Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guess Who's Back.

In less than 3 weeks my best friend will be back in the tpa!  I couldn't be more excited to take a few days off to (hopefully) hit the beach, do some shopping, and bask in the presence of my 'bff'!  It's hard being so far from your best friend but I'm lucky to have one that makes as much effort as I do to keep our relationship as tight as ever.  We travel back and forth to see each other, talk almost daily, and are as much a part of each others lives from 17 hours apart as we always were.

So now I'm spending every waking (and some sleeping) minute planning where I should take her and what I should show her. Including the condo, of course.

So excited.


Book Six: The 10th Circle

I wasn't feeling well leaving dinner with a friend last night, so I came home and spent the remainder of my Friday night in a bubble bath or in bed finishing up my 6th book of 2010.  Jodi Picoult as some of you may know is my absolute favorite author.  She never disappoints me, I've enjoyed every book I've read of hers.  Although, I guess I should admit I never finished the Pact.  I've still got 2 books of hers left to read and I'm hoping my Mom will buy me the newest one for my birthday this year.  She usually buys me the Jodi's as they come out.

The 10th Circle showed the love of a parent for a child and the struggle to help your child through unavoidable hurts.  It highlights the heartbreak of a child after their first love ends.  The story is full of twists, turns, lies, secrets, and heartbreak.  I warn you of the dark nature of any book written about the victim of sexual assault.  But as you would expect from a writer who received her training at Princeton and Harvard. Now, if only she'd show some of the Christian Fiction writers I'd read a thing for two.

If you're interested in checking out Jodi's work the are the one's I'd recommend:

- 19 Minutes
- Handle with Care
- My Sister's Keeper 

Coming in March, is House Rules.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Five: Accidental It Girl.

I just finished a girlie chic-lit book entitled, 'Accidental It Girl'. It's about a paparazzi photographer who's run in with a boyishly cute actor leads her down an (in my opinion) overly expected path to romance. The book was horribly simple in plot and left nothing to the imagination. It also, unnecessarily had bad language, which I'm not inclined to appreciate. But it had come recommended and I thought it was worth a shot. I almost didn't finish the book but after spending a few dollars from my precious 'entertainment fund' (other budgeters will appreciate this) I felt obligated to finish. Plus, I've got to get caught up on my 50 books for 2010 challenge.

Here's what I DID like about the book. The girl was totally quirky. I have a soft spot in my heart for quirky girls, being one myself. In my professional life and even many of my acquaintances don't get the chance to see this, as I'm make sure to be organized and on top of things in my day to day life. But my personal life is full of quirk. In fact, once I punch out for the day, I let all my quirkiness come to the surface. That's one great thing about living on your own!
I've had my fair share of...interesting...roommate experiences. But there's something great about being able to check your bag at the door as you walk in each night and just be you. However weird, quirky, open, or odd that may be. For me this could be anything from drinking out of the 2 liter bottle to my obsession with criminal minds, or my hatred for wearing pants around my house. Yeah, I said it.
We all have fun little quirks and in the book, her quirks are what the guy she ends up with appreciates about her. I love that. I hope someday when I decide to settle down (or at least tart seriously dating again) I'll find someone who not only can handle my quirks, but loves me for them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A window to my soul...

Over sushi with a friend the topic of our faith came up in the sense of where we were then (the before) to who we are now (the after).  We'd recently sang, side by side, the song containing the lyrics 'I don't know where I'd be, without you leading me'.  I told her with completely frankness, I have a pretty decent idea of where I'd be and the thought is bleak.

Most of you who know me in real life, and maybe some of my 'blogger friends' know me to be a positive, happy, loud, enthusiastic, smiling person.  Even yesterday I received a great message via facebook that contained all those same words as a description from a girl in my major in college, who recently got back in touch with me after relating to something she read here, on my blog.

I told my friend as I dissected the sushi roll I got and later decided I wasn't a fan of, I didn't always have joy.  In fact, I spent more than my fair share of time in darkness.  Complete and utter darkness in a way I can't quite put into words.  Without hope, there is no joy.  And as someone who came from a place lacking any sort of hope for a period of time, I treasure the joy that I have found with more sincerity than any gift I've been given yet.

See unlike happiness or smiles or a good night out with friends, joy isn't fleeting.  I could attain happy for a period of time, but before I surrendered my life to Christ, I never had joy.  Joy in the sense that it was still there the next morning.  Or when I was alone at night.  It wasn't permanent.  It wasn't lasting.  And it wasn't within my control.

