Thursday, June 28, 2012

{Nail Style}

I think I am far to "plain jane" and conservative to pull off anything but nude, pink or red nails but with all these cool nail designs these days it really makes me want to venture out and try something new.  Here are some of my favorites:

I really love the look of a solid color on all the nails except for the 2nd to last one, and adding a different color, glitter polish or fun print to just that one nail.  Just not sure if I can pull that look off!
What is your favorite way to wear your nails? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pinterest Wednesay- SoCal Love

I LOVE California.  Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills are magical, Orange County is energetic but quaint and so beautiful, Napa/Sonoma = wine country, San Francisco is exciting and fun, Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur are breathtaking.  Besides my home state of Texas, California is probably my favorite state.  The weather is pretty much perfect all year around and there is so much to see and do all over the state.  Luckily my job brings me to CA several times a year and right now I am right outside of Los Angeles.  SO,  my pins today are dedicated to this beautiful part of the state that I am in  :)  

Link up with Michelle and share your favorite pins this week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

{The Real OC}

Hellooooo from sunny, southern California!
Once again I am back in CA for work for the week.  This time I am working in the Long Beach part of LA.

Since I have done Hollywood, Beverly Hills and that part of LA before I think I will only venture out there one of my nights.  The other nights I am planning on heading down to Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach!

So beautiful!!

Hope yall had a great weekend! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Club Friday!

Today I am linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday!  Head over to her blog, link up and share what you are reading!
I am usually good about just reading one book at a time but somehow I have managed to be reading 3 books at once.  They are all 3 VERY different so it is easy to keep track what is going on in which book.
So, here is what I am reading!
Bloom by Kelle Hampton
I have blogged about this book a couple times over the past month.  I am finally almost finished with it.  Everyone should read this book.  SO good and inspirational!  
Amazon Description:
Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.
That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.
From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.
But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.
With lyrical prose and gorgeous full-color photography, Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella's first year of life—a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes. It is a story about embracing life and really living it, of being fearless and accepting difference, of going beyond constricting definitions of beauty, and of the awesome power of perspective. As Kelle writes, "There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky."

This Is Why You Are Fat by Jackie Warner

My friend at work just read this book and told me I had to read it so, I just started it last night!  I am literally one chapter into it but already love it.  Very informative and easy to understand.  I love learning about the body and the way it works and responds to different foods and medicines.  I don't know about you but I need all the motivation I can get when it comes to eating healthy and losing weight! 

Amazon Description:
"Being fat isn't your fault; staying fat is." That's what Jackie Warner, America's favorite no-nonsense celebrity fitness trainer, tells her own clients, and that's why no one delivers better results than Jackie.

Now for the first time, Jackie reveals her groundbreaking program, showing you how to get hot and healthy-and thin forever. Her empowering strategies help you drop pounds and inches fast, without grueling workouts or deprivation. Her two-tiered approach provides a complete nutritional makeover and a failure-proof condensed workout routine, PLUS all the emotional support and encouragement you need to get to the finish line and beyond.

With Jackie's core principles, you'll be shocked to find what is actually making you fat, and how easy it is to get thin for a lifetime. Discover her surprising secrets:

  • ADD TO LOSE: In Jackie's 2-week jump-start, no food is off-limits. You'll actually add food to your diet in order to lose weight.
  • CHEATING IS ALLOWED: Eat clean for 5 days, then indulge in whatever you want over the weekend!
  • FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY: Fat doesn't make you fat; sugar does! Learn to finally control those sweets cravings.
  • SKIP THE CRUNCHES: They just build muscle under the fat. Discover the fastest way to shrink your waist and spark your metabolism for rapid fat loss.
  • LESS (EXERCISE) IS MORE: Workouts shouldn't take over your day-give Jackie just 20 minutes and you'll see results.
  • THINK YOURSELF THIN: It's true! Jackie's own breakthrough mind-body techniques called Metaphysiques will help you create the body you want-by thinking it into reality.
THIS IS WHY YOU'RE FAT (AND HOW TO GET THIN FOREVER) is your first and last stop on the way to a new fit and healthy you!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Love Love Love this book!!! If you have not read it yet...go buy it and start reading now.  It will change your life, promise!  I am over half way done with it and can already tell you this is a book I will read again!

