Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

2012 has been quite a year. A year of tragedy. A year of change. A year of growth. And a year of happiness. I wouldn't classify this year as horrible by any means, but I'm happy to say goodbye to it and hello to a brand new year, a year full of possibilities.

I started 2012 off quietly. I can't even remember what I did for New Year's last year, which probably means nothing. I'm pretty sure the bottle of champagne wasn't opened. But life took a turn on March 4th with the loss of Rod. A day I will never forget; a day that in some ways will always haunt me. No one can understand what that is like unless it has happened to them. This is the event that defined 2012 for me.

I don't remember when I moved past the tragedy. I was really angry for quite a few days, then one day I remember just feeling content, and finally I felt happy. Of course I still had days I struggled, but most days, I was just happy. And 2012 became a year I grew up, I took responsibility for my own happiness and I changed. 

As I come to the end of 2012, I believe that I am a completely different person than I was at the end of 2011. I am happier. I am confident. I am healthy. I have amazing friends. And most importantly, I like myself again, which I haven't in quite a few years, sadly. So although 2012 started off tragic, it's ending bright and I'm ready to see what 2013 has in store for me.

Which brings me to a few resolutions. I haven't made New Year resolutions for awhile believing that most people who make resolutions forget about them by March. But I feel that this year I need to make them. So here are my resolutions for 2013 ...

Be in love. 
This isn't necessarily about finding someone to be in love with, although finding a partner and falling in love is something that I hope happens soon, but it's also about being in love with my life and my choices and loving myself for me. 

Take risks. 
I've lived an incredibly safe life. This year I want to take risks. Whether it's moving away to a new place, traveling or even small risks like taking cooking classes, I want to challenge myself. Move out of my rut and explore new possibilities. 

Continue being healthy.
In 2013, I want to continue eating healthy, working out and maintain this weight loss. I worked too hard to let myself go again!

Live a happy life.
Above all, I just want to continue to be happy. I am in charge of my own happiness and I will continue to work on it and find happiness in every day.

Enjoy the last day of 2012 and I will see you again in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

High Five for Friday

Friday! This was such a short work week I have to keep reminding myself what day it is. Does anyone else have that problem? But, it is Friday and time for the last High Five for Friday post of the year! I love linking up with Lauren and many other great bloggers for this post so I hope everyone keeps doing it in 2013. 
Let's get to this week's highs ...

Christmas with the family! I spent four days at my parents' house for Christmas and just enjoyed spending time with them, visiting relatives and relaxing. 

The puppies enjoyed Christmas as well!

A new winter jacket. Santa might not have brought me what I asked for this Christmas (boo!), but my parents bought me this beautiful winter jacket. My old winter jacket could be wrapped around me a couple times so it wasn't keeping my very warm. I love this new one. I just need to figure out how to keep it nice and white!

Jacket is from Victoria's Secret.

Spending time with Grandpa. My Grandpa hasn't been feeling well lately. He was diagnosed with cancer and they can't do much about it since at his age chemo is not an option. He had been doing pretty well, but has had some bad days like over Christmas. However, I made sure to spend as much time with him as possible and I'm sure I'll treasure this picture forever.

Making Reindeer Chow. I found my new favorite snack - Reindeer Chow. It's delicious. It's very addicting. It's sweet and salty and perfection. In one way I'm glad I don't have any left at my house, but in another I want to make more of it!

Finalizing New Year's Eve plans. My New Year's Eve plans are all set! I'll be having a few friends over here for the holiday. It will be the first party I've ever hosted since living here and I'm looking forward to it. I figure with booze, snacks and games it will be a blast! Now I just need to find someone to kiss at midnight ...

I hope you all had a wonderfully merry and bright Christmas! 
Until next time~

Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! This week has been busy doing last minute preparations for Christmas and running errands. All good things to help me break out of my "in a rut" feeling! And the best news ever came through this week .... I have a friend fighting a battle with cancer and she was able to come home from the hospital for Christmas! I'm so happy she's home; that news made my week!

Now, let's link up with Lauren and many other great bloggers for High Five for Friday ...

