Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear Mr. Powerball,

I am writing because I need your help. Yes, I have student loans to pay, a wedding coming up and of course I would love to buy a house but that's not why I'm contacting you. This summer some of my favorite acts of all time are coming to Minneapolis and I am going to need to win the powerball in order to see them all.

If you could be so kind as to grant me the winning ticket so that I can put the following dates in my calendar:

May 14th, Tim McGraw

May 21st, Usher

June 1st, Glee

June 4th, Chelsea Handler

June 14th OR 15th, Taylot Swift

(I will be going to this with or without the powerball!)

July 9th, Katy Perry

July 15th, Backstreet Boys
(with stupid NKOTB, but who cares?)

August 6th, SADE
(I will be going to this no matter what as well---she never tours!)

Thank you in advance for your help and understanding. I really appreciate it.

Have a wonderful day.


Are any of you wonderful blog friends going to any of these shows?
Care to rub it in?

Also, the only thoughts I am having this morning are schemes to get to all of these shows, so I am totally counting this towards my BB's Thoughts on Thursdays!
Check out her blog and play along!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Sissyface!

Today is my sister's birthday!!!

I cannot express how grateful I am to have gained a sister (at age 25) who is as awesome as Natalie. There was potential for serious disaster when it came to combining families with two girls in their mid-twenties. But, lucky for us and our family we are so much alike, get along perfectly, and love each other dearly! In fact we call each other Tia & Tamera because we're like long lost twins!

I will be enjoying a glass of white wine and listening to MJ's "PYT" on repeat in honor of my glorious sister and her day of birth! AND, I can't wait to go out and celebrate this weekend!

I Love You Tamera! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Britney Day!

Today is the day I have been waiting for for MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Britney's new album Femme Fatale comes out this morning!

You better believe I will be watching this:

I will also be DVR-ing MTV ALL DAY because they're hosting a Britney takeover!
A little of this....

and some of this....

and I will be watching JImmy Kimmel tonight, because she's performing AGAIN!


I love the first two singles, Hold it Against Me and 'Til the World Ends and cannot wait to hear the rest of the album! There will be a lot of one person dance parties happening today at my house!

It makes me so happy that Brit is back and making amazing music AND looking FAB!!!
Have you seen the pics from OUT Magazine? OMG.

Who else is loving today as much as me?!?! C'mon....I know I'm not alone here!

Monday, March 28, 2011


I have been debating for a while now on whether or not to write about this and I finally decided it was important to share. I am not shy about sharing this with people but it's personal and a lot of people don't like to hear about "girl problems." I have been struggling with endometriosis since I was 15.

For those of you who aren't familiar with endometriosis, here's a nice lengthy medical explanation for you:

During monthly menstruation, the female body sheds the endometrium - uterine lining - in the process commonly known as a "period". In women and girls who have endometriosis, some of these menstrual fluids are retained in the body and abnormally implant in areas outside of the uterus. These implants, or nodules, eventually accumulate on the bladder, bowel, ovaries, cul de sac, and other nearby organs, leading to the development of adhesions, scarring and invasive nodules. This can cause symptoms that vary from painful periods, chronic pelvic pain, infertility, pain associated with intercourse and sexual activity to painful bowel movements, rectal pain and urinary pain or difficulty.

My journey began my sophomore year of high school when I started to have extreme pain in the right side of my abdomen. Sometimes it came during my period, sometimes it just came. The pain was excruciating. I used to explain it to my mom as being stabbed constantly with a thousand little knives. The pain was so bad I would often throw up, be immobilized and sometimes be on the verge of fainting (luckily I never actually fainted, but boy would I get light headed).

