Sunday, September 30, 2012

Loving Lately...

I can't get enough of...

1. Waterfront Workouts.

2. Fresh Flowers.

I absolutely love carnations which happen to the world's cheapest flowers.  Score.  Does that qualify me as low maintenance? Anywho I love them and my last bunch has lasted a solid three weeks now.  Don't they still look amazing?  They're spicing up my coffee table.

3. and 4. Apple TV & a Clean House.

My sweet friend Debo got me an Apple TV for my birthday and it's been life-changing.  Now I can watch my current Netflix obsessions on ym TV instead of just my iPad.  Whoo whoo.  And I finally managed to get my house back it's normal-ish clean state.  Aaaah.

5.  Surprises.  

Normally I'm not a big fan of surprises...but the ones that have been happening lately?...I am loving.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Something You Want.

My sister, Rachel, and I have an inside 'thing' about our gifts.  If we ever give each other gift-cards or money for a holiday we always specify - buy something you want, nothing that you need.  We're both frugal, responsible ladies but birthdays and Christmas are supposed to be about indulging in the things you wouldn't normally get, right?

So this year I was under strict instructions to use my GC to my favorite store, Nordstrom Rack, for something I want that can't be considered a need.  Well we all know I need a handbag like a hole in my head but I've been in love with a funky, fun holiday/fall Kate bag and so with my GC and my Nordstrom notes (God bless triple points days) I added this to my collection...

The something you want clause has become one of my favorite traditions. : ]

I miss my sister.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Becca Lately.

Well, hello there loves.

Whew, I feel like I've been so absent it's time for a real update.

Fall has come in a bit of a blur.  Football season is in full swing (though my team as a bye this weekend).  Event season is moving forward with 3 more NFL events before the end of the year I will be on my tippy toes at work the next few months.  My Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years plans are locked and loaded with flights booked.  We're almost a month into bible study and I'm loving leading almost as much as I'm loving my group of girls.  Our tables full of vibrant, beautiful women as we study women of the Old testament.  It's already been an amazing journey and we're just getting started.

Life continues to be full of sweet surprises and special people and so far, twenty-seven is on track to be the best year yet.  It certainly was a great birthday.  Thank you for the flood of cards!  I've read and reread all your sweet words.

I am NOT dominated my works NFL pick em yet and I'm not even sure my consulting for my guy friends fantasy football teams has been particularly helpful - this year has been rogue.  BUT I will say a big fat welcome back to the refs, you've been missed!

Wishing the happiest of birthday's to my very best friend, Candy on her big 2-8 today!

Hope you all are enjoying you fall as much as I am, it just keeps getting better.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shopping Budget Success.

I'm a newly limited shopping budget as I tackle my Christmas shopping early.  I'm about halfway done AND I've already designed and ordered my Christmas cards.  But in the meantime I have put together a new system for my shopping to keep it under control because let's be real - who doesn't love shopping the most in the fall?

My best friend, Candy, and I have set a monthly 'item limit' on clothing we can purchase which has helped me walk away from a great many 'likes' and wait for 'loves'.  But I finally used one of my precious items this week for a vintage NFL sweatshirt I've been obsessing about on Pinterest...

I've loved putting a little money aside for clothes and having it when I do find something I love.  And cutting back on the item amounts instead of just the money spent has helped me to use it wisely, instead of buying 'cheap' things so I can have more.

Anyone else having to limit their fall shopping budgets because they could go sweater and boot crazy?


Friday, September 21, 2012

The End of a Reading Era.

I'm finally nearing the end of a reading era - the Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson.  I've been working on this series on and off for a year or two now.  One of my coworkers recommended it to me and I have loved it.  I'm attached to the characters, I love Patterson's writing style, and the books move quickly (a must for me).

There are actually 11 books in the series now and I'm finishing up book 11 now. I highly recommend this series if you like murder mysteries.  It's also not overly 'gory' in any way, which I appreciate.  I don't mind a little crime but I don't want the nitty gritty details of all of them, if you catch my drift. 

