Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 was cool... what about 2015?

About a year ago, somebody (Keith's aunt) asked me if I would ever want to get back together with him. I'm pretty sure I laughed at that.

"No! We haven't spoken in like, two years! Plus, if we did, I'd probably end up eventually moving down to where he lives and I never want to leave San Luis."

Ha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

If you had told me a year ago that in 2014 I would have gotten back together with Keith, quit my job in San Luis and moved to the mountains, I would have told you you're crazy.

If you had told me a year ago that some of the friends I was so close to then wouldn't really be a part of my life right now, I would have rolled my eyes and muttered something like, "Yeah, right."

If you had told me a year ago that in 2014 I would win NaNoWriMo again, I would have gotten excited and asked you what I was going to write about, and then doubt you because writing 50,000 words in a month is hard.

I thought I had a pretty good idea of what would happen in 2014. I thought I would stay in San Luis and at some point get an apartment by myself, and I thought I would continue working at my job where I could watch Netflix and blog all day. I didn't give much thought to dating, because I didn't care if I had a boyfriend or not. And I especially never thought I'd be where I am now.

But I'm so glad I am...which leads me to the next part, the most exciting part:

The other night Amber and I were talking about all that had happened in 2014 and how we never could have predicted most things. Then we thought we would enjoy trying to predict 2015, and we're really generous so we're letting you join us! On Monday, December 29th, we're hosting a link-up for all of us to predict things we think will happen in our lives, in the country, in the world, whatever, in 2015. You can predict happy things, funny things, sad things... predict away! BE YOUR OWN ZOLTAR. (You know, the fortune guy. Amber shared a picture of him today.)

I wish I had written down more specific things last year so I could look back on them now, but oh well. You live and you learn or something. So, on 12/29 please join us and let us know what you think will happen next year! DECEMBER 29TH. REMEMBER THAT.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's been happening here???

I miss blogging and the internet in general. I feel really disconnected from my internet life but I guess this whole "having a real job that doesn't allow me to be on the internet for 8 hours a day" thing had to happen sometime. Anyway, I figured I'd try to crank out a little update post since I know you're probably all just DYING to know what's happening in my life, right? Just kidding. I promise I'm not that arrogant. This is largely for posterity (which I just googled the definition for and posterity means "all future generations of people" and it's really just for me) but you guys get to read it too, if you want.

Also sorry that I repeat lots of Instagram pictures. That's one of my weaknesses.

1. SNOW.


It's been snowing a little bit here! There's more snow at my house than at Keith's... something about elevation or something ... and I haven't actually seen it actively snow, but THERE IS SNOW ON THE GROUND. This is great for my Instagram pictures, and I love looking out the window and see the snow, but when I actually have to go outside it becomes a problem. Why? Because these are the warmest shoes I own:

...and they're not even warm. I don't own one pair of boots. I used to have fuggs but I wore holes through the bottom and had to throw them away and I never bought new ones because I usually refuse to spend more than $20 on shoes and I never find boots for less than $39.99.

2. I GOT A JOB!!


I'm the Program Coordinator at a non-profit up here in the mountains, and so far I'm really enjoying it. It's about four times as much work as my last job (where some days I would literally do nothing work related because there was nothing work related to do), but about seventy-three times more rewarding. I have lots of projects and lots of responsibilities and I've gotten to go to two meetings, which is something I've never gotten to do before and so far I still like going to meetings. Plus, on my drives to the meetings I get to see views like the one above, and this:


Too bad it's so ugly where I live.

3. I did not decorate for Christmas.

Keith and I had plans to get a Christmas tree but then I turned into a Scrooge and decided I didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting a tree and buying lights and ornaments. However, I did decide to hang our stockings on the mantle, and since neither of us have stocking holders, they are now hanging under a signed Packers helmet/cheese head. There's also a like, lion or gargoyle statue and a skull that I'm like 50% sure is from a real human but I 100% hope I'm wrong.


 4. Christmas came early.

Keith and I won't be seeing each other on Christmas (it's ok, don't feel like you have to cry for us), so we knew we were going to exchange gifts early. Yesterday the last two of Keith's gifts arrived in the mail and I was like, "HEY GUESS WHAT ALL YOUR GIFTS ARE HERE!" and then we had this conversation.