Thankfully, my mom was smart enough to realize that this pain wasn't just "bad cramps." She brought me to the gynecologist to get checked out. My doctor first put me on birth control, the common "fix" for really bad period cramps, but she was also diligent enough to do other tests (something I have been learning is rare). She did an ultrasound to see if maybe I had a cyst. I was cyst free. After a few months on birth control the pain was not subsiding, Dr. Song (who is AMAZING) then informed me of the possibility of endometriosis. Unfortunately, there is only one way to correctly diagnose endometriosis, and that is via laparoscopy (a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the abdominal organs). The thought of surgery scared the crap out of me, but the thought of continuing with the pain scared me even more. Dr. Song performed a laparoscopy and determined that I did in fact have nodules on the right side of my uterus. While performing the surgery Dr. Song was able to cauterize the visible cells in hope of completely removing the endometriosis.

For months after the surgery I felt great! But then, the pain came back. Turns out those damn cells can be so small that the doctors can't see them, so even though Dr. Song removed everything she could see....there were still more. Apart from a laparoscopy, endometriosis can be cured by a hysterectomy or hormonal treatments. Since there was no way in hell I was having a hysterectomy at 16 years old, I opted for the hormonal treatment. Every month for six months I received a shot of Luron, which is a hormone that puts your body through menopause. That's right girls, I've been through menopause, TWICE!

Let me get off topic for one second and say, IT'S NOT THAT BAD! So all you women going through it....stop your moaning! There's no reason why you can't go through menopause gracefully without announcing every hot flash you have. One. of. my. biggest. pet. peeves!

Anyways, I felt GREAT on the Lupron! No cramps, no PMS, no zits, nada! It was amazing! The shots sucked in a big way....but they made me feel great! For nearly two years after the shots I felt amazing and had no pain. Then, my freshman year of college the pain returned, and I once again did the Lupron shots. Let me just tell you that sitting in a crowded lecture hall in the middle of winter when everyone is wearing layers and I am in a tank top because of hot flashes is one of my favorite college memories. Favorite in the sense that it was ridiculous, not in the sense that it happened (my college life was not that lame).

Ever since the second round of Lupron shots, I have been doing great. There have been 4 or 5 occasions where I experienced extreme pain again, and then usually around the time of my period I get a sort of numb pain in my right side, but other than that I've been good.

The problem is, a common myth about endometriosis is that the more cells that are accumulated the more pain you feel, but actually any amount of endometriosis can cause pain and likewise a higher stage may cause little to no symptoms. So just because there's no pain, doesn't mean it's not there. This is the exact reason I felt I needed to write this post.

Here's some facts for you:

*Approximately 176 million women & girls worldwide suffer from endometriosis, 8.5 million Americans alone!

*Most women suffer pain and present symptoms for up to a full
decade prior to diagnosis, the average diagnostic delay is 12 years!

*The average woman is 27 when she is first diagnosed

*Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infertility. While it us one of the most treatable it remains the least treated! :(

*Many infertile women with endometriosis experienced debilitating painful periods as teenagers but were misdiagnose

My point is that this is a HUGE problem and up until I had it, I had never even heard about it. Without an incredible mom and an incredible doctor I may have gone on thinking I had bad cramps, and who knows how bad it would be now. According to my doctor I should not have problems conceiving, but until I try I won't know. Imagine the conversation I had to have with J while we were dating, informing him that there is a chance I couldn't have kids. Thankfully, J is amazing and loves me and simply answered me with "then we'll adopt." But, I am lucky that I was educated enough about the disease and I knew that I had it, so that I was able to have that conversation. Many women don't know they have endometriosis until they can't conceive. Remember that stat: "Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infetrility. While it is one of most treatable it remains the most untreated!"

There needs to be education on endometriosis! I think it should be added to the Sexual Education program in schools. When girls are learning about menstruation they should be learning about endometriosis! Yes, periods can be painful and uncomfortable but not to the point where you're throwing up and can't move. Parents, teachers and even doctors need to be aware of the symptoms and severity of the disease so it can be treated early on, before it becomes a life changing problem.

I was thrilled when I heard of celebrities such as Julianne Hough, Padma Lakshmi and Jillian Michaels coming out and publicly sharing their experiences with endometriosis.

