Category Archives: Entertainment

Photography Critique


Early Spring

After months of debating, I finally saved enough money and purchased a brand new DSLR:  a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  It came with a bundle kit; including lenses, and filters, and this and that, and a bunch of other stuff I still have to learn how to use… But I’ll get there.  lol

The fact that my life is going to be changing so much within the next year and a half (read:  At my first real crossroad…)  I decided this is the perfect time to look at other opportunities; such as starting my own business and becoming a photographer.  I think it would be so fun to meet new people and I would feel so honored to share a part of people’s lives in helping them remember some of the most important milestones they’ll face.  {BTW-I’ve been thinking of doing this for almost a year now!}  Baby bumps, holding hands, little wrinkled fingers and toes!  Sigh.. so cute!

I’ve been doing a lot of research (Dan Heller Photography, Shannon Holden Photography, and I’m really excited about this one… WEDDINGS BY HEATHER – First of all she’s local, includes workshops, AND will provide one-on-one consultation to get your business up and running to be successful.  Win-Win.)

I decided that before I go quitting my stable and secure job though, I need to do a couple of things:  1)Research, Research, Research (I need to learn how to run a business first~taxes, marketing, contracts, etc) and 2) Actually get out there and take some pictures!

I’m still in the beginning phase.  But I thought I would put up a few pictures that I took from my first day of shooting (1 above and 2 below).  These are of my pup in my backyard.  What do you think?


Treasure Hunting for Adults..


Remember when you were little and you would spend sun-up to sun-down (or at least until the street lights came on); hiking through the woods, splashing through creeks, climbing up trees, walking on train tracks, building tree forts, and playing games, such as hide-and-seek, ghost in the graveyard, red light-green light, simon says?

Remember when your imagination would keep you occupied for hours and hours, while you were skipping through secret gardens, swinging from rope vines in tropical jungles, or racing through obstacle courses? Even the occasional hot/cold game would keep you entertained. “You’re getting hotter! Oh, now you’re getting colder. Ah, you’re on fire! You found it”!

Well now, you can bring your childhood back! Or you can give your own children a completely new set of mysteries for their imaginations to discover.

What am I talking about? READ ON my friends..

Geocaching! If you don’t know what it is, but you have a love for adventure, enjoy being outside, and have a passion for sightseeing….


It’s much easier if you use the phone application (costs 10 bucks), but that’s really the only expense you’ll have for hours and hours of fun. 

Ok here’s what it is:  Officially from, Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity. 

There are millions of caches all around THE WORLD! 

In fact, my roomie and I just found one a couple of days ago. Don’t mind my disheveled appearance please. =)


To begin our treasure hunt, we first had to find a secret park, located only 2 minutes away from the city (Pittsburgh)!  How cool is that?  Woods all around you, and the city is right there!   Most yinzers (Pittsburgh slang… gotta love it) don’t even know it exists. 

Once we found the park we had to go thuough a short dark tunnel–this is when the adventure begins!  My cellphone was our GPS and helped track the coordinates provided.

The cache was buried inside a hollow tree about half a mile from our starting point and on top of a large hill.  Our treasure was really a large plastic supplement jar, but inside we found a Travel Bug attached to a hocky puck! 

“What’s a TravellBug?” you say…

Well, states that a Travel Bug is a Trackable that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. 

Our travel bug that we encountered came from a 10-year-old hockey fan who lives in Germany. The Current Goal is for the hockey puck “to meet ice-hockey friends all over the world”. My roomie and I have to find jerseys so we can take a picture with it and upload it for the kid to see it’s made its way to Pittsburgh. I’ll update once we get the picture taken.

Cool little FYI, the “Travel Puck”, as it’s been dubbed has already traveled 5326.6 miles!

So far, I have 6 caches under my belt, but I am expecting more to come this weekend!

I’ve kept my geocaching hikes from this past week a secret from my boyfriend so I can take him out on a surprise geocaching date on Sunday. I don’t think he’s ever really even heard of it. What a Muggle! (That’s a term of endearment for people who don’t know what geocaching is). I’ll let you know how that goes.. LOL!

