Monday, January 31, 2011

The City of Brotherly (and Sisterly!) Love

The best part about blogging are the relationships I've made along the way. I've made a strong connection with one gal in particular, Jules of Chic & Pink. Hands down my fav bloggin' bud!

Jules is a genuinely nice person and an entertaining blogger, plus we have so much in common. We are constantly shooting emails back and forth and although we've never met in person, I know if we did we'd be fast friends. In fact, although she lives on the other side of the country, I do consider Jules my friend.

Recently she came up with the brilliant idea of doing a "city swap". She's from Philadelphia and I'm from Los Angeles and neither of us has visited the other's city. The goal: to put together a package that represents our respective hometowns.

Jules went above and beyond! I was literally smiling from ear to ear as I dug into the box.

She got me so many cool things and even gave me an explanation of all of the goodies. Here's what Jules included for me:

-Philadelphia Then & Now book
-Declaration of Independence shot glass
-Postcards of Love Park, the Philly Skyline, Boathouse Row, and Philadelphia
-A mini Liberty Bell
-1776 key chain in an "L" shape
-Liberty Bell Pen
-Herr's Potato Chips
-Tastykake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
-Goldenberg's Peanut Chews
-Essie nail polish in the "Mink Muffs" shade
-Various pamphlets and a Metro paper
-Cupcake soap (the only thing non-Philly, she picked it because it was cute!)

Amazing, right?! I literally said, out loud, "Are you kidding me?!" several times because I was so shocked at how great the package was. She knows me so well. The book was because I am a history nerd, postcards because I am a sucker for them, and even an Eastern State Penitentiary pamphlet because I am addicted to scary stuff and the place is rumored to be haunted! And the Tasteykakes...oh em gee! I had never even heard of these heavenly treats but they delish! Like eating little clouds!! They are actually a better version of the Tagalongs Girl Scout Cookies.

I can't imagine a better way that Jules could have shared her special city with me. I want to visit Philadelphia even more than ever now!

If you aren't familiar with Chic & Pink, I highly suggest you give the site a visit. You'll love it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Priestley, Perry Back at It

I don't know about you, but I love any movie that is found on Lifetime, Oxygen, or the Hallmark Movie Channel. Love, murder, mystery - it all sucks me in. You know you are addicted to 'em, too? Right? Please tell me it's not just me!

Recently I've seen promotion for a movie, Goodnight for Justice, directed by Jason Priestley and starring Luke Perry, that looks to be right up my alley. From the clips and photos that I've seen, it's sure to be a real wild wild west adventure flick. Plus Perry totally looks the part of a cowboy. Premiering on the Hallmark Movie Channel this Saturday, January 29th at 8pm EST, this film is the first time the former teen heart throbs have worked together since Beverly Hills 90210.

While I have jumped on the new version of the teen drama (just started watching this season and I kinda love it!) the original Beverly Hills 90210 was THE show. We all watched it, swooning over the boys, admiring the girls' style, and freaking out at every tragedy because we were so connected to the show and characters.

I'm hoping that this movie is successful. Too often actors get pegged to certain roles, then have a hard time branching out in Hollywood. It'd be nice to see these two working more often.

So here's your chance to have some interaction with your former crushes, Brandon and Dylan. On Jan 29 at 7pm EST, Jason and Luke will do a live chat on Ask a questions and if it's selected, you'll be acknowledged in the LIVE feed. Worth a shot right? I'm submitting my question!

(that's supposed to be the 90210 theme song)

Photo courtesy of: The Confluence

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Tough Bitch

Warning: this post contains a picture of my puppy's incision. It's not too graphic but may be a little much for some.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of my wonderful readers. You are all the best. No joke. Your comments, emails, and tweets over the past week have helped me tremendously to get through the Coco fiasco. It touches me just how amazing bloggers are. I felt a little foolish gushing about my doggy drama since there are many people out there going through severe medical problems, various dilemmas, and countless troublesome events. In the scheme of things I know a puppy may sound trivial to some. But she's my baby and I adore my pup!

