Friday, July 31, 2009

M's Game and Seafair weekend

What to do in 103 degree weather ....

First off, it started with me giving Willis a major trim. This guy was SO hot with his thick winter coat on, so I thought he needed a little help before calling Dirty Dogs (love that name) to beg them to squeeze him in. I really was afraid he was going to "overheat" and have a heat stroke with that much fur!!

This is his bed-head hair before and it totally makes me smile ....

Secondly, why beat the heat by sitting indoors with AC when you can soak up part of the heat wave at the Seattle Mariners game?! It reminded me of Texas summers watchinging the Rangers play and sticking to the seats for majority of the time. Thankfully, Mollie came prepared with a spray bottles to keep us cool the entire game, and I proudly wore 30 SPF over my entire body.

It was a great game with more Blue Jay fans that I knew what to do with.
I had to play close attention when a massive group was cheering because I caught myself cheering for the opposite team once or twice.

Our weather has finally cooled down just in time for Seafair. It is a fun weekend for Seattleites, and we will be heading to Mercer Island this afternoon to watch the Blue Angels performance. Every boat within a couple hundred miles gets out on the water this weekend for a crazy good time!

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend!! More later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Seattle Record

Carol, over at Everyday Delights, posted this 5-day forecast and it sums up how I feel right now: HOT. Today's high is going to be 101, which is a Seattle record. Pretty sure I would just prefer laying out by the pool, better yet IN the pool, and not out and about in this heat with a McDonalds sweet tea in hand.

This is my absolute favorite craving right now and have at least a few a week,
with multiple refills. It is the best $1 well spent :)

Last week, I stopped by a McDonalds to enter my calls in my computer and enjoy a sweet tea. After about 30-45 minutes, I had gotten a refill, and before leaving I just needed to top it off a little bit (okay way more than top it off it was pretty much gone). The employee goes, "Man good thing I don't like tea because I would be diabetic if I drank as much as you did."

Really? Pretty sure he shouldn't tell customers they are going to become diabetic after consuming so much sugar!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

AC is underrated

It's really sad when the car is the coolest place during the day. I have reached the point of heat exhaustion and will do anything to get some air conditioning~! It is 93 degrees .... and I am DYING!

Our fan in our bedroom makes this awful annoying squeaking noise when it's on high, and medium is just not doing the trick anymore. We even tried tilting our SleepMate on it's side to drown out the noise even more, but of course it didn't really help. Maybe Gabe will take me up on my offer of making a palate in the office, which is on the bottom level of our three story townhouse.

If you haven't tried this SleepMate out before, it is phenomenal. It makes a constant "white noise" to mask unwanted sounds unlike all our sound machines I have tried. The worst is when they have a beat to them like rain or waves because I count 1,2,3,4, .... 1,2,3,4 and it drives me insane to where I can't go to sleep. We pack this one on each and every trip!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Secret Shopping Sunday

What is Secret Shopping/Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is a tool used by market research companies to measure quality of retail service or gather specific information about products and services. Shoppers pose as normal customers performing specific tasks (such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way.) They provide detailed reports or feedback about their experiences (thanks to Wikipedia's official definition).

I have shared a few adventurous secret shopping stories (here, here and here), and I thought it would be kind of fun to post a couple times a month dedicated to secret shopping! From here on out, look for .......

Secret Shopping Sunday

to hear a comical shopping experience or two, which is a weekly activity for me. I also hope that I can give you some helpful hints to getting into secret shopping yourself if you are at all interested.

The hardest thing about getting started with secret shopping is determining which companies provide the best jobs in your area. Whatever you do ... ONLY apply for companies that have the MSPA logo on their website. You can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website here to get further details.

This week, I completed shops varying from inquiring about the new FIOS service at Verizon, took inventory at a couple Quizinos to see if they have the proper marketing materials displayed, enjoyed lunch for two at Ruby's Diner, and visited a couple different banks to see what accounts and rates their promoting.

I also had two shops at Party City (different locations),
and these are my items I walked away with for FREE!!!

You aren't going to get rich doing secret shopping, but I personally, am all for remembering details and following scenerios to get free food, items, etc and additionally make some good chunk change!

