Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Let's pretend this isn't my first post in 3 months...

Welp, so much for 31 days of dedicated blogging helping me get back into a regular routine, huh? I just don’t even know where the last few months went, to be quite honest with you.  

In fact, all of 2014 happened before I had really accepted that 2013 was over. And I suspect that’s kind of how life is going to be for the next 80 years -- after all, the older I get, the smaller a fraction each year is in the grand scheme of my life, right? (Let’s not even talk about the fact that I only have 80 days left of my twenties.)

Here’s what seems to happen in my brain every time I remember that I have a blog:

  1. Oh yeah, I wonder how long it’s been since my last post.  

    {logs in and sees how long it’s been}

  2. Oops, that was a while ago. So much has happened that I could have written about since then!
  3. Alright, I’m gonna write something.  

    {opens up a new post draft}

  4. *Sigh.* How do I explain my absence without saying the same thing I always say (which is basically, “Oops, oh yeah, hi bloggy world!” and, “I promise I’ll be back on here more regularly!”)?
  5. I know what I’ll do! I will go on a fun new adventure and then ACTUALLY write about it within a few days so that it’s fresh in my mind and then I can write a really good post. 

    {goes and does fun thing...}

  6. (Weeks or even months later) Repeat Step 1.

All this to say, I’m not promising anything anymore.

I loved doing my 31 Days of Santa Barbara series. I loved it, I was so dedicated to it, and I feel really proud of pretty much every post I wrote (which cannot always be said about my past attempts to blog every day for a month).

But it didn’t exactly reignite a spark for writing so much as it made me even more excited to go and exist in the “real world” -- especially this little part of the real world that I get to live in. And I'm not sorry for that, because while I do miss having such great blog-world connections, I am so grateful for face to face relationships.

Still, I know how much it helps me to write about things that happen, so that I can look back years later and have a better picture in my mind of that particular moment in time. 

So...somehow I’ve got to find a better way to stick this thing out.

Anyway. Here is a list of a whole bunch of things I would have blogged about in the last few months, if I was a good blogger:

  • Going to my first real competition with "Got Country!" and all the fun we had that weekend (plus, Joe surprising me by showing up in San Dimas when I thought he had to stay home)!

  • Petting (and falling crazily, unexpectedly in love with) miniature donkeys during a fun fall day with my lady friends. (Also, almost getting lost in my first ever corn maze.)

  • Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween.

  • Finally taking John & Kelly (my brother- and sister-in-law) up to Los Olivos for wine tasting!

  • Going to my second competition with "Got Country!" -- IN VEGAS -- and all manner of shenanigans that occurred. (But definitely would not have mentioned the horrific experience of sewing yards and yards of sequins onto our performance skirts, because that is a memory best forgotten.)

  • Embarrassingly (but not so much that I wouldn’t post about it on the internet) confessing that I burst into anxiety-ridden, asthmatic tears right after the Vegas performance, and took a ridiculous teary-eyed selfie while I was trying to calm down in the bathroom. (I don't even know what was going through my brain, honestly.)

  • Getting brand new, super cute, and SUPER discounted cowboy boots! (These last 3 bullets would have all been in one giant Vegas recap post, btw.)

  • Having a lovely time, as always, at our annual weekend in San Francisco for the Dickens Fair and our usual stops at Boudin, Buena Vista Cafe, Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, etc. (Also shamelessly posting this picture of me looking probably the cutest I have ever looked while being bundled up in cold weather clothing.)

  • Checking one item off my 30 Before 30 list - ice skating outdoors! (And how I selfishly did not even ask my husband if he wanted to go or liked ice skating at all, which he didn’t...but he still amazingly took me ice skating and was a trooper.)

  • Hosting another fun Christmas ladies’ night, complete with a Secret Santa gift exchange, silly games, amazing group photo outtakes, and a ridiculously cheesy Jonathan Taylor Thomas Christmas flick.