To recap, Coco eats everything and became really sick. Surgery reveled that random other junk (carpet, weeds, wood, etc.) got clogged in her tummy but the bra she ate was the worst. She's not even five months old yet, what's she doing playing with bras? This little girl is trying to grow up far to fast ;) But in all seriousness, her intestines ruptured and the contents were leaking inside her. The vet cleaned her out, removed nearly a foot of intestines, cut into five different areas to remove pieces of bra, and sewed her up with 10 stitches.

Left of picture is the bottom of her abdomen and the top is on the right. When they cut back in to fix her, I am assuming they'll use the few small inches of space below this scar. Talk about battle wounds!

The first two days were the most cautious because there was a chance that the stitches inside her belly would bust back open. All things considered, she's doing very well. My parents are keeping her for a few weeks so my mom can watch her during recovery and ensure she's gets the four small meals that she requires daily. If she eats too fast and consumes too much problems may arise.

The little fatty (a basset hound and pit mix) was steadily gaining 2 lbs. a week before surgery and was up to 22 lbs. at 4 1/2 months. INot sure what she weighs now, but I can't imagine it's more than 15 lbs. You can see about every bone in her skinny body. When you combine that with the cone around her neck she'll have to wear for about 10 more days, she's a pitiful looking creature. But pitifully cute ;)

Coco in her glory days...about a month ago

The hardest part (now that surgery is over AND aside from the hefty bill) is the fact that she wants to play SO badly. She's young and wants to run and jump. We can't let her do much of anything due to the stitches. The crating process has started and she's not a fan. We really should have crated her more, sooner. But hopefully she takes to it soon.

Again, I am amazed at the outpouring of love from all of you. I promise to start visiting all of your blogs more regularly soon, and for my posts to be more upbeat!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Puppy Update

Hi everyone. Many people who read my previous post (see below if you didn't get the chance) asked that I keep them updated, so here it goes...

Coco's surgery lasted nearly four hours. In addition to having to remove a bra strap that had clogged five different areas of her intestines, they also had to remove nearly a foot of intestines. The worst part? One area had ruptured. She had toxic fluids leaking inside her for at least a few days. The vet removed all of the junk and pumped antibiotics inside her. Hopefully that helps clean her out.

Unfortunately she's not out of the dark. There's still a 25-30% chance that the stitches won't hold and another rupture will occur. Usually this happens within the first three days so the hospital is holding her until at least Saturday to observe.

Without being too dramatic, I can't help but think about when my parents took one of our dogs to the vet because she was sick. Later that night I found out they had to put her to sleep. I never got to say goodbye. Because of work, my parents took Coco to the vet. I wasn't there before she went in for surgery to say goodbye and to tell her to be the little fighter she is...sorry for the cheesy-ness :)

Not going to lie. I'm a hot mess. I'm terrified. I'm counting down the days 'til she's "in the clear". I am even looking forward to getting my ass kicked by her again. I still have a fat lip that she gave me last weekend. She started to fall off the couch in her sleep, I grabbed her, she jumped, her head hit my mouth, and my tooth went through my lip. That kinda of abuse sounds like a dream come true right now.

I've got to stay positive though or I am going to go crazy.

My friend cheered me up by saying her and her co-workers are rooting for my pup and they're "Team Coco"! Hehe

Puppy Prayers

These past few days have been rough for me. Last week my puppy started vomiting, got better, then a few days later she got much, much worse. Last Saturday she started getting sick again and stopped eating or drinking. At four months old, this poor little thing became super skinny and could barely walk.

Yesterday my parents took her into the vet for me and relayed some pretty bad news. Her stomach is full of foreign objects. The little shit eats everything! Last week she was throwing up pieces of my bra strap...yeah I wasn't happy when I came home to find that she'd wiggled her way into my closet. I've caught her chewing up my bathroom cupboards, brackets that hold my cable to the wall, the fake grass I've been potty training her with - even the bottom of my bed isn't safe around her.
The problem lies with me, though. I thought it was cruel to crate her all day while at work. Instead we "puppy proofed" my bedroom, bathroom vanity area, and patio. I was wrong. Unfortunately there is no puppy proofing with a sneaky pup. I now know crate training is for their safety. Luckily I live 10 minutes from work so I'll just have to visit her every day during lunch.