Friday, July 24, 2009

10 things you love about me

The rules are:
1. List 10 honest things about yourself that your blogging friends do not know about you.
2. Give the award away to 7 bloggers.
3. Let them know they've received the award.

1. I am extremely thrifty and often proud of it! Why waste money if you can just be smarter with it. Growing up with my dad being a financial planner, I learned to save and often didn't know exactly what I was even saving for. I learned real quick after putting myself through school (without acquiring loans) ... that saving paid off, and I am extremely thankful to have the influence early on to help wire me the way I am.

2. Don't get me wrong, I splurge on nice things and have a love for classic pieces that last an eternity. I am like any other girl who feels beautiful in designer jeans, purses, heels, etc, but my love for jewelry tops the list. It all began while working at Bailey Banks and Biddle in college, and it was about time to start a career and get out of the jewelry industry because I was buying myself way too many gorgeous things!

3. I say "mmmmm" in an overly dramatic way when I taste something scrumptious.

4. My biggest pet peeve is people driving in the left lane on the highway going the speed limit, or even worse, UNDER the speed limit. The left lane is for passing people and not cruising!!! Speaking of, Washington has started giving people warnings for driving in the left lane and even ticketing $124! It's about time. We need enforced laws like we did in Texas, "Keep Right Unless Passing."

5. I love a spotless house, but do not enjoy cleaning. It doesn't come very easy to me, and I hate the feeling after washing dishes and your hands are dry. I need a pair of these like my Grandmother uses. I would like a maid, but realistically don't want to pay for one (being thrifty and all) ... but one day, when I have a house that is ours, I will splurge on one :)

6. My favorite genre movie would be action, action, and more action. I often fall asleep in movies, so these loud action-packed movies keep me awake. Plus, growing up, my Mom was a flight attendant and would often be out of town on the weekends, and Dad would always take my brother and I to the movie store. My vote for a chick-flicks were always overruled, so I learned to love movies like Bad Boys, Transporters, The Bourne Identity, Man on Fire, 007 (and all other James Bond movies), SWAT, Iron Man, Taken, and the list goes on and on.

7. I have never smoked a cigarette and never plan to. Google Chantix :)

8. I have worked since I was 14 years old and truly enjoyed every bit of it. I graduated school in three years because I wanted to be out in the working world. It's not all about getting a paycheck, but more importantly I need to staying busy. My past jobs have been nannying (which I miss), working at The Gymnastics Place, The Hackers Tour (golf tournament company), Pappagallo Boutique, Fitness Evolution (Personal Trainer), Bailey Banks and Bidddle, and now here I am with Pfizer.

9. I am a pretty picky eater, but have gotten much better in my "olden years." You will find me most often eating off a kids menu because I don't like wasting food and majority of the time the kids meal is more than enough. I think to myself, "What ten year old could eat all this!!!"

10. Last, but not least, I am addicted to Crossfit. It is an up-and-coming workout regimen that is all of the sudden huge in most large cities. It is the most intense workout, and I will never be able to go to a "big box gym" as CF people call it (LA Fitness, 24-hr Fitness, Lifetime, etc). Most workouts vary anywhere from 15-25 minutes without rest and everyday has a completely new WOD (Workout of the Day). A quote I love that is posted all over Crossfit clothing, "Our warm up is your workout!!" Remember back to this post?

I tag:

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Softball, one of the many leagues Gabe belongs to....

Not a huge fan of the sport, but this game was much more entertaining with him playing 2nd base instead of wayyyyy out in the outfield (no fences). The Woodpeckers have been together for 25 years, and the players on his team range anywhere from 25 to 55. The same coach has been coaching this league since the very beginning, so just imagine how seriously he takes it!

The dogs were a nervous wreck at the park whining for their Dad!

Oh ya, between people watching and walking around Greenlake,
I did catch Gabe diving for a ground ball!

This little girl somehow stepped in gum on our walk,
and it is completely stuck between her paws and driving her NUTS!
Any tricks to get it out??? I cut as much out as I could.

