Thursday, December 31, 2009

2000-2009 What a decade!

I cannot believe this decade is about over. There are about 14 hours left of it and it's got me thinking about everything that has happened in the past 10 years. It really has been a crazy one!

2000
This year I graduated high school and started college at Iowa State University. I moved into the predominately freshman dorms with one of my best friends from high school (do not recommend that) and fell in love with ISU. I started out as a journalism major and even wrote for the Iowa State Daily that semester but soon fell out of love with being a reporter. I had a couple of stories printed but it just didn't trip my trigger anymore. I wanted to do something else! But what?

2001
After my first year at ISU my friend from high school moved out of the dorms and into an apartment leaving me alone. I didn't mind though, I had met a group of girls that I would soon call my best friends and still do to this day. I also joined a sorority with one of these girls and fell in love with the sisterhood and passion that these girls had for their house. This is the year I also got back together with my ex from high school Looking back now I have huge regrets, but at the time I was very happy. I have chosen a new major and decided I wanted to be a buyer in the fashion industry. I began work on an Apparel Merchandising and Design/Production degree.

2002
Now, I am still living in the sorority house with my best friend and still loving it but having concerns that it's not what I want for the next two years. I have my doubts and know in the back of my mind I will probably deactivate. I am still off and on with my ex and wasting a lot of precious time pining after him when I could have been out meeting wonderful guys... like CY! We were both at ISU at the same time and didn't know it. We actually had the same exact favorite study spot. In the basement of the Memorial Union across from the cafeteria is a small (and I mean tiny!) little library that was always super warm and cozy. I would always go in there to study before class and apparently, so did Cy! I am positive we probably saw each other and campus and didn't realize it.

2003
This year I turned 21. Need I say more? I could legally drink in bars now and I was taking full advantage. My AMDP degree was well underway and I was doing great. I was finally getting A's because I was studying something I actually enjoyed. We also had to participate in a field study and could choose between places like Chicago, NYC, Paris and Guatemala. NYC was the one everyone wanted to go on and offered the most experience so I chose that one! I spent 7 days in NYC visiting places like Banana Republic/Gap and the Polo Ralph Lauren mansion. It as so cool. I fell in love with New York and decided I wanted to live there as soon as possible. On this field study is where I landed my internship with Ralph Lauren Childrenswear and would begin work on it that summer. During this time I met a great guy in Kansas City, and spent my entire senior year traveling back and forth from home to KC almost every weekend to see him.

2004
Ahhh, the year I graduated college. In may I would graduate college with plans to move to Kansas City to be with the guy I met over the summer. I did not have a job and I had no idea how I was going to use a Fashion degree in Kansas City, MO. Right after arriving, the boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated. Devastated and also mad at myself for putting so much of myself into him. I was working in a restaurant and hating every second of it. I knew I needed to start looking for a job immediately. In college we always made fun of the fashion majors that ended up working at the mall in retail but one of my sorority sisters that was also a fashion major and living in Chicago told me about this great company that she was working for called Club Libby Lu. I decided what the hell? I'll go check it out. Little did I know that CLL would be a huge and important part of my life post college.

2005
I worked for Club Libby Lu as an assistant manager for about 6 months before being promoted and given my own store to run in Overland Park, KS. I fell in love with the concept, the products, the company... everything. In love, I tell you. I threw myself into this job and loved going to work everyday. My boss had to make me leave at many times because I was always there. My first store in Overland Park was like my baby and I still hold it very close to my heart.

2006
Club Libby Lu knew I was from Iowa and asked me if I would be willing to move back to Iowa to help with the store they had there that was struggling. It was a much smaller store and was a hard decision for me to make, but I really wanted to live in the same city as my friends and family before moving on to somewhere else. I had high hopes of working in corporate for CLL in Chicago and considered my time in Iowa only temporary.

2007
We all know many times our long term plans do not work out and mine definitely did not pan out. I planned on moving to Chicago and being a buyer for CLL, instead they decided to open a flagship location in Myrtle Beach, SC and wanted me to run it. At first, I turned it down because it was too far away. Then they sent me there to be the opening trainer and I fell in love. I knew immediately I had to run this store and live in this adorable beach town. So, in April I packed up my things and made the trip across country with one of my best friends to South Carolina to live at the beach. Living on a coast is something so surreal to me and I will never get over being able to look over to your right everyday and see the ocean but it just wasn't worth being so far away from my family and friends so at the end of the year I made the hardest decision of my life and quit CLL to move back to Iowa.

2008
I had found a job with a local college in administration that was your basic desk job. It was with one of my best friends and I am so grateful that she got me the job but I despised going to work everyday. I hated being on the phone all the time (which was predominately my job) and being chained to a desk. I hated the office gossip and the cattiness of the women employees. I knew I wouldn't last long. Almost the entire year I was there I was looking for another job, looking for something that I would love just as much as CLL. Then in August my old boss emailed me to say that she was searching for a new manager for the Iowa store and wanted to know if I knew anyone. I replied and jokingly said yeah... me! I was half joking, half serious but she replied and was serious. She wanted me back! So I came back to CLL and couldn't be happier! Then... a month later I got the worst news of my life. The company that owns CLL has decided to discontinue the chain and liquidate all 100 stores. It sounds crazy now, but I am grateful that I could be a part of the end of such a wonderful company. It truly was a special part of my life and I will forever miss it.