The vet's x-rays reveled that she's in real bad shape and needs emergency surgery. They kept her yesterday because she needed to be hooked up to an IV to get her strength back. Her heart was too weak for an operation. Right about now they're cutting her open and the doctor will meticulously feel every inch of her intestines. Each spot where he feels something lodged, he'll have to cut the intestine open, remove the item, then sew her back up. It's going to be a pretty intense surgery.

Due to the type of procedure, it's not a cheap one. Thank God she's my pup because my dad told me that had it been his dog, he would have seriously considered putting her to sleep. I look at it as she's my child. It may be costing me my entire savings (and then some) but in these past two months I've become so attached. Plus I am a huge dog lover and could never forgive myself if I had to put her down :(

I'm really hoping that she pulls through the surgery. The vet was amazing and said that he'd even bring in another vet to operate (at no extra charge) just to be extra sure they do the very best they can. He feels she'll do great because she's young enough to bounce back. I'm praying he's right.

I can't wait to see the little stinker soon. We have no idea when she can come home at this point and when she's discharged she'll have to stay at my parents' so she can be closely watched for at least two weeks.

It may sound cheesy to those who aren't animal lovers, or dog people, but please send thoughts her way. You all know I never ask for prayers but this is one of those times I could really use them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And the Winner Is...

The winner randomly selected was Jules of Chic & Pink! If you haven't checked out her blog yet - get to it! It's amazing. Girl covers everything from fashion, to movies, to life in general. Very entertaining read.

Congrats! You'll be receiving a Stila gift set plus some extra surprise goodies :)

Thanks to all who entered!

Pay it Forward

You may have seen this plastered all up on Facebook recently:

I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must, in turn, post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their post.

*The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011*

I saw it on my friends' pages and I contemplated it but I was worried I wouldn't have anything good to make. But I actually came up with a few good ideas. So I decided to sign up on my real life bloggin' bud's post (Stephanie of Thoughts from Cali) and am now offering it up to you all.

So here it goes...the first five people to sign up get something handmade by me! Pretty sure it'll be rad, too ;) In turn, please post on your blog. If you don't I'm not going to not send you something but it would be nice to keep the good deed chain going strong in 2011.

I'm sorry but to keep shipping fees down, this is only open to US residents. So sorry!

I deleted a few comments so people wouldn't get confused. There is still one more spot open :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

YOU Can Help Australian Flood Efforts

The Queensland floods have been devastating to Australia's north-eastern section of the mainland continent. As of today it was predicted that about 70 people have lost their lives. This natural disaster has hit close to home for many of our bloggin' buds. One in particular, Gracie of Gracie Bella Butterfly.

This sweet, sweet woman has SO generously decided to help out by donating 100% of the money earned in her Esty shop, graciebellabutterfly, from now until at least January 26th (Australia Day) to flood relief efforts.

That's such a selfless action. Something you don't see often. People help, but people rarely ever donate 100% of proceeds. Good for her!

Gracie created her Esty shop in 2008 but took some time off to plan her wedding. Now she's getting back into the swing of things. And she's creating some beautiful items!

Her inspirations include magazines, blogs, and pretty images she finds. Gracie explained, "I think the whole handmade movement inspires me because items are made with time and love. I also like pretty things so I think that comes across in what I create. It's definitely more on the sweet girly side."

When asked to talk a little about the floods, her warm heart was apparent and country pride obvious. "It is definitely the most devastating thing that I have seen. I wasn't directly affected (as in my home didn't get flooded) but it happened so close to me it's hard not to feel heart broken. Seeing the water rising, the mess the water has left and the hundreds of people who have lost everything. I feel so blessed to have my home but I wanted to help out. Our city and state has really bonded together and work towards rebuilding. It makes me proud of my country to see the sense of community and the outpouring of love."

