the end of the beginning

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Where oh where did 2012 go?? This past year really put 2011 to seriously
 flew by and was packed with awesome...a year worth remembering for sure. So, coming hard on the heels of my super-creative Christmas Recap I now give you...

Mini's Best of 2012

In April, a girl's cruise to Mexico...chock full of shopping, margaritas and neon and...margaritas.

In May, my bachelorette party: more margaritas, a mechanical bull, and the most embarrassing checklist ever. I got spanked by a stranger, you guys!

In June, our Vegas wedding! We were completely spoiled with a week of relaxation and celebration with our closest family and friends (Elvis not included.)

In July, of course...the honeymoon!

In September I conquered the Tough Mudder for the second year in a row with a group of friends from work...rock on Muddy Badgers!

And in October I met a huge goal completing my first half marathon.

Seriously, 2013 is going to have to work pretty hard to live up to it's predecessor. But I can't wait to see what the next year has in store! Our first adventure of the New Year is planned for next weekend.
Stay tuned!

And now...if 2012 wasn't your year, well, you're not alone. Courtesy of Reuters and the
 Huffington Post, I bring you

 My favorite headlines of 2012:

In Germany: Drunk Munich Partygoer Finds Car...2 Years Later
actually, maybe this guy is having a good year...

In Africa: Cash-strapped Swaziland Urged To Hike Witch Doctor Tax
and I thought California sales tax was bad...

In Great Britain: UK Man Gives Cocaine To Trick Or Treaters By Mistake

And in the good old U.S. of A.:
-Unwanted Cheese Sparks McDonald's Attack
-Mother-Daughter Porn Duo Aim To Be Filthy Rich
-Public Swearing Outlawed in Massachusetts Town
way to keep it classy 'Merica!

Happy New Years everybody!!

This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. It is, instead, the end of the beginning. ~ Winston Churchill

Aaaand done!

...with Christmas that is. The last of our holiday celebrations are officially over. It was wonderful
to have so many opportunities to celebrate with friends and family, but I'm really looking forward to things settling down a little bit around here. (And to no longer having a giant fir tree in our
smallish living room and piles of sweets in the kitchen!)

In addition to all the good times, I kind of made out like a bandit this Christmas: a pretty silver purse, a gorgeous luggage set and some new running gear (I think Santa was trying to tell me something...the old hypocrite! I'm clearly not the only one with a cookie problem!)

And so, without further ado, I present my Christmas Recap. If you just groaned and thought to yourself "Please, God, not another Christmas post! I seriously can't take it!" It's okay. I'll keep it short-ish, and I promise we'll still be friends if you skip this one!

Christmas lunch with my bestie and her adorable there anything cuter than watching a baby open presents??

Last night's Christmas with the in-laws included a great dinner and approximately 4 bottles of good
(We're in wine country! It's practically mandatory!) 

My mother-in-law has a knack for finding...unusual gifts that you would never even have known existed. This year's find: fancy fur-mitt ice-scrapers.

Today we spent some time with my family...(notice the game in the background...go Niners!)

And there you have it! That wasn't too painful was it??

Merry Belated!

Merry Christmas chickadees!!

I know, I know. I'm a little late with the holiday wishes but it has been one crazy, long work week from...that really hot place down south. And I'm not talking about Cabo!

So just as all you lovelies are preparing to take down your lights and haul your Christmas tree out to the curb we're going full festive mode up in herrr. In fact, the first of two family celebrations this weekend starts in an hour and I happen to still be in PJs looking an awful lot like something the cat dragged in. (On the bright side, I've got some yummy looking appetizers in the oven...Pinterest saves the day yet again!)

 Before I go, I just wanted to say 'Welcome' to a few folks new to these parts! And to those of you who have stuck with me for awhile, Thank You! You guys are the best! It's been some time since I mentioned it, but if any of you all have blogs that I haven't had a chance to visit please leave me your link so I can come say Hi :-)

Lastly, I'm sponsoring over at The Life of the Wife this month so make sure you go on over and check out Jenna's awesome blog and enter her ginormous group giveaway! You can never have too much swag, right? ( I've added my fave hair product of all time--Keratin Complex vanilla bean deep conditioner--yum!)

 Merry (belated) Christmas ladies!

