Tuesday, December 31, 2013

senior ditch day.

guys, i looovvveeeddd high school.
with the kind of real life love that seems to only exist on episodes of the oc and gossip girl.
i was the girl who cried on her graduation day and left all my friends to go off to college kicking and screaming.

so when your 9 year reunion comes up, 
{because 10 years is so last season?}
it would only seem natural that someone with my affinity toward those years in my life would attend.
except when you are handed floor seats to the ducks game 5 minutes before puck drop.
that is when you leave the pretty little dress you feel even carrie bradshaw would steal off your back hanging in the closet, slap on that hockey jersey and go.

because ditching class was always the best part of it all anyway.

Friday, December 27, 2013

hey! i don't know about you.

...it's miserable and magical,
ooohhhh yah!

welcome to the weekend loves.
mine is shaping up to be quite grand,
{minus the company email i sent out today with a typo in the title...c'est la vie!}
hope yours is too.

{photo via pinterest!}

Thursday, December 26, 2013

may your days be merry & bright.

did you have yourself a merry little christmas?
we kicked off the fun with our annual tradition of christmas eve at south coast plaza.

we lunched at the nordies cafe and finished up some last minute shopping for dear friends.
after shopping, i hallmark channeled my life away while doing my christmas cards.

i think i could watch a hallmark movie a day and never grow tired of people falling in love in elevators and christmas tree lots and such.
you too, right? right.
then we headed out for our annual christmas eve dinner.
every year we eat at this one mexican restaurant in town and i tend to get way too giddy over christmas colored chips and salsa.
because i can.

after dinner we drove out to our favorite christmas house to see the lights...

this is the last year this house will be in the neighborhood so we paid homage where homage was due.
i'm purheetttyy sure the astronauts were doing the same, as i don't doubt you can see this house from all aspects of outer space.
and yes, even the grass is covered.

christmas morning did not disappoint.
santa brought me the jersey i have been wanting my whole hockey fan-dom life.

patrick sharp is my absolute favorite player and has been since day 1.
the start of my hockey lovin' life a few years back was a titch unconventional, and by unconventional i mean i picked teams and players at random.
and if i am one thing in life it is loyal.
so once i picked i never strayed.
{even when chicago went down 3-1 against detroit last playoffs}
but the team i picked to love just so happened to go on to win 2 stanley cups in the past 4 years. and the player i picked to adore just so happened to actually be really good at hockey.
with odds like that i'm surprised y'all aren't cramming to take me to vegas!

we took the concept of "christmas jammies" to an entirely new level with these onesies courtesy of my bro & sissy-in-law.

and not to be left out for his fabulous taste in gift giving, my little brother got me a blackhawks pom-pom hat to watch the winter classic in!

probably because he has grown tired of the fact that every time we watch a hockey game i scream, i need a pom-pom hat!
either way, i have one now.

i hope your christmas season continues to bring days that are merry & bright.
soooo excited for new year's eve!
hoping for a big ducks win & a night of sparkle.

Monday, December 23, 2013

sleeping beauty.

with california traffic being well...california traffic,
i am out the door every weekday by 6:45am.
saturdays i teach piano lessons at 8:00am.
and church on sundays doesn't start much later than that.
sooo you have absolutely no idea how excited i am to sleep in for the next 2 days.
sleep. and sleep. and sleeeeep.
and drink lots of diet coke.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

have a holly jolly christmas.

a few instances as of late,
helping to ring in all that holiday cheer:
my favorite restaurant in the area to eat at during the holidays is ricardo's.  the food is not only the yummiest in town, BUT they decorate like it's the last holiday on earth.  and BONUS, it is, in fact, the only spot in town with a cyclops snowman.

my favorite shopping event of the year is finding my dress for new year's eve.  considering i will be spending the first 1/2 of my evening at a hockey stadium surrounded by boys, i wanted my dress for the later part of the eve to be extra girly.  and as you can see, we have sparkly polka dots on ruffles on tulle here folks.
mission accomplished.

speaking of hockey, we are watching games non-stop these days.
they kind of go into this mad dash to get as much in as possible prior to christmas break and me & my hawks high heels are eating it all up.
we don't mind the winning, either.