2009
At the beginning of the year all the CLL stores closed. I was now unemployed and depressed. I felt like I was losing a great friend and would never get her back. But, I knew that I needed to be an adult, chin up and start looking for a job. At first I planned on going back to school for a Masters in education. I figured I would love teaching elementary school since I loved that age group with CLL. Then I found out that the Limited Too in my mall was looking for a store manager and I thought, what the heck? Maybe I should check it out. I interviewed and a week later I had the job. Didn't hurt that I knew their district manager!
So, I started working for them back in March and that was basically my year until I met Cy... and I think you all know how that is going! Wink, wink! :)

So, that is how my decade has gone. How was yours?!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bloggy award and and UPDATE!

I got this award from Kari over at The Kari Annalysis. Thank you so much!!!
List 10 things that make you happy. Try and do at least one of them today.

1. Kissing Cy
2. Vacuuming. I know weird, but I love to vacuum. Especially my store. My girls think I'm nuts because I always want to be the one to vacuum but it calms me down after a hectic day. Maybe it's just the mindless activity I love.
3. Cuddling with Zeke or Libby. They've been extra snuggly lately. I think it's because it's soooo cold here!
4. Burts Beeswax lipgloss in the winter. I get the worst chapped lips and this stuff really saves the day. (When Zeke doesn't decided to eat it!)
5. Smell good stuff for my home. Candles, plug ins, air fresheners... I love it all. I have an intense phobia of my home smelling like... cat litter or rotting garbage and I don't know it.
6. Reading a great book. Right now I'm reading The Lovely Bones. It hasn't really hooked me yet.
7. Visiting the library. I love, love, love the library.
8. Diet Mountain Dew. Cy and I are both diet dew fanatics. The addiction is slightly out of control.
9. Dry shampoo. I have been trying not to wash my hair everyday and this stuff I found at Sephora is ah-mazing!
10. Wendys. Cy thinks I secretly own stock in Wendy's because I eat there a. lot. I love their salads and baked potatoes!


Kari also requested an update on Cy's gift. Unfortunately, I have no good news. :( It's still not here and it's killing me not knowing what it is....

But, let's recap what I do know...

-He has been working on it since the beginning of December.
-He has put a lot of work into it.
-It is one of a kind and I will be the only one that has it.
-I cannot know where it came from because it will give away what it is.
-It is coming in through the mail.

Also, I got to thinking and remembered that he asked me if I liked white gold or yellow gold about a month ago. How could I forget that he asked me that?! I'm not sure if that helps any of you detectives out there but I sure know what I'm hoping for! What do you guys think?!

It is KILLING me having to wait! He told me that he would tell me what it is if I wanted him to but I told him no, that I didn't want to ruin it for him.

I will be sure to let you all know as soon as it gets here!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas with Cy!

Goooooood morning, everyone! Happy Monday to you all!

I'm in one of those great (but, probably annoying) moods! My Monday's are not your normal Mondays because I usually work the day before!

Last night Cy and I exchanged gifts and I am still grinning. A huge, cheesy ear to ear grin that I cannot wipe off my face! My main gift from him hasn't made it here yet, so I haven't gotten it yet but I did get one gift from him which was an iPod docking station! He heard me say that I needed a new one because the one I have is on its last leg. I could not even remember mentioning this to him, but I find it so sweet that he noticed, remembered and bought me one!

If you remember I bought him one of these little baby's....

An, iPod Touch!

Now, I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not but he figured out what his gift was a couple weeks ago. He knew it was an iPod because he could feel a giftcard inside the greeting card I had for him. I knew he knew and we joked about it quite a bit, he also assumed it was a Nano and I let him think that it was! I may have even mentioned to him that I hoped I got him the right color. A touch doesn't come in different colors. Muwahahahaha! I have been so excited to see his face when he opened and it was SO WORTH the wait.

His face was priceless. Priceless.

He was so surprised. He literally stopped opening the box once he figured out that it wasn't a Nano and just looked at me grinning and goes "What?!"

It was so cute.

Then we spent the next few hours playing with it. Putting music on it. Getting on the internet. He was so freakin adorable, I loved every second. I could tell he didn't want to put it down and I just know that he will be playing with it all day today at work. It makes me smile thinking about that. :)

This is definitely the best gift I have given someone that was a complete surprise and was just one of those gifts that I know we will remember forever. He said it was the best gift he received this year (and he got some great stuff from his parents!) and possibly the best gift anyone has ever given him. Awwwww!!