Stubborn as a mule, I held onto my pride promising myself I could do it all alone.  But I can pinpoint with exact clarity the night I gave up.  The night I realized whether or not I could do it myself wasn't the point, I didn't want too.  My way wasn't working and the price wasn't worth paying.  And that's when I experienced true surrender for the first time.

For those who saw me at my worst and who still see me today, the change is beyond explanation.  The presence of joy in my life is so all consuming that I can't help but show it on my face.  The Becca with joy overflowing, seems to be the one most people are drawn too.  And as my friend told me over dinner, 'I can't picture you that way...depressed, unhappy' I had to laugh and say, 'Just don't try to picture me without Jesus.  The picture isn't pretty'.

I want to share a song with you.  One that explains with perfection how I felt and how I still feel today.  What strikes me everytime and brings tears to my eyes is when I sing about giving Him my heart, because I am still amazed that he wants it.  That he wants me.  Oh what peace there is when you are wanted with such intense love and grace.

This song has found a special place in my heart...

I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake of you my King
I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life

And I surrender all to you, all to you
And I surrender all to you, all to you

I'm singing You this song, I'm waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain 
© 2005 Integrity Music

Lincoln Brewster

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Party Planner Diary - Invitations.

Archaic arts are kind of my thing. I love to send cards via snail mail (yep, I own stamps and everything!). So, forgive me if I get entirely too excited about a paper invitation. As a lost art, the paper invitation is reserved almost entirely for weddings as of late. In fact, many weddings are going nearly 'paperless' as well. While I fully support the need for trees (palm trees if you live in my hood), I still believe the best invitation is on paper.

I didn't start my planning process in enough time (or with a budget big enough ) to have custom designed invitations. I went the less exciting but less expensive route of using invitations I purchased at Target. I picked black and white with a red ribbon since it's a RED carpet event. However, I recommend if time and money will allow, finding a custom stationary designer to handle your invitation needs. An example of a great one company is one run by a friend of mine, Krystal, who I met in book club. She's the founder of Notably Krystal. On her site, she has a whole section for themed parties. So in my case, with my theme being Hollywood, she could design something incredible. I sent my invites out 2 days after I determined the date of my party, so sadly that was an impossibility.

Hey while I'm on the topic, by being the 19th follower of Notably Krystal on twitter (@notablykrystal) I won one of the mini calenders featured on the homepage. I love winning things. I won a calender from Krysal and a book from Brunette on a Budget's blog in the same week. Must have been a lucky week...right up until the Colts lost that weekend. Blast.

Back on task. While invitations, custom or not do cost more than a 'facebook invite' they also place more importance on your event. You are less likely to get a 'maybe attending' when you send a card with an RSVP date. Not that this is error proof or that you still won't have an inconsiderate friend or two that are impossible to nail down (you're not fooling anyone, we know you life isn't SO exciting you can't commit so cut it out). If making your guests feel important and valued is a priority, a 'real' invite is still queen.

For time crunch purposes and because my Dove sponsored event had an exact number of people I can accommodate, I placed the RSVP date exactly one week prior to my event. Honestly, I could think of 100 people I wanted to attend, but my limits were placed for me. The RSVP date is set for March 1st, but I've already got 3 of my 10 RSVPs in. All a go. I'm off to a great start.

Happy invites.


On my choice to read Steph Meyer's New Moon.

I received this comment recently on my post stating that I had just finished Stephanie Meyer's second book in the Twilight series. The comment:

Anonymous said...
haven't read it, but know it's this generation's "obsession" -- I have heard horrible things about it from a Christina perspective and strongly encourage you to rethink your choice of reading materials. If I recall from the synopses I've read . . . . it's all about a vampire obsessed with an underage girl with whom he wishes to have a sexual relationship? Doesn't sound all that wholesome to me.

My response:

Anon - I'm afraid I have zero idea who actually wrote this comment (one small draw back to allowing people to comment without their name). But while I see great intentions behind your suggestion and think all 'entertainment' should be carefully considered I would offer you a challenge as well. I tell my Mom so often when she makes statements about Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. that there is a level of unfairness in judging anything you don't personally know about. Twilight is actually the first book in...years? written to be a non-christian romance story in which they wait until they're married to have sex. While the vampire (being without the ability to 'die') is certainly older than the desire of his heart, is HIS decision that they will not have sex before marriage which at one point he explains as his desire to 'protect her honor'. I give Meyer 'mad props' for this. While, not unlike Harry Potter, there is a magical, mythical element to the characters, I can appreciate the expression of imagination. I do feel, that parents should consider if their children are yet at an age to muscle through in their minds fact from fiction. But at 24, I think I have reached that point.