speaking even more of hockey, this holiday season i discovered jay baruchel is actually my life's soulmate.

the tree.
if the trans-siberian orchestra were personified in a tree it would be the one at our address.
and i mean that in the best way possible guys.

i opened up a mini-target at work for all the people who didn't have time to go out and buy gifts.  
even better: all these toys and about 100 more went to fulfilling santa wishes at a local shelter.

i might have got swept up in the christmas cheer a little tooooo much and purchased this inflatable hello kitty for the house.  
because i'm 12.

i've been having such a blast with my little piano students every saturday morning.  i love their stories and the smiles they get on their faces when i tell them they passed off a song.  i also thoroughly enjoyed the plate of treats they gave me...all 5000 calories of it.

hope this update finds you and yours oh so merry & bright!

Monday, December 16, 2013

final answer? yes.

i am often asked the same thing,
why do you love hockey?
i mean, it is a valid question.
on any given day i enter a room with firmly hairsprayed curls and a full face of makeup.
{and yes people, the eyelashes are fake}
a perfectly placed outfit and sky high heels anywhere between 5-6 inches tall.
my purse always matches that outfit and i could talk celebrity gossip or politics up the ying yang with you given enough diet coke to keep me going.
and it's not really a high maintenance thing, but more of an i loooooove being a girl thing.
even more, i looooove being girly.
pink and frillls and curls and bows and over the top romantic movies make me giggle with happiness.
i enjoy a well done pedicure as much as i don't enjoy camping.
and i own more shades of lipstick than christian has grey.
yet, there are few things that make me happier in life than a damn good hockey game.
and given the former, the later seems perfectly questionable.
a reasonable assumption that my personality and that game just don't go hand in hand

now i could sit here and try to explain that the adrenaline rush you get when your team scores the game winning goal with 17 seconds left is an addiction.
or that fighting is legal in this sport...which is pretty cool.
or that watching grown men go to a time-out box always makes me laugh.
or that hockey fans are the type you can hug after a huge goal having never said a word to them previously in your life.  and then suddenly you have bonded with a stranger over a game that in reality actually means nothing, but still means everything at the same time.
or that it's the only game that can make me so nervous sometimes it is best that i don't actually watch it.
{i might have spent more time in my bed with the covers over my head during last season's playoffs than WATCHING the games}
or that you would be hard pressed to find a professional sporting organization with players and employees that treats their fans better than those of the nhl.
yes, i could sit here and try to explain all that and still...
the question would most likely remain unanswered.

but last night i sat watching the first episode of 
24/7: road to the winter classic.
{a hbo reality show documenting the weeks leading up to the BIG winter classic game on jan 1st.  a HIGH recommendation to anyone wondering what the big deal about hockey is.}
and the introduction left me absolutely speechless minus the exact words i have always tried to find:
this...is why i love hockey.


{photo via pinterest}

Saturday, December 14, 2013

evil did not win.

 last night my internet went out with 8 minutes left in my so terrible it was fantastic netflix christmas movie.
yes, i am one of thoooooose people addicted to corny, ridiculous holiday fare.
so there you have that.
after trying and trying to get the internet up and running, i finally went into desperation mode {also called 3G} and watched the remaining minutes on my iPhone in my living room.
after all was over {they ended up together, phew!} i hopped on facebook for one last minute glance and saw a post from alissa parker.

the name might not be familiar to some, but others might recall that alissa's 6 year old daughter, emilie, was one of the sweet babies killed last year in sandy hook elementary.
and then i remembered that today is the one year anniversary of the shooting.
and i sat by my christmas tree watching the lights sparkle and started to cry.
not just for sweet little emilie, but for the other families who have been facing the unimaginable hardship of losing a child or a sister or a mother without notice in an act of nothing less than pure hatred & evil.
i cried thinking of how a year ago last night they all tucked their kids into bed with the holiday spirit in the air.
and i cried thinking of lives forever changed by something too horrific to fathom.

because i can't fathom it.
i try not to fathom it.
the hole is seemingly too great.
but then i read the latest post on alissa's blog by her husband, robbie.
 the title is the same as above, and the video carries with it the greatest message we could ever learn: 
that evil did not, in fact, win.

