The Life of Bon: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday Week 8: Favorite Summer Vacation

Welcome to another round of Throwback Thursdays, folks! For those of you who are joining us for the first time, here's the rundown.


Here's how it works:

1.  Every Thursday through August we'll be throwing it back here at  We want to see pictures of course, but we want the stories that go behind those pictures even more!  And because I'm a total control freak, I've even mapped out a nice little schedule for all of us.  I figure the prompts will make it easier to come up with something to write about every week.

TH  6/13  A memory of learning to drive, your first car or the early driving days.
TH  6/20  Elementary school crush
TH  6/27  Throwback birthday
TH  7/4   Throwback fourth of July
TH  7/11  First job
TH  7/18  Moving away from home
TH  7/25  Memory of one or both of your parents from childhood
TH  8/1   Favorite summer vacation
TH  8/8   Childhood friends
TH  8/15  First kiss
TH  8/22  Memory of a high school teacher or high school class
TH  8/29  Back to school memory

In 2001, my family went on a cruise.

It was all of my mom's side of the family that was going- cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.  My dad decided to stay home.  My dad's a quiet country boy at heart- I just don't know that he could quite tackle the luxurious food, the dazzling gowns, and all my loud, big extended family.  But my mom was determined to go, and so we did!

I don't know that it would have mattered much to me if my dad was there or not because I hung out with my cousin besties, Cami and Marissa, all day and all night.  We shared a table in the dining room together, (I'll never forget the waiter asking my ten year old cousin, Marianne, what kind of dressing she wanted on her salad.  Her reply: "Salad dressing."),  we stalked cute boys on the boat together, we lay out at the pool together. (Sidenote- did you know that I'm using the correct form of "lay" there?  I know it sounds so weird but the past tense of lie (to rest) is lay.  You just got English teachered.)

I remember there being a little bit of "cousin drama" when we were there, but when I read my journal from the trip it seemed we were fighting like bandits the whole time.  I'm not sure if this was because we really were fighting that much or if that was what my mind decided to focus on. 

For example:

"The only problem so far with the cruise is that Cami and Riss don't get along very well, so they are always at it.  It drives me nuts.  They fight all the time and often I get stuck in the middle.  It sucks."

"After dinner Cami wanted to go to a "Hoe down".  Me and Riss went with her and it was so lame.  Hardly anybody was there and when we said we wanted to leave Cami got really mad.  Rissa left anyway but I stayed.  It was pretty dumb but I acted like it was fun.  We line danced and that part was okay, but I really wasn't enjoying myself that much."

"Friday night me, Riss and Cami sort of got in an argument over going to a dance and I was so frustrated that I just went back to our room and played cards with the little girls."

"All in all the cruise was a blast.  Even though Riss and Cami fought a lot, they did get along sometimes and I had a lot fun with them.  However, I am excited to go home."

HA!  I love the "However, I am excited to go home."  So formal!  Also, sorry Riss and Cami if I threw you under the bus on this post.  We're all grown up and past that petty teenage stuff, right?

The other hilarious thing is I said like five times in my journal how much I missed my high school crush, Kevin.  Which is pathetic because Kevin never talked to me.

Moral of the story:  don't take teenagers on nice vacations.

I got a little carried away cutting this picture out.  Sorry, Katie.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Welcome to July's book club!  I'm a tricky little sucker having the July book club day on the last day of the month, aren't I?  That's how I roll!  (Really book club is on the last Wednesday of the month, but, you know...)

While I'm thinking about it, is there anyone out there who has read all five books for our book club so far?  If so, let me know!  I'll send you a cookie!  Or something.

And also while I'm thinking about it, goodreads came with their list of most abandoned books and why we stop reading them.  It's fascinating.

On to the book club!  Here's our schedule so far-

February:  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
March:  The Fault in our Stars by John Green
April:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
May:  Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
June:  Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
July:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
August: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
September: Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
October:  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
November: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
December:  We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Today we will be discussing...

I love love love love this book.  I would list it on my top 3 books of books that I read in the past decade and my top ten books of all time.  It really is amazing.  Here's why:

PLOT:  The plot keeps you guessing and builds enough that you never lose interest.  I know a book is really good if I "sprint" at the finish line, meaning I'm around 100 pages away from finishing it and I just finish it all in one night because I just can't wait!  The first time I read The Help I stayed up until 4 am finishing it.  That very rarely happens for me- it takes a pretty killer plot and a steady, quick pace to manage that.