Amazon Description:
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.
Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.
Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

And now, for those of you looking for something very similar to 50 Shades of Grey... you should read Bared to You by Sylvia Day. 

I came across this book on a Good Reads forum. Almost all the reviews mentioned how similar it was to 50 Shades of Grey and all the reviews were pretty good.  Sooo, I read the book and loved it.   Definitely not as good as 50 Shades but very similar and still a "hard to put down" book.  I think it is going to be a trilogy too, but the other books have not been released yet. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains Recap!

I am back for a full recap of our trip to Blowing Rock, NC and The Blue Ridge Mountains!  Like I said yesterday...this is definitely a vacation I would recommend adding to your travel bucket list.  It was filled with fun, a lot of relaxing and it is so beautiful!

Saturday, June 16th

Hubby and I arrived at our house by 9 AM and met up with the rest of the family that had gotten there the day before.  We got a tour of the amazing house we were staying in and hung around for a bit before a few of us decided to go for a hike. 
We spent 30 minutes (although it seemed like a lot longer) hiking down the side of a mountain to get to The Blue Hole.  It was a beautiful swimming hole with crystal clear water and a couple waterfalls.

The water was FREEZING but the boys dropped their shorts and jumped in.  They found a couple ropes tied to the trees so they had fun with that.  After a much needed break we headed back up the mountain.  Going up was much harder than going ankles were so sore the next day! 
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and hanging around the house.  As soon as it got dark we headed out to the fireplace on the balcony and made s'mores, drank wine and got in the hot tub.  Heaven I tell you!

Sunday, June 17th- HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
We spent Father's Day at Tweetsie Railroad!  We rode the train, rode some rides, ate lunch and played with the animals in the Deer Park.  Such a fun day...especially for all the kids!

We all took naps when we got back to the house then hubby and I made dinner for everyone...poppy seed chicken, carrots, salad and banana pudding!  Then we spent more time by the fire, drinking wine and eating s'mores =)

Monday, June 18th

We got up bright and early for pancakes then we had some family pictures taken!  We took some at the house and the rest at this beautiful opening overlooking the mountains.  We had a photographer take them so once I get them I will have to post some.  Here are just a couple that I managed to get on my camera though. 

Is my nephew not the cutest little thing ever??  I swear over half of my pictures are of him :)  He is just too cute and sweet not to photograph all the time!

Monday afternoon the guys played golf and the ladies went to visit the Moses Cone house (was used in the movie The Green Mile) and shopped at the outlet mall.

We had Jambalaya for dinner, watermelon for dessert and of and s'mores by the fire!

Tuesday, June 19th

Hubby and I were flying home this day so we got up early and packed our bags.  Luckily we did not have to head to the airport until around 2:30 so we had a good part of the day to do some things.  We all loaded up into 3 cars and made the hour drive to Grandfather Mountain. The drive itself was BEAUTIFUL but very curvy! 

 Once we got to Grandfather Mountain we walked around the Nature Trail to see the bears, deer and otter.  I was our mission to see a bear and we finally did. Unfortunately it was not just out in the wild but at least we got to see one. 

We walked around the museum then headed to the main attraction- The Mile High Swinging Bridge.  A little scary but such a cool experience!

Crazy brother...nearly gave us a heart attack!

We spent our last few hours in the the little town of Blowing Rock...seriously the cutest little town I have ever been to.  We shopped and ate lunch at a local pub before we had to head to the airport.

I wish we could have stayed longer....there is still so much to do and see!  But, we loved the 4 days we got to spend with my family and we came back feeling relaxed and refreshed! 
Seriously, if you want a romantic getaway with your husband or want to plan a family vacation, consider the Blue Ridge Mountains!  I promise you won't regret it =) 
I am already dreaming about going back one day!