I take every comment I receive to heart. I really do. I went to someone I consider a Christian mentor of sorts, who is a part of my every day life and I asked her what she thought of the comment. She herself had just finished reading the entire Twilight series because her middle school daughter's friends were, and her daughter wanted too as well. Here were her thoughts, of which I am inclined to agree...

This person sounds exactly like I sounded prior to reading the books.

I found the story to be more about a deep devoted love. She desires to have sex. He says they need to be married and they don't have sex until they are married. They have a child after marriage. The family rallies together and unites when they face adversity. After reading the books, it definitely changed my pre-judged theories.

I don't think that Twilight is based on truth. I don't think it was intended to be a faith-based literature of any kind. And I appreciate concern on the parts of many Christians that I have read comments from, about the desire to keep 'evil' and 'fantasy' out of literature. But while vampires and ware wolves are certainly an odd choice for a romance novel, the stories themselves may be a far cry from what you imagine. I enjoy reading popular books because as people talk about them, I want to have an opinion that is based in my own knowledge, and not in word-of-mouth.

This post is not to endorse Twilight in any way, or to push others to read it. I in no way would push anyone to read anything they feel uncomfortable with, for any reason. If you feel, based on your own knowledge or anyone elses, that a book is not of the level of value you wish you expose yourself, then I would say don't read it. But in my experience, when you keep an open mind until you can find your conclusion for yourself, there are surprises to find.

I am not at this time reading the third Twilight book. Not because I won't someday, as I imagine I will finish the whole series someday. But for now, I'm reading 'The 10th Circle' by Jodi Picoult (my favorite author).

I continue to welcome your comments and I certainly welcome a challenge when you think I am doing something wrong. Thank you to the writer of this comment for your concern and your interest in my well being. I appreciate your heart.


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Party Planner Diary - The Intro.

You may remember from this entry that I was able to attend an event sponsored by Dove (beauty products, not chocolate). My fellow blogger Joy & I went to a spa day to learn more about Dove's newest discovery in skin maintenance, the piticure. Which was describe as a pedicure for your arm pits...

Not only did we have a blast hanging out with Rachel (who put on the shindig) but we enjoyed the process, picked up a new beauty regiment, AND walked away with some sweet free products. In the video from the entry I just linked too, you can see me going through my goodie bag. I use my Dove spa wrap when I go for facials now...instead of the community one. I also have several years worth of a stash of deodorant and honestly, will never use anything but Dove again. So overall, it was a great experience. As we wrapped up the evening and again when I e-mailed Rachel a copy of my blog post about the night I mentioned that if they were ever doing anything down this way again (she's up in Chicago), to give me a shout.

Ask, and you shall receive! Another gal from the same PR firm, Edelman, who represents Dove got in touch with me via e-mail last week with a new invite! After some e-mail dialog on Friday, I will be hosting a Red Carpet VIP party during the Oscars on March 7th, and it will be sponsored by Dove! I am insanely excited about it and growing more so with each and every detail I get from Kaley.

So, I've decided to do a series of blog entries leading up to the party, about the planning process. Since Dove is making my life easy, it will be fairly straight forward. I wanted to share with you because this is what I love! My events for work are obviously VERY different from this but events are events. I love them all. So this entry will serve to introduce what is to come, the party planner diary from now until the big event, March 7th.

Stay tuned & get excited.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finally I can reveal...

The couch!  

In decorating, I like unique pieces. I don't want my living room or bedroom to look just like someone else's.  I want it to be me.  When I found this couch (on Craigslist) I just knew it was perfect.  The first picture shows the couch with the pictures that will be on the wall behind it (eventually).

I had wonderful help from friends to pick it up and get it in.  I'm so grateful, I could never have done it without them.  I'm so pleased.  I LOVE it.


Friday, February 19, 2010

New ottoman.

Isn't it weird how a piece of furniture can make you feel glamorous. Thanks for this new piece, Mom.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A million miles apart...

Many of you who have been reading me for an extended period of time know that living in Florida was my dream...really my first dream that I ever helped come true. I love my life here from my wonderful job & coworkers to my condo to my church and especially my fabulous friends. But there's one aspect of living in Florida that gets hard from time to time.

Living a million miles apart from my family. Obviously, family is a big deal to me. I grew up in a family that was close knit and heck, we had to be. With Dad's given career there wasn't much room for us to be divided. The family that moved together, stayed together - in our case. My sisters were my best friends out of necessity for years and now they remain that way I'm thankful to say. My mom was my teacher among so many things. And Dad, well he was the leader...sometimes more accurately described as the 'ring leader', perhaps.

