Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloweekend

Happy Halloween, everyone! I’m about to let you in on a little secret. One that will make me quite vulnerable and susceptible to many a prank joke. But hey, in the spirit of Halloween {no pun intended} I shall let you in on one of my biggest fears. However, not yet!

First we need to talk about COSTUMES! In case you didn’t guess it last week, I dressed up as…

Pocahontas

POCAHONTAS!

I never find the costume, the costume finds me and that was certainly the case this year! The entire costume {minus the boots and necklaces} cost me under $25!

The costumes we wore this weekend sure made for awesome conversation and quotes all night.

We had to find creative ways to try and cover up my friend’s reflective tape, haha!

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From me being tempted to go barefoot the classic Pocahontas way {don’t worry I didn’t} to everyone yelling “CABS ARE HEEEEERE” in their Jersey Rhode Island accent all night – it was hilarious!

Once we got to the party, a guy even said to me, “Oh, Pocahontas! I like your costume… because I’m a Redskins fan.” My response? “Oh. Me too!”

These ladies were tweeting all the funny things going on throughout the night so I had to catch them in action. They totally need to become bloggers! ;)

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Everyone loves Pauly D!

And just in case you’re wondering, I only sang a small part of “Just Around the Riverbend” :) The Pocahontas soundtrack is amazing.

It was a great night {minus the political debate that I somehow got sucked into thanks to Pauly} Never talking politics again. Aside from that though, I wish every weekend could be Halloweekend! Dressing up as Pocahontas was a blast. I think it’s my favorite costume to date! {Probably because she’s a fellow Virginia girl, ha} But, just for fun, here’s what I may have looked like in past years:

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So, now I get to tell you about that big fear of mine. Yes, I’m a huge scaredy-cat and many things like take-off in a plane and lightning scare me. However, there are only a few things that haunt my dreams and hinder my actions at certain points. Tornadoes, spiders, and… Michael Myers.

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I’ve seen so many scary movies it’s not even funny. Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th… those movies are “eh.” I spend more time laughing at the special effects. But Halloween? I can’t handle those movies, all because of Michael. His height, that white face, the hair, the creepy way he just randomly appears and tilts his head to the side. No can do.

Here’s what I mean:


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Is he really there?
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He’s behind you! Classic shoulder shot of Michael rising up behind Laurie.
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Seriously, you guys. This is what happens in my dreams. He appears, I fight to kill him, and then he secretly rises up like the above picture, ready to slay me. So, what do I do? Something like this:

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And I end up letting him kill me.

Anyway, today is Halloween. That means Michael comes out tonight. Fingers crossed that I make it out alive and I’m back tomorrow to blog. Hopefully I do because I have the rest of my Halloweekend to share with you!! Air and Scare was a blast and I’ll show you the Halloween goodies I made, so be sure to check back tomorrow for Part Two :)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

P.S. I’m listening to Christmas music right now.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Fancy Halloween

It’s Halloweekend, all! Again, I’m blaming all my acting/theatre/drama days for my love of Halloween and dressing up. Okay, so I played dress-up pretty much every day of my life until I was thirteen ten years old. And when I wasn’t playing dress-up, I was in a dance competition or play in some elaborate costume. True story. So, you must understand that walking around in non-costume clothing is just too boring for this lass. I promise I’m normal.

ANYWAY.

{av} over at {long distance loving} has given us the chance to design the costume we’d wear if we could wear ANYTHING at all. So, of course I assumed I’d have a never-ending budget and be going to some fancy-schmancy NYC costume event. I’ve always wanted to go to a masquerade ball. There’s something about the mystery and intrigue of those masks and the glamour of the dresses. {Clearly this didn’t work out for Jeff in The Bachelorette, eh?}

But, it would work for me. Or so I’d like to imagine :)

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I wish I could be a masquerading princess everyday of my life, wearing glorious whites and golds like above. However, I’m sure I’d get a few odd glares.
 
