Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Recap:

So far, 25 was my best birthday yet! It was full of. . .

Pretty Frozen Drinks. . .

Giving Tree Themed Cake. . .

Colorful Flowers. . .

New Ink. . .

And a perfect day at my favorite spot in Richmond. . . 42nd Street :)

To all of my friends and family who made Saturday so special: Thank you!!! I love you all more than you will ever know and appreciate you for who you are! I am one lucky girl, to have so many special people in my life!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love short work weeks :)

Today is my Friday. . . and I will not have to come back to work until Tuesday! I feel super lucky, because last weekend was also four days long - back to back vacations are always a good idea :)

My birthday is on Saturday, and so far my friends Mallory, Aimee, and Katie took me out to the Wine Loft on Monday (I got Sliders..... mini burgers have never tasted so good after two weeks of eating raw!), my friends Sarah and Brittany are taking me to Mexican tonight (hooray for giant margs!), Sean's family is taking me out to dinner tomorrow night, and Denise is coming on Saturday for a few hours to celebrate! Oh, and my parents are having a cookout for me on Sunday! It's safe to say that my friends spoil me -- I am SO LUCKY to have such amazing girlfriends (and friends and family in general) in my life!

Also, I am getting another tattoo tomorrow :) Needless to say, I am beyond excited to add to my little ink collection... and this might be my favorite tattoo yet! (If you're ever in the Richmond area, check out Josh at Heroes & Ghosts he is truly amazing!) So stay tuned for pictures of that, because I'm going to want to show that baby off!

Saturday is going to be completely out of control and I am giddy just thinking about it ;) All of my friends are meeting at our loft at 10am and we are headed to the River for some day drinking and (hopefully) sunshine! Then we're going out to dinner -I've been craving sushi for like 2 months- and then having wine on our rooftop deck before hitting Shockoe Slip (hooray for all of the bars being walking distance from our place!). I hope I survive ;)

I hope you have a good weekend as well, and are able to squeeze some adventure in! What's your all time favorite thing to do in the summer? Mines the river (swimming, kyaking, tubing, napping) and basically anything water related. Oh, and patio bars and cook outs. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I think that I live in a fantasy world for 90% of the time. I am a dreamer, an explorer, a lover of adventure and river swimming at 2 a.m. But for one day out of the whole year, all of my friends come together and join me in this imaginary world that I have created and it is the absolute best feeling ever. Saturday I will be 25 :)

Here are some of my favorite people:

Every year I make several goals for myself. See last years here. But this year I think that it is especially important, because 2011 started off pretty rocky and also because I feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. . . meaning I am not happy with a lot of big things, and I am changing them one by one for the better. I hope that when I am sitting here next year, I will feel at peace and centered. I hope that a lot of the uncertainty will have brought about some answers, and that I have continued to think and change and challenge myself in a way that has left a thousand more questions needing answers.

But my first goal is to continue looking at hair schools. I have already looked at one, but the reviews are horrible and it's also pretty expensive. I know that cosmetology school isn't for the weak. . . it's hard and will challenge me in an entirely new way. It's not even going to be fun. It's also going to put a strain on us financially. But after it's said and done I will be in a creative new career in an environment that I love (ie NOT an office). I want to make a decision by August and sign up. No turning back!

My second goal is that I want to continue only surrounding myself with positive people. Earlier this year, several people who I thought were ''best friends'' turned out to be the total opposite. I was shocked, angry, but most of all hurt. I think it's important to be honest with yourself, and when a friendship turns toxic it's important to cut ties and move on. The longer you keep those people in your life, the more damage that is done and feelings that are hurt. And a part of this is getting out there and making new friends and meeting new people. It's ok to go to the river by myself, or even for a walk around the city, because you never know who you will meet. There are so many people out there, and I don't want to limit myself just because staying in a routine is ''comfortable''.

Last but not least, I want to live in the moment and enjoy my life every single day. Every week I want to go on at least one adventure, every day I want to laugh at least once, and I want to go somewhere that I have never been before as often as possible. I think that I spend a whole lot of my time planning for the future, and while that's important. . . so is right now.

Twenty-Four has been a great year, and I've learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I donated my kidney, went camping on the beach, lost my ferret, met some incredible people, got a ticket for expired tags, and read a lot of books. I'm proud of myself and what I have become this year, and can't wait to see what the years to come have to offer :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

An epiphany, if you will.