I picked up this glittery, sparkly shirt from Old Navy while it was on sale. I love buying things that are very trendy at inexpensive prices so Old Navy was a good place to pick this up. It will be cute for the holidays and just add a touch of sparkle to my every day wardrobe!

Starbucks carries their Christmas Blend coffee in a k-cup! I was thrilled to see this in the store and I had a $1 off coupon for it! Now if only Caribou would follow suit and put their delicious Reindeer Blend in a k-cup!

Yesterday I went to the mall (bright and early before it got too busy!) to pick up a new sweater to wear for Christmas. My family doesn't get all dressed up so a sweater and jeans is perfect. You can't see it in this photo, but the cream color sweater has a little bit of gold metallic running through it so I thought it was a great choice for Christmas. And I liked it so much, and the 40% off sale at Express, that I picked the sweater up in blue, too!

Every time I see this pin I giggle. Mostly because it's so true in my case! (Sadly.)

On Sunday I took Mercedes to see Santa at Petsmart! She was terrified of Santa so I joined in on the picture as well, which I planned for due to past experiences of Mercedes with other people. She's very particular about who she lets hold her! This picture turned out so cute!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Merry Christmas!!
Until next time~

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Year's Eve

My past New Year holidays have been a dud. I'm not going to get into it, but just know that I haven't had any fun on New Year's for quite a long time. This year I want to make it fun, spectacular and just make a plan so I don't end up sitting at home alone! New Year's by yourself does NOT sound like a good time!

My first thought was to go out to a bar. Which sounds fun in theory. But, you have to find someone who is willing to be a sober cab and you have to find an exciting, but not too crowded bar. I still am really interested in this idea, but I think the safer idea might to have a party at someone's house. And it seems that it might be my house. I'm kind of intrigued by the idea. However, I need to make sure it's not all just couples and me. That would not be a thrilling night! I have to decide soon if I want this to happen so I could invite people! But what if no one comes?? The things I worry about ....

However, I could wear a cute, sparkly, glittery skirt and not have to worry about getting cold!

Source: via Kristine on Pinterest

And I could drink my favorite drinks that won't cost me $12 and toast with yummy champagne at midnight. 

And maybe I'll be lucky enough to have this happen!

So, what do you do on New Year's Eve? Do you go out? Stay in with close friends and family? Whatever you do, I hope it's fun!

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Five for Friday

It's Friday! Which means it's time to link up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk blog for High Five for Friday ...

Last Saturday my parents came to visit! They haven't been here in months, probably since early summer, so it was so nice to see them visit again. We went out to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, did a little shopping (seriously, my dad spent three hours in Cabela's!) and went through some stuff in my garage that I need to sell. And luckily my dad offered to buy most of it!! Guys and tools!

On Sunday we got hit with a major snowstorm. We got around 14 inches where I live. That is quite a bit of snow in one day! I don't exactly like the snow, but it looked pretty and I got this cute picture of Mercedes climbing on top of a snow bank!

This blog article on Though Catalog is amazing ... "The One Who Wants To Be With You." I find it extremely sweet and the contrast between someone who loves you and someone who doesn't is perfect.
"You deserve to be loved by someone who knows how to love you, specifically, and only you. You deserve someone that won't let your dreams stay locked away. You deserve to live them."

This year for Christmas I basically only have to buy for one person - my nephew. I bought the majority of his presents this week except one thing. He's really into Monster Trucks and has over 100 of them, but there are a few he still doesn't have. This week I have been to three Target stores looking for the ones he doesn't have and I can't find them. Do they sell different ones in different states?

I gravitate toward sequin mini skirts everywhere I go; I really want one! I wish I had somewhere to wear one. My Pinterest style board is full of them. These are a few of my favorites ... Maybe I can make plans for New Year's Eve and get one!!

Until next time~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Different Perspective

So often I refer to this past year as "difficult" or "rough", but when I really sit and think about it, this year has been pretty great. Yes, I took a hard hit in March and lost someone incredibly important to me, but that great loss turned me into someone amazing, someone I like and someone who is learning how to dream again. 

From this point forward, I don't want to focus on the negative of this year, but look at it through a different perspective. That rough patch has taught me so much. It taught me so much about who I am, what I want, who I want, and where I'm going in life. 

