Category Archives: Blogosphere

Photo A Day Challenge: February Complete!

By now, we’re almost all the way through March, but I promised a recap post and a recap post you’ll have! Better late than never, right?

February Challenge

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I chose to post the photos from each weekend on Monday morning as a collage, rather than fussing with all the editing apps while I should be enjoying my time off. However, most of the time, I still took the photos on the requested day.

As for March, I didn’t participate. I wanted to do this challenge to see if it would boost my habit of posting to Instagram. That happened, but it wasn’t really photos that I wanted to take. And then I felt like after I’d just posted my challenge photo for the day, I didn’t want to post another one that I’d taken just for the sake of taking a picture that I liked. So it actually ended up discouraging me from posting the ones I’d like to remember. The challenge was fun, but not something I’ll probably do again.

Have you done a Photo-A-Day challenge? What did you think about it? Did you post less or more photos that weren’t related to the prompts?

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Photo a Day Challenge: February

I’ve been thinking about participating in a Photo a Day Challenge on Instagram (HI!) for a few months now.  So I figured the best month to start would be the one with the least amount of days in it, right?! Ultimate laziness. Anyway, I chose a list for the challenge based on things I would actually enjoy taking pictures of. The Idea Room’s challenge seemed like a perfect fit for me. Here’s the challenge:

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If you’d like to participate, make sure to add me on instagram and hashtag all of your posts with #idearoom. And when the month is over, I’ll post a recap of my photos for the month. YAY!

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Gettin’ My Groove On!

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit Ubi.com to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

After the holiday season I just had (and am still hoarding stocking candy from!) I need all the help I can get. This time,  I’m reaching out to my friends at UbiSoft for a little dance workout action! They kindly sent me a copy of The Hip Hop Dance Experience and I was able to find my groove! ‘Cuz sometimes I just don’t wanna get out of bed at 9am on Saturday and drive my butt to Zumba.

So I’ve been droppin’ it like it’s hot with hip-hop’s hottest dance game instead! The Hip-Hop Dance Experience is the first authentic hip-hop game in the dance category. All of the songs are choreographed with original moves designed by the most famous hip-hop choreographers in the industry. Check out the game trailer now!

This is the part where I show you extremely embarrassing footage of me attempting to look a lot cooler than I actually am. Seriously, you might want to look away, while you still can.

I had so much fun laughing and dancing along with the game. I can’t help it, I’m a goofball! If looking like a fool in the best possible way while your fiance laughs at you from behind the camera (not that this was my experience!) seems like something that you’d like to do, you can purchase the game for Xbox or Wii here.

I can’t wait to explore the game even more because I can already tell that these dance moves are much more realistic than other dance choreography games I’ve tried. Hey, maybe it’ll even help me become a better dancer for Bloggers in Sin City in May!

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forty one.

2012Books

In 2012, I set a goal to read 50 books. In the end, I pretty much gave up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish seven books in the month of December. Between a new full time job, going back to school full time and wedding planning, the book goal just took a back burner. I still read all I can, but there just isn’t enough time. In 2013, I plan on reading as much as possible. I’ll still set my goal at 50, as I’ve reached every milestone lower than that, but I won’t put as much weight on it as I have in the past. And that will be okay. Instead, I hope to write a small review type thing for each book that I do complete.

Here’s what I read in 2012.

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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

Crossed by Ally Condie

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Hana by Lauren Oliver

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

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From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Death’s Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Pulse by Kailin Gow

Life’s Blood by Kailin Gow

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Blood Burned by Kailin Gow

Blue Blood by Kailin Gow

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Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

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Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Drown by Junot Diaz

Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland by Melinda DuChamp

Fifty Shades of Alice Through The Looking Glass by Melinda DuChamp

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Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien

Tortured by Caragh M. O’Brien

 

What did you read in 2012? Anything you think I’d like based on my choices so far? Wanna borrow a book? LET ME KNOW, I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!

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I never miss a chance to Just Dance!

