Bring on the men!

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Well, this post is clearly a little late in the making, seeing as how The Bachelorette premiered 3 days ago! Fortunately, now that my math final (cumulative no less, for the love of God) is officially over and done I can finally get back to using my available neurons for things that really matter. Hint: my list of "things that really matter" does not include geometric sequencing or any phrase containing the word equation. It does, however, include the best trash TV of all time. You know I'm talkin 'bout the Bachelor franchise!

I just need to say, right off the bat, that I fell in love watching Monday night's episode. Not with JoJo (although she is one hot mama) and not with her harem (although I wouldn't kick most of them out of bed for eating crackers) but with JoJo's wardrobe. Seriously, within the first few minutes we got classic blogger chambray, an adorbs floral romper, trendy open-toed ankle boots and that nude sequined gown. I've been haunting Google trying to find a close-up of the rhinestone-encrusted sparkly sandals she wore with the gown because I fell head over heels in lust with one brief glimpse and I'm pretty sure they're everything. Alas, the search engine I rely on to get me through the day without undercooking my asparagus, burning the house down, or convincing myself I have an incurable illness failed me just when I needed it most. 




C'est la vie. As JoJo said, "bring on the men!" So, who are the men this season? Keep reading for a rundown of the 20 finalists, along with the grades I'm so generously doling out for the first night's performance...

And the first impression rose goes to....none other than Greenbay quarterback Aaron Rodger's little brother Jordan. The guy was smooth, well-dressed, not overtly douchey at any point in the evening and was the first to set the sparks flying with our Bachelorette. He's getting an *A+ from me, obvs.

1. Luke. The Army veteran/country singer rode in on a unicorn paying homage to JoJo's masked entrance on Ben's season. He oozed quiet confidence and he brought a gift (cowboy boots for the win). I put my money on Luke making top 3. *A+

2. Wells. The radio DJ brought along his pals All 4 One to serenade JoJo throughout the cocktail party. *Swoon* I'm not sure JoJo is old enough to truly appreciate the level of awesomeness that is their hit song "I Swear" but it took me right back to teenage crush days. Wells gets an *A.




3. James Taylor. Not the James Taylor of Rock and Roll legend, but nevertheless a cute, unassuming, guitar-playing contender. The first of the many, many James's this season to get a rose. *B for James T.

4. Grant. I kinda felt like I needed to root for Grant since he's a local boy (and if the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon is anything to go by, I undoubtedly know someone who knows someone who knows him haha) He's one of the better looking guys this season, IMO, but didn't do anything much to stand out the first night. So, *B+. 

5. Derek: banker, shy-guy, self-professed nerd who "used to look like Harry Potter." *A for Derek since I'm a sucker for cute nerds and Harry Potter.

6. Christian. This tech guy routinely sets his alarm for 3:30 am to hit up the gym. I admire that, but mostly from afar as that would drive me freaking bonkers in a relationship. He's an awesome father-figure for his little brothers though. *B+ for Christian. 




7. Chad the real estate agent is awkwardly intense and gave me immediate creeper vibes. When he informed the camera that "I'm confident: if I want her I can have her" I saw all the red flags flying and awarded my first *F of the evening.

8. Chase. He showed up with a fake mustache and cringe-worthy cheesy lines. *D for you, Chase.

9. Alex the Marine. I was all set to hand him an above-average grade until...he started showing off with pushups and earned himself a *C.




10. Robby. The former competitive swimmer arrived with a bottle of wine and shared a classy swig with the Bachelorette. I think I actually snorted when JoJo said "My mom will like him." If you want to see why, check out my recap of her hometown date with Ben. *C

11. Brandon. His job is listed as "hipster." So much no, that gets a failing grade all by itself. *F




12. James F, the second James of the evening to walk away with a rose. He's a boxing club owner with acting aspirations and not-great taste in suits but I think there may be a decent sense of humor there. *B-

13. Ali. I was intrigued by the Iranian piano-playing bartender, especially when he busted out with some Moonlight Sonata during the cocktail party. I don't know if I see him as a finalist, but I like him. *A-

14. Santa Claus. Seriously. The guy was introduced as "Saint Nick from the North Pole." He stayed in costume all evening passing out teddy bears to the other contestants while awkwardly chortling "jo jo jo jo." I'm not a fan of the gimmicks, and that was one of the worst. Easiest *F of the night.




