Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ten On Tuesday

1) One of my dearest friends, Billie Jo, is getting married this Friday. We've spent years talking about our future husbands and weddings.... I can hardly believe it is here for her!! I can't wait to celebrate, but getting to that point should be interesting. In fact, I have 24 hours to get A TON of stuff done before I have to make the 4 hour drive to her wedding destination.

2) My Ninny is probably one of the most technically challenged people you will ever meet. She legitimately doesn't know how to turn on a computer. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I got this.....

Isn't she the cutest?!

3) Last week's contemporary dance by Travis Wall on SYTYCD had me in tears. I've been obsessed with the song 'Hanging By A Thread' for years. Legitimately, I have loved it for over ten years. So, between the song, the choreography, and the performance, I was a goner.


4) Last week, I had lunch with my friend Ash and her new baby Selah. It took eight weeks to meet this darling, but I finally did and she is just precious.....

5) I got my nails done as part of the pre-wedding preparations. Very little feels better than having freshly manicured nails.

6) It is so friggin HOT, right now. Like, we were watching the news and someone commented, "Ugh.... 106 in Arizona, right now. No way."..... I looked at them like they were crazy and said, "Hello! It was 94 degrees here with 88% humidity. 106 degrees is exactly what today felt like!" 

7) Speaking of hot, do you know how hard it is to run when it's in the high 80s in both temperature and humidity? This shirt may be my only motivation to keep going.....

 8) My coworker T and I share the same birthday and have started the official daily countdown. Our other coworkers are so thrilled.

9) Rebel Wilson has a new sitcom on ABC this Fall. I'm both excited and fearful. Excited because I love Rebel Wilson. Fearful because I do not want them to screw this up.

10)  I'm kind of obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence's hair color from 'Silver Linings Playbook.' No, not the dark lighting look, but the actual color that is evident in a couple of the outdoor scenes. I've never fully dyed my hair before (just highlights about once every six months), but I think I'm going to go for it this Fall....


Friday, July 26, 2013

Bloggy Mean Girls

If you've been a part of the Bloggy World for a while, I'm sure you've noticed that there are "cliques" within the blogosphere. You know.... the sets of Bloggers that have hundreds (maybe even thousands) of followers and they stick together. The popular ones, in a way. 

Now, generally, I hold these cliques in mind the same way I did in high school. Usually like-minded (or like-blogging) people gravitate towards one another. In high school, the cheerleaders hung out with the cheerleaders. The basketball players with the basketball players. Etc, etc. It wasn't because they didn't like others who weren't in their activity...... but more because you spent about 18 hours a day with that set of people, so you were most comfortable with them.

It's the same way with blogging, really. Women who started their blogs around the same time..... women who got married around the same time.... women who are having babies around the same time.... women who are going through "health" journeys.... women who like to be super fashionable. You get the idea.

And, really, all of that is ok. As long as everyone is nice to one another. I was a cheerleader and an Honor student in high school, so I hung out with the other cheerleaders and honor students. But, I tried to be nice to other groups. Same way with blogging. Some people connect more than others, but you can still be kind.

I've never been a "popular" throughout my life. I have always been one that has a lot of friends, but would never be considered to be in the "in crowd." Basically, I've been ok with that. Because, a lot of times, to be in the "in crowd" you have to exclude other people. And, while everyone has done that to some extent in their lives..... while I've certainly made other people feel bad (unintentionally..... which is usually worse because you were giving NO thought to the person, instead of any thought even if a negative one).... there are some people in the world who get off on treating others as though they are less.

Which brings me to my title..... Bloggy Mean Girls. I've been blogging for long enough that I've heard of such. However, I hadn't really experienced it for myself. Again.... there are some bloggers that I know don't consider me their favoritebloggingfriendEVERlovethemsomuchandjustwanttobereallifebesties. Every now and again, we'll comment to each other. Or, tweet back and forth. Or, I'll comment on their blog and they'll send back a short, sweet reply. But, we're not texting, calling, and emailing one another. That's cool. Totally cool. I have my bloggy friends that I consider real life friends and they have theirs. But, they are nice and I am nice. It's a fine coexistence.