K: Let's open our presents tonight!
J: But it's 9 days before Christmas.
K: So? We wont' be together on Christmas.
J: But it's 9 days before Christmas!
K: Let's just do it tonight!
J: What if we open one gift a day until Tuesday?
K: No. Let's just open them all tonight.
J: What if we open them all tonight but we HIDE them around the house and then we have to search for them?
K: But some of your gifts go together.
J: So hide them in the same area as each other and when I find one just tell me, "Hey, look in that area for something else."
K: But all my stuff will get messed up and I have it all organized.
J: *guffawing because his stuff is NOT organized at all*
K: What?
J:I just thought hiding the gifts would be fun.
K: Oh, so I'm not fun?
J: So I guess you don't want to hide the presents.
K: You don't think I'm fun?
J: Let's open all the presents tonight!
K:Sorry I'm so boring.
J: Do you even have wrapping paper?
K: No, do you?
J: Yes.
K: Perfect.
J: It's wedding wrapping paper with wedding dresses and tuxes on it.
K: We don't need to wrap them.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Keith and I came to be opening unwrapped gifts on December 16th.
 He got me:

-three sweatshirts (two with my college name on them ((that I mentioned months ago I really wanted and HE REMEMNBERED)) and a USC sweatshirt so that I can have my own sweatshirts and I don't have to wear his anymore (and it's really cute that he thinks having my own clothes will keep me from wearing his clothes HAHA YOU'RE CUTE.

-a t-shirt from my college that's a really pretty blue color.

-a Giant's t-shirt because clearly he hates me.

I got him:

-a book about Seinfeld and philosophy.

-stone ice cubes. I'm actually convinced this is a good gift for men in general, because one of my brothers and Keith both hats ice in their drinks because they get watered down. Plus, these look super rugged and cool and they come with a chilling sack!

-a new battery for his cell phone because his phone always dies and it's annoying so really, this was a gift for me so that we can play Trivia Crack all day long without having to worry about his phone dying.

-a shirt that has a bear with antlers on it and underneath it says "Beer" and I think it's HILARIOUS. I felt so proud of myself for getting this for him but he reminded me that he already has the sweatshirt and he showed it to me and zero part of me remembers him showing me the sweatshirt so now I feel exactly zero percent clever.


5. We got into a fight.

I don't usually dump super personal relationship stuff on the internet, but last week Keith and I got into a huge fight that resulted into us not really speaking for like four days. More on that later though because I learned a very important lesson that I want to share because now that I've been in a relationship for 9 months I'm super qualified to give out relationship advice.

Bye.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Somebody is getting married

Part of me feels a little bad for bragging about what an awesome weekend I had at Lisa's bachelorette party and bridal shower, but the other part needs you to know that there are places where you can drink wine and look at white tigers and restaurants where you can get free champagne. There was glitter and pink everywhere and everything was planned perfectly and I just can't even tell you how much fun it was.

Did you know there's this place in Southern California called Rancho Las Lomas, and it's a winery and a zoo????? We got to sip wine while we took pictures with an emu and looked at antisocial alpacas and saw a tired white Bengal tiger and there were zebras and macaws and holy beautiful it was amazing.


The bride is one of my closest friends, Lisa. We met in college when she sold me Mary Kay products and was the least annoying Mary Kay salesperson EVER and she convinced me to buy the scent "Bella" which I've since run out of (I think this was like 6 years ago) and that reminds me, I need more.

After Lisa sold me the Mary Kay, we became roommates and she got me a job at a bridal salon where we got to sell and model the wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Don't believe me? Here's proof. Headless MANnequins were totes mah jam. (MANnequins... GEDDIT???)


When we weren't busy at the bridal boutique ((I'm pretty into alliteration these days) we were busy binge-watching Bridalplasty, Paris Hilton's My New BFF, that Kendra Wilkinson show, and episode after episode of Say Yes to the Dress. We also drank massive amounts of champagne and sometimes our friend Skyler and I slipped some Captain Morgan into her drink to see if she could tell the difference.

She could. She always could. Sorry for that.

