Oh what a year it's been...

I think it's safe to say that 2012 has been one of the most eventful years of my life. I've lived in three different states, changed jobs twice, made some great memories with my family, and grown a lot along the way. In honor of the final day of the year, I wanted to share some highlights of my 2012...
January: I took this munchkin back to Daytona with me, and I'm so thankful I've had her this year, she's been my buddy through it all.
February: Kicked off my second season working at NASCAR, with the first ever Monday night Daytona 500.
March: Celebrated my 23rd birthday in paradise (Captiva Island, FL) with my family.
April: Worked a bittersweet last day at NASCAR, and embarked on a new adventure with a new opportunity in Texas.
May: Watched my baby brother go to his first prom.
June: Celebrated the most amazing dad in the world on fathers day.
July: My best friend came to Texas and we went to my brothers "boat bash". He's a pretty awesome party planner!
August: Threw an awesome birthday party for the most amazing granddad in the world.
 September: Met one of my country faves, Dierks Bentley, at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.
October: Celebrated Halloween in Charlotte with my best friends.
November: Took a leap of faith. Packed up my apartment, quit my job, and moved to Charlotte. This wouldn't have been possible without my parents, and I love them so much for their support.
December: Spent Christmas in the Smoky Mountains with all of my family.
It was an amazing 2012, full of lots of surprises, and I'm ready to welcome 2013! Wishing you all a happy New Year filled with joy and love!

5 days until Christmas

5 days until Christmas!?! Really! Where did this past year go?
I'm not trying to wish away 2012, but I'm REALLY excited about 2013. I think it's going to be a great year.
I wanted to let y'all know that after about a month and a half of being back in Charlotte, I finally have a job! I start Jan 2nd and I can't wait to tell y'all more about it.
We celebrated the holidays with a tacky Christmas sweater party last weekend...
and finished the weekend with brunch the next day, because really, what's better than breakfast food, mimosas, and great friends?!?
I'm enjoying being back in Charlotte so much. For the first time in a long time I feel settled, and it's a good feeling. I also THINK I'm done with the bad dates for a while...stay tuned.

Charlotte Blogger Christmas Dinner

My favorite thing about blogging has always been the friendships that I've made, so when I heard about a Charlotte blogger dinner, I was ecstatic! Beth from Classic Annie (who ironically was one of my sorority advisors!) put the whole thing together. Thank you Beth, it was a great time!
It was a Christmas themed dinner at a restaurant uptown called Aria, and we played a White Elephant ornament exchange.
I guess I kept picking the best ornaments because they ALL got stolen...
It's so funny how easy it is to relate to other bloggers, and every get -together I've been to has been the same. All the girls were great and I loved talking with Bre, Christina, April, and the super sweet miss Laura
The dinner and drinks were fantastic, but the company and conversation was even better. I can't wait to get together with the ladies again soon!


If you're in need of something to put a smile on your face today, then I have two perfect videos for you. You may have seen these already, but they always put me in the best mood. Enjoy.


on dating, & blogging, & the things they don't teach you in school...

There are two things that have been really hard for me lately, dating, and stopping myself from blogging about how awful it's been.

Blogging and dating, it's tricky. What are the rules about it? I want to write about how terrible the guys I've met recently have been, but I also don't want to scare off any potential dates because they're fearful that one "mess up" and they'll end up on the blog too. So what do you do about it?
In an attempt to not scare off any future dates, but still give you a glimpse into the awkwardly awful dates I've been on lately, I'll give y'all a short recap. I don't know why I feel the need to protect these guys, but in order to save what's left of their reputation, I've decided to give them nicknames.

Date 1 - The Democrat
I went on this date the day after the elections, which probably wasn't the best idea on my part because I was in an awful mood to begin with. You know what they say? Never discuss politics or religion. Well the first subject that came up was of course the elections, and the date went downhill from there. I spent the next hour listening to what a bad choice voting for Romney was, oh and did I mention he was unemployed?

Date 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 - The Cheater The Player/Womanizer
Hopefully this is the bottom of the barrel in regards to my dating life. I really had high hopes for this one, despite the fact that numerous people warned me that he was a womanizer. I thought there was NO WAY he could be seeing other girls after I looked him in the eyes and asked him about it. He even assured me time and time again that he "prided himself in his honesty".  Maybe it was his fantastic hair that had my slightly stupefied?. Regardless, he had a girlfriend the whole time, I should have seen it coming all along.

