April 29, 2009

m-i-c-k-e-y m-o-u-s-e!

Not to be forgotten, we had our lovely trip to Disneyland to meet up with my bestest, Stephanie (or G-Lo as I so lovingly refer to her). It was the first time I'd seen her since she and her husband had been married and they had the baby. A full four years has passed since then and we joke that we're closer now than before! We attribute our solid friendship on weekly calls between California (and previously, North Carolina) and Alaska, and the fact that we both have so much dirt on each other we have to be friends for life!

Quick side note: Stephanie's mom always (rightfully) thought I was a bad influence on her. She happend to come on the trip and when she realized we both have tattoos on our backs she put two and two together. Her exact words were: "You have tattoos too? You little shits--you did that together didn't you?!" (For the record, I got one of my foot tattoos with Stephanie, not my back tattoo.) Seeing them was such a thrill and getting to coo over Stephie's daughter was a blast! I was able to snap a few shots of us together, but alas, we were so busy hugging each other and screaming on the rides, the camera was forgotten!

Red white and blue halter top from Old Navy, jean capris (I think we all know where these are from by now?), diamond earrings from personal collection, purple water proof sport purse by Prada* (on bed in background), red beaded flip flops from American Eagle Outfitters (not pictured), sunglasses from American Eagle Outfitters (not pictured here), watch by Guess.

*This was a very key element in our day. I'll tell you why down the page.

Hubbs and I (I'm a sucker for amusement park pictures).

On the Matterhorn.

Baby Grace, Stephanie, moi.

Oh gawd, Grace was in love with Jason. She gave him these looks all day!

Saying our goodbyes. Grace got away with a big fat kiss from your truly. Red's a good color on her!

At the end of the day. Everyone got sunburned in some fashion--this was mine. No one remembers to put sunscreen on their feet!!

The dye from my flip flops ran, thanks to Splash Mountain.

Which brings me to why my water proof purse was so important. We. Got. Soaked! I wish I would have snapped a picture! The whole right sides of our bodies were absolutely drenched, which is what side I happen to carry my purse. Of course, prior to the ride we shoved our cell phones and watches in there. When I realized how wet it was I prayed that it actually was water proof, and not just a clever deceit by the makers at Prada. But, success! Everything was bone dry! Guess I found my amusement-park-going purse!

Day two was the complete opposite of day one--we practically froze! You can see how gray it was as Mickey and his friend danced for us!

I love this shot of us together in front of the Snow White waterfall. Look how tan Jason got! And he's only gotten darker!

They finally had the "Finding Nemo" submarine voyage open! It was so cool!! I'm hoping when we go down under later this year I'll get to see if this is really what it looks like!

The rest of our day was spent catching up on all the other rides we wanted to go on. We retired early and spent the next morning in bed! We skipped Disney's counterpart "California Adventure" in favor of more sleep and time together. ♥

April 27, 2009

waste not, want not

Has anyone noticed these commercials now that price out their product? I think the first one I saw was a Pillsbury commercial for their biscuits. At the end of the commercial the announcer said, "At only $.25 per roll, breakfast at home gets better all the time..." or something like that. The other one I saw was for coffee. The same idea, "At only $.10 per cup, it beats the drive-thru hands down!" Interesting how in these tough economic times you now have to sell the value of your product, not just the product itself.

Anyways, I've started thinking about how to waste less. I love my morning cup of coffee, but I'm the only one who drinks it. I end up wasting over half a pot, which I hate. So I had the brilliant idea to dump the leftovers in a pitcher, stick it in the fridge, and save it for when I want a cold drink! Homemade iced coffee! (And at only $.10 per cup, it beats a frappuchino hands down!)

The other thing we're trying to waste less of: money! We bought a water filter so we don't have to buy bottled water anymore. I bought green bags to make my produce last longer (and it does! I'm still working on a head of lettuce I bought almost a month and a half ago and it's still crisp!). And we're starting to heavily rely on programs that give us something back for spending our money (frequent flier miles, eBates, eBay bucks, points from our banking card).

I was so proud of myself yesterday when I purchased a new bathroom scale from Amazon (our current one is an evil little creature. One day it showed me down six pounds and the next day I was up 14, and both times when we weighed a free weight to compare, it was only off by half a pound. There's no way that was right!). First off, I saved $5 by buying from Amazon directly and not one of their private sellers. $10 for my new scale.

(Yep, a good old fashioned Sunbeam dial scale.)

Next, you know how they show you other items you might be interested in? There were my little water filter refills for a mere $15! In-store they run about $30, not to mention the commissary and exchange don't stock them so it means making a 20-minute drive out to Wal-Mart. They both qualified for the free Super Saver Shipping, which saved me another $8. So in about seven minutes flat I bought two things we were in need of (notice, not wanted, were in need of) and saved $28!

Now that's what I call a bargain!

April 26, 2009

musings on health & eating

You know those days where you feel so philosophic because suddenly things start making sense? Connections form in your mind, you feel worldly, and all of sudden you get "it?" I'm having one of those days.

