Friday, February 28, 2014

The Blogmopolatian Quiz... February Edition

Back in December, Erin of TwoThirds Hazel posted a Blogmopolitian Quiz for all of us bloggers out there (you can see my answer to the quiz here).  This "Quiz" resembles the quizzes that Cosmo prints for the celebs on their covers to answer for all of us to learn just a little bit more about what makes these celebs who they are.  Well Erin has done it again and has a new edition of the quiz for all of us out there.

So without further ado... The February Edition of... The Blogmopolitian Quiz!


As always, today I am thankful for parents who teach their children manners.  If you read my answers to this edition of the Blogmopolitian quiz you will see that a lot of them focused on how I don't like rude or disrespectful people.  Working in the service industry we see a lot of people (both young and old) who act rude and disrespectful to us on a daily basis.  They treat us like we are dirt, have no manners and seem to think that they are better than us because we are waiting on them.  I also see it in my co-workers who demand things from me without so much as a please or thank you.  So today I am thankful for those who do say please and thank you.  And I am thankful for the parents who have taught their children to act this way.  The world would be a better place if everyone were just a little bit more polite and had a few more manners. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

*You're Gonna Hear Me Roar*

That's right... today's inspiration for a post comes from my life and hearing a Katy Perry song on my Pandora station on my way home from Zumba last night (I may or may not have been listening to the Katy Perry Station, but that is besides the point).


Recently I have been feeling really down and out about life.  Sure married life is FANTASTIC and I am so thankful every day that M and I are finally married.  But the rest of life has really been getting me down.  I have been so frustrated with not being able to find a career oriented job that I was starting to feel like I was just not good enough.  I felt like I wasted all my time in school and like the best I was going to amount to was a bartender.  Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a bartender.  For some people it is an amazing career, and let's face it, the money isn't bad either.

As much as the money bartending isn't always terrible, it is not something that I want to make a career of.  Sure I am good at it... I have plenty of regulars and I get the good shifts... but it still isn't something that I want to do forever.  I have been applying for jobs like CRAZY for MONTHS now and more often than not I get a response that sounds something like this, "While your qualifications are impressive we have decided to go with a candidate that better suits our needs.  We wish you all the best on your job search."  Sometimes they also include these little gems, "We encourage you to keep checking back and to apply for other positions with us in the future."  So basically I wasn't good enough for the one job, but they want me to keep applying to them.. for what? So they can send me more rejection letters... I think not.

Anyways, I digress.  So early last month I had an interview at a law firm.  And not just any law firm, but a fairly prestigious law firm.  I was so excited and I felt like the interview went FANTASTIC.  Then began the waiting game to see if they were going to call me back.  Well once a month went by I had pretty much given up on the idea of them calling me back and was convinced that the interview did not go as well as I had originally thought.  Fast forward to yesterday... I picked up a shift at work because well with all the terrible weather we have been having business has been BAD and I mean really bad.  We were closed a few days because of the snow, closed early a few times because of the snow, and of course had barely any customers again because of the snow.  I figured I should pick up all the shifts possible to attempt to make up some of my lost income.  But while I was at work I got a phone call from a number I kind of recognized but couldn't figure out why.  Obviously I couldn't answer because I was at work, but the person left a voice mail.  Intrigued I decided that I would go into the liquor closet and listen to it because well I just wanted to know who it was.

Imagine my surprise when it was someone from the law firm I had interviewed at calling to ask me to come in for a second interview!  I nearly screamed in the closet I was so happy.  Now I know that having a second interview in NO MEANS guarantees me a job... but just when I had given up hope on everything this opportunity has come my way.  It made me realize that I can't give up because once I give up I will be stuck bartending for the rest of my life... and I don't want that.

So why does Katy Perry's song "Roar" apply to this?  Well it applies because I am no longer going to lie down and do nothing about my situation.  I am going to keep fighting to get a new job and to get out of the restaurant industry once and for all.  I am going to have confidence in myself.  I am going to work to improve my self-confidence every day.  I am going to make the most out of what I have going for me now and I am going to continue to strive to make myself a better person.  I am NOT giving up.  You ARE going to hear me roar!