Her items are super cute and have a romantic feel. Plus they are priced reasonably. I bought this pair of small aqua chrysanthemum stud earrings at a steal for $4.50! Every little bit helps, right?

She also has adorable headbands, like the "You're So Lovely" one above.

So if you can support Gracie's efforts please do so!

Photos courtesy of: Gracie

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Keep Hearing About CSN...

And that's because they are pretty awesome! Last time I was approached by CSN to do a review I had a fairly hard time choosing what I would select. I mean, there are 200+ stores to browse through.

I was set on getting a laptop messenger bag because I was headed to the Dominican Republic and I was thinking about taking my Macbook, plus I don't have a bag. However, since there wasn't free wifi at our resort I went with the Winsome Basics Curved Black Night Stand instead.

I'd been needing a side table for my computer and printer but was pushing it off because places like Target wanted way too much for one. This was a great compromise for me! Although it's meant to be a night stand it's perfect in my living room.

Within a few days of ordering I received the stand. Really fast delivery! Also a bonus - free delivery on a lot of items. I hate paying for shipping.

I had some trouble putting the table together, but I am a sissy with no arm strength. My dad came over and easily helped me. Now I no longer throw my computer on my ottoman and my printer on the shelf under the ottoman.

I highly recommend CSN. In fact, I'm browsing the site now for my next items. I'm thinking a teakettle, a cozy cave pet bed (how cute is this?!), or maybe wall decals?

I can get lost (and have been for the last two hours) just browsing through the items CSN sells!

Photo courtesy of: CSN

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aziz Ansari is THE Man!

Last night I scored tickets to see a last minute Aziz Ansari show at the Hollywood Improv. One word: hilarious!

He is my favorite comedian right far. You can't help but crack up as soon as he opens his mouth. He doesn't even have to tell a joke and you just want to smile and giggle!

If you don't know who Ansari is, he's from Parks and Rec. SO excited it comes back next week. I thought it had been pulled! I highly recommend you watch the show if you've never seen it. It comes on after The Office and is really funny. It started off slow but picked up during the second season.

Anyways, back to the show! Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any pictures so I can't show you anything from that night. But if you are interested here is a video showing off his comedic genius. I'll be the first to say, I am lazy when people post videos. 75% of the time I don't watch them. But seriously, this is worth watching.

A few years back I had see him perform stand up while recording the movie "Funny People". Along with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, Ansari was in character as Raaaaaaaandy, with eight a's, and he blew me away. In my opinion he stole the show, outperforming Sandlar and Rogen. Check out the article in the New York Post where I am interviewed about my experience seeing the iconic stars do stand up for the movie. Yes, only a few of my quotes made it in, but I was quoted in the New York Post and that's ah-mazing!

Photo courtesy of: losanjealous

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's in the Bag!

A Hasty Life

Ashley of A Hasty Life invited me to participate in her blog crawl, It's in the Bag! She came up with the cute idea of having us give our readers a glimpse into our purses...literally. Although excited, I quickly remembered that all of my bags contain one, big, hot mess! It's kind of embarrassing actually. It takes me several minutes to find my keys once they are dropped into my black holes (aka purses).

So maybe this post will be a bit therapeutic for me. Showing the blogosphere just how unorganized I am may inspire me to clean my purses out. In the very least, maybe it'll get me to throw away the millions of receipts I definitely do not need taking up space!

Without further ado, here is my fav bag, the L.A.M.B. Signature Rasta Commodore Hobo.

This is an "edited" version of my purse's contents. I cleaned it out not too long ago. But as you can (not)see, there is way too much goin' on in here! The essentials are all included: wallet, checkbook, phone, phone charger, hand sanitizer, inhaler, headache meds, lip glosses, pens, mace, and keys. But here's where it starts to get messy: papers, receipts, gum wrappers, gum that has made it's way out of the packet, napkins (I have a sick addiction. I CANNOT throw away napkins), a random packet of honey, movie stubs, old business cards from the company I worked at two years ago...I'll stop there because it's getting ridiculous.