3 year anniversary

During my 'day job' as a “pharmaceutical representative,” I make about 40-50 office visits a week with varied doctors and medical staff. From Monday through Friday, I quote medical terms as though I had attended medical school, although becoming a doctor was never a desire of mine. Today, July 23rd 2009, I just celebrated my third year anniversary with Pfizer and I will say that those 1095 days have sped by way too rapidly. Maybe the swift passage of time is because I thoroughly enjoy my job, especially the variety of personalities I encounter daily, but I really look forward to providing solutions in the healthcare industy. Additionally, I am surrounded by wonderful Pfizer colleagues who make the experience even better.

I think I would find it near impossible to sit in a cubicle for 40-50 hours a week, and that is why I didn't follow through with an accounting degree as initially planned. The downside to my Pfizer job is the lack of security in this industry. There have been layoffs annually since I started in this field, and I continuously pray to never get that call. If there comes a day where I am no long employed with Pfizer, I want it to be my call, not Pfizer’s, as I always want to be in charge of my life, my future.

My Paw Paw always told me “time flies when you are having fun”. It seems that I can blink my eyes on Tuesday and look up and it is Friday already!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kings of Leon

I am absolutely obsessed with Kings of Leon right now and have their most recent CD, Closer, on repeat for a good couple weeks now. Whether I am out at the pool, driving for hours and hours in the car, or getting work done in my office, I have been enjoying this band. I find their music so amazing and hope you do too.

Please come to Seattle so I can see you in concert!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bargain of the day!

I have never been an online shopper because I like to try everything on and normally are pretty particular about things fitting just right. My sister in law changed my world last summer after teaching me about buying Victoria Secret's swimsuits online. I have been hooked every since, but I haven't been sold on buying other items online ... just Victoria Secret's swimsuits. After getting compliments on my suits, I always encourage people to try VS because half the time they are on crazy sale, normally have an offer for free shipping, and also have an unbelievable return policy to not be charged additional fees to return unwanted items. I don't think I will ever buy a swimsuit from anywhere else.

I got this cute suit today ... read further to find out about my amazing bargain!

This swimsuit normally sells for $15 a piece, and they each piece was on sale for $9.99. Then they had a special at the beginning of the week for an additional 40% off clearance swimsuits. My goal was to get free shipping too, and the trick to free shipping is to talk to a representative on the phone (unless you are spending a good amount, then there is normally a code for free shipping if you spend $50, etc). The associate who worked with "new orders" told me I would have to call back and talk to customer service representative tomorrow if I wanted free shipping since they couldn't honor that in their department, and she promised me that they would still honor the 40% off the sale price. Long story short, I called back and they said the 40% off offer ended, and after some good sweet talking I convinced her that I was suppose to get the additional discount off of both pieces (she wasn't going to honor it, then said she was only going to give me the 40% off one item) AND free shipping. So after the sale price, 40% off discount, a $10 birthday gift certificate, and free shipping ....

I ended up getting this suit for .....
$2.40 !!!
You read correctly - you can't even get a gallon of milk for that price.

Persistence pays off!! Or my annoyance, whichever way you want to look at it :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Starbucks ...

Well, Starbucks is expanding their brand by experimenting and selling beer and wine in their Seattle stores next week. Supposedly, it's to give it a more "European" feel, but I am not so sure about it. I think it will change the family/meeting environment, but who am I to really have an opinion that matters with such a large corporation. Depending on the success of it, they are going to start selling alcohol in other metropolitan cities. Probably just another way for them to make an extra buck, or two, or three, since the mark up isn't already high enough on my non-fat cinnamon dolche that costs $3.80!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My nephew's new trick!

I think my brother has for sure been watching UFC fighting around Griffin while my sister in law, Arrie, is out! This makes me laugh and laugh, and I thought it's too cute not to share.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big Night at the Smith's

Tonight, I accomplished a mild stepping stone in my life. I made a batch of rice krispie treats for the first time EVER! I was craving these earlier this week and had them on my mind, and then reading a blog earlier this evening about rice krispie treats just put me over the edge. I contemplated for a bit did I really want them or need them, and then after encouragement drove to the store to get the fixings (which were two items -- most uncomplicated ingredients ever). I have always heard how simple these are to make, so I just decided to "cook" away. Little did I know that they don't actually go in the oven ... :)

I was in heaven after Gabe and I put a pretty hefty dent in half the batch. I am so sad I have been missing out on this my entire life. They're a somewhat healthy treat and super cheap to make, so I wonder why Momma didn't make these growing up??