Hello my blogging friends


So many things have been happening! And it’s not that I haven’t felt like writing it’s just that I have not had a computer! I still don’t have one, but I am able to use my work’s computer to write this out. So shhh.. It’ll be our secret.

First of all I would like to say I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving.

My Turkey Day was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I hosted dinner this year AND made my first turkey ever. And guess what? It came out wonderfully! Really! It was delicious. One of the guys I work with used to be a professional chef, so he gave me some good hints. What was really nice about this whole experience is that a good friend of mine, Sammy, helped me make pretty much everything. It was so fun working in the kitchen with one another while our guys sat in the living room watching football. I kinda liked the feeling of cooking for others… ahh growing up, what a feeling.

To make our wonderful turkey we did two things (after taking the nasty organs out and washing it-that was quite an experience by the way). We first stuffed the turkey with oranges, apples, and garlic cloves. Then we took a cheese cloth, soaked it in butter and white wine, and draped it over the turkey. Every 30 minutes we would baste the turkey and cheese cloth. We did this for the first 3 hours. We then took the cheese cloth off (it was starting to get too brown) and we covered the turkey with foil and continued basting, but only every hour after that.

We made stuffing, which I’m not a big fan of, but I made it the way my mom makes it (with sausage, craisins, and slivered almonds) so I knew I wouldn’t mind it too much. I also made my delicious candied yams. We had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and corn also. Oh! And can’t forget the crescent rolls!

What made this holiday more special was the fact that this was Sammy’s first American Thanksgiving. She’s Lebanese and normally does her own culture’s way of Thanksgiving with her family, but it’s normally with Arabic food.

It was so nice being surrounded by people I love and just enjoying some awesome food and good times.

My mother did get upset with me that I didn’t come home for Thanksgiving. She will swear up and down that she thinks I’m lying or as she put it “fudging” the truth. I told her over a month ago that I had to work on Thanksgiving day, which I was scheduled to do. So my friends and I made plans to do something later on Thanksgiving night so I could still have a turkey day. Well later on, I found out that we had enough people working, so I could take off work if I wanted to, and because I had so much cooking to do, I decided I would take it off. And since I already made plans with my friends, bought the turkey, and all the food since Thanksgiving was only a few days away at this point, it’s not like I could cancel with all my friends, waste the food, and go home to see her. So this created her calling me, yelling at me every day, putting the guilt trip on me about how we don’t spend enough time with each other and it’s all my fault, blah, blah, frickin blah de dahhh. Then the icing on the cake, is yesterday I get an email on facebook from her going on and on about how she was so hurt that I lied to her. I love you mom, but please drop it, you’re making me sound like a broken record apologizing over and over and over AND over again. There’s nothing that can do be done about it now.

Christmas Gift Idea.. Getting Crafty


If you’re like me… ME = Loves XMAS. Loves giving, BUT on a limited budget this year…


You, my friends, are in for a treat.

In order for this to work, I guess the need for a crafty person should be thrown in to the mix..

I saw this idea (and some other awesome ideas) at this blog.

I’m planning on making these calendars for gifts this Christmas!

To begin this wonderful creative and crafty journey, I headed to JoAnne Fabrics, but to my disappoint they only had four of the wooden cubes, and they were only an inch on each side. Grrrr

BUT, since I truly believe in making lemonade outta lemons, I decided to give it a go.

I ended up making these adorable (well, I think they’re adorable) cubes that have my God Daughter’s name and birth year on them.

So let me know what you think.

I’m going to order the wooden cubes online because I don’t think any of the craft stores near me sell them, but then I’m going to give these calendar ones ago.




Freedom Ain’t Free


I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has served in the United States Military–past, present, future–and in doing so, take a walk down memory lane and share some memories that began my career in the Air Force. 

I was 18, a few months away from my high school graduation, and “temporarily” living with my boyfriend, Zak. We had just finished making dinner and were about to sit down and eat when my best friend, Vicki called.  Side note:  Vicki moved to Pittsburgh our senior year of high school. 

Vicki:  Guess what I just did!

Me:  While the endless possibilities do kind of excite me, my mashed potatoes are getting cold.  What did you do–another tattoo? 