Call me dramatic, but I had an epiphany this weekend. . . something really clicked and I feel like it was pretty life changing. I am the kind of person who likes to think that I live in the moment, when in reality. . . I question things to death and only leap when I'm 110% sure I will be successful. Sometimes I feel like I can't make any mistakes, because I worry about how it will effect my husband, if my parents will be proud, if my friends will think I'm smart, if my boss will find me interesting -- I really care what other people think. I hate admitting that, but I do. I'm only human, right?

Anyway, I have been battling this desire to go to hair school for a while now. Actually, I wanted to take cosmotology in high school. . . but I didn't because I thought my parents would be more proud if I went to college and got a degree in something, for lack of a better term, ''normal''. You know, the typical nine to five office job. I also didn't tell anyone that I wanted to go, because I cared too much what my friends would think. Last year around this time I told Sean that I was seriously considering a career change: I wanted to go to hair school, quit social work, and become a hair stylist.

He had some legit issues with that. One, we owe a LOT in student loans. Neither of our parents paid for us to attend college, and every month we have to pay. Two, I have invested a LOT into this field. I went to college for 4 years to study it, I completed 2 internships, and as soon as I graduated I got a job in my field. Social work doesn't pay well, but having a salary and nice benefits makes it a pretty stable job. So. . . I brushed it aside and decided to just get my master's and find a way to make myself happy doing what I've been doing for the past several years.

But, a year has passed and I still want to go. I've even googled versions of ''negative aspects of being a hair dresser'' for months trying to talk myself out of it. I went to a hair school two weeks ago, and it only made me want it more. I love the aspect of being around people all day, no progress reports or quarterly reviews, no office, no hiding my tattoos and absolutly no pretending I'm some one that I'm not. It's no secret that I'm not exactly money-driven. . . success in my eyes is being in an environment that makes me happy. I don't want to dread work everyday, who does?!

Thinking about switching my career totally freaks me out. I get this feeling in my stomach that makes me feel like I need to barf and at times I think it's EASIER to just stay where I'm at. Even if it means being miserable. I've been going back and forth on this for a whole year. . . until recently.

Well. It all started on Wednesday when one of my best friends, Denise, suggested that I contact one of the bloggers that I follow and get their perspective. My other best friend, Brittany agreed and gave me a little pep-talk about how I cannot keep worrying about other people and their opinions (don't you love those chats?) Feeling better, I emailed Brandi from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno and some of the things she said really got to me. She talked about how much fun she was having, how successful her shop is, the creativity, the people, the positivity. I was absolutly in love (especially since I'd been only thinking about the hard parts of the job, trying to talk myself out of it). Sometimes you really just need to focus on the positives, and the direction that your life CAN take if you choose to follow a different path every now and then.

Then I met some one on Thursday. He sealed the deal. I jokingly call him my ''soul mate'', but I met this 78 year old sailor and we talked for several hours -- epitomy of living the moment. This guy grew up in Liverpool (he saw the Beatles LIVE!!!), came to the United States, attempted a nine to five and then finally said screw it! This isn't for me! Guess what he's doing now? Living on a house boat and traveling the world. How cool is that?!

He has made some mistakes in his life, but the most important thing I learned was that he would never change anything about his circumstance. You only have one life -- this is IT. No matter what you believe about what happends when we die, the here and now is the only thing we know for certain. And I don't want to look back on my life at 78 with regrets. . . I want to be like this guy, who has seen and done everything he's wanted to see and do, and who is happy and healthy because he has followed his heart. I love how at 78, he still goes swimming every day and has so much energy and knowledge - he is so young at heart.

Yes, it's a huge risk. Money will be an issue and I'll probably have to work two jobs while I build up my clientele. Hair school sucks and I'll be leaving my full time job every night to study hair for 4 hours. But the bigger risk is NOT doing it. Because guess what. . . the older you get, the harder it is to change careers. I have no children who depend on me, Sean has a steady job, I'm healthy - I can handle it! Worst case scenario, I hate it and I fall back on my degree. Best case scenario, I succeed and I have a job that I love. . . and with that comes a happy outlook and less stress.

I think I owe it to myself to take this risk, and to really practice what I preach about living in the moment and not taking life for granted. I also owe it to my friends and family - for them to see that even if this is a mistake, I can pull myself back up and find a new plan. That it's ok to keep searching until your happy; that we don't have to ever ''settle''.

So time to get serious about hair schools, do some more visits, and make a decision on a school! Hopefully by the end of the summer :)

On a lighter note, I got to go to a work conference with Sean over the weekend :) I'm really lucky that my husband likes me enough to pay so much in order for me to attend -- and also really lucky that while he was in meetings, I got to read on a beach and watch sail boats all day! We went to a wine tasting, and as you can tell. . . it was fun!

