'I wish' .... I had Nordstroms as my personal closet and could shop from it daily.

I love love love shopping at Nordstroms. They carrying Lucky Jeans, Hudson Jeans, Free People, Jessica Simpson heels, Laura Mercier Makeup, and tons of other amazing brands. I started shopping there when I was in college, and had a babysit gig that paid me a TON of money ;-) I was probably at Nordstroms once a week, spending my all the babysitting money, plus my other 'real' job paycheck (thank God mom let me live at home with no bills) I.Am.In.Love.With.Nordstroms. I just wish it was a tad bit cheaper to shop there.


Home Alone

We are going on week 2 of Tony being up in Fresno. I have to say I am so not a fan of this little situation. It is awful, I miss more terribly!! And I am bored out of my mind sitting at home. We hardly ever watch TV, but I must admit since he has been gone the TV is always on just so I have noise. I am not a big fan of silence in the home, well ok I am if Tony is here with me. But being home alone, the silence freaks me out!! I guess I could put the ipod on instead of the TV. That will be my plan for tomorrow night. :)
So I am sitting here in front of the computer, listening to The Bachelorette in the background...such a dramatic show LOL Well since Tony has been gone I have started working out in the morning and at night. Yes I know I am a crazy person for doing this. But it keeps me busy and keeps my mind from wandering every where. I get up at 5:15am and work out for an hour, then go to work, come home to an empty house, sad face, go straight to the gym for a 30 minute run on the treadmill. Then I cook dinner and eat alone, another sad face, and either go on computer, read my photography books or watch HGTV/Food Network. Such an exciting life is what I know you all are thinking.
Well this last Friday at 10:00pm my door bell rang. Natural for me to freak out, since I was just about to go to sleep. Oh and dont forget I am home alone. Part of me wanted to grab my gun (oh dad would be proud), but I decided to first look through the peep hole. And guess what...IT WAS TONY!!! He totally surprised me :) He drove down from Fresno to surprise me. He had a bouquet of flowers and ice cream. He totally knows how to win me over :) I was so freakin excited!! I didn't think I was going to see him until a couple days before the wedding. Being that he came home, I had a great weekend!! We spent lots of alone time ;) and date night at no other than our favorite place, the Outback. He left yesterday afternoon. I am hoping he will come home again this weekend. I keep giving him the guilt trip ahahaha
We will see how much working out and reading I can do while Tony is gone. I hope I stick with this work out plan he left me. I gotta get in tip top shape for the honeymoon :) And the reading will help me in pursuing photography.


Taken So Young

Today I went to a funeral of a young man I went to junior high and high school with. I was best friends with his cousin, so I knew the family pretty well growing up. But once everyone graduated we went our separate ways :-(  I remember he was one of those guys that was genuinely kind to everyone, not matter who they were..where they came from. I remember going to Lake Mead with the entire family, and I'm not just talking like 10 people...this family has a M.I.L.L.I.O.N. relatives. Ok that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Anyways, I remember Tyson trying to help me water ski, because he was a pro at this stage in life (junior high). I didn't know him well, but from what I knew of him he was a great person.
When I heard the news last Thursday evening that he died, it broke my heart. I could feel the pain their family was going through, it was awful. I knew what it was like to lose a brother, and it sucks. Since that day I have thought about his family constantly, I have been trying so hard to hold back tears. Like I said today was his funeral, this is the first funeral I have been to since Erich died almost 5 years ago. It was definately not easy, not that funerals should be, but this just really hit home. Tyson was only 28 years old when he was taken from his family. Erich was only 24 years old when he was taken from his family. They were both taken from us unexpectedly, which makes the pain and grieving process that much more difficult.
This morning I woke up knowing I was going to this funeral today, but when the time came to leave work I kinda was getting scared. I didn't want to go anymore, I didn't want to feel that pain again. But I talked with mom, and I ended up going. It was extremely difficult to be there. I cried. I cried a lot. It just reminded me of when Erich died. It brought up all those memories of his funeral and being taken from me/us too soon. There are no words to describe the pain of losing a best friend, a brother, a son. Its heart-wrenching.
There was one amazing thing about today...I was in awe of how this family pulled together and still gave praise to God. They all have such strong faith and know that Tyson served the Lord every day he was here on earth, but he is now in heaven where he belongs. This family has such a deep love for God that they expressed to us all, that there is a reason for Tyson being taken so soon, there is a reason for him not continuing his life on earth. The strength they all have in God and support from one another is amazing, there really are no words to describe how refreshing it was too see each and every one of them pull together and honor his life today and still serve the Lord.
Even though going to this funeral today brought up many memories of when my brother died, I am glad I went to witness such an amazing group of people honoring their son/brother/ husband/cousin/nephew and being a testimony of God's love. This funeral really made me think about my life, how I am living now and the things I should change. You never would think a funeral would do that to you, you would? But this one did :-)