earlier this week at a press conference the families asked reporters not visit this weekend and the world to shut off the news.  instead of being glued to the tv, become glued to your own community.
serve and love and make the difference.
because THAT is the true way to honor those now gone.
so today i do just that...
my tv is shut off and i am on my way out to help santa create some christmas magic for 10 people from a local shelter that houses abused women & children.
reading through their lists this week has been nothing short of one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
one sweet girl asked for a cuticle trimmer.
a cuticle trimmer.
do you know how many of those i have laying around every drawer from my bathroom to my bedroom?
and yet, that is the prized possession she hopes for santa to drop off this christmas eve.

the world is a great and funny thing.
but i feel so blessed to live in a space where from the ashes of tragedy can rise hope and good and gratitude.
that i believe in a God who loves and comforts and heals.
and that evil did not win.
because it didn't.
but only we have the power to prove it.


{image via 1millionhearts.sandyhookpromise.org}

Sunday, December 8, 2013

monday eve.

a few happy thoughts at weekend's end:
my dear hawks lost round one of the holy war. 
{that's not the happy part of these thoughts, i know people.}
thankfully, we go duck hunting again in january and i have a sneaky feeling the outcome might be a bit different that time around.

i don't care what any person says, i LOVED the sound of music live on NBC and i haven't stopped listening to the music since.  my girl carrie killed it.  it wasn't perfect...but theatre never is.  funny to think i almost forgot how magical that musical is.

 i have discovered the secret to life is getting 10 hours of sleep every night.  this is impossible to do with the schedule i keep.  but...there you have that.

hallmark christmas movies solve lives.  like tonight, i learned that all these years when i was wondering what i needed to do to find a good guy, what i should have been doing was jumping on my bed and kicking my shoes toward the door and spinning around 3 times every night.  that wisdom is brought to you courtesy of let it snow, the most recent movie off my dvr.

 and if you don't have cable, carbs ALSO solve problems.  you're welcome.

roar was nominated for song of the year at the grammy's.  i would like to think in some way the fact that i purchased it about 20x for various people in my life had something to do with that.

the ladies who run our local chinese take-out spot are some of my favorite people ever.  mainly because they give me extra noodles & fortune cookies.

my little munchkin brother comes home from college this week,
 {he lives in hawaii guys, don't feel sorry for him} 
and i could not be MORE excited to have my bff in crime back.

sometimes when i am out running i forget my music is in my ears only, which means the folks on the trail get a terribly tuned personal concert courtesy of moi.  yesterday is was a lot of "do-re-me'ing".

at the end of the day i think being a nice human is all that really matters.  that and the ounces of diet coke you have consumed.

so happy 2 weeks until christmas, y'all!

{photo courtesy of pinterest!}

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

not so {un}birthday.

now that the birthday celebrating is OFFICIALLY over,
i can't shout out my thank yous enough to everyone who made everything so incredibly fun and special.
i am consistently amazed at the good people i have who surround every angle of my life.

thee pre-birthday friday morning kicked off without an alarm,
{yes, i actually took a day off of work. shocker, i know!}
i got right into things baking my birthday cake of dreams and then it was off to lunch & shopping.
and okay, i DID swing by my office to pick something up, but it was a birthday present so please forgive. i'm just greedy like that.
after a late morning out and about i spent my afternoon decorating my cake,
{3 hours to be exact} 
and then got my pretty on for the big party.

i dragged the absolute loves of my life to see the game of my life as the ducks took on the lightening at the honda center.

 i can't tell you how warm & happy it made me to look down 2 rows and see nothing but my favorite people watching hockey with me.
one of the things i kept imagining leading up to the game was worst case scenarios:
1.) the ducks lose to tampa without scoring. 
{you HAVE GOT to hear that goal horn to know the fun hockey can offer}
2.) no one would score the entire game. 
{this has never happened to me, i was being dramatic}
so imagine my surprise when...
yep, apparently i wasn't being dramatic because we were in a 0-0 tie by the end of 3 fights and 60 minutes of play.
so we went into one of my favorite/most gut wrenching parts of hockey: sudden death overtime.
from a technical perspective, we needed to score in overtime because with the way the tampa bay goalie was playing - we wouldn't survive a shootout.
from a fun perspective - shootouts are pretty grand.
but to save a bad ending on my big day, the ducks scored with FIVE seconds left in overtime for the big birthday win.
you couldn't even hear the goal horn sound because the cheering was SO loud.
it was the perfect ending.
i couldn't have written it better myself.

