Royal Wedding Fever

I got a fever, and the only cure = British wedding hats!

I think the most fun thing about the entire Royal Wedding business, aside from the dress, has been seeing all of the crazy, demure, stylish, and questionable hats that showed up at the wedding. Why do we not wear hats in America?? So, in honor of the big day, I am doing a Red carpet-esque post for the Royal Wedding hats!

Bigger is... bigger.

Going incognito - perhaps she is trying to hide from the paparrazzi?

Nothing like a giant red flower on the side of you head:

She's Posh - she can do no wrong:

Proud mother, grandmother, and step-mother of the young couple. Queen Grandma takes the prize for color!

What were you thinking? Medusa much?
The blue one looks like a row boat and the purple a birds nest. Really?

And the belle of the ball: Complete Perfection:

What I Wore Wednesday

Here we go, linking up to The Pleated Poppy!  And, better pictures today since I got my lovely husband to be my photographer! :) Let me know what you think!

Going: To Work
 Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: The Limited
Shoes and Tank: Target 

Going: To Church
 Shirt, Belt, Jeggings, and Scarf: Target (I think)
Cardigan: Wal-Mart
Boots: Shoe Carnival

Going: To Work
 Dress: TJ Maxx
Tank: Target
Half-sweater: Maurice's (like forever ago)
Boots: Shoe Carnival 

Going: To Work
 Jeggings and Shoes: Target 
Shirt and Belt: Kohls
Necklace: Probably Kohls, but I can't remember

Going to: Choir Practice
 Jeggings and Shoes (not pictured): Target
Polo and Cardigan: Old Navy 

Going to: Choir Practice and Family Easter
Jeans: Can't remember.
Shirt: Old Navy
Scarf: TJ Maxx 
Going: Out to lunch after church on Easter
Just had to have a family photo on Easter! :)

A Reliable Wife; A Review

He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for a “reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was  “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving herself a wealthy widow. What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own.

I have mixed feelings about this book. First off, I feel like this synopsis is slightly misleading. Yes all of that happens, but I felt like the emphasis of the book was a lot more sexual than I expected. Ralph Truitt is caught up in guilt over his philandering youth and feels like his lust is a disease (you can go ahead and imagine the colorful images the author paints for us). Catherine Land is not a simple, honest woman, but rather a prostitute (more by necessity than choice) which leads to more lusty scenes. I just didn't expect that and am kind of disappointed by it, because I found it so distracting and off-putting.

Another blogger put it like this: What bothered me about the book was the crazed, hyper libidos and obsession with sex that filled needless pages of the book. The characters seemed more driven by their physical needs than emotional all the time. It really set a strange mood to the novel. I also found Catherine’s involvement with Antonio to be annoying, particularly her dependence on his approval. Antonio himself is a character that stayed stagnant throughout the entire novel and I really could have done without being introduced to a character such as his. 
(taken from: 

I could not have put it better myself. 
Other than that, there was a fantastic story underneath it. It was dark, mysterious and I was desperate to know what would happen.  I enjoyed Catherine's evolution throughout the story from a woman with no boundaries to someone who knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. Ralph went through his own transformation as well, overcoming so many negative things from his past. I was happy with the way it ended, but probably wouldn't recommend it to any sensitive readers.
Overall 3.5/5 - fantastic story, but I had to look past too much to get it.

Living Room Quick Change

Well, I teased you all a while back saying I moved around the living room furniture. The whole feel is much more open, but cozy. Perhaps you will see why that makes sense in the pictures :)

Gosh it looked so darn clean right after we moved in :)

Gosh - I cannot WAIT for it to be that green and beautiful outside again. It's just a big mud pit these days!

Fairly traditional set-up of couch w/ both end tables and lamps

Couch is angled into room to create more of a conversational area w/ the big brown chair

I didn't take pics (because the aforementioned mud pit is tracking its way into our house) but there is a decent walk-way behind the couch for an entrance since we use our sliding glass door ALOT. Also, the pups just love lounging on the back of the couch and watching out that window - they may be turning into cats... only nicer :)

Little reading nook :)

Coffee table (which wasn't in the other pics) is now a double end table for the chair and couch. One of the end tables is against the far wall by the TV to display knick-knacks and puppy pics :)
Bonus: Izzie looking a little perplexed and yet, adroable :)

Don't mind the blue and yellow table and red wall combo there in the kitchen. lol That's still a work-in-progress :)
I like it for a change. Thoughts??

What I Wore Wednesday ; w/ epic bad picture :)

I love the idea of The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday posts. I think it is so fun to see what other women are wearing in their everyday lives. I feel like I really try to express myself through my hair and my clothes. I was thinking about that today and I really feel like that is a kind of art to me and I want to present myself well to the world. That said - I am linking up this week to The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! I am hoping to do this at least every other week - I think it will help me be more creative with my clothes and keep me accountable to shedding those pounds - because who really wants chubby pics up?

