May 30, 2011

I fell in love with a Maltese pup named Tikko

Hi Ocean Dreamers! I'm back from Arizona and was greeted with cold temps and rain, sleet, and snow in Utah. Thankfully I had a warm fire and warm pj's to keep me warm last night! This morning I crawled out of bed to work out with my dad so that instantly warmed me up! I'm starting a new work out program with him which I'm excited about, but more on that in a future post...
I had such a wonderful time in Arizona. I stayed there for two weeks, house sitting, doggie sitting, and spending time with my cousin who just graduated from High School. It got hot there - up in the 90s and low 100s, but I was content to lounge out near the pool where I finished my last book in The Hunger Games and started a new novel called Matched. I just tweeted about it and highly recommend it!
Arizona created many memories that now weigh heavily on my mind. The memories consist of a precious puppy named Tikko. In case you were wondering, Tikko means "friend" in Hawaiian. It is a Hawaiian name! 

Tikko is four years old, is a pure bred Maltese, and is the sweetest pup I might ever meet in my lifetime. He is so trained that he will walk all the way to the backyard to go to the bathroom just when you say "Tikko, go potty!" and when you say "Kisses Tikko," he smothers you with slobbery and delightful doggie kisses. He slept with me at night, cuddled up next to me, and didn't wake me up each morning! He is content to lay next to me as I worked every day, and in the afternoons when we went for a walk he was so happy. I fell in love with Tikko and miss him terribly. If I ever get the opportunity to own a dog like this, I would be so happy.
Most of you know that I've been dying to get a Doxie. Would I be a traitor if I wanted a Maltese now? I think the biggest factor for me is that I will need a dog that is hyper allergenic, and a Maltese dog is. Doxies are not always great for allergies, so I may be changing my tune. We'll see in time. I'm in love with both this fluffy and sweet dog named Tikko, but in the past holding a Doxie at an animal shelter and seeing Doxies everywhere in the blog world has allowed me to fall in love with them as well.
Why do I love Tikko so much? He holds still and doesn't mind when I want to have a photo shoot with him. It's hard to get a picture of him when his face is looking at the camera, but I'm just as content with an adorable side profile of him.
I also love him because he loves my clothes and is quite into fashion! When I was doing a video for my YouTube channel for JoeShopping.com, Tikko played the part perfectly and got into the suitcase on queue! It was hilarious and if you want to see the video go to the link embedded in YouTube. :) I love that he loves fashion as much as I do, ha ha!
I also love Tikko because he looks so darn happy after I take him for a walk. Seriously - could he get any cuter?!
Even though Tikko doesn't exactly like his baths, (he continuously shakes off and gets you wet,) I still love him even when he looks like a rat dog. I got to experience bathing Tikko with my cousin and it was entertaining to say the least! Tikko turns into a crazed pup after his bath, who runs all around the house, rubbing his wet ears on the carpet because he thinks he has water stuck in them. He also continuously shakes to get dry while running in circles. You make me laugh Tikko.
I love Tikko because he sleeps and relaxes next to me every day while I work! I get to pet him all that I want and he then rewards me with his sweet doggie kisses.
Tikko even sleeps with me and I love this about him. This is him one night before I went to bed. My pj's were on one side and my planner on the other. Isn't he so patient as I get ready for bed? Sweet Tikko.
In the few weeks that I was in Arizona, Tikko became my best friend. I miss my best friend, and one day, when the timing is right, I will find a best friend of my own. I truly believe in the saying that dogs are man's best friend. When that day comes, I'll be the happiest dog loving owner there is.
By the way, please head on over to Selma's blog where I am holding her blog captive! ;)

May 24, 2011

summer must haves swap

Today I'm still in sunny Arizona with an adorable pup curled up next to my side. I'm gearing up for my cousin's graduation activities this upcoming weekend. I'm not used to the 100 degrees or more heat, so I'm most often found inside. However, my aunt and uncle have a pool so if I go outdoors I have the option of cooling off at least. :)

I was super excited when I read that Krysten, from After I Do decided to host a Summer Must Haves Swap on her blog. My swap partner was the lovely Alisha, from the blog Married in Chicago. Having similar interests, we seemed to read one anothers' minds! If you haven't been by Alisha's blog, you must! You'll encounter an amazing woman who in every single post will uplift your spirits and shower you with love and creativity.