after the game we headed over to my house for dinner and dessert and presents, all accompanied to a 100% katy perry soundtrack.

after the mountain of sparkly apparel and girly accessories and blackhawks gear had been unopened it was pretty apparent my people know me to the core of my soul!
{i mean, i'm now the proud owner of a sparkly calvin klein winter hat AND a blackhawks rug...yes, A RUG!}

thee actual birthday morning was kicked off with our family tradition of going out to the christmas tree farm in the hills.
i always love running through the trees trying to grab the perfect tree before someone else claims it as sold.
this year i wore the wrong shoes {story of my life}, so there was a little less running on my part, but we found the tree anyway.
then it was off to family breakfast at this brand new restaurant in town, the broken yoke.
best customer service i have received in a LONG time, so if you have one in your area GIVE IT A TRY.
i got home and was surprised by a delivery of thee MOST beautiful boquet of flowers from one of my best friends who couldn't celebrate with us on friday night.
suuuuheriously, i have the best people ever.
that afternoon i took a 3 1/2 hour, i-work-really-hard-in-my-life-and-totally-want-to-be-lazy-on-my-birthday, nap.
and then to my complete surprise, my brother & sister-in-law picked me up last minute for a night of fun and surprises.

they took me to the cheesecake factory for dinner and then 10,000 calories later we headed to see catching fire.
all the while being super kind and letting me check the hockey scores every 10 seconds  
{hawks AND ducks won...hip happy birthday to me!}

after the movie we walked back to the car from downtown disney rather than taking the tram.
the sky was perfectly clear from the rain earlier and from the top of the parking structure you could see the lights of downtown los angeles! {you know me and city lights}
and i thought to myself...life sure doesn't get any better than this.

so, once again, to everyone who contributed to celebrating with me...thank you, thank you, thank you.
i'm so glad you and i fit so perfectly like we do.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

winter wonderland.

ohhhhh hello december.
so glad we meet again.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

welcome november {part 6}

 19. social media junkie.
i have this dear friend E, with whom i love having thee most in depth conversations about life & love with,
but i also love that she is the one person in this world i can go to dinner with and both of us are perfectly happy sitting at a table in the happiness of our friendship scrolling our manicured nails across the screens of our phones and sharing all our finds.
it sounds weird. but it isn't.
i loooovveee social meida.
twitter. instagram. blogs. etc.
but even more?
i love the people i have in my life because of the strings social media helps to intertwine.
i can honestly say some of the favorites in my world would be people to NEVER cross my path were it not for this wacky world of virtual connection.
so there you have that.

20. like water.
as i have gotten older i have realized i spent far too much time in my life being hard on people.
people are just people and they make mistakes.
and yet, i put people on pedestals and then can't fathom when they fall.
even though it is human to fall.
and i put kinks in lovely relationships because of it.
now granted, there are like 2, oh okay 4, people who honestly deserved it.
{just trust me on that one}
but to all the rest, i realize i should have been a little more understanding.
a little more flexible.
a little more soft.
a little more...like water.

21. think pink!
i have always believed wedding dresses should be pink.
mine probably will be.
and thank you reese witherspoon for making this socially acceptable. 

22. let love in.
i am the worst at letting myself be loved.
most of my life i have viewed giving it as the most important part.
and it's not from an angle of self doubt or not feeling worthy,
but rather not wanting to be weak or needy.
but then there are all the times i have been kicked to the curbs of life and had no other choice but to let love in.
and those are the times that proved me wrong.
i'm ready to start a new year of giving.
and letting it come right back.
because it always does.
and to that i say...thank goodness.