We used to eat copius amounts of macaroni and cheese, McDonald's breakfast sandwiches, and popcorn shrimp, and she got me out of my jeans and t-shirt rut and took me shopping at the Irvine Spectruma nd forced me to buy things that weren't plain black t-shirts and Lisa, for that I'll be forever grateful (even though lately all I wear is men's long sleeved shapeless shirts from Target).

We lived together in an apartment in Brea and we have so many wonderful memories from those two years and I can't tell you how genuinely happy I am for her that she's found the love of her live and will be married in ONE MONTH!

You can always tell when two people are really, truly, deeply in love and totally meant for each other, and even though I've only met Matt once I know the two of them fit that description. It's beautiful, inspiring, and so very exciting to be a part of!

SO. The weekend was all about celebrating Lisa and love. And we did.

If you knew Lisa you'd know that she could have pulled off that sparkled engagement ring bow veil headband on any random day of the week, not just at her bachelorette party.
After the wine and fancy animals, we headed to Newport Beach to get fancy and go to Red O for dinner. The maid of honor, Carizza, said, "I need everybody downstairs in twenty minutes, okay?" And we pulled it off pretty well if I do say so myself. (Oh and we all took like 45 minutes not 20 minutes because duh. It was totally worth it.)


Did you know that I'm a good 6 inches taller than Lisa? No? Here's proof.


Lisa and I have a friend who we found out works at Red O, and he happened to be working on Saturday night. We found him, said hello and hugged and gave air cheek kisses, and then were surprised when a waiter came to our table saying he had given us each a glass of free champagne! (Best part was that hardly anybody drank their champagne and guess who loves champagne? ME! I DO! I drank almost all of it.)

They also gave Lisa a celebratory churro, which was just what she wanted. Seriously, when the waiter came bringing her a surprise dessert she whispered, "I hope it's a churro!" Dreams do come true.


Then we headed back to the hotel for the lingerie shower and Lisa looked incredibly appropriate and gorgeous in her bride shirt and I looked totally creepy and awkward in my wine shirt. I'll probably frame this picture.



Is there anything better than sitting in a chair surrounded by bags of Victoria's Secret merchandise? Probably not, but I don't know firsthand so we'll have to let Lisa answer that question for us one day.


After lots of bachelorette party talk most people went to bed at a reasonable hour because they're working professionals who have a reason to get up before noon every day and I was like LET'S KEEP THE PARTY GOING so I took a bottle of champagne out to the hallway and sat down quietly to whisper to Keith on the phone.

And then these loud people came running down the hallway at 1 in the morning and I politely asked them to please be quiet because people were sleeping and they were like "WE DON'T HAVE TO BE QUIET YOU B-WORD YOU'RE NOT EVEN SLEEPING YOU'RE JUST TALKING ON THE PHONE HAHAHAHA WHAT A HALLWAY SITTING LOSER" and I was like, "Well that was uncalled for."

Then I was watching The Walking Dead using my earbuds and cuddling a bottle of delicious champagne and a security guard came up to me and I whispered, "I'm so glad you're here, there are some loud people around here!" and he was like, "Uh, you can't drink champagne out in the hallway" and I was like, "Oooooh this is a very fancy hotel" a la Annie Walker and I said "Ok I'll leave" and one of the loud girls poked her head out of her room and yelled, "WE AREN'T EVEN BEING LOUD WE WERE JUST COMING HOME AND YOU'RE SO RUDE" and I offered her the rest of my champagne but she declined it so she obviously had head problems.

THEN on Sunday morning we went to Lisa's hair trial, and can I just say that Lisa is going to have FABULOUS wedding hair in one month.

THEN there was the bridal shower and it was so pretty! I think my favorite part was probably the dessert table, and if I were a photographer I would have taken pictures of all the desserts but since I'm not all you get is this picture of a s'mores cupcake with a GLITTER marshmallow that Cortney took for me because she's WAY artsier and fancier than I am.


Then we all took a picture together and I would like you to notice two things:

1) Cortney's hair. Corney is wearing the pink dress. LOOK AT HER BRAID.

2) I am a giant.


WOW I think we've made it to the end!