I'm a little sad to bid this series fair well but it's on to more Patterson series in the near future!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Ok Thursday.

Its Ok Thursdays

It's been a few weeks so this one is overdue...

It's ok... stalk every airline website immediately after your best friend leaves so that you can see her again soon. hate being away from your family during football season. get out of the shower and make a huge wet mess to get more shaving cream when you run out after one leg. drink coffee immediately after working out. read at stop lights. make all your phone calls on the go. look 12 years old when you wear glasses. have taken a cell phone picture when your neighbor weirdly had a bra laying on their front porch. pull your clothes out of the clean (or dirty) laundry pile in the midst of a busy week. not be a fan of Starbucks. alternate morning and evening workouts because you can't get up extra early EVERY day. be totally in love with life right now.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beach Retreat Weekend Recap.

This weekend was perfect.  Literally perfect. I wish I could relive it for the next 234929 weekends in a row.

I snagged my best friend from the airport late Wednesday night.  Thursday we had a Pinterest breakfast at home, went shopping at Nordstrom Rack (our absolute favorite store), and then headed out to Sand Key (just beyond Clearwater Beach) for a retreat with the women from my church. 450 women attended!  It was truly an amazing experience for Candy and I - full of friends (old and new), scripture, worship, downtime, reading, and of course the beach!

 (enjoying the beach on our first day at the Sheraton Sand Key)

 (Reading on our balcony)

 (lunching at the Columbia on the water with Patricia and Toni.  Amazing food, unbelievable view, and three of my favorite women!)

 (Me and Kristin - our women's ministry leader!  Love her)

(Candy and I on our last night of the retreat - pretty much the only time I ditched my baseball cap and comfy clothes all weekend and looked human)

It was hard to say goodbye to the weekend and most of all to Candy as I dropped her at the airport Saturday morning.  But the pain was eased by a fun Saturday block party with my neighbors.  They are truly amazing and we had the best time!

 (prepping my munchies for the cooking part of the day - I also provided homemade ice cream for dessert later)

(the boys were amazing on the smoker/grill - wings, ribs, steaks, kabobs)

We literally cooked and ate ALL DAY in honor of all the September birthdays on our block (which is pretty much all of us).  It was perfect. I had the best time and I truly, truly love my neighbors.

Sunday was of course about church, football, food, and friends - what else would Sundays ever include?

I went to Beefs with friends for lunch and the 1:00 games before heading home to have two of my friends (one old, one new) over for dinner at my place where I got to use my new place mats AND the ice cream bowls I got from my neighbors for their birthdays!

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend.  I had the best time. I'm not plotting how fast I can save up to see my bestie again.


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Big 2-7.

Well I'm officially 27!  And it was another fun birthday!

Thank you to all of you who blew up my facebook, twitter, blog, and e-mail for my special day - you know how to make a girl feel loved and have to charge her phone 5 times. ; ]

Having a birthday on a workday isn't ideal but...

Amy decorated my cube and work and gave me two of my favorite things - candy & diet cheerwine.  What could be better?

My parents bought me the world's largest food processor at my request....

And I've been playing with it ever since...

(making homemade peach ice cream)

And lots of salsa.  So thanks Mom and Dad (who never read this but that's ok, I sent a thank you card too).

I got to have lunch with Angel at one of my favorite places to grub in all of Tampa - THE Lee Roy Selmons. I am in love with that place.

Also on my big day coach brought in their newest addition to the fam, this sweet little guy...

He clearly looks thrilled to party with me.

My normal Wednesday night commitment got cancelled and I was able to relax and read a little while I waited for my best friend Candy to jet around the country on her way to me.

We wrapped up the night at home with gifts and homemade ice cream before heading off to a beach retreat Thursday...more on that later.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Club Friday.

Well I have been slacking both on my book club posts and honestly on my reading (slacking as much as I ever do on reading, anyway).  I just finished my 80th book for 2012 after a week of barely reading at all.  Does it ever happen to you that you get hung up on a slow read and it throws off you whole game?

