Tragedy with a Backpack

I'm sad to say there was a tragic accident on Tuesday. My beloved water bottle fell out of my backpack and broke in two. GASP.......I know, major issue. This is so tragic as I'm now stuck drinking out of a dumb canteen which is both hard to open, and it makes everything you put in it taste like a new car tire. 

I'm sure some of you are thinking I am being a drama queen over something very petty, but I am obsessed with having my favorite water bottle within arms reach.  It is my adult binky and now I'm without.

I have had WATER BOTTLE ENVY all week as I lovingly stare at the other girls in class easily sipping their delicious tasting water from a pretty plastic container. Sigh...........

I have 3 other colors at home, but I only packed the blue one thinking it was indestructible (and it matches my cell and laptop, of course).

I am stuck water-bottle free until next week. It's like enduring hard love. Please send your condolences.

Good Hair Against All Odds

So even with my military hat being put on and taken off 50 times, the new hairstyle is holding up.  I am completely uh-mazed.

The class here in Texas is surprisingly very fun. Apparently I was being a big drama queen in my earlier posting for no apparent reason.

Today we practiced loading litters onto aircraft, ambulances and gi-normous trucks.

Tonight I get to wear night vision goggles!

More to come dolls.


So after a bit of support from my blogging friends, I went for it and had my hair cut just like Ms. Goldie Hawn. Isn't she beautiful?

My stylist Bella did a fantastic job although I have to admit I was a bit shocked when she showed me the back. It is sooooo butchy short. However I have been getting used to my new do and am now totally in love with it. It literally takes 2 minutes to style and since I still have a few wispy's on the side and length on the top - I can actually wear it several different ways. 

With hair this long, it helps that I overdose on Latisse and my eyelashes are Kardashian-esque long. Do you think they use Latisse too or are they real? Even Kylie has crazy long lashes. Sorry, getting sidetracked here.....

So....where are my actual photos? Technical camera card does not fit into my new laptop so I won't be able to post them until next week. Suck.

I'm off to Texas in the morning for my combat class, and as a tribute to the beautiful Ms. Goldie Hawn I will amuse myself by thinking about the movie 'Private Benjamin'. For some of you younger bloggers you might not be familiar with this movie - or even know that Goldie is Kate Hudson's mom. She is amazing, and Private Benjamin is a classic female-empowering comedy.

I will be testing my 'mobile blogging' skills this week. Wish me luck!


COMBAT TRAINING - my own living hell

Yay me. I have to travel to Texas and pretend to be a war.  Yes, war.

Uggh. This is probably the last thing in the world I want to do. I'm not even a camper, so I am completely out of my realm. I hate to be dirty and not having my personal luxurious is a form of torture and a source of depression.  

I'm just venting to you my lovely reader. For everyone else I will put on my game face and do an otherwise kick-ass job. Secretly though, I will be bitching to myself and counting down the days until I am free. Which doesn't appear to be anytime soon.  

Here is what I get to look forward to:

-         No cell phone
-         No computer (no blogging L)
-         1 gross meal a day + 2 MRE’s (meals ready to eat, aka: rations)
-         Sleeping bag
-         Hard Army Style Cot
-         Community Showers (think: high school style showers)
-         Sleeping in a big tent with 50 other women (total strangers, btw)
-         14 hour shifts, rotating odd hours (read: delusional by the end of the week)

This is training I am required to do every few years. The clock is ticking and my free time with loved ones is already limited, so to lose an entire week to combat training is so frustrating.

My dressing room is a total disaster as I’m trying to locate all of my uniforms and get everything organized. Utter and total chaos.

My journey begins this weekend.


My California Bestie
Napa Valley was so much fun – even though we picked the worst weekend to go (weather wise). It dumped rain from the moment we got off the airplane until we left. Thank god we were with dear friends, otherwise it probably would have miserable. This would be gi-normous posting if I covered everything – so this is a brief recap.

Isn't this gorgeous?

The view from our cottage
Trying to dodge the rain - again
The trip down was luxurious. We traveled 1st class to San Jose and then drove down to Napa Valley. The rolling hills of vineyards, mountains and olive trees were breathtaking.