23. it's a hell of a life.
it really is, isn't it?
so here is a cheers to all the good and bad and happy and sad and wonderful and terrible that fills those in between times
because at the end of the day, 
isn't it just great to be here?


{photos via pinterest!}

Thursday, November 21, 2013

welcome november {part 5}

18. be the example.
this year i had a friend teach me a very great lesson.
the funny thing is friend is such an interesting term to use because she is someone i have actually had very little personal interaction with.
but our various connections through the years have turned her into someone i have incredible admiration for and whom i consider to be very dear to me.
so...a friend i call her.

our story started in college.
she sat in front of me in a literature & film class on tuesday & thursday afternoons.
i remember thinking she was one of the most graceful people i had ever met.
i remember she was engaged and so excited to get married.
i remember her being gorgeous, intelligent, funny...
the kind of girl you want to be your best girlfriend.
we chitted and we chatted that year, but eventually went about both our merry ways.
she got married,
{she was the kind of bride people put in magazines}
and i kept up with what she was doing in her life from various facebook posts over time.
last year this dear, sweet girl lost her husband in an accident.
i remember seeing the post and feeling shattered.
why do such horrific things happen to such good people?
it's a question no one can really answer.
her family set up a way to make donations and i gave what little i could.
i had no idea if she even remembered me, but she had always been an example to me of someone who lived life the way it should be lived and i wanted to give back.

this past year, as some of you know, one of my best friends in the entire world was diagnosed with cancer.
again, i found myself asking:
why do such horrific things happen to such good people?
but i wanted to do what little i could so i took to you lovely people and asked for any sort of donation to adrienne's fight that people could make.
nothing would be too little or small.
the next morning i woke up to a text adrienne had sent me in the middle of the night about a significant donation she had received from a complete stranger.
when she told me the name i knew exactly who it was.
it was that sweet girl who had sat in front of me in English class all those years ago.

that day she wrote me an email that i will never, ever forget.
{i mean, the girl was an english major...it. was. BEAUTIFUL}
i have it printed and read it often to be reminded of the good that is still left in this world.
but more importantly, her words taught me one of the greatest lessons i have ever learned:
that when life gets tough you go to work.
a call to action is what she specifically stated it as.
give back.
love others.
and through all that...
others will be sent into your life to love you right back.

so happy {yesterday} birthday dear Lindsey,
you have taught me more things about life and all it's purposes than this silly birthday list could ever emulate.
i can honestly say i have never, ever met someone that has shown me the face of generosity & kindness the way you have.
 you are my example.
and for that, i am forever grateful.

{photo via pinterest}

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

let go & just be free.

i have to stop our november birthday wild & wisdom-y countdown for something majorly important:
thee katy perry unconditionally music video.

i absolutely love this song.
because it's not just about a romance, but all different types of love we experience with those in our lives.
i think it's well known that she wrote it about john mayer.
but in a recent interview she said that although, yes, it was inspired by him, it was also written as a reflection on her trip to africa this past year where she truly saw what love can do.
that the greatest & most genuine gift of all is unconditional love.

although right now, alls i need to know is...
where do i pick up that white Chanel dress for my holiday party season?
i mean...right?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

welcome november {part 4}

 16. scotland the brave.
at work i watch aaaaaaa lot of golf.
one day i overheard this saying, referred to by the announcers as a "scottish motto":
we aren't perfect, but we are honest.
i loved it so much i wrote it out 
and pinned it on my board at my desk.
because as a self-diagnosed perfectionist, i have absolutely learned in life that being honest in things: work, relationships, living in general...is far better than being perfect in them.

17. if the game of life was the game of hockey.
the more i watch hockey the more i am convinced the rules of life should be a bit more similar to the rules on the ice.
the ability to give someone exactly what you feel they deserve,
{in the most brutal of ways}
sit in time-out for 2 minutes,
{or 5 if you really gave em a good right hook}
and then go about your merry way.
sounds like a plan to me.


{images via pinterest & usa today}

Monday, November 18, 2013

welcome november {part 3}

11. a whole new 'do.
i believe there are very few problems in life that cannot be solved with a good haircut and brad new color.
it's not superficial.
it's confidence.
and confidence, my loves, is everything.

