Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dedicated to my childhood

I'm blaming vh1 for my need to listen to 90's music at the moment. I just can't get enough of it! It reminds me of my childhood & preteen days. Hard to think that was over 10 years ago because it feels like yesterday. These songs take me back to the days of hanging out with kids in the neighborhood, summers spent at the swimming pool and trips to Michigan to see family, jamming out in the car with my mom or friends (I wasn't the one driving). It's feel good music and with summer upon us I only feel it's appropriate to share with you all these feel good songs!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday :)

I think this about sums today up...and the rest of the week for that matter. 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life without Music would just stink!

Wanted to share what I've been listening to lately. Some old. Some new. Life without music would really just stink! 

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj. Well the video isn't that great, but I love the song. It's nice and upbeat. Just in time for summer. 

Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac. Ok so I won't lie Glee put me on this kick, but I have liked them for longer than the Glee episode. To go along with that fact it's Greek Week at the alma mater and this song just so happens to be my pledge class song :) Talk about nostalgic. GO TEM!

The Show goes On by Lupe Fiasco. Been a Lupe fan for awhile now and it's good to hear some of his new stuff!

Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People. I can thank Kev for this one. He's been the reason I've been really broadening my music selections and I've gotten much more into the alternative type bands.

Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. It's just fun!

Hook by Blues Traveler. I love Blues Traveler. However, I hadn't listened to them for awhile until I recently heard them on the radio. Well, let's just say I've been "Hook"ed ever since :) Yes, I'm trying to be punny! 

Good Life by OneRepublic. I like OneRepublic, and since the radio seems to love them even more and overplay them I'm going to hang on to this song for awhile before I can't hear it anymore. I have a good life, I have a great life. It's a feel good song that I can relate to at the moment :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

So on this lovely Friday morning as I'm going through the usually routine, check emails, check facebook, read blogs - I noticed that I've been tagged! Ut oh! Just kidding. My friend Holly over at, Running in Stilettos oh so kindly tagged me after she did 10 of her favorite things survey. Go take a peak at her list if you’re interested! Now it’s my turn to tell you about a few of my favorite things. I'm going to warn you now that as usually I went over the 10 things mark, but only by a few! 

1) Animals:
I love animals. Dogs in particular. I thank my mom for my passion for animals.  I'm hoping someday I can actually do a few of the animal causes/goals that I have in mind. I’d like to foster a dog, help out at shelters, those kinds of things. I absolutely cannot stand to see any animal be treated cruelly, it doesn't matter to me what it is! I think it’s disgusting that humans can treat some things so poorly just because they don’t see them as equals.
Gunner - my baby. He's a shelter dog.
It's a great cause if you are into animal rights/treatment.

2) Sushi:
Let's be real I love all food, but sushi is my absolute favorite! 

3) Laughing until my tummy hurts:
There is nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.

4) Photography:
I love looking at photographers work as well as taking my own pictures. It’s a great way for me to capture memories and the awesome places I’ve been. Two of my favorite photographers are Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz. I'd love to follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams and have the chance to explore places that look like whole new worlds. Although, even in Ohio I've found some beautiful places. 

By Ansel Adams. Could you imagine getting to see this place.
By Annie Leibovitz. We all know this picture. She usually shoots famous people, but I love her work of just ordinary people too.
5)  Music:
I'm not sure how I would handle life if music wasn't it in. I've played instruments, I grew up with a dad who was a music fanatic, and I just generally like to listen to it.  I try to listen to everything I can as I like to experience new things and what easier way to experience something now than listening to music! I particularly enjoy anyone with just plain ole raw talent. None of that audio tune business. However, I do have to have something I can shake my groove thang to!

6) Candles/Oils/Any Home Fragrance:
If you know where I work this is a curse for me. I tend to lean toward more of the rich smells - Sandalwood Vanilla, Pumpkin, Spice, etc.