*ROAR*

As always, today I am thankful for the opportunity to go on a 2nd interview with this law firm.  This opportunity has reminded me of my self-worth and has reminded me not to let myself get down because I am not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life.  I am thankful for the motivation it has given me to be a better me and to work towards my goals.  I am not going to be frustrated anymore... I am going to strive to be the best that I can be and to find a job that gets me where I need to go.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Happy 84th Birthday Grammy!!

This is my Grammy....

Ok.. this isn't my Grammy it is my Grammy & my little brother on my wedding day, but close enough
Today she is turning 84 years old.  In times where it seems like people seem to be dying younger and younger (sorry if that seems a bit morbid, but it also seems to be the truth), it is so important to celebrate the lives of those who are that much older (and wiser) than us.  M and I actually went to my parent's house in NJ this weekend so that we could celebrate with my Grammy another year of her life.  

This year it was really important to me that we go up for her birthday because as some of you know my Grammy was diagnosed a while back with early onset Alzheimer's Disease.  Unfortunately I am no stranger to this disease as when I was in middle school Alzheimer's claimed the life of my Grandpa and my Gram has also been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.  This disease has been a part of my family life ever since I was born... my Grandpa had the disease when my parents got married so I never actually got to know him when he wasn't sick.  Of course I knew him when he was still lucid and knew who I was... but I also watched him deteriorate to the point where he couldn't take care of himself.  

But I digress... this awful disease is why I was so adamant about heading back to NJ to be able to celebrate my Grammy's birthday with her.  I want to be able to spend as much time with her as possible while she still knows who I am... and trust me even now there are times where she is really confused as to who I am.  This weekend was no different.  Although we told her multiple times we were there for her birthday at one point she asked us where my brother was and if we were going to call him to wish him a Merry Christmas.  She also thought that M and I had been married for 4 years at this point and didn't think she was at the wedding.  I ended up spending about an hour going through ALL of my wedding pictures with her... having her point out people she knew... trying to get her to remember the day.  At times it seemed like she remembered and at other times she couldn't remember what we had just talked about five minutes prior. 

Parents, me & M, and of course Grammy!
It is so sad to see my Grammy's memory deteriorating the way that it is.  She was always one of the sharpest people I knew and we used to have the best conversations.  She was a teacher for YEARS and all of her students always seemed to love her.  There are still times where we go out to the grocery store, mall, garden center, wherever... that people come up to her that were her students 30 years ago and they STILL remember her and love her.  Sometimes she can remember them... sometimes she can't.  On the days that she can it always makes me smile a little bit bigger because it reminds me that the Grammy I grew up with is in there somewhere and that the disease hasn't completely taken over her mind and body. 

So Happy Birthday Grammy!! May 84 be one of your best years yet!! I love you!!






As always, today I am thankful for all of the time I have gotten thus far with my Grammy.  Some people aren't lucky enough to have a close relationship with their grandparents, but I was lucky enough to grow up with my Grammy living 10 minutes away.  I was able to spend many a night at her house... went shopping with her... had Sunday dinner over there with her... do all kinds of things with her.  I am so thankful for all of the amazing times that we got to share together and I can't imagine not being able to have made those memories with her.  As I sit here typing this the tears are welling up in my eyes thinking about all of the good times I have had with my Grammy and knowing that her memory is slowly failing her and that one day she won't be able to remember all of those times.  But for now, I am thankful for what she can remember and I am so thankful that I have had the time to become so close to her. 

Easy Weeknight Jalapeno Macaroni & Cheese

As many of you know I have worked for T.G.I. Friday's since my days in law school.  I started working there because I was a poor law student and my car broke down and I didn't have enough money to fix it, so I had to get a job.  Friday's was right across the street from school, so I could walk to work (since I had a broken car) and was able to save money to be able to get my car fixed.  After being able to fix my car I decided that I liked having some additional income and that if I continued to work while in school I wouldn't have to take out as much money in loans, so perhaps it would be a good thing.  Fast forward 5 years and I am still there (unfortunately).  I have moved up the ranks... from host, to ToGo, to serving, to now bartending.... but I am so ready to get out of there.

While working at Friday's we used to have this amazing macaroni and cheese with jalapenos and chicken in it.  Well I decided that I was going to make up my own version of the pasta (minus the chicken) and it has become an easy fan favorite in our household.  It takes almost no prep time and makes a delicious meal that we can eat for a couple of days. So here it goes...