Vicki:  No, Re-Re (that was just one of our loving nicknames for each other).  I joined the Air Force!  And, you should join too.  That way you can come visit me at least once a month when you have drill!  Drill is referring to the one weekend a month that a reservist must attend for training purposes.  Mine would have taken me to Pittsburgh.

With that phone call EVERYTHING in my life changed.  Just 5 minutes before I had been talking with Zak about my acceptance to Ohio State University and how I did not want to go.  See, my high school offered this program called Post-Secondary, which basically meant that I went to a community college my senior year instead of attending actual high school courses.  So I was already colleged out and this phone call was offering me another way.. another choice.  Plus, I’d get to see my best friend a whole lot more AND get paid for it!  Win, win. 

I talked it over with my parents, and even though my mother was not thrilled AT ALL, me being my stubborn self, went a month after graduation and signed my life away to Uncle Sam.

Even though I enlisted in July, I wasn’t scheduled to leave for basic training until January.  I had about 10 lbs that I needed to shed before they would let me leave.  So I worked out, I ran, and I lost those 10 lbs.  Next thing I know, it was January 5th, my bags were packed, my parents were kissed goodbye the night before, and I was on a plane headed towards San Antonio, Texas.

From the airport, a bus picked all of us new recruits up and transported us to Lackland Air Force Base.  It wasn’t long before I was cursing my mother for gene inheritance, or maybe its a learned trait, whatever the case, I know that I got the whole “doesn’t know how to pack lightly” gene/trait from her. 

I scurried off the bus dragging my heavy luggage to form a line with the other recruits.  T.I.s (Training Instructors) were screaming at us from the moment we set foot on the ground.  Veins were popping out of their foreheads, spit was flying every direction–I was extremely aware that the very threat to the end of my stinking existence was upon me. 

Advice that had been given to me by a former military person before I left for basic training was to “play the game” and to remember that the instructor’s job was to break you down so they could build you back up.  The problem with this mentality though, was that I didn’t take a whole lot seriously… in the beginning. 

T.I.s yelled, no, SCREECHED, at us to pick up our bags, then drop them.  Pick up our bags, then drop them.  Pick up our bags, then drop them.  We proceeded to do this torture, err, I mean “breaking” method for the next hour of my life, all while my ear drums were about to burst. 

The next week went by in a blur.  Uniforms and boots were issued.  We walked EVERYWHERE–for miles each day wearing canteens to not die from dehydration and carrying our military issued Star Wars light sabers during hours of darkness.  Well that’s what they looked like to me.  They were really just big flashlights with a yellow cone snapped on.

I learned within days that having a sense of humor was not a wanted commodity at basic training, which for me only added an extra challenge to this already challenging feat.  I mean I laugh at myself ((daily)) just for making a funny face or noise.  I laugh at people, LOUDLY, when they fall and hurt themselves.  But I’m not supposed to laugh while people do or say stupid things at basic training??? C’mon, give me a break.  When a T.I. says things like, “Alright, clown.  Push some floor” or 40 women are told they all have a total of 5 minutes to take a shower (with only 8 shower heads).  To me, that’s humor. 

I made the mistake of laughing at my T.I. one day.  He had made a joke at one of the new recruit’s expense and when he started to laugh (See?? He laughed first, it should be ok!) I just lost it–with a loud hyena pitch outburst.  When he heard me, his laughed stopped so quick it sounded like he had choked, his smile erased from his face in a blink of an eye, and the next thing I know, he’s standing in front of me screaming, “You think I’m a dang comedian or something, you piece of fungus-licking turd??”  What do you say to that?  How do you not laugh?  Or at least crack a smile; a wink even, just so he knows that you know it’s just a game and he really is funny. 

Well, my smile cracking laugh to his comment got me 45 minutes of laughing–at a wall.  And here my smart ass is all loud and proud staring at this blank wall shouting, “HA, HA, HA, HA“, thinking in my head, “Oh, I’ll show him.  He won’t win”, which then later became a much softer, tired, and thirsty whispered, “ha, ha, ha, ha“, thinking in my head, “Ok, I get it.  You win”.  This moment became lesson number one for me.  Guess who learned to control their laughter real quick after that??  That’s right, you guessed it.  This girl.