So, because my budget is NOT limitless, I stepped my real-life costume down a notch or two or ten.
I’ll give you a hint…
This guy may or may not be my “boyfriend”
 
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I can’t believe how little I had to spend on my homemade costume! The Bargain Blonde would be proud ;)
 
I’ll be back in DC on Saturday to go with my baby niece to the Air and Scare event at the Air and Space Museum. Gosh, I hope none of those ghouls sneak up on me. I know they can smell my fear. They always do. I have stories. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya?
 
What are YOUR Halloweekend plans?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Look and Bloggy Business

Ta-da!

What do you think of the new header? I figured since this life of mine has been going through some changes, why not spruce up the ole header too? I’m sure it’s kind of hard to tell what my favorite colors are! Ha. So, just keep that in mind for my birthday coming up in ohhhh… two months ;)

Also, you know my little blog button over on the right-hand sidebar? I just wanted to re-mention that the code used to be wrong for it and has since been corrected, however, it looks like some of you sweet ladies still have the broken code :( If you do have my button, when you get a chance, could you update it with the code below? It’d make my day :) You know… just a little necessary blogger maintenance!

Life is a Sunset

Speaking of bloggy business, I just want to take a moment to say how grateful I am for this community. I’ll save the reason I started blogging for another post, but let me just say this:
I’ve chosen to really take my time with this blog.
When I started it, I was married and living in Utah.
Life has since changed. The roads are still rocky and the pathways unclear.

 

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I have felt the same about my blog.
I wanted to gain a firm grip on my “voice,” my blogging goals, and what I wanted this blog to be and become.
That has taken some time for me and I had decided that until I knew where this blog was headed and had a solid foundation {like, really solid}, I wasn’t going to spend a dime on a blog makeover. This has also been the reason why I haven’t sponsored other blogs yet.
I knew that in an intro post, I wouldn’t be able to say, “Hi, my name is Chelsea and I blog about A, B, and C.” And, I know that’s okay. Because my life has been ever-changing lately.
Every day is different which means every week here on Life is a Sunset is different.

But, while I figured all this out, I knew one thing for sure:
I didn’t want my blog to turn into day after day of giveaways or guest posts. Even if that meant I’d get 100 followers in one day.
I don’t want that.

I want this blog to be me.

The fact that by being me and by writing or sharing my latest desires and passions brings so many of YOU to this blog to comment or to write me an email…
Now, that’s a blessing.

Another blessing is finding so many of your blogs and building relationships with you through in-depth email conversations and chit-chat on Twitter.
I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate those of you who’ve been there for me during this time of building a new life for myself. You know who you are :) Who KNEW I’d find so many amazing women who could relate?!

Aside from this blog and this blogging community, this whole life is a blessing. I’m grateful for everyday. And every new sunset.

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If you’re just now finding me through the Fall Followers Fest, welcome! Hopefully this little blogging recap has given you an idea of the things I love most about this bloggy world and where I want this blog of mine to go :) Feel free to browse around and read about the ups and downs of my life! It sure has been a rollercoaster but along the way I’ve found the sweetest animals to foster, driven cross country, had reunions with friends, and learned some huge lessons about this life. I’d love for you to join me along this journey!

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Last Pins/Loves of October

Gosh, I love Pinterest. I’m so glad I’m back on board with it. It truly amazes me to see some of the things, ideas, and facts you can learn and discover on there. Why didn’t I think of that?!

I’m linking up with The Vintage Apple to show you some of my random favorites this week!

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Crown molding painted and hung up on the wall to hang your heels on. Genius!

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I mean, do I even need to say anything? I love this shower!

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1st ballet slippers. I love this idea! {Mom, we need to dig these little puppies out}

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I saw this home theatre on HGTV years ago and found it again. I mean, who doesn’t want this in their dream house? I’d be worried about the candles on the steps though!

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This has been a staple meal for me. It’s fresh, filling, and delicious! They threw some granola in too which I can’t wait to try :)

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This is absolutely amazing and true.