Easy Weeknight Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 box Penne Pasta
2, 15 ozjars Alfredo Sauce (I used DiParma Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce)
1/4 c. Jarred Jalapenos, diced (We actually use more than 1/4 c. because we like things pretty spicy, but 1/4 c. will give you enough spice for those who don't like their food too spicy)
2 c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, Shredded
2 c. Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded
1/4 c. breadcrumbs


Directions:
1. Preheat Oven to 350.
2. Cook pasta as directed on box. (I cook it in an extra big pot so that I can just add the sauce to the pot and stir it all together in there without making too big of a mess... because just ask M, although I am a good cook, I am definitely a messy cook)

3. While pasta is cooking, dice the desired amount of jalapenos to add to your sauce.

4. In a large bowl mix the 2 jars of sauce and your jalapenos together to make sure that the jalapenos are evenly distributed.
 

5. Add sauce mixture and 1 c. of each of the shredded cheeses to your pasta. Mix well.

6. Dump pasta mixture into a greased 9"x13" baking dish.
7. Sprinkle top of pasta with remaining cheese and then sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

8. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and top looks like a golden brown color

9. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick and Easy Parmesan Chicken

Since M is now on first shift these days and I don't work Monday and Wednesday nights we have had a lot more time to cook together which has been awesome.  We have been rediscovering some of our long time favorite recipes that we had forgotten about and it has been so nice to just go through our recipe books and find things to cook together.

When we went to Costco the last time (not our Valentine's Day trip) we accidentally bought a huge package of chicken breast strips instead of just chicken breasts.  Now the fact that we got the strips instead of the actual chicken breasts has thrown a cramp in my chicken cooking style, so I have been trying to find recipes where we have to actually cube the chicken because the strips are already part way cut for us making things a bit easier.  This week I decided to make a Parmesan Chicken recipe that I got a few years ago from I am not even sure where at this point.  It is pretty quick to put together... takes about maybe 15-20 minutes of prep time and then a half hour to cook... so all in all a pretty quick and easy week night dinner recipe!  And of course M and I both enjoy it... so again it is a winner in my book.

Parmesan Chicken

Ingredients:
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. breadcrumbs
1 c. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
2 pinches of Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 2" pieces


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Wash chicken and cut into 2" pieces.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels
3. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Once the butter is melted, stir in the garlic.

4. In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper.

5. Dip chicken into the garlic butter, then into the breadcrumb mixture to coat.



6. Place coated chicken pieces in a baking dish.
7. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter and breadcrumb mixture.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

9. Enjoy!

This is M getting in my way... I told him I needed to take a picture of the finished product for my blog and he goes "I've got your picture right here baby" and proceeded to get in front of the camera, so naturally I snapped this picture of him.  What a silly hubby I have.
As always, today I am thankful that I have a husband who loves to cook as much as I do.  As much as I love being in the kitchen and making a home cooked meal for M, I love that he doesn't mind being in the kitchen with me and helping me to make these delicious meals.  Granted this time I told him it was ok that I would make it all myself, I am so thankful that he was willing to help me.  I think he was just impressed that I was willing to handle the raw chicken... because as much as I love to cook I do NOT love handling raw meat at all.  So thanks to my hubby for almost always volunteering to help me cook so that we can spend some quality time together!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cara Box REVEAL

That's right friends... it is that time again... time for the CARA BOX REVEAL!!!!! As many of you know, I first participated in the Cara Box Exchange in August and had a wonderful experience... I loved it so much that I participated again in October and had just as wonderful an experience. I actually still keep in touch with a few of my partners which is AWESOME!  I truly feel like I gained some new friends from this experience.

For those of you who don't know what the Cara Box exchange is... it was started by Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals as a way to "Make Friends...Receive Gifts...Share Encouragement". It is basically like having a pen pal like we did when we were in Elementary school, only with these e-mail/Instagram pen pals we send each other gifts after getting to know one another. The exchange occurs quarterly which gives us plenty of time to know each other and to create a box that truly reflects our partners.