I cannot wait to find out what his gift is for me. He offered to tell me, but after hearing him say he put a lot of work into it I told him I wanted to keep it a surprise. So, still all I know is that it is one of a kind and he put a lot of thought into it. Hmmm... What is it?!

As soon as I know I will be sure to post about it!

Have you ever given a gift that you were so excited about you could hardly control your excitement like my gift to Cy? Was it a success?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I borrowed stole this cute meme from The Many Thoughts of a Reader! Merry Christmas Eve! I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed holiday!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like the look of wrapped gifts so I do my best to wrap as many as possible! This year I actually got them all wrapped! Shocking, though!

2. Real tree or Artificial? I have an artificial tree that was a hand-me-down from my mom!

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually over thanksgiving weekend but I just got my tree up a little over a week ago. Oops.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the first week of January, or really whenever I feel like it. It's never as much fun taking it down as it is putting it up. Slightly depressing, in fact.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes I do! But, I try not to drink too much of the stuff....

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My favorite gift was an electronic keyboard. I have no idea why my parents got me it, but I would play for hours teaching myself the notes and learning new songs.

7. Hardest person to buy for? This year, it was my sister! I don't know why but I couldn't find anything for her. Instead, she got a gift certificate for the mall. Everyone likes those, right?

8. Easiest person to buy for? Cy. (shocking, right?) I knew right away two possibilities for him, so I got really, really lucky.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. But this year I was lazy…

11. Worst Christmas ever? Probably about 10 years when my Grandpa died. Nothing has been the same since. When he was alive everything was traditions and predictable. Now, it's different every year. Sad. :(

12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? Definitely Elf. Love me some Will Farrell!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Just depends... Usually mid-December. If I start too early I spend too much money.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I'll admit it, I have!

15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Frosted sugar cookies... Mmmmmm...

16. Lights on the tree? Of course! I like all white lights!

17. Favorite Christmas song? The Alvin and the Chipmunks song! It always makes me smile!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We usually stay home. My work schedule usually does not permit me to travel anywhere :(

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? No, but I know my mom can!

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We always do them Christmas Eve because we are impatient and can't wait (and we all loooove to sleep in!).

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The high calorie sweets and food! It's so hard to resist, so I just don't!

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? This year it's blue and silver... I don't have a favorite yet, still trying new ones out. I really want to decorate a tree in all white and pearls one year. Wouldn't that be pretty?

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Honey ham! Yum!!!

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Health and happiness for my friends and family! (oh, and you all know what I want from Cy! Wink, wink!) ;)

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so much for reading and stopping by my blog this year, it means so much to me!



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is it? What is it? What is it?!

I feel like a little kid... a giddy child that cannot wait to open her presents on Christmas morning. Usually, I know what most of my gifts are beforehand because the bulk of my gifts come from my parents. This year Cy and I are exchanging gifts and I cannot wait to find out what he got me!

Anyone want to take a guess what he chose for me?

All I know is this... it's coming in the mail and not here yet and had to be special ordered. Those are the only hints I could get out of him! He's worried it won't be here in time for Christmas morning and I'm really worried we won't be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together because we're supposed to be hit hard with a big storm.

So... any guesses? I know what I'm hoping for, but it's a pretty broad category. As a matter of fact, you can probably guess what category I'm hoping my gift falls in. It's what most girls usually want for holidays, it comes in a small(ish) box and it starts with a "j".

I know I will be happy with whatever he got me though and I cannot wait to exchange gifts with him! (Even though... he already knows what I got him. Argh! No, I didn't tell him!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do you Zumba?

I mentioned on Twitter last night that I was going to try the group fitness class, Zumba last night. Well, I didn't make it to that class, instead I chose to go to Step class which was taught right after Zumba.

I love Step, it was the first class I started going to way back when during my freshman year of college. One of my best friends got me to start going and I'm so glad she did! She's a group fitness instructor now, teaching everything from Step, Bodypump, Zumba and Kickboxing. She's awesome!

Well, she has been raving about Zumba for sometime now. I'm thinking I will head to a class tomorrow because it's taught at 4:30pm and I get off at 4:00pm so it's perfect.

Have any of you heard of Zumba? If so, have you tried it? I guess it's kind of like salsa dancing. I watched the last 10 minutes of the class today and I have to say, I'm really excited to check it out! It doesn't look hard at all and looks like lots of fun!

I will be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Best of '09 December 11-15

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

The best place for me to relax and unwind (which I believe this question is really asking) is Barnes and Noble. It's not just any Barnes and Noble though, it's a two story, gorgeous store. Seriously, I have been in a lot of B&N's and this one is by far the best. It was the first one my hometown got (it has two now) and I have been in love with it since college when I would study there when I happened to be in town away from my college town. Now, I go there when I have extra time on my hands to browse the books, relax in it's comfy chairs or people watch. I used to be there at least once a week, but haven't been for awhile. Hopefully, when Christmas is over I will have more time to visit one of my favorite places!