I tried for a long time to figure out how Stockett maintains such a perfect pace throughout the book, and I have concluded that she has just the right amount of things going on. She nails it on the sub plots and the sub sub plots. And the most beautiful thing is that everything ties in at the end, it's not just a bunch of random things happening to people, they all come together.  I love the suspense that comes around Skeeter trying to do the interviews for her book, the curiosity that comes from Celia and Minnie's situation, the nervousness I feel for all the maids helping out on the book, the excitement I feel for Skeeter's first real boyfriend, the disgust I feel for Hilly and Elizabeth, the heartache I feel for Skeeter's mom...

Sidenote:  The first time I read this book I was furious that Skeeter didn't end up with Stuart.  Why couldn't Skeeter have been happy with her man?   I was single at the time and that may have had something to do with my intense desire for her to end up with someone. Re-reading the book I was surprised by how glad I was that Skeeter didn't end up with Stuart.  How much stronger I felt she was without him, how proud I was that she stood up for what was important to her, that she didn't give up her dreams and settle for some man who wasn't a good fit at all.

VOICE:  I feel like I could read this book every couple of years and be totally entertained.  The reason why is because Stockett uses such incredible voice with her characters.  They come to life, you feel like you know the characters, it's like meeting up with an old friend.  I love that the book is told from three different perspectives, and each character has her own unique voice.  My favorite character is Minnie, just because she's such a tough cookie and little spitfire.  She says things like "She's wearing a tight red sweater and a red skirt and enough makeup to scare a hooker," and  "Even though she has zero kids and nothing to do all day, she is the laziest woman I've ever seen.  Including my sister Doreena who never lifted a royal finger growing up because she had the heart defect that we later found out was a fly on the X-ray machine."  I rarely laugh out loud with a book, but these two lines had be giggling in bed.  No movie can duplicate that powerful voice in writing.

CHARACTERS:  The characters are strong, but not too strong.  You know?  Skeeter is smart and brave, but she says the wrong thing all the time and she's tall and ugly.  Minnie is loyal and tenacious, but she's sassy and runs her mouth too much.  Even the "villians" have redeeming qualities, which I loved.  I hate it when the antagonist is all bad, it makes for such a weak and flat character.  Hilly, easily the most hated character in the book, absolutely adores her children and was Skeeter's only friend in high school.  This is something I didn't appreciate from the movie version- they made the good guys too good and the bad guys too bad.  The truth is we all have bad and good in us, it's just what we choose to act on the most that makes us who we are.  I guess I just like my characters a little more complex and a little more rounded and Stockett definitely delivers on that.

EMOTIONAL POWER/ OVERALL MESSAGE:  It has been interesting to read this book as the Treyvon Martin case has been going on.  This line struck me hard when I was reading:  "There is so much you don't know about a person.  Wasn't that the point of the book [that Skeeter writes]?  For women to realize, We are just two people.  Not that much separates us.  Not nearly as much as I'd thought."  I feel like that's the overall message of the book and that's why it is told from the viewpoint of three very different women.  They are different in terms of wealth, race, opportunity, family, attitude, but the point is by the end of the book you realize they're not that different at all.

The other scene from the book that left me in tears is the scene after Johnny and Celia find out that Celia won't ever be able to carry a baby.  Minnie, six months pregnant with a bunch of kids already at home, comes in the kitchen and sees her white bosses crying.  Johnny thanks her for "saving Celia's life" and then Minnie states,  "So I lean my hand on the sideboard because the baby's getting heavy on me.  And I wonder how it is that I have so much when she doesn't have any.  He's crying.  She's crying.  We are three fools in the dining room crying."  It's the first time we really see Minnie's vulnerabilities and we realize how much she loves Celia, in spite of how she tries not to, in spite of the different colors of their skin.  That scene is so beautiful- a white couple and a black woman sitting down at the table and crying together over shared heartache.

ON THE MOVIE V. BOOK I have a friend who every time I suggest a book to him he says, "Oh, I already saw that movie."  It drives me crazy that people will see a movie and then never read the book upon which it was based.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that the film adaptation for The Help is terrific- I loved the movie.  But still.  It left out so much in the book. It is impossible for a movie to fully capture the beauty of the text. The voice, the pulse, the writing.  I never know if I am happy that my favorite book is being made into a movie- on one end I'm happy that more people will be familiar with the story, but on the other end I'm sad that those people will now never push themselves to read the story in its complete beauty.  I suppose this is my urging to you... if you have seen this movie but never read the book, it is worth it still to read the book. It is one of the best books written in the past decade, and you will fall completely in love with the story and the characters..

I promise.

Now.  Link up your review!  And you can leave a comment if you've seen the movie but not read the book, I won't mind :)

Little Moments

Two years ago Greg and I were tromping around Europe.  We saw plays every night and biked around Paris and ate truckloads of ice cream.   It is an experience I will never forget.