Cara Box


This time around I was paired up with Erin from Sugar Crumbs and Ashley from A Nelson's Nest.  This quarter bloggers were paired with other bloggers from their state to get to know via Instagram as well as e-mails. 

This quarter I sent a box to Erin from Sugar Crumbs!  Erin lives not to far from me and loves to crochet.  She makes this ADORABLE Amigurumi creations which she sells in her Etsy Shop.  I will definitely be purchasing some from her as I have a few pregnant friends who I would love to see with these homemade creations in their nurseries.  I am also hoping to get some crocheting tips from Erin as my mother-in-law gave me all the tools to learn how to crochet but I think I need a little more help than my how-to book!  If you ask her if she has any hobbies besides crocheting she will probably look at you like you are crazy, but I do know that she also enjoys reading and spending time with her family.  This was Erin's first time participating in the Cara Box exchange so I hope she enjoyed the box that I sent her... I tried to make it extra special for her (& her family!!)!

I received a box from Ashley at A Nelson's Nest.  Ashley is a momma to two kids who are just too cute for words.  I absolutely LOVED seeing Ashley's pictures of them on Instagram and I am pretty sure I "liked" or commented on just about every single one of them.  Ashley is from the part of PA closer to where I went to college, so I could definitely relate to living in that part of the state.  Despite the weather trying to keep my box from me I received it on Valentine's Day and it was perfect since I knew I wasn't going to get to spend my day with my hubby... it was a great pick me up.


Ashley was so thoughtful when putting together this box for me!  She included stuff for me to pamper myself because she knows that I am working really hard and on my feet ALL THE TIME for work.  She said she wanted me to be able to relax a bit after my long days at work. 


Ashley also fed my owl and wine obsessions.  I am pretty sure from looking at my Instagram feed it is pretty apparent that I love my wine almost as much as I love owls.  I post all kinds of pictures of wine related items... in fact in the above picture of my box contents you can see my wine corks that are on my centerpiece on my living room table!  Ashley was kind enough to go to a local winery and get me a bottle of their wine to try!  I am so looking forward to trying it and may even pop open the bottle as soon as I finish writing this post (or I decided to pop open the bottle while writing this post cause I am a wineo and couldn't wait!)! Result is... wine is delicious!  She also included some adorable wine magnets for me to decorate my refrigerator with... "Keep Calm and Drink Wine"... yes please! Of course Ashley included an owl necklace for me and I am so excited to wear it!  Owls are probably my favorite animal (next to giraffes) and that comes from being a proud Chi Omega!  




I also love the fact that Ashley included a "Date Night" jar for M and I.  M and I are always looking for new things to do and sometimes we do have a hard time deciding what to do when we have a free night because let's face it, they don't happen all that often.  Ashley definitely put a lot of thought into these as she was sure to include things tailored to both of our interests... beer tasting date and hockey game dates for Mark... wine tasting and looking at wedding pictures dates for me.  She even included a few blank date sticks so that we could write in our own! I am so looking forward to being able to go on some new adventures with M!  



I am so looking forward to continuing to talk to both Ashley and Erin as I feel we have formed friendships in a unique way, but I am confident that we will be able to continue our friendships past this Cara Box experience.  I look forward to continuing to participate in the exchange and getting to know more wonderful women in the blogging community!

As always, today I think it is fitting to say that I am thankful for the Cara Box exchange.  Kaitlyn has done such a wonderful thing in introducing bloggers to other bloggers.  I have met some amazing women though this exchange and I look forward to my almost daily interactions with them all.  These are women who I have shared a lot about my life with, women who I feel completely comfortable talking with and being myself with, women who I am not afraid to share my crazy stories with despite the fact that we haven't known each other all that long.  Each woman that I have been paired with has been remarkable and I have learned so much from talking to each and every one of them!  So thank you Kaitlyn for organizing the Cara Box exchange and for helping me to meet so many amazing women!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blog Revamp?

Since I have made a commitment to working on my blog in 2014 I am thinking that I need to revamp how my blog looks.  Up until this point I have just been using templates from blogger, but I am starting to think that I need something a little more personal and a little more me... problem is I have NO idea where to begin.  I have tried Googling it and reading other people's blogs on what to do, but as a non-techsavy person I still have NO clue what to do.  Now I know I can pay someone to help me out, but right now that is not an option.  With all this terrible weather we have been having here, money in the restaurant industry hasn't been as great and I know if I ask M for money so I can revamp my blog he will look at me like I am crazy.