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food so I don't try new things all that often. I wish I did, but I just don't. I have a very boring palate! The only thing I did a lot more of this year was eat sushi. My good friend Krystal and I started going out for sushi a couple times a month to catch up and try something new and it's really stuck. We're actually going tonight and I'm really excited! Our favorite place is called Miyabi 9 and it's this tiiiiiny little sushi place downtown in the East Village that has like 8 tables but has the best sushi ever. We hardly ever go anywhere else anymore!

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

Well, I moved this year! Like I do every year, coughcough. Late last year when I found out I would be job-less early 2009 I moved into my friends house so I could save some money on rent and utilities. When I got the job I have now I decided to move back into my own apartment. Since college I have lived alone so having a roommate again was kind of a struggle for me. She wasn't a bad roommate at all, she was actually one of the best ever and I couldn't have asked for more but I think once you get used to living alone it's hard to go back to having roommates. Especially for females!

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

Hmmm.... best rush. I'm having a hard time coming up with something! Everything I am thinking of has to do with Cy and the first few dates... I loved that we took things so slow the first few dates, we didn't even hold hands until the third date! We talk about it now and laugh but I think we were both so nervous neither of us would make the first move. It's so different from other guys that I have dated that it just made me fall harder for him and we did hold hands and kiss... etc, etc it was some of the greatest feelings ever!

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

I'm coming up with a blank here too... I'm lame today! You should check out the pictures of some sweet packaging that Sam found though! They're pretty cool!

That's it for me, I'm all caught up. Again!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

More crazy weather talk and Best of '09 (10)

Well, it's still crazy here but we've dug our way out from underneath the snow. Some of us anyway. There are still cars that I do not think people have touched for four days now... silly, silly fools. You can barely see the car beneath all the snow.

Funny story - my sister lives in the same apartment complex as me and yesterday she called me bawling. She was trying to get her car out of its parking spot and she got stuck, so she got out of the car forgetting it was still in gear, in reverse. While she was trying to dig out her tires the door to the car shut and locked her keys in it. With the spare.

Funny, right? I was giggling so hard I thought she was going to slap me! Luckily, after an off-duty policemen that lives in our building and several other bystanders tried to help we got the car door open and she moved it safely back to it's spot. She still doesn't think it was funny but I thought it was hilaaaarious! I now have her spare set of keys because she apparently trusts me more than she trusts herself!

All the schools here were closed again but everything else opened, including my store and we were pretty busy, but not near as busy as I expected. Darn! It's so bitter cold though, if I didn't have to go out I don't think I would!

Time for the 9th edition of the Best of '09 challenge!

December 10 Album of the year. What's rocking your world?

Definitely Lady Gaga's The Fame album, which I don't think came out in 2009, but rather 2008. It was definitely the album that rocked my 2009 though! I really wasn't sure what to think of her when she first came on the scene, because... well... look at her! She's kinda a freakshow, but I kinda like it! All of her songs are so catchy I can't help but love them and I hardly ever change the station when one of them comes on!

What do you guys think of Lada Gaga? Do you like her? She opened for NKOTB when I saw them the first time (yes, I have seen them twice since they want on tour again) and nobody had really heard of her but now I'm so glad she was the one that opened because she was pretty cool in concert! Minus the fact that she kept repeating she was from NYC... we get it Gaga, you're a true New Yorker!

What was your favorite album of 2009?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best of '09 (9)

December 9 Challenge.Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

The challenge that really made me grow this year was definitely helping the company I fell in love with five years liquidate all of its 100 stores.

Shutting down this company was like watching your home with all of your possessions in it being auctioned off to the highest bidder, except people are like vultures with liquidation sales. They want things practically free and don't care how you feel. I came across some real a-holes and I was quick to remind them that we are all losing our jobs and a company we love very much. That shut them up real quick.

That has been one of the most difficult challenges in my life so far and I think about it often. It has made me appreciate what I have and how easily it can be lost. This horrible economy has touched literally everyone and is a time in our lives we will never forget.

What I did take away from it was a job career that I was extremely passionate about. Many people never find that and I am thankful that I did.

More snow!

This is the view from inside my apartment looking out the door. Crazy!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a winter wonderland...


Cars at the mall when we closed at 5pm. We closed four hours early! I'm hoping we are closed tomorrow as well.

My door. It looks worse now, the snow is even higher!

Zeke LOVES the snow. He bounds around and rolls around in it. Hilarious!

Can you believe this?


Zeke eating the snow I tracked in.

See Libby looking at Zeke in disgust? I'm sure she's thinking, "You stupid, stupid dog."

Now, I'm off to get some work done. I am a full two weeks behind on some paperwork. My boss is gonna kill me. Eeeeeek!

Winter Wonderland!

Zeke loves the snow! He can't get enough of it. :)




Best of '09 (7) (8)

Yikes. Behind again. Oh well, I'm going to quit with the excuses and accept it. December is my busiest month of the year and... it is what it is.