A couple of days after my laughing incident, I woke up to reveille, and jumped up to get dressed–there were lots of morning chores that needed to be done.  Beds and shoes to be aligned, every single room needed to be dusted, swept, mopped, etc.  As I began making my bed I noticed a big red stain on my sheets.  Yep, it happened.  My period started.  Guess who got the last laugh now mother fuckaa… baahahaha!  Just picturing his face again when I told him–the look of disgust so evident… still makes me chuckle!    

You can probably guess correctly that my T.I. was not very found of me after this situation.  So it was probably to his relief that I got hurt and had to go to medical hold. 

I was in medical hold for about a month in a half, which really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  The 319th Medical Squadron is where I learned how to do everything–shining shoes, marching, hospital corners, folding towels and t-shirts, military discipline–and it was all at a place where things were a little more laid back and a sense of humor was a little more accepted. 

I met some great people and learned a lot about myself.  There was one girl who had been a basic training; stuck; for almost a year because she had broken her back on the confidence course.  The military feels that they need to return you home the way you arrived.  So if you show up to basic healthy and without a broken back, then you will return home healthy and without a broken back.  Can you imagine?  You think you’re going somewhere for 6 weeks, you’re only a week away from graduating and going home, then you get hurt and now you’re stuck in your own personal hell for an entire year! 

After they fixed me and I was able to return to training, I had to start over from scratch with a brand new group of girls.  This time though I came in almost a week later.  Bonds had already been formed and friendships had already been made.  I was the odd man out.  It didn’t help that the next day I was made their Dorm Chief and was put in charge of 43 females.  I was 19 years old and in charge of people who were old enough to be my mother!  This being my first position as a leader, I definitely made some mistakes, but we came out on top.  

Being in the military has given me confidence, discipline, dreams, goals, resources to achieve whatever I aspire to do, family, lifelong friends, courage, strength, knowledge. 

I learned a popular phrase while at basic, “Freedom Ain’t Free”.  Oh, how true that is. 

I thanked, in the beginning of this post, anyone who has served; past, present, future, but I would like to include those who have given the ultimate sacrifice–their lives.   

I am proud to be considered an Airmen, a sister in arms, and a patriot and will continue to serve and protect the freedoms for those I love most.

If you need some cheering up.. Worked For Me!





















Flash Mobs, Proposals, and the JK Wedding Entrance Dance..


I don’t know what it is about flash mobs, but I am FASCINATED by them; moved even. 

It’s almost impossible for me to articulate how amazing it is to watch a group of strangers come together; all different ages, races, sexes, and be a part of something bigger than anything at that moment, even if it lasts for 4 minutes–it just amazes me.

So.. because I have this weird… I’ll call it, obsession, AND the fact that focusing at work can be challenging, I was searching for flash mobs on YouTube and stumbled across this video.  The fact that it takes place in downtown Pittsburgh back in April are just added bonuses.  Plus who doesn’t love surprises and happy endings? 

PS  Not going to lie.. I would love to be in a flash mob.  Just once.  lol

Also, since it’s in the same category as “proposals” I thought I would share this other YouTube video with you.  If you’re a sucker for romance like I am then you’ll definitely appreciate the time and effort this guy put into it. 

And one more if you’re bored and have nothing to do… This one is just awesome.  You can just feel the love!

Enjoy.  Let me know what you think ORRRR if you have any videos that are similar to these.. share them with me!  =)

Roommate Novel


When I think of roommates, the first thought that goes through my head is $$$.  Definitely a pro, but how much is my safety, happiness, a fulfilling sleep, un-clogged showers, and just plain old privacy worth to me?

I’ve had a handful of roommates over the past few years.  I’ve lived with 2 boyfriends, my “little sister”, a random girl from Craigslist, a best guy friend, and now one of my close girlfriends.  I feel with this wide variety I can definitely share the pros and cons of cohabitation with others.  Maybe you can learn from my mistakes or experiences.