I have all these ideas floating around in my head, now if only I could figure out how to put them into play.  For now I guess I am going to leave things as is and hopefully try to figure out what to do sometime in the near future.

Fellow bloggers... any suggestions?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day Weekend... a Whirlwind of a Weekend

Valentine's Day may be one of my least favorite holidays as I work in the restaurant industry & am not allowed to request off for this day that is supposed to be filled with love, chocolates, pink, & spending time with the one you love... you know... all that good stuff.  Instead I spent my night running around like a maniac dealing with the lovely clientele that come into our fine establishment (read between the lines... the trashy people that came into our chain restaurant more for the All Star weekend basketball stuff than for Valentine's Day).  To make matters worse I got home from work and M was already passed out in bed (normally he waits up for me to get home from work on Friday nights but I guess this Friday he was just too tired) so obviously I did what most normal people do and I made myself a GIANT mimosa to celebrate Valentine's Day and to unwind from my horrific night at work.

Of course when we woke up on Saturday morning M definitely knew I was annoyed at him (plus of course I had vented my frustrations via a Facebook status... I know, so mature... but I was exhausted and let me emotions get the best of me).  I really didn't want to get out of bed because it has been such a rough night, but I knew that M wanted to go to Costco during the day... so I eventually dragged myself out of bed so that we could spend some time together.  We went to lunch at Cosi before hitting up Costco for some household essentials.

After getting back from Costco M & I decided to exchange our Valentine's Day gifts to each other.  This year I tried to get M a bunch of meaningful gifts since it was our first married Valentine's Day.  He got a mouse pad with wedding pictures of us on it, a picture frame with his favorite wedding picture of me in it, an 8" x 10" canvas print of his favorite wedding picture of me... (are you noticing a theme here)... a T-shirt that says "Best Husband Ever" on it, and then my personal favorite a chalkboard tap handle for our keg-o-rater.  Of course he immediate took something off the wall and hung up the canvas (NOTE: it is NOT staying it its current location next to the TV because I think it looks awkward and I refuse to have a picture of just me in the living room) and he also almost immediately put the tap handle on the keg-o-rater.  I am super thrilled that he loved all his gifts as I definitely tried to give him things that he would treasure for years to come instead of the typical corny gifts.

Tap Handle already on the keg-o-rater
Awkwardly hanging next to the TV...needs a new home
Cute mouse pad for either our office or M's office at work

Now I got all that stuff for M and he totally shocked me with my gift... a NEW TABLET!!!!! I have been itching for a tablet for a long time now.  I see everyone with their iPads, Windows Tablets, etc. and pretty much every time I would see someone using one on a TV show I would go "I really want a tablet..."  Apparently M was listening all of those times when I said that because low & behold when I opened my gift I had this nice, shiny, new tablet to play with.  And play with it I did... I am pretty sure M created a monster as I haven't really set it down much since getting it (well except to write this blog post because well my pictures are all on my computer and unless I upload them to Google + I can't get them on the tablet just yet). 
Excuse all the fingerprints on the tablet... I was so excited I used it for about an hour before I took a pic of it
 M also stepped up his game this year and got me 3 cards instead of the normal 2 that he always gets me.  





And of course I got my roses! :-)


Saturday night M and I went to La Locunda (this small Italian place I had been DYING to try) and it did NOT disappoint.  We ordered a bottle of wine to split (M has been more into trying wine since we did our wine tasting during our honeymoon) and started off with the most delicious brushetta I have ever had.  For dinner I had lobster ravioli and M had some angel hair pasta with a crab sauce that had LOTS of garlic in it (apparently the chef didn't want us kissing later that night).  After dinner we each had some limoncello before calling it a night and heading home.

Once at home we decided to watch a movie and both of us proceeded to struggle staying awake watching a movie.  We are such an old, boring married couple at times it kills me.  