If you're in the Midwest and getting lots of snow, please be safe! We are getting dumped on today and tomorrow. It's supposed to be at worst tonight right when I get off work! Keep your fingers crossed I get home okay. Luckily, I only live about 8 miles from the mall I work at.

December 7 Blog find of the yearThat gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.

I didn't even have to think about this one. I found a GEM of a blog waaaaay earlier this year, I believe back in January and it quickly became a must-read everyday!
Amber from Girl with the Red Hair formerly Amber Alert is one my absolute favorite bloggers! She blogs about running, food, her long-term relationship, careers and school. She keeps it interesting by blogging about different topics daily and many time very thought provoking subjects. One of my favorite things about her is she always leaves very thoughtful comments on my posts. I can tell she has really thought about what she is saying to me, and she almost always says something. I love it! I also see her everywhere on the blogosphere, she really gives back to her readers by returning the favor and visiting their blog. It's so refreshing for a blogger with such high traffic. Sometimes I wonder if she sleeps! :)
If you haven't come across her blog, you are seriously missing out! Check it out! NOW! :)

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Hmmm.... a moment of peace? I'm gonna have to think about this one for a minute.

Ok, got it.

My biggest moment of peace happened about three weeks after my store closed. I still didn't have a job and although I was financially secure and enjoying some time off I was still scared to death of being jobless and on unemployment for the year. Then, I got the tip of a lifetime. The Limited Too in my mall (which had just been turned into a Justice, which was another chain owned by the same company) needed a store manager. I knew the district manager (thank you networking skills!) I contacted her and a week later, I had the job! I was happy with my salary, incentive plan and (probably the best of all) the volume of the store. It was HUGE! Even now, I am sometimes overwhelmed at the amount of merchandise I "own". It's off the charts crazy. Just on Black Friday we moved over 4,500 pieces of merchandise. That's insane.

After I got the call that I had the job a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt this tranquil, untroubled feeling. I could relax! I was still mourning the closing of Club Libby Lu and probably always will but I believe 100% that everything happens for a reason and I knew at that moment that I was a very, very lucky and blessed girl.

That's it for me! Catch ya'll later! :)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Best of '09 Editions four, five annnnnd six.

Yikes guys! What was I thinking committing myself to a month long challenge that required I blog everyday? I failed by the third day!

Oh well, here I am now with December 4-6. Better late then never, right?

December 4 Book. What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies? (+ giveaway)

Definitely The Shack, by William P.Young. I read this book back in February and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I have encouraged several people to read it (although have been holding on tightly to my copy!) and am considering purchasing it as Christmas gifts for many of my friends.

Here is the description found on Amazon:
Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

If you believe in God, but sometimes have your doubts this is the book for you! It really made me think about why things happen in a totally different way. I found it made my relationship with God even stronger, even though it was fiction! Read it! I haven't met a single person that didn't love it.

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

I'm going to have to go with last weekend. I'm choosing last weekend because it was the first time I really went out and partied with Cy's friends. I had such a great time and am growing to adore his group of friends. They are all from the same (semi) small town in Iowa and have been friends for years. My group of friends are very similar, as we have been close for the past 10 years and it's the same kind of unconditional love, but we are all growing up and the past few years have been a little rocky with new marriages and careers. Although, no children yet! Surprisingly! I'm the youngest of my group and even though I want the marriage, the house and the possibility of kids I haven't sowed all my wild oats. I like to go out every weekend and let loose. Just in the past year I had kind of been hoping to find a guy with a great group of friends like Cy's. I feel so fortunate right now to have him, he has made my life so incredibly happy. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Anyway, I lost focus.

The night out! We went to a little dive bar that is actually a Hawkeye bar, which are the Cyclones' biggest rival! It was called The Longest Yard and you could get your beer in one of these yard glasses. Yes, Cy and I got one and guess who finished theirs first!! Me! Haha! I even took a picture of my empty glass next to his glass to prove it! I had such a good time getting to know Cy's friends better and I can't wait to have many more nights like it!

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

Hmm... not really! Besides a couple of meetings in Omaha for work, I didn't go to anything like this! Too bad, I like this kind of stuff. Especially the motivational workshops!

Well, that's it for me! Hope you all are having a great Sunday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Best of '09 (3)

Good morning!

It's my day off and I'm up at 'em by 8am! Who is this girl and what did you do with the real Amber?

On today's agenda is...

♥ Laundry
♥ Possible hair cut and highlight
♥ Manicure (a day early! I usually go on Fridays)
♥ Grocery shopping - I am going on 6 days of eating Thanksgiving leftovers. I'm sick of it!)

Well, today is December 3rd which means it's time for the 3rd edition of the Best of '09 Challenge!

December 3 Article. What's an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious'd and reference throughout the year.

