What I’m Loving Wednesday, November 30

Linking up for What I’m Loving Wednesday at This Kind of Love.

With Christmas in the air and the amazing 60 degree weather we’ve been having (until tomorrow and Friday when the high drops down to an almost unbearable 38), there is so much to love! (and some stuff not to love too).

Black Friday: Yes, we drove to Santa Fe at midnight, got back into town by 2:30, went to Target then the mall, got home and in bed by 5, after a 5 hour nights sleep, got up and back out to ABQ Uptown by 11.  We caused some SERIOUS damage, but got some RIDICULOUS deals! My favorite purchase was the aerater/decanter from William Sonoma that was 50% off! I’m not really crazy.

Thanksgiving Dinner: We had dinner with my family and then dessert/wine/games with Aaron’s family.  Easily gained 5-10 pounds. But it was so tasty! (and my mom manages to make Thanksgiving dinner look like art!)

Minted Christmas Cards:  Friend (and graphic designer) Katie referred me to Minted for my Christmas cards, and WOW, what a great experience.  I submitted my order, got an electronic proof designed by a real person, enjoyed Thanksgiving (a day when no one works or gets mail), and got my beautiful cards, all within 6 days.  Aside from my wedding invitations, this is the most excited I’ve been to send something out.

The Nutcracker: We went with my family to see The Nutcracker at Popejoy Hall on Saturday.  I  hadn’t seen it since I was 6.  The show, the costumes, the music, everything, was perfect! They even had explosives to keep Aaron interested!

Seeing my house transform into a Winter Wonderland: We won’t buy our live tree until this weekend to make sure it is still fresh for Christmas, but Aaron spent Sunday putting lights on the house, and my Department 56 Dickens Village is out, so it is beginning to look like Christmas around here!

My soon to be gingerbread house: I used to make a gingerbread house every year.  The last 3 years I’ve started and haven’t finished.  In 2008 I was proposed to right in the middle of my baking. in 2009 we were coming down off our wedding/honeymoon and I was just TIRED. Last year…I don’t really have an excuse. But this year I am determined! Baking will start this weekend! (this is my last complete one from 2007).

MEANWHILE….Stuff I don’t Love today: (I tried to stay positive, but…you know).

Comcast.  If they weren’t almost the only option available, we’d switch. They wanted to charge us for something we don’t have access to, and then charge us to fix the problem.

ABC for cancelling Pan Am! That was the only new show I’ve continued to watch this season.  Filled with some of the more independent, intelligent, compassionate, stylish female characters on T.V., I’m sad that I won’t see the flight crew navigate through the social and political turmoil of the 60’s.  Yet Jersey Shore lives on?

Winter Weather: Seriously? 60 mile an hour winds tomorrow? 38 degree highs on Friday and Saturday? Massive amounts of snow? Did I move to Chicago and not realize it? YUCK.

My Training: My next half marathon is in 7.5 weeks…and I haven’t done a long run (or anything except a few 3-4 mile runs) since San Francisco.  Am I trying to sabotage myself? I can’t imagine I’ll be particularly inspired by the Antarctic weather conditions coming up either.


What I’m Loving Wednesday: Black Friday Edition

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m Loving Wednesday.  Obviously this Wednesday I’m LOVING the 4 day weekend which has started for me, the amazing meal I will have tomorrow, all of the wonderful things in my life that make me eternally grateful, and…BLACK FRIDAY!

I remember watching the news as a 7 year old (yes, I was that kid…one of my first childhood crushes was on Peter Jennings), and a report came on about Black Friday shopping.  It looked marvelous! I wondered why we weren’t taking part in this amazing tradition.  Ever since, I have dragged family, high school boyfriends, and now Aaron with me to participate in this beloved part of the holiday season!

My Black Friday shopping rule is, if it isn’t on sale, I can’t buy it (I usually won’t even go below a 15% discount).  There is a whole month to buy stuff that isn’t on sale.  Black Friday is for good deals and good deals only. I’ve been making my game plan, and trying to figure out which places have good sales.  I haven’t been able to track down everything but here is a list of what I’ve found in my research (I’ll update as I find out new info!).