  • Enjoying a fun Christmas celebration with my side of the family, complete with my littlest nephew (Ezra) being his usual adorable self and learning people’s names. (I’m “Tub” and Joe is of course “Joe” because he has the easiest name ever.)

  • Surprising Joe’s parents by showing up a day early to their house for Christmas. And also, Joe’s evil but hilarious gift-giving trick: he sent me on a treasure hunt wherein I opened 7 heinously ugly pieces of jewelry before getting to the 8th and ACTUAL gift, which was a gorgeous pearl and diamond necklace. (Also I managed to take almost zero photos at Joe's parents', so you get this selfie of me in the awesome Christmas fascinator Kelly made me last year.)

  • Getting dressed up in our 1920s costumes for a super fun New Year’s Eve murder mystery party, during which Joe’s character was murdered and mine was basically a horrible person, and how it was kinda fun acting that part, but don’t tell anyone I said that. The most fun was exclaiming to Michelle, “I hate you so much!” and then immediately whispering, “No but I love you, I didn’t mean it!”

  • And lastly, setting out to achieve a new fitness related goal every month of 2015. January’s is to run 60 miles, and already I’ve gone on several sunset runs during which I have been completely astonished at how beautiful a place I get to live in.

There. I blogged!

Monday, November 3, 2014

31 Days: Giveaway Winners!

Hey everyone!  Can you believe it's NOVEMBER?!

Me neither.

Quick post today just to announce the winners of the two giveaways I posted during the 31 Days of Santa Barbara series.

The first giveaway was for a cool trucker hat from Sweat Outdoors, and the randomly selected winner is...


The second giveaway was for TWO people to each win a $25 gift card to Sambo's, and the randomly selected winners are...

Mary (aka Mom)

and Megan!

I'll be contacting you all to get these prizes out to you ASAP!

Thanks to everyone for entering, for tagging along all October to read about my favorite things about Santa Barbara, and for generally being awesome people.  Now stick around, because hopefully it won't be another gazillion years before I get inspired to post again!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Photo Finish!

{I'm posting every day this month for the 31 Days writing challenge!
Click here to see an introduction and a list of all the posts I've written so far.}

It’s the final day of October and the last day in this series!  I must say I am pretty amazed that I made it through this thing without missing a single day.  And I’m really happy with how it turned out; I don’t think any of my posts were just “fluff” like a lot of posts I’ve done during past write-every-day challenges.

Anyway, for this very last post, I thought I'd just dump a bunch of photos of some of my favorite places and memories in Santa Barbara over the last couple of years.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and maybe you’ve even found some new things to explore in the area!  

There’s still a few hours left to enter my two giveaways, which are here and here – don’t miss out on a chance to win a cool trucker hat or a $25 gift card to Sambo’s!

Let the photo dump commence.  Happy Day 31, everyone!

(click any photo to enlarge!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Playing Tourist

{I'm posting every day this month for the 31 Days writing challenge!
Click here to see an introduction and a list of all the posts I've written so far.}

I don’t know if you know this, but Santa Barbara is kind of a major tourist destination.  (Ha ha.  Like anyone is surprised by that.)

And as a “local” (I can say that now that I’ve been here over half a decade, right?), it’s easy to forget about some of the typical “touristy” activities that Santa Barbara has to offer.  But every once in awhile, Joe and I will pick one of those things and do it, imagining we don’t actually have the insane privilege of being able to do it any old time we please.  

Instead, we’ll be like, “Wow!  I didn’t know there was such a thing as a beautiful courthouse!” or, “What is this crazy contraption that can travel on the city streets AND in the ocean?”  

Here are a few of my favorite things to do when I feel like playing tourist:

And here’s a couple touristy things I have yet to actually experience (hint hint, Joe – date ideas!):

Tune in tomorrow for the very last day of this series!

Don’t forget, I have a couple of giveaways and deals that end TOMORROW, so be sure to click over to the starred posts in the lists here and enter or get the scoop on some sweet deals!