I've mentioned the "allowance system" I'm on (by choice) that gives me $50 per week to put into my little section of our bank account. I can use it for whatever I want, but I can't borrow from it (so if the money's not there, it's not there). Hubbs has let me overspend only twice since being on it, but both times it was his idea (and who am I to argue when a handsome man wants to buy me nice things?). Today I came to start fully appreciating this little arrangement we have.

I'm a big fan of little purchases. The right little thing can make your whole day worth while (and let's face it, when you're a stay at home wife, nothing is better than getting the mail everyday). I purchased some cocoa butter body creme last night (thank you drugstore.com, only $6 for a 15 ounce tub) in hopes of salvaging this horrible lizard type thing I'm calling my skin. The desert climate is just killing me. Then this morning, after reading Donna's blog, My 50's Year (link on left hand side), I purchased a 1955 copy of Better Homes & Gardens Diet Book from Amazon for a whopping $3.

I'm really excited to get both, but the diet book is what I'm anxious to have in my hot little hands. I love learning about natural ways to lose weight--and I don't mean "all natural" acai berry pills. I admit I was a pill popper until recently when I started thinking what all those artificial metabolizers might be doing to my system. When Hubbs and I became vegetarians two years ago, I tried to really be aware of what into my body. Some days I'm better at in than others, but usually a skim through Skinny Bitch's chapter on sugar and junk food is enough to set me straight again (this also happens to be the book that changed me to a veggie, and for what it's worth I cannot wait to get pregnant and buy the next instalment "Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven." I own the first two already).

I have a feeling the BH&G book will be similar to Skinny Bitch, as Better Homes & gardens has a line in the book that reads: "You're fat because you eat too much. There isn't any other reason!" Testify!

So today I'm thinking about dusting off the vegetarian cookbooks we've be given for the past two Christmases and taking a long hard look at some of those recipes. We have all the substitutions from Morning Star Farms and Boca Burger (all of which are very scrumptious and have half the fat and calories of their meat counterparts), but I'd really like to try home cooking some vegetarian meals. It means a foray into the world of refined coconut oil (which they happily sell at the commissary, yay) but some of those recipes look and sound delicious. Peanut butter potato chip cookies? That's PMS food if I ever heard of it (and wouldn't that be the perfect combo when you're craving salty and sweet?)!

Wondering why we became vegetarians? Truthfully, it wasn't because of the whole cruelty to animals thing, although yes now that's a part of it. It's because I don't trust the farmers, the FDA, and the USDA. We no longer live in a world where small farmers take care and pride in their animals and product. Now it's who can make the most the fastest. While there are still some small farmers out there who still subscribe to this line of thinking, they are few and far between. Nowadays animals are pumped full of artificial hormones to make them produce more. ... I'm getting pretty heated up and I'm about go on a tirade of my beliefs that these hormones and such have a contributing factor in birth defects and auto immune diseases, so I'm going to step off my soap box and thank you kindly for reading today! My blog is a conflict-free area. :0)

♥ ♥ Thank you for letting me vent! ♥ ♥

April 23, 2009

viva las vegas! (pt 3)

(Missed parts 1 & 2? Just click on the numbers!)


Monday was far and away the best part of our trip. We had agreed to go on one of those time share presentations for Tahiti Village (a gorgeous property, FYI), which wasn't at all like we thought it would be! The sales people were so nice and so low pressure. Plus, time share is a lot different that what we thought it was (and apparently used to be). We had been promised $80 in gas cards, but when the manager found out Jason was a Marine, he tossed in an extra $100!! So we walked away with almost $200 in gas for two hours of our time.

For what it's worth, they currently run a promotion allowing you to go and stay at the resort for 3 days/2 nights for free if you go to the presentation. Had we known this before hand, we would have used it for our trip because they offer a free shuttle to and from the strip (which would have saved us almost $100 in taxi rides--not to mention the cost of the hotel!). ... Sorry, I was seriously just turning green at the thought of how much money we wouldn't have shelled out this weekend.

Anyways, we decided to stay in Las Vegas a little longer than planned, and boy are we glad we did! We ended up at one of those prize wheels that has all those little offerings on them. We got the chance to spin it (Hubbs let me do the honors), and we scored big time!

The wheel landed on a 6 day/5 night trip to New Zealand!

Yes, we'll have to pay for our airfare, but the accommodations are in a five star resort and we have until 2014 to use it! We were shocked. I thought Jason was going to faint (he later said he felt like he was going to "fall through the floor" so I was close). He's always wanted to go to New Zealand ever since he was stationed in Japan.

The reality has not yet set in. We'll be getting all of our info by Fed-Ex in about 30 days, but I still don't think it will set in until we're on the plane getting ready to take off. We have no idea when we'll be taking the trip (passports first would be a good idea...) but just knowing that it's in our future makes it so incredible.

Here we are in the complimentary limo they let us use for the rest of the day. It was truly the perfect finishing touch to a wonderful weekend that has literally forever changed our lives!