Sunday was a typical day for us... grocery shopping in the morning and then me heading off to work at night.  Sunday night at work is usually chill but last night it was a MESS.  We were so incredibly busy I felt like I just never stopped moving.  It definitely seemed like a Friday night in there instead of a Sunday... and of course we didn't have the typical Friday night staff working.  Instead of having 3 bartenders plus a service bar person we just had 3 bartenders.  Let's just say it was a mess and by the end of the night we were all exhausted.  And of course I came home and had trouble sleeping so am still exhausted today.  Oh well, at least I have the day off to recover!

How was your Valentine's Day Weekend? Did you do anything special with your loved ones?

As always, today I am saying thanks to my hubby for trying to make my least favorite weekend of the year into one that I would remember and that was fun.  Despite my being annoyed at him he did everything in his power to make me feel extra loved on a weekend when I definitely needed a little bit of that extra love and affection.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day Y'all

I have tried to avoid all the Valentine's Day hubbub around blog land, Facebook, Instagram, etc. but here the day has come and I can't help but acknowledge it.  M & I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day on the actual day because well things have always been in the way. Our 1st Valentine's Day as a couple... he was at Bucknell, I was home in NJ.  Valentine's Days after that included me having a broken ankle and not being able to walk well, me working (the past 2 years... and I will be working tomorrow), M being on a crazy shift at work... so needless to say it has never been a priority to celebrate it in our household.  That being said, we usually do SOMETHING to celebrate the day... just usually not on the day itself.  This year will be no different... we will both work tomorrow M during the day and me at night so we won't see each other until Saturday.  No biggie.

As much as I am all for showing the ones you love in your life how much you love them, Valentine's Day still bugs me.  Why do we need one specific day a year to let people know that we love them?  Why can't we just show them how much we care on a random Tuesday? Or a random Saturday? Or whenever?  There is all this hype about Valentine's Day, but I truly believe that we should be letting people know we care about them randomly throughout the year... not on a day that the rest of the world tells us that we should show our loved ones how much we appreciate them.  I am not going to pretend that I don't love when M sends me flowers on Valentine's Day or gives me a card in which he writes a message telling me how much he loves me and how much I mean to him... because I do love those things.  I just wish things like that happened on a more random basis... not because that is what is supposed to happen.

With that rant behind me... I do want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a very happy Valentine's Day.  May it be filled with all things pink, chocolate and lovey dovey!  May you realize how much you are loved by your family, friends, blogging buddies, etc.  I truly do hope that everyone has a wonderful day.

As always... today I am thankful for friends and family who let me know on a regular basis how much they love me.  I know that may seem shallow and superficial, but I am so thankful that I have so many people in my life who tell me all the time that the love me, that they are proud of me, that they are so thankful to have me in their lives.  It is always nice to know that people care about you, and I want them to know that it does NOT go unnoticed.  Love you all to the moon and back! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

For Bookworms Like Me

It is no secret that I love to read.  Pretty much anyone who knows me (or reads this blog for that matter) knows that I almost always have my nose in a book.  When I am reading I can pretty much tune the rest of the world out... just ask my husband... he will tell you that trying to talk to me while I have my nose in a book is fairly difficult virtually impossible.

My book reading habit is so out of control that I even talk about books with some of my regulars who come in to the bar.  I know, you are probably thinking "What kind of a bartender talks about books with her guests?"... well this girl does.  BUT from talking to some of my bar guests about books I was introduced to this fabulous website called "Book Bub".  Book Bub is a fantastic resource for people like me because it offers various books for e-readers at a discounted price.  Book Bub has helped me to read some books outside of my comfort zone because I see them on there for free and I think "Why not?"  Through Book Bub I have found some new favorite authors and have discovered that sci-fi novels aren't necessarily as bad as I thought they were.  I also discovered that I don't loathe romance novels as much as I thought I did... they are actually some good ones out there (& they are super quick reads!)!

One of the best parts about Book Bub is that it is completely FREE to sign up!  You give them your e-mail address, let them know what kind of books you generally like to read, and they send you a daily e-mail with book recommendations for you.  Some of the books they recommend are free, some are majorly discounted (I got a series of 4 books about a week ago for $1.99!!!!!), and some are just slightly discounted.  Book Bub has helped me save SOOOO much money on books for my Kindle and has helped to keep my reading habit completely out of control.  I think I have about 30 books in my Kindle library to read (thank you Book Bub) and I also recently purchased a few paperback books to read because while we were out of power I kept on killing my Kindle battery and had no way to charge it save going out to my car and reading in the car while it was charging.