After a ride along with my manager today, rice krispie treats were a wonderful end to the evening while watching So You Think You Can Dance with Gabe. He is officially lured into the show and even made a comment that this show is now more entertaining than Idol because of the variety from week to week. I totally agree!!

Now, if only I can figure out how to make rice krispie treats with a layer of chocolate on the bottom like fancy bakery's .....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sushi and Fun

I managed to somehow miss a few comments earlier in the week that would spoil the evening plans that Mollie and the girls worked so hard on, and I really ended up being fully surprised. Some of my favorite ladies took me out for Umi sushi on my birthday, and we had such a fun time! It is an absolute favorite of mine in Seattle and is such a great spot for big groups. The restaurant seemed like it was 100 degrees inside, so ignore my shiny face!!

Leigh Ann, Jenny DB, Kate, Marissa, Me, Becca, Shelby, Jamie, and Molls

(I am waiting for Mollie's copy so there isn't a flash directly in Jenny and Katie's face,
but this one will have to do for now.)

Kate Marie

Jamie surprised me with an entire box of TROPHY cupcakes.
She called Gabe to see what my favorite flavors were,
and he told her Snickerdoodle and Triple Chocolate -- those are his favorites!
haha, he was right with the chocolate suggestion and hoping for leftovers!

After dinner, we all went to Marissa's to meet up with the guys and enjoy Gabe's Bro-jitos.
His raspberry mojitos are definitely a summer highlight and favorite of most of ours!

A snapshot of some of the group hangout out:
Bryan, Kate, Leigh Anne, Jenny, Shelby, and Jamie

Gabe and a few of his favorite ladies :)

My lovely chicas!

Then we headed out to Frontier Room for fun and dancing.

My other half that everyone asks is my twin!

KENNY, where are you!

And my birthday night has come to an end ....

YAY for such a fun birthday with all my friends!
If only Abby Dae, Arrie, and the twins could have been there to celebrate :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


One thing I miss from the south are intense thunder storms with downpours of rain. It has been a pretty gloomy day here in Seattle, and I am sitting with my sweet dogs on the couch enjoying a really loud thunder storm that just started. I can count on one hand the amount of times this has happened since we have lived here, and I find them so relaxing as long as I am in doors :) I texted a few friends saying who have grown up in the Northwest, and all of their responses to me saying I LOVE THUNDER have been, "it's so exciting." They don't realize what they have been missing out on all their lives.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Suncadia Resort

We made it to Suncadia, and what an unbelievable place this is. It is tucked back in the mountains over a valley and a river and is very quiet. Gabe and I loved a relaxing evening, being able to enjoy God's country, and most importantly it being just the two of us. There was so much to do here from a numerous amount of hikes, renting bikes/kayaks, an entire swim and fitness facility (mostly for kids and families), etc. We loved it!

Here is a picture from our room overlooking the river down below.

Loving the sunny evening together - wow how fast three years has gone by!

After exploring the gorgeous area, we got ready and ate at the restaurant at Suncadia. I ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese, but I tried to sneak as much of Gabe's Pork Chop as possible. He isn't a big "sharer," but for my birthday and our anniversary he did :)

Such a fun evening!
Then, this morning we woke up bright and early for our couple massages. The facility was so neat with four different level hot tubs to soak it before our massage. This was my present to Gabe for our anniversary last week, so it worked out perfect being about to do them this weekend at the lodge.

After our massages, we had breakfast and literally sat by the pool ALL day.

My upper body got a little fried after spending most of my time like this.

As we left the lodge to check out, I couldn't help myself. A wedding was going to take place this afternoon, and what a memorable place. Maybe for my next wedding .... just kidding!

Thanks babe for a great birthday and anniversary together!
Now, out for the evening with friends to keep the celebration going .....

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's My Birthday

My birthday seemed like any other day considering I don't feel any older, I had to put in an "honest days work" (as my Dad has always encouraged me to do), and nothing life changing occured.  But .... my hubby, friends, and family made it so special with all of their sweet calls, singing to me, and cards, which made my day different from the rest!  