April 22, 2009

viva las vegas! (pt 2)


Katie and Jason had to check out Sunday since they both had to be back at school and work. Before we left the hotel for more touristing, we had to visit the top of the Stratosphere for a peek! Here we are about 1,000 feet in the air here. Can you believe they have rides this high up and people actually go on them?! We all passed.

Katie really wanted to see the Secret Garden of Sigfried and Roy, so our first stop was the Mirage where we got to swoon over a baby dolphin (Bella) and a new baby leopard (Java).

Us girls wanted to take a cab down the strip to the MGM for lunch, but the boys forced us to suck it up and walk. We got to pass through Hermes, Prada, and the other lovely (over priced) forum shops, but we also tossed many pennies into the fountains outside of Caesar's Palace. Here's Hubbs and I enjoying the light mist coming off the water (it was all we could do not to jump in).

We enjoyed a lovely lunch inside the Rainforest Café. It's a gorgeous restaurant that's all themed out with animals, vines, and fish tanks. About every 30-45 minutes there's a thunder and lightening storm, and it rains (not on you). It was dark and cool, exactly what we needed after our trek.

Before Jason and Katie left, we shot over to the M&M factory for dessert (I was much more behaved this time) and to New York, New York so Katie could reminisce about home. We headed back to the hotel to say our farewells where Hubbs and I promptly fell into our bed for a nap before dinner. Thursday marks four years that we've been together, so along with celebrating Katie's birthday, we also wanted to kick up our heels in celebration of our four years! We made reservations at The Top of the World, the Stratosphere's restaurant.

Little black dress from Wet Seal (another high school purchase--though it fits much better now!), satin heels by Wild Diva, pearl jewelry set from Helzburg Diamonds, vintage black beaded bag.

Hubbs was looking mighty sharp too (forgive the bad flash--ahem!--some one's finger was in the way...).

We got to our table right as the sun was setting.

The special little butters, shaped like the Stratosphere.

The dessert tray, which I didn't touch!

We started to watch the lights come out in the downtown section of Las Vegas...

...and got all sappy looking at one another over the glow of the candle light. We were so entranced with each other, we didn't realize they'd brought us out a special anniversary truffle and told us to make a wish for the years to come. I started crying.

We ended the night winning $60 from the penny slots in the casino and passed out once our heads hit the hotel pillows.

Coming up next, our big payout on Monday...

April 21, 2009

viva las vegas! (pt 1)

Yes, part one. Our weekend was so fabulous, and so busy, and so full of goodness that I'm going to break it up into a few different posts. I'd rather leave you with three regular posts than one gargantuan one! ;0) So here we go--our weekend in (mostly) pictures!


This was the picture text all our friends and family received to let them know we were officially on our way! It was a gorgeous day outside.

Our first glimpse of Las Vegas--and you can see our hotel!

The "allowance" outfit, all raring to go!

Racer back top from Victoria's Secret, yellow skirt from Victoria's Secret, wedge shoes by Timberland, watch by Guess, straw tote by Coach.

First things first--we were hungry. There was no better place than Margartitaville to satisfy our appetites (and get our first bit of alcohol in us for the weekend)!

Hubbs had a Tropical Hurricane.

I sampled a Havana Banana (yum).

Dessert was this monster. I'm ashamed to say I gorged myself and with all the walking in the hot sun and elevator rides, I was miserable the rest of the day--but no one could tell.

I did change though so I'd be just a liiiittle more comfortable in the afternoon. Our friends showed up and it was time to do some sightseeing! This is my fail safe outfit as I can usually guarantee it will fit in anywhere! This is also the beginning of my ham-performance for the camera.

White top from Banana Republic, jean capris from Anchor Blue (purchased in my high school years!), linen flats from The Gap, purse by Coach.

With a new outfit prepped and our friends refreshed, we were off to the Venetian.

The big to-do on every one's list was Madame Tussuad's Wax Museum. It was ridiculously fun considering it's just a bunch of mannequins! We took about 40 pictures, but here's a few of my favorites. Here I am playing catcher for Babe Ruth.

Swooning over Elvis.

Dancing with Judy Garland (I loved this one--it was such a good resemblance!)

Fitting in with the Kennedy's.

Cooking with Ms. Lucille Ball.

After our sojourn to the museum, we all wanted to kick back and enjoy the balmy evening with a gondola ride--on which I got "sea sick." :0(

Hubbs and I kissing it up under the bridge for luck.

Our little group: Jason, Me, my friend Katie (the birthday girl), and her date Jason.

We ended the night by attending a show called "Bite," a very hot little vampire burlesque show, set to classic rock music by the likes of Styx, Led Zeplin, and Guns n' Roses. It was by far a very surprising and great show!

Gold top by Armani (bought from the outlet malls, thank you very much!), black pants from New York and Company, t-strap shoes by Fahrenheit, vintage black beaded bag from Grandma.
Thus ended Saturday. Stayed tuned for Sunday (click here) and Monday (click here)!