Life knocks you down, but focusing on the negative does nothing for you other than makes you unhappy. And who wants to live an unhappy life? Not me. Yes, this year was a rough, but it was also a learning experience. I have learned how to stand on my own two feet. How to be strong and confident. How to be me again and enjoy this life I am blessed with every day. And I'm looking forward to what life has in store next. 

Until next time~

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Santa ...

Dear Santa,
I've been an extremely good girl this year. I mean, let's be honest, I had opportunities to be naughty, but I always chose the nice girl route so I think that deserves some recognition. In case you need some ideas, here are the things that top my gift wish list this year ....

The iPhone 5
I need a new phone; my current one is slowly dying. As much as people try to convince me, I'm not sure I can switch to a Droid so an iPhone tops my list.

A Shopping Spree 
In case you didn't realize this, I recently lost almost 50 pounds and this girl needs new clothes! A few of my favorite stores include Victoria's Secret, The Buckle, The Loft, Forever 21 and even Target.

An Electric Blanket
I'm constantly cold this winter and an electric blanket would help me feel warm and cozy without having to turn my heat up. A side effect of losing the weight, maybe? I'm a little picky about colors; I would prefer cream, gray or brown please.

Love Script Ring
I bought one of these a few months ago and it's now too big for even my thumb. I like having the reminder to not give up on love. Size 6, please!

From Nordstrom

Ugg Boots
I know they're kind of ugly. But I live in Minnesota where there is over a foot of snow and freezing cold temps. These would keep my toes nice and toasty when running errands!

From Victoria's Secret

Nespresso Lattissma Plus Coffee Maker
I love coffee in the mornings and I'm getting bored with just plain coffee. I love my Keurig, but I like the option of making lattes!


A Coach Purse
I am in love with this pink purse! 

A Happy Holiday with My Family and Loved Ones
Truthfully, although presents are great, I just want a happy holiday this year. It's been a rough year, but I hope we have all moved past that and can be together in happiness and have some fun this Christmas. I want my family and loved ones to know that I love them and above all, just want to spend time with them this year. 

Thank you, Santa. I'll leave some cake bites for you by the tree!

Friday, December 7, 2012

High Five for Friday

I'm back! I've missed the last two High Five for Friday posts due to Thanksgiving and my birthday, and it's nice to be back again! I haven't been very blog-inspired lately either so that means this blog has been completely silent. I need to find some inspiration soon and get back to writing! I miss it ....

But for today, let's get into my weekly link up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog for High Five for Friday!

Last Friday was my birthday!! I had an incredible birthday; I loved it this year. Although I didn't wake up to anyone making me these amazing looking birthday cake pancakes like I wished, I did get to spend the day exactly how I wanted. I slept in, did a little shopping and got all dressed up and had some fun in downtown Minneapolis. My dress from White House Black Market was perfect for the day and I felt so beautiful! Plus, I received so many text messages and Facebook posts that I felt so loved. Such a wonderful day!

I received a sweet surprise from one of my friends for my birthday ... a new Scentsy warmer! A couple of weeks ago I blogged that I wanted this and my dear friend in Seattle, Elisabeth, ordered it for me and had it delivered on my birthday with my two favorite scents. I love it and fits perfectly in my bedroom!

I found this awesome faux leather moto jacket at Forever 21 while I was out shopping on my birthday. I needed a jacket to go over my dress and I knew that I wanted a faux leather jacket with a rock-n-roll edge. I couldn't find the perfect one at the five stores I checked before, but when I saw this one, I knew it was the one. Plus, it looks great with jeans! I will get lots of wear out of this $35 purchase!

I'm trying to get into the holiday spirit. It's supposed to snow this weekend, and I'm sure that will help. But I did start putting up a few Christmas decorations last weekend. Not many, but a few to brighten up my house including my pretty white tree!

I've been trying to capture the perfect picture of Mercedes and me. Do you know how difficult it is to pose with your dog and get her to look at the camera and look cute yourself? Well, finally I captured one!

I hope everyone had a great week! Remember to be thankful for the little things in life, for those make great memories! 

Until next time~