TL;DR Lisa is fancy and I had a great weekend full of glitter and champagne and I used to take pictures with headless grooms and Lisa is getting married in a month and I CANNOT WAIT.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#12gramstilchristmas

If any of you were around my blog at this time last year, you may remember that Allie and I decided to create an Instagram challenge thing slash post fun Christmas related pictures for all of us to look at. I bet all of you who remember that were really sad allllllllll year long when we couldn't do #12gramstilchristmas but YOU'RE IN LUCK because 12 grams is back YAY HOORAY CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON.

Allie made this pretty graphic with the dates and corresponding themes so go ahead and follow along and use the hashtag and by this point I think you know how Instgram works.


We're starting this Saturday, December 13th, and going until Christmas Eve (December 24th but I didn't need to tell you that, right?).

Also I've been missing the internet and gchatting and stuff because I finally got a job (YAY!) and it's not a gchat friendly job, like my last job where I watched Netflix for most of the day and got paid for it. But hopefully later this week I'll get a chance to sit down and blog about Lisa's bachelorette/bridal shower weekend and the emu and the champagne and when some people called a security guard on me because I was sitting in the hallway drinking champagne out of the bottle at 1am.

That's all goodbye.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cheapskating


A couple of weeks ago Keith and I were watching tv (like we never do, except on days that end in "-y"), and he introduced me to this show called Cheapskates. Have you heard of it? People go to all these insane methods to save a buck or two, and some genius decided to film it so I could enjoy it. There's this one guy who is in his late twenties (I think) and he works as a bartender. When people don't finish their drinks, he saves the alcohol in a big bag and takes it home. He also saves the garnishes (olives, fruit, what other garnishes go in alcoholic drinks? Celery? Like in Bloddy Marys?) and any unpopped popcorn kernels that were left in bowls of popcorn. (I've never been to a bar that serves popcorn but now I think I need to find one.) Then he takes it home and makes himself martinis and popcorn. Oh, and he lives with his mother so he makes her drinks too.

There's this other guy who reuses his mouthwash. His reasoning? "It's an antiseptic, so it cleans itself." He has two bottles: one of new mouthwash and one that he spits the old mouthwash into. His wife has her own bottle of mouthwash. Oh yeah, he's married, and he gets an alert on his phone whenever she spends money.

Then there's the couple whose dates are dumpster diving. They went into one dumpster and found Chinese food and they ate it.

I'm all for saving money, but I think some measures are just a little too far. Like drinking leftover drinks. Just NO.

Obviously after watching this show, I was like I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS, so I started thinking of ways I save money and got a little depressed that I couldn't think of many ways. I like to think that's because I don't spend a lot of money but that's probably not the case. Oh well. Here's my list.

- I like to reuse my old coffee grounds for up to four days. I don't really like the taste of fresh coffee, so I'll suffer through the first round and then the next day I'll just add another little scoop of fresh grounds to the old grounds and that's how I get my perfect coffee. (If this is unsanitary I don't want to know.)

- My Target RedCard helps me save 5% every time I go to Target. The RedCard acts just like a debit card, so you don't have to worry about having another credit card to pay off. Plus, when you use it online you get free shipping.

- Coupons. I rarely use coupons, but growing up (in a family of 7 and with one pastor's income) my dad was a coupon master. Not quite to the extent of the people on Extreme Couponers, but it was impressive. Mondays were always the grocery store days, and in the mornings he'd clip coupons from the three or four grocery stores in our area and stack them in all these piles on the table. He also had printouts for the grocery stores that said the things he usually got from which aisle, and he'd circle what we needed that trip. He'd usually take one or two of the kids with us and we'd fill at least one cart in the major grocery store to the brim, and sometimes we needed two carts (those were the fun days!), and before we checked out, my dad would count his coupons to make sure he got every discount.

- I make Keith buy me things. That's what boyfriends are for, right?

- I convince myself I don't need things. That's the biggest way I save money. When I go to Target or Home Goods or Old Navy or somewhere, I'll carry things around the store for a while and then convince myself that I don't really want or need them. Plus sometimes I'm too tired to stand in line.