I was 18 years old.  My family had to move due to money issues during my senior year of high school.  I had 3 months left before graduation, so my parents gave the greenlight for me to move in with my boyfriend (temporarily) until school was over.  School ended and me being my persuasive, stubborn, and know-it-all self at that age (oh, wait, that hasn’t changed.  ha!), I got my way and stayed with him.  I was young and in love, so at first this living situation was awesome.  He’d make me breakfast in bed, I’d get massages at bedtime.  I liked “playing house”.  I see now that’s all it was; me trying to act like an adult, to prove I could do it on my own.  This was my first experience in intimacy, and it was intoxicating, until I realized that my boyfriend was crazy (literally–I may share in a later post) and for my own sanity and safety I had to move out.


I was 19 years old.  I received a call from my unit asking if I would like to come out on orders to work for 6 months to a year.  They would pay for my housing and I would get almost $1,500/month in per diem.  I said, “HELL YEA”, and quickly sold, trashed, and transferred all my stuff out of that cramped apartment and moved to a beautiful luxury apartment in the “City of Bridges”; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I’d been dating this guy, TJ–who eventually turned into my boyfriend of 3 years AND my next roommate–from the base who was on orders too.   We got closer and he started staying over more and more.  Eventually my orders ran out and I was offered an AGR (Active Guard-Reserve) position, which meant I had to find my own place to live (I couldn’t afford to stay where they had put me up).

So we moved in together.. AND I became his sugar mama.  He did not pay for A. THING. in our first apartment.  I began to resent him.  I was working full time, going to school, paying all the bills, taking care of the dog, and I was only 19, while he was 26 years old.  PATHETIC.

But, I was lonely so I stayed with him.  It was a new city, which meant I didn’t really know anyone, and I was too young to do things with people I worked with; to even go in to a bar in Pittsburgh you have to be 21.

I never was “in love” with him, but grew to love him and care about him.  Eventually we moved to a bigger place, got a second dog, he got a big boy job and started chipping in with the bills, and things started looking up.  Until I realized 2 things:

1) His OCD was driving me crazy.  The blankets in the living room always had to be folded if they weren’t being used.  The mail had to be put in a specific drawer to be out of the way.  To this day I feel “brainwashed” because I still do some things the way he HAD to have them and now if certain things aren’t done certain ways I feel myself get irritated with others.  For example:  Dishes have to go in the dishwasher in a specific order.  Toilet paper needs to be put on with the first sheet over not under.  Groceries have to be placed in the cart and on the belt in a specific order; freezer stuff with freezer stuff, etc..  I know it’s a little much, but after 3 years of dealing with this, I’ve been “trained”.

2) He was a lying, cheating scum bag.  When you live with someone you get used to routine.  When the routine starts to break (ie.  Starts going out with “friends” more and more, his phone is locked, he begins to “fall asleep” on the couch more often than not) you get a little more suspicious.  Not good for any living situation if you can’t trust your partner.  But it got to the point where I stopped caring and told him to just move all his things into the second bedroom and to begin looking for his own place, which he did about 4 months later.


I was 22 years old.  My ‘little sister” Krystle was 19 years old.  She’s not really my sister, but I’ve always felt like she was part of my family.  I asked if she would like to move in with me.  She was living with her mom in a smaller one bedroom apartment, and felt like she wanted to try things on her own.  She’s a very independent chicky too!  So I told her she would have to pay $300/month, which was only a 1/4 of what all my house bills were.  She didn’t have a license, so she had to find a job that she could get to by walking or by bus and that she couldn’t rely on me for rides.  She found a job at Blockbuster about 1.5 mile away.

Things were great for the first couple months.  We went to school together (to a small community college) and spent lots of our free time together.  It felt like one big giant everlasting sleepover.  It was awesome.

That feeling didn’t last very long.

Our living together for only 4 months ended our relationship for almost a year.  So be very careful if you decide to move in with a close friend.   I’ve known her since she was 16.  A little over 8 years later we’re still the best of friends and I’m now the god mother to her son, Timmy (he’s awesome!), but I think we’d both agree to never live with one another ever again, lol.