Olive Trees

We visited the Castille de Amorosa (featured on The Bachelor!) – and it was so amazing. Incredible actually. The owner invested around 190 million dollars to recreate a Tuscan medieval castle. I was so impressed and actually thought it was older than 1993 until I realized there was hard plumbing and wiring throughout. Check out the story of this amazing recreation and amazing photos at:

Bathroom faucets

Let’s Play True/False:

MYTH: Wine tasting is free or has a price that can be applied to a bottle purchase
FALSE: Wine tasting in Napa is EXPENSIVE.  The majority of places were $15-25 pp to taste. And that did not always mean they would apply the cost to a bottle purchase. 

MYTH: Wine tasting is an easy going experience with tons of wine abound
FALSE: Napa is busy – even during the off season. The wineries were packed and there was a lot of waiting in between tastings. Next time I would purchase a glass or bottle and then enjoy the shopping at the wineries

MYTH: Napa Valley has orange trees and olive trees everywhere
TRUE! Uh-mazing. Darling and I had olives falling in our hot tub and all along the walkway of our cottage. I didn’t see anyone selling fresh olive oil though, so maybe they are more of a decorative olive down there instead of a flavorful one.

MYTH: You need a lot of money to enjoy Napa Valley
FALSE! Just buy a bottle and enjoy the grounds of your favorite winery. If I lived closer I would visit this beautiful place on a regular basis. Just watch out for the spendy tasting rooms.

Isn't she adorable?! Ms Vern's little clone

You always meet fun people at the wineries!

Wine tasting - it is an all day event.
Vern's Mr. J and Darling.

Vern and Mr. J - aren't they adorable?


DIY hair job was a major success!

TRANSLATION:  I'm not bald and the color is 'better'.

Before coloring I rubbed in some of my magic Moroccan Oil (see earlier post) and applied the foam color.  The application was a off, but it did cover nicely with plenty left over.

SHOCKER: My hair is so soft and incredibly shiny – I can not even believe how great it feels.

I wish the color was a bit lighter and a tad more golden - but for the first use, I am totally impressed. I think after one or two more uses along with a color enhancing shampoo - I will be set.

Thank you John Frieda 10B for solving my international hair dilemma. I will be stocking up.

Looking at my picture I realize how badly I need a haircut. I am kind of liking the cut on the hair color box. Any thoughts? Do you think its too short?

Believe the Hype! MOROCCAN OIL = liquid gold

I purchased a small bottle of the light formula over the weekend – and wow, this stuff is unlike anything I have ever used. I chose the ‘light’ formula since I color my hair and lucky me (sarcasm here…)… is extra-fine.

To Apply: I use a large drop, warm it between my hands and then spread over my damp hair. Style as normal and Voila = shiny hair.  There was no residue, odd smell oily appearance and seemed to have extra body. Uh-mazing.

UPDATE from previous post:  I purchased the hair color. I will apply in the morning. Wish me luck!

UPDATE #2:  I am waiting on pictures from Vern to do my after-trip posting on Napa Valley. I'm hoping for tomorrow :)


I have a long history of coloring my own hair.

I can hear you GASPING IN HORROR.

Yes......I have consistently used drugstore boxed hair color. I know – totally risky, but for me I found that I was able to do it myself with great success and I loved the convenience of being able to do it whenever I wanted.  All was well until 'Nice and Easy' changed their formulas to be more golden.

My perfect shade of ‘beige blonde’ was now a BRASSY HOT MESS.

Find the perfect shade of blonde again so I can continue to do it myself while I’m overseas. I'm going for a Kate Winslet look (more of the Vogue shade, and less of the harsh platinum):

 in chronological order for your reading convenience:

8 weeks ago
I had my shoulder length hair cut into a pixie.

I bleached my medium blonde hair using a purple toned bleach from Sally’s. Even though bleach is supposed to process for an hour, the package said to rinse after 10 minutes. I panicked and rinsed out after 15 minutes. I was rewarded with COPPER ORANGE HAIR.

7 ½ Weeks Ago
I purchased the familiar white powder bleach. Put the entire packet on my hair and realized it was intended for highlights and there was not enough product to cover my whole head.

F-ing Fantastic! I now have WHITE ROOTS with delicious ORANGE ENDS.