Sadly, nothing is really sticking out to me as best article of 2009. Seriously, nothing. Maybe I didn't read enough news articles? Perhaps that is something I should change in 2010. Cy and I were both talking about getting a subscription to our local newspaper so we read the paper everyday.
So, sorry for this lame-o answer today! I feel a little bad considering I was a journalism major and loved news writing in high school and college. Sigh. I was going to pick my favorite forward/email of the year but I figured that a forward does not compare to a news article one bit! Ha!
Do you have any favorite articles from 2009 that I may have missed out on? If so, send them my way! :)
Have a great day everyone! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best of 2009! Dec 1 & 2


Every year on Facebook, Myspace or ALPITC I do a year-end-review meme, so when I saw this challenge on Sam's page I knew I had to do it! Plus, I'm hoping it keeps me blogging regularly!
To find out more about this challenge, check it out here! I hope you participate!

Since I am a day late getting this challenge started I am doing December 1 & 2 in the same post! Here goes!

December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

2009 was not too exciting for me in regards to trips or vacations. After losing my job after the first year and starting a new one a month later I did not have vacation time until the end of the year. This did not leave much time to plan a fabulous vacation!
One trip I did go on that I know I will hold close to my heart for years is a few days spent in Kansas City with my colleagues after our stores closed. We had all planned to get together in a central location and spend a few days together as friends, no longer co-workers. It was awesome! We all knew it would be one of the last times we would see each other for a long time and we really lived it up! We partied in Kansas City's Power and Light District, ate at the Melting Pot and did a lot of shopping for about three days.
Below is a picture of us while we were waiting for our cab at Power and Light. Excuse the poor picture quality!
I have a feeling 2010 will be a much different story... Cy and I are already planning several trips and I cannot wait to travel with him! The only thing I am worried about is, he has waaaay more vacation time than I do and I don't want to miss out on anything! I guess we'll have to wait and see! :)

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?

My best restaurant moment also has to do with the little get together in Kansas City. We ate dinner one night at The Melting Pot on the Plaza and it was so amazing! I have had fondue before but never at The Melting Pot and it was so amazingly good! We had great company, tons of good laughs and awesome food. What more can you ask for?

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Thanksgiving and what I'm currently doing...

Oh man, you guys. I am so exhausted! As many of you were enjoying a glorious four day holiday vacation I was working up a storm! My store opened at 12:01 am on Black Friday and didn't close until 10pm that night. I worked from 11:00pm on Thanksgiving evening to 4:00 am Friday morning then again at 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Now, that makes for a long day!

Our Black Friday was verrrrrrry successful though. So successful that I got a call from my regional manager (whom I have only spoken with twice) to congratulate me!

Besides work, I do not have very much to talk about lately. I'm boring! So, I thought I would steal this cute meme from Lisa's Yarns!

Current Book(s):
I am still reading Kate Brian's Private series. I just finished the last book in the series, Suspicion and am now starting Last Christmas, which is a prequel that came out a year ago. After this I'm hoping to pick up The Lovely Bones before the movie comes out.

Current Music:
Christmas music!! During this time of year my radio is always tuned to the Christmas station. I am also loving Lady Gaga. Every single she releases I just love! I really need to buy her album.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Lately, it's regular Pepsi. Usually I am a die hard diet soda drinker (moderately, of course) but my family had regularly Pepsi available at Thanksgiving and since then I have been craving one almost every day - and obviously, I have given in to that craving!

Current Colors:
Plum purple. It's so pretty! I really want a coat that color!

Current Obsessions:
Christmas decorations -- I just can't get enough! :)

Current Drink:
Pepsi... see above!

Current Song:
Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. I just love it!

Current Movie:
The Blind Side. Cy and and saw it last night and I absolutely adored it! If you haven't seen it, you should go!

Current TV Shows:
I haven't really watched any tv lately. I'm so, so behind on all my shows!

Current Wish-List:
Black Uggs that zip up the back, they are SOO cute! A cute house with a fenced in back yard so Zeke can run around.

Current Needs:
Someone to come deep clean my apartment. I can't seem to get it clean enough lately!

Current Triumph:
Beating last year's Black Friday sales by $15,000. Yes, you read that right. $15,000! Total craziness...

Current Bane of my Existence:
My irritating, impossible work schedule. It does not leave much time for a social life!

Current Goal:
To eat healthier through the holidays...

Current Indulgence:
Pepsi (and the occasional chocolate)

Current Blessings:
I am so blessed right now and am so thankful! My crazy family, amazing boyfriend and supportive friends. I'm a lucky girl!

Current Slang or Saying:
Hmm... I'm sure I have one, but I can't think of one right now!

Current (Fav) Outfit:
Black turtleneck with buttons going down the side and dark skinny jeans with boots. My favorite boots that Cy calls my "pirate boots"... Men! They just don't get it.

Current Excitement:
I have this Sunday off and I'm SUPER pumped! I hate working Sundays!

Current Mood:
Honestly? This is unfortunate but I'm kind of grumpy. I'm looking forward to relaxing on the couch for the rest of the night! I blame it on my hectic weekend! ;)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving THANKS!

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and what I want to give thanks for has been weighing heavily on my mind for this past week.

