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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Travels: Tucson for the Weekend

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, and I figured it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

I have to admit, we are in desperate need of vacation and unfortunately will not have one until we figure out the house ordeal. We have decided to reward ourselves with a tropical vacation as soon as we close on a house. SOOO within the next 4 to 6 months… Depressing!!!! Especially when you it has almost been a year since our cruise.

There’s a lot more coming your way in regard to travel in the next few weeks, including a few posts about planning, spending and of course saving for the perfect vacations. But for now, we’ll talk about our little 4 night, 5 day trip to Tucson to check out our new town and find a house.

Our itinerary looks something like this:

09/29/11 around 2:00 PM – Arrive at Tucson International Airport

09/30/11 – Touring neighborhoods

  • Since neither Husband nor I have ever been to Arizona or Tucson, we’ll be checking out some of the neighborhoods that our Realtor recommends
  • Then we’ll maybe see a few new build homes, and talk about time frames and costs
  • We’ll explore a few places such as the malls, entertainment and so on based on recommendations from friends who have lived in Tucson

10/01/11 – House hunting begins

  • We’ll spend the day looking at a few re-sale homes that we have picked ahead of time
  • Taking lots of pictures and hopefully starting to narrow down neighborhoods

10/02/11 – More of that house hunting crap joy

  • We’ll see a few more houses…
  • I’ll take more pictures…
  • We’ll fight… become stressed and start emotional eating. This may also lead to us instinctively booking an overly expensive vacation and blowing our down payment on new shoes, twin turbos and a new transmission for the 3000GT…

We will be fling back to Colorado on the 3rd… hopefully with a better idea of what we want, where we want and what we are willing to spend on a certain type of house.

One thing we are going to try and do is visit the Gates Pass, since it’s located right outside of downtown Tucson.

Gates Pass

Photos of Gates Pass, Tucson Photos of Gates Pass, Tucson
Photos of Gates Pass, Tucson

The Gates Pass is located off of the Speedway and along the rout to West Saguaro National Park. It is said to be a very popular sightseeing area, especially when it comes to viewing sunsets. According to TripAdvisor there are many pullouts and two overlooks where you can stop to view the surrounding scenery.

Have you been to Tucson?! What would you recommend doing? What is your one-must see/do in a new town?

I know we’ll be testing out a few Mexican restaurants, since the Hubs is OBSESSED with tacos, and the closest Barnes and Nobel.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The wonder of a shoe

Shoes make me happy. Literally. If I am having a bad day, a new pair of shoes will make it better. If I am depressed or a little blue, a new pair of shoes will make me happy. If I get in a fight with Hubs, a new pair of shoes will do wonders…

I am obsessed and I admit it.

So… the next time I have a bad day one of these might be on its way to my house!


Nine West Around Town


Levity Nicolo Pump


White House Black Market

Something about the chunky heel is fantastic. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would wear them, because they were in. I love the fact that they are super comfy and can be worn all day long. These babies are beautiful and will be making into my closet by the end of the season.

Hope you all are having a great Monday!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Better late then never… right?!

This past Friday, I was going to link up with Natalia over at Ma Nouvelle Mode… except that I wrote up the blog, edited the pictures, but never actually got around to combining the two together and scheduling it to post.

I could spend a lot of time giving you all kinds of excuses as to why I’m late, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about how bad of a blogger I am and how I’m just SOOO tired all the time. SO, without further ado here are three of my styles.

My hair has gotten super long lately, and I have been keeping it pretty dark. My all time favorite color and the go to is the blue-black that my amazing stylist and friend mixes for me. The bangs are new, because I wanted something different. Speaking of something different, I had a few of my extensions died Katy Perry colors. Since I used my extensions when I was growing my hair out and now just use it for volume, I didn’t really need the one inch pieces so we died them hot pink, blue, aqua and purple. They stand out super well with the blue black and I love it. I also feel like I am 12 when my hair is so bright.

Day 2 was just as boring as day one, so I decided to throw in some braids. NOW, I suck at braiding my hair in all kids of cool French braids and twists sooo, I end up with boring braids as in the above pictures. I also DO NOT wash my hair daily… as a matter of fact, I wash my hair every 3 to 4 days. GROSSSSS I know. BUT it is much better for my hair. AND my color does not fade as fast. AND if you look at the first set of photos you can see how puffy and freezy my hair can get… and day two is usually much more tame.

OH… dry shampoo is my BEST FRIEND.

By Day 3, my hair needs to be pulled back, and really styled so that it does not look gross. Hence, the side messy bun. My bangs are also in need of a trim! Hence the side bangs. I usually add a few of my longer extension pieces to make my buns look fuller… however I am lazy and did not feel like putting in extensions … hence the miserable side bun.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I know mine was pretty productive, aside from a few work disasters that are going to make me cry tomorrow morning.