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I need this for next season!

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I’m totally sappy and sentimental this week with Pinterest, huh? But, seriously… how adorable is this bride with her little flower girl in the tutu? The cutest part is that she is on her tippy-toes!

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I know, I’m literally the only girl in the entire world who is not obsessed with Rachel Zoe, but I do admit, this outfit rocks. Question: Are boots like that comfortable??

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Today, I’m also linking up with Jamie for What I’m Loving Wednesday!

I’m loving closets that are not my own but that maybe {just maybe} I can have someday?

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I’m loving challenging myself with weights at the gym

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I used to only care about cardio but now I focus on both. I’m fascinated with seeing the definition in my muscles as I lift!

I’m loving my faithful bloggy commenters/emailers who show me love on every post even when I’m 700+ items behind on my Google Reader :( I’m like, pretty sad about how little I’ve been able to blog lately, but, life just gets in the way sometimes…

I’m loving that {av} from {long distance loving} has put together some amazing blogger meet-ups and that I’ll be attending the #bloggerblitz right here in DC! That pretty lady has some serious talent :) DC bloggers, hop on over to her blog to find out the details!

That about sums it up for this Wednesday. Feel free to find me on Pinterest :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It Was Great C-N-U

What a weekend! I realize that the only people who are going to get the punch-line in this title are the people I went to college with! C-N-U… get it? Seein’ you! Anyway, it was definitely nice to see everyone after SO long and to see how much our campus has grown. I also had the chance to meet some new sorority sisters that had joined since I graduated. So, that was amazing :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Saturday!

This is how you take a “family pic” in a sorority! Can’t believe how much my family has grown since I’ve been gone!!

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The new Ratcliffe building! What the heck?!

It was definitely bittersweet to be back. College was a chapter in my life and I’ve met some of the greatest people there at that college of 5,000 students in Newport News :)

Oh, and it also made my entire weekend to find out that some of my sorority sisters love to stalk my blog :) It’s the little things! {Love you girls}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun Ideas to Try

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend and a great Monday since it’s almost over. This is the longest I’ve gone without blogging since I started. It feels weird! However, I still couldn’t skip a weekday without posting something. Tomorrow I’ll have some pictures from my college visit for Homecoming!

Today I just wanted to share a couple neat things I’ve recently read:

Lemon Water Every Morning

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I think we all know how beneficial drinking water is for our bodies, but, did you know all the benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning? I had heard that it helps in weight loss but had no idea until I read this article that it can help with several other things as well.

To briefly summarize for ya:

It balances pH. Well, in case you’re wondering having a safe pH level, helps our body heal itself. There are stories of people who have fought cancer by focusing on their body’s pH level. Crazy!

It helps keep your skin clear!

Drinking a glass of lemon water in the morning helps kick-start your digestive system for the day!

It helps with weight loss, like I mentioned. How? Well, there are a couple different reasons which you can read about in the article. One reason that was mentioned is that lemons have a fiber in them that help us stay fuller longer!

It helps control “the coffee habit” – apparently this lemon water even makes some people feel more awake than coffee. The same thing was mentioned about kicking the soda habit.

Not bad, huh? Who else is with me on trying lemon water every morning? I was a huge fan of it a couple years ago and definitely think I should get back into it. Taking good care of our bodies is so important. I’ve also been wanting to try seltzer water with fruit instead of soda! Any recommendations?

Here’s another fun thing:

DIY Scented Plug-in

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This website, Holy Crickey has a ton of DIY stuff on it, including this DIY Wallflower. If you’re familiar with Bath & Body Works, you probably know about the wallflowers – yummy plug-in fragrances. You’re also probably aware that they’re not “cheap” and can definitely add up in price after a while.