Air Head by Haggis Chick on Flickr.

I was 23 years old.  Since TJ and I moved in to the bigger place and I stayed there after we broke up, I was struggling with bills, especially since Krystle and I didn’t work out.  So I turned to,, and even Craigslist in search of a roommate to help with the bills.  I met this girl Katie from Craigslist.  She was a couple of years older than me, married (Her husband was a doctor and had a job offer in North Carolina, but she was in her last semester of nursing school and couldn’t leave), and Moroccan.  She was beautiful and very sweet (in the beginning)–that little girl act got old real quick.  I should have realized how air headed she was from the very beginning when she called me whining her first night that she didn’t know how to start the shower, or maybe when she thought that my garage had two entrances (picture Batman’s cave).  She lasted about 3 months and then we both decided it wasn’t working out and went our separate ways.

I then boycotted roommates for a while.  I was in this amazing relationship (or so I thought) and we were planning on buying a house together.  I figured I just needed to re-budget and really watch my spending and I would be okay.


I was 24 years old.  My best guy friend, Cameron, wanted to move closer to work and since we worked together and got along so well we decided to give it a try.  Things were actually pretty cool.  He paid half of the bills.  There was always something to do and someone to talk to.  It was nice to have a “guy” to live with to do “guy” things around the house.

There were just a few instances where I had problems with things.  He would shave in the guest bathroom downstairs and leave his hairs all over the sink and counter (disgusting by the way to all you guys who DON’T clean up after yourselves).  I got a long with all of his friends, which was nice, until they would all go out and pick up these NASTY girls (I worked midnight shift at work during this time, so I never saw these girls–I just got to hear the horror stories) and do only God knows what with them (makes me want to puke).

I was picking up the dog poop one day when I saw a used condom in my yard! EEEW!  Turns out one of his friends used our little TV room upstairs to do the dirty with some chick and was too lazy to walk to the bathroom to throw it out, so he just opened the window and tossed it.  Keepin’ It Classy.  When that day happened, Cam had a talk with his “boys” and things calmed down after that.  I’ve yet to use that futon since though.

We would probably still live together if it hadn’t been for a  few changes.  1) He ended up getting out of the military so he didn’t really need to live close to work anymore.  2) I ended up buying a house and told him if he wanted to live with me he couldn’t smoke in the house (before he could smoke in his room and in the TV room) and he couldn’t bring nasty random chicks back to the house.  He didn’t like being told what to do so he decided to move back to the city where he grew up.


I am now 26 years old.  I had been living in solitary heaven for about a year and a half, when a good friend of mine, Olenka, started bringing up her want of moving out of her parent’s house.  Her family being from Ukraine expected her to live with them until she met her husband; it’s tradition.  Olenka being 27 and just having graduated from college (which is how we met) decided it was time to move out and get her own life.  I offered my home.


She’s been living with me since May and although we’ve had our clashes, things are going pretty well.  I only charge her 1/4 of all the bills, but in return she helps me out A LOT with my dogs.

We cook and clean together, watch TV shows together, go shopping together.. It’s a lot of fun.  And when I need me time, I just go hide in my room.  We respect each others needs and both try to be conscious and thoughtful of the other, which is why I think we work so well.  Plus having that extra money every month doesn’t hurt.

So after having wrote this novel and looking back on all my experiences, I can say there are definitely more pros to living with someone:  extra money, someone to talk to, things to do, shared chores, but you just have to find that respectful balance so your “me” time and privacy never lacks.





After going up at least 3000+ feet of elevation in the Appalachian mountains (PICTURE THE STEEPEST BLACK DIAMOND SKI HILLS EVER) and completing 25 obstacles to include: jumping and swimming into ICE water (literally–hundreds of ice in a huge metal dumpster), climbing over 15 foot walls, running through 4ft high flames with throat choking smoke, jumping off of a “cliff” into pitch black air, and running through live wires (some with 10,000 volts of electricity!) I can definitely say 2 things.  1)  I’ve definitely earned this badge, my Tough Mudder headband, t-shirt, and Dos Equis beer AND 2) I did enough exercise in one day to last me at least an entire year… =)