15. Will.  I couldn't decide if his goofiness -with the cue cards and the cootie catcher- was endearing or annoying but the uncomfortable kiss sealed his fate. *D+

16. James S. My jury is still out on the last of the James's. His claim to Bachelor super-fandom is either a brilliantly funny joke or seriously weird and creepily obsessive. And yes, I realize I'm probably being a little sexist here. I own it. He gets a passing grade at least until the verdict rolls in. *C+

17 Vinny. He brought JoJo a toast. Like, an actual piece of bread he was carrying around in his suit pocket. Why?? Definitely NMS. *D




18. Evan the Erectile Dysfunction Specialist. He likes to "get guys excited." And tells the camera "It's a hard business." Yikes. Because he seems genuinely nice he's saved from a failing grade. But just barely. *D

19. Daniel was the evening's "THAT guy," quick to get "Canadian wasted" and strip down to his teeny tiny man bikini to flex for the camera and take a drunken dip in the pool. I'm not quite sure when/why he started poking the other men in the belly button but he did let us know "If I was gay I'd be in paradise." So maybe Daniel has a little secret to share with us later or maybe he's just a big old DBag. Either way, I'm totally not surprised because, producers shocked he got a rose. *F-

There you have it ladies: this season's Bachelorette lineup! Who were your favorites/least favorites Monday night? 

TTFN Bachelor Nation!

5 *more* things: the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Oh, you guys. This has been a week. Sometimes, that's just all you can say! 


1. The last few days have not been all sunshine and roses, so I'm going to get the bad and the ugly out of the way -and cheat a little by smashing it all together in one paragraph- so I can get to the good stuff.  First off, I have this weird eczema I developed postpartum that rears it's ugly head every so often. More annoying is where it shows up: on the backs of my thighs just under ma butt cheeks (sorry for the TMI) so I get to enjoy sitting on it all day. I'm hoping it takes a hike before Madi starts swim lessons because it adds nothing to a swimsuit aesthetic that is already struggling. Ha. And speaking of Madi, she somehow caught a mystery cold this week in spite of the fact that no one around us has been obviously sick. And that has served to make her possibly the grumpiest toddler on planet earth. Lastly, we got a little 5-page double-sided letter from the IRS yesterday thanking us for our yearly contributions asserting that we owe  $1200 from the 2014 tax year. And could we just go ahead and mail that in in the next two weeks? Please and thank you.  I'm not sure exactly how that's going to affect our summer plans, but I'm pretty sure it's not in a good way. Moving on....






2. We celebrated Mother's Day a day late this year and went out to a nice dinner with the in-laws. It's been a hot minute since we've attempted a family dinner out because Madi -being 2- oddly prefers running around, climbing on things and singing loudly to sitting quietly at a table enjoying a multi-course meal (and I'm fully aware that I am the only one in the universe who finds this cute rather than annoying.) So I was nervous about Monday and packed lots of snacks and books and markers and crossed all my fingers and toes. The dinner lasted close to two hours and Madi did awesome! A chance to sit and enjoy good food -and french pear martinis- with family was the best present I could have gotten.

3. I've been wanting to add more green to my wardrobe recently. Because, duh, green is awesome. Since it's one of my favorite colors I'm not actually sure why I rarely wear it, but this top I found at Aro & Co is a step in the right direction. The best part? It was on sale for five dollars. Five. Dollars. (I think the total with shipping was like, $5.70) What? How is that even a thing?? Whatever, I decided that when the universe throws you a bone (or a cute chiffon top for really, really cheap) it's best to just pop it right in your shopping cart and complete your checkout before the universe changes it's mind.