One year ago I was pouting and complaining and whining that I couldn't be in Europe.  Every day I thought back to what we were doing exactly one year ago. "Oneyears ago on this date we were here.  We did this.  We saw this."  Over and over again.  It was exhausting and I made myself miserable with my strict schedule of vacation remembrance.

Today I've thought a little about Europe and missed our time there, but mostly I've been too busy and happy  even think about that.  I don't need Europe to be happy.  I feel so content and at peace with my life and the decisions that we have made lately.  It is an incredible thing to be completely happy with your life in its simplicity.  No beautiful home, no fancy cars, no lavish vacations.  But so happy.

This is partly thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer.  I read the post below about the little moments in life and felt so overwhelmed with gratitude.  Jenn admitted to me in an email that she thought her writing might be "too gritty" for my audience, but I disagree.  She might have a bit of an edge and a bit of sass, but at the bottom of it all, Jennifer is a fantastic writer who expresses her thoughts beautifully.  This post that she wrote had me beside myself with gratitude and peace, and I am so excited to share it with you.

A few weeks ago, the bloggess wrote about wishes. At the end of the post, she'd asked her readers to share theirs. I'd wished for beauty, lightness, love, respect and self-sufficiency and cast it into the virtual cosmos with more than two thousand others' hopes--for their children to be happy and healthy; for children period; that their spouses loved them as they had done on their wedding days; for puppies and beaches and swimming pools.

The more I read these comments, these wishes, the more I thought of how we sometimes long to go back and fix something in our past. I've been guilty of this myself. My head's not always right. It likes to twist things around. And when that happens, all I can think is that I should've done so many things differently.

But really, what I'd rather do is go back and relive a moment that was good, just so I could reinforce the memory.

Like the time I went to California last fall and took the impossibly long bus ride from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica and stood on the beach to wonder at the glory of the light glinting on the water.

Or two days later, when I'd come out of a pitch slam, pleased that I'd managed to convince a couple of agents to read a few pages. So certain of failure, I'd been met instead with consideration and curiosity, with a small measure of kindness. I'd stepped outside, eager for a burger and beer, to look out at the mall courtyard beneath an overcast sky and felt privileged for being able to say, I did that. It's rare that I like walking in my shoes. I was glad to be wearing them that day.

Like the last Lone Star showdown between Texas A&M University and t.u. The Aggies lost, by the way, which was a huge disappointment, but I was there. The game against Nebraska, which the Ags won nine to six. And the game against eighth-ranked Oklahoma that the unranked Aggies won thirty-three to nineteen. I was there for those, too. That Nebraska game? I've never yelled so loud in my life. The Oklahoma game? I almost didn't go because I wasn't feeling well. And two hours before the kickoff, I was sitting on my couch, ninety miles away, debating whether I should just watch it on television when it occurred to me if the Aggies won and I wasn't there, I'd be mad, so I went. I felt a lot better by the end of the night.

The summer I toured Europe with my cousins and their friends.



The last Christmas we spent at the cabin in Basalt, Colorado with my entire family. Eleven years ago. I don't remember much of it, save for the fact that I didn't fight with my brothers once.

The sound of my older brother's laughter. Of his voice. The sight of him with his crooked grin and his mischievous gleam. The way he'd stand there with his finger inches from my face and say in this incredibly annoying voice, "I'm not touching you." The way he'd piss me off. Every damned day.

Friday, April nineteenth. Eleven years ago. The first time I learned the power of physical chemistry. The only time I've experienced it at such a magnitude. The boy stood right behind me, a mere inches from me. All I had to do was lean back a fraction. Those little shivers you get? It was like a flood. My whole body was affected. We weren't touching. We weren't looking at each other. We weren't speaking. It was stunning and scary and wonderful all at once. And yes, I remember the date and the day because something like that sticks with you.

I'd rather know these things again than go back and change a day or a choice. If I'd gone to College Station, Texas instead of Nevada, Missouri for my first two years of college, I would've missed out on meeting some spectacular women; if I'd stayed on as a bookseller in Houston rather than moving to San Antonio for a supervisor's spot, I wouldn't have met the boy and learned that the chemistry I'd read about in books or seen in on the screen was, in fact, possible; I wouldn't have learned to love Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare in a way that other professors hadn't been able to teach me.

I wouldn't have learned to love.

Read more of Jenn's writings here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

On Race and Love

Hit me up ASAP if you are interesting in sponsoring The Life of Bon this month.  
The rates can't be beat!

Friday I lathered up that sunblock, put on my trusty swimsuit and made out for the splash pad with my husband and my 18 month old niece in tow.  It was a scorching afternoon, with temperatures passing one hundred degrees and not a drop of moisture in sight.  The house wouldn't cool down below eighty, doing anything outside sounded miserable, and our energy was all but zapped to pieces.  So we headed for the splash pad.  A little more than just hosing off in the backyard, but not quite a full on swimming pool, the splash pad seemed the perfect compromise.

