Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm still alive- Updates and a Fall Bucket List!

Wow!  It has been over 2 months since I have posted on here!  I just wanted to let you all know I am still alive.  I have been so super busy at work.  Over the summer they changed my role not once but twice!  It has been super stressful.  And when your work life gets out of control, your whole life seems to fall apart (since work is such a huge chunk of that!)

I don't have time to give a detailed update.  I wish I had time to write full posts about each of these items, but since I don't here is a summary of what's been going on lately:

- It's ironic my last post was about how this was the best season of Big Brother, because it has actually turned out to be the worst.  I ended up hating most of the people in the house and really don't think any of the final three deserve to win.  My summer without cable TV is over, but I think after this season of Homeland is over I may cancel my Dish account and strictly do online streaming and Netflix.

- I got a promotion at work.  But I'm not really over the moon about it right now.  It is challenging.  And there has been lots of other drama at work.  I really hope things get better.  I miss the days when I used to be excited to go to work and could say I love my job, because that is definitely not the case right now.  But I am thankful to still be there and hopeful that things will turn around soon.

- In August my cat had a medical emergency.  His urinary tract became completely blocked and I had to take him to the emergency vet.  He was in the hospital for 3-4 days and when he came home he was a hot mess.  I had to confine him to my spare bathroom because he was peeing everywhere.  So far it has cost me about $2500!  They wanted to do surgery because he had some crystals adhered to his bladder, but the vet has him on some special food to try to dissolve them.  I'm really hoping it works because the surgery would be another $1400!

- One of the girls from my small group moved to Iowa earlier this year and she is getting married at the end of this month and I am going to the wedding on her fiance's farm in Iowa!  I've never been there and am excited to go.  We are flying up early and spending a few days in Chicago and then driving down to Iowa.  I haven't been to Chicago since I was a kid, so I am excited about that too!  If you have any Chicago or Iowa must sees let me know!

- Speaking of small groups, I am starting one this week!  Ahhhh I am so nervous!  My small group had been together over 4 years and I love those girls.  They will always be in my life even though we aren't in small group together. So excited to see what God will do through this new group and what girls he will bring into my life through it!

- This weekend was pretty awesome.  I ran in the Electric Run on Friday.  It was the most fun run I have ever done.  Way better than the color runs with an awesome party at the end!  I will definitely do it again if it comes back to Raleigh!  We also had Church at the Ballpark on Sunday.  There were over 11,500 people in attendance and 530 of them got baptized!  God is so good!

- I'm so excited for fall!  This summer has not been the best so I'm kind of glad to see it go.  I only got to do a few things on my summer bucket list:

I love fall!  So let's try this again with a Fall Bucket list:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Best Season of Big Brother ever???

Warning- if you don't watch Big Brother this post won't make sense to you. And if you aren't caught up on the episodes there will be major spoilers....

The only thing that made me nervous about giving up TV this summer was missing out on Big Brother.  It is usually the only saving grace with summer TV.  I have watched every season and am a huge fan!

Luckily I can still watch it through the CBS iPad app.  I can't watch until the next day, but that is ok.  It usually gives me some motivation to go to the gym at lunch the day after it airs and watch it while I am on the elliptical.

When I saw the first episode this season I was a little disappointed.  I didn't really love anyone.  After episode two I started to like Amanda and thought she was smart, but still kind of blah about this season.

My, my, my how quickly things can change!  I just watched last night's episode and it may have been the best episode in Big Brother history!  I am almost tempted to subscribe to the live feeds now.  I usually don't read message boards and didn't even vote for America's Choice or MVP (until today), but this season there is a lot of controversy about some contestant's racist remarks.  Two people have even lost their jobs over it (and they don't even know it yet!) So I started reading some message boards and watched some videos people have posted from the live feeds.

I am in shock about how mean and oblivious Aaryn is.  She has done so much damage to her character in just 2 weeks.  I kind of hope they keep her around just to see what happens.  But imagine the shock she is going to be in when she gets out of the house.  And if she has done this much damage to herself in such a short time can you imagine what would happen in 3 months!?!

Now we can't forget that even though this is "reality" the producers are influencing this somewhat.  (I guess I am more aware of this because I am reading Lauren Conrad's LA Candy series right now).  They still ask them certain questions in the Diary Room and even who Julie picks to ask questions to and the questions she asks during the live episode can sway the activity in the house.  Like her question to Aaryn last night if she ever forgot the cameras were there.  I almost died when Aaryn said no and that now America knows a lot more about her and Julie replied "Yes we do".  Seriously died!

Other things that shocked me and/or I loved so far this year:
- Amanda making out with pizza delivery guy
- How the girls are throwing themselves at the guys and how many showmances formed so quickly
- how the moving company formed so quickly (and how they turned on each other)
- Rachel's sister and actually not hating her
- I love the MVP twist
- The segment on Howard and his faith!
- How smart some of the girls are (YAY!)
- Gina Marie losing it when Nick leaves (seriously?!)