Apocalypse fail and Betty Crocker

Hello gorgeous readers!
It has been one busy week-before-Christmas!
First, I got this news...

The constant whining and complaining eating, sleeping and obsessing Physio apparently
 paid off. Nailed it! Then, there was some last minute Christmas shopping. Nothing gets me in a holiday
mood like packing into the local mall for a little relaxation with 120 million of my closest
friends and neighbors...


And you all know what Friday was...end of the world, duh! Travis and I bought season 1 of Walking Dead last week and had an epic zombie marathon. So I was ready for 12-21 to get cray-cray. Ha! I'll let the muppets sum up my feelings on this one:

Since the world was still turning on Saturday, and not having to fight for survival left me with some time on my hands, I  made it to the annual girl's Christmas lunch/gift exchange...7 girls, way too much food, peach martinis and lots of prezzies made for a pretty awesome apocalypse after-party.

Then, the first of 3 family get togethers gave me the perfect excuse to get my Martha
Stewart on. (Okay, more like my Betty Crocker brownie mix. But at least they turned out pretty!)

I can't believe Christmas is hours away! Happy Holidays everybody :-)

Me, Myself & I

You guys!! I took my Physio final yesterday, which means that School. Is. Out! Finally! I am so
 looking forward to letting my brain recuperate for the next month. In fact, I'm seriously planning on using it as little as possible. I'm blonde, so it shouldn't be too hard...right? I kid...kind of. Anyhoo, what better way to celebrate 3.5 weeks of semi-freedom than with one of my fave link-ups??
Me, Myself & I (part...3ish?)
1. What was your favorite gift give given to you as a child?
When I was six, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a Barbie dollhouse. I needed a Barbie dollhouse. (Hey, her swanky pink and green living room set had to go somewhere!) My parents couldn't afford the pricetag on the Dreamhouse, so Dad spent hours with nails and scrap wood to build  Barbie a 5 story bachelorette pad. I call that winning!
2. What is that one Christmas song you could listen to on repeat?
I'm usually not much of a fan of Christmas a matter of fact, this year I decorated our tree to Eminen Takeover on the Fuse channel. (Nothing says holiday spirit like an angry blonde rapper talking crap about his mom...) That being said, if I do bust out the holiday tunes I tend to get obsessed with Josh Grobin's Ave Maria. I guess that makes me...a complete dork ecclectic?
3. What are a few of the items on your Christmas list this year?
I never did get around to making a list, although I did find a cute silver Coach purse on sale and may or may not have sent a pic to the hubby (guys need help!) Lol

4. Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions?
Growing up we had one Christmas tradition. One weird Christmas tradition. Each year, a few days after Thanksgiving, my Dad would pull out the ladder and haul a giant yellow, dust-covered refrigerator box down from the garage rafters...I can still picture it with the green Mayflower logo on the side and silver duct-tape flapping off the end. We would put on Bing Crosby and proceed to build the Christmas tree. One piece at a time, we painstakingly fitted each branch into its color-coded hole until our tree stood proud in all its questionable faux-pine glory. (Really, mom and dad??) I never could figure out why we didn't just snag ourselves a Douglas Fir from the corner probably goes without saying that Travis and I have not carried on the tradition of building a Christmas tree.

5. Which do you prefer, wrapping paper or gift bags?
Oh wrapping paper for sure. There's something so satisfying about ripping into it and making a huge mess. But I will admit to being lazy and gift-bagging more than my share of presents...

6 days, 10 hours...

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Tis the season...for Christmas parties! This weekend we had our
work bash at a little local Italian restaurant. Thanks to my friend Chris
(hottie in green) for taking some pictures, and thanks to Sean the Bartender
for introducing me to my new BFF: the Tangerine Dream. Cheers!

Those are some scary eyes! Told you it was a good drink!

Wait. What am I looking at?!

Now it's time to buckle down and study my butt off for next week's Physio final. Which is especially hard because not only am I distracted by blogging (and Tangerine Dreams. Must. Figure. Out. Recipe!) I'm also obsessing on a marathon of "Ink Masters" and a show I found the other day called "My Shopping Addiction." It's like "Intervention" for shoppers. I know, I know...I watch some weird TV.

But anyway, doesn't this look like fun? Only 3 or 4...hundred cards to go over. Aaaargh! So ready
for Christmas break. 6 days, 10 hours you guys! But who's counting, right?