Gotta love that Mr. Harry Slatkin & his candles :)
The Scent Bug. If you don't have one I suggest you go get one! Now! It's great for the office or a small space.
Can't forget about Wall Flowers. Now they have cute plug-ins available that can be used anywhere.
7) Fall:
I really love everything about the fall. The clothes, the sports, the weather (until it gets really cold), the smells. I just love it! 
I love the color tones of fall.
Football starts in the fall!
Dog not included, but he's cute.
8) Getting to watch perfect Sunset:
We've all seen them, and they take our breath away. 
9) Sour Patch Kids:
It's really more of an addiction. I just love the sour & sweet of those little candies. I can even stand the feeling of your taste buds burning off because of the sugar :)
10) Dancing: 
I danced competitively for a long time back in the day and it's something that has stuck with me. Now dancing is just something fun :)
Kev likes dancing as much as I do!   
Lol when the hair starts flying you better look out - I'm in the zone.
11) Quotes:
You all should know this by now. I love quotes. I love how a lot of the time they can express your feelings, sometimes better than you can in your own words. I think it's a great way to pass on advice, and sometimes quotes can mark a pretty significant time in history.

12) Vacation:
I mean really? Who doesn't? 
Going snorkeling in Punta Cana.
13) Beer:
I enjoy a good beer. I've never been one of those mixed drinks kind of people. I mean I get a mixed drink every once and awhile, but for the most part - it's beer. As I've gotten a little older I've been quite daring with the beers I've tried. I'll try pretty much any beer and I like to try something new when I can especially if it's something pretty off the wall. I will say that I do have my favorites though.

Just like Holly, I didn't include the things that should be pretty obvious as some of my favorite things: family, Kevin, friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo

I had a lot of fun doing the Mardi Gras post so I thought, “why not I'll just keep going with this history on holidays thing”. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! First, can anyone else believe it's May already! Where has time gone? Second, who's ready for some margaritas!!! I know I am! Here's a little history on the holiday. 

Cinco de Mayo literally means the 5th of May. The holiday is celebrated all over the U.S. and only regionally in Mexico. It's actually is a holiday that is virtually ignored in most Mexico. Doesn't make my sense really does it? American's celebrate the holiday as a way to show Mexican heritage and pride. It's also a way for us to observe the cause of freedom & democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In Mexico the holiday is only celebrated regionally in the state of Puebla. In Puebla Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with the Mexico's Independence Day, which is their most important national holiday, on September 16th. 

Cinco de Mayo all started because of the French occupation of Mexico. France had some control over Mexico after the Mexican-American War of 1846 - 48, the Mexican Civil War of 1858, and the 1860 Reform Wars. Due to these wars Mexico was almost bankrupt and their national treasury was in ruins. Since the nation was having severe money issues the president at the time, President Benito Juarez, suspended all foreign debt payments for 2 years in July of 1861. Benito promised payments would resume after the 2 year period. However, the French, British, and Spaniards were not digging this “no money for two years deal” and shipped their naval forces over to Veracruz and demanded their payments. Britain & Spain were able to negotiate for their money and peacefully left. France did not have quite a nice plan in mind. Under the rule of Napoleon III, France decided to seize this opportunity and create a Latin empire in Mexico. This empire was named the Second Mexican Expire (clever). French invasion of Mexico began late 1861 where a very well–armed and large French fleet caused President Juarez and his government to retreat. As Napoleon moved from Veracruz towards the Mexico City he came across some pretty P.O.ed Mexican armies & militias. Near Puebla, in the Mexican forts of Loreto & Guadalupe the French army of about 8,000 men attacked the Mexican army of about 4,000 men. Mexico doesn’t seem to have a chance do they? But wait! Somehow the Mexican army was able to not only able defeat, but crush the French army . Mind you the French army was the best at the time and had not been defeated in almost 50 years. This defect took place on May 5, 1862. The Mexican victory represented a significant morale boost for the army and the Mexican people as a whole. The magazine Time put it this way: "The Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath." The Mexican army may have won the battle, but they did not win the war. A year later and with 30,000 more troops the French defeated the Mexican army and captured Mexico City. With the capture of the city the French then established Emperor Maximilian I as the ruler of Mexico. Luckily, the French victory was short-lived due to the American Civil War. French rule only lasted three years, from 1864 - 1867. The American army was able to give Mexico the support it needed to push France out after Mexicans had executed Maximilian. However, the Battle of Puebla was and is still seen as a huge turning point for Mexico. There are two major reasons why the battle was so important. First, the morale boost and being able to beat an army that had not been beaten for 50 years gave Mexico the confidence it needed to push back even after France established it’s empire. Second, since the Battle of Puebla and the French, no country in the America's has been invaded by a European military force. 