OH and in other news, I am now officially a graduate student and start class in 30 minutes. Can someone explain to me why I am going back to school?!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh Hi Dara

My current position has me dealing with lots of people from all over the country, on a daily basis. … and sometimes I have to be on the phone with them. I hate phones. Really! If I could text and email, I’d just do that all day. I don’t mind talking on Skype, I don’t mind talking to people I know on the phone… like my mom and hubs. However, I HATE talking to random people on the phone.

It drives me nuts to have to repeat everything a million times, when in an email its right there, all spelled out. What drives me nuts the most though is people getting my name wrong. I understand it’s a unique name, however when I spell it out to you, and repeat myself 3 times, and than tell you “it’s like Sara but with a Z… as in Zebra” you’d think you’d get it.

Just today, I’ve been called Dara, Tara, Lara, Mara, and several other variations or –ara with a random letter stuck in front of it.

However, one lady from Dallas TX, took the time of asking me exactly how I pronounced it, and wouldn’t stop until she got it right. She also made sure to apologize for calling me Tara first, and then told me my name was pretty.

YOU GO LADY! Totally, made the phone call worth it. Thank you, for taking the time to learn my name, and then complement me on it!!! 

I don’t really think this post had a point. I just wanted to give this lady a shout out, and say thanks.

Just another checkmark on the pro side for Texans.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Traditions

Two lovely ladies are running a Fall challenge, and since it’s my favorite season of all I’m going to play along.

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge
Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Bliss Bars
New boots and trench coats



Anniversary Trip


We also celebrate every single Halloween, cook up lots of things in the crock pot and start Christmas Shopping. Fall is the best time of the year, and there is nothing that can beat it.
What are your Fall traditions? Head over to Neely and Amber to join in.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A feel good weight

While I’ve been away from the blog world I’ve been stuffing my face with all kinds of things.

Husband has been on a kick of cinnamon rolls… you know the size of your head messy goo covered in even sweeter glaze?!

And guess what this chick has been doing?! Give up? Been stuffing her face with the giant balls of fat and calorie. I think I read somewhere that one of these babies has 900 calories… or something to that effect. How freaking gross am I?!

I’ve also been indulging in a glass too many of sweet red wine, soda and of course those sinful little huge margaritas the hub makes. It’s been nice, sitting at home in the hubs flannel pants, eating and working away. Since I work from home, I haven’t really needed to fit into pants or any other form of proper clothing for weeks. So it came as a surprise when I tried to put on my favorite pair of jeans, and ripped a belt loop trying to pull them up.

I did the wiggle, and tried to dance around to get into my jeans. I finally succeeded but it was a whole workout of its on. I literally huffed and puffed my way into the jeans, and than plopped my fat behind on the couch to take a breather.

How freaking ridicules is that?  

I have a nasty habit of getting to my feel good weight, which usually correlates pretty well with getting into my jeans comfortably weight, and than stuffing my face and not going to the gym. So, here is to trying to break the vicious cycle.

I’m going to a 5:30 AM spin class tomorrow morning at the gym. I feel that if I get my workout done early in the morning, I’ll have more energy and time to spend on everything else during the day. My biggest excuse for not going to the gym is that I haven’t finished enough work and still have so much to do. If I get the gym out of the way first thing in the AM then I don’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day.

I’ll also be back on My Fitness Pal tracking my routine, calories and so on. I’m going to add in three days of spin at the gym, and a mix of P90X. It has been, by far, one of the best workouts programs I have done, with serious results.

Hope this new routine works out for me. My fat hinny needs to fit back into my jeans… because jeans are freaking expensive and I am not about to throw away or replace my $150+ jeans. No sir.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I’ve done this before. Packed up my worldly belongings into a suitcase and moved miles away from home. I’ve left friends and relatives behind numerous times. Yet, it has never gotten easier to get up and move.

Change is a necessity in life, and I have a slight aversion to it. Change excites me, and I crave it, however when it is knocking on my door, I shut it close and hide in the corner. I am currently having a love/hate relationship with the impending move. Especially since it’s now been moved up, and will happen way sooner than anticipated.

I don’t want to leave my parents, brother and friends behind. I don’t want to move somewhere, where I will be completely alone with no one to talk to. I have begun to over-think and over-analyze everything, including what will I do if something were to happen to my family. My greatest fear is being helpless when they need me. I know that I can always hop on a flight and be home in a matter of 2 hours, or get in my car and drive back (13 hours). But I don’t want to leave. I just don’t.


Change is knocking on the door. Opportunity is ringing the bell. And I’m cowering in my corner, with the blanket over my head hoping that they’ll forget I’m here and will go away.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy birthday

… to the best husband in the world.

Dear Husband,

Today marks the 5th year that we will celebrate your birthday together. It’s been an adventure going through the years. We have changed and grown a great deal as a couple. Your first birthday was only a month after our first “official” date, and I can still remember you picking me up from work to go to the Underworld concert. I remember, curling up in the front seat of the Avalanche and falling asleep on the drive home. I remember you gently nudging me awake as you pulled up to my driveway. I never thought that I would love you as much as I do today. If on September 11th of 2007, someone told me that in just a little over two years we would be married and building our amazing little life together, I would have never believed them.

n507824364_351255_830523rd birthday at the Underworld concert. We look incredibly young, and that smile of yours melted my heart away. 