Anybody else have finals coming up??

Bring on Christmas!

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Finally getting our Christmas on...better late then never!

I love the idea of going out to a tree farm and cutting our own tree down. Maybe someday when we have kids...but for now we're taking the easy way out.

I love putting on the ornaments. Hate stringing the lights. No wonder, because I always have to do it 2 or 3 times before it comes out right! Fortunately I had help. Or at least...moral support. Thanks Ella!

Does anything say Festive Christmas like a red and white striped candy-cane sweater?? I think not.
Travis helpfully pointed out that my "socks are showing!" I know babe. That's a thing.

End result? A tree that looks remarkably similar to last year's. But that's okay, I love it! Bring on Christmas!!

Are you ready for the holidays?

Rain, Rain Go Away...

Well the rainy season is in full swing here in Northern California: flash flood warnings,
trees falling on roads, cars, powerlines and what have you.

Let me start by saying, I am thankful for the rain. I'm also thankful for my job. But storms
and ambulance work just don't mix in the same beautiful way as, and orange juice. Or vodka and cranberry. Or vodka and...jello? You get the idea.

Top 5 reasons I hate love working in the rain

5. This work issued rain gear. Isn't it snazzy? I'm so glad the boss got the memo about neon being on-trend. I'd hate to be stuck in boring basic black like the police and fire departments.

4. At some point in the shift, water inevitably leaks into my boots. The resulting prune feet are a fun flashback to childhood bathtime...minus the rubber ducky.

3. The 20- and 30-somethings who call 911 during a thunderstorm for the flu or a simple cold and are astonished that we lack the ability to teleport them dryly to the emergency room. "I'm getting wet!" Yes. Yes I know. I actually asked God to make it rain on you, because it makes it makes my job so much easier.

2. Spend long enough onscene of a car crash and your hair becomes saturated. Your uniform becomes saturated. Every last bit of makeup washes away. That freshly showered feeling in the middle of a 12 (or 24) hour workday? Priceless. (But I've got you now Mother Nature...I'm wearing waterproof mascara. Ha!)

1. Okay, okay. enough sarcasm. There is one benefit to working in the rain...I'd never see sights like this curled up in front of the fireplace!


A little Monday WTS...

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Happy Monday, all! On a completely-not-serious note today
I wanted to share with you just a few of the things that have made me say,
"What the shiz??" recently....

  • Non-prescription eyeglasses as accessories. I can't help but give this a WTS because I grew up blind as a bat and haaaaated my glasses...I couldn't imagine wearing them for fun. Maybe some day I'll 'get it' but for now I agree with the hubby who thinks this trend is way too hipster to be ok.
My last pair of pre-Lasik specs....I was thisclose to being legally blind before the surgery.
  • WTS? Cece hasn't been voted off The X-Factor yet? Are you kidding me? I admire her spirit. And her abs! (She can really pull off a crop top...) But I agree with Simon: time to pack up your suitcase -and your leopard spots- and hit the road.
  • Can someone please tell me what is the point of jacking up a minivan with 20" rims, tinting the windows and adding a few "NorCal" and "Famous" stickers?? I don't blame a guy for trying, but you are not going to make that ride look cool. It's a minivan. WTS.
  • My 2 little fur-babies are normally healthy as horses. But between Eddy's skin rash and Ella's abdominal infection, I've spent $800 at the vet this month. They're both on the mend, but WTS? As if Christmas wasn't hard enough on the wallet...

x-rays, bloodwork and antiobiotic shot = sad face!

And some WTS in the news...

  • According to Yahoo, a small town in Louisiana was just evacuated after 6 million pounds of explosives were found illegally stored on a company's property. 6 million pounds. Did they think no one would notice half the state going up in a fireball? That's a serious "what the shiz?!"
  • An AOL headline this week: "Zombies a Factor in Gun Sales Increase, Gun Rights Advocate Says.."  Oh my. No words for that one.
  • According to my local paper The Press Democrat, a guy here in Sonoma County has apparently just come up with a helpful new iPhone app called iSplit Divorce.  A divorce app. Thanks technology, now I think I've seen everything. How come getting married wasn't that easy?!
Has anything made you say WTS lately??
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