The Happy Girl Blog

Happy girls are the prettiest girls

11.19.2014

Your first taste of Bliss

So, I'm not much a style maven, but sometimes you just have these outfit ideas that won't leave you alone. The novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo is almost finished, and my main character, Bliss, needed some outfit ideas.

I took to Polyvore to put together a mood board for her. She's an independent young hair and makeup artist living in San Francisco (hmm, where have I heard that before?) and her love interest is a Ducati riding winery owner. Bliss has pink ombre hair, a penchant for lipstick, and wears a lot of pink and black. I wanted to throw in some simple jewelry that would lend a fun air to the outfit, so I grabbed a Harry Potter themed necklace, and found an Omega men's watch on the site Invaluable. Have you heard of it? Invaluable is the world's premiere online marketplace, featuring all sorts of jewelry, watches, antiques, collectibles, and even entire estate sales. Cool right? It was easy to search for watches, and do a little dreaming for my own style needs. You can search through the men's watch section here and do your own dreaming. I think the simple, chunky silver watch with the black face is perfect for Bliss. 

I guess she and I share a love for masculine time pieces, as well as many other qualities I might have given her ;)
Bliss, a novel

11.17.2014

TXWB farm to table dinner

I knew it. I knew exactly what would happen after the #Blogtober14 month was over. And it did. I haven't blogged since Halloween.

Granted, I have a pretty good excuse. I took up with NaNoWriMo (click the link to find out all about nation novel writing month!) and all of my creative energy was solely focused on creating 50,000 words in 30 days. Well, I hit 50k on November 11th, so I more than achieved that goal. However, my story isn't finished, and I don't know it ever will be, because it just keeps giving me more to write about. I'm currently sitting at 57,823 words, and feel like my story has another few thousand words in it before I can successfully tie all the loose ends and answer any lingering questions I posed earlier on in my writing.

But life goes on, and there is fun stuff  that I would like to remember later on when my memory fuzzes out. So here I am, not finished with my novel, but needing to update anyone who reads about the things that make me happy.

Texas Women Bloggers is a group of exactly what the title says. We are women, in Texas, who blog. I was added to the group when Casey told me about it, and I was instantly blown away by the high level of blogging going on by these lovely ladies. Now, I willingly call myself a bad blogger because I have a terrible time generating meaningful content, or keeping to a posting schedule of any sort that engages readers and keeps you coming back. I really felt the need to join this group anyway, and tag along to the farm to table dinner that was put on in Dallas on Saturday evening. It would give me a chance to see some of my favorite people, as well as meet more. I was super nervous that the group would call me out as a fraud for my bad blogger ways, and honestly, I thought they might consider themselves above me for being better at this thing. Low and behold, they were really cool chicks. No one judged me. No one ostracized me for not having mad giveaways, a huge follower count, or for not being sponsored in any way. They were truly lovely people, funny, nice and a pleasure to get to know.
This is called a selfie bomb. It's the newest craze. You totally surprise someone with a selfie. a la, selfie bomb.
And surprise pictures. Not the best for capturing the best sides of people. Sorry, Amber.
I did realize something interesting, though. During dinner, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves to the other 38 or so women in attendance. I apparently do not like public speaking. It made me so nervous I was shaking from the adrenaline rush, and maybe a little sweaty. This from the girl who used to lead assemblies in front of my entire junior high school. The girl who willingly wore a longhorn cow mascot costume to football games in high school. The girl who wanted to be an actress so bad I tried out for every play I could in high school, taking any role, just to have my time on the stage. What the heck happened to that girl? I guess I used to be far more introverted, and as I have aged (ugh, kill me, I hate that word) I have become more introverted and prefer much smaller groups. Like of three.
So this dinner. I took a handful of pictures, but I'm quite terrible with that, so you will have to enjoy the few below. We met at the Urban Acres warehouse, which is a community supported agriculture group that provides locally grown produce for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It was set up beautifully with a long table decked out for dinner, beams wrapped in twinkle lights, a sundae bar, and the cutest tote bags and mugs as favors.
There was a great photo booth area with props that I did not take advantage of,  lots of yummy food from Market Street, and wine pairings from Lost Oak Winery.
I was particularly fond of the blanc dubois white that was served with our kale salad. It was phenomenal, and I don't even like wine. Actually, the moscato and the Riesling they had available were also super tasty, and I could go for a bottle of all three. I got to sit with my bestie Casey, and spent a bunch of time with my girls Stephanie and Amber.
Love this photo of the three of us. Definitely going on my gallery wall.
So what have y'all been up to this November