Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: Venice, Italy

A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.

Ever since I watched the movie "The Tourist" with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp this weekend, I have had an itch to go to Venice. Luckily with Wanderlust Wednesday we are able to do just that!!!

So pack your imaginary bags and off we go to beautiful and enchanting VENICE, ITALY.

(Our 5-star Luxury Hotel and where they actually stayed in the movie that inspired this trip, Hotel Danieli)
(Bridge of Sighs)
 (Ca Rezzonico Palace)
 (Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Campanile)
 (Dining along the canal with a view of the Rialto Bridge)
 (Another of the Rialto Bridge)
 (St. Mark's Basilica)
(Giant's Staircase)
 (Learn more about Venice here or here.)

Hope you enjoyed our getaway and that it helped refresh you to get you through the rest of the week!!!

Sending you love and thoughts of being serenaded while sailing around on a gondola!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Life Monday: Big Bear & Weekend Fun

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!! I'm not exactly thrilled the weekend is already over since it was a busy one and I could of used a little more time to relax but it is what it is and so off to face the week I go.
Toward the end of January we headed up to the beautiful mountain town of Big Bear Lake with a group of friends and family. We had a blast with everyone and it was a nice getaway. We played in the snow, shopped, ate, played games, watched movies, and hung out. It was a no drama, relaxing, lots of laughs type of weekend.The only real bummers were the fact that a few of us were dealing with bad colds and at the time they hadn't had snow in a couple of weeks and so there wasn't nearly as much snow on the ground as we would of liked. The lack of snow however did make for some hilarious sledding moments because we of course being the people that don't see snow often still went sledding on the patches of snow that were left.
 (All the girls having fun in the park that we found that still have quite a bit of snow.)
 (Staci and I at dinner.)
(The whole gang after lunch in town.)

FRIDAY: We went over to one my best friend/coworker, Kristine's house to celebrate her daughter's 3rd birthday. Kristine is Armenian and she is an amazing cook so aside from having wonderful company, we also ate amazing food. Kristine and I hit it off pretty instantly when we started working together and she has really become a part of my life outside of work. I am more than a little sad and depressed because my school informed her last week that since she has an elementary credential they are not going to be able to renew her contract in the fall. They need someone that can not only teach the Middle School stuff that she is currently teaching, but someone that can teach a High School class as well. Due to budget constraints we aren't able to bring a separate person in for that class. In some ways this will most likely be a blessing in disguise for her as she didn't really want to teach Middle School in the first place but it does means losing a person that really makes work a better place to be. I know we will stay close and so I really just pray that she finds a job and figures things out for next year.
SATURDAY-We started the day hiking at Runyon Canyon with my brother, sister in law, father in law, and all the pups. After that we went to my brother's final basketball game. They lost unfortunately but on a happy note my brother shot and made the last basket of the game. After the game my sister, Joe, and I met our friend, Maggie (who we hadn't seen in a while) at Chipotle for a quick catch-up lunch. Once lunch was over we spent some time over at my best friend, Julie's apartment hanging out with her, her boyfriend, and her son. And then we wrapped up the evening trying a new sushi place with my friend/former coworker, Kristin, her boyfriend, Ryan, and Kristine. It was a nonstop day but worth every minute since we got to spend it with so many of the people we love and have such good times with.
SUNDAY: We threw my Grammy (my Dad's Mom) a surprise 80th birthday party. She is really into the history of the British Royal Family and so the party theme was "High Tea for our Queen Mum". It was a perfect party and she was surprised to literally tears. It was a lot of hard work helping my wonderful Aunt Joanne plan, shop, set-up, and clean-up the party but it was so worth it. Lots of my family and my Grammy's close friends came to the party and so it really was an unforgettable day honoring a very special Woman. Finally as if we hadn't been up since 5:20am to get ready for the festivities of the day, we met one of Joe's best friends, Erick and his family for dinner since they live in the same area as the party and we don't make it that way as often as we like. Dinner was great and it was so nice to see them. But I have to say I literally fell into bed utterly exhausted at the end of the night because it was a very looong and busy weekend/day.
(My Grammy--our Queen Mum--and my Grandpa--or Captain as I call him--at her surprise tea party. FYI: They have been married 56 years in June and are an amazing couple. I lived with them in college and they are not only the most supportive and loving Grandparents a girl could ask for, but they are also super hilarious and fun to be around. I am a very blessed girl for that reason and so many more.)