When I first moved here it was especially weird. I spent the best years of my life in Tampa, with them. I'd drive by our lake house here when I was feeling especially pensive. That house holds the best years of my life. It is filled with memories with my 4 favorite people. There's a part of me that wants to show up on the doorstep one day and demand they give it back.

I think my whole family knew I'd be the one to wander the farthest. I always gravitated towards sunshine and vast expanses of water. Deep down Florida was always the only place I ever felt at home. That being true, no one was too surprised when I ended up here, again. This time to stay. Putting down roots by buying a home here did come with the realization that the distance would be permanent.

I steal time with my family members as often as I can. I'm spoiled rotten with seeing my Dad for work twice per year. And meeting up with the fam for football games to show Dad some love and support. My mom is having more time to travel now that we're all out of the house. Rach & I are making our once yearly sister weekends a tradition. And Ruthie I mostly see at holidays right now, although I hope that my condo may be a draw for her & her friends for spring break!

I'm still struggling through in my mind just how to keep the distance from taking a toll. I remain incredibly close to each of my family members...though Rach and Mom are certainly the two I talk too most. I work hard to make sure they know that distance aside, they are always my priority.

There's a small part of me that does wish I could hope in the car and drive over to Rach's house for dinner whenever I wanted. Or go home and curl up in front of sportscenter with my Dad on Sunday afternoons. Or take my mom out for starbucks every week just to see what she's been up to. Or that taking Ruthie shopping for an outfit for one of her college events didn't require a 2 hour plane ride.

You can't have it all. As always, your best just has to be good enough.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If Chaos is your Nature...

I've frequently accused of being 'the most organized person I know' by friends. I admit to being a bit OCD in many aspects of my life and organization of some varieties would fall into this category. As those of you who have been reading me for any length of time know, I'm an extremist. I tend to throw myself whole-heartily into that which I get excited about.

I've been pouring over some organizing blogs, ideas, tips, and lists this week thinking of ways to be more efficient in my personal life. I do a decent job of staying organized with work-related items but sometimes I fall behind at home. I would be willing to bet that a few of you have the same problem, made worse by coming home after an 8+ hour work day and wanting to do nothing but eat dinner and watch TV.

I'm going to identify my weak areas. Here we go...

Sidetracked by the Macbook.

Fly Lady has listed as one of her 11 Commandments, 'don't allow yourself to be sidetracked by your computer'. Bam - guilty. Pulling out my macbook (which thankfully I only do once or twice a week at home) can be like entering a time warp for me. When I emerge from Internet-land back into the real world and an hour has gone by I can't believe I've let myself get so sidetracked. Anyone feeling me on this one?

I might have to start setting a timer for myself like my parents use to do with us when we first got AOL in our house. Oh AOL, the old school days of dial up Internet and lame 10-year-old screen names. If only that were all that distracted me on my computer these days. Say no to face-stalking, extreme budget overhaul, and Internet window shopping Becca. Say no.

The Great Mail Pile-up.

For someone who seems endlessly organized I have NEVER been good at dealing with mail. In college my Mom use to remind me to check mine or I'd go weeks without dealing with my overflowing box (which by the way, supposedly promotes break-ins). Even after I'd finally trudge down to the mail area and gather my 39489302 pieces of mail, it'd take me another week or two before I'd go through it, usually throwing most of it away unopened.

Where did I acquire this attitude about mail? I love getting cards but I hate dealing with documents sent from companies such as: insurance related, bank related,HOA related, etc. And before you suggest I go 'paperless', that would be equally disastrous as I'm also horrible about printing and filing those documents.

No excuses, I'm to start tackling the mail as it comes. I cannot keep being fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants about paying bills and such. I've never been late on a bill BUT I've been a 'day of' girl most my life. No more. I will find a way to deal with mail. I will report back to you all with my solution.

Fly Lady's thoughts are this:

Mail - often a big pile up problem! This works - the "DO IT NOW PRINCIPLE" (from the FlyLady's Dear Husband):

- Go through the mail as soon as you bring it in the house.
- Only open it with your calendar, cards, and garbage can at your side. (This cuts down on handling it twice.)
- Have one place for bills. And put them there!
- Have a day for paying them and stick to it. FlyLady's date with her bills: on the 1st and 15th of each month.
- Reconcile your bank statement the day you get it.
- Put sale papers, advertisements, and catalogs by your chair, so you can look at them when you deserve a break. Do not let them pile up! Look at them the next time you sit down and have your scissors, grocery list, and garbage can handy.

Car Chaos.

I have a tendency to do really well at keeping my car nice for a few weeks or months and then something will happen (like moving) and it will be a disaster for a while before I want to face it again. This is avoidable. I just can't let my car become a war zone or the black abyss that my papers and trash fall into. But this is certainly an area of organizational weakness.