Have you ever made a decision that you were afraid of, because you knew it had the possibility to totally change your life for the better?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty fun, especially because it seemed like the perfect balance of hanging out with our group of friends and spending time together, just the two of us.

Yesterday was my first day eating raw, and to my surprise it wasn't awful! It was actually really enjoyable! I went to the grocery on Friday and spent around $150 on fruit and veggies, which I'll be honest really really stressed me out. But after I got home, I was really happy with how colorful and healthy our refrigerator looked! Sean and I had Salsa Mole for a late lunch/early dinner. . . and we are both hooked!

We added hot sauce to the recipe along with some extra veggies, which was pure genius. I ate mine in a giant cabbage leaf like a wrap, and Sean added grilled chicken to his. See our recipe here :-)

Saturday we ran errands. . . but they were fun errands! We are going to a conference for Sean's work on Thursday (whoop whoop! 3 day work week!), so he wanted to buy some new dress shirts and slacks. These things are always really fancy, so we try to hide the fact that we're the only people in the room who aren't loaded. (best part? open bar ;-)

While Sean was busy picking out clothes and a new pair of shoes, I was on the hunt for my birthday dress! Every year I like to treat myself to something new to wear at my party, and this year was no different. I actually came out of Urban with two dresses. . . and I would normally feel bad about spending that much money, but my wardrobe needs a serious update and I'm going to wear one of them to dinner while we're at Sean's conference.

The Birthday Dress -- I've been drooling over this one for a while now (I got it in blue)

I also picked out this beauty. Also in blue.

Saturday night we hung out for a few hours at a friend's house and then went to our favorite bar in the West End, The Beach House. We usually stay downtown on Saturday nights, so it was nice for a change in atmosphere. We go here every Thursday night for happy hour, so it was fun seeing our waitresses (yes OUR waitresses, haha we're regulars!) for an extra night and being able to hang out without having to worry about work the next day. We left at 2am after last call and I had my last meal as a ''normal person'': Taco Bell. Words cannot describe how good those soft tacos taste early in the morning!!!!!!!! Sean and I got home around 4am (I NEVER stay out this late! And I was the DD so I was sober. . . not sure how I didn't fall asleep!) and we slept in on Sunday until about 1. It was awesome.

Also, we decided to stay in our PJ's yesterday. . . we haven't done this in a while and it just needed to happen. We watched the ENTIRE mini series of The Kennedy's and Katie Holmes stole the show as Jackie! I can see why the History Channel didn't want to play it, because it's not 100% historically accurate, but it was still good enough to capture our attention for over 4 hours! After this we watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, because let's be honest. . . we all know the ending of JFK's presidency and we needed something easy to laugh at ;-)

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday took forever to get here!

Today is Friday. But not just any Friday -- today is the day that I swallow my fear and prepare for my Raw Food Journey. I made my grocery list this morning, and seriouslyyyyyyy. . . I'm going to look like such a freak with 13 avocados, 10 cucumbers, and endless amounts of other fruits and veggies piled up in my cart [but at least I'll look like a HEALTHY freak ;) ] Oh. And white wine. I was promised that I wouldn't have to give that up!

In light of yesterdays awesomely depressing post about how I feel like an old person trapped in a very young person's body. . . I give you this: a very cute kitten who feels like he is trapped in an equally cute humans body.

[pretty stinkin' adorable if you ask me!]

Thursday, June 09, 2011

life lately - 24 going on 54. . .

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, my life has been a whirlwind lately. I literally feel like I'm 24 going on 54. . . stuck in a routine, not feeling sexy, not feeling spontaneous, not feeling adventurous. It's really easy to feel like this, especially when you marry young and suddenly realize the real world has met up with you much, much faster than you've planned [why can't i still be living at home with mom and dad like half my friends?!] . I think it's because I can no longer just think about myself. . . it's nice to also think about Sean and his needs - which are ultimately *our* needs.

So I've been battling with myself a lot these past few weeks. I want to feel my age, without carelessly tossing my responsibilities away, but it's a very fine line sometimes. Somethings gotta give, and soon.

My very first problem is that my current routine has left me so completely bored that I've gained some weight and feel like I'm living in someone else's body. I used to swim, rock climb, run, play, explore. . . but these days those things seem to have taken a back seat to work, sleep, eat, repeat. It makes my stomach turn to think about how much my job effects me mentally and physically. You've heard of burnout I'm sure, if you haven't just take a look at my life and suddenly you'll know exactly what it is you want to avoid.