Gabe told me we were going to celebrate this weekend, and he encouraged me to spend the evening with my girlfriends.  Shelby Marie was so sweet go take me to get a manicure/pedicure.  Isn't it crazy how just a little spoiling can make one feel so beautiful.  I LOVE getting my nails done, but realize I don't do them often enough.  Gabe was so sweet to notice and say they looked nice.

Then, the night wouldn't be official without spending it at Azul.  Katie and Mollie took me here for my birthday last year, so it just wouldn't be right unless we did it again :)

Thank you girls for making my day so fun!  
I am looking forward to our Saturday festivities ......

Getting out of dodge!

We decided to get out of dodge to celebrate my birthday, which was yesterday! I am excited to spend the short weekend at Suncadia Resort, which is about an hour and a half east of Seattle! It is suppose to hit 90 degrees tomorrow, and I am loving that. I cannot imagine 105-108 degree weather like Texas has had ... That's incredibly too hot.

More to come later. I am so behind on posts since this week just flew by!

(I just learned how to post from on my blackberry, but does anyone know how to upload a picture to the post?)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tennessee for the 4th

We were so lucky to be able to spend the 4th of July with all of Gabe's Dad's side of the family.  We saw most of them Thanksgiving 08, and it had been 10 years prior to their last get together.  So, it has been so nice to see the Smith-Geer-Duncan-Risley's multiple times within the year.  

April, Hannah, me, Nikki, Meredith

Like Father .... like Son ....

Gabe and I with his grandparents:  Nene and Gordon

Saturday afternoon, the guys (and April) played some 
competitive basketball and completely wore themselves out.  
As you can see in the photo below, they had a great time!

We absolutely love every chance we have to hang out with Gabe's brother and sister in law.  Ryan and April are such a joy to be around and are one of the funniest couples!  

Sunday morning we all went to Laurel Church of Christ to hear my favorite father in law preach.  

Our family took up two entire pews, here are a portion of us :)

April and me at lunch

Gabe and his Nene

This isn't the best picture with all looking, but it's the only photo of all 19 of us!

After all of Mark's family left town, Gabe's other set of Grandparents came in town from Corbin, KY to spend the evening with us.  Nana made her famous pinto beans and we enjoyed a relaxing evening of cards and catching up!

This 4th of July was not a traditional 4th, 
considering fireworks were not involved since they're illegal in Knoxville, 
but we were so grateful to be able to spend a long weekend with our family!!

Robin was so generous to welcome us all in to her home.  Thanks again, we know it was a ton of
work and you outdid yourselves.  

We love you guys!

Sidenote:  This post wouldn't be legit without sharing how much we loved being in the south eating the the food we grew up on.  We attemped to eat at Chick-Fil-A three times, but the first two times we didn't have any luck because they closed early due to the 4th and the second time it was a Sunday.  If only we had a Chick-Fil-A in Seattle!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Smith Photo's

I just wanted to upload a quick collage of the first set of proofs we got back from our Smith Family session earlier today! A fellow photographer from the church came over this afternoon and took these pictures in Gabe's parents backyard.

I will write more later once I get home, but overall we have had a very eventful weekend with all of Gabe's extended family. It was a spur of the moment family reunion, and we are so thankful we were able to make it in town for all 19 of us to be part of the festivities.

Tomorrow is our last day in Knoxville, and then we will fly home late tomorrow night. Thanks Momma for the Southwest tickets .... it is absolutely wonderful having flight benefits and being able to travel across the country and make it to special times like these :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

June Book Club

This last month we read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It was a little slow for me since I was listening on audio CD's in the car, and then would spend a lifetime trying to find the current spot in the book at the end of the day. I don't think I really was able to get the full feel of the book because of this, but all-in-all it gave an interesting perspective of the Chinese traditions and what the girls went through emotionally and physically. We all were so intrigued about foot binding ... we had to google it AT the dinner table, which grossed us all out.

Here are all of us skyping with Carmen in Singapore.
It only took a couple attempts to get it up and running, but so fun once we did!

Emi wins the award for the best desert bucket .... From Dibs to Skinny Cow (strawberry was amazing) to Push Pops, etc. Great selection!!!

All the girls enjoying our dessert!

Book Club Ladies

Action shot with all of us in our own world.

Book Club Ladies with our children

Thanks Emi for the wonderful food and doggie book club! What fun :)

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