Book number 80 was the latest Emily Giffin book, Where We Belong.

I was on the waiting list for a while for this one and then they must have gotten a huge shipment because I went from 150 on the list to getting it in hand within 24 hours.  Whew.  It literally took me until the day before it was due back to the library (so, three weeks?) to get through this one.  Granted, it was a busy 3 weeks but still.

The book dragged for me but by the end it won be over and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.  The ending really won it some points.

I also finished these two this week:

These were cheapies on Kindle.  I hoped they would be similar to Slammed and Point of Retreat which I couldn't put down.  But alas, while the drama of the romance was kind of interesting - the horrible writing and constant typo's were painful for me.  Sorry Nicole, this one didn't win me over.

Happy Friday to all.  I'm enjoying mine at a beach retreat for the bday with the bestie.  Hope yours is equally fabulous.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birthday Birthday.

Well, I’m twenty-seven.  Thanks for all the birthday wishes this week – you all are so sweet to me.  For those who have asked, my birthday plans include picking up my best friend from the airport tonight and heading to the beach for a three day retreat with the women’s ministry from my church.  Over lunch with a friend Monday I explained this to which he responded, ‘you’re kind of boring.  I use to think you had a really exciting life’.  Ha!  I happen to think that between traveling, football, my job, and my crazy-awesome family my life will probably never be boring.  But I will say I feel a bit more grown up these days.  A beach retreat with my best friend really is my ideal 27th birthday and I’m stoked about it.

I may have woken up and checked to make sure I didn’t grow any grey hairs this morning. So far, so good.  I’m getting older but I don’t quite feel old yet.  I’m actually excited about this birthday and I’m thrilled for all that this next year holds from a trip to Africa, to completing my third year as a homeowner, to finishing my first year of 100 books (and maybe starting my second?).

I’m excited for more travels (announcements coming soon) and more adventures and some big changes on the horizon.

So thank you again for the sweet birthday wishes, it’s been a blessing to share my 26th year with you here on the blog and I’m looking forward to doing the same with 27!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Fairwell to Twenty-six.

On this my last day as a twenty-six year old I would like to pay tribute to what can only be described as an amazing year.  I'm thankful to each person who's been a part of it however big or small your role as been, know that your love and support has meant the world to me.  Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me in a crazy, busy, and ultimately blessed year.  Here's a few highlights:

1. While twenty-six, I became an aunt for the first time to my sweet niece Noa June.

2.  I left the country for the first time, to live for a week in Port au Prince Haiti, love on orphans and build a church there.

3.  I went through my first official remodel as a young homeowner, 2 bathrooms, a paint job, and some really interesting plumbing experiences.

4.  I spent a few days in Washington DC falling in love with the history of our great nation. It was a perfect several day adventure...

5.  I traveled, oh how I traveled.  To Indy, Louisville, Myrtle Beach, Daytona, Orlando, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Raleigh, and beyond.

The brightest highlight of this year has been the people who have made it my best year yet.  I'm grateful for a loud, loving family, passionate world-changing friends, a challenging and gracious church family, generous neighbors, and a community here in blog world that continues to wow me.

God is good.  I look forward to twenty-seven with much excitement, joy, curiosity, motivation, and hope.  May it be even better than twenty-six, because I have no intention of slowing down.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh hey.

I've been so busy lately that I've been almost completely blog, twitter, and facebook absent.  Oops!  Hello friends.  I'm officially in my last 2 days of being 26.  Yikes.

This weekend was a busy blur.  I've picked up a new obsession on Netflix with Once Upon a Time.  Turns out many of my twitters followers are also fans and season two is coming

                               I now would like a home office that looks exactly like Regina's:

Can someone make that happen please?

I finally unpacked my suitcase from KC this weekend so I guess that's me acceptance that my trip is over.  I'm headed on a beach retreat Thursday-Saturday of this weekend with my best friend though, so that before I know it I'll be packed up and out the door again.  Followed by trips to Pittsburgh and Indy in the coming weeks.