In fact, Padma was so passionate about spreading awareness she co-founded The Endometriosis Foundation of America.

The Endometriosis Foundation of America is a nonprofit organization focused on fighting against the devastating effects of a disease that affects millions of women and adolescent girls. Through increased awareness, education, research and legislative advocacy, the EFA is committed to improving affected individuals' lives by early detection and treatment.

Ladies, please be aware of this disease and educate yourself. Our generation needs to spread the word so we can protect ourselves and our daughters!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Bride's Soul

These past few weeks have been rough on me. There were a series of events and stresses that caused me to feel really defeated. I've finally started to feel the pressure of running a business while working two other jobs, volunteering for my sorority, and planning a wedding, not to mention the financial piece of all of it. On top of that, J and I have eight parents, ten siblings and a ton of fabulous friends to split our time between. While this is the most exciting time of our lives sometimes it's hard to enjoy it with our hectic schedules.

Wedding planning is a crazy thing. This one day is supposed to be a celebration of love, family and commitment but it so often gets lost on the details. The dress, the flowers, the food....everything has to be perfect and us brides put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the day THE BEST EVER. I think the thing I've had the hardest time with is once you're engaged all of a sudden everyone has an opinion....where you should have the wedding, when you should have it, who should be invited, who should do the flowers, what kind of flowers, colors, dresses, on and on and on. EVERY ONE HAS AN OPINION, whether you ask for it or not. For me personally, I start to doubt myself or listen to these opinions and think I'm not making the right choices. Or, I get frustrated because people are giving me opinions but not offering help. This, on top of everything else started to ware on me.

This day is about my and J and our lives together. We're starting our own family and as much as we love our family and friends it needs to be about us and our lives together. I know this and I've known this from the start but it's easy to lose sight of it, especially when I hardly get to see the man I'm spending the rest of my life with. Every thing else just finds a way to get in the middle.

While browsing the Barnes & Noble website for a good new book to download to my Nook I noticed Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul. It was like a sign, that's exactly what I needed....some chicken soup for the bride part of my soul. (Next I'll have to read Chicken Soup for a Business Owner's Soul and Chicken Soup for a Poor Person's Soul)

The introduction got to me right away, one part says:

"As the bride-to-be, planning your wedding can be bittersweet. What is ultimately the happiest time in your life can also be the most stressful. Much like an emotional roller coaster ride, the anticipation of starting a new life runs headlong into the chaos of wedding details, family feuds and financial stress.
Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul celebrates you--the bride--from the moment you meet your beloved to the day you marry him. But more importantly, the stories in this dynamic collection bring to light the true meaning of love and commitment. This book will warm your heart and melt away your stress and fears as you prepare for a lifelong commitment with your future husband. The captivating, inspiring and humorous true tales will not only comfort you during this eventful time, but show you that beyond the wedding details lies a powerful message about marriage."

I highly recommend this book to all of you brides-to-be. It's so heartwarming to read these amazing stories about love and commitment and weddings and families and relationships. It's exactly what I needed to cheer me up and refocus on celebrating myself, my soon-to-be hubby and our amazing relationship.

Then, last night, I got exactly what I needed. Last week I told the story of how J and I are huge Arizona basketball fans. (read it HERE) For those of you following March Madness, you know that Arizona pounded the #1 seed, Duke, last night and advanced to the Elite 8!!!!!!!!!!! It was an UNBELIEVABLE game, but even more unbelievable was the amazing night J and I had. We were SO wound up, there was no way either one of us could go to sleep. So against our better judgment we stayed up late, blasted music, celebrated the Wildcat's victory and spent some much needed quality time together. The whole night was really incredible, and it's hard to explain it, but it felt like the good old days when we had just started dating. We were just laying in the middle of our guest room floor, holding hands and loving the moment. It really reminded me that all this hard work both in business and in wedding planning is for us, just me and J, and that we have something really special. It was amazing, and I feel so much better.

Good job boys! Good Luck tomorrow!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

It's Thursday again, and you know what that means....

