Friday, May 27, 2011

Just call me a little monster...

I've always liked Gaga's songs, but never really understood her.
But lately, during the promotion of her new album, I've seen her on a couple talk shows, GMA this morning, and began following her on twitter.  (She was amazing on GMA this am, by the way)
I've started enjoying her... I love everything she stands for.  She knows she dresses crazy - but it's because she said she lives in the middle of the theatre world and reality all the time.
More power to her.
She encourages people, stands up against bullying, and accepts everyone!
Her interview on David Letterman made me laugh out loud.  
She's so witty and has no fear.
Not to mention, I think she's beautiful. And she has a rockin' body :)

I hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!

I am heading down to Los Angeles today to spend time with my girlfriends...
can't wait to see them!

Monday, May 23, 2011

this song won't get out of my head!

But it's okay because I love it.  The melody is so beautiful to me!
Happy Monday... have a fabulous week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Travels in Amsterdam

After visiting Prague, we jumped on our first airplane trip since getting to Europe and flew into Amsterdam.  We managed to get through the airport and onto the public transportation with all of our luggage, then made it to Central Station in the city, then took the street trolly to our hotel.

Getting to the main area of our hotel was always pretty easy, but finding the hotel once getting off usually caused a few moments of confusion for us.  Amsterdam was definitely not an exception!  We couldn't find our hotel, and we were so side tracked by how beautiful it was!  Finally, the nicest couple (who spoke english) stopped and asked us if we needed help.  Of course, we looked so silly because it was literally just across from the canal of where we were standing!  :)

Amsterdam reminded me of Venice in a few ways - but with more flowers and more space.  It is so beautiful and very romantic.  The people are very friendly and it's easy to make new friends!

We stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, which we absolutely fell in love with.  It was probably my favorite place we stayed on the entire trip.  Because we went during a low travel season, we were upgraded for free to an awesome room.

Our first night was so much fun.  We walked around until we got lost, found a place to eat dinner, and had drinks at our hotel bar.  We spent 4 days in Amsterdam... and I could have spent more.  
It was one of my favorite places of the whole trip!
My dinner the first night there... A banana pancake.  So good, I ate it our last night there, too!
The canals were magical at night!
Enjoying drinks and making friends with the bartenders.  They were great!
No one in the world loves flowers more than my mom... so I thought of her every time we saw colorful flowers!
Had to take a picture... me and my sisters make 3 :)
Souvenir shopping :)
The floating tulip market... I wanted to take them all home for my mom.
Touring the Heineken Factory - definitely a highlight of the trip :)
Inside the factory... 
I like tiny cars...
and TL likes tiny coffees!
Playing in our hotel room... probably shouldn't be up there, but it was fun!
My man and his latte, getting lost in the city.
Seeing the city from the canals by boat - beautiful!
A parking garage for bikes... and it was jammed full!

Our tour guide had a funny comment - he said the canals are 3 meters deep.  "One meter water, one meter mud, and one meter bikes!"

While we were there, we also visited the Anne Frank House.  It was really touching to see the annex where she stayed.  I didn't know it was in Amsterdam - but it is definitely worth checking out if you go.  They have her original diary in there and it's interesting to see exactly where she and her family were hidden.

This is a video of our hotel... it was pretty historical.
Warning: before you watch, please know we did this after our visit to the Heineken factory :)  We were having such a great time!  Hope you don't mind my dorky voice.  Yes, we are big nerds!

We feel so lucky to have gone to Amsterdam, it was a fabulous city to visit!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So What Wednesday...

Linking up with Shannon over at "Life After I Dew"

So What If....

I eat my weight in carbohydrates daily.  They are the biggest food group.  Right?

We are putting an alarm on our house and the reason we moved last year was because it's a safer neighborhood.  I still hear noises around the house.

I ate an entire bag of leftover candy from my sisters shower.  It would be a shame for it to go to waste.

The few recent clothing purchases I've made lately have been from target.  I love that place.

I would rather read blogs than books right now.  I find the blog world to be very interesting.

I'm a married lady and I still love spending the night and hanging out with my parents.  They are cool people!

I'm completely indecisive about everything right now.  It keeps life interesting

What are you saying "so what" to? :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The girl with big footprints...

You know how people come and go in our lives.  We've all heard the famous quotes about them leaving footprints in our hearts.  Well, in March, I met a girl with some pretty big footprints.

Jessie is homeless.  She's 17, almost 18.  She was dropped off by her drug addict father when she was 14 at a shelter filled to the brim with middle aged homeless men.

She's a fighter.  She made her way through the town and found a youth organization and shelter called WIND in Sacramento.  She thrived.  She hasn't given up.  She works at the shelter a few days a week, and attends high school.

I am not sure where her family or parents are now.  She says her earliest life memories are of riding the BART (bay area public transportation) around with both of her badly drug addicted parents to have a place to rest.  She's never had a "home".