I recently cleaned my car inside and outside. I took it to the car wash, stopped and got it vacuumed out, I even scrubbed my floor mats with spot shot. To all my friends who ride in my car with their grimy feet on my floor mats:! I also FINALLY went through my glove box and disposed of the rotting renewals of my insurance cards and registrations from the last oh, 2 years. Now I know that my 'packet' is up-to-date and I will have no problems should I need to reference that info (Lord willing, I hope I do not).

Inbox Influx.

I hate e-mail. I'm not sure why but for some reason I am just not a fan of getting e-mails. Some of you may remember from my former blog post about the buying of my blackberry that not long after my e-mail started stalking me via my phone, I unsubscribed from practically EVERYTHING I was getting via e-mail. But alas, somethings are just best handled through e-mail and so therefore I must learn to stay atop of them.

I have made myself categories for e-mails that need to be saved ie: receipts from my Kindle purchases, condo documents, personal e-mails to reference on crappy days, etc. However, I need to start sorting e-mails every day instead of once every couple weeks. This would really cut down on the annoyance I experience when I have to do this process. Gr.

So as not to 'Debbie Downer' myself too terribly much today...let's also talk about areas I do well at and how I got to those points. In the last year or so I have become increasingly well organized in the area of greeting cards. I bought a Vera Bradley card organizer a while back which helps me ensure that I send holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, and 'just because' cards every single month. I think this is a great habit that few people have developed. I love the cards I get in response or knowing that I've put a smile on someone's face. I remember to pull out and write cards because I highlight (in orange which equals important) on my calender a day a week out from a birthday 'send Rach a card'.

For me, the key to success with most everything has been to have a plan...and an accurate planner. I color coordinate my 3 year old Coach planner that my best friend graciously refills for me with her discount every year. That has become my compass as I navigate my somewhat intense life of balance church, work, bills, condo stuff, personal life, football related things, and event-world details for work. Without my planner, I tend to get lost. I believe I've posted a picture of my infamous color coded planner on my blog before. My friends tease me mercilessly...except the 2 of them that have adopted my habit. They love me for it. I color coordinate in the following 5 catagories:

Pink - personal or as I call them 'treats'. This includes lunch dates, facials, girls nights out, and this month: the super bowl!
Orange - Important. These are the mustnotforgets! When bills are due, cards, birthdays, prescriptions, etc.
Yellow - work. This is self explanatory. Meetings, due dates, reminders, PTO days, paid holidays, etc.
Green - church related. Meetings, appointments, services, small group homework, finance class meetings, and soon-to-be calling my group every week to see how their budgeting is going.
Blue - Blog related. When I've scheduled posts, when I have promised to mail a freebie, etc. This is the least used color...but it still has one.

Well, there you have it. I'm good at a few other organization things but these will do for now.

Time to get to work...



I try to balance not overdoing what I share with you all on other sites while still giving ample credit where it is due. It's no secret I've been condo crazy these past few months, and I love decorating. So, I found a great blog that shows INCREDIBLE decor from several major cities and I just have to pass it on to you all.

Check out the Material Girls Blog.

You can thank me later.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Four of 2010.

Just finished Stephanie Meyer's second book in her Twilight series, called New Moon. I had read Twilight (the first book) sometime last year before seeing the first movie. Unlike many of Meyer's fans, I wasn't instantly addicted. I think she's a compelling writer and the way she weaves a story is certainly entertaining. I wouldn't say it drew me into obsession or that I couldn't put it down, but overall, I enjoyed the book.

I will make one comment I hope wouldn't offend Meyer, should she for whatever reason read this blog entry. And that is this, I find it disappointing that the most read romance of my generations literary era has been a book about vampires and werewolves. Literature is certainly not what it once was. While I support expanding the imagination as well as the mind, I find myself slightly saddened by romantic literature these days.

I'm sure some of you are wondering and yes, I will read the next one in the series. I'm not sure if I'll do it right away, but eventually.

That's four books so far this year, but leaves me trailing far behind my partner in reading crime. I need to get in gear!


Love, actually.

(Image from:

Valentines got me thinking about love. Not love in the perfect sense. Not love in the Godly sense or even the movies sense of the word. Love the way it happens in real life. The good, the bad, the ugly of love in this imperfect world.

See, Valentines never makes me sad. I have so many people in my life I love and who love me. The years I've been in a relationship on Valentines haven't been all that different from the years I've been single. I think whether this was your year or not, we all find love at some point in our lives. Some of us find the love you get to keep, some of us don't. You can't always control the end result and I'd say most of us felt at some point like we couldn't (or wouldn't) control being in love either.