4. I'm falling in love with the R+Co dry shampoo paste my hair stylist recommended. At $28 it's a little (okay maybe a lot) pricier than what I would normally spend on a dry shampoo but it takes such a minuscule amount to freshen up my hair that it will probably last until I'm 80, thus making it a totally reasonable purchase. Right? It also works as a really outstanding texturizer and doesn't weigh down my fine hair. So there's that! And because walking all the way upstairs, taking a picture and uploading it to my laptop sounds like a whole lot of work I'll let Google do the talking. 


VIA


5. Last but not least, the husband and I are signed up to do a Paint Nite this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it. I was hesitant to suggest it to him because I thought he'd laugh and tell me "no thanks." So I was pleasantly surprised that he agreed right away to sign up. If you're not familiar, Paint Nite is an event held at a bar or restaurant where an artist comes in to teach you how to paint a particular picture all while you're downing delicious wine or cocktails (Wine and Canvas is another popular company doing similar events.) Tell me that doesn't sound like fun?!


Cheers and TGIF ladies! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
Linking up with Momfessionals and Sincerely, Paula


Behind every mom is a basket of dirty laundry...

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Happy Mother's Day, mamas! I hope whatever you're doing today you're 
feeling loved and appreciated and like the total badass your kids know you are!





I get to spend the day with this awesome little one so whatever else happens I'm already 
feeling like the luckiest mom ever.




Of course, when she gets a little a lot older I'll still be showing her this meme. 
Just saying, it's not a total lie.




Cheers, ladies!! xoxo

5 Things

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Well my brain is basically fried after 2 hours of doing terrible things to logarithms today (don't ask.) But, I've missed blogging regularly and even a frazzled brain can handle a simple list, right? Maybe? 

5 Things

1. I just (like 5 minutes ago) finished reading The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams. Can I just tell you that book completely sucked me in, took up pretty much all my free moments and was definitely a contributing factor to my lack of blogging the last couple weeks!  If you hadn't guessed, it gets two thumbs up from me, you guys. If you enjoy a good mix of drama, scandal and mystery as much as I do then you should probably check it out. Like, immediately. Next on my reading list is Me Before You, a book I bought about a million years ago and then put off reading because *spoiler alert* it apparently has a sad ending. I freaking hate sad endings! But now it's been made into a movie and the movie looks kind of adorable, so clearly I'm going to have to get over it and get cracking.





2. Speaking of drama, have you been watching Southern Charm?? It's been nicely filling the void left in my heart (and my DVR) by the ending of The Bachelor and the wait for The Bachelorette season premier.  Honestly, the show would probably be kind of a snooze-fest of nice, relatively boring, upper-class southern people hosting oddly themed parties if it weren't for the resident ginger Kathryn -who is gorgeous and either smartly calculating or completely cray cray- but either way the source of most of the drama and scandal that are really the whole point of watching reality TV in the first place. So, thank you, Kathryn. Without you I'd be left to patch the holes in my heart with  reruns of Forensic Files and Snapped.




3. For some reason I never wear tennis shoes unless I'm working out or going for a hike. But I've been seeing a ton of cute outfits featuring tennis shoes on Pinterest lately, so I think maybe it's time to work them into my real-life wardrobe. I started by wearing my silver and white Nikes and a basic white tee (not exactly a huge fashion risk, but whatevs) to take Madi to Discovery Kingdom last Friday. I have to say, I'm kind of loving the fact that comfort is having a trendy moment.




4. I've been following Jen at peopleIwanttopunchinthethroat.com for quite awhile because she is absolutely hilarious. This week I pretty much died at her post poking fun at Me-ternity leave. Preach it, sister!