Is there anything in the world cuter than a baby's bum?

I just finished reading The Help and I've been following the Treyvon Martin case with interest so I suppose complicated and confusing ideas about race were swirling around somewhere in my head when I saw these two little guys running around the splash pad together.

I don't know all the answers about the tough stuff in life.  I don't know if the verdict on the Treyvon Martin case was correct or not.  I don't know if it was all a big misunderstanding or if it was a hate crime against a minority.  I know none of that.

I do know that all of us adults sit all day long and talk until we're blue in the face.  We argue our side, we get political, we listen to endless news stories about a case like this.  We call it hate, we call it murder, we attack those on the opposing side.  And in the meantime a black and a white kid are just holding hands, running around the water park.  They don't notice the color of the skin.  Why in the world would that even matter?One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon states that to be saved we must become, "as a child- submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love."  Isn't it weird that those who are the youngest are the best at showing love and understanding?

I felt so much hope for our world when I saw these kids.  To steal a quote from Raven, they know nothing of " hatred, intolerance, racism, bigotry, indoctrination, homophobia, racism and prejudice."  These things are taught to them.  Here's hoping we will be a little less quick to teach them these things.  Here's hope that my children will be more understanding, open minded, and full of love and tolerance than anyone I've met before.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Movie Theater Popcorn

So here's the thing with Saturdays.  I kinda like always really want to write on Saturdays.  Isn't that weird?  During the school year I won't touch my blog with a ten foot pole on Saturdays.  But during the summer I am drawn to it.  Like nothing is better for my blog than a Saturday morning and my pjs and a quiet time just to write.

Blogging has become quite complicated to me.  I'm still trying to figure out how to balance it all, and perhaps that will be a lifetime struggle.  Somehow I feel my blog week gets totally booked.  Monday I have to announce a link up, Tuesday is a guest post, Wednesday I have to show this outfit, Thursday is Throwback Thursday and Friday is the group giveaway.  When is there time left to just write?

Which is why I'm kind of in love with Saturdays on my blog.  I don't schedule anything on Saturday because it wouldn't be fair to the sponsor because traffic is down.  So Saturdays are always open.  During the school year this meant I didn't post anything on Saturday.  It was my free day.  But now I see it as my day to just write and write and write.

The pictures below were taken on Greg's 25th birthday.  The only thing Greg wanted to do on his birthday was see Pacific Rim in 3-D and isn't that such a boy thing to want to do on his birthday?  The truth is that he knew I would never go see that movie with him normally.  It would demand a special occasion the likes of a birthday.  So he took advantage of the situation, declared the only thing he wanted for his big day was to see Pacific Rim with his sweetheart.  And that is how I ended up watching a movie about fighting robots wearing 3-D glasses that give me a killer headache and eating popcorn that is way too buttery for my likes and way too expensive for me to ignore.  Ah, he's a lucky boy isn't he?

Movie theater popcorn represents a lot of the differences in our marriage.  I grew up with eight kids in my family- there was no such thing as popcorn at the theater- in fact, it was a rare day when we even went to the movies.  Can you imagine- to take ten people to the movies?  That's 100 bones just in movie tickets.  Because I was raised without movie theater popcorn, I never want it now.  I see it as a total waste of money.  Greg sees it as necessary to complete the movie experience because growing up he always had popcorn at the movies. (Only two kids in his family- they ate popcorn to their little heart's content!) A movie wasn't a movie without the popcorn!  So now every time Greg and I go to the movie we always have to decide "Do we get popcorn or not?"  Greg begs for it, I beg not and isn't it a weird world where whether or not you buy popcorn is a legitimate issue in your marriage?

Sidenote:  Strangely enough I am kind of interested in how you all were raised.  Do you get popcorn at the movies?  Or do you even go to the movies?  And what does your significant other think of the whole conundrum?

Here's another weird issue in our marriage we have to face. What kind of milk do we buy? Skim or 1% or 2%? (Whole milk is definitely not even an option. Shudder.)  And when do we throw the milk out?  See, Greg is a bit paranoid about food going bad.  He generally thinks milk is no good when it gets to two or three days before the expiration date.  Heck, in my family we'd drink it after the expiration date as long as it still smelled halfway decent.

Here's another:  how long are leftovers good for?  I'll eat leftovers for a week.  Greg only likes to eat them the day after, or maybe if we're lucky two days.  Therefore, I'm always trying to get him to eat leftovers and lying about when the food was made because I know he won't eat it if it was made five days ago.  Honesty is for the birds when it comes to leftovers.