Sending you love and the hopes of a great week!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fun & Fabulous Friday: The Princess of Pop

Friday is a day that I have always associated with being fun and fabulous. Knowing the weekend is only hours away makes Fridays at work or school seem so much more bearable then any other day of the week. So with that being said I present to you (drum roll, please)....Fun & Fabulous Fridays. This will be the day that I will share my random inspirations and loves with you. Stuff that will undoubtedly have you ready for a weekend of being fabulous while having tons of fun. :)

Since her brand new album comes out this Tuesday (March 29th) I have decided that for my first Fun &Fabulous Friday, I will honor a woman that is in my opinion fabulous and fun--the Princess of Pop herself, the legendary--MS. BRITNEY SPEARS
I love me some Britney. I have loved her from the very beginning and I will love her until the very end. Even when she got all kinds of crazy there for a little while, I still loved her and was rooting for her. And the fact that she has gotten things back together makes me so happy for her. She isn't always the classiest celeb out there. Or even the one that makes the best decisions. But she is the kind of girl that I feel like I could be friends with. She is silly and quirky and she still manages to have all kinds of southern charm. And I'm not even talking about her music yet. Her music is the BEST!!! It is great--get off your butt and dance or workout--kind of music. It is music that makes me HAPPY. Music that makes me want to drive around in a convertible (I wish i had one so I could do this...hahaha) blasting song after song while I loudly, proudly, and probably off-key sing along at the top of lungs.

Her 7th and newest studio album is called Femme Fatale. You can listen to the entire album (sans bonus tracks that come on the deluxe edition) before it comes out here. It got great reviews from Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly
I am definitely a fan of the newest addition to her albums! And I can't wait to purchase the deluxe edition first thing Tuesday. Britney proves even more (not that she ever had to prove anything to me) with this album why she has earned her title and why she isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
I especially LOVE track #s 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 12.....hahaha I just realized that's like half the album but its just THAT good.

 To finish up my first Fun & Fabulous Friday post here are some of my favorite images (old and new) of the Princess of Pop.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!!

Sending you love and booty shaking good music!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

By Wednesdays I am always in serious need of some escape from the week. This is why I decided to start Wanderlust Wednesdays

A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.
As some of you may know, I love and live to travel. It is one of my passions in life and my list of places to visit in my lifetime is ridiculously long. I am definitely a travel enthusiast. Unfortunately I can't travel all the time (hopefully one day this will be the case), but sometimes when I am stressed or in need of a breather I take what I call a virtual vacation. I do this by choosing a destination and then searching images of that place. I sometimes find the hotel I would stay in if I was going there and pretty much I just virtually plan my pretend vacation as if I was really going there. This almost always makes me feel better and refreshes me to get through the rest of my day and even week at times. I hope my Wanderlust Wednesdays do the same for you.

Please pack your bags and grab your passports because today we are headed to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I don't know exactly what made me pick this place but it popped into my mind and so I went with it. 
With beautiful landscape, gorgeous people, and a flavor all its own, Rio will be a perfect place for our first virtual vacation!!!

We are staying at the fabulous beachfront luxury hotel, The Copacabana Palace.
Isn't it amazing??!!

There are so many different things to do in Rio. From outdoorsy type things like hiking,  swimming, and hanging on the beach to restaurants, churches, and other amazing cultural experiences, Rio has something for every day of the week.
(For more info on this beautiful city click here or here or here.)

Hope you enjoyed our trip to Brazil! I know I did!!!  ;)

Sending you love and dreams of laying on a gorgeous beach with a drink in hand!!!