- I don't drink soda. I used to spend so much money buying fountain Diet Cokes, but since I quit soda at the end of August that expense has disappeared. Dolla dolla bills.

Now it's your turn. How do you save money? Tell me so I can implement your tactics and be a total baller. Thanks.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving slash my visit home slash all of the pictures

Hey good morning everybody. I decided to be SUPER original today and bore you with a recap of my trip home last week. Don't leave though, there are several pictures of my niece and she's always the most popular subject on my blog and Instagram so stick around and look at her. I apologize in advance for any rambling or sentences that don't make sense. My only excuse is that  yesterday I wrote nearly 8,000 words in about 2 hours so I could win National Novel Writing Month and I SUCCEEDED *pause for celebration* *unpause* and my fingers are bleeding and words are hard today. Let's move on.

Remember how my brakes were squealing last week? Well, Keith spent a few hours last Monday evening replacing the brake pads and now Bruce Wayne stops on a DIME and I don't fear for my life whenever I get behind the wheel. YAY!

I made the 5 1/2 hour drive home last Tuesday and the whole drive I played this game I like to call "CD Roulette." I'm technologically stunted and I listen to CDs or the radio in the car (I don't even own an iPod) (that's a lie, I just remembered I have an iPod shuffle but I haven't updated the songs so I think it's just full of t.A.T.u. songs and probably lots of James Blunt too). So, on my drive I had like 15 CD cases in the passenger seat but none of the CDs matched the cases so I'd pick up my Carrie Underwood "Blown Away" case and find a Beyonce CD inside, and inside the Beyonce CD case would be a Taylor Swift CD, and inside the Taylor Swift CD case would be the soundtrack to The Notebook and so on and so forth, you get the picture.

*Say CD one more time, Juliette*

ANYWAY. I'm not even going to apologize for rambling. Most of you have been around long enough to know that this is how I do things.

So, on Wednesday my mom and I babysat my niece and IT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. I didn't even mind waking up at 6:45 when she got there. She's changed so much since I last saw her, and I swear she gets cuter every day. My sister made a big deal out of "letting her fall asleep and stay asleep on her own" because she doesn't want her to get used to being rocked to sleep but I promptly ignored that and we took a nap in the recliner.


Full disclosure: I was awake when I took this picture and her hand wasn't originally on my cheek but I know a good photo op when I see it, and this was that. And if I hadn't told you I took this picture you would never have known so YOU'RE WELCOME for being honest.

That afternoon, we went shopping.



Baby Kate LOVES shoes, and she loves touching different textures and saying, "Oh wooooooow," and it's the cutest thing ever. She also says "hi!" to any and all passersby and it kills me every time.

After shopping, we went to my grandma's house. My aunt lives with her (she's almost 99) (my grandma not my aunt) and every year we prep Thanksgiving dinner and bond while I gently caress the turkey's breasts and stuff him full of stuffing and then stick an apple where his neck used to be.

Also, every year I name the turkey. I didn't take any pictures of the Thanksgiving prep this year, but it looked a lot like this:

In 2008, the first year I named the turkey. This one was Carl.

In case you were wondering what stuffing an apple in a turkey looks like ... here you go.

One year I named the turkey Nigel (after Nigel the photographer/judge from America's Next Top Model), last year I wanted to name him Hank after Hank from Breaking Bad but for some reason that got vetoed so we named him Walter after Walter White, and this year I named him Ned after Ned from Game of Thrones because like Ned Stark, Ned the Turkey was dead and without a head.



*takes bow for creativity and impressive rhyming ability

I always rub butter and seasoning all over the outside of the turkey and in between the skin and the breasts, While I was rubbing his breasts I got a little too into it and my aunt had to say, "I think you'd better stop. This is getting obscene."

We finished the prep around 10pm, and we didn't get too much done. Usually I make a couple of apple pies but that didn't happen this year because my laziness has reached epic proportions, and I opted to just heat up a frozen raspberry rhubarb pie which, in case you were wondering, was delicious. Oh but I DID succeed in making two pumpkin pies...

...and I think I baked a gnat into one of them.

WHEW this post is long, isn't it? DEAL WITH IT. We're already up to Thursday so I only have to recap three more days for you. We're almost done.