30 Days!!

The countdown has officially begun...Tony and I are getting married in 30 days! Oh my word, in 30 days I will be a Mrs., I will be a wife, and I will have a hubby :-D (that is supposed to be a gigantic smile)
I have been waiting for this day my entire life, ok well not my entire life but a very long time. You see Tony was in the marines, we got engaged August 2008, he left for Virginia for a year in February 2009. So we couldn't have our wedding last year, so I have been waiting almost 2 freakin' years to marry this man. 2 years since we got engaged!!! Tony came home in March so we made plans for our wedding this July. And this July is actually right around the corner. HOLY COW!!!
The day I met Tony, I knew there was something different about him. There was something that made me SO attracted to him...maybe it was his tattoos (a bad boy?) He is not a bad boy at all (well maybe a little before he joined the marines), but he did give that impression off, and I loved it!! I called my friend and just gushed about how sexy and gentlemanly (so not a word, I don't think?) he was. Oh I was smitten from the moment we met. I knew I wanted to marry him and have his baby and spend my life with him.
Tony is a wonderful amazing person. He is caring, loving, sexy, romantic, kind, sexy, honest, loyal, sexy, and treats me like a princess...oh wait, did I mention sexy? I could go on and on, but I think you all get the picture.
In 30 days...4 weeks...1 month, 30 days I will be married. I will have that gorgeous wedding band on my finger, close to my heart and I will get to put Tony's wedding band on his finger, that I mentioned to him he is never allowed to remove ;-)



I am sitting here at work, obviously not working, thinking about a career that I could do and be my own boss. I want to be in charge of myself and not have to report to anyone. I don't want to have to be at work at 8:00 or 8:30 and stay until 5:00. Sitting at this desk today, well always, makes me go nuts-o. I need to get out of a job where I am so tied down. Ok, well I am not so tied down here because I do actually have a shit load of flexibility, but it is definately not a career I enjoy by any means. I work as the Human Resource Manager, and let me just tell you how much of a bitch everyone says I am. I am not the right person for this job, I am not sensitive to people when they complain about the tiniest little things.
Get this, why would you complain to HR that you hate clocking in and using the timeclock. When you were hired, you were hired on hourly which means you have to use the timeclock. The only reason people would complain about that is because they don't really want to work their full hours, but they want to be paid for it.
Another thing people complain about is that I bug them on getting all their paperwork in for the personnel files. Ok this is a company, certain things have to be in place if we were to get a surprise accreditation therefore I have to bug the shit out of you because you dont listen and get the things I need. If you can't tell I am very frustrated.
So anyways, I am trying to think of a job I can do that would make similar money to what I make now. Nothing has come to mind because I feel like everything involves sitting at a desk ALL day long from 8-5. I would absolutely LOVE to do photography full time, but I am not experienced enough to make that great of money, if any at all. I feel like I am stuck and I don't like it. :-( I want to have my own schedule and I want to enjoy life, not be at work more than home. I see people at work more than I see Tony, I don't like that at all!!



The Outback is mine and Tony's most favorite restaurant. This is usually where we go on our date night (Saturday night). Sometimes we like to spice things up and go somewhere else, but honestly it isn't very often. There is just something about the seasonings they use that I LOVE. The seasonings they use on their steaks are oh. so. delicious. Even though I get my steak well done, it is still juicy and tender and yummy!! :) Then of course you have two sides to pick. I always go with a fully loaded backed potato (butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, bacon bites). Let me just tell you, this is the most A.M.A.Z.I.N.G baked potato in the world. The skin is seasoned with their yummy secret recipe, you seriously gotta have one next time you go and if you have never been, get off that booty and go tonight!! :) For the second side I usually get steamed veggies, but everyone once in a while I get a side salad.
Ok, now brace yourself, I am going to tell you the best meal to get at the Outback. I could seriously eat this every.single.day. It is that good! The Queensland Salad, yes that's right...the Queensland Salad. I LOVE IT!!! The ranch dressing they use is not your typical Kraft Ranch Dressing. I have no clue what seasons they put in it, but its A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I seriously think about this salad all the time, no joke. Whenever Tony suggests we go out or want to get take out, I immediately think Queensland Salad :)
Sitting here typing all this makes me want to have it for dinner tonight. I cant see it in my mind, I am so obsessed with the salad. Tony always tells me, its just your normal chicken salad. Has he lost his mind?!?!? Did he really just say that to me?!?!? It SO is not!!
Oh I forgot to mention the bread. I think it is pumpernickel bread. They serve it right when you sit down. Its fresh and warm, and with a little butter...it's oh so delish!! Now I have to tell you, Tony is obsessed with this bread. He absolutely loves it. When the waiter comes to introduce themselves, Tony warns them how much he likes it, and to just keep replenishing the table with bread. I am not even kidding, not even exaggerating, Tony seriously eats about 5-7 loafs every time we go.
So now don't you all want to go to the Outback tonight and try the Queensland Salad? Because I sure as heck do :) Enjoy!!