12. carrie.
if ever a character was created to remind me of me it would be carrie bradshaw.
{although i aspire to be a charlotte...maybe in another life?}
and i don't mean that in that fun carrie way, because, what girl doesn't want to be carrie in that way?
no, my relation to her is through her flaws.
i am a bit too selfish and driven, at times a bit too tunnel visioned.
and when it comes to love i tend to let myself fall back into the same bad habits.
over and over and over again.
and i freak out about how it will all end far too often.
and i get mad and impatient over the silliest of things.
and if ever given the chance i would probably make my significant other swear on chanel.
but i am surrounded by people who love me despite my flaws.
and that was always carrie's greatest strength, right?
her people.
and my people are the best. 

 13. sunday will come.
as i have stated in past my religion and my beliefs are something so very dear to my soul.
and absolutely not up for discussion on this platform.
that being said, it is the absolute foundation of who i am.
i love my knowledge in things that are good and peaceful.
i love the community i am a part of because of it.
i love the relationship i personally have with God.
and for all that i consider myself the luckiest girl in the world.

14. florals are so in.
peonies are my favorite flower.
when i have my own home i want to be the lady who always has fresh peonies on her kitchen table.

15. currently listening.
at this moment in my life the new gavin degraw album, make a move, is everything to me.
and the new KP album. duh.
the minutes of my days are filled up with the constant interchanging of the two.


{photos via pinterest}

Sunday, November 10, 2013

welcome november {part 2}

#3. new york state of mind.
i will die having lived in new york city.
i don't know how or when it will happen.
but i do know it's my favorite place in the world.
paris is magical and london is whimsical, but new york?
new york is the place on earth i feel the most like me.
and in my opinion, a place like that should always be home.

#4. when all else fails, eat cereal.
at almost 27 i am still far from being the next giada.
and my future children might actually starve.
but i have become an excellent connoisseur of breakfast cereal,
so if you ever need an opinion...i'm your girl.

#5. kate of spades.
kate spade is my favorite everyday wear designer.
because it's like katy perry & audrey hepburn collaborated on a lifestyle and everything came out spades.

#6. katy my lady.
speaking of katy perry, 
i have always seen a lot of myself and who i hope to be in her.
the ambition, the drive, a search for love and the ability to never lose sight of the fact that a good tutu is always a good idea.
she's my favorite person on this planet that is not actually a real person in my life.
but you all already knew that,
soooo moving on. 

#7. o christmas tree.
the holidays are perhaps my happiest time of every year.
i love being wrapped up in the joy and selfless spirit of the season.
but deep down, 
they are also just a tiny bit of my saddest time of year.
and it's a sadness i can't really put into words.
because i'd be crazy not to appreciate everything i do have.
but i'd also be lying if i didn't admit that every once in a while it hits me that i am not where i thought i would be in life.
i am much farther along, just in a different direction.
and it's not a bad direction, just a different one.
and during the holidays...that resonates a bit more than the rest of times.

#8. my girl gang.
the above being honestly said,
the one thing i have never longed for in life is a set of fiercely loyal girlfriends.
they have always been something, thankfully, i have had an abundance of.  a set of strong women, from all eras of my life, who have stood by me through it all.
laughed and danced when it was time to have fun.
cried & held me in times a little less of the former.
and told me the gosh awful truth when i needed to be set straight.
so from the bottom of the heart that when broken they all patched back together...
thank you.

#9. waking up laughing.
martina mcbride named one of her albums after this much sought after feeling.  and i'm not really certain anyone could confirm it's actual existance.
maybe it's a myth we all just hope can become our reality?
regardless, i believe in it.
and i wait for the day i wake up laughing.

#10. come what may.
i found this picture on oprah's website one night.
it's a picture she says always brings her best friend gayle to tears.
so naturally, i made it my special picture.
{i mean you all know the pedastal oprah lives on in my life}
and as corny and cheesy as it makes me, 
i always look at it when i get down on myself.
because for me, it's the hope for my future.
a family, a big city and the rockin ability to wear floor length florals for the rest of my days.


{all photos via pinterest}