Head on over to my BB's blog: Life, Love & Puppy Prints to play along

*I have been having a really rough time this week. I've just been dealing with a lot of stuff and haven't really felt like myself, but thanks to the son of one of our regular Coffee Buzz customers I was completely cheered up! Thanks for this awesome drawing Patrick!

I love the bee!

*Speaking of bees...I just finished reading the book "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave. PLEASE, go out and get this book right now! It is the best book I've read in a really long time! It was incredible!

The book actually doesn't give a summary, it has a note saying, "We don't want to tell what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds." If that doesn't make you want to read it, I don't know what will. But, here is the ONLY summary I could find for the book:

"From the author of the international bestseller "Incendiary" comes a haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers--one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London."

So, I'm not going to tell you what happens but I will say, IT'S SOOOO GOOD! READ IT!!!
Have any of you read this book? I would LOVE to chat about it!

*Hosting a party is a really weird thing, you work your butt off for two days before the party getting everything clean and organized, buying all the supplies and cooking all the food. Then, for a few hours you have a really good time with your best friends and then you spend two more days working your butt off getting everything cleaned up. We hosted our party in our community party room but all of the mess came home with us. Here's what our kitchen (embarrassingly) looked like for two days after our party and thankfully what it looks like now after a day off from work:

*Last week one of my favorite bloggers, Ali from Golightly. posted a recipe for an avocado pasta. Being that I am a complete and total avocado spaz I knew I had to try it and it was DELICIOUS!!!!

Here's the recipe (I served it with garlic herb chicken breasts):


  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.

(from Oh She Glows)

Alright, that's all the thoughts I have this Thursday! I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Junior Bridesmaids

J and I both have younger sisters who are quite a bit younger than us. My little sister, Kara, is 12 years younger than me and J's sister, Ally, is 17 years younger than him.
It was a no-brainer when it came to including them in the wedding party. They are at the age where they are too old to be flower girls but too young to be a full-fledged the obvious choice was to include them as Junior Bridesmaids. I wanted to be sure on the definition and responsibilities of Junior Bridesmaids, so I turned to TheKnot for some tips:

Junior Bridesmaids: Etiquette Q&A

Your junior bridesmaid -- too old to be a flower girl, too young to be a bridesmaid -- requires special consideration. Here are answers to some common etiquette questions on what she wears, who can escort her, how to gift her, and more.

Q. Is a nine-year-old girl a flower girl or a junior bridesmaid?

A. The role of junior bridesmaid is appropriate for young ladies aged 9-14. She walks down the aisle with the other maids wearing a dress that's perhaps not as sophisticated as the other dresses. She can be involved in planning the shower and lend a hand with other prewedding tasks. She'll probably get a kick out of being treated like a big kid.

Q. What do you do if your 12-year-old junior bridesmaid looks like she's about 25?

A. Use your best judgment. If she's 13-going-on-30 in the looks and maturity department, it might make sense to make her a full-fledged bridesmaid. No one will be concerned with formality (i.e., whether or not her age actually qualifies her to claim bridesmaid status). If you think she'll be right at home with the more mature bridesmaids, don't go out of your way to complicate things. It's okay to give her a promotion.

Q. Is it inappropriate to have a 13-year-old junior bridesmaid walked down the aisle with a groomsman who's 15 years her senior?

A. Most processionals involve bridesmaids pairing off with groomsmen who are not a husband, boyfriend, or even a remote love interest. There's no sexual implication in this formality, and besides, your junior bridesmaid's escort will hopefully be nothing less than a perfect gentleman. If you're still uncomfortable, you have a couple of options: Your junior bridesmaid can walk alone and enjoy a moment in the spotlight; you can pair her up with another bridesmaid; or you have one of the groomsman escort her and another bridesmaid on his other arm to create a handsomely platonic triplet.

