Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January recap and goals for February

It's time to recap those January goals and make some new goals for February!

1. Read at least three books. NAILED IT! I actually read 8. These are the books I read this month:

For The Right Reasons by Sean Lowe. You know I am a Bachelor fan, so I had to read Sean's book! I liked it... He's not perfect, he made mistakes, but he's learning and he loves Catherine. This was an easy read and an entertaining story, especially if you're a Bachelor fan.

The Home Series by Megan Nugen Isbell. There are five books in this series (and more are coming), and I read them ALL this month. The series is centered around Riley Rivas, who moved to a tiny town in Kansas her senior year of high school, after living in Boston her entire childhood. The series follows her love life as she grows up (and later focuses on other characters).  I was really sucked in from the first book! It's a love story, but it's not dirty at all. It's romantic.

Country Heaven by Ava Miles. This was free on my Kindle, so I gave it a shot. This is another romance, about a country mega star who (spoiler alert!) falls in love with his cook while they're on tour together.  It was OK. Good enough to keep me entertained, but not quite good enough to make me want to run out and buy the next book.... although there is a loose end that still needs to be dealt with, so I may spend the $4 after I read a few more books that I already own!

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty. This is the 3rd book of hers that I read, and they've all been great. Lots of plot twists and turns. This book was a STEAL at 1.99 for kindle (most of her books at $10+). Although this book was still quite good, it was my least favorite of Liane Moriarty's (there's one huge plot hole that I can't get past.... perhaps the reason why this book is so much cheaper than the rest.

2. Lose 5+ pounds. Well, I didn't lose 5 pounds. On January 1st, I was the heaviest I've ever been: 243. As of this morning, I am 239.9.  That's progress! Every little bit helps!

3. Make 2 new recipes. I almost didn't make this goal. It's just so much easier to make the same things every night. But I made crock pot chicken parmesan from a recipe I found here, and I made deep fried zucchini chips from a recipe I found here. I may or may not be posting about these next week. To be determined.

4. Limit Candy Crush to one night a week. Success! I actually didn't play Candy Crush AT ALL in January. Hence the reason I read so much!

It was a successful month! Now here are some goals for February:

1. Lose 5 pounds. I need to keep the momentum going! I'd love to lose 50 pounds this year, but it's one step at a time!

2. Read 3 more books. Any suggestions?

3. Design and make cute Valentines for the kids to pass out. I actually need to get on this ASAP. I am leaving for a business trip on the 9th and won't be back before Valentine's Day, and I doubt that The Agent would be able to recreate whatever cuteness I have in my head.

4. Throw a fabulous party for Bug. She originally wanted to have it a laser tag place. Sounds easy enough! But then she sprung on me that she'd rather have a slumber party. Oh Mylanta! I'm not sure that I'm ready to take that on!

What do you have planned for this short month of love? Anything special?

(ETA-- Linking up with Angie and Karen, so we can all share in our successes and challenges!)

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Bachelor Ben takes on Mexico

Viva La Mexico!

Bachelor Ben and his beauties are in Mexico this week! I am super excited because it looks like there is going to be massive drama this week!

The girls ooh and aah over the suite, but it didn't take long to find a date card waiting!

Amanda: "Let's put all our eggs in one basket."

I love that baby mama. She's so cute. But Olivia was upset and threw daggers at Amanda, because Olivia was SO SURE that she was going to the one on one. Wrong again, Olivia!

Ben shows up at 4:20 in the morning to pick up Amanda for their date. Oh my goodness, I would die. Some  girls definitely better than others. Amanda looks gorgeous. I wish I could wake up and instantly look cute and perky.

Ben takes Amanda up in a hot air balloon, and then they have a picnic in the middle of a field.

In the evening portion  of the date, Amanda gets serious and talks about her failed marriage. She's sweet and cute, but she said LIKE maybe 847 times. Near the end, I couldn't even follow her story, because I was busy waiting for the next LIKE. "Like, I really wanted, like, to keep my family, like, together. But eventually, like, you need to know when it's, like, time to, like, end it."

Amanda gets the rose.

Jubilee, Emily, Becca, Caila, Jojo,  Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia: "Como se dice-- The way to a man's heart?"

The girls are first given Spanish lessons, and Jubilee is giving quite a bit of  'tude. Ben says "Te amo," which means "I love you," and Jubilee's response is, "Yeah, you said that to the last four girls."

Preach it, sister.

Ben next takes the girls to a restaurant to  make an authentic Mexican dish. They can follow a recipe, but it's entirely in Spanish. The girls are told to pair up, but then they find out that Ben will be paired with someone, so Jubilee and Olivia start fighting over who will get to be partnered with Ben.