Date 8 - The Ex-Football Star
Honestly, this date could be a scene in a movie. I met this guy through a friend and when he invited me over for dinner I gladly accepted because he seemed like a genuinely good guy. I showed up to his house, only to find him digging in the pantry deciding if he wanted to cook sloppy jo's or quesadillas. I'm not high maintenance at all, but I felt like I was in college again. He spent the whole night talking about his days of playing college football, never once asked about my life, and after downing two bottles of wine passed out on the couch. Needless to say I got out of there as fast as I could.

After these experiences, the single life isn't looking so bad, at least for now. Hopefully the next dating story I share with y'all is because it was absolutely awesome, and not absolutely awful.

Been on any bad dates lately that you want to share? and what are your thoughts on blogging and dating?

Beauty Bargains I love

No matter how many new beauty products I try, there are some items that I just keep going back to. I'm of the idea that "if it ain't broke, why fix it", and these products have proven to work time and time again. Best of all, they're cheap!

So, before you spend way too much on mascara, lip balm, nail polish, or face cleanser again, try out some of my favorite beauty bargains! I promise you, they'll become your new staples, and you'll have more money the splurge on other items!
Beauty Bargains

It's Your Life, Live It.

I saw this quote today and thought it was too good not to share. It's so appropriate for these past two years of my life, and if you're in that awkward stage after college, trying to figure out what's next, then I'm sure you can relate to it as well.
It's not that my life after college has been hard, but it hasn't been easy. Your whole life you have a plan mapped out for you, then all of the sudden you finish school and you're expected to make decisions, big, life changing decisions. 

I've lived in three different states, quit two different jobs, had my heart broken, gone on more bad dates than I can remember, and stumbled a little along the way. Through it all though, I've grown and learned about myself. I've taken chances, and laughed and loved along the way.

So, just like this quote, I know I'll look back on these years and smile, because I've made sure to live with no regrets. What about you?

Dear Santa...

I can't believe it's already December! Where did 2012 go? It's been a whirlwind of a year but I'm glad that the Holidays are finally here (that rhyme was completely unintended).

To get my little blog in the Holiday spirit I thought I'd share my Christmas "wish list" with y'all. Really all I want for Christmas is to spend time with my family, indulge in all my favorite home-cooked meals, and watch more Christmas movies than I can stand (Hallmark Channel has the best). BUT, if I can have all of that plus a few little extras, this is what I would want...
Christmas wish list
1. Aldo "Fronime" nude pumps. 2. Conair Infiniti You Curl, curling wand. 3. Coco Chanel perfume, my absolute favorite. 3. Kindle Paperwhite, I'm a complete book worm. 4. Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay.

I'm a complete girly girl, as you can tell from my list above! What about y'all? What's on your Christmas "wish list" this year?

Be Back Soon

You'd think being unemployed would leave with you with plenty of spare time to blog, but that would be a negative. Between finishing up schoolwork for the semester, job searching, and catching up with friends, I've been left with little to no time to blog.

I'm headed to Miami this weekend for the last race of the 2012 NASCAR season, where I'll hopefully be able to catch up with a lot of people. I'm also working on some changes for the blog, adding some things to better reflect this new stage in my life. I miss y'all, so please bear with me, I promise to be back soon!

Blowing Rock, NC

One of my favorite things about North Carolina is the fact that you have access to the beach, the mountains, big cities, and quaint little towns in just a few short hours. This weekend some college girlfriends and I rented a mountain house in Blowing Rock, NC and had a good ole fashion girls weekend.
We headed out early Friday and spent three days relaxing and doing girly things. You know those weekends? They're the best! I was also a little shocked because we've gotten a little more organized than the college days. We had every meal planned out, so mature of us I know.
I love the mountains, and it never feels quite like fall without taking a trip up there. Lucky for me, we're spending Christmas in Gatlinburg, TN so I'll get a double dose this year.
I can't wait for next year's trip already!
What did y'all do this weekend?

easy pasta bake recipe

It's getting colder in Charlotte, and when the temperature begins to drop, there's nothing I want more than to curl up on the couch with comfort food and a good movie. I baked this dish for my roommate and I earlier this week and it was perfect for a lazy night in.
Ingredients: (makes enough to feed about 8 so split in half if cooking for less)
  • 1 lbs uncooked pasta (Rotini is my favorite, but you can use whatever you'd like)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce (I recommend using a little more because it's a bit dry)
  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 2 c mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Boil water and cook the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook about 5 minutes or until brown, don't drain. Add the salt, oregano, pepper, spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese, and cooked pasta.
  • Transfer it all to a casserole dish, cover with mozzarella and bake for 30-40 minutes.
That's it! It's such an easy recipe and perfect to make on a weeknight. You could even prepare it ahead of time, stick it in the fridge, and bake it later. I hope y'all enjoy!