Let's see all of the goodies that Alisha got me!
How did she know that my favorite type of gummies are HARIBO?! So. Yummy. I can't wait to eat these when I get back from AZ to UT so I can officially begin the start of the summer time while eating my yummy gummies.
I also loved her adorable note and I just love the earrings and turquoise rings! Like Alisha mentioned on her blog, we both love turquoise!
I also love pistachios and look at the front of the card! It's pink and has a flower which is perfect for the summer time.

Thank you so much Alisha for your thoughtfulness and thank you Krysten for your swap on your blog!

I hope you are enjoying your week Ocean Dreamers! I'll be back soon on a post dedicated to the adorable puppy I've been dog sitting soon!

May 22, 2011

guest post: 4 couture designer tee shirts & updates

Hi Ocean Dreamers! How is your weekend? Mine is fabulous! I'm currently in AZ doggie sitting the most adorable Maltese puppy imaginable at my aunt and uncle's home. Next week my cousin is graduating. If some of you follow my tweets you probabaly saw adorable Tikko. I'm going to be doing a post on Tikko soon, but for for now, here is a glimpse of the sweet pup. I took him for a walk the other day and he loved his car ride!
My weekend has also included getting together with a fabulous bloggy friend named Heather from This & That, snuggling with Tikko, and finishing Mocking Jay (more on that later) and I'm sooo sad that my Hunger Games trilogy is over now! I just don't know what to do with myself! I can't wait for the movies to be here!
If you haven't noticed I'm trying to allow guest bloggers occasionally on my blog because it's fun having a new voice on my blog now and again and being a Freelance Writer I know how it is contacting others for guest posts so I like to return the favor! Besides, seeing fashion and hearing new tips in general is fantastic! 

Today I bring you a fashionable article by Steve, on couture tees. Oh, and be watching for Juicy Couture. Steve gets brownie points for that. ;) Here is Steve's guest post:

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4 Gorgeous Couture Designer Tee Shirts 

There’s something special about a great designer tee shirt. Whether you’re a fan of heavy metal or prefer flowery patterns, graphic designs on designer tees allow everybody to express their personalities through their clothing. You may want to do some t shirt printing,  search for retro shirts in leading boutiques or wear the latest couture as we are about to showcase. Here are four prime examples of stunning designer tee shirts.

Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana offers some of the world’s most exclusive products. From corrective eyewear to fabulous handbags, they produce top notch fashion items. Their designer tee shirts offer both fun and flirty designs, as well as classic grungy styles and casual chic. This white short-sleeve tee shirt is made of thin material. The fabric is lightweight. It looks good tucked in or out of jeans, and it can be worn with shorts or with sweatpants. The graphic design on the front of the shirt showcases a vintage movie poster for Elvis Presley’s famous “
Blue Hawaii,” film. It’s a classic example of vintage/modern collaboration. 
Alexon

Alexon Clothing is based in the UK. They design tailor-made clothing for women of all shapes and sizes. Their specialty is business outfits, but they also design simple occasional wear, accessories and trousers. This green shadow print top is shown with a necklace, which makes the colors stand out. Tee shirts that are configured to look like professional tops are cheaper than purchasing an actual blouse, and they look good with business suits or pants. It’s amazing what one tee shirt can do.
Chanel

Chanel is a well known name in the fashion world. With creative geniuses like
Karl Lagerfeld running their fashion house, they churn out plenty of fabulous styles every year. Although Chanel doesn’t usually dabble in tee shirt production, this short sleeve pink top is an example of when they do. It is slightly washed out with white patches, bearing the world famous Chanel logo on the chest. The neckline is high and the fit is snug. It’s a great, chic tee shirt that refines any pair of jeans. 