I'll even go so far as to say that there are some Super Popular Bloggers that I follow that never, ever respond to a tweet or a comment. And, I'm perfectly fine with that. They seem like really nice people.... they get a ton of comments and tweets.... I'm confident enough in myself to interact with them without getting affirmation back.

This week, however, I got my first real experience with a Bloggy Mean Girl. A complete snub. A subliminal "you aren't important enough to me to acknowledge."

And, it sucked just like others have said it did.

Here's the deal. I work in radio and, by extension, the music industry. I know all about snubs and hierarchy and people using people to get further in their jobs. Just like high school and blogging, I have a pretty good handle on my place in that world. I know to what extent my position can help others....... I recognize the people who don't give a crap about me, the people who only care in so much as I can help them, and the people who actually value ME as a person. I also recognize that it is a job. A job that we're all passionate about (otherwise we wouldn't be willing to put up with it), but a job. In other words, if any of us were not in the job we were in, we would cease to be important in that particular world. The friends that do us favors now, wouldn't be doing them. The perks we get now, would no longer exist. We are expendable.

So, let me bring the Bloggy Mean Girls a little reality.

We are all bloggers. All of us. Whether we have two followers or ten thousand. No one hit "Publish" that very first time and had instant "success" with their blogs. Pioneer Women didn't get her TV show in the first year she posted recipes on the internet.

I imagine that about 95% of us just like to catalog life and thought blogging would be a great way to do that.

Sometimes, I'm pretty sure that I'm talking to myself. And, while I *love* comments (and would love to consistently have more) and I absolutely ADORE some of the people I've met through blogging, I'm ok with talking to myself. Because, ultimately, this blog is for me to chronicle my life.

Whether you have a ton of followers or just your mom reading your blog, absolutely no one would be reading what you have to say if you stopped blogging. There are bloggers that I used to read that had hundreds of followers..... then, they stopped blogging. And? I imagine that while they probably keep in touch with a handful of people, they don't have hundreds of people hanging on every word they type/say anymore.

So, Bloggy Mean Girls, here is a challenge....... Start thinking about your start in blogging. You know, when you were a virtual nobody. And, remember that. OR, stop blogging, tweeting, or instagraming for about six months. Then, see how popular you are or how much pull you have in the social media world.

Bloggy Mean Girls...... Be nice. Being a jerk will catch up to you.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Social: TV Favorites

Sunday Social

1. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
Hands down - Full House. I watched every episode at least half a dozen times. I had the books, the board game (still do, in fact.... my BIL was just commenting on it the other day), the dolls (yep, they had dolls). I LOVED that show. I even wrote an episode and sent it to the writers, in hopes that they would cast me as a Tanner cousin, lol. 

I also loved everything TGIF. And, All My Children..... my mom and I watched AMC together.

2. What is your current favorite TV show?
Oy vey, do I like too much TV..... like, way too much. HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, General Hospital, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, The Mindy Project, etc, etc, etc.

However, I have two shows that I cannot miss, ever. Even though I DVR everything, the two shows I have to see live are Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Love them....

3. Which reality show would you NEVER do?
Survivor. No way, no how.

4. Which reality show would you LOVE to do?
I would *die* to be on Big Brother. In fact, it's a family "joke" (joke in quotes because we're half-kidding and half-hopeful that it would happen) that my brother and I go into the house together, but don't let anyone know. We want to become the first "team" ever to make it to the end without anyone knowing that we're related. We even have it figured out which family members we will each claim and have plans to fake pictures for HOH wins. We may be a little crazy, but at least we're prepared should it ever happen, lol.

Then, once we win, the next obvious step would be The Amazing Race.

Clearly, we're not a family of dreamers or anything.

5. What is the TV personality/character that you feel is most like you?
I feel like I most relate to Jess on New Girl and Mindy on The Mindy Project. There are very specific characteristics from both that I'll watch and think, "Oh crap.... That's me."


6. Which TV character would you want to date?
Ohhhhhhhhhh...... Jackson on Grey's Anatomy, Patrick on General Hospital, Damon on Vampire Diaries, Wade on Hart of Dixie, Carey on The Good Wife..... Isn't that ridiculous?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Beat the Heat Swap: Package Reveal

I joined the 'Beat the Heat Swap' and was paired with Erica.