Despite the fact that there is junk chillin' in my purse, the most frustrating thing is not being able to find my keys. It's dangerous and stupid to be in a parking lot at night scrambling to find them. So I am setting a New Year's resolution for myself right now. In 2011 I will learn to keep my purse more clean and organized.

Hey, who knew a blog crawl would lead to life changes? :)

To check out the blog who posted It's in the Bag before me, head on over to I Am Along for the Ride. Also, be sure to check out Village (a great blog!) tomorrow to see what she's hiding in her handbag!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lack of Inspiration

Not gonna lie, I've been a bad blogger for the past month or so. With Thanksgiving, my Dominican Republic trip, and Christmas, scattered is probably the best way to describe me. On top of that, I did absolutely nothing but go to movies and restaurants during this past holiday break. Doing noting hasn't exactly sparked any great blogging ideas. So until then, here's a half-assed post to try to get me back into the swing of things.

In fashion news...
While at my parents house in the 'burbs I was all up in Kohl's for Christmas shopping. Usually it's a hit and miss for me but this time I walked away with this rad shirt from the Simply Vera Vera Wang Collection.

Usually her stuff is too highly priced so I don't even bother. It's Kohl's, I am not forking $50 over for a top - even if the designer makes breathtaking wedding dresses BUT with my discounts I ended up getting $20 off so I snagged it. Wore it to Christmas mass and will be wearing it to a baptism this weekend.

In travel news...
After my last post about traveling, I decided that I have to make some more great trips this year. So far I am planning one to San Francisco to meet up with a few friends. I've never stayed in the city, or been to the neighborhoods I'll be visiting (Inner Sunset and Potrero Hill) so suggestions of things to do are welcomed :) I'll have one day to explore Inner Sunset on my own and am the type that likes to see an much as possible.

In nerdy news...
And for those of you who have iPhones: I finally joined the Angry Birds bandwagon. At first I thought it was going to be boring but now I find myself sneaking to play it at work! If you don't have it yet - get it. For real.

In TV news...
Who watched The Jersey Shore last night? As Snooki for Halloween last year, I was (fist) pumped for this season's premiere! Within 30 minutes it FINALLY hit me just how crazy these girls on the show are. I know that's how they've always been and are supposed to be for ratings, but daaaang. Usually even if bad reality TV I still pick out a fav character but non of the girls are likable anymore. JWOW is a linebacker. The new girl is a skeeze. Sammi is a snot. And Snooki, my beloved Snooki, I just wanted to punt her little leathery ass like a football.

I'll still tune in every week though. I can't miss the infamous arrest!

Oh, and have you entered my giveaway? One lucky winner will receive a Stila set to commemorate my 3 year blogiversary. Enter here!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Toodles 2010

Not until I started reading other bloggers' 2010 recaps did I realize just how much traveling I did in 2010. I visited new countries, new cities, and went way out of my comfort zone. I am so lucky to have had these experiences and I look forward to many more in 2011. Until my next big trip, here's a rundown of the places I went in 2010:

Wine tasting

Valentine's day single girls getaway

Las Vegas, NV
311 Day and then another trip the following week for my mom's 50th

Beverly Hills, CA
OK this really was only a trip to my next door city, but it was memorable because I saw the creators/cast of The Vampire Diaries speak on a panel.

Oxnard, CA

Toured San Francisco, Berkley, and Sonoma Valley

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Real quick work trip and I didn't get to explore at all :(

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Another work trip but this time I stayed extra days and took in Vancouver and Victoria all by myself (scary but empowering!)

Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, AZ
Boating and wake boarding for my birthday

Two trips: apple picking and a haunted hayride

Palm trees, sunshine, and rum galore

I hope you all had a great 2010 as well and that 2011 brings even brighter days.