I'm glad he won; he looked hot in those black spandex shorts. I love his arms, his chest, his smile, his eyes... *sigh* Lucky Ali.
  • Those Lion King costumes... ummm... not so much.
  • Ali's In Style New York wardrobe? Yes please! Loved every outfit.
  • Kudos to Kirk for taking Ali aside not to hog her attention but to tell her to go to bed. You should have gotten the rose for that date.
  • Poor Chris L. for not getting to go out on the town for his birthday, but he is the cutest for keeping sick Ali company with chicken soup.
  • I can't believe Kasey got a cliche tattooed on his arm. Lame. LAME. Frank said it well, it doesn't prove anything except that you are nuts. Yup. Pretty much. And Frank doesn't even know it, but he saved that creep when he interrupted before he showed Ali the tat.
  • Jesse so should have gotten the rose over creepy Kasey, but I'm SO GLAD Jonathan (a.k.a. The Weatherman) is GONE! Adios freak.
  • Why do all the guys think Ali will go ga-ga as soon as they serenade her? She just doesn't strike me as one of those girls.

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

If you're posting about last night's show, you can link up at Mama Kat's.

{Image via zap2it}

Friday, June 11, 2010

More love than hate

Oh yes, Roses and Thorns is back this week! Hooray! Yes, I'm a cheeseball, and I know it. I was going to start doing Summer's It's Friday, I'm in Love series, but I need to be about to vent the Thorns -- because I don't vent very often here.

As always, Roses to the weekend! I don't have much in the way of plans this weekend, which is good since I'm suffering from a sinus infection, but I'm looking forward to a couple days off to rest and catch up on chores.

Roses to my BFF Ollie since it is her birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday, hun, I love you! On the journey to 30 together -- my birthday is exactly two weeks after hers.

Roses to getting a raise this year! Woot, woot.

Roses to my reflection today. It has very special meaning for me right now. Let's just say my fingers are crossed.

Thorns to stupid allergies and this stupid sinus infection. At least I'm on antibiotics now.

Thorns the cold weather yesterday. We've been enjoying 70's and 80's, then yesterday it barely hit 60. What?!?

Thorns to being broke.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. If you have anything planned, do let me know so I can live vicariously through you!

{Images via K.Law: Inspired}

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It hit home.

I'm talking about the Gulf oil spill, friends. This picture made it hit home for me. I don't even like birds -- I'm rather petrified of them, actually -- but this image of oil-soaked Great Storks made me scared. I wanted to cry.

Watching the live feed on the news of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is disturbing enough, but actually seeing the effects on the ocean and shoreline habitats is crushing. I'm sick of reading about the poor hotels who are seeing cancellations. What about the marine and wild life? What about the beautiful beaches? What about the water quality we all depend on?

I hate to think of an entire ecosystem being destroyed because of our greed, our need to put gas in our cars. I'm scared that the oil will make its way up the East coast and wash up on the New England beaches I love. I don't want to be cruising through oil slicks on my Caribbean cruise this fall.

This reminds me of the Saved by the Bell episode where they dig for oil at Bayside High only to destroy the pond where students have adopted wildlife pets.

It's sad.

It's tragic.

It's maddening.

It must be stopped.

{Image via USA Today Travel}

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Change of plans!

I am in the market for a new bathing suit since the strap on my favorite bikini top broke, leaving me with just one suit -- a string bikini. 

Since I cruise fairly regularly, I just need to have at least two suits to bring with me so I always have a dry one. Plus, I like to have the string suit for a day at the beach or tanning by the pool, then something a little more sporty and conservative for active water sports such a snorkeling, kayaking or jet skiing. (Has anyone tried to jet ski in a string bikini? It does not work at all!) So, I need to replace the sporty bathing suit.

These lovely ladies, whom I love, are hosting an awesome giveaway to celebrate their move to Wordpress and brand new blog design. If you haven't seen it, you should click their button above to visit because it's gorgeous.
I had never heard of this site before the BBR girls introduced me to it. Oh my gosh! I'm not one for overly conservative bathing suits, but these are gorgeous! And, since I'm looking for something a little more "stable," their tankinis certainly fit the bill. I'm having a hard time choosing just one! But, I've narrowed it down to two that really fit my style, and I might kinda be in love with.