They should have been paired with each other, and Lauren B. could have been with Ben.

But crazy Olivia pushes in and becomes Ben's partner. They make something disgusting with crickets in it. They do not win.

Jubilee and Lauren win the "contest" for having the best dish. It looked delicious, but Ben notices that Jubilee is having the least amount of fun.

At the after party, Jubilee honestly tried not to be crazy. She was ready to steal him away first, but AS ALWAYS, Olivia beat everyone to the punch. That's got to make anyone upset. And shame on Ben! At some point you'd think that he'd say, "Hey, there are 8 other girls here. Maybe I could talk to one of them first for once?" And he's clearly not that in to her-- did you see the closed mouthed kisses? And compare that to the hot and heavy make out session that he had with Lauren B.-- he for sure is more in to Lauren.

Jubilee, meanwhile, is getting more and upset, and Ben is picking up on it. Jubilee is distancing herself from Ben, and Ben says that at this point, it would be unfair to Jubilee to lead her on and have her think that there might be something more. Ben says it's best that she go home now.

BFF is blowing up my phone at this point. She was never a Jubilee fan. But I felt so bad. I feel like I would be exactly like Jubilee: tough exterior, don't let him know how much I care, but wanting to love and be loved SO BAD.

But then Ben big fat makes the biggest mistake of the night: He gives Olivia the rose. Ben! What are you thinking????

Lauren H.: "Let's Design a Life Together."
Lauren and Ben go to a fashion show together, and then they are told that they are going to be PART of the show. What a blast! To feel that beautiful-- I would love that!

Their date wasn't really anything to write home about. They kiss.  She got the rose. The end.

The final cocktail party has a weird vibe. The girls in general are annoyed that Olivia has a rose. Amanda was talking about her family, and Olivia said "It feels like an episode of Teen Mom." Ugh! Can she BE any more offensive? Amanda shows her maturity by confronting Olivia and saying that she was being disrespectful. Olivia  apologizes (whether she was fake or not is up for debate), but the girls are all still upset.

Emily the twin takes Ben aside and unleashes about how terrible Olivia is. And then she cries the weirdest fake cry ever. I mean, I say it's fake, but there are actual tears, so maybe it's real? It was really bizarre.

Harrison arrives, signifying the end of the cocktail party. But before the rose ceremony, Ben says he must speak to Olivia first.


Son of a --!

I friggin' hate cliff hangers.

Weekend update-- I'm a sports mom

I cannot fathom how it’s February already. Nor can I comprehend that my February is already booked pretty solid.

BK’s baseball draft was on Saturday. He did…. OK. First he was thrown three balls, like pop ups. He was supposed to catch the ball from the outfield, and then throw it to first base. He caught one of the three balls, but was able to throw them all back with ease. Then three grounders were hit to him, which he again needed to stop and throw back. He missed one completely and had to run to catch it, but was able to throw it back from the outfield. He stopped the other two and threw them back, although one throw completely missed his mark. Finally, he had to hit the ball from a pitching machine. He was given 5 pitches, and he hit three of them.

We only took video, so this is a still shot from the video. Ready to play!

Overall, I thought he did well. He wasn’t the best kid there, but he was by no means the worse. And BK was just happy to be out there playing ball. He said, “I think I’m going to get drafted to the A’s!” We’ll see!

I actually missed the tail end of the baseball draft because Bug and I had to go to her basketball game. She gets better every game, and you can tell that she’s really enjoying herself! She still hasn’t scored during a game, but she is clearly better on defense than offense. She had some awesome blocks: DENIED!

I need to get a phone with a better camera. This would have been an awesome shot! 

After the game, I worked on Bug’s birthday invitation. She has convinced me to let her have a slumber party for her 10th birthday. I’m such a sucker!

I would love to take credit for the cuteness of this design, but I can’t. The original design came from Note-able Chic. She has a totally cute etsy shop, check it out here

On Sunday, I went grocery shopping while The Agent worked on my fireplace. The process is painfully slow, but it’s coming together, one step at a time!

Bug spent Sunday afternoon working on a project for her girl scout troop. She had to read the news, find an issue that’s important to the community, write a letter to a politician giving her opinion about the subject, and then give a presentation to the rest of the troop. She decided to write about the water contamination in our city (something that Erin Brockovich has decided to get her nosy butt involved in). The subject was a little over her head, but she did a good job. She also made a poster as a visual aid.

TTHM stands for Total Trihalomethane-- a yucky bacteria that's growing in our water pipes

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites

I've been reading several Friday Favorite posts for months now, so I decided to join in. This is a link up hosted by Andrea, Erika, and Narci. These are my favorites for the week!

