Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sweet Award and Jillry GIVEAWAY

I came in to work yesterday with a sweet surprise - an award from my Mama, aka Tookie. Isn't this the cutest award? Go see her. She may just love you this much one day. ;)

Tookie is also the creator of my beautiful new blog header. She's so creative and knows her stuff. She's also working on my Jillry shop header, can't wait to see the final result!

Speaking of Jillry, I've been busy. I haven't touched a single bead or made a piece of jewelry for months. There's a new collection of beading goodies on the way to my house as we speak and I can't wait to get my hands on them!


Yep, I'm going to start doing giveaways. Sorry men, the giveaways will be pieces of my jewelry, however - I'm sure the women in your lives would love a pair of sparkly earrings from their man! :)

Now, I just made these yesterday so you are looking at very fresh pieces of Jillry. They were inspired by my recent honeymoon trip to Cancun, Mexico. They are special to me so I plead the winner of this giveaway give their winning piece much love.

All of these pieces are in my shop:

Love Affair Necklace

Whimsy Bracelet

Hot Mayan Night

Angel Wings

Mystical Blue Earrings

 - I'm uploading daily, so go check my shop out!

I'll give away one of these pieces of jewelry at the first of every month, unless otherwise noted. So be sure to check in for a giveaway post a few days before the beginning of each month to join in the lottery!

If you want to play, leave me a comment with the piece of jewelry above that you want to adopt. I'll place all of your names in a hat and pull a lucky winner. Because tomorrow is New Years Eve I'll be pulling a name and announcing it on my blog January 2nd. Otherwise, I'll normally be posting the winner on the 1st of every month.

Sometimes I'll let you choose the yummy, maybe sometimes I'll make up a little surprise giveaway, who knows! This is all new to me and I plan to have fun with it.

So! Let me know if you want to play and which one you like in the comments box. This time you have until midnight on January 1st to play. Good luck!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A week of bliss

The wedding came first, this is true. However, the only photos I have of the wedding are snapshots from friends and family here and there. The photos from the photographers should come soon and I've love to give everyone the whole picture of what was the most emotional, exciting and pivotal evening of our lives.

If you have to use the restroom, I suggest you take a break now. This is going to be a long photo post.

This is me and J on our first day, which was a Sunday. After 3 hours of flying and a Dramamine pill, we were both a little pooped. After a mexican buffet dinner of fajitas at the resort, we were in bed by 8:30pm.

"Good morning, my wife."

"Good morning, my hubby."

Throughout the week I'd find myself staring at him, just thinking. And I caught him with the same gaze a few times too. :)

The next day we woke early to go on our complimentary excursion. We took a bus and boat ride to Isla Mujeres: the Island of Women. There we took a golf cart tour of the poorest areas of the town and the sights. We took photos off the top of the light house and of a house made completely of shell.

A quick snap of the town's greenery. The palm trees were so beautiful there.

And the water, so very blue.

A photo above snapped during the boat ride on our way to snorkel. I had such anxiety the night before and during the boat ride. I had never snorkeled before and all I could think about was open water and sharks. Can you believe I loved it so much that we took another trip later in the week to snorkel a second time??

We took a water proof camera with us:

"I can't believe we're on our honeymoon, snorkeling!!!" Came out of our mouths a few times.

We had some down time too. Some much needed down time after weeks and months of planning and putting the other aside for necessary to-dos. A few evenings were spent in the jacuzzi on our balcony. Good conversation, great company. Serious reconnecting. And shampoo bubbles. He's such a rule breaker.

A few shots of the resort and the swim up bar, above. Starting at 9am, these little huts around the resort served any alcoholic beverage you desired. The pool would be slowly filling up in the morning, everyone just waiting for the first person to request a margarita or beer that early. That brave soul opened the flood gates and started the party every morning. I believe J was the party starter the last morning. As he walked back from the bar with two pina coladas for us, the woman behind us yelled to her husband, "Bar's open!!"

I've never had so many pina coladas in one week. Ever. One evening I was just about over drinking anything alcoholic and ordered a water at the pool bar with J. The dark haired, dark skinned bartender looked at me with surprise. "Water?" he inquired. "Water here is TEQUILA!!!" J snorted a little and I just shook my head. I pleaded with him and he served me my first water by the poolside.

Of course at some point I wanted J to take me to the flea market for some great deals and Mexican finds.

That's just a lemonade. We had just spent thirty minutes walking through the flea market with dozens of shop owners badgering you to come in their shop. At this point I was really missing home and my always abundant supply of Diet Dr. Pepper. *sigh*

After an hour (or two) savanger hunt for J's regular smokes, and being hassled at the market, we crashed at the nearest bus stop. The buses run every five minutes in Cancun and the drivers manuver those buses in and out of traffic like its Mexican Nascar. If you avoid rollcoasters, I suggest you avoid the buses when you visit Cancun. However, at 65 cents or 6 pasos a person per ride, it was just another form of cheap entertainment for us.

I ended up with a beautiful turquoise pendant and another pendant of the Mayan calendar. J also got what he wanted: a Mayan wooden mask. He started this tradition on his trip to Hawaii years ago. Now he picks up masks at each tropical destination to represent his time and the culture there. I'll take a shot of it for another post. It looks perfect in our bathroom.

The sunsets in Cancun are breathtaking. We woke up twice at six in the morning to see these. The photos just don't do them justice. It was amazing waking up next to him every morning. Add these beauties in and it'll make a girl start to wonder what she did to deserve this.

A shot of one of the Mexican shows at the resort.

Yes, what you see below is octopus. No, that's NOT my plate.