Bridemaid Dresses

Today is 39 Days til the wedding!!! Oh my word it is finally around the corner. I cannot believe it, well actually I can. I have been waiting so long for the day to be here.
Everyone has always told me planning a wedding can be very stressful and cause lots of fights between the bride and groom...that is so not the case with me/us. There are very few things I have stressed over during this planning process. The major one is the bridesmaid dresses I chose were awful when they arrived. I'm not even kidding you, they were horrific!!
When you go to a store and try formal dresses on, you have to consider a million other people have tried it on, ok well not a million maybe a thousand. So with that being said the dress is worn in, lost its volume, etc. I went to pick all the dresses up with my mom, didn't bother to look at them or try them on well because I'm not a bridesmaid. LOL silly now that I look back on it. I totally should have opened them up and tried one on.
Well, we get to my mom's house and my sister tries it on. Oh.My.Gosh.!!!! The dress was extremely poofy at the hips, like it added about 20 pounds to my sister. The top of the dress is strapless, but it was too big on Aarika. They seriously did a bad job at sizing the dresses. They themselves, the store employees, measured her. How could they be so off on the size??? Anyways, throughout the next couple of days all the rest of the girls tried the dresses on and it looked just as bad. I started freaking out, stressing out, crying. I was not a happy camper. I didn't know what to do. It was the 3rd week in May, 2 months shy of the wedding. All I could think is 'the girls are going to look ugly. the pictures are going to turn out awful. how could i have picked out such an ugly bridesmaid dress??' My mom called the store to see if we can return them or even exchange them, but of course they said no. So never go to MaryLinn's Bridal in Pasadena. They have awful customer service. They weren't willing to work with us at all. Then Tony's mom called to try and see if she could convince them, they said no. But they offered to cover the rush order charge for us to get new dresses. Are you F***ing kidding me?!?! You honestly think I would buy another dress at full price from you when you aren't willing be be cooperative right now? There is no way in hell I would do that!!
The following week mom and I went to David's Bridal and I tried dresses on. This time I tried long/floor length dresses on. Low and behold, I found a dress that I really like in about 5 minutes. Simple, long black dress. This is the dress, this is what I should have picked out initially. All the girls ordered the new dress, and it should arrive the first week in July. I know its cutting it close, but I am so relieved. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders :)
One major drawback to getting a new dress is, the girls all had to spend more money. I feel like the shittiest bride asking them to do this. I put the old dresses on ebay and craiglist. I will get the money back and give it to the girls. I will sell those ugly dresses, I have to.
Anyone know of anyone looking for 7 black knee length bridesmaid dresses? just kidding... kinda ;-)


Photo Friday

The night we got engaged 8/26/2008
Tony proposed in a hot air balloon :)

Honeymoon Destination

I am so extremely excited about our honeymoon. We are going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I just have to tell you (although you can see in pics below) it looks A.MA.Z.I.N.G!!!! This will be our first vacation together. Well, we went to Vegas for New Years 2009 for 2 nights. I wouldn't call that a vacation. So needless to say, I am thrilled to go on our honeymoon. I just know it is going to be wonderful for us to spend that much alone time together...to be able to relax.

I can just see us now:

~sitting in a loung chair on the beach with an alcoholic drink in our hand (for Tony a Long Island, for me a Margarita...oh and of course top shelf per Tony's request). We don't even need to carrying on a conversation, just being there together will be nice.

~swimming in the crystal clear water, not worrying about what I'm stepping on or what is swimming by my legs that I cannot see because the water in California is disgustingly dirty.