The Battle of Puebla.
So I'm sure you are still wondering why America celebrates Cinco de Mayo more than most of Mexico does? Well, here is why.  Many historians believed the French had different intentions than just invading Mexico to start an empire. It's been argued that Napoleon’s ultimate goal was to break up the American Union by helping the South, which was in the midst of the Civil War. Napoleon had been searching for a new spread to establish his new empire for a quite some time now. When he heard that Britain and Spain had gone to Mexico to claim their money and did not stay and his ears perked. Next, he heard the news of the America fighting with itself in, The Civil War. Napoleon knew it was time to bring it. So Napoleon being the sneaky, yet brilliant general he was decided this was the perfect opportunity, to not only land a Mexican empire, but maybe even an American one to. It's been said that Napoleon's strategy was to feed off the fact that America was focused on it own conflict, start in Mexico to seem not so suspicious but then use the Mexican army he defeated and the French army to support and resupply the Southern Confederate troops against the North. This is the biggest reason as to why the Battle of Puebla on May 5th is so significant to America. The Mexican win denied Napoleon the chance to resupply those Confederate troops. If the battle had not been won by Mexico the French would have come to the aid of the South, and America's history would look quite different than what it does now. Thank you Mexico!!!! 

Kids in a Cinco de Mayo parade.
Performers for Cinco de Mayo
Dancing is a huge Cinco de Mayo tradition.

Now here are some fun facts about Cinco de Mayo: 

Have margaritas always been the unofficial drink of Cinco de Mayo? Hardly! While Tequila holds a long and storied place in Mexican and Mexican-American celebratory traditions, the margarita didn’t even exist in 1862! While tequila, ice, lime, and sugar all existed in 1862, they weren’t brought together in the form of a margarita until about 1930. Maybe that’s another day that deserves celebration. Just sayin’.
Yummy! I think it should become official.

Are there any traditional Cinco de Mayo songs? While there are no songs specifically for Cinco de Mayo, there are plenty of songs with Cinco de Mayo in the lyrics, including “Isis” by Bob Dylan and “Mexico” by Cake. In fact, the following bands/artists all have songs titled “Cinco de Mayo”: War, Liz Phair, Senses Fail, and Herb Alpert.

So they don’t party so much in Mexico, huh? Whoa, hardly. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is just one of more than 365 festivals that are celebrated by Mexicans and people of Mexican descent. No wonder Mexico is such a popular spring break destination! Check out some of their other major holidays here: Mexico's Public Holidays

The largest Cinco de Mayo event in the world isn’t in Mexico. The Festival de Fiesta Broadway, held in Los Angeles, typically draws more than 500,000 revelers. Events in Denver and St. Paul, Minnesota also draw hundreds of thousands.
Ariel view of L.A. at the The Festival de Fiesta Broadway. 

Wishing everyone a happy & safe Cinco de Mayo. 


Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Proud to be an American

Osama bin Laden is dead. America has been waiting for 10 years to hear those words, and they have finally been spoken. I can remember everything about September 11th, 2001. I was sitting in my freshman year Mrs. Smith's American History class talking to two of my friends. All of the sudden our principal comes running around the corner from the stairs and asks Mrs. Smith to come out into the hall. We didn't hear the conversation but it was clear once she came back in he had told her what had happened to the the first New York Trade Center building. She turned on the news and about 10 seconds later the second plane hit. I remember thinking What is the world is going on! How can this really be happening? Is this even real? It was real alright. So real it shook the entire country to it's core. No words can ever truly express how sorry we are for those who lost loved ones that day and the same goes from those who helped saved lives and risked their own that day and everyday in the military to keep us safe. Thank you to all of the troops overseas and here at home! Yesterday marked a day that will forever go down in history. Yesterday was the start of a new chapter for America as a whole. Yesterday I was reminded why I'm proud to be an American. 

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