Santa Fe Fashion Outlets (open at midnight)

Coach Outlet: Not positive, but they will usually hand out 30% off coupons at the door.

Nike Factory: According the Fashion Outlets website, they will have 40% off all clearance and 20% of “back wall” shoes.

Under Armour Factory: $10 off ColdGear, extra discounts on clearance.

Tommy Hilfiger Outlet: 15% off entire purchase, or 20% off purchase of $150 or more.

Aeropostale Outlet: 50% off everything.

Levis: 30% off all tops and outerwear.

Coronado Mall (opens at 5 am, but many stores opening at midnight): If you spend $100 at the mall on Friday, you get a $10 Shop Etc. Gift Card

Sephora: Specials on select products from Tarte, Korres, Josie Moran, Buxom, Bare Minerals, The Art of Shaving, Sephora Collection, and Tokidoki.  (By select I mean 1 product each).  “Like” them on facebook for complete listing.

Forever 21: Don’t know yet, but they will have Black Friday deals according to their website.

Victoria Secret: Bras buy 1, get 1 50% off, $10 off pajamas, $20 off robes, save on crewnecks and yoga pants from the Pink collection (opens at midnight).

Bath and Body Works: $20 VIP bag stuffed with 11 different products ($100 value) with any $40 purchase.

Banana Republic: Don’t know yet, but they usually run 40% off everything sales.

Gap: UP TO 60% everything until Saturday.

Express: Don’t know yet, but they will have deals.

Sunglasses Hut: Don’t know yet, but they have a great sale that ends tomorrow for 30% off all sale items.

Macy’s: Perhaps the inventor of Black Friday, they have too many to list (see complete list here), brands on sale include Betsey Johnson, Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Levis, and Michael Kors among MANY others.


UPDATED: Dillards: 50% off all clearance.  They open at 8 am


Anthropologie: 50% off all sale items, 25% off all sale items until Sunday.

BCBG: 50% off all sweaters, outerwear, leather, and boots.

Pottery Barn: Select items with free shipping and/or free monogramming, 50% off throws.  You can see the complete list of applicable free shipping/monogramming items HERE.

Williams Sonoma: 40% off very limited merchandise.  You can see what it is HERE.


Target: Too many to list, but you can see their ad HERE.  Deals include TVs under $200 and Kitchen Aide mixers for $199.  They open at midnight.

Best Buy: If you aren’t camping out right now, you may not get one of the limited stock TVs, but they have other TVs, SmartPhones, and BlueRay disks on sale.  Their list is HERE.  They open at midnight.

PetsMart: 50% off select merchandise including crates, treats and holiday toys.  You can see their ad HERE.  They open at 7 a.m.

UPDATED: Urban Outfitters: 50% off all sale items until 10:00 am

BlackFriday.com is a also wonderful resource for the actual print ads of some of the bigger chains like Kohls, Wal-Mart, and JCPenney.  Let me know if you have a specific store to look for, and HAPPY SHOPPING! 

What I’m Loving Wednesday October 26

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for a weekly dose of Wednesday Love…even though Wednesday is really almost over and I should most likely be sleeping right now.

This is what I’m loving as I listen to the sounds of rain outside, drinking my pumpkin beer on this Wednesday evening:

1) Thriller (the Michael Jackson song): One of the best Halloween tunes ever.  Actually, just one of the best tunes ever.  Last year I learned the moves!

Zombie walk!

2) Christmas in the air: All of the sudden, Christmas is everywhere! In the stores, on commercials, on movie previews. This makes me very happy even if the cold temperatures do not.

3) The feeling of finishing my first half marathon: I know everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk about this, but I can’t get over it. I’m a half frantic!

Sorry, sport photos. I promise I'll purchase something!

4) Will and Grace: Reruns are on every morning on Lifetime as I’m getting ready for work (don’t judge).  This is such a clever, well written, and well acted show.  I laugh hysterically while Giuseppe looks at me like I’m crazy.