These are the things no one tells you about before you get married.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rolling with my besties!

These are the things that are the very most important to me.  God.  My family.  My friends.  In that order.

One of my lifetime best friends, Akasha, has been in town from California the past few days.  She has three adorable children and still probably barely weighs in at a buck ten.  I admit I was jealous of her in high school, the boys seemed to be more attracted to her natural beauty and soft giggle than they were to my flat chest and bossy pants attitude.  Weird.

Somehow we overcame high school together and then were college roommates and then somehow even lived in Hawaii together.  I have been forever grateful for her in my life and have somehow wondered what she sees in me?  Like I'm kind of bossy and annoying?  Why does she like me so much?  But she does and I like her and that's what best friends are all about. There is something to be said for a girl who understands you without saying a word, who laughs at the exact same things you laugh at, and who can pick up a conversation right where it left off nine months ago.

Ah, geez, we just got right on sappy there, didn't we?

What I meant to say was "I've been hanging with my besty this week having so much fun, it's a blast because we get to go shopping! LOL!"


I'm excited for y'all to read today's hilarious guest post by Rebecca at Mommy in Heels.  She's a self proclaimed "fashion blogger" and explains the rocky road she took in getting there. In other words, Rebecca just makes fun of herself and all the clothes she used to wear. Now I don't know about you, but I love a girl that can poke fun of herself, that doesn't take life too seriously, and can laugh with the rest of us when she looks ridiculous.  That's Rebecca in a nutshell.  Take it away, girl!

Hey everyone! So happy to be blogging today at The Life of Bon. She is such a beautifully funny person, isn't she?

Let's talk about how I came to be a fashion blogger, at Mommy in Heels, shall we? I'd like to think I was destined to be a fashion blogger. (I should probably preface this whole post by saying I am just a tad bit of a sarcastic person if you can't tell!)

I think it went all the way back to junior high. I was just ahead of my time. I mean, I knew way back then that selfies were the way to go. Except, I just had to trust that I looked damn good since I was using my purple Le Clic camera.

I already enjoyed posing for the camera. I mean, who wouldn't want to get a picture taken wearing a crop top and jeans with the longest zipper ever? I think I needed to pull my button fly jeans up just a tad bit higher though. Then I would have been a true fashionista.

As fashionable as my purple Doc Martens made me in junior high, I am pretty sure my fashion sense took off in college. Just take a look at my ribbed turtleneck sweater collection. If that doesn't scream "fashion blogger" then I don't know what does. Seriously though, when you think of going out to a college keg party, the first thought in your mind is "turtleneck sweater," isn't it? Yep. I thought so. It is. Nothing easier to do keg stands and chug beer in than a turtleneck.

We can talk about my friend Jess' leather jacket another day. I could dedicate a whole post to late 90's early 2000's leather jackets. You know we all had one. (ps, love you Jess)

Yep. Every color of the rainbow. And lets just ignore how hardcore we were drinking Mikes Hard Lemonade. 

Although my husband has his story of how he knew I was the one, I am almost certain in was my turtleneck collection that won him over. 

Or maybe it was this outfit. He took one look at me and thought, "that outfit makes her look like she would be a good wife and Mom. And one helluva fashion blogger." 

So there you have it, ladies. I think it is pretty obvious from these pictures that it has always been in the cards for me to be a fashion blogger. When you look that good in a turtleneck sweater, you're destined. 

If you have time, take a second and vote for me here! I was lucky enough to be invited to enter a contest to win a "me time" getaway to Miraval Resort and a Wallis wardrobe! How awesome is that!!! Thank you so much! (and hopefully Wallis has an awesome turtleneck sweater in their fall collection I can totally wear)

Hope you all have a great day! You can check out my blog here or follow me on BloglovinTwitter, and Instagram

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursdays: A memory of your parents

Welcome to another round of Throwback Thursdays, folks! For those of you who are joining us for the first time, here's the rundown.


Here's how it works:

1.  Every Thursday through August we'll be throwing it back here at  We want to see pictures of course, but we want the stories that go behind those pictures even more!  And because I'm a total control freak, I've even mapped out a nice little schedule for all of us.  I figure the prompts will make it easier to come up with something to write about every week.

TH  6/13  A memory of learning to drive, your first car or the early driving days.
TH  6/20  Elementary school crush
TH  6/27  Throwback birthday
TH  7/4   Throwback fourth of July
TH  7/11  First job
TH  7/18  Moving away from home
TH  7/25  Memory of one or both of your parents from childhood
TH  8/1   Favorite summer vacation
TH  8/8   Childhood friends
TH  8/15  First kiss
TH  8/22  Memory of a high school teacher or high school class
TH  8/29  Back to school memory

First off, I apologize for being so late on this Throwback Thursday.  I usually try to post the night before so that the post can be up all day but yesterday was just busy busy busy for us.  Did you know that the 24th of July is a holiday in Utah?  It is!  Everyone gets work off and plays all day!  July 24th is the day that the Mormon pioneers first arrived to Utah.  We celebrate with pioneer parades, pie eating contests, and of course, fireworks.  It's great!  Move to Utah and you get TWO holidays in July.