Since I am on the topic of reading... I figure I might as well do a book review on my last free Book Bub download that I read.... Never Too Old for Romance by Barbara J. Peters.


Never Too Old for Romance was one of those free downloads that I got from Book Bub on a whim.  I am really glad that I got it because while I thought it was going to be one of those sappy romance novels, it was NOT.  This book was inspiring to me... made me realize that no matter how old you are, that it is YOU who is in control of your own destiny and that it is NEVER too late to make a change.

In Never Too Old for Romance, 66 year old Melanie realizes that she is not completely happy in life and that her life is just missing something.  While she has a job she loves as a cardiac nurse, her husband doesn't pay any attention to her and it is as though they are living completely separate lives under the same roof.  Melanie doesn't have someone that she can share her life with and she desperately wants someone to connect with.  With her 50 year high school reunion coming up, Melanie reconnects with an old high school acquaintance who she actually does not remember at all.  The two end up having a steamy affair which ends up leading them both to realize that they need to make some changes in their lives.

Now, while I don't condone affairs, I found it interesting that both the male and female protagonists wanted to make a change in their lives and it took having an affair for them to realize it.  Although it took having an affair for Melanie to realize how unhappy she was, she did break off the affair and head to Paris to do some soul searching of her own.  Melanie realized that she needed to make changes in her life and she does just that.  Melanie gets out of her loveless marriage and is finally able to start enjoying her life.

While some of this book seems very unrealistic (but then again what works of fiction aren't sometimes totally unrealistic), it was still an interesting read and a very quick one at that!  If you are looking for a fairly quick read I would definitely recommend this book!

As always, today I am thankful for Chi Omega.  I know I have written a bunch of posts about Chi O, but yesterday they had an Instagram prompt of #WhiILoveChiO and it made me once again reflect on my time in a sorority.  Chi Omega has been such a HUGE part of my life and through it I have met some amazing life-long friends.  These are the girls who are my sisters, who were in my wedding, who were at my wedding, who are some of the first I share the exciting news of my life with.  These are girls who will be in my life forever and who I am forever grateful for.  And for good measure, here is the #WhiILoveChiO picture that I used yesterday....All my Chi Mu sisters at my wedding (of course doing the typical "sorority squat")! 







Friday, February 7, 2014

Let There Be Light!!

Cool Icicle when I got home from work on Tuesday
After about 36 hours without power we FINALLY have lights again!! I cannot tell you the sense of relief I found when I got home from work last night to see that the light outside my apartment was on.  Thanks to the lovely ice storm that hit the Philly region on late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning we lost power and didn't get it back til sometime yesterday when M & I were both at work. Thankfully we have some amazing friends who offered to help us through our lack of power.  SC let me come to her apartment yesterday in order to take a hot shower (I hadn't had one in 2 days!), the V family offered to let us stay at their house until we got power, and MM also offered up her shower/house to M and I if we still hadn't gotten power back.

Finally found a use for our wedding lanterns!
Drinks by candle light with my lov
Lunch and electricity at Barnes & Noble
I will probably try to get back to blogging in the next few days.  Without being able to blog I have been thinking about the future of this little blog of mine and trying to figure out where I want to go with it. The more I read other blogs the more I feel like mine is inadequate.  But then I remember that I started this blog for me... as a place for me to share my thoughts... as a place for me to write about some of our life experiences... as a place for me to catalogue my favorite recipes... etc.  So should I really be worried that my blog doesn't have a "brand" or a "theme"? These are things that I have to think about... although I am pretty sure in the end I will just keep on doing what I am doing because like I said... I started this blog for ME and not to please other people, so I just have to make sure that I keep making myself happy while posting and that is all I can do.

As always, what I am thankful for.  Though this might seem trivial and superficial, today I am super thankful for living where we do.  I know 36 hours without power might not seem like a lot, but for me, it was.  I am so thankful that I live in a place with lights and heat and all that jazz.  I never realized how much I took all of this for granted but after being in my apartment for 36 hours where the temperature was a whopping 54 degrees inside it made me reflect on how lucky I am to live where I live and to have all the amenities that we do.