5) My new “Races” sub page: Since I’ve done a few races now (almost all in the last 6 months), and I seem intent on doing as many as I can in the future, I’ve started a list to keep track of it all.

Happy Wednesday! And remember to vote for Giuseppe please! We appreciate your support in getting Giuseppe to the top spot!

What I’m Loving Wednesday, October 19

What I’m Loving Wednesday Link-Up with Jamie at This Kind of Love.

1. It Happened on Fifth Avenue: I was flipping through channels at 5 a.m. yesterday and found this on TCM.  I couldn’t stop watching.  It was filmed in 1947 and has charm, glamour, and all of the elements of a perfect Black and White film. 

2. William Sonoma Pumpkin Spice Latte kit: My mom gave me this as a present last week.  Now I can have a Pumpkin Spice Latte any time I want!

4. Illy Coffee: I’ve never bought it because I knew I would love it, but it is too expensive to purchase regularly  Well, it came with the PSL kit, and of course I love it. 

3. Nike Women’s Marathon Tiffany Necklace: I just found out yesterday that the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco gives out Tiffany necklaces (handed out by firefighters no less!) to all the finishers. Even though it is a competitive lottery process to get in, I AM DETERMINED!

Spunky Runner via The Eyes Have It

5. Boardwalk Empire: I have a strange fascination with the mafia.  Boardwalk Empire gives a great insight into how the great mob wars of the 20’s/30’s/40’s started out. 

6. By this time next week…I will have run my first Half Marathon!: Right now, this is all I can think about.  In just a few days I will know how fast I can run a half marathon!  (And then the REAL panic starts).

2 Days until the weekend!

What I’m Loving Wednesday, October 12

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m Loving Wednesday…even though apparently I’m running pretty low on love today (I’ll blame it on BlackBerry issues and not enough coffee).


1. Fiat:  Fiat is making its US debut (hence the JLo commercial).  I don’t really want a new one, but I would love to motor around town in a vintage model. 


2. Christmas Commercials: Oct. 9th shall go down at the first day that I saw a Christmas commercial this holiday season! Avon, you make my Christmas dreams come true!


3.  Warm Weather:  I was a little nervous this past weekend when we woke up to snow, so I unpacked my sweaters. But it was a false alarm! We’re still holding strong at almost 80 degrees this week.


4. McCalls Pumpkin Patch:  located on the other side of the mountain, McCall’s Farm is a wonderland of Autumn goodness.  I hope to wipe out half my “Fall Bucket List” with a visit there this weekend

What I’m Loving Wednesday, October 5

Here’s what I’m Loving this week with Jamie at This Kind of Love.

1. Ray Ban Wayfarers: So retro, so cool.  I bought myself a pair this weekend and I am in love.

2. Prime Time Television: I hardly watched television at all last year.  It seems to me like there are more “Amy” type shows on this year.  I’m loving The New Girl (so charmingly nerdy), Pan Am, Glee, and Boardwalk Empire. 

3. Aaron’s Clients: Aaron helps people get fit and skinny.  Naturally they give him tasty treats as presents.  This cinnamon roll was downright heavenly.

4. Pumpkins (everywhere): During fall I buy little pumpkins every time we go to the grocery store.  By the time Christmas comes around, we have quite the little pumpkin collection.

5. The Thought of Boots: I’m really short, so wearing boots over my jeans makes me look downright munchkin.  But, I like to pretend that I could pull this look off (I so can’t).

6. Momentarily Feeling like I am back in the Bay Area: Yesterday, it rained for about 20 hours straight which never happens in the desert.  Everything felt so fresh and clean. Strangely, it felt like home, even though the Bay Area was only “home” for four years.

7. Steve Jobs: I’m more of a “PC” but Apple, led for decades by Steve Jobs, is a company that diversified their innovative product offerings enough to ensure that just about every household had something “i” related.  Steve Jobs was obviously a rare creative visionary and business genius who influenced the modern way of life in many positive ways.  The world has one less bright, shining star tonight.  May he rest in peace.