We took advantage of the free shows at the resort. J's aunt and uncle have a timeshare at the GR Solaris, so when they offered us their week at their all inclusive resort, we jumped at the chance. You get discount rates and great perks. As "members" we enjoyed a free excursion, a gala night of wining and dining and free shows every other night of the week. The shows began with a nicer offering of Mexican style and some American dishes.

After lunches and dinners of sometimes mediocre and sometimes cold (but always free) buffets, we were gung ho for the chance at this food. When you live in Louisiana, food elsewhere just does not compare. I wish we would have taken my spice cabinet with me. Anyway, shrimp as large as my palm, assorted veggies and warm entrees, and... octopus. J said it was delicious, I just couldn't do it.

J and I received complimentary robes and slippers to wear all week. We wore those babies every chance we got. Now I'm on a mission to find us matching robes like those. The slippers were to keep but the robes, not so much. After our usual shower I hopped out to retrieve our robes.

"Babe!!" I holler to J after a thorough scan of the room and bathroom to find no robe in sight. "The robe ninjas stole our robes!!"

Apparently the day before you check out they sneak in your room and take the robes so no one leaves with them. Bastards.

Jason, below, happy because he finally found some cigars he liked.

And me below, beaming with a full belly because we took a night off from the resort to go downtown to find some food from home. Something familiar. Maybe even something spicy. We were just about tired of fajitas. We found a Hooters! The world's smallest Hooters, that is. Of course me and J had to purchase shirts there. Read mine. DO IT.

Below, a nice couple offered to take our photo in the resort bar.

"You guys are newlyweds, aren't you?" Yes, we say. She says she can tell. I wonder if it was all the flirting and J trying to take photos of my cleavage without me knowing that tipped her off?

I had hoped to get a shot of us on the beach and we were successful! Most of the beaches were filled with tourists and other couples didn't hesitate to walk up and offer to take our photo. We returned the favor many times as well.

The last night of our honeymoon we splurged on a couples massage. I'm so glad we did. For a full hour, me and my husband laid side by side as all our muscles were worked out. It was a wonderful ending to an amazing week.

Saturday check out was 11am. Our flight was at 3ish, so we had a couple hours to kill. Below is our pouty faces. The breeze, the gorgeous skies and beaches, the always generous and accomodating bar staff... a week of romantical lovery... we were sad about going home.

A lunch of cold nachos and cervesas and an hour by the pool fully dressed while others walked around in their swimsuits finally pushed us over the edge. We were ready to go home.

The airline had other plans for us. After the airline agent politely told us we were 7lbs over the limit and allowed us to open our luggage and stuff heavy shoes and jeans into our carry ons, she then announces that our flight is delayed.

"How delayed?" we ask her. Just enough that we would miss our connecting flight. Which meant we would be staying overnight in Houston.

But first, we would have to spend that extra time hanging out at the Cancun airport. Almost four hours. We spent a little time at Margaritaville and had some very disappointing salsa.

By the way, that is NOT salsa. Yuck. That is a bunch of tomatos chopped up hanging out in their own nasty juices mixed with some onions and cilantro. Where's the art in that??
Oh and J, he's a smoker. He tried so hard to convince me that we could go backwards through customs. "There's GOT to be a way out to smoke." I just kept shaking my head. I finally gave in and agreed to walk back to customs with him to find a way out if I could tell him I told you so if in fact there wasn't a way out. Let's just say, I got to say it. Smugly. But yeah, poor J. Four hours in the airport with a smoke?

And of course when its time to board the plane we are the last seats called to enter and low and behold, I'm the person that gets chosen for the random security check. I'm told to put my bags down while I'm scanned and my things are dug through while J, with his wife beater and tattoos practically skips through. It might have been my puffy white girlie sleeves that made me look suspicious.

Home seemed so far away at that point. Thankfully my dear friend Lola lives in Houston and came to the rescue. She dropped everything, picked us up at the airport, fed us our first homestyle dinner. We were almost there, we could taste it. At the crack of dawn we were up and being delivered to the airport.

I'll leave you with a happy photo of our last day. Before learning about our flight delay. We were tan, tired and floating on Cloud 9. A week of laying by the pool together drinking cocktails and getting used to Mexican beer, holding hands while snorkeling side by side, snuggles in a king size bed in an all inclusive resort in another country as husband and wife. Amazing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow in Louisiana?

Si. I mean, Yes. Unbelieveable to say the least.

So we're back from the honeymoon. Back to reality. A honeymoon post is next, don't you worry! The next few posts are going to be all out of order, but I want to get this snow post done first. The wedding photos will be a little while coming because of the holidays. If you're good boys and girls, I'll post bridal shots.

I love the photo of our footprints and our home covered in snow. Me, J and Mini's little footprints. Our first snow together.

Surely those of you that get snow regularly every winter are rolling your eyes or in awe that I'm posting about a measley 6 inches of snow. But this is the first good snow we've had in over ten years.

My sister woke me up with a text message at 5 that morning. "You've got to be kidding me," was my thought when I heard the phone go off. Jen is notorious for texting stupid forwards at all hours of the day and night. But when I saw "Its SNOWING!" I leaped out of bed to see the sight.

Thankfully I had the day off but J had to go in to work. Louisiana isn't really prepared for snow, so the roads were crazy. Schools closed down, businesses took the day off. Mom and I had to do some last minute stuff before the wedding but by the time we went out the roads were safe and our town was breathtakingly beautiful with its new blanket of snow.

My mom jokes about this day. When I was younger I told her that I wasn't going to get married or have children. That is just wasn't in the cards for me. It snowed the Thursday before our wedding. She said "Is this hell freezing over because Jill is getting married?" *snicker*

That's all for this post. Hopefully I'll catch up on more in the next few days, including the honeymoon post. Missed you guys!

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