Keith and I didn't spend Thanksgiving together, but we did see each other. He was in Morro Bay at his grandparents' house, and I was in San Luis Obispo, and the two towns are like 10 miles from each other, so I stopped by his grandparents' house that morning to say hi to everybody. His family is so nice and so much fun and so welcoming and I was bummed I couldn't stay longer.

Oh and while I was there, Keith and I basically got engaged.

Basically. His grandma knitted me a stocking that matches Keith's. She's knitted a stocking for every member of the family but she usually doesn't do it until there's an official engagement but Keith's whole family acts like we're already engaged so his grandma went ahead and made me a stocking and it was the sweetest thing ever LOOK AT IT.


Then everybody made us take pictures with our matching stockings and now that I have a stocking we really can't ever break up. Or, I guess we can, and then Keith can have a ceremonial "Burning of the Stocking," but I'm not planning on that happening.


THEN I went to my grandma's house and my aunt and I finished making everything. She tells me that I'm in charge and she's just my "sous chef" but really, I couldn't do it without her. Except the mashed potatoes. The potatoes I make are AMAZING and thanks to my aunt's guidance, I can make them on my own and everybody raves about them.

The green bean casserole, however, sucked. Probably because we used beans from a bag not from a can and we didn't thaw them. But everything else was amazing, especially Ned, the high-maintenance turkey. He was high maintenance because that bird did NOT want to get fully cooked. We took him out of the oven like 7 times and his juices just kept running bloody instead of clear so we'd turn the heat up and leave him in there but he was like "I WILL NOT COOK. I WILL NOT BECOME EDIBLE" until finally we just carved him and stuck the carved pieces back in the oven and then Ned was like, "I have fought the good fight and now I give up. Eat me."


We had a small Thanksgiving this year. Because two of my siblings are married, we swap holidays with their in laws, so this year we don't get the married siblings for Thanksgiving but we do get them for Christmas. So we only had six people, which, compared to last year's twelve, seemed really small. 

Around 9pm I left to meet Keith and his parents to do some shopping. I know, I know, shopping on Thanksgiving is like OMGSOHORRIBLE but I went anyway and every person who was working was REALLY nice and told me they didn't mind having to work on Thanksgiving.

Plus, when I worked at Disneyland I had to work for 13 hours one Thanksgiving and just ate stale rolls from Ariel's Grotto for dinner so I've paid my dues.

I didn't buy much, but I did see this funny sign for balls (hehe) so the whole night was a total win.


On Friday I slept and got all caught up on Nashville (let's discuss it please) and went and saw Mockingjay Part 1 and I REALLY liked it but I think Catching Fire is still my favorite Hunger Games movie. I didn't take any pictures of Friday and I'm sorry.

On Saturday we celebrated my younger sister's birthday, which was on Halloween. Yeah we were a month late, be quiet. Blah blah blah happy birthday Ange, blah blah blah, we all know the real star of the show was BABY KATE.

She was wearing a chambray shirt, white leggings, and gold sandals. If she had stopped moving for two seconds I would have taken an #OOTD picture, but she's 14 months and she doesn't stop. She totally stole the show and she knew it. She's a total ham and I just can't get enough.


We had burgers (WITH BACON), chips, beans, and four different kinds of dessert. And then I put on my chambray shirt and Kate and I took a twin picture and I probably need to frame it. In case you were wondering, Kate's mom got her to smile by fake sneezing and making a total fool out of herself (which was what the rest of us had been doing all day because when Kate laughs the heavens part and angels sing).

Oh and Kate learned a new trick: picking her nose. My sister said I'm not allowed to post the nose picking picture but she doesn't know I blog so I can totally post it here and she can't get mad. Has nose picking ever looked so adorable? No. No, it has not.

Sunday I picked up Keith and we drove back down to the mountains, and it rained and I thought for sure it would snow but IT DID NOT and I'm disappointed but not THAT disappointed because

last night I won NaNoWriMo, have I mentioned that yet? WELL I AM PROUD OF MYSELF AND I CAN MENTION IT AS MUCH AS I WANT.

If you actually read to the end, I appreciate you and you must have been really really bored.