Well, thanks to this website, you can save your wallflower as soon as it’s empty, buy an oil in your favorite scent {peppermint, jasmine, rose, etc.} pour the oil into the bulb to fill about 1/3 of it and then fill the rest of the bulb with water. It sounds like an amazing, more cost-effective option if you’re on a tight budget! I’m sure you could experiment and try mixing scents together too!

Has anyone tried this before? I’m curious to know if it works as well!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back to College

I’m SO excited! Tomorrow I’ll be headed down to my Alma Mater for Homecoming Weekend :) It has been three years since I’ve been on campus so this trip is long-overdue. Here’s a look at some of the past years at Homecoming:

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Hmm, yeah there are three years missing but the first two years I was on the sidelines for dance team anyway and my senior year, I couldn’t find any decent pictures. Ah, well! Anyway, I’ll try my best this year to NOT wear my hair half up. Anyone see a trend with that?

My senior year, a bunch of us went on a cruise for Spring Break. Besides us, EVERY other college student was from Florida. So, when we told people we were from Virginia, we constantly were asked, “Oh, which college do you go to? Virginia or VA Tech?”

A) We don’t call the University of Virginia, “Virginia.” We call it UVA.
B) There are other colleges in Virginia besides those two. Crazy.

I went to CNU {Christopher Newport University!} A pretty newish university of about 5,000 students located in Newport News which is about the halfway point between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach aka the best place you could choose to go to college! It also just so happens to be the hometown of this guy:


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Or maybe you recognize him better here…

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But, hey we won’t get into that. He’s a “local legend.” There’s a reason why they call it Bad Newz, VA, ha.

However, you’d never know it because my school is absolutely gorgeous!


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I’ll even share a video of how far my school has come in just 50 years :)

I shall return with more pictures of the newly transformed campus and a ton of shenanigans I’m sure :)

It’s crazy but, being away from college and my college friends really made me realize how much I loved that place. I spent four years of my life there and I’m proud to say it has played a significant role in the woman that I am today. If you can’t already tell, I’m ridiculously excited to get back there this weekend! I’ll be surrounded by friends and beautiful Fall weather near the coast!

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Speaking of Fall, I’m linking up with Lauren to fill in some blanks!

1.  Nothing says fall like   crisp air and the smell of hot apple cider.

2.  My favorite autumnal tradition is     in the process of being made into a tradition. I used to have traditions when I was younger, like, saving a lot of my Halloween candy and eating it while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade :)

3.  My favorite fall treat is    anything pumpkin really :) Maybe with a little chocolate too ;)

4. Fall makes me think of    happiness and memories   because    of all the wonderful things I’ve listed here. There’s so much to look forward to! Holidays, yummy food, awesome warm clothes, and curling up with a glass of warm or cold apple cider!

5.  Autumn free form word association, go!    Brisk air, crunchy leaves, warm/rich smells, a forest of colors, harvest, pumpkin.

6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is    dark jeans, brown boots, layers of a long-sleeved shirt, a long sweater and a jacket, with a scarf!

7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)    I’ll probably have to go with Thanksgiving because it means family, delicious food, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not to mention, it’s a holiday when I truly can look back on all the things I’m grateful for!

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I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend! I can’t wait to report back about Homecoming – too bad my CNU bloggers won’t be there!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trip to the Zoo/Animal Cruelty

Last Weekend I made my first trip back to the National Zoo in about three years! It was my baby niece’s first trip so it was quite exciting!

Let me mention that, while I love seeing the animals, my heart hurts to see their living conditions. They don’t have the freedom of living a natural life in their habitats and, instead, have millions of strangers cycling through to stare through the glass or cage, pointing and taking pictures. It’s sad.