Juicy Couture

Everybody loves Juicy Couture. This simple, sparkle couture tee shirt is soft and fitted. It looks great on any shape, with any outfit. It is decorated across the front with their logo crown and playful text. It’s a great find, and Juicy Couture’s prices tend to be lower than other designers of this day and age.
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- This post was by Steve King and you can find Steve on Twitter @Design_King . However, Steve only has one tweet up so far! Steve - better get going on your Tweets! ;)

Have a wonderful day Ocean Dreamers! I'll be back on Tuesday with Krysten's Summer Swap link up! I just love what I got from my lovely swap friend!


May 18, 2011

Rachel McAdams - Midnight In Paris screening

Beauty Look of the Day: Rachel McAdams channels Marilyn Monroe by @StyleList

I woke up this morning to check my tweets on my Droid and I stumbled across this tweet {above} by @StyleList. I was reminded how much I just love Rachel McAdam's style. She's so classy, elegant, and just plain gorgeous. Well, it turns out that she was at a movie screening last night and this was her look.
"Rachel McAdams channeled Marilyn Monroe at the Cinema Society & Thierry Mugler screening of "Midnight in Paris" in New York City last night." - from Stylist.com
Last night during the screening of Midnight in Paris, her new love, Michael Sheen admitted to Rachel and him being a couple. Rachel co-stars on Woody Allen's upcoming film Midnight in Paris.
I became a fan of Rachel's after watching the infamous The Notebook and then loved her even more after watching Time Traveler's Wife. I read both novels and I felt like she embodied the female character from each book perfectly. She has a girlish charm that must drive men mad and her adorable smile could melt anyone's heart. I also loved her in Mean Girls and in The Family Stone. She's also been in other films that I like called Morning Glory and Sherlock Holmes. Which is your favorite film that Rachel McAdams has starred in? I bet most of you will say The Notebook, huh? :)
Her former flames include Josh Lucas and Ryan Gosling. I personally was a fan of her and Ryan together - but hey, a girl has to follow her heart, right? This is her take on her relationship with Ryan according to IMDB.com - "I guess each relationship is different. That's what I love about relationships. Even when they end, you've learned so very much, so much to take into your next relationship and to take into your life. It's the greatest thing that comes out of an ending - so it depends on the person" - On what she learned about herself when her relationship with Ryan Gosling ended.
Did you know that Rachel lost out on the following roles below? I would have loved to have seen her in some of these films! I feel quite bad that she didn't get the parts - I just love her and hope she gets some main roles in the near future even though I know she's scored some other amazing roles, ie, The Notebook, so I shouldn't complain. I just found it interesting how actresses compete for roles and which ones get the part!

*Had to turn down the female lead in The Last Kiss (2006) due to scheduling conflicts. The role was eventually given to Jacinda Barrett.
*Was considered for the role of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006), before the role was given to Eva Green.
*Auditioned for the role of Sophie for the musical Mamma Mia! (2008) but lost out to actress Amanda Seyfried. Seyfried had lost out to McAdams previously for the role of Regina when they both co-starred in Mean Girls (2004).
*Was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts in Iron Man (2008), but she turned the role down. Gwyneth Paltrow was subsequently cast instead.*Was in consideration for the role of Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight (2008), but Maggie Gyllenhaal was cast instead.
*Was in consideration for the role of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (2012), but Carey Mulligan was cast instead.

This Canada gal also loves to go vintage shopping! Yes - wanna go with me Rachel?! Here are some of her thoughts on living in Canada: "Yeah. I still live in Canada, so it's not quite the same. And when I'm in L.A., I'm in a car; you don't have the contact with the public. It's not so bad. It's still pretty much the same. I still feel pretty normal-ish." - IMDB.com
Hopefully by now I've filled you with enough Rachel McAdam tidbits to update you on everything current there is to know. I can't wait to see Midnight In Paris, and I can't wait to see what other fashionable outfits Rachel has up her sleeve! She's just stunning, especially last night!
What do you think of Rachel McAdams?