As much I love the 24th of July, it really cramped up my writing schedule.  Tennis, dinner, movie, fireworks, who's got time to blog on a day like that?!?  That's why this post is coming at you about 12 hours later than it usually does.

The topic for today's theme is a memory of one or both of your parents.  These are my parents.  There names are Dennis and Debi and they are adorable.

This is how my parents always looked growing up.  My dad with his salt and pepper hair and subtle smile, my mom with her "purple poof", as the young girls at our church called it.

This is the memory of my parents I love the most.  My mom was cooking dinner, I was working on a school project at the kitchen table, other siblings were milling about.  (Hey- there were eight of us.  A sibling was always nearby.)  It was about that time of the day, time for my dad to come home from work, time for piano lessons and homework to be put away, time to gather for dinner.  One thing I admire about my parents is that we always always had family dinner.  Seven nights a week we sat down as a family to eat.

Suddenly, my dad burst in the door and rushed to our big stereo in the dining room.  "Unchained melody is on the radio!" He exclaimed, turning and fiddling with the dials.  You know the song, right?  The Ghost theme song-  it was my parents' "song."

He twisted and fiddled and suddenly the song came through clear on the radio, and we could hear the Everly Brothers crooning away, "Oh my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch..."  My dad grabbed my mom and slow danced with her right there in the kitchen.  They turned slowly, rocking back and forth and holding on to one another.  I was mortified at such an open show of affection.  I remember watching, though, kind of in this open shock and amazement along with my other siblings.  We eventually all looked away because for some reason it was embarrassing.  Or maybe we thought it was an intimate moment that we were not invited to?

And that's all it was.  A slow dance in the kitchen.  The song ended, an advertisement came on, and my mom  went back to fixing dinner.

But I'll always remember that outward show of affection.  How my dad whisked my mom up in his arms and danced with her unapologetically in front of any pairs of eyes that cared to watch.

I remember thinking, "I want a marriage like that."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jellys are back and you're gonna be in trouble...

(...ten points if you know what song the title is referring to)

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Jelly Beans but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JellysAreBack

There's been some pretty crazy things that have happened to me so far this summer.  My dog puked all over the bed (what?), my husband lost his third wedding ring, (WHAT?) and I got scammed out of $1,100 (WHATWHATWHAT?!?!)

Yes.  It's been nuts.

I was feeling slightly frazzled and out of control in my life when the opportunity came to promote a pair of jellys.  Let me see if I can explain to you what it felt like to bring jellys back into my life...  You know when you're feeling kind of vulnerable and out of your element and then you see someone or something that brings you comfort?  Someone that you know, that makes you happy, that makes you feel like you're home and everything will end up okay?  That's what jellys were for me this summer.  I was vulnerable and a bit scared and very frustrated, and then there were jellys.  A comfortable summer sandal that tastes of childhood and innocence and carefree days that go on and on and on.

Weird that a sandal can say so much, isn't it?

Now that I've given my totally sentimental and emotional review of the jellys, let's get practical.  The shoes  are totally comfortable and can be worn with literally any outfit in my wardrobe.  I took them to the water park and then out to a nice restaurant later in the evening for dinner.  I especially love my pair because they are clear for crying out loud, what doesn't go with clear?!  (But if clear ain't your thing, you can pretty much get any color known to man.  I'm seriously coveting the neon yellow right now.)  You can dress them up.  You can dress them down.  You can wear them to the beach.  You can wear them into town. (See what I did there?)  You can wear them anywhere!

Side note:  I feel like I need to give mad props to whoever wrote the color descriptions for the shoes.  The color description for the clear shoe reads:  You are often found looking absent-mindedly into space. You have the memory of a sieve. You'll have a shower when you look at your feet and notice that they are dirty.  Now I feel like a million bucks AND have great shoes.  Thanks, color description writer!  (The other color descriptions are just as fun to read.  I read every single one because I am a nerd and have a lot of respect and admiration for great writers out there.)

Top:  Kohl's (similar here) Shorts: Target (Originally white jeans- I cut them off) Shoes: c/o Jbeans

This is the pose I make when I'm uncomfortable posing so I decide to make fun of myself.  Admittedly, it's not my best.  Also, notice totally disjointed elbows.  Impressive, I know.