As you can see below, I lucked out with my partner and the adorable package she sent me! A tumbler, yummy smelling lotion and body spray, nail polish (in my favorite colors), a cute note pad, Starbursts (which may or may not be close to gone), and the sweetest little note from Erica and her two kids.

Loved everything! Thanks, Erica!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flashback Friday: Oh, Christmas Tree

So, generally speaking, we get our Christmas trees the week after Thanksgiving. Sometimes, we slack, but little Lydia was adamant that it wasn't Christmas until there was a tree (girl after my own heart).

In fact, she almost broke our hearts when we were decorating the house and she earnestly came over to my mom and asked if we could please get a Christmas tree.

The next night, we adopted Rufus............. 

Yes, we named him Rufus. Quite frankly, he was the largest and best tree we ever have had. Lydia actually picked him out.

While we were giving Rufus a couple days to settle in before decorating, we got Lydia set up with a Christmas tree for her playroom. The kid was overjoyed to be decorating her little tree.

Eventually, we did get Rufus all dressed up. Every year, we top our tree with the Tin Foil Star that Mike made 21 years ago...............

Seriously, a gorgeous tree.........

Princess Tree........... I adore the way a lit tree looks in a dark room.........

I know it seems silly to document a Christmas tree, seven months after the tree is long gone, but I just had to. Not only do I personally LOVE Christmas trees, but this was the year that Lydia fell in love with them also. A couple days after Christmas, I had her most of the day and I asked her what her favorite part of Christmas this year was. She so innocently said, "Getting a real tree for my house."

It melted me. Sometimes, I do wonder if I'll ever be blessed with children of my own. I pray that I do and I pray that they are as sweet and precious as this kid. But, even if I don't get my own, I've been blessed to see so many of these milestones and priceless moments of Lydia's life.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Some Guest-Postness

Today, I'm at Miranda's blog to talk about Tips of the Disney World Trade!

If you're ever planning a trip to Disney, feel free to email me with any questions (and, to set up a coffee date so I can hug your neck in person)!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

10 on Tuesday

Hi all! I hope you had a glorious 4th of July weekend! Mine was great.... I have lots of fun stuff from the weekend to share, but it might have to wait. We still have family in town, so blogging (or, more like organizing my thoughts and pictures into a post to blog) isn't as high on my radar.

Still, I do have a few thoughts.... Ten, in fact.

1) So, a couple weeks ago, a coworker was complaining about how hot it is outside during remotes. (Imagine that.... Hot outside during the summer in Florida.) She wanted management to buy portable A/C units to take to remotes. Yep. After it was shot down in a meeting, my boss goes, "Hey, Jess. I've been thinking about an ongoing problem we've been having and may have found a solution. Tell me what you think."

He proceeded to plop the following onto my desk....

I almost peed myself, laughing.

2) Speaking of peeing myself, I watched 'Identity Thief' for the first time last night. Hysterical.

3)  I'm *LOVING* this season's 'So You Think You Can Dance'...... Already, I'm completely invested in most of the dancers. I only have about two people that I wouldn't be sad to see leave.

This was my favorite dance last week. Just so much fun!

4) Have you been watching 'Big Brother'? My, my, have those houseguests worked everyone into a tizzy.... and, it's only Week TWO.

Personally, I can't stand Aaryn or Jeremy. Can't wait until they are gone.

Here's the thing..... year after year, there are 'politically incorrect' things said in the house. This year, however, has made national news. I think this is for a couple reasons....... first, the houseguests (unknowingly since they have been in sequester) are saying this at a time when racial tensions are at a high between the Paula Deen debacle and the Zimmerman/Martin trial. Second, most of the time when racists/homophobic/anti-religion comments are made, they are made out of complete ignorance or are made during/following a fight. Not that saying things like that are EVER appropriate, but it's usually an ignorance or heat of the moment situation. These people are saying these things in general conversation about the NICEST people in the house. I mean, Helen has to be one of the sweetest people I've ever seen on that show besides Jordan.

Anyway, some of the houseguests are in for a seriously rude awakening when they exit.