I'm all about basketball this week. One of Bug's besties was on the opposing team last week and they were matched up to defend against each other. It was a great game! Bug didn't score, and her team lost, but she is an AWESOME defender! Every game, she gets a little better. She was awarded a star at her last game for best defense!

Girl Scouts are a favorite this week! Bug is new to the troop so she's still learning the ins and outs of the whole system. But the best part is that it's girl Scout Cookie time!

I LOVE me some girl scout cookies! Bug's goal is to sell 165 boxes. At first, I thought that was crazy. She's not going door to door, and I'm not one to push sales at work, so how is she supposed to sell that many? I really didn't want to put any pressure on her. But good Lord, people love those cookies. I've just kept the order form at my desk and I've sold 70 boxes. And the troop got some pretty good booth locations (one at Target, one at Bass Pro, and one at a fancy overpriced grocery store) that Bug will be working at, so I think she might make her goal.

If you don't know a girl scout and are craving some thin mints, you can click here and order them online! I love that they offer a sample pack-- one box each of all 8 flavors.

The rain is a favorite this week! You probably know that California has been in a drought for the last three years. Well, El Nino is here! It's been raining at least a couple days a week for the last several weeks. Our snow pack's at 115%! We're not out of the woods yet, we need a few more heavy winter storms, but it's a step in the right direction! And the forecast for today is.... MORE RAIN!

The only bummer is that the grass has been too wet, so they keep postponing BK's baseball draft for Little League. Fingers crossed that it will happen next week.

What are some of your favorites this week?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

what i wore wednesday from a real girl

I thought I looked pretty cute in this outfit. The Agent even commented on my cuteness when I walked out the door on my way to work. I had Bug snap a picture of me and then I was on my merry way.

The outfit still looks ok, but I need to rethink my make up choices.

The cardigan came from Target, here. It's from their new Ava & Viv plus size line. This sweater is super comfortable, but it sheds and pills like nobody's business. My office chair was polka dotted by the time I left for the day.  The color is sour cream.

what I wore wednesday:

The shirt is from Forever 21, about 100 years ago. It's just a basic scoop neck top. You could buy one of 60 black shirt  options here.

The slacks are also from about a million years ago. They were my purchase ever from New York and Company, back when you could get a nice pair of work pants for $7.00. Those days are long over. Lots of similar options are here, ranging from $25 to $50. New York and Company still makes my favorite wear-to-work clothes. Thank goodness the closest one is 30 minutes away, or else I'd be even broker than I am now.

The shoes were a Christmas present. You can find them here. The color is blush, which I thought was nude when I saw them online, but they're more pink than nude. Just a little slight POC.

You can't really see the shoes in the picture, so here's a close up:

someone once told me toe cleavage is sexy.... I think that's kinda gross

That's it! See you next week!

~The Lovely One

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Bachelor Ben-- Viva Las Vegas!

The Bachelor and his ladies are off to Las Vegas this week! You know what they say.... What happens in Vegas, gets blogged about!

ONE ON ONE DATE: Jojo- "You set my heart on Fire."
The date is off to a shaky start when  a helicopter comes to pick them up, knocking over a table and a bottle of champagne and nearly disrobing poor Jojo. Ben makes her feel better by shoving his tongue  down her throat.... which all the other girls can see through their hotel window. They are sufficiently grossed out.

I guess they don't do anything during the day, except take a helicopter ride. During the dinner, Jojo reveals that she got out of a serious relationship 5 months ago. Not a good sign, Jojo.

But Ben likes her enough to give her a rose, which of course she accepts.

And then there is an AWESOME fireworks display.... which all the other girls can see as well.

There must be some serious drama later, because I think about 5 minutes was spent on Jojo's date. What does "You set my heart on fire" even have to do with what we saw? You suck, ABC.

(Olivia is going insane, by the way)

GROUP DATE: Baby Mama Amanda, Jubilee, Caila, cutie flight attendant Lauren B., Second Chance Amber,  Haley Twin #1, Emily Twin #2, Leah, Lauren H., Jennifer, Rachel, and Crazy Olivia-- "Show Me Whatcha Got."  I actually had no idea what the date card said, because I was so excited that it means Second Chance Becca is going to get the next one on one date! More on that in a minute, but I really hope that girl finds love.

You can tell from the beginning that this is going to be a fun silly date. The girls have to show their talent. Some girls are truly talented. Jubilee can play the cello. The twins can do a synchronized river dance. Some girls really.... don't have much talent.

Oh, Olivia.

Olivia must have realized what a serious red hot mess she was, so she had quite the panic attack after her "performance." She prides herself on reading Ben's nonverbal cues (a look, a pat on the thigh), and she was positive that she blew it after she received a "pity hug" from Ben.