I want to give thanks for all the happiness that has entered my life this year, after it started off so miserably, it is a wonder I can be left so happy.

Let me explain to any of you that may be new around here at ALPITC. Around this time last year the company that I worked for announced it would be closing down at the end of January. Instead of planning Christmas and New Year's parties for my staff we were planning how to close as profitably as possible.

I can without a doubt say that it was one of the worst times of my life. It was like watching my home being auctioned off to vultures. No, I am not exaggerating. Scavengers practically come out of the woodwork for a deal and then try to negotiate an even better deal. It was sickening.

Besides all of that sadness though, I know I am very blessed. I landed a new job (and a raise!) rather quickly and was able to enjoy a month off of work with pay. I realize how truly blessed I am to have not suffered financially through the recession.

I am thankful for a job.

I am thankful for an apartment all by myself (I get the feeling that my days of living alone will soon come to an end...)

I am thankful for an amazing family that is so, so supportive.

and

I am thankful for an amazing boyfriend that I someday hope to call my husband.

So, although my year did not start off bright, it is ending brighter than it's ever been. Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Greatest invention EVER!

Last winter I picked up this pill remover for sweaters at Bed Bath and Beyond because I hated those little pills that gathered on my sweaters. When I saw this little guy I just had to have him!

When I bought it we were just getting done with sweater season so I hadn't had a chance to use it. Now that I am wearing sweaters again, this thing is like magic! It makes sweaters look brand new!!!! I'm so obsessed with it, it's almost always in my purse! If you don't have one, you should get one! I think I bought mine for something between $10-$20.

Has anyone ever used one of these things before?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Out of control shopping...

My shopping has been out. of. control. Seriously. I need to set a limit on what I can spend on myself for the next two months otherwise my family and friends are getting nada for Christmas!

Oh, and my limit I can spend on myself should be NOTHING! I do not need anything for the rest of the year. I'm a bargain shopper and couple that with being a fashion major and knowing the insane mark up on clothes stores have means I always find ridiculous deals because I'm willing to wait. But, those ridiculous deals add up.

A couple of weeks ago Payless Shoes had that 50% off sale and I went a little crazy buying shoes. I love name brands and would much rather be able to drop the dough on some Uggs or great shoes from Aldo, like these (which by the way, have turned out to be the most comfortable boots ever and I can wear them for 8 hours standing and not have sore footsies) but I'm not and I'm happy with shoes from Payless every once in awhile!

So, last night Cy and I were watching tv in my room and it was only the second time he had seen my bedroom (I am not that type of girl, it's just easier to lay down and watch tv there than the living room) and well, I had a mountain of shoes piled up against the wall. Including all the boots I have bought recently. Of course he noticed and asked me if I had enough boots... which of course I replied with a girl never has too many shoes...

It was funny, but a little eye opening. With only 50 days left to shop for Christmas I need to stop being so selfish! I haven't even started shopping yet, or made a list. Have you made your list or started shopping?

Today I'm off, so it would be a perfect day to get out there and pick up a few things. Tonight Cy and I are cooking enchiladas together. Should be interesting! I will let you all know how it goes...

Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

MIA

This week has flown by! Holy moly, I can't believe it's already Thursday! I am glad it is though, I've got plans tonight that I have been looking forward to all week.

Well, I know I have been MIA lately. It's due to several reasons. Being busy with work and my internet connection being really sluggish are the main reasons. I am so flippin' impatient and I hate it when it takes more than a few seconds to load a page. I know, I'm a spoiled brat. I just can't help it, it grates on my last nerve. I pay for a high speed connection so I was really annoyed when I figured out that that was what it was. Originally I thought I had a virus or something. This is probably because my parents had to have their computer restored recently because it was so overloaded with viruses. I have a Macbook and they have a desktop PC. It's about their third computer in a short while because of viruses and they will not listen to me about the quality of Macs... tsk, tsk! I'm a Mac girl through and through and will probably never change. The quality of the computers and the friendliness of the employees in the Apple store have won me over! Are you a Mac or a PC?

Anyway, back to my point. I took the computer into the Apple store and the internet popped right up so we knew then it was my connection. They told me to come home, turn off the router for a bit and that might do the trick. It did! Yay!

So, hopefully I will back blogging regularly! Good thing I didn't do NaBloPoMo, I would have failed miserably already.



Monday, November 2, 2009

Where I have been and what I have been doing!

Hey guys! Did you miss me? I can't believe I haven't posted since Thursday! I've been busy working and.... spending lots of time with Cy! I have been trying to tweet more though, so if you're not following me on Twitter please check out my tweets here! :)

Since I have left you all hanging here's a recap of the past few days!