By the way, thanks so much for all of your thoughtful comments on my roller coaster post! I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

May 16, 2011

life is like a roller coaster

 Do you ever feel like life is a roller coaster? You have your high peaks and your low peaks. Just when you are settled, something else rattles you. Then just when you think you are at your wits end something always seems to work out.
I've felt this way lately. I'm at a place in my life where I can say that I'm happy, and yet, I feel like things have been so up and down. So many changes have taken place and I just don't know where to turn! I would have to say making a career change 6 months ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went with my gut and I'm following my heart and I love being a freelancer.
The challenges I have faced always seem to work out, but I have to say the most challenging thing for me right now is that I feel like I'm never in one place for very long. I've been traveling back and forth between Utah and California, hoping to quite honestly get an engagement ring from my love and make some plans so I can be back into CA for good. I know these things will happen in all good time. I have to admit it's not the best image to be living with your parents at the age of 26, but I am considering it a gift to be with my family again temporarily because I know it won't last very much longer. I can honestly say they are my best friends and I wouldn't have it any other way. I find comfort spending time with them in the evenings and catching up on our favorite TV shows and even though I'm not as social I used to be I find that I am content. I also love the new friendships I have. I have learned that quantity does not equal quality. I am content being with my family and my close friends - the people who understand and love me the most and I find comfort in that.
Do you ever feel like that life just passes you by sometimes? When hard times come up it seems like life is going by so slowly and then when the good times arise life goes by so fast! If only we could come up with a happy medium -  a way to carefully store the good moments and the weed out the bad, and admittedly I would love owning a fast forward button for those bad moments. Owning a pause button for those super great moments would be like magic - if only that could take place. I suppose, however, that I wouldn't ever learn from the hard times if I didn't have them and that is what makes me who I am. I wouldn't take back the hard times because it opens new avenues to help those in need, learn more about myself, and how to change for the better.
 
But life as it is seems to be a never ending roller coaster. I think I am okay with this. I have to okay with this. You see - because you have to keep up with life or get left behind. You have to seize the moments of happiness and truly thank God for letting His face shine on yours. You even have to embrace the suffering and realize that it will all be worth it in the end. You have to choose to be happy, even when you don't feel it. You have to reach out to others before it's too late. You have to realize that your loved ones will pass on, like my grandpa, so you should take the opportunity and spend every moment that's available to you to be with them.
Life goes up and down, just like a roller coaster. When it all comes down to it in the end - I bet you will say it was worth it.

P.S. I find it comical that I actually don't like roller coasters that much - I only ride Space Mountain and Matterhorn at Disneyland! :P

May 13, 2011

guest post by Alexis - planning your beach vacation

While I'm spending the next few days with BK before heading back to Utah (yep that's me from today's lunch location above!), which is much needed because I've just spent my past week saying goodbye to my Grandpa, here is a guest post for you to find some fabulous information about planning an upcoming summer beach vacation. 

By the way, do any of you have plans to head out for a beach vacation this summer? If I had the chance you know I would be at the beach every day! Yesterday I went to the beach for lunch with BK and I was only out there for an hour and I got burned! I am a super white girl in need of a tan, except, I'd rather preserve my skin so I'm taking precautions to stay out of the sun while still getting enough vitamin D. But enough about my ocean adventures, let's read about some great beach vacation advice from Alexis!