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

I went into this game absolutely open-minded, as I had never played any version of Just Dance before. I expected something like many of the other musical competition games out there. I was actually really pleasantly surprised by how much I loved dancing to my favorite guilty pleasures!

I obviously didn’t want to play the game by myself, so I decided to invite my 7-year old cousins (yes, they’re twins!) and their older brother over to boogey with me! First we all went to dinner, with their parents and my Fiancé tagging along, and we ate ALL THE BREADSTICKS KNOWN TO MAN. Turns out that carbs are exactly what you need when heading into a Just Dance bender!

We got home, after my Aunt B and I had tried out some of the Moscato at the restaurant and we had all eaten waaaay more than we should have, and no one wanted to get off the couch. But after letting our food digest for about 15 minutes (didn’t want any of the kids getting sick!), I started the game whether we were ready or not. I did not expect such a workout, but I was soon putting my hair up because I was hot and SWEATY! Seriously, what a workout!

We got the boys (including SC!) together to play a “boy round” and Lance, one of the twins, made us scroll through every single song before he could make his song choice. He complained that there weren’t enough boy songs! Plus, he’s basically an expert at Just Dance 3, playing almost every day after school, so everyone should listen to him.

Kaylee, Lance’s sister, started feeling sick so she didn’t get very into the dancing portion, but she still moved the remote in spirit. And Zander, their older brother, was “too cool for school” and didn’t even want to play when I made him. Even Baya the puppy wanted to play!

Aunt B and I, though, got down with our bad selves. She loved the Rock Lobster, as it was a song she grew up on. I thought the lobster was a liiiittle creepy. My favorite song was (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life! I love Dirty Dancing and I wish I could play with someone who could really lift me up for the super special ending!

And by the time we had played for a few hours, we were all feeling much better about all that food we ate! I can’t wait to bring the game over to play with my family after Thanksgiving dinner! If for no other reason than to get everyone’s blood pumping so that the food digests faster and we will all have room for dessert! In fact, I volunteered my house for Christmas just so we can play Just Dance 4 all day!!

Have you played any of the Just Dance games? Which songs do you think I would love to play? Let me know! And if you’d like to purchase the Just Dance 4 game, just in time for the holidays, you can do so from Amazon or ToysRUs. Happy Dancing!

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Filed under Baya, Blogosphere, Clever Girls Collective, Family, Holidays, SC, VLOG

VEDA, My Degree, A New Job, & the best SURPRISE!

August was probably the craziest month I’ve had in a LONG time. I haven’t been here a lot, but I have been on the internet. I was doing VEDA, which stands for Vlog Every Day in August. So if you want to catch up with me, check out my youtube channel where you can see 31 videos of my amazing mug. But that’s enough about that, because we’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

First of all, in July I decided that I finally wanted to commit to a degree program. So I worked my butt off all through July so that I could start my 2-year online Bachelor’s program on August 7. I’m now in my last week of my first class (I have to complete one class every five weeks, with only one break during the year for Christmas holidays) and so far it’s been a huge success. I’m easily going to pull an A, and I’m 3 units closer to my Bachelor’s degree. That means in May of 2014, I’ll be graduating!

Secondly, back in May when my sister moved here from Massachusetts we started applying for jobs together since she needed at least one job and I wanted out of my position at Michael’s. A few months went by and I didn’t hear anything. But then, at the beginning of August, I got a call asking if I was still interested in an Administrative Assistant position, as they just got around to looking at my résumé. Of course I was, so we had a phone interview right then and there. And I set up an appointment to meet with the interviewer the following week. And then I waited impatiently for that week to pass. I got ready, drove the hour and a half to the main offices, and wiped out as I was walking into the office. I did an interview with bloody hands and knees and I don’t think the interviewer even noticed!

While I had a bad experience before I went in, I definitely rocked that interview! But then she said she’d call within the week and she didn’t call. So I called her. Apparently she liked my persistence, because she did eventually call me back and she offered me the position! I am now an Administrative Assistant for a HVAC / Air Conditioning company. I work 5 minutes from my house, it’s a full-time 8-5 job with benefits! I’ve been working for nearly a month, and I love the environment. I love the work, it satisfies my OCD immensely to organize files all day.