When I met her, it was at an open house event to help raise funds for the shelter she lives, works, and goes to school at.  She was my tour guide, and when I met her, I thought she was a youth counselor at the facility.  But, after the tour was over, I asked one of the directors about her.  He said, "isn't she great.  She's been with us for a while now."

It's amazing to me that someone who's been through so much carries no "pity me" around with her.  She doesn't come off negative, and as she showed me around I was impressed by her with out knowing her background.

Jessie is graduating from high school next week.  I was so touched that she invited me to come and watch.

She is so inspiring.  She's taught me so much about life in just the few conversations we have had.  She's a beautiful person, and I know she is strong willed enough to make a positive difference in the world.

Right now, she is looking for a full time job.  She is trying to get her things in order, because as soon as she turns 19, she can no longer stay at the shelter.

It's odd because I remember being so scared when I graduated high school.  I was so nervous about the transition to college and moving away from my parents.  I was completely supported through everything, and I always knew I could go home if things didn't work out.

She doesn't have that option.  And I have yet to hear her complain.

My one hope for her is that she continues to inspire.  I want to see her succeed and change people's lives.  I know she is capable of it.  She's sure made a big impact on mine.

You know when you come across one of those people who makes you stop and think?  Someone who just blows you away?  She's that person.  You can read about what she recently did with the organization I work for here.

I wanted to share her story and thought maybe it would inspire another person.

Life isn't always easy for us, but we have to make the best of what we've got.  And maybe by living our life that way, we can leave some footprints in people's lives along the way.

Skinny Margarita Madness Bunco

With these girls... it's always a fun time :)
Fun rings & Margs!
 delicious taco salad
Some of the girls

 love the skinny girl!

 Taco bar!

Funny conversation and 3 "ghosts"... it's always something!

Ideas for some fun themes?  My creativity is lacking!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shower After Party

After my sister's bridal shower, a few of her bridesmaids and friends stuck around to help clean up and chat.  All of us went to dinner at a mexican restaurant in town with everyone, and then, dinner turned into game night.
Cranium, anyone?

Even the Maximus & Zeus played ;)

Favorite board games??  
I need ideas for my sister's bachelorette party coming up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our visit to Prague, Czech Republic

After a 4.5 hour train ride from Vienna, Austria, we arrived in Prague.  Coming out from the train station was like entering into another world and another time period.  The city is old.  And by old, I mean delicate and beautiful.  

We rolled our suitcases over the cobblestoned streets and walked the half mile to our hotel.  (I thought the wheels were going to fall off my suitcase) We stayed at the Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel.  It was a good location - walking distance to the city center and across the street from Charles Square.  It was a comfortable hotel, I would recommend it.
 Our first night in the city was interesting.  After being treated slightly inconsiderately at two restaurants, we finally found a corner cafe to eat some dinner.  Our waiter was great... and the beer - yum!
It's hard to tell from this picture, but we were cracking up watching everything happen here.  There are no street lights and no stop signs at this very large & busy intersection.  A tram, pedestrians, cars and bikes are all turning and going at their own will.  To us... it looked like a big accident waiting to happen.
Old Town Square in Prague is full of history.  Here, I am standing in front of Adam & Eve, the two towers behind me.  (Unless our tour guide was lying)
In front of the Prague Opera House
This is the Cathedral inside of Prague Castle (which is the largest square foot castle in the world).  It's called St. Vitus Cathedral and it took over 600 years to build.  In fact, it was just finished at the beginning of the 1900's!
Inside of St. Vitus, you can see where it started getting built back in the 1300s.  It's yellow because it's aged!

Our second day, we ate lunch at one of the cafes in the Castle... I pointed at something on the menu to eat... and when it came, it was a mayo sandwich.  Probably half a cup of mayo squashed into a sandwich roll with a piece of ham.  Eeek.  TL thought it was hilarious.

How the Monks make their own beer...
It was delicious!  (we called it the 'holy beer')
Posing in front of Charles Bridge... construction on it started in 1357 - it's old!
Closer view of the bridge.  Notice it is lined with statues - during the summer, our tour guides said you can hardly walk across it because it is so crowded!
We noticed these very weird statues while we were walking around.  No clue what they are about!
Met some friends at our hotel - Richard & Cheryl.  We had so much fun talking with them... we didn't make it to bed until the very wee hours of the morning that night!  It was a blast.
View of Prague Castle from the roof of our hotel... gorgeous!
Beautiful city - this is one of the views from Prague Castle!
Walking through the city streets... beautiful, narrow, and old!
Charles Square... just before we left Prague!

It was a wonderful 4 days - we enjoyed learning about the history.  I wish I could remember it all!  The language there is tough to understand and very different than English.  The people are different, but original to their culture.  There is so much to see and most of it can be seen by foot.   TL and I spent most of our time just walking around getting lost - and on our tour! :)  (We thought it was funny that most of our tour guides were Irish... only one was born and raised in Prague!)

Who's been to Prague?  Did you love it?