This is shown with brown polka-dot bikini bottoms, but I would go with solid brown since I don't like mixing such a bold print with another print. Bonus: my string bikini is turquoise with brown wood beading along the trim, so I could mix and match!

Kristin posted this suit as one of the ones she would pick, and I have to agree with her. I love Hawaiian prints, and I don't normally go for red, but these red polka-dot bikini bottoms compliment the top so well. This suit would be a splurge for me, since it obviously isn't interchangeable with the suit I already have.

The Bon Bon Rose girls are giving away a $95 gift certificate to Hapari, which would cover the cost of one of these gorgeous tankinis and matching bottoms. So, head on over to check it out!

If I could do it again...

It's time for another Wishful Wednesday! To play along, click the button to link up at Kelsey's blog. This week's topic is:

'I wish' .... I had the opportunity to change careers and it would be a professional dancer!

I wouldn't necessarily be a professional ballerina, although that is what I always dreamed of as a girl. I would do any kind of dance anywhere I could: Broadway on a cruise ship, contemporary for Alvin Ailey, tap on America's Got Talent, a ballerina with the Boston Ballet.

Obviously, this isn't a career I could transition into now, but we're not talking about reality; this is wishful after all! But, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would have stuck with dance more. My parents pushed me to get an education since a dance career is so unreliable, but I wish I had listened to them a little less and myself a little more. I wish I had gone to a university where I could have pursued dance more seriously -- perhaps as a second major or a minor.

I miss dancing, and I miss the opportunity I never gave a chance.

{Image via we heart it}

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thoughts on "The Bachelorette"

I really have a love/hate relationship with "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" these days. I don't like how they take a "loser" from the previous season to star as the next season's bachelor/bachelorette. That said, I do get sucked in like most people.

This season irks me to no end. The drama is unbelievable! I find myself groaning, screaming and cursing at my TV Monday nights. So, since part of the purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts and opinions about what's going on in the world of reality TV, I thought I'd switch up my Tuesday posts with my thoughts on last night's show.

If you haven't watched it yet, you might want to stop reading now.

  • Ali giggles way too much, observed Jed. I didn't really notice it until he said it, and I thought it was just part of her cute personality, but now, it's getting really annoying. Stop giggling.

  • Dudes, what is the big deal about Justin hobbling his way four miles to Ali's house because he wanted some "alone time?" I think it was a pretty nice guesture, and you all are just jealous and pissed off because you didn't think of it first. Is it written anywhere in the rules that you're forbidden from going to Ali's house without being invited? Didn't think so. Although, I'm sure it will be written in from now forward. Stop hating on Justin. He's cute.

  • I am so annoyed beyond annoyed that Jonathan (a.k.a. The Weatherman) is still there. He is a big narcisstic baby with homosexual tendencies. Really dude? You gotta explain to Ali why you couldn't kiss her in the music video? I don't think she needs an explanation; you just don't dig her that way, and that's cool, but get the heck off the show.

  • Hunter's date was so boring I couldn't even watch it. C'mon, you knew you were going home when she invited you to cook her dinner at her house instead of taking you in a helicoptor to a rooftop dinner.

  • Speaking of helicoptors and rooftop dinners, Roberto is adorable, and I think he and Ali are perfect together (neck-and-neck with Frank). Plus, Roberto totally reminds me of one of my coolest friends ever who I miss with all my heart. Roberto, sweetie, just don't make Ali fall off a tightrope again so you can give her a kiss. I don't care how cute and perfectly romantic it seems in your head, the girl is clearly afraid of heights. Just get her across the rope, ok?

  • Finally, Ali, you run like a retarded girl. You should be embarrassed of all those running scenes in the BNL video. Sorry babe.

Did you watch last night's episode? Any thoughts?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Take me away!

1. My dream vacation would be finally going to Hawaii. I think I'd like to take three or four weeks and just visit every island for at least a day.

2. The best trip I've ever taken was a 12-night Southern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line with Jed.We visited eight islands: Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Tortola. It was heaven on Earth, I tell you. I enjoyed each island. The ship was great, the food was amazing. We met the best people we've ever traveled with, and we were actually able to relax while soaking in each port. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

3. The most important items to take on a road trip are good music, snacks, water and a AAA card for car trouble and discounts.