What I’m Loving Wednesday, September 28


The weather was warm, the week is more than halfway over, and two new studies have justified my coffee addiction (it reduces depression risk and my career choices warrant it).  Wonderful Wednesday so far!

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to list the other things that I’m loving this last Wednesday of September and first Wednesday of Fall!

1. Lululemon: I know I’ve said it before, but I love Lululemon.  They have great athletic wear, and since I now spend so much time working out, I really appreciate the quality and design of their clothes.  I just bought the Full Tilt Pullover, and it almost makes me want the weather to cool down so I can wear it! The selling point was the ruffled reflectors.


2. Pumpkin Flavored Things: I love the taste of pumpkin, so I get as much pumpkin stuff as I can during the fall months.  Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice cupcakes, pumpkin beer, you name it.

3. Pan Am, the ABC Series (though I’m sure the airline was cool too): This has also made my list before, but it premiered on Sunday night, so I can say with authority that I actually love it and not just the idea of it.  I think I shall be a Pan Am 1960’s stewardess for Halloween.


 4. Lion King (3-D): We saw the Lion King in 3-D last weekend.  I don’t think the extra price for 3-D was worth it, and the glasses hurt my temples, but Lion King is SUCH a great movie! We were easily the oldest people in there without kids, but I’m ok with that.

 5. Hibachi/Teppan/Japanese Grills: We have several of these in our town, but a new one just opened up in our neighborhood so we tried it out with friends Rebecca and Dave last weekend.  Totally cheesy I know, but I love having a nice chef cook my meal in front of me while telling jokes and playing with fire. Also makes for some tasty leftovers.

6. Balloon Fiesta: Albuquerque’s claim to fame fires up again this weekend! I can’t wait to have the sky sprinkled with hot air balloons every morning for the next week.

7. Journey: I won’t say they are the greatest band that ever was (not even I think so), but boy do they know how to create a catchy tune.  I don’t really like any of their new stuff, but I am perfectly satisfied to watch them relive their glory days in concert (minus Steve Perry)!

2 days until (Balloon Fiesta) Weekend!

What I’m Loving Wednesday: Denver Edition

This weekend Aaron and I made our way up to Denver  (story coming soon about the crazy adventure we had trying to get there). 

I love Denver.  If an opportunity presented itself, we would move there in a second.  It combines things we like about Albuquerque (outdoor/active lifestyle, mountains) with a bigger city atmosphere, better shopping, better dining, and less crime.  I think the winters might be pretty brutal, but at least they get rain!

I’m linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love  for What I’m Loving Wednesday: Denver Edition!

1. The Curtis Hotel: This is a boutique concept hotel at its finest.  Each floor has a different theme and everything is quirky and fun.  It is also one of the cheaper hotels in the downtown Denver area, and is close to all the action.  They are dog friendly which means we can bring Giuseppe on our next visit!

2. Coors Field: I don’t like baseball.  I think it is boring and repetitive.  But when I am seated 27 rows up from just left of home plate at a professional stadium, I can deal with it.  We went to a Rookies vs. Giants game.  As a girl who left her heart in San Francisco, I claim the Giants as my adopted team when I have to discuss such things.  Just don’t tell my Yankee loving husband.

3. Oktoberfest: This was one of the main reasons we went to Denver.  Apparently Denver has one of the top 10 Oktoberfests outside of Germany.  We got to eat brats and pretzels, drink beer, watch some German dancing, and watch people as they tried to hoist steins! Pretty much my idea of a fantastic afternoon.

4. Microbreweries:  We made it to two of the three big Denver microbreweries.  Wynkoop has good beer and a charming, turn of the century atmosphere.  Rock Bottom had great beer (we didn’t try the IPA’s, but everything else was great), and the restaurant is huge so you are bound to find a seat. 