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Planning Your Beach Vacation
A beach getaway can be the perfect, relaxing treat for your next vacation, whether just for a long weekend or for a week or two. Beach vacations offer something for everyone: Water sports for the adventurous, sun bathing and cool drinks for those looking to relax, and lots of family friendly activities for those with children. To help make your next beach vacation a great one, we offer these tips:
When to Go
The season for beach weather is fickle. One minute, the sun is shining and a nice breeze is blowing. The next minute, it is pounding rain and intense storms threaten. In addition, many of the most popular beach destinations are in tropical climates, where severe hurricanes threaten every summer. Make sure you plan carefully to avoid the volatile weather. There is no guarantee with the weather, but you can plan according to expected patterns.
Planning your trip in the off season is one way to minimize the threat of bad weather, as well as to avoid crowds and find better deals. The off season falls in the cooler months for most locations, but the weather will still be warm and balmy at most beach destinations, so you won't sacrifice the sunshine. 
Choosing Your Destination
Carefully choose your destination based on your interests. Do you have only the weekend to go? Don't waste valuable time by flying across the country to your destination. Look for something closer to home, preferably a short car ride away. Do you enjoy a more laid-back vacation? Skip popular locations such as Cancun or Miami Beach where the crowds will be more high energy. Are you looking for a more romantic getaway? Pick a small bed and breakfast or a couples resort. Planning a getaway with your girlfriends? Find a nice spa resort that offers facials and other services. Don't be tempted by glossy ad campaigns or popular appeal. Be sure that the vacation you are planning will really suit your style and your needs.
Finding Bargains
Plan early and shop around. Many values can be found online with a bit of planning and determination. If you can arrange to have flexible dates for your trip, you will be in a better position to find deals. Last-minute trips also offer opportunities for big savings. 


All-inclusive resorts and cruises are a great way to save on your beach vacation. Both offer the cost of your lodging, meals, and some optional activities for one low price. With a cruise, you also get the added benefit of being able to see many locations on one trip. 
Finally, when booking your lodging, be sure to choose an ocean front room, not one with an ocean view, which will carry a considerable premium. You'll have plenty of opportunity to gaze out at the ocean when you're lounging beachside.
Just remember: With a little planning and consideration, you can plan a perfect beach vacation that doesn't break the bank!

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching optometry scholarships while preparing a guide on homeland security scholarship programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Thanks Alexis for your guest post - now I seriously want to go on a beach vacation! I know I shouldn't complain since I'm already in Southern CA for the next couple of days, but does wanting to head to the South of France count?!
P.S. I did a guest post myself and it's all about PINK lipstick. Wanna take a peek? It's called Hot Pink Lip Trend and it's over at a lovely beauty blog called My Beauty Bunny.

May 10, 2011

some updates & If The Shoe Doesn't Fit's giveaway winner

Thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers for my family and I during this time. Yesterday in San Diego my family and I went on a boat out to sea near where my Grandpa grew up. We spread flowers in the ocean in remembrance of him. We told stories of the man, Grandpa, son, father, and friend that he was. We dodged the waves as we sat ear the bow of the ship. Many of my family members got soaked as we made our way back to shore. We honored the adventuresome spirit that my Grandpa always had. He's probably fishing in heaven right now! He just loved to fish and loved everything about the ocean, like me. There was quite a bit of swell that came in due to stormy clouds that were lurking. But just as we threw the flowers out to sea, the sun decided to show its face out of the stormy clouds. It was if my Grandpa was giving us a wink from heaven. I already miss him so so much.
Due to the fact that I'm back in sunny CA I get to spend an extra week with my BK! Even though I'm still grieving my Grandpa's death, I'm delighted that I get to spend some time in my loves' arms. Soon after I head back to Utah from California I'll be heading to Arizona to house sit for my aunt and uncle. I'm such a busy traveler I hardly know where I live anymore, ha ha! :)
So I'm going to announce the winner of If The Shoe Doesn't Fit's Collector Shoe Giveaway. I input all of the names on Random.com and the winner is:
Congratulations Krysten!
To celebrate let's check out some Christian Louboutin shoes that are currently up for grabs at the If The Shoe Doesn't Fit's website right now! :)
If these shoe auctions have expired by the time you see this post you can always go to the search bar on the ITSDF's website in the upper left hand corner and type in Christian Louboutin or whatever designer shoe is your favorite. Hopefully the seller will have some new listings up! :)

Sigh. I just love shoe therapy, especially the turquoise Christian Louboutin pumps!! I hope you are all having an amazing start to your week.