Caila is not wearing enough clothes to the after party. She really isn't wearing more than a long black shirt. But Ben's not complaining. He digs her. He also digs Lauren the kindergarten teacher and Amanda the baby mama.... and hopefully not Olivia.

Ben is just so adorable. I love him. He's sweet and funny and smokin' hot. And he has done an excellent job of making sure that each girl truly feels special.

Lauren B. (the cutie flight attendant) gets the rose.

ONE ON ONE DATE: Becca-- "Get dressed it's a big day." Along with a wedding dress!

Ben surprises Becca by saying he is ordained and Becca and Ben will be marrying people today in Las Vegas.

Ben is SO stinkin' cute! He is actually nervous about marrying people! It shows that he really takes the job seriously.

Becca and Ben have a serious talk about her virginity. Ben says that since he's not a virgin, is it going to be a problem? Becca says no, the choices of your past make you the person you are today. But here's the thing: Ben isn't going to wait forever. You better have a short engagement. #TeamBeccaFroever

Oh, and Becca gets the rose.

Normally, we would get to rose ceremony now, but Ben makes his own rules. He has decided to have a spur of the moment 2 on 1 date with the two twins: Haley and Emily.

I don't blame him at all. He can't probably tell them any better than anyone else in America. It's time to make a choice.

Now, it doesn't say that he will let one go home, or both of them, or neither of them. But still, the girls have got to be scared. And where does Ben take them?

Home to meet their mama.

One twin (I think Haley)  has pictures of her exboyfriend all over her room. The other twin (I think Emily?) is saying that she's ready for Haley to peace out.

One of them (I think Emily?) has a bandaged thumb. Is that how he tells them apart?

Ben has some special time with their mama. She says that Emily is more dominant one, while Haley fades to the back, but when Haley is all in, she's truly all in.

Ben, right there, in front of Mama, sends Haley home, and decides to keep Emily.... although he doesn't actually give her a rose... does he?

Dumping your girl in front of her mom-- not awkward at all.

At the cocktail party, Jennifer made her move and asked for the first time with Ben. The girls are all sweet and applauded Jennifer, but Olivia interrupted them within 5 minutes. To Ben's credit, he seems pretty annoyed with her.

Rose Ceremony:
Jojo (one on one)
Lauren B (group date)
Becca (one on one)
Baby Mama Amanda
Lauren H.
Emily Twin No More
Caila (If Becca doesn't get Ben, I hope Caila does)
And the final rose goes to....
Crazy Olivia

Tonight we say goodbye to Rachel, and Second Chance Amber. Both girls cry, but Amber straight sobs. Rachel admits that she's the only one who hadn't kissed him yet, so we kind of expected that.

The girls are off to Mexico next week!  Is it going to be the week that Olivia finally goes home? We can only hope!

BONUS-- did you see the ending credits scene, where Ben and Caila try to get a cookie from their forehead to their mouth? Hilarious!

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Let's Talk!

I decided to do a new link up with Andrea and Erika.

This month's topic is New Years. I already wrote about some of my goals for the month back here.

I'm doing great on half of these goals, the jury's still out on the other half. Stay tuned for a recap next week.

Instead, I think I'll talk about a few things that I'm excited about in 2016.

I'm excited about going on a vacation! Where should we go? Should we bring the kids, or make it an adults only getaway? If we take the kids, we may go to Disneyland, or the Grand Canyon, or The Agent has a desire to see Wisconsin (side note-- is Wisconsin a vacation getaway? Where should we go and what should we do when we get there?). If we do an adult only getaway, I'm thinking Seattle, Boston, or Mexico. But then who will watch my babies? Do YOU want to watch them? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm excited about my career. I have been really liking my job since I've been promoted. I'm learning a lot and I'm excited about where I'm heading. I don't know how long this will last, but I am happy for now. I'm also excited that raises come out in March!

I'm excited for milestone birthdays! My Baby Bug will be turning TEN in March! Double digits-- where does the time go? She's already been planning her party-- she wants to have it at a laser tag place. I am totally ok with that-- I don't need a bunch of crazies at my house! In addition to Bug, my brother will be 30 and one of my best friends will be 40, both in October. My brother has already decided he wants to go to Reno for his birthday, but my girlfriend hasn't decided where  she wants to go, although she mentioned a long girls weekend in Nashville. I would be down for that!

I'm excited for a busy sporting season with the kids! Bug just started basketball season. Right when that gets over, BK will be starting baseball, and then when THAT'S over, we'll be doing swimming (maybe. I might be exhausted by then). BK is super sporty, but this is the first interest Bug has ever shown in sports. So far, she's doing great!

What are you excited for this year? Join in the kink up and let's talk!

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