Q. What does a junior bridesmaid wear?

A. If the bridesmaid dresses are on the sexy side, consider having a seamstress create a more youthful version (she can doctor up an actual bridesmaid dresses or custom-design one). The best bridesmaid dress styles look good on ladies of all ages -- hopefully you'll be able to find one that's appropriate for everyone. Otherwise, check out stores that carry bat mitzvah party, sweet sixteen, or Quinceanera dresses.

Knot Note: Keep in mind that your junior bridesmaid may be going through puberty. This means she might unexpectedly gain weight, shed weight, shoot up five inches, sprout a bustline, or otherwise change shape in a very short span of time. Advise her parents to hold off on dress decisions and fittings till just a month or two before the wedding so that her wedding day frock will fit just right.

Q. Are junior bridesmaids invited to the bachelorette party?

A. It should go without saying that a junior bridesmaid attending the bachelorette party might not be a good idea, especially if you're doing a pub crawl or a strip club -- she's not of legal age. But even if you're partying at home, and feel uncomfortable having her around, it's okay to not invite her. The bride can tell her it's an adults-only thing and then make it up to her by arranging a special outing for just the two of them. Plus, the junior bridesmaid can always look forward to attending the bridal shower and bridesmaids' tea.

After reading through this advice I decided I wanted them to walk down the aisle together. We have an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen so organizationally it made sense and I thought it would be special to start the processional with our little sisters. They will definitely be invited to my showers, and asked to help with the set-up of the shower my bridesmaids are hosting. As for the Bachelorette Party--I'll have to wait and see how the night is planned before I decide whether or not it's appropriate for them to come for part of it. Finally, for dresses. I decided early on not to make a decision on their dresses until the older bridesmaids had chosen theirs. So, the same week I went shopping with my BMs, I took my Jr. BMs to Mary Kay's Bridal to try on dresses. I knew for sure I didn't want them in the same dress as the BMs (check out that dress HERE), I thought it was a little mature for them (they're 14 and 13). I obviously wanted something that matched the formality of the wedding and coordinated with my dress and the BM dresses and I am SO happy and excited about what we decided on.

The girls will be wearing this dress by Jasmine Bridal, only it will have straps (so it's more age appropriate). Obviously it will be black and will be in the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses. I think this dress will coordinate perfectly, the neckline matches my dress and the style matches the bridesmaids dresses. I can't wait to see them all put together!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wedding Party Party

On Saturday J and I hosted a party for our wedding party. We really want our wedding to be as fun as it possibly can be, and our wedding party plays a huge part in making that happen. These people are our best friends and if they have to walk down the aisle together, they could at least know each other. I figure, the better these people know each other, the more fun they will have. We rented out the party room in our townhouse's community and it worked perfectly! I made a bunch of appetizers, everyone brought their own beverages and we had March Madness proudly displayed on the TV. I was absolutely shocked and beyond thrilled that almost our entire wedding party was able to attend. The only person we were missing was my little sister (and Junior Bridesmaid), Kara, because she had a dance competition. Other than that all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, personal attendant and second Junior BM were in attendance.

I had so much fun! Everyone got along great and were really making an effort to get to know each other!

Me with my brother and sister! :)

The Bride, Groom, Best Man and Maid of Honor!

The (almost) F_____ Ladies! Me, J's step-mom, sisters and of course Bailey!

My BB, Sissy and I showing off our super tall hooker heels

I got to have all of my girls together for the first time!

they may be gorgeous, but they're fun too....

It was quite a production getting the entire wedding party together to pose for a picture, but it was good practice.

and a crazy one, kinda....

My favorite picture and favorite part of the night...after our group pic friend/groomsman Jeff gave a quick toast to me and J and our amazing wedding party! Then we all put our hands in and shouted "1,2,3 Shit Show!" (Embrace the Shit Show is the theme of our wedding......because with our family and our friends we just have to embrace that it will be a shit show no matter how hard we try.)

Just love this! J and I look so happy surrounded by our favorite people! :)

And like all good parties, our party ended with some Tooters!