Thursday I had the day off and I started it off by sleeping in. After getting my healthy eight, nine, ten hours of sleep I got my laundry together (which was three baskets overflowing!) and headed over to my parents to get it all done. While hanging out there I caught up on some tv shows that were on their DVR and read at little bit of Kate Brian's Private series. That night my sister and I decided to go shopping after we saw the 50% off coupon for Payless Shoes. I'm not picky about brands so I was all about this! I bought FOUR pairs of boots! Haha! I just couldn't resist. We also hit up Gordman's because they were having a clearance sale and all their clearance was an additional 50% off! What can I say? We were in the mood to bargain shop! Do you have a Gordmans near you? It's pretty fun if you're in the mood to dig! Here is what I scored:
The fourth pair of boots are not pictured because I bought them the day after this haul, but they are the taller tan ones. I know, I know I did not need both the short and the tall ones but I don't care. For $20 I can have them!
Besides the four pairs of boots I scored:
A pair of skinny Silver jeans for $10. Yes, $10. That is a steal!
A fleece jacket for $15
A cute tank top (pictured in the middle) for $3
Two basic camis for $15
A dark green sweater (b/c I decided I needed something in that shade of green) for $13
A bottle of Kenra hairspray (the best hairspray ever) for $15
Three pairs of earrings for $2
Black legwarmers for $2

Total spent (with cost of boots) $120! Can you believe it?

Tomorrow I'm headed to Express to pick up some more of their skinny jeans because they are on special at buy 1 get 1 half off and I am in desperate need of skinny jeans. All my jeans are flares and tucking them into boots just doesn't work.

Friday I slept in till about 8:30 then headed out for and oil change and my bi-weekly manicure before going to work at 1pm. After work I headed over to Champps for a couple of beers before seeing the Michael Jackson documentary, This Is It. It was really, really good! It was very interesting to see what went into putting together his concert. It looked like it would have been a phenomenal concert.

Saturday I had to work til 2pm, then I headed to my parents for a little bit then home to get ready to go to a Halloween party with Cy. Neither of us were dressing up as it was sort of a last minute thing. We had a good time though! When he came to pick me up he had a present for me... He bought me the movie Muppets Christmas Carol! It was really cute because the other day he found out I hadn't seen it and decided I needed to so he bought it! It was very unexpected and very sweet!

Sundays I usually go out with my old roomie for "Sunday Funday" and this time I invited Cy. We met at 10 am to headed over to a local sports bar for bloody marys, lunch and some football. One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday! We hung out there for awhile then decided to go rent some movies. He hadn't seen The Proposal or Across the Universe, two of my favorites so we went back to my place and parked ourselves on the couch until about 11pm that night! We had so much being couch potatoes together!

That pretty much sums up what I have been up! What have you been up to?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Twitter

Good afternoon, friends! :)

I know many of you use Twitter and I am trying to bulk up my list of followers and people I am following. I keep my tweets locked for personal reasons but know that this probably hinders my chances at creating a bigger following.

Do any of you keep your tweets locked? What suggestions do you have for finding more followers? Do you reply to people that don't follow you, but you follow them? I have several that I comment on, on a regular basis but they must not check their replies and follow those people.

If someone requests to follow me I almost always approve (unless it's a spammer) and then turn around and follow them. I obviously don't expect this to happen with the celebrities, but it's cool when they do! Like Britney Spears turned around and followed me! How cool! I'm sure it's not actually HER but still, pretty neat and made me grin! :)

If you are interested in following me here is the link to my page! Amber's Twitter page! I've been checking it and tweeting a lot more than Facebook lately and am becoming quickly addicted! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On my weekend, more books and winning a giveaway!

Happy weekend everyone!

What? It's not your weekend? Well, it's mine! :)

I am off today and tomorrow and let me tell ya... it could not have come at a better time. The past five days at work have been exhausting. Partially due to this "bug" I have caught that is just hanging on enough to ride my last nerve! I truly miss breathing through my nose.

Well, earlier this week I wrote about my mountain of TBR books and since then I have added to it! Someone stop me. (No, don't. I'm just kidding) I know I will not make it through all of them before they are due back to the library but that's okay, I will just put them back on hold some other time.

So yesterday I picked up the first two books in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The YA blogosphere raves about this book and it's sequel, Catching Fire so I just had to look into it and see what the hype was all about.

I also checked my mail and had this little puppy in there waiting for me!

It is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver! I won a giveaway from Sharon at Sharon Loves Books and Cats. So, thanks Sharon! If you're a fan of YA you will like her blog. She is honest in her reviews and has a hilarious voice.

From the back cover:
Samantha Kingston has it all - looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it's her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she relives the last day of her life several times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

I'm really excited to have won this because it sounds awesome and just look at that cover! I am such a sucker for a good cover...
It's also an ARC, which is an advanced reader copy and has not been released yet. I have never had an ARC before, how exciting! The book will not be out until sometime in 2010. So, this will definitely be going to the TOP of the TBR pile, can't wait to dig into it! After I am done with it my assistant (a fellow YA book lover) is really interested in reading it and then after that I will be happy to pass it on to anyone else that wants to read it! Just let me know! :)

Hope you're all having a great week, happy hump day!