5) I'm on the Recovery Week of Insanity. Such a nice workout. When Shaun T says not to push it, I almost want to kiss my TV screen.

6) I was invited to a sneak peak Media Party for the opening of the new Transformers ride at Universal. Heidi was my Plus One and we had so much fun. They had a Dessert Bar..... we may or may not have sampled everything on it.

 Also, the guy that is the voice of Optimus Prime stopped in during the cocktail party portion of the evening. Looks nothing like I imagined, lol......

7) A (not so nice) coworker faced a very difficult situation in the past 24 hours. My heart really does break for the pain she is feeling. At the same time, I'm a little bit fearful for what is to come. Honestly, she is the type of person that would take this situation and let it make her even harder..... even more bitter. I'm praying that God softens her heart. That she is able to see a message.... some sort of good.... in this and it will change her for the better.

I know you don't know the person or situation, but if you could add her to your prayers, I would appreciate it. 

8) A couple days ago, I randomly started quoting conversations from 'Pitch Perfect' until my family was in stitches. I love that movie and the conversations in it, lol.

9) Um, so Pinkberry is shutting down in Tampa and Orlando. I'm devastated. Not cool, Pinkberry. Not cool.

10) Yesterday, I had to call up Disney to have some information updated to my annual pass. The girl on the phone was delightful. At the end of the call, she wished me "A Magical Day" and it kind of made me happy inside.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Flashback Friday: Thanksgiving Cruise (Cozumel and At Sea)

If you are at all interested in checking out the first half of our Thanksgiving Cruise, you can here.

On Saturday, November 24th, we woke up and were just off the coast of Cozumel. Well, almost.....

Around noon, we got there. Before that, we all met for breakfast and then got ready for our day. Megan and I made it to the gym, again, before getting ready.

Trevor and the younger Megan were THRILLED, because their 19 year old selves could legally drink while watching the Florida/Florida State game at Senor Frogs...........

Yeah, you read that right. We are in another country and the four people above were most concerned with heading to a bar and watching football. Both Megan and Bryan were excited to have one another. See, we are a Gator family and they are the lone Noles. They revel in their own camaraderie.

Uncle Bobby rented a scooter and went on his own to explore.

Mom, Megan, and I had booked an excursion........

Let me tell you.... If you ever go to Cozumel, I *HIGHLY* recommend this excursion. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!! I will warn you, the frozen margaritas are endless. I very quickly forgot how many times they refilled it. The salsa was delicious, too, lol. I'll let the majority of the pictures tell the story....

After you make salsa, they teach you to Salsa dance. Both Megan and I danced from the time we were three, so it was a cinch. Our *ahem* slightly tipsy selves got tired of being taught something we already know, so we started improvise our routine.

We won "Most Fun."

Once our excursion was over, we headed back to the port area to wander around. We got caught up with a Mariachi Band!

While we were waiting for the game to be over and meet back up with everyone, we decided it would be fun to take as many ridiculous pictures as we could......

Eventually, the Gators won (can I get an Amen?) and we joined the rest of the group. My BIL Bryan got GREAT amusement out of the fact that I was dancing all over the place. For whatever reason, he'd never seen me so dance-y and carefree.

Some decided to stay in port and drink. I knew I'd reached my limit and needed food, so the rest of us went back to the ship to eat dinner and hang out before calling it a night.

The next day was At Sea. We spent most of the day chilling on the Lido Deck. We claimed a corner of tables and would take turns going to the Hot Tub, going to the Buffet, and watching our stuff. At one point in the afternoon, the guys split to go do something and Megan/I went to the gym. We caught a game of Bingo, walked around, read a little, and then got ready for our last dinner on the ship.

The whole crew at dinner......

Each night, the liquor guys would try to talk us into the specialty shot of the night. We declined until the last night when they got us with a really yummy sounding one.

Mom's first shot, ever............ Sadly, all four of her children preceded her in this milestone.....

My baby brother and I

After dinner, we all finished packing and then found another place to hang out. Trevor and I walked around a bit, once everyone else headed to bed. Sadly, our trip was coming to an end. We gathered for one last dining room meal for breakfast the next morning, got off the ship, and took the 4 hour drive back home.