5. I should be finding out sometime this month if my application was chosen in the nursing school lottery for the fall semester. I'm currently crossing all the fingers and all the toes while I play the waiting game, so wish me luck!





Linking up with Momfessionals and Sincerely, Paula. Happy Friday!!

(Oh, hey there!) How We Wore It: Summer Skirt

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Oh em gee, you guys. Can I just tell you how many times I've sat down and started on a blog post the last couple weeks? Key word here clearly being started since I haven't finished a single one! Yikes. But since I signed up to participate in Deidre Emme's How We Wore It (a challenge to re-create a look using items you already own) today, blogging finally gets to beat out laundry, toilet scrubbing and a thousand and one other boring to-do's on my never ending list of death (Hooray!)

Do you know what I'm afraid of? Aside from the obvious spiders of course, and those stupid sneezes that kind of sneak up on you when you're not prepared (holy mom-bladder!) I'm afraid of...skirts. Yep, you read that right. Something about being 5 feet tall with a short torso and a little hippy (not the cute flower-power kind, sadly) means that I generally shy away from anything remotely skirt-like as they have an odd tendency to quickly migrate past my hips to settle just south of my bra. Which is super sexy, by the way. Waist? Who needs a waist? **By 'generally' I mean that my over-stuffed closet contains approximately 2 skirts: one teeny-tiny slightly hooker-ish black mini that I probably shouldn't be wearing anyway, and a floor-length super comfy knit number in a casual beigy-brown.** 

So, just how exactly is my skirt phobia  relevant to anything, you ask? Well, as it happens, this month's How We Wore It features a super cute, super summer-y lace and chambray look from Elevate Everyday, where the skirt is kind of front and center. Here, take a look:


VIA


Once I saw the inspiration photo I had a minor dilemma on my hands since obviously nothing in my vast selection of skirts (haha) was going to help me create a cute summer look. Thank goodness for dresses that can totally pretend to be skirts, that's all I can say. And of course, if you have a blog then odds are pretty high that you own at least one chambray button up so, check! Here's my take on this month's photo:





kind of obsessed with the lace-up shoe thing #noshame

I had hoped to take a few pictures outside but our lovely May day decided to make like January and turn windy, gray and cold. Whatever, May.





I know, I know. These pics scream "OMG SoFashun!" right? Ha.


What's your go-to look for summer? Are you a fan of skirts (or poser dresses)?

I had so much fun participating in How We Wore It for the first time ever! Check out the lovely ladies in the links below to see all the different ways this month's look was styled:


Deidre at Deidre Emme
Emily at Emmy Jake
Brooke at Silver Lining
Suerra at Sierra's View
Justine at Little Dove
Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Tayler at The Morrell Tale
Patricia at haifisch
Kelsi at Love strong
Emma at Ever Emma
Shelbie at R+S Brereton
Nellwyn at The Cardinal Press
Ruth at My Little Nest


Sign up on Deidre Emme's blog for the chance to try your hand at next month's How We Wore It and be one of the 15 randomly selected stylists!

Spring is the new summer.

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I used to be 100 percent convinced that summer -with its endless sunshine and temperatures edging up into the triple digits- was my absolute favorite season, but recently I've decided that summer can suck it. (Yep, you heard me, summer!) These days I have a new favorite: I freaking love spring. This might have something to do with the fact that the house we bought at the end of 2014 and which is awesome in so many ways, is very un-awesome in the fact that it doesn't have central air. And it turns out that 105 degrees outside is a whole lot less appealing and fun when its a smothering 85+ inside. I know...first-world problems, right? But air conditioning nonsense aside,  I do love this time of year: watching the hills turn green, each day lingering just a tiny bit longer than the last and I love taking advantage of the sunny but still mild weather to plant new flowers and watch them turn brown and die when I completely forget that whole 'watering' thing um...grow.  Madi and I have been spending a ton of time outside gardening recently, and in addition to the flowers this year I went big and branched out into veggie territory with tomatoes, peppers and squash. So we'll see how it goes...fingers crossed that I can keep my black-thumb in remission for at least a couple months.