Hope you all are doing well - I've sure been missing you throughout this crazy, busy season of life!


And then Fall Happened.

I feel like summer was supposed to be slow and relaxing for me and all of the sudden, fall is here.  I'm afraid that by the time I put out my fall scented candles and start my baking the fall will have happened!  I've promised myself I will try to be organized enough going into this fall to not let anything slip through the cracks and still manage to enjoy my favorite time of year - football season.

I began my Christmas shopping last week.  Yes, you read that right - Christmas shopping.  On my way home from KC I started making a list of Christmas present ideas and in a flash of brilliance I already bought Eric's last week (exactly 2 days after we finally finished buying each others birthday gifts for our matching Virgo birthdays).  I am on it people.  Christmas will not catch me off guard.

Actually the main reason for this is budgeting.  I'm getting back into a my budgeting skinny jeans and it's been an adjustment after a budgetary 'fat month' in August.  So, that being said I'm trying to peck away at my Christmas list in advance so that I won't be borrowing from other categories come November. Anyone else relating to this right now?

I'm having a big debate about Christmas cards this year but I'm leaning towards taking a year off.  We shall see.

I've booked my Thanksgiving flights (into Indy and out of Louisville) so that I can see both my know my biological one and my bestie one.  And I've started my Christmas shopping, determined my neighbor gifts, and I bought my first fall scented candle.  So now I guess I guess the only thing left to do it finish my fall cleaning (you know, like spring cleaning but in the fall) and get myself a pumpkin flavored something or other.

How are you welcoming fall this year?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting There.

I went back this week and read my entries on a blog I use to do with two of my college girlfriends.  We started it right after graduating college, wanting to write through what it was like being a 20-something in a strange, scary job market with a shaky economy.  I teared up as I went back and read what Mer wrote before she left her job, went to beauty school, and recently landed an incredible job where she now lives in Chicago (she use to live in Orlando, near me...sigh).

I felt sentimental as I read the posts leading up to Alyssa's wedding, which seems like yesterday until I think of the moves she's made, the jobs she's changed, and her beautiful little boy who was a someday dream back then.  Man, time has flown and life has changed but we're in such neat places now.  A million miles from where we began both as people and in life, it's fun to look back and be grateful for how these four years have unfolded.  Grateful for the dreams that are now realities and the new ones that now fill our heads.

I've thought a great deal lately about 'getting ahead'.  I am an observer by nature.  I am always taking things in and analyzing them later.  As I flew home from Kansas City last weekend I made 3 pages of notes about new goals, ideas, and dreams followed by pages upon pages of to do lists that will get me there.

I expect that by the time I ring in the big 2-7 next week I will have a good idea of what I want the next year to look like.  I'm growing steadily closer to 30 and I'm anticipating it with no fear.  I was miles ahead of where I thought I would be when I hit 25 and if I keep going at this pace, I think I'll be proud of where I am at 30.

Forgive me if that sounds cocky.  I in no way think I have my act together.  In fact, I realize the more I learn, the more I have left to learn.  I've read 78 books this year and added about 300 to the list I want to read as seems to be the theme of my life where knowledge is concerned. I've studied real estate and finances this year only to realize I don't know anything about retirement or investments.  I am absolutely a work in process and a lifelong learner at heart.

What I'm celebrating this year as I close another terrific year of my 20s is this - my sacrifices, hard-work, and sheer determination are starting to pay off.  I am living the fruits of 16ish years of school labor and 4.5 years at the work force and it feels good.  To say very few things in my adult life have turned out as I planned would be an understatement.  More than that I haven't turned out the way I thought either.  That much I mean in the best possible way.  I've experienced my share of growing pains but I have loved the results of that process.