A little sad today...

After last night's elections I woke up this morning feeling so disheartened. I'm truly sad for our country, and the direction in which we're headed. The most important issue we face as Americans right now is our skyrocketing debt, and our incredibly high unemployment rate, that's what this election should have been about. Whether you're black, white, purple, Latino, gay, straight, Mormon, atheist, etc., the failing economy will affect us ALL. Unfortunately I don't have much faith in a president, who finished his term with a higher unemployment rate than when he started, to be able to fix the problem.

It saddens me to hear the stereotypes that Republicans & conservatives have been given over the past years. If you're young and a minority you can't be a Republican! Well guess what? I'm a Latina, and a proud conservative. I don't care how "cool" it is to be a liberal, pop-culture and politics shouldn't be one and the same.

I believe in hard work, it's what our country was built on, and since when was being successful frowned upon? I believe that small businesses help our economy, and we need to support them. My parents are small business owners, who have employees, employees who count on them to support their own families. We need to help these small businesses succeed, not tax them into bankruptcy. I believe that the government should provide the freedom we need to reach our own goals. The government shouldn't become our crutch, providing what we need and taking away our motivation to work hard. 

But, America voted yesterday, which is a freedom we should never take for granted. I'm hopeful that the government can see the financial trouble that we're in, and put party lines aside to come up with a plan.
To Mitt Romney and team, I'm proud of the race you ran. You gave it your all, and conceded with class and grace. Thank you for fighting so hard for the GOP.

Want to know the beauty of it all? Every sunset brings a new day with it, and I'm determined to make the best of whatever comes next.
In other news...Nina and I made it to Charlotte, and we're both feeling a little like this...worn out.
I'm still happy with my decision to move, but I miss my family every day. Don't you just wish you could have it all in one place? Maybe one day I'll figure out how to make that happen.
I'll be back tomorrow with a baked pasta recipe, you won't want to miss it!
*If you feel the need to leave a nasty comment, please save your time. This is simply my place to express my opinion. Don't you love that freedom?

I think I'll have a Cherry Mello Yello!

I'm the kind of girl that likes to have options, the more choices, the bettter! So when it comes to soda, if there's a machine that gives me 100+ options, I'm all in! That's the thing I love about the new Coca-Cola freestyle machines, you may have started to see these at some of your favorite restaraunts around town.
I checked out the Coca-Cola freestyle site and used their easy search tool to find a place near me with the freestyle machine (they also have a phone ap). I was so excited because Fuddruckers, one of my family's favorite "go-to" spots, was on there. I gathered the gang and we headed out for hamburgers and soda! Perfect combo dontcha think?
The touchscreen has tons of options to choose from, and flavors of soda that you can't buy in stores. You also have the option of flavored water, energy drinks, and juices. Really, it has something for everyone.

I love Mello Yello, and have a hard time finding it, so I was thrilled that the Coca-Cola freestyle machine had it! I went with the Cherry Mello Yello, and I can't wait to go back and try the other flavors!
My dad chose to stick with water, but he was impressed that this cool touchscreen machine had that.
I paired my Cherry Mello Yello with a turkey burger and sweet potato fries and it was so good. Our trips to Fuddruckers are always so much fun. I love spending time with my family, and enjoying some comfort food.
Check out the Coca-Cola freestyle site to find one near year, I promise you won't regret it! And for all my Houston friends, the Coca-Cola Freestyle truck will be making stops near you in the next few weeks at the following locations...

November 4th: Houston Texans vs Buffalo
November 10th: University of Houston vs Tusla!!
November 18th: Houston Texans vs Jacksonville

What's your favorite soda? and what do you like to pair it with?

*I was compensated for this post, but all opinions expressed are my own.
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