The best news is that the jellys ship free in the U.S.  HALLELUJAH!  I got mine two days before I was even starting to expect them- fast AND free delivery? Sign me up!  Oh, and if you're feeling a little hesitant don't worry because if you're not digging your shoes you can send them back within 30 days and get your money back.  Easy peasy!

Oh, and one last thing- be prepared to get compliments up the ying yang when you wear these bad boys.  I have worn them out in public twice and both times had girl comes up to me dying to know where I got my jellys.  I'm not ahead of the fashion curve very often, so when I am I definitely soak it all in!  Trust me, it feels great!

Follow jbeans:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Emotional basketcase + a big honking giveaway

I've been all sorts of weird emotional lately.  I mean, I'm a chick, so I'm kinda used to going crazy for no apparent reason.  But these past few days have been especially nuts, even for an emotional wreck like me. 

FOR EXAMPLE:  Saturday we played volleyball with a bunch of Greg's old high school friends.  I pretty much suck at volleyball and yet somehow I am obsessed with it.  I could probably play for eight straight hours and still not want to stop.  Most people were done playing in a couple of hours, and so, naturally, I threw a fit.  Only two hours of volleyball?!?  We must play for at least four!!  I stamped my foot, tried to force people to keep playing with me, and then burst into tears as Greg and I headed to the car.  You know, nothing unreasonable at all.

Then yesterday I forced Greg and all his family to play Risk with me. It's my favorite board game in the world, but I can only get people to play it with me about once a year. Greg's brother attacked my armies on the first move, and I thought I would burst into tears. I was pretty much biting my lip trying not to cry.  Yep, emotions are totally out of wack.

On top of that, I've been missing my sister in Germany up the ying yang.  Probably because my mom's visiting her right now, and I have a total case of  FOMO.  You know, fear of missing out.  I'm sure they're catching up and rocking that brand new little baby and just having a great time without me. 

You're probably thinking I'm just PMSing or maybe even pregnant?  I'm neither of those two.  I took a pregnancy test today just in case because I've been acting so straight up weird.  No bun in the oven for this girl.  I was shocked when the test said negative just because I thought there could be no other explanation for my emotional outbursts.

I'm telling you all this for no other reason other than that it feels good to tell it to someone.  I would love it if you could all tell me that you've also been crying lately because you can't play volleyball  and there's nothing at all weird about that.  All very rational indeed.  Mmmmkay?  Thanks.

In other news, I've got nine hotties dying to give away a bunch of sweet stuff to you.  Enter the giveaway below for gift cards galore- Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, Barnes and Noble, Target, you name it.  You won't have to spend any of your own money for weeks with these gift cards.



$15 Target Gift Card

$20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
$10 Starbucks Gift Card
(Because books and coffee go hand in hand)

$20 Cinemark gift card

$20 Sephora Gift Card

One hour of creative coaching
Retail Value $149

Two months ad space

$15 Amazon Gift Card

$20 Starbucks Gift Card

$15 credit to Posh Lane (Etsy shop)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Blogger's How-To Guide. But for real. You need this.

One day I would like to do some kind of comedy routine with my friend, Tay Tay.  You know, like we get up on stage together and spit water on each other's face and act like real fools and have a blast doing it? THAT kind of comedy routine.

But because I've never met Tay Tay and because we live 24 states apart, a blog comedy routine will have to do. Taylor's about my favorite blogger to work with because she's hilarious and always has a lot of funny ideas and just brings a lot to the table, you know?

So we've combined today for some blogging tips.  We all know you need to know how to write on a blog, so we're here to help you out!  Everything you will ever need to know to be a killer blogger.  This is important stuff guys, so if I were you I'd grab a pen and paper right now.

How to take a good photo:
TayBloggers, this one is essential! Here's my secret, I just always try to feel as uncomfortable as possible and then hope Instagram will magically turn that look of discomfort on my face into a presentable photo. It also helps if you shrug your shoulders, turn your knees in, and coyly look away from the camera. I also really like to pose with my dog, or a glass of wine. Animals and alcohol are always very photogenic.

How to master your self timer on the camera:
Bon-  Place the camera carefully on a table.  Then, set the timer for ten seconds.  Five seconds ain't nearly enough!  Run as fast as you can to your designated standing spot.  Freeze, smile, and act like you haven't just done a mad dash.  Remember to smile for the picture because you don't want no pic of you just standing there frowning like an idiot.  Do your best to hold a normal pose.  No one wants to look like a fool.  
Perfect picture!

No-no #1:  Acting like a fool.

No-No #2:  Standing like an idiot, not knowing that the camera is going off.