I refuse to just lay down and let my life pass me by, I'm young and it's not too late for me. So I've decided to start eating better and every weekend I want to make a special effort to go on some kind of an adventure - the highlight of my weekend simply cannot be a night at the bar, I'm so tired of that and it's not fun anymore. I need things to look forward to when I'm not working. Also, I am planning a surprise trip for Sean - our 3 year anniversary is coming up and I want to take him some place that neither of us has ever been, so that we can explore together and take a break from our everyday life. I think that's so important :)

I'm also going to start adding more raw foods to my diet next week. In case you care to follow, this is a blog dedicated to my journey!

My second problem is that I absolutely hate my job. I hate working 9-5. I hate paperwork. I hate office life. I hate working in an overly-religious atmosphere where people find out I have different beliefs about life and judge me for it. I hate sitting all day. I hate that I only get to see people 20% of the time, and the other 80% is spent writing about it. I hate that I'm not living up to my potential [notice I said MY and not SOCIETIES].

Ugh. I need to get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need a new job. Actually, a new career. I am not a money driven person, so as long as I can pay my bills and my student loans.... I don't care about much else. I want to create. To make people feel good. To laugh during the day. I don't want to have to cover up my tattoo's. I want to feel free. Accepted.

Doesn't everyone?

Whose idea was it that work has to suck so much? Who decided that Monday's needed to be depressing, and we had to feel trapped? Ever met one of those people who says something like I don't feel like I'm ''working'' when I'm at ''work''? Yeah, I want to say that! I want to be one of those people! Universe! Pick me!

So I visited my very first hair school this week. And it was really nice, my favorite hour and a half of the week so far actually. But it mostly made me think, who ever knows what they want to do with the rest of their life, especially as a freshman in college? If only I could've thought about this path 7 years ago. But maybe what I've learned so far has led me here? Maybe I wouldn't have felt the, dare I say passion. . . if I hadn't experienced college and social work?

I don't want to live in the past, and I certainly wouldn't take back college -- easily the best 4 years of my entire life :)

But no matter how free spirited I feel that I am, deep deep inside I keep wondering what people will think? Will they say I've ''wasted my degree''? Will they say ''You're too smart to settle for that"? Will my parents be proud of me?

Thankfully, I have some pretty kickass friends. . . one in particular told me that I need to STOP worrying about what other people think. It isn't their life, and they don't have to live it each and every moment.

But do I have the guts to make such a huge change? And can I afford it?

Only time will tell. But if any of you out there are hairdressers. . . please please please help me figure out what I should be looking at when I visit schools, the good and the bad of your everyday lives, and any advice you can give! (especially if you own your own salon. . . that would be a longterm goal for me)

:) Stay cool today! It's supposed to reach 100 degrees here in Richmond! :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Strange and Cute Finds...

Hello Blog-land! This week has been craaaaazzzzzyyyyy. crazy. I'll be back to my usual self hopefully tomorrow, but for now I wanted to share with you the mose bizarre thing I've ever seen, and the cutest.

Baby birthday cake? (yeah..... super creepy)

And. . . 
High school SUCKED.... but how much does this make you miss it:

So random.... but I've been in a pretty random mood lately.
My birthday is this month, so I've been trying to make the most out of my last few weeks of being 24 :) I'm also planning a surprise trip for my awesome hubster for our anniversary in August (3 years! where does the time go?) What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Movie Review - Blue Valentine

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Last night Sean and I watched Blue Valentine, probably one of the saddest -and realist feeling- movies I've ever watched in my entire life. We have been going back and forth on whether or not to watch it (because we knew it would be super depressing), but decided to see it when I read that people thought it was Michelle Williams and Ryan Goslings best films.

The movie is about a young couple who fall in love very quickly and over time have gotten to the point where they cannot stand the sight of one another. They love eachother, but they aren't ''in love''... and I think they've probably stayed together at this point for the sake of their young daughter. It's so real looking - they don't even look super attractive and watching them interact is heartbreaking. This is a couple that was at one point very much in love, but at this point they've simply outgrown eachother -- and when you live in a country with a 50% divorce rate it forces you to look inward (especially if you're married).

I think this is a great film for anyone to watch, because it teaches a lesson that is so prevalant in our society -- if you do not respect your partner and allow the ''spark'' to go out... this is what happens. Marriage is hard work, the hardest and most rewarding thing that two people will ever commit to. This definintly made me want to try harder in my own marriage, and work towards keeping that spark.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams rented an apartment for 30 days together so that they could ''learn'' how to naturally fight?
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