4. The next trip I'm looking forward to is the only one I have planned right now: our seven-night Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival this fall. Jed and I are going with my BFF and her husband, and another couple we're both really good friends with.

5. If I had to pick one CD to listen to for a long road trip it would be the mix CD I made for my last road trip to New Jersey.

6. The biggest disaster I've ever encountered while traveling was literally a disaster. A plane crashed in the Port of Miami about an hour before our cruise ship was set to depart for my very first cruise. We were stuck in the port until they could investigate and get the wreckage cleared -- about 24 hours. To make matters worse, we couldn't really unboard the ship because the crew was on standby for the moment we were cleared to sail, and they didn't want to jeopardize that window by having missing passagers ashore.

7. My favorite traveling memory is sitting on the back deck of a cruise ship with Jed and our new cruise friends we met onboard, overlooking Tortola during sunset, drinking beer and eating sushi, talking about our trip and our lives, thinking life couldn't get better than this.

What an appropriate post for this Friday to get us in the weekend mood! If you guys head over to the little things we do to play along, please comment and let me know so I can come read your responses! Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to dress up jeans and a T-shirt

I am not one for fashion posts, and I do not consider myself a fashionista of any sort. However, I received quite a few compliments and remarks on my outfit today; one coworker told me I was "overdressed" for a lot of people in our office (for a casual Thursday). So, I decided to post about what I wore today. (Apologies for the bad pictures. They are all self-portraits since I don't have a "photographer.")

When I'm "casual," I'm a jeans and T-shirt girl all the way. Lately, I've been determined to still look put-together and professional though. How do you "dress up" jeans and a T? With accessories and carefully chosen wardrobe pieces! I always wear dark jeans with either a boot-cut or flare leg. These are from Express, and they are my go-to jeans. For T-shirts, I always go for an interesting neckline -- no crewcut necks. I look for v-necks or boat-cut or scoop-necks. These make a regular T-shirt look a little less like a T-shirt and add some visual interest. This shirt is from Old Navy -- I heart their T-shirts.

First, cute shoes are a must. No sneakers and absolutely no flip-flops! I like to do a little bit of a heel to lengthen my legs and give off a more confident vibe. These wedges are my favorites! I love the cork heel, and they are really comfortable. You can't see it, but I've worn them down quite a bit, and I'm due for a replacement -- if I can ever find one! I bought these hesitatingly at DSW four years ago for my trip to South Beach, Florida, and they were one of the best spontaneous purchase I've ever made.

A lot of people today commented on how I matched. I chose the T-shirt and jewelry on purpose, but I had forgotten that my toes were painted the same color lilac as my shirt!

Finally, jewelry can make the most boring, typical outfit something unique. My amethyst necklace and bracelet are from Kenya, Africa -- a gift from my coworker in the U.K. I always wear my Cape Cod bracelet from Eden Hand Arts in Dennis, MA, and my Claddagh ring.

And that, my friends, is how you rock jeans and a T-shirt on casual days in the office.

Hope you're all having a great week, and if not, tomorrow is Friday! I know I'm looking forward to the weekend, even after this short four-day work week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carrie me away! (Wishful Wednesday)

'I wish' .... I could be the one and only Carrie Bradshaw in SATC2!!

Of course I have to pick Carrie! We're both writers with humble beginnings. We both spend far more on clothes and shoes and other non-necessities than our measly salaries can afford. We love our friends fiercely and loyally, and we rarely forgot how good we really do have it. We get a bit confused by our men and our feelings, but we love to the depths of our being -- even giving out second and third... and fourth... chances, when maybe we really shouldn't. Above all, we live and learn... and write about it.

I sobbed with for Carrie in the first movie, and I smiled when it all worked out for her. Ever since (I just saw the first movie about a month ago), I've anticipated the second film. Don't tell me what happens, please; I haven't seen it yet and won't for another week and a half. Yes, I've heard it's not great, and I've heard it doesn't live up to the hype, but please just let me be excited about it for now. 

Up until a couple of years ago, I saw myself more in Charlotte -- as did my friends. I was straight-laced, preppy, prim and proper, resigned to my designated role in life. They still think I'm more Charlotte than Carrie, but I relate most to Mrs. Big in more ways than they'll ever know.

{Images via Rotten Tomatoes}