If you are not watching this show you need to start and catch up by watching the previous episodes online because this is seriously entertaining!

If you do watch, what are your thoughts of the season so far???

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weekend wrap-up: Color Vibe Run, concerts, cookouts oh my!

I know it is Wednesday, but I am just now recovering from the weekend and getting caught up. Here is what I've been up to:

I had a pretty busy weekend this weekend. Friday my friend Jeni texted me and asked me if I would be interested in going to the Zac Brown Band concert that night. I'm so glad I didn't have plans and could take her up on her offer!  

I had so much fun tailgating and at the concert!  I tried Straw-ber-Rita's for the first time and will say I am definitely a fan! Although from what I remember from the Lime-a-Rita's last summer , I think they have a ton of calories. They are also high in alcohol content though so maybe you drink less? Not sure if they are worth it though. I had my fare share that night. I haven't been that drunk in a loooong time but I did have a lot of fun!

Saturday morning I got up super early for the Color Vibe 5k. 

I definitely got way more color on me this time than when I did The Color Run in Charlotte last year. Those pictures were after i had already wiped down for the car ride home since i was too chicken to take my phone out there.  

They were way more generous with the color at this race. They let you buy extra packets, threw some in the crowd, and each color station they got way more on you. I had more color on me before the race even started than I did at the very end of The Color Run. If you do one of these races, here are my tips for you:

1. Go with a group. It is fun to throw color at each other. Take a kid if you can. My friend's 7 year old did it with us and it was fun to watch him. 

2. Do not expect to set a PR or even expect this to be a true 3.1 mile course. I am 99% sure neither of the ones I have done were true 5K distances. And there are a ton of walkers so it is hard to weave through the crowd if you really want to run. We walked almost the whole thing this time because my friend had bad shin splints and it was on a farm with uneven trails and pastures. 

3. Bring a towel to wipe off as best you can and a trash bag to sit on to avoid getting color all over your car. 

4. Don't worry too much because most of the color should come out of your clothes and even brush off your shoes. I did have a tank top on under my shirt and the color did not come out of that but did with everything else. 

Saturday evening I went to church and then a cookout at a friend's house to celebrate her husband's birthday. We had Carolina Classic style burgers with cheese, chili, slaw, and onions (well no onions for for me).  They were yummy and I loved spending time with my favorite almost 5 month old!  I should have taken some pics!

Sunday I spent the whole day on the couch watching a marathon of Friday Night Lights. I only have one season left. I'm going to be really sad when its over because it is such a good show!

Oh and to follow up from last week...
I only had two people enter my CD giveaway so I am going to send you both one!  One of you will get my copy that has already been opened and listened to though so I hope that is ok!

I am trying to get better at this blogging thing. I signed up for bloglovin. Still need to claim my blogs on there though. I just get so busy and blogging takes a back seat. But I do love it so I am trying to get creative and make it work for me. I cleaned out my reader list. And I typed this whole post using the Blogger app on my iPad!  Bear with me. I am trying to get better at this. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Club Friday- The Great Gatsby

I had to read this book back in high school, but I really didn't remember much of it at all except that this Gatsby guy was rich and threw parties and was in love with someone.

When I saw the previews for the movie, I knew I had to re-read this because the books are always better than the movie versions.

Just like I remembered, Gatsby is rich and throws lavish parties.  He is in love with a married woman, Daisy.  They were in love years ago, but Gatsby went off to war and Daisy ended up marrying someone else.  But Gatsby never forgot her.  He bought this mansion on "West Egg" strategically because it is directly across from Tom and Daisy's house on "East Egg".  Ironically Daisy's husband is cheating on her.  And that plays a big part in the story line too.

All of this is narrated by Nick who is Daisy's cousin(?) and Gatsby's next door neighbor.  Gatsby is portrayed as this mysterious guy that no one really knows well, but everyone knows of.  Eventually Nick learns of Gatsby's connection to Daisy and Daisy and Gatsby are re-introduced to each other.

About 2/3 of the way through the book picks up pace and a crazy string of events happens (I won't spoil it for you).  At the end it is just really tragic and sad the way things end up and the lessons you can derive from the story are just sad too.

It was interesting and weird (I think that is the formula to become a "classic").  It's not a huge book, so it is probably worth picking up.  The beginning can be a tad slow though.

Overall I didn't love it so I am just giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Originally posted on my bookshelf blog.

Linking up...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Skyfactor Signal Strength CD giveaway!

I discovered the band Skyfactor back in 2010 basically because the guy I had a crush on at the time liked them and I wanted to see if we had similar taste in music so I of course went to check them out on iTunes.  I ended up downloading their whole album that night!  I even blogged about them and they sent me a CD and a t-shirt to giveaway!