When I was younger I thought you only got one chance to be in love in life. I'm not sure where I got this notion exactly. But later, I determined I'd wasted my one chance. My first experience with being in love was a bit of a bust and I had this dread that since I couldn't make that work out, maybe I would never get to be in love again. Weird huh?

It's been a few years now. Being far enough removed from the situation to see several things more clearly than I did back then, I have a new perspective. First off, I realize that plenty of people don't 'get it right' the first go around. That falling in love more than once in your life doesn't necessarily cheapen the second time. Perhaps it does the opposite. Maybe failing at love makes the later success that much sweeter?

The thing those of us who had a botched first go around have to be the most aware of is containing our fears. As a social worker I've studied 'projecting' more than the average person. It's easy to project your fears and failures onto someone new. This is definitely a problem. But even worse than that perhaps, is the fear of trying at all. Not everyone has to try at love. Sometimes it finds you. When it does, you can't be afraid of failure at love anymore than in other aspects of your life. Fear is paralyzing.

Love is hard work but I don't think that failing in a relationship always means you didn't try hard enough. Somethings just weren't meant to be. I think I've been able to accept that about myself...that it isn't always my fault. You can only bend so far before you break.

Just some thoughts coming out of this weekend. My Valentines was filled with love, surprises, and people who mean the world to me. I hope yours was the same.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

These are a few of my fav. things: Condo Addition.

Happy Valentines Day sweethearts! Hope it's been delightfully special. : ]

Ok, so to give you all a small idea of my decorating style, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things in the condo thus far. Also this entry doubles as a deals and steals feature since nothing you will see pictures cost over 30 bucks...and most of them cost less than 10! : ] Yeah yeah, pat me on the back ya go:

I found this vase for...get this, 2.99! Love it. I just got it so it has no flowers yet. But ya know, it's in my bathroom anyway.

Isn't this cute? 5 bucks. Also in my bathroom (the master).

This striped shower curtain was a cheap find at HomeGoods. 12.99 I think? But I love it. Orange is the accent color in the that bathroom. ; ]

I love baths! So this catty was found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Marked down from 70.00 to 19.99 but I had a coupon so it ended up being 14.99. : ] Oh and I had a giftcard.

Lamp on one end of my bed...from target. $29.

A pier one find. The hook was already in my ceiling. 20 bucks, but I had a giftcard.

Diamond branches. Also pier one...less than $1 a piece during the after christmas sale.

I love this vase. It looks like it's a weird color because of my flash. But it's actually the EXACT color of my wall. : ]

I have 2 of these...on on each end of my huge black dresser with vanity mirror. They were a little pricey...20 bucks each. But worth it.

Ok so there you have it. : ] Deals and steals from my 3rd floor. May have to show you some on the middle floor after my fab couch arrives Saturday!

Love ya!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Pictures.

From our ladies night last night to dinner at Ceviche & movie at West shore...

Such a great Valentines weekend thus far. From a surprise field trip Friday at work to last nights festivities to brunch at Audra's today...great, great weekend. I'm about to disappear for the night. ; ] See you all tomorrow!


Friday, February 12, 2010


I got my first Valentine of the year when I returned from my trip Monday afternoon. Thanks Di, loved it! It got me excited about the big v-day this year. I know I don't talk about this much but even though I have been dating a bit, I'm not exclusively seeing anyone so therefore I'm not spending Valentines with a boy. Instead, I've decided to make it a fun girls weekend.

The girls and I will be hitting Ceviche in South Tampa (my new hood) & then catching a showing of the new movie, Valentine's Day. I have to admit just the cast of this movie was enough to strike my fancy. So I'm pretty pumped to see it. In fact, there are several movies out lately that I want to see including The Lovely Bones (weird book by the way) & Dear John (good book by the way). I'm not typically a big movie watcher, but they've been speaking my language these past few months.

Saturday a girlfriend of mine is having a Valentines brunch. What a perfect idea. Valentines is the day of love right? Who doesn't love a good brunch!

I know Valentines is a total Hallmark gimic of a holiday but...if you can't beat em, join em!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shopping with Saavy.

As a recent convert from the ways of head-to-toe-couture to being a Frugal Fashionista I'm always looking for ways to put together great looking outfits, for less cash. Lucky for me, during my old ways I bought some great wardrobe staples that are still in style and working for me today in my new Becca-on-a-budget lifestyle. I don't think that budgeting means suffering! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? You can be financially fit and still have some fashion fun.