But wait, because I’m not done! Just when I thought this month couldn’t get any crazier, SC proposed! He took me out to the Santa Monica pier, he took my phone from me so that he could “secretly” capture video of the moment, and he got down on his knee right as a street performer was singing the Beauty and The Beast theme song. Of course, I said YES! 

I might have needed some convincing at first. But once we started dating, I knew he was the one almost right away. I would have married him after three months if he’d have been ready then. And I honestly can’t imagine my life without him. I could not be more ecstatic about the path I’m on and where my life is headed.

 

What’s going on in your life? I probably haven’t had a chance to keep up with you lately, so I honestly want to know! What’s up? Let me know in the comments! 

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Filed under All About Moi, College, I'm getting married!, Relationships, SC, VEDA

You already know this, but I’m Jennbizzle & I vlog.

I’m back at it for another year of VEDA, or Vlog Every Day in August. I’m following the prompts provided by We Blog, We Vlog, which is championed by Captain Ashley who was just a guest here. I won’t post them all here, and I hope you know who I am by now, but I thought I’d post this year’s intro if for no other reason than to show you my face. Isn’t it pretty???? You can go subscribe to my channel (if you want to see my mug for the next 30 days) here.  See you on the internet.

 

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Guest Post: Working While You’re In School

My name is Ashley and I blog at Writing To Reach You.  When I asked for opportunities to guest blog, Jenn offered up this space.  She’s heading back to school soon and that gave me an idea of what to write about.  So I’ve never gone back to school myself.  I’m actually at an age where it’s weirder that I’ve never left. But, I do have a lot of experience with working while in school and generally living like an independent adult while still being a student.

I work in an academic library where most of the patrons are young college students who basically live in a bubble.  They are not responsible for any of their expenses, they don’t even see their tuition bills, and any money they make working a few hours a week on campus goes to whatever they want.  To be clear, my own life has mostly been puppies and rainbows, but that’s a level of privilege I don’t understand. I’ve worked since I was a teenager and I have always, always been conscious of money.

There were moments in high school, college, and grad school where I was resentful of the bubble people who just got to focus on school without the separate responsibility of working.  Sometimes I was jealous of them and sometimes I thought myself superior to them.  I got by thinking, “Wait until they get out into the real world.”  I was humbled when the real world, which I thought I was already living in, totally knocked me off my feet and I found myself buried in debt.  That’s when I came to think of always working as just a fact of my life and not something that made me better or worse than anyone else.   I have had moments of jealously and resentment since, but I always come back to, “I have to work a lot, and that’s just the way it is, so I better find peace with it.”

I’ve actually gotten a lot out of working while in school.

When I was in high school, my whole life revolved around what happened at school until I got my first real job and this whole separate world opened up to me.  A lot of the people I worked with went to my school, but they were a bit older than me and ran in different (read: cooler) social circles than I did.  We could have walked past each other in the halls a hundred times and we never would have been friends, but sitting together every afternoon in a basement sorting mail gave us an opportunity to connect.  I was living in my own little bubble where most of my friends were these lovely girls who were pretty much exactly like me, and now suddenly I was friends with people who thought differently than I did and needed to work too and even some who occasionally broke rules.  My eyes were opened a bit, and these new friends brought out a different side of me.  School has remained a huge focus in my life, but working has always given me this place to encounter people who live differently.

When I went away to college, there was no question that I would have to get a job.  My mom, who is one of those people who can remember the only two B’s she ever received in school, told me that when she was in nursing school, she actually did worse the one semester where she didn’t work than she did all the semesters that she did work.  I’ve never taken off time from working, but there have been times when I worked less, and while I didn’t do worse than I did semesters where I worked more, I also didn’t do better.   If you think, “Oh, if I just didn’t have to work so much, I would study alllll the time,” you are probably lying to yourself.  Working forces you to develop priorities and learn how to manage your time.  It’s amazing how much you can do when you have to.