How to take photos of your food when you're at a restaurant:
Tay- Just do it as quickly and discreetly as possible! I often act like I'm sending a text message, or better yet reading a text, and then as soon as my food is set down BOOM! I grab a shot before anyone can judge me notices.

How to deal with spacing issues on blogger:
Tay- You just have to pray on this one, it's your only hope.
Bon-  Bang on the keyboard and yell a few choice words.  Works like a charm.

How to pretend you're not addicted to blogging:
Bon- Tell everyone that you don't check your stats and you don't care who reads your blog.  Publicly declare on your own personal corner of the web that you blog for you and no one else!

How to explain your blog-friends to your real-life friends:
Tay- This one can get kind of tricky as some people just don't understand that "online friends" aren't nearly as creepy as they sound. I recommend just making it easy on yourself by simply referring to blog friends as "cousins" or "coworkers" from now on. Trust me, there will be a lot less questions this way.

How to talk about your boy in blogland:
Tay- Never refer to him by his first name. Think of a cute nickname like "hubs" or "hubby" or "hubbster" or "bubster" or "the mister" or "Chris." See you all think my boyfriend's name is Chris, but in reality it's actually Kevin. Jk it's Chris. I think I missed the memo on the nicknames.

Bon-  STEP ONE:  Follow Tay's advice about cutesy nickname.  STEP TWO:  Never mention any disagreements in your life.  The blog world cannot know that you might not have the perfect relationship.  STEP THREE:  Above all, post lots of kissing pictures so the world can truly see how much you love each other.  You ain't a real couple if you ain't got the kissing pictures to prove it!

How to write a recipe post:
Bon-  Go to  Find a recipe for something that looks kind of good. Copy and paste the recipe in to your blog post and while you're at it you can just copy the pictures too.  EASY!  You don't even have to make the recipe yourself- I mean, seriously, who likes to cook?!?  Then, tell everyone you made up the recipe because there are some totally selfish people out there who don't think it's okay if you "borrow" their recipe and claim it as your own.  Jerks!  Oh, and don't forget to post it to pinterest so you can get oodles and oodles of traffic.  You're a genius!

How to respond to comments:
Bon-  Don't. You will seem much cooler and like more of a celebrity if you ignore everyone that comments on your blog.  We all know that anyone who responds to comments has no life.

How to stay out of drama in the blogging world:
Tay- you just say no to internet fights, pretty simple really.

How to ask your boy to take yet another photo of you:
Tay-  I usually say something like this (while looking very apologetic and ashamed of myself)  "Hey Chris, will you take a photo of me really fast? Real quick I swear. Just one. It's for my post. Sorry. I'm sorry. You're the best." And then I'll usually have him take ten more because I never like the first nine.

Bon-  Promise him 18 holes of golf in the morning.  If that doesn't work, tell him your blog will soon make you millions and it'll be worth it when he's driving a sweet Lexus.  If that still doesn't work... find a new hobby.  Or a new boy.

How to pretend you're a fashion blogger:
Tay-  Put on some clothes, throw on a purse, and then look away from the camera as many ways as possible (or straight at it like I often do.) It also helps to pop a knee or look down at your feet. Or hide behind a plant.

How to complete a DIY project:
Tay- For DIY projects I prefer the DIFM route instead, which stands for Do It For Me, as in someone else please do it for me.

Bon-  What is DIY?

How to make it look like you have the best life ever
Bon-  Make sure to post about everything you do on the weekend.  Even if you didn't do anything that great, take some pictures that look like you are having fun.  Oh, make sure you post a picture of every last drink- wine, beer, tequila- we need to see it all!  It makes you seem ten times more fun!  If you're Mormon, just put pictures up of all the diet coke you drink.  That'll make you seem almost as fun.

Bon getting wild with diet coke in India.  No Mormon vacation is complete without it!

Tay making sure we all know how fun she is with a drink.

How to respond to negativity in the blogging world:
Tay- My favorite method is sarcasm.

Bon- Use your blog to publicly bash that meanie who insulted you!  That's why you started blogging isn't it, so you could have a voice?  Write a whole post on your blog dedicated to those total sluts who put you down.  Make sure you call them jealous at least four or five times because we all know the only reason someone would dare insult your blog is because they're jealous of you.  Remember that nothing they say has even an ounce of truth to it- they're just lies to bring you down because they want to dim your sparkle.  Don't let them take away your sparkle!  If you don't feel better after you write your post, feel free to binge out on ice cream all night long- it's the perfect excuse!

There you have it, ladies!  If you haven't "made it" in the blogging world after this blog post, we can do nothing for you.  We have unlocked every secret to blogging and given you every step you will need to become the next big thing.  You're welcome!

Oh, and you're missing out big time if you're not already following along with Taylor.  She's hilarious as they come.