Three years later and I no longer have a crush on that guy, but I still have a crush on this band!  A few weeks ago they emailed me to let me know they were coming out with a new album and asked if I wanted a copy and even offered to send a second copy so I could do a giveaway!

Their CD Signal Strength has been on repeat in my car the last few days and the more I listen to it, the more I love it.  It is so my style.  I love that I find myself singing along by the end of the song.  Their lyrics can be so sweet (and y'all know I am a hopeless romantic!)  Sometimes the guitar melodies remind me of Jack Johnson but with more of a rock vibe?  I'm not good in describing music so listen to one of my favorites from this album called Wake Up:


If you want to hear more, you can find the other tracks on iTunes.

My other favorites from this album are Signal Strength, Superstar, and In the Morning.  But really I liked them all!  It's the kind of CD you don't have to hit skip on any of the songs.

I have one copy to give away!  I'm not going to make this complicated (I could write a whole rant about how much I hate the "here are the 6 trillion ways to enter this giveaway...follow me here...share that" posts that have been filling my feeds lately).  So here's how you can enter:

Leave me a comment on this post!  Say whatever you want.  Let me know if you like them too...or tell me who you've been listening to lately or just say hi!  I'll pick the winner Monday June 24!  Good luck!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Lumineers at Koka Booth Ampitheater

Last Thursday I went to my first concert ever at Koka Booth Amphitheater:

Image from their Facebook page of a NC Symphony concert
I loved so much about this venue.  I think it is the best venue for concerts in the RDU area!

It isn't huge so it didn't feel crazy like other concert venues do.  Parking was free.  A man in a golf cart asked us if we wanted a ride and dropped us off right at the entrance.  You can bring your own lawn chairs.  They have pretty good sounding food options even though all I got was a pretzel.  You can buy a whole bottle of wine to take back to your seat with cups!  You didn't have to walk a mile to get to a bathroom and they were actually clean.  The sound was amazing even though we sat pretty far back and you can even still see the stage (as long as rude people aren't standing in front of you).

I also have to mention that there was a severe storm warning that night.  They were calling for really bad storms with hurricane force winds.  All day I kept an eye on their Facebook page and they did post updates throughout the day.  Finally they decided to push back the gate open time from 5:30 to 7pm and the concert would start at 8pm.  On my way home from work around 5:15 pm the storms hit pretty hard.  The wind was crazy, but by 6:30 pm everything was fine and the storm had actually cooled everything off quite a bit.  There was still a tiny bit of rain but not much.

J. Roddy Walston and The Business started out the show and even though I had never heard of them they were pretty good.  Next up were the Cold War Kids and they were fabulous as well.  Finally The Lumineers came on!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Lumineers.  They are probably the only band that I could sing all of the songs on their album by heart in the last year.  They played every song from their album and even some new stuff.  The crowd sang along to almost everything.  At one point they came out into the middle of the crowd and did a song or two from there!  It was probably the best concert I have ever been to!

I would have taken more pictures and video (I did upload one crappy Vine), but my phone was pretty much dead and at one point during "Ho Hey" Wesley, the lead singer, encouraged everyone to put away their phones and be in the moment.  I loved that.  I hate wasting time tagging, uploading, or making sure I document everything I do.  I mean I love it sometimes because I love documenting everything, sharing everything with all of you and I love seeing other's adventures, but he's right.  We do need to put away our phones and be in the moment with the people who we're with more often!

The only negative thing about this concert was the parking lot situation after the concert.  It was almost midnight and Kristin and I were anxious to get home because it was a school night after all.  But the traffic was just not flowing well out of the parking lot.  I don't know if they just weren't prepared for it or if someone was new on the job or what.  I do not do well in traffic and may have cussed out a few people for pulling out in front of me and threatened the lives of others if they even thought about pulling out in front of me.  Once we got out of the parking lot it was great, no traffic at all.  They really need to fix that situation.

So that's one thing off my Summer Bucket List- going to see an outdoor concert.  I'm going to see Matchbox Twenty in August and possibly some others before the summer is over.

Oh and I have another music update for y'all.  Back in 2010 I told y'all about a band I had fallen in love with called Skyfactor.  They saw my post and sent me a CD to giveaway to you guys!  Well last week they emailed me again to offer me a copy of their latest CD- Signal Strength!  I've been listening to it all weekend and I can't wait to tell you all about it and there might even be a giveaway for you!  So comeback later this week to see!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Bucket List

After being inspired by the many Summer Bucket lists on everyone else's blogs, I decided to make my own Summer Bucket list.

Some of these activities I already have planned like a girl's beach trip and some outdoor concerts.  Some I have never done before like making a meal just from Farmer's Market stuff, seeing the symphony at Koka Booth, and watching an outdoor movie.  And some I just want to do again because they are fun!

What's on your summer bucket list?

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