I was walking past a coworker's desk when I spotted a book with a catchy title. It read, 'Five-Star Living on a Two-Star Budget'. Ah ha! It had me at hello. Isn't that really what most of us 20-somethings want? A 5 star life but were stuck in 2-star budget land? So I asked to borrow it for a quick browse. I'm thinking I need to devote some time to scouring it later. But for now I will give you some brief fashion advice as taken from Margaret Feinberg & Natalie Nichols Gillespie, co-authors of the book.

A brand name coat, shoes, and purse are smart investment because they are distinctive pieces you'll be able to wear regularly and enjoy. Something like a white t-shirt - whether it's made by Ralph Lauren, Diesel, or Old Navy - is still just a plain white shirt, so choose your accent pieces wisely.

I love this advice. I'm 100% a believer in accent pieces. My bags, shoes, and jewelry are what make my outfits. I'd much rather rock a New York & Co. dress with some killer heals than wear an expensive dress with Walmart shoes. Cheap shoes are wicked uncomfortable. And bad materials for handbags show just how much of a 'bargain' they were.

She recommends that if it's time to clean out your closet, you consider donating to Dress for Success an organization which helps women of lower socio-economic status get into the workplace. They are given one suit for their interviews and a 2nd when they land a job. I'm all for helping someone get their feet on the ground, especially in this economy! Helping someone help themselves gives them the power to reach their goals, what a great feeling.

The girls go on to recommend some great places to get designers for less including Luxe in Buckhead (a burb of the ATL) and Filenes basement. But what about those of us who don't live in Atlanta, Chicago, or the NYC? Well, I've had great luck with TJMaxx since moving to the South. In Indianapolis they were kind of weak and I only shopped at Carmel Consignment for my designer needs. But now that I'm 17 hours south, the TJ's are off the chain (yeah, I said it).

I've found everything from Kate Spade, Gucci, Armani, and Juicy sunglasses (all under 50 bucks!) to Abro & Coach bags to D&G watches and Marc Jacobs necklaces. They may be a little late hitting the floor of these stores but now that we're being frugal, does it really matter? I'm not going to spend 100 bucks on anything I can't wear for more than 1 season. Period. So better late than never friends. Here in Florida we also have the benefit of life-changing outlet malls! Can you say O-town? This is where I hit for all my Burberry, Fendi, and Juicy needs. I also like Ellenton outlet mall for my staples like Gap sundresses and beach bags.

Two other great spots to keep your eyes on are Blue Fly & Smart Bargains. I recently found a killer mango colored dress for a girlfriend of mine on Smart bargains that she's going to rock in Dallas for her NBA weekend. It happened to be the last one AND I saved her $191 from the original sale price.

Let me leave you with some immortal words from none other than Oprah Winfrey herself, ' I'm a black-belt shopper, always have been...I still get a little thrill whenever I see these two words: free and discount'. (quote from the book, page 33).

Happy (but smart) shopping to all.


Quote of the Week.

This weeks quote comes from none other than Super Bowl QB Peyton Manning...because I thought he had something quite sweet to say about my Pops.

"As a quarterback, it's important that you and your receivers are all on the same page," said Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning. "And Clyde Christensen has done more to prepare those young receivers than anyone. He's a great football coach."

You can read the whole article here if you like.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Right Kind of Press.

There is always much press and publicity surrounding the Super Bowl. But this year my parents got some press attention that makes me smile. I wanted to share this with you. Thank you to my sweet friend, Sean Cook, who passed this along to me earlier today and brightened my day.


A Tough Return.

Well I arrived home from the Super Bowl trip about 3pm yesterday after dropping my sis & bro-in-law at the airport and taking a minor detour to have bfast with my friend Adam who was in town for the game form Indy. It was a long drive home after our crushing loss to the Saints in this years Super Bowl. I was so tempted to feel defeated by the end of the weekend but I found myself reflecting on the weekend as a whole and being grateful.

The Lord has brought my family through many trying times and has certainly delivered us much success and victory in our years. We have so many things to be thankful for, starting with each other. I have a wonderful family, all of whom love the Lord and each other - which is perhaps the greatest blessing anyone could ask for. This weekend, we all got to be together for 4 days. Now that were grown up and spread out, this is rare. So a weekend together was a great gift.

The trip itself was a blast! Minus the last 12 hours or so (after the loss), the whole weekend was really pretty perfect. Filled with friends, family, and life-changing food! I'm not sure I've ever had a brunch or dinner quite like those on Super Bowl Sunday! Loved it. My sisters and I knew from last time to save up lots of room in our bellies for all the delish tables of food that awaited us. We were prepared!

I am left at the end of the loss thinking this...

'Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' - Job, who lost it all but never lost his faith.

May the name of the Lord always be praised.

Thank you to everyone who lovingly supported my family and I through another great season! We anxiously and hopefully await what the Lord has next for us!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Update.

Day Two of my trip to Miami! I wanted to pop on blogger before I hit the sack to prepare for the big day to update you all on the trip thus far (hey, I keep promises!).

Thankfully, I hit no traffic from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday morning and rolled into the Harbour Beach Marriott at 10:30am. I dropped my bags in the room and went to get my credentials. Our hotel is under level 1 security so it's pretty intense around here. I have to wear a badge with my face on it! So with my new face bearing necklace, I headed up to the room to catch a quick nap while my mom went to pick up my baby sister from the airport.

Later after some travel chaos on everyones part BUT mine, we had a family dinner. Dad had picked a place within walking distance where we could sit outside. Which sounded like a great idea until it started pouring rain. My parents friend Dale and I managed to get us a table inside but not until we had already been thoroughly soaked by the rain. Oh and ps: my caesar salad was terrible but they did have delish coconut shrimp.

I didn't sleep well so I got up about 7 and hit the beach for a long walk. It was a beautiful morning it gave me a chance to clear my head after a bad nights sleep. Later in the morning they bused us to practice at the Miami Dolphins facility (thanks for letting us borrow, guys). Practice was short and sweet but it was fun mingling with everyone on the field afterwards. Got some great pictures (I'll post some soon).

We grabbed a late lunch in a cute little covered cafe when we returned to our side of town. No rain AND my food was excellent. On the way back we scoped out the concert site - which later we walked down too. We watched OAR beachside and then an awesome Super Bowl firework show. How is it that fireworks are so amusing? OAR wasn't half bad either. I love that stinkin Poker song.

It's been fun meeting a few of Dad's players I hadn't met yet. The atmosphere at the hotel has been really laid back and for the most part the security has kept it from being autograph and picture taking chaos. So everyone has felt free to roam around and mingle. Way more fun.

I better hit the sack because tomorrow we have: chapel, brunch, NFL experiencish thing, game, after party! So pumped.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quote of the Week.

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning. - John Cardinal Newman

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Super Bowl Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of the Super Bowl Giveaway! First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented, publically started following my blog, and especially those of you who have been following for a while and I just found out! I love blogging and I love my interactions with you all because of my blog even more. So thank you to everyone and if I could afford too, I'd be bringing each of you something back (or taking you with me)...I hope you know that!

I was most taken with the 2 entries in which someone asked to be the winner for someone else. What a sweet thought! That being said I have chosen Elisa's entry as the winner. She wrote:

Well, my entry isn't truly for me - but I do enjoy your blog and leaving anonymous comments on it -- I'm sure your guess was wrong.
My entry is for my almost 6-yr-old freak of nature son who has become "obsessed" -- his word, not mine with football. Today, at dinner, I had to explain to him when exactly February 7th is when the "Colts will play and win the whole season" - again, according to him.
Later tonight, he, completely on his own, traced a little tykes Zebra toy, cut it out and did his best to draw a horseshoe in blue.
Now that deserves a win!

And this is the picture Drew made:

Isn't it precious? I asked Elisa if I could put it up on my blog for you all to see. How could I not award the prize to someone who drew a green horse? : ] Love it! And my sisters and I were little football freaks ourselves not so long ago (ok, long ago..when I was young). So I guess I may have been a wee bit of a sucker for that.

So again, thank you to each of you who entered and I truly felt like each of you was deserving of a prize. Thank you for your friendship, support, and readership!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ta da!

This my friends is THE skirt. The one I've been waiting for (since last Tueday!). This is the skirt I will wear after we (hopefully) win on Sunday - to the after party. Can't to celebrate a second victory in Miami for my Colts. Of course, I also can't wait to sport this new skirt.

Still working on what I'm going to wear it with. But I make sure there are pictures from the party so I can share the final results with you later, when I return.


Ps: Thank goodness my legs aren't quite as pale as this girls! Ha ha...

Monday, February 1, 2010

50 books in 2010 Update.

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. - Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

I just finished, 'In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day' by Mark Batterson. This is book 3 of 2010. I'm off to a slower start than I had hoped, but I'm holding on that it's still early in the year, I will rally!

In a Pit was a great book. I loved it. And would highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to face fears in their life. It also has great 'bathroom mirror' quotes. You know, words of wisdom we need in our everyday lives.

The updated list:

1. The Sweet By & By - Sara Evans
2. Two Little Girls in Blue - Mary Higgins Clark
3. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day - Mark Batterson