Now, are you ready for this epic-bad picture?? I am standing on a toilet. It was the ONLY way to get a full shot of my body taking my own picture.... so in future weeks, since tax season is over, I will try to make my husband do it so there are no more toilet shots. lol

This was pre-blonde hair :)

Dress, Shoes, Tank: Target 

Necklace: A less than $20 pearl store in the Cayman Islands

Bonus: A perplexed Sophie in the background wondering why the heck I am on the toilet.

And here's a new hair pic: 
I still think it looks ALOT lighter/brighter in person.

Even Silence Has An End - A Review

This book was fantastic. I was completely captivated by Ingrid's strength, tenacity, and passion for life. The way she endured the trials of 6 years of living in the Amazon jungle completely amazes me. I really enjoyed reading her analysis of her captors and the psychology that was behind it, even if it may have been unintentional on her part. She describes the jungle in a terrifying and captivating way, and I felt like I was with her on her grueling marches from one camp site to another. A human's capacity for survival is just awe-inspiring. Fellow prisoners were having heart attacks, giving birth, and slipping into diabetic comas - and still survived. Ingrid dealt with hepatitis and other ailments. I was truly enamored with this book from page 1.... and I don't do non-fiction. :) The only other thing I would have wanted from this book is a "where are they now" chapter. I want to know how her relationships with her fellow captives have evolved since their release and how they have adjusted to regaining their freedom. It was all so intriguing. Loved it. You should read it - even if you have zero interest in Colombian politics, like me.

5/5 - read it.

New Hair Vote.... again :)

I know it seems like just yesterday, I chopped off all of my hair, but really it has been about 6 weeks. Time for a trim if I intend to keep this short look up, which is NOT my norm. I usually chop off the hair, and come back a year later for a trim and color touch up. haha Well, I am really digging the shorter hair and it is driving me absolutely NUTS that it's been flipping out like crazy at the ends and going a little flatter than I'd like. So, here are the 3 contenders for the cut. I am leaning towards #3, but let's do a poll anyway.

Option #1:

Option #2:

Option 3:

Color options.... er, option. I know I want to lighten up for summer.... something I really haven't done before. I have almost always been brunette with occasional forays into the reds, but here is what I am thinking of for now:


It's been 2 weeks....

Whoops. Sorry readers - it's been a busy, hectic, and frustrating 2 weeks, with some bright spots.

I haven't written about how my eating and fitness goals are going for quite awhile, so I am going to give you a mini-update on that.

Since I signed up for roughly 2 months ago I have lost 4 lbs. Now, I know that seems a little measly considering my goal is 25 lbs, but it is progress! Also, the extra benefits and things that I am learning are wonderful. I have gained so much awareness of the things I am putting into my body. I am getting a lot better at gauging how many calories might be in something and I am alot more aware of how terrible I feel after eating something really crappy. For example, last night I had a chocolate cake shake from Portillo's and I loved every ooey, gooey, chocolately bite of it, but about 30 min after I finished the whole thing, my stomach started hurting. I felt bloated and gross. This morning, I still had a stomach ache. Now, was the entire chocolate cake shake worth that? Heck no! I am learning great lessons about changing my lifestyle and eating habits for good, and I am really excited about it. And ya know what? I am really excited about those 4 lbs too! I have done little to no exercising to lose that weight - it's been 90% calorie control. My body has just been using up those extra fat stores I have instead of being able to depend on 2000 calories of bad food to use and store up. I have felt better and had more energy for the most part and it has been great. Maybe by this time next year I will be ready for a bikini! haha We can dream right?

Other things to look forward too for you:
1. I rearranged my living room for a more open, spacious feel. I will share pictures as soon as I vacuum and pick up all of the doggy toys strewn about the room. :)
2. I am reading a fabulous book called Even Silence Has An End. It's about a Colombian woman who is held captive by guerrillas in the Amazon jungle for 6 years. I am only on chapter 12 and I am loving it. (Non-fiction btw - look at me branching out!)
3. I have officially begun Operation: Kitchen Redecoration. I was tired of the deep reds and browns and am going for something a little more sunny :) I am excited to show you that once it is finished. Right now the whole room looks a little bi-polar. It is half blue and yellow and half red, with a red wall even. Ha! Looking forward to brightening that up for Spring!!
4. The weather is finally nice enough to be outside for more than 3 minutes at a time, so today, I have officially started the Patio Overhaul! My father-in-law is bringing over his Shop-Vac later and I am suuuuuuper excited to blow all of the dead leaves and asian beetles (I HATE THOSE BUGS) off of my patio and to trash that ugly table! Woo hoo!