I'm happier, healthier, and more excited that ever.  This isn't my official farewell to 26 post, so you can expect that next week.  But as I look back on the last few years I'm thankful that I finally feel like I'm 'getting there'.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I've shared on this blog before that I've been wearing glasses since the 5th grade. I recently found out about a great site,, where you can order affordable pairs of prescription glasses with lenses and I wanted to share it here for my fellow visually impaired readers.

I had no idea how expensive prescription eyeglasses frames could be until I joined the working world and had to start paying for them myself.  Many of you can relate to my frustrations when it comes to finding attractive eyeglasses and how much you've spent in the past when you did.  I've only recently been introduced to buying glasses online instead of at the eye doctor and just how much money this can save you!

GlassesUSA not only provides attractive high-quality frames and lenses but their site has a 110% lowest price guarantee as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Better still, they offer a generous referral program, perfect for those of us well connected in social media!

GlassesUSA provides a virtual mirror feature on their site where you can try their available frames on your face. I wanted to show you an example of how it works.  Here's a screen capture of me trying on Coach's Carolann 244 in Gunmetal ($169 including the lenses - which is 41% savings!).

GlassesUSA was kind enough to provide a discount to readers of this blog so you can save 10% off your order by using the code: Blog10.  There is also currently a site-wide discount of 15% plus free shipping on your entire order (it does have to be over $50) with the code: FS15.

I hope you'll take the time to see what they have available including many of my favorite brands from Coach to Tom Ford.  They even have prescription sunglasses available!  I bought my first pair of prescription sunglasses this year and they are now my favorite pool accessory!  Happy shopping and enjoy those extra savings!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kansas City.

Well, summer is over and September has officially begun.  I love September not only because it's the month of my birth as well as several of my best friends and my baby sister but also because it's the true beginning of football season!  I desperately wish I was headed to Chicago for the Colts opening game next weekend but alas, I think I'll be sleeping in my own bed at home in Tampa for a whole week now!

I had an amazing trip to Kansas City this past weekend to spend some time with friend Jonathan.  He was quite the host and I have to say - it was so fun I barely noticed it was the Midwest (I kid).  But really, it was such a fun holiday weekend away.

I flew out Friday night from Tampa, through Nashville, and landed in KC about 10:30 Friday night.  I made the sweetest friends on my flight whom I've been e-mailing with since and I'm hoping to get together with very soon in Tampa (they live in Sarasota - about an hour from me).

Saturday night I had my first Kansas City bbq experience.  It was literally life-changing.  We ate at Jack Stack in 'the plaza' area of KC.

How cute is this?

My apologies that the only picture I took of Jonathan and I is dark and hard to see.  Oops.

Jonathan did a great job of exposing me to new music this weekend (I know many of you who know me well enough to know I barely listen to music will be excited about this) including going to see Samantha Fish on Saturday night.  I'm not officially in love with her voice and came home with 2 CDs of it.  As well as a 2 other CDs of new music I'm stoked about.

I didn't take nearly enough photos to do the weekend justice but I do have to share that we made a swirly cupcake tower for Brett, Jonathan's best friend's birthday this weekend:

We were pretty proud of it.

I'm back in Tampa and (I think) ready for an intensely busy September!  Thankful for a perfect weekend away to start it off right and hoping I'll get to return the favor with a Tampa weekend soon!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Weekend.

Well, happy Labor Day weekend to all.  I'm out of town this weekend (yes, again) enjoying some time with a fellow Purdue Alumni from my Midwestern days.  This will be my first real trip (as in, more than to work or passing through the airport) trip to Kansas.  I guess when I return on Monday night I can say I'm not in Kansas anymore?  Here's to hoping that as you read this I'm enjoying less than 100 degree heat indexes and good company.

I didn't know when I made my facebook background, which reads: I would gladly live out of a suitcase if it meant I could see the world, that I really would be living out of a suitcase for half of August and most of September.  Oh well, it's officially my birthday month!  11 days left as a 26-year-old.  Anywho...

Wishing you all a great holiday weekend with little to no 'labor' involved.