After my first two years of grad school, it became obvious to me that I was either going to have to quit school to work full time or figure out how to work full time while staying in school.  I was unwilling to give up on school, so I found a full time job and told myself I was just going to have to figure out how to work and go to school full time at the same time.  I thought I was over that silly entitlement I felt in college, but jealousy did bubble up a few times walking through the library where I worked and seeing all of my classmates there with endless hours to study.  But, you know, the last four years I’ve spent working full time while being a PhD student have not just given me a heads up on retirement savings, they have taught me a lot about how much I can do and how in control of my future I am.  Instead of letting my debt determine my future, I worked 15 hour days for a year and a half and paid it all off.  That experience changed my life and I wouldn’t give it up for all the hours spent studying in peace.

There are certainly disadvantages to working a lot when you’re in school.  I sometimes felt like I wasn’t really getting the college experience, because I had so much outside responsibility.  I never had the time or financial freedom to accept unpaid internships, and I felt like I could never take the time off to study abroad. I have tried to make up for these experiences when possible (I got more of the “college experience” my first two years of grad school and I’m traveling now), and otherwise I focus on the important experiences I gained while working.  I can’t really imagine myself without them.

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The Ultimate Girls Night Out

Thank you to Hpnotiq for sponsoring this post. Visit http://hpnotiq.com/danceoff to enter to win the ultimate VIP weekend in Las Vegas for you and your friends!

In about a month’s time, I’ll be heading back to Vegas. You may remember that time that I was there back in May. I sure don’t, but you might. This time, I’m expected to be even less of the granny that I am and actually stay out till the sun comes up dancing the weekend away. THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW, guys. This is gonna be tough. But also? Worth it. SC and I are headed out to Sin City for his sister’s wedding. He is in the wedding party, so we are both attending the bachelor/bachelorette festivities before the happy couple officially ties the knot on Sunday night in Vegas.

This couple loves to drink. So, basically,  I’m in for one hell of a girls night out. They’re doing the partying separately, so no boys allowed on our Ultimate Girls Night Out in Vegas. First stop is obviously the bridal suite to pre-game and get pretty. YES, there will be glitter! We already have a cooler full of various alcoholic beverages, including the one and only Hypnotiq that’s sure to knock my on my ass! We’ll be partying in style with a limo ride to dinner, and then we hit the clubs. We’re planning on seeing some hunky men dance for us, so you can be sure there will be a stop at a strip club or a stage show! And then, of course, comes the dancing. From what I’m hearing, there will be at least two night club stops. Of course, no one can predict EXACTLY how the night will go. It’s Vegas, after all!

We’ve also got a goodie bag full of “pecker pops”, a bachelorette sash and tiara and “blow me” whistles, to name a few. You name it, we’ve probably got it. I don’t quite know how I’m going to survive this outrageous weekend, but assuming I do, you’ll be the first ones to hear all about it!

Jealous much? What if I told you that you have the opportunity to win your very own Ultimate Girls Night Out in Vegas? This isn’t a tease, it’s the real thing! Go now to enter the Live Louder Dance Off contest for a chance at winning the ultimate VIP weekend in Las Vegas! To enter, you can either upload a  30-second video showcasing your best, stand-out dance move here: Hpnotiq LLDO – Likeable – Video Upload OR you can capture and post a photo of your best, stand-out dance pose – alone or with friends! – here: Hpnotiq LLDO – Likeable – Photo Upload And if you win, please take me with you!

Thank you again to Hpnotiq for sponsoring this blog post! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. 

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BiSC, The Third Year. Part 3.

Missing something? Catch up on Part 1 & Part 2!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling much better. I didn’t mention this, but I’d felt really sick toward the end of the night on Friday. And I was super excited because it was CrushHub day. I’d been anxiously awaiting playing the dating game, facebook style ever since I’d heard about it. Plus, hottie mchotterson Chris Biggs over there. Enough said.