Hair is feeling nappy at this point – and I’m stuck rocking the 2-tone look for a week. Yes, people are looking at me oddly -complete with whispers and pointing.

6 Weeks Ago
I purchased two packets of the white bleach and reprocess my hair with a stronger developer. My hair is now a BRIGHT NEON SHADE OF YELLOW/WHITE. Washed with toners and special shampoos – this color is not budging. I look like a low-budget superhero.

5 Weeks Ago-
I have to work in Hawaii with the military for two weeks and I can not have superhero hair. I spend $150 for lowlights and toner at the local spa. Hair looks perfect, but the stylist is a cow and keeps telling me how lucky I am to have any hair at all. So annoying. 

3 Weeks Ago-
After 2 weeks in the hot sun, my hair has grown an inch and I have janky roots. I return to the girl who gave me my original fabulous pixie hair cut for a trim and color.

I don't know what happened, but she chops my hair too short and the color is FLAT and DRAB with a hint of gray. Of course it looks good in her chair, but once I get home it looks awful. I’m not one to complain about bad hair to stylists, so I commit to not return. $160 wasted.

2 Weeks Ago-
Hating my drab color, I buy a box color by Loreal that looks the same but is ‘brighter’.

The result? Hair is somehow darker and has a green hue. The texture is starting to feel gummy and I see some breakage. 

I am stuck with this color for at least a week or two.

Today -
I have to color my hair. Not only is the drab color killing me, but roots are once again starting to show up. 

Lucky me! I see my beloved shampoo maker has come out with permanent hair color. I am off to buy 10B!!! Has anyone used this stuff? Please say yes and that you loved it........

Smooches from Napa Valley California

Hello dolls! I'm having a blast in napa even though it has been dumping rain non stop. Seriously having bad hair the entire trip.

The wine is heavenly and last night we had fresh olives falling from the trees and landing in our hot tub. Fresh postings will arrive on Tuesday along with some crazy photos of our adventures in Cali!


Last month I spent 2 weeks working in Hawaii. Total bliss you might ask? Well, no…..but I’ll spare you the boring details since no one wants to hear me complain about being paid to work in Hawaii 

However, I will say that the whole experience was hell on my skin. I normally use a Clarasonic facial brush (in pink, of course!), but I didn’t pack it for this trip. After two weeks of layering on sunscreen,  my pores were in need desperate need of a detox!

For general maintenance and also to prepare for my super-fab trip to Napa Valley, I had a deep cleansing facial at the spa today. This was my first visit and I chose this one because they only use AVEDA products.  I realize that AVEDA is not for everyone as it can be overly-herbal, but I love it and was in heaven today with a lavender themed treatment.  

The Trickery:
After I’ve had am amazing hour of relaxation, the esthetician asks me to get dressed and she will meet outside the door with a large glass of cucumber water. Great – sounds delish.

With my delicious water in hand, Ms. Esthetician begins complimenting me and saying what a joy it was to do my facial- blah blah blah (sounds fake to me). As we're walking towards the counter she steers me to the product display and starts in on the ‘Hard-Sell’.

Exact Quote: “These are the products I used on you today” (points to 20 different products….and begins to explain the purpose of each one).  “Which ones would you like to take home today?”

I’m not a fan of the pushy approach, and where I normally would have dropped major cash on new products – it wasn’t happening today. I felt caught off guard by the fake compliments and still a bit loopy from being so relaxed (maybe that was her intended strategy…..).

When I explained I was attempting to downsize my beauty products instead of adding more, she became bored and left.

She was recommending I use the entire embrightening line (of course - they always push the 'entire' line). Has anyone else used these products? Any comments? 

If I'm still thrilled with how my skin looks (it's dewy & refreshed, btw) I will go back and purchase them (or order them online). I would love to throw away all of my treatment products away and start over. But there is a sense of obligation to use them since you have aleady invested the money. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm curious how others feel about the hard sell of products. It can be very awkward and it happens at the hair salon, the spa, the clothing store - essentially everywhwere.

I just think the hit-em-hard approach doesn't work. Or does it? What is the ettiquete of selling products that compliment services? 

You Touched My Breasts – And You Said What?