~laying on the white sandy beach tanning away :) (this will probably only be me not Tony, he gets too bored tanning)

~enjoying nice meals around the resort.

~best of all, I will be alone with my new hubby :)



Ok seriously, this is a horrible addiction of mine. And I'm sure it is a horrible addiction for other people too (Aarika). There is just something about Starbucks coffee that makes it so good. I never ever used to drink coffee or caffeine, but I think it was probably the first semester of college (9 years ago) is where this awful, expensive addiction started. I have been thinking I should buy some stock in Starbucks. At least I would then eventually get some money in return.
I can still remember my first experience at Starbucks. I went with Andrea and her mom. We were in the valley, the Starbucks on Devonshire and Topanga Cyn. Now remember I never drank caffeine. I got a tall Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream. It probably took, not even kidding, 5 sips before I was wired. I was cracking up at everything and anything. We got in the car to drive home and I remember sitting in the back seat looking at the car next to us laughing so hard at the guy. No idea why, but I was hysterically laughing. I remember it like it was yesterday. Silly thing to remember in detail, but I totally do.
After having my fix of Mocha Frappuccinos, I moved up to Caramel Frappuccinos. I enjoyed those for quite a while; I still do every once in a while....but they are a bit too fattening for me. Then I started getting an Iced Caramel Macchiato. I was seriously addicted to these, probably for a couple of years. Now I have my signature drink. Ready for this?? An Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. Oh my, I love love them!! Its so yummy!! I get them ALL the time :) This drink puts me in a good mood. Just a side note: this drink is a great laxative? hehe After a weekend of junk food eating, these work great :)
Funny story, well it isn't really a story. Anyways, last July I drove from California to Texas with my dad. But before we drove, I said dad, "In order for me to stay up talking to you during the drive, and in order for me to be awake enough to drive. You will have to buy me Starbucks." So he agreed, because he is oh so wonderful :) Well little did dad know, how much money my coffee drink really is. He didn't know it costs $3.85 to get a grande and $4.10 to get a venti. I'm sure he would not have agreed had he known the cost. But too late now daddy-o!! :) We probably stopped at Starbucks 7 times on the drive. We finally arrived at the apartment complex he owns, and were there for about 3 days. I think we made about a dozen Starbucks runs. Luckily Starbucks was up the street. :)
I love Starbucks :)


New Recipes

I feel like I have been making the same recipes for dinner since Tony and I moved in together. It gets old pretty fast. Think about how quickly you would get sick of raviolis (from Costco), roast beef dip sandwiches, chicken and rice, carne asada burritos, and turkey burgers. Just typing all these meals is making me sick of them. :) Although it sure makes grocery shopping quite easy...and quick. I need some excitment with my meals!! I eat the same foods all week long. I have an Atkins Peanut Butter bar for breakfast and a yummy ;) protein shake Tony makes me have because we work out like crazy, I guess I need more protein for these huge muscles I'm gaining ;) For lunch I eat salami, cheese and crackers and an orange a little later for snack. Ok seriously it gets so old. I actually get a little cranky because my meals are so boring. As people who are close to me know, when I don't eat or when there is nothing good to eat, I cant get pretty bitchy.
So, I have decided to find new recipes. It is now a mission!! I have emailed some family and friends to see what kinds of things they cook and looked online for healthy recipes. I am in luck...woo hoo!! Well, I guess I shouldn't say luck until I try each one and find out what Tony thinks. It doesn't do me any good to make a meal for a second time and Tony not like it. So my test is to ask if he will eat the leftovers. Good huh? If he says yes, then I know I did good...if he says no, then that meal has failed me. Last night was the first night to try one of these healthy recipes I found online. I have to say I was a little nervous, but he liked it. YAY!! I am 1 for 1 :)

Here is the healthy recipe:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 oz. pkg ranh dressing mix
2 cups rice crispy cereal
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
2 eggs whites

Mix rice crispy cereal, ranch mix and parmesean cheese together in bowl. Dip chicken in egg whites, then in the cereal mixture to coat evenly. Arrange chicken on greased baking sheet. Baked until golden brown: 35-40 minutes.
(tip: put foil on the baking sheet or the cereal and chicken will stick)

Side Dish:
A box of Noodle-Roni Fetticini Alfredo that I added some pepper, garlic salt and parmesean cheese to because without it the flavoring was a little bland.

I have a whole list of new recipes to try, and if anyone wants to share some more Im all for it! :)