5. Broncos Game:  Unless we are talking college basketball or World Cup Soccer, I don’t really care about sports, but I do enjoy football ten million times more than baseball.  We got to borrow some box seats for the Broncos/Bengals game, so our bathrooms were cleaner and the beer lines were shorter.  The game itself was super exciting, and we weren’t sure who was going to win until the last 30 seconds.  Also, Broncos fans are much more loyal/rowdy than Rockies fans…it felt like a real sporting event!

6. Shannon Sharpe: I’ve kind of heard of Shannon Sharpe, but I was excited to see him get his Hall of Fame ring at the Broncos game.  And I was even more excited to see John Elway on the field! I know who he is!

7. Turn of the Century Charm: A lot of the downtown architecture/design is turn of the Century, and absolutely amazing.  I LOVE old brick buildings, tin ceilings, stained glass, and old remnents of what used to be.  Albuquerque chose to tear a lot of historic buildings down.  Denver incorporated them into the urban renewal.  

8. Denver Quirkiness: This town has a sense of humor.  From pig snorting noises coming up from the sidewalk in front of the Federal Reserve, pianos along 16th street, and “Wellness Centers” (where you can get your medical marijuana), Downtown Denver has plenty to marvel at!

Just 2 more days until the weekend!

What I’m Loving Wednesday, August 31

Doing the weekly list of happiness link-up with Jamie at This Kind of Love.

Yikes.  Kind of had a long day today.  After staying up all night with a sick puppy, I had to stay at work way longer than I wanted to.  I wasn’t really feeling the love by the time I got home.  Luckily, after a couple of glasses of wine  and some surprise flowers from Aaron, I’m back on track! This is what I’m loving on this last Wednesday of August (but this time it really IS the last Wednesday in August…unlike last week).

1. Labor Day Weekend Straight Ahead!  I’m a sucker for any weekend, but 3 day weekends really make me happy.  This weekend we have birthday parties, Labor Day BBQ’s, and of course, the New Mexico Wine Festival among other festivities!


2. J Brand Jeans: I consider these jeans to have magical powers, like making my legs look 10 times longer than they really are. Plus, Dutchess Kate wears them, and I try to live my life my What Would Kate Do.



3. Grape Stomping: I Love Lucy is directly responsible for me wanting to do this.  I’m finally going to get my chance!  I will be grape harvesting and stomping (followed by drinking) in a couple of weeks at Casa Rondena!


4. Aaron-made Eggplant Parmigiana: I don’t know how to cook, and I’ve never felt particularly compelled to learn how.  Chef Aaron on the other hand is spectacular in the kitchen.  His amazing eggplant parmigiana made my week.


5. Monsoon Season: I really am not a desert person.  Unfortunately, I’ve lived most of my life in the desert.  Usually, during the summer months we get a little bit of rain to help sustain life, but not so much this summer.  Until now.  We’ve had some glorious thunderstorms over the past couple of weeks.  Waking up to the fresh smell of rain is heavenly.

"Monsoon Season" by TheBlindHog redbubble.com


6. Britney Spears: As hard as I try not to, I LOVE Britney.  I’m happy that she’s come out of her dark days, and I’m happy that she’s being productive.  Her VMA tribute reminded me of all her songs I’ve loved throughout the years.



7. Mushroom Picture: I took this when we went on our hike on Sunday.  It really makes me want to transform into a faery and make it my home.


8. Daily Pinterest Find: I love vintage travel posters, and I love San Francisco.  This reminds me that I will be on vacation there soon!


9. First Wives Club: This movie was on some obscure movie channel last night, and I was immediately taken back to freshman year of college when my friends and I would watch it over and over again, and sing and dance to “You Don’t Own Me.”  The cast is glorious, 90’s chick movie heaven.


10. Anthropologie Birthday Pouch: My birthday is coming up here pretty soon, and all of the stores that I spend lots of money at are sending me special birthday discount cards.  This little surprise from Anthropologie just goes way beyond in its attempt to get me into their store to buy something for my birthday.

Two days until the long weekend!