Marked for death? I sure hope not! 

Yard work is always more fun with a little helper following behind to pick your freshly planted "seaweed." lol

Aww, a baby pepper plant. Isn't it cute?

To be honest, there's another big reason I love spring: it's when I start planning our warmer-weather adventures, and I swear planning everything out is half the fun. Because lists! And organizing! ...no? Anyway, this year Travis and I are thinking of crossing off one of our bucket list items (and using up some about-to-expire airline credits) by spending a few days in New York. I hate to admit it, but neither of us has been to the east coast. Ever. We'd also like to do an extended-family cabin trip somewhere within easy driving distance (Yosemite is currently at the top of that list!) Just...this year I'd really like to avoid the random summer hailstorms, car trouble and broken bones that have accompanied the last couple of "family trips." So much drama, I tell you! 

Are you making any plans for the summer? What's your favorite season?

Old School internet and a vacation for the mind

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I'm going way waaaay back for today's post you guys! Back to the dark ages of 1995, the year I discovered the internet. It was a thing back then -believe it or not- but just barely. I had come across one of those AOL CDs randomly at the post office (remember when you actually had to go to the post office for stuff?) and thought huh, that looks interesting. I took that bad boy home and promptly pulled up a chair in front of the family computer while my parents looked on with serious side-eye (WorldWideWhat?) And after an interminable wait while the program installed and squealed it's way through establishing a dial-up connection I was dun dun dunnnn....on The Internet! And I could go, well...not a whole lot of places actually. There were a few chat rooms where conversations were extremely challenging due to the fact that you'd have to constantly refresh your screen to see the latest comments. But there was no social media. No Google (how did we survive?) There were no blogs, no online shopping and most websites didn't even have pictures because uploading pictures required a whole extra piece of equipment. So I honestly have no idea what I could possibly possibly have spent so much time online doing back then, but thanks to my fascination with the interwebz, the awesome feeling of being connected to pretty much the whole world and the fact that AOL charged like a seedy motel by the hour I managed to run up a $600 internet bill that first month. (Turns out my parents were right to give me the side-eye, apparently.) How far we've come, right?




I also remember my first cell phone. Well okay, it wasn't exactly my cell phone it technically belonged to the ambulance company I worked for at the time and I only carried it on duty. It was a gigantic brick of a Nokia 5100 and the most notable feature -beside the fact that it actually made phone calls- was that it included this awesome little game called Snake, in which you moved some lines around to eat some dots. Seriously badass high tech-ery, right there! That was in 1999. It was years before I bought a phone of my own, I just didn't see the point. Ha.

Fast forward to the present day and my, how things have changed. My iPhone could now be considered a 5th appendage and 24/7 connectedness has become the norm. As awesome as that is in some respects, the constant flood of information and opinions can also be a little much sometimes. I'm pretty content and happy with who I am and where I'm at, but occasionally the sum total of HuffPo articles telling me how I'm "doing it wrong" combined with the "perfect" bodies, outfits, kids, vacations, whathaveyou plastered all over social media make me question myself and wonder if I really am making the right choices and headed in the right direction. Of course I know it's not real...no blog or social media account is ever going to give you the whole picture of someone's life, and no one's life is perfect (I was going to say except maybe Kylie Jenner's but then I couldn't with a straight face.) And many of the articles I'm referring to are obvious clickbait written specifically to stir up controversy so why would I let them bother me? Sometimes it just feels good to take a break from all of it anyway, you know? So that's what I did. Obviously it wasn't going to last forever, but the last couple of weeks I made a legitimate attempt to limit my internet time and disconnect from social media...a little vacation for the mind, if you will. Basically I lived it up like it was 1994 just, you know, with less fluffy hair. 


Stripes and high waisted shorts. Sooo 1994. Oh, wait....lol



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