So here’s the real story about what happened at brunch. Nicole got up and told us what we’d be doing, which was picking a date for Amber. Then she introduced Chris and he told us the background behind CrushHub and how it’s supposed to work. Basically, it’s like a dating site on Facebook. But this “game” lets you suggest your Facebook friends to be matched with each other, and then all of your friends vote on which suggestion is the best match.

Each table got a pad of blank faces so we could draw our real life pieces of hunk for Amber to choose. The winning table (the table who presented the bachelor that Amber chose) each got 20 bucks cash from CrushHub, the person who presented the match got 100 bucks! Oh, and CrushHub is going to sponsor Amber’s date. Which is in Costa Rica, where she’ll be staying when she meets her Costa Rican surfer hottie with six-pack abs.

We didn’t win. But I think that was because we weren’t allowed to present Amber with who I still believe is her perfect love match. Jenna and I drew a pretty fantastic rendition (I was in charge of the eye section) of …drumroll… none other than Chris Biggs himself. Nicole immediately vetoed that presentation, so as not to embarrass Amber or Chris. But Jenna presented him with his own “dating profile” as a laugh anyway, since we’d already done the work.

After CrushHub brunch, there was a choose-your-own-activity afternoon. But I chose no activity in favor of laying by the pool with Jayme and also catching up on my Lucky Bloke PLEASURE PACK contest. We had to tweet pictures that spelled out the words pleasure pack, where each letter stood for another word (ex. sensual for S and unique for U, etc.) I think I completed it?!? There were so many it was hard to keep track. Also, when we were by the pool, we caught up with the bachelor boys from the day before who now had a $500 cabana. So we stole some shade from them for a while.

We didn’t stay down there for long before we decided to leave, and I went up to my room to start getting ready. Dinner was scheduled waaayyy before Chateau, so I just threw some stuff on and went down to happy hour with Bob, Nicole, and Jenna at Sin City Brewing Co. We sat there for a few hours and just chatted it up. After a while, people started trickling down. Then it was off to Planet Hollywood for dinner. This buffet was my favorite, even more so than Paris. And while we were there, the Miss America contestants came in to eat. Yeah, you heard right. Beauty queens actually EAT. At buffets!

Somewhere between the fullest belly ever and the hotel room, Katherine and I got changed for the club. We met in Nicole’s room, where we were told there’d be a POPchips party (since there was a shipping mishap and they arrived late). There was also LOTS of condoms. I stole a bunch.

Chateau was amazing, as VIP club service always is. We got 3 tables with bottle service and our own roped off dance floor, or at least that’s what we made our area into, on the rooftop of the Paris. Right under the Eiffel tower. Of course, everyone want to leave super early for some reason, so I don’t feel like I got nearly enough time dancing. I also feel like some old man though that Grace and I were whores he’d buy a drink for and take home for the night. So he bought us a (nasty) drink and we ran away. There were also really creepy cirque-esque performers there. Like, a man dressed in bondage accessories and wearing a horse head, for example.

Then the night got blurry. There was meeting up with people at some sort of food establishment and awkward turtles with underwear showing caught on camera so I’m not going to show that ANYWHERE (for Terra‘s* sake), and tackle hugs that left bruises, and people leaving much earlier than they were supposed to, and hanging out in garden chairs on the patio of the Flamingo until 5am waiting for Lauren to have to leave.

And I think most of us got hardly any sleep (some of us got none at all). But we had to wake up the next morning for the worst part of BiSC: the farewell brunch. Also known as the wig brunch. Also known as the time I morphed into Rainbow Brite (partially) for the third year in a row. Also known as, how did I function with such a headache. Also known as, at least Brandy seemed like she had it worse than me and I’m selfish so I relish things like that. Also known as, WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH ALL THE CRAWDADS?!?! GET THOSE THINGS OUT OF ALL OF THE PICTURES THEY ARE FREAKING GROSS. yuck.

Oh, and the VEDA-ers at BiSC gathered together.

And then it was over. Just like that.

*Oh, most of the pictures I’ve used in these 3 posts? It was either me (crappy quality), Rachel (official BiSC photog), or Terra (goddess with a camera)

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Filed under Bloggers in Sin City, Blogosphere, VEDA