What I’m Loving Wednesday: August 24

Continuing my weekly link-up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I Love Wednesdays.

 I kind of had a hard time mustering up 10 things that I loved this week.  Perhaps my world is a little less loveable without fried food and laziness?  In any case, here is my “stretching it” list of things I love today, the last Wednesday of August (I wrote this and then looked at the calendar and realized that next Wednesday is actually the last Wednesday in August).

1. The name “Taco Stein.”  I truthfully haven’t been following the case of the missing lady in Aruba too closely (though, if you want a good/entertaining albeit unofficial synopsis, go here), but I do know that the Prosecutor General down there is named Taco Stein, which I think is a pretty cool name, and definitely a guy I would take seriously without giggling every time I heard him being called Taco…


2. Elsa Ross: This is a boutique in Nob Hill.  Under most circumstances I don’t  shop there because Diane von Furstenberg doesn’t really fit in my budget, but they have a great denim selection so I bought a pair of jeans there last weekend.  This store has AMAZING customer service.  The nice sales girl made sure that I picked the  right pair of jeans (and she brought out TONS for me to try), she was  informative about the clothes and brands, and the store will hem jeans for you which is always an added bonus.  AND THEN, to top it all off, yesterday, the owner called me just to make sure that I needed them hemmed up that much (of course I do because I’m shorter than a normal human). 

3. German for Drinkers: I’ve been following Oktoberfest Denver on facebook, and yesterday they started a “word of the day” but in German and related to drinking.  I’m excited to pick up some of this useful information!  For example, yesterday I learned that WAMPN is a “patronising expression for an oversized, hanging belly, caused by over-consumption of either fatty foods or beer.” I can’t wait to incorporate that into everyday conversation!


4. Daily Pinterest Inspiration: When browsing Pinterest this morning, I found this amazing looking tree house.  There are really only 2 requirements I have for a house.  One is a pool with a swim-up pool bar, the second is a tree large enough to build a house in.  When I find that house, I shall build this treehouse.  The rest of the blog entry, featuring some of the world’s best tree houses is here.


5. Puppy Jacket: Friend Rossann used to have Westies, and she very generously passed on some of her old puppy clothes for Giuseppe to wear (and chew).  I love this jacket so much that I am seriously considering buying a matching one. 


6. Warm weather: I’m happy to report that instead of cooling down, Albuquerque is actually getting warmer! Today is anticipated to be Day 2 of record-breaking August heat!



7. Pumpkin Lattes: As much as I love warm weather, and as much as I shamelessly complain that summer is almost over, all this talk about fall has me seriously craving a Starbucks Pumpkin latte.  They aren’t available until September 1st, but I might be willing to bribe a nice barista to sneak some pumpkin flavoring in a little early.   Can they do that?


8. Green Chile Season: I was driving to work today and noticed some vendors setting up some roasters in the Sunflower parking lot.  Green Chile Season has arrived! I know that the drought conditions have affected the crop this year, so remember to buy early and buy in bulk. (When I got home Aaron already had picked up some!)

9. Most Interesting Man In the World Radio Ad Campaign: Seriously amazing.  Makes my day every time I hear one.  (The TV ones are ok, but not quite the same caliber).  I’ve often wondered if the character was based on Francisco d’Anconia  from Atlas Shrugged.  In any case, I think that ad campaign is great, even if it really has NOTHING to do with the product it is trying to sell.  ‎

10. Aaron and Giuseppe:When I read the What I’m Loving Wednesday posts from other girls that participate in the link up, they always list their husband as something they love (on Wednesdays). When drafting a list, I usually forget to put mine on there.  Does this mean I’m an unloving wife??? I don’t know, but I think it goes without saying that I won the husband (and puppy) lottery when I landed these two fellas.  Today, I had a dinner. a mojito, and a very excited puppy ready and waiting for me when I got home from work. If that doesn’t scream “won the husband and puppy lottery,” I don’t know what does.

Happy Wednesday! (only 7 more working days until Labor Day Weekend!)