I had a mammogram yesterday. Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable – but seriously, I don’t’ understand what all the complaining is about. It is really not that bad. There is a little bit of pulling and tugging, but nothing to ruin your entire day over. I went to a new facility that was ‘state of the art’.  Apparently it was designed by a man or someone else that had never had a mammogram since it had the jumbo-sized air conditioning vent (blasting on ‘high’)  installed OVER the equipment.

The BIG ISSUE I had was with the staff.  

Ok – I get it. You work with breasts ALL DAY, EVERYDAY– so there is a point where some topics are less taboo than others.  However…there should be a level of professionalism in all medical offices that keep conversations with patients away from personal topics.


Front Desk Clerk:
I understand you have breast implants..


Front Desk Clerk:
Ok. Well……not to pry, but where did you get them done? There is a girl in my office that really wants them but doesn’t know where to go.

Uhhh  (totally caught off guard) – Dr. XYZ. (Personally Thinking: Really? You are fricking asking me this in front of the lobby? Isn’t this violating some sort of HIPPA rule?)


Medical Technician (yes, handling my naked breasts):
Hey- I understand you have implants. Not to impose, but there is a girl in the office that wants them too. Where did you get yours done?

Me –
“Uhhhh….. (really amazed and dumbfounded at this point) – Dr XYZ”

Medical Technician:
Ok ok – I have heard great things about Dr. XYZ. Yours look fantastic , but I’ve seen others were horrible from other doctors so I'm taking an unoffical poll. A few weeks ago this patient came in and ….blah blah blah blah – (my ears bleeding at this point)


Wow. Ok – REALLY?!  2 out of 2 employees ask me about my implants that have nothing to do with the procedure I am having done? WTH?

This crosses the line of professionalism. It’s one thing for a group of girlfriends to discuss – but medical office staff? Get it together medical employees – plastic surgery is not up open for chit-chat discussion unless brought up by the patient.

You Have a Yoga Butt.

In preparation of gaining strength for my upcoming military deployment, I have started going to Hot Yoga classes again. Which technically is only warm Yoga since the room is at 85 degrees – but anyways, I’ll just go with the term ‘Hot’ for now.

I used to be a Yoga-fanatic and was a Yoga instructor in Iraq during my last deployment. This was such an amazing experience and I loved being able to introduce the practice to new soldiers. However, when I got home I basically changed everything about my life (a totally different posting – I will share more of that at a later time, maybe). Yoga was one of many things that I walked away from. 

I am working my way back into yoga and am shocked at how quickly my body remembers the postures. Especially considering it has been about 5 years. I’m not an expert, but at my last class I was able to get back into the ‘Pigeon’ pose! I tried to do it again later that evening for darling, but it was not happening. Apparently the ‘hot’ environment is key to getting into this posture.

The photo above is the pigeon pose (royal style). No – that photo is not me. I wish I had photos, but those in yoga tend to get irritated when you start busting out your camera during class. 

So whats with the heading? One of the best compliments one can receive is that they have a yoga butt – which translates into a 'high and perky bottom'. Did someone say that to me? No. Well – at least not yet- but it is a goal!

I Fell Off the Clothing Wagon. Need Rehab STAT!

So after my last posting of wanting to downsize my closet, I found myself shopping today at Old Navy. This is a fantastic place to pick up cute workout clothes at an affordable price. I stocked up on yoga pants, running shorts and a cute turquoise yoga tank. 

My defensive reasoning thought was that I 'needed' new workout clothes, so that particular category did apply to the ‘closet purge’.

Next I was off to Sephora. I am in LOVE with Smashbox’s High Def foundation. This formula (I use L3) gives my skin a flawless finish and has the added bonus of SPF15. It is a tad spendy, but totally worth it.

What is my favorite lip gloss? Bare Essentials BUXOM in Bunny. This is a pretty pink that enhances your natural lipcolor without looking bubble-gummy. It is a mild plumper, feels & tastes a bit minty and stays on longer than other formulas. I go through this stuff like crazy! Each color has it's own unique pin-up - fun! 

Pairing Down the Excess and Eliminating the Anxiety

How is it that I manage to collect so much stuff? I mean seriously, do I really need 25 pairs of black tights?
Yes. Ok – no, not really. 

How about boots? Is 41 pairs really considered excess when most of them are vintage and one-of-a-kind finds?
No – they are a must, I will not get rid of my boots. Big sigh…..ok, I have 11 pairs of black knee high boots – maybe a couple can go.
The list of clothing excess goes on and on……..