However, it was still a treat to see my one-year-old niece enjoying all the sights and sounds of the zoo :)

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What a pretty {and lonely} tiger! Around the bend were the lions! There were eight cubs and the female adult lion. They were mostly just hanging out, playing around, sharpening their claws on the tree. Ya know, normal cat things. Then, two of the cubs started to get into some mischief and mama cat had to go straighten things out. It was so cool to watch! I have it on video and you can even hear a loud ROAR! It was definitely one of the greatest moments at the zoo! Here’s the play by play through pictures :)

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And then, the almighty King of the Jungle…

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His mane was astonishingly beautiful with lots of darker hair underneath. He seemed peaceful and calm and when the wind blew, he stuck his nose up as if to feel and smell the breeze. Still so sad to see this as his kingdom…

Next, we went to the Ape House which mostly just made me sad. It was interesting to see these creatures that so strangely resembled us, yet, they sat there, behind the glass. The orangutan humored the kids as he made circles in his “house” swinging from branch to branch, over and over again. I felt bad for the guy.

Later on, I found a beautiful magnolia tree with the sun peeking through and the most perfect elephant sculpture.

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The Giant Panda slept upside down on some cold concrete with stacks of bamboo piled up, waiting for him to munch on.

The red panda {below} fascinated me. It looks like a mixture of so many different types of animals!

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We continued along the zoo’s “Asian Trail” and paid a visit to the elephants. The elephant exhibit is currently undergoing a huge revamp so it was a bit tricky to get to this larger-than-life creature. However, once it moseyed its way on over, Aubrey LOVED it! She got so excited and couldn’t stop pointing to it :)

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She also loved the pretty pink {mostly} flamingo family! Seriously, how DO they stand on one little skinny leg WHILE they sleep? {Any ASA Flamingo Fam sisters know the secret?!}

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Aubrey sure loved pointing at the flamingoes! She probably thought she was one of them since she was wearing pink and all :)

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Vultures are so foul. This guy actually stood there with his wings spread open the entire time. Sick.

Finally, we made it over to the one exhibit I had been looking forward to. The CHEETAHS! I love cheetahs. So, I was clearly disappointed when I saw how far away they were. But, can ya blame them? You might be able to see a little cheetah head lounging in the grass over by the far left side of the fence in this first one. In the second picture, two of the cheetahs were pacing back and forth next to the zebra’s fence. I think it’s because they wanted to pretend like they were back in Africa and could actually integrate with other species. Sad.

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Yeah, disappointment. Oh well. At least I’ve seen them up-close at least once.

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These golden lion tamarins were pretty much all the rage in the “Small Mammal House.”

Oh, and we can’t forget the meerkats!

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Well, that was a brief rundown of Aubrey’s first trip to the vet! She had a great time and was such a trooper!

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Now, if you have been reading my blog for a while now, you know animals hold a very special place in my heart. I believe in animal rights, the ethical treatment of animals, and I was even a vegan. Yes, vegan. For ethical reasons. I’m posting this about the zoo one day after 48 wild/exotic animals were shot dead. Of the 48 were 18 RARE Bengal tigers. There are only 1,400 of those animals left on this entire planet and because of what happened in Ohio, that number has been decreased by nearly TWENTY in just minutes.

While I was at the zoo, I was deeply saddened by the signs attached to so many cages saying “Endangered” or “Threatened” and the reasons being “Hunted” or “Elimination of habitat".” WE as HUMANS are the reason these beautiful creatures that have graced this Earth for thousands of years are DYING and going EXTINCT.

I do not have the reason for why the owner of this “Animal Farm” decided to throw the animals’ cages open. But I question this: WHY is it OKAY for these people to house exotic animals let alone that many? Whether the person has a criminal record {like he did} or not, I am so AGAINST these laws and permits allowing people to have and BUY wild animals.

I’m not sure what to believe of this story. I heard the Sheriff say the reason tranquilizers were not used was because operating a tranquilizer requires “excessive training” and the police just don’t carry tranquilizers in their vehicles. Then, I read somewhere that a veterinarian hit a tiger with a tranquilizer dart but the animal ‘charged at her and then turned to flee before the drug took effect so the deputies shot it dead.’ So, what’s the real story?

Who’s really to blame?

WHY are we allowing this to happen and WILL there be an end before more animals wind up extinct?