24th Birthday, the Avenue Q show at the Denver Preforming Arts Center, where we set next to the awkward old man and his son who couldn’t stop laughing at the “Internet is for Porn” song.


25th Birthday, celebrated in Vail with just the two of us, before coming down to Denver and heading out to a lounge and pool with some great friends.


26th Birthday… I don’t have an actual photo from this day, since somehow our point and shoot got lost. We celebrated the day in Chatfield Reservoir where I got open water certified by a great Dive Master from A-1 Scuba.

Today, we’ll celebrate your 27th birthday with some of our closest and dearest friends and family. I can’t promise that I will not overcook, or that I will not make a big deal of you. But I can promise that this year is going to be yet another great one.

I love you, more today then yesterday and more tomorrow then today.


9/11…A day to remember and to celebrate

My husband was born on September 11th. In 2001, he was turning 17, and was a Senior in high school. He can describe in detail, every single aspect of that day to the parking spot he parked his 3000GT in, to the shirt he was wearing, to the meal he had. He remembers in vivid details every minute of the fateful day.

I was in the 8th grade. I remember walking into my homeroom class late, and watching as the second plane hit the towers. I remember that it didn’t register at first, and I thought it was some other part of the world. I don’t remember what I was wearing or what I ate that day, but I remember coming home to my dad who never left for work. He was glued to the TV, trying to figure out exactly what was happening.

Like many Americans, I will never forget 9.11. I will never forget what it brought on, or what it means to us. Raven posted this today, and the song rings true to me just as it does to her and millions of other Americans. I’d like to add another song to the list.

We will never forget 9.11. But I hope that we can celebrate the lives of the heroes who stood up and fought back. Who gave their lives to save those they could. I hope we can remember and thank the crew and passengers of United flight 93. But above all I hope that we can remember that if we live in fear of our lives the terrorists will win. We fight back not just by going to war, but doing our part as FREE Americans, and showing that we are not afraid. We can raise from the rubble and fight back, and we will.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Your oven makes great cookies!!!


If you are or know someone who is a photographer, you’ve heard the comment and story of “Your pictures are great, you must have a fantastic camera!.”

And just as a side note, when I say photographer I mean someone who actually understands things such as exposure, white balance, ISO, aperture and uses techniques such as bracketing, the lighting and shutters to make sure that the photo coming out of the camera is a work of art. There are lots of people out there who’ve gone out and bought a $1000 camera and consider themselves “professional photographers” even though they are using the little green box on their settings and having the camera make all the decisions for them

Now, I’ve been working with several professional photographers for a few months now, and have seen some amazing work. I’ve also seen how much time goes into really getting a photo to be perfect. I’ve seen photographers take hundreds of pictures, and end up only coming out with a handful of “good ones,” even though all of them look perfect to me. I’ve seen photographers spend hours upon hours editing their photos with love and care someone would give their child, and then packaging off the best results and sending them to clients who have paid thousands of dollars for the serves.

Every photographer has good and bad pictures. There are always the “oops” moments when the white balance wasn’t changed, or the lighting was off, or the length of exposure wasn’t right. A professional photographer will dump these pictures and ensure that all of his/her photos that are on the internet, in people’s homes and in the public are the best of his work. No one wants a bride with ashy skin, or a wedding cake that looks grey because of the wrong settings. So photographers will work their butts off to make sure that their work is professional and worth the money their clients shelled out.

NOW, here is what annoys the bejesus out of me! PEOPLE POSTING PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK, BLOGS, and so on… CLAIMING THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS PROFESSIONAL when in fact my point and shoot would take better pictures. Just because someone has a fancy camera does not mean they are a professional photographer. Just because they are making money of of selling their photography does not make them a professional photographer.

Just to show you what I mean, here are some of my wedding photos taken by my family with a fancy (and very expensive) camera… and some of our engagement photos taken by a professional with not as fancy of a camera.


While the pictures save the memories of the day, I wish I had asked a professional to be there for our special day. I can go through and edit these, and bring out the quality and lighting, fix the contrast and so on, but the photos will never be as good as those taken with the specific settings to compensate for the lighting, and so on. (That may have to be another post).




Pardon the quality of the pictures, I had to download them from Facebook, since I’m using a new laptop and have no pictures on this one. Look at the use of light, composition, the use of focal length and depth and so on.

All the pictures are of us… but the artistic thought, the use of light and of course the professional grade editing makes these photos so much better. You can see all of our engagement photos here. The photos were done by a very close friend of mine, Lena Karabushin, who was just getting her feet wet in the photography world.

The price of a good photographer can be scary… but let me tell you, every penny is worth it.


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