For some reason I can never have enough of: 
  • Knee high socks (I love them peeking out of my knee high boots
  • Black long sleeve t-shirts (I’m paranoid they are faded after 1 or 2 washings)
  • Earrings from Forever 21
  • Scarves (total weakness -I probably have over 200)
  • Drapey and thin material cardigans
  • Colored Legging
  • Coats & Blazers
  • Anything in gray (I’m obsessed)
So you’re probably wondering “what’s the big deal with too many clothes”?

Well…since I’m leaving next month I can only take a few things with me. The majority of my packed items will be uniforms and military gear. Sure, I can pack up a few boxes of clothes to ship over, but I’m not sure if I want to. I think it is time I pair down my wardrobe and simplify my life. 

I’ve read magazine articles about women who travel light and can skip from country-to-country with just a small carry on. I can not even fathom how to do that, as my cosmetic bag and toiletries fill a carry-on all by themselves.

So I have to wonder - why do I really have all of this stuff? Is it even important? I couldn’t possibly wear everything I have even if I wanted to – why am I hanging on to it? 

It is time to get down and dirty on a closet purge. Does anyone have any packing lists or tips on downsizing toiletries?

Obsessed with Used Clothing - check your jealousy

I love vintage clothes. It is a complete obsession. I find myself buying clothes that are not even my size simply because I think they are beautiful. Yay me - I found someone who shares the same passion – Ms. Jenny. She has a fantastic store called Carousel Vintage so she doesn’t have the dilemma of running out closet space.  

Today’s shirt is a piece from Carousel. It's a 60’s print – part peacock, part hallucination – and oddly warm considering how thin the fabric is. Interesting features: it has writing at the bottom of the band.  It’s a bit large on me, but I’m rocking it anyways with skinny gray jeans and vintage leather boots. The trick with vintage clothing is to mix old with new so you don’t look like the ‘odd girl’ out. If worn incorrectly, vintage can be a total disaster.

She also sells her
uh-mazing clothes on Etsy. They are well priced, cleaned and lovely.

CALIFORNIA'S CALLING - & they have my friends, wine & VIP treatment!

1992! Hot messes in South Korea
Hopefully that is new clothes & makeup
in our shopping bags.

I have an upcoming trip to visit my dearest and oldest friend – Vern (aka Veronica).

So who is this friend of mine?

Well… 1991 when we were both stationed at New Mexico & then South Korea. Of all the people in the entire world – we were sent to the same two bases during the same period of time? It was fate and destiny that we became besties.  

Vern escaped the military life after 4 years and I switched to the reserves and moved back home. With us living in different states (California vs Washington), we try to get together at least once a year.  Our last trip was a girls-only adventure to New Orleans to celebrate our hard-earned and long overdue degrees. It was such a blast, I would go back in a heartbeat.
Darling and I are flying to California - and this trip can not come quick enough. Our adventure includes an overnight trip to Napa- and get this………we are staying in the OWNERS COTTAGE at the most amazing Bed & Breakfast!  (Thanks Jared for the mad sweet-talking skills to the front desk clerk!).  Then we’re off to eat our way through visit the lovely city of San Francisco. It will be a whirlwind trip and there might be a need for a liver transplant detox when we return.  

SUPER SECRET: I haven’t told Darling we are going to Napa. He thinks we are just hanging out at Vern’s house and visiting some of the local wineries. He’s already excited to be doing that. I will tell him the big news after he’s had his first Bloody Mary on the airplane. He will LOSE HIS MIND in excitement! He does this hand-slap-to-the-knee-bit while proclaiming, "No Way!". Kind of like Elaine on Seinfeld with the whole 'Get Out' chest-push routine. I love it when he does this, it always makes me smile.

We both have always wanted to go to Napa, so to be able to go VIP style and share this with dear friends makes this an incredibly special trip.

What to wear….and what to pack…….HELP. 

Yes - that's an ugly brown hoodie I'm wearing. She's probably saying - WTH are you wearing chica?
Notice the chapstick? I HAVE to have lip product around when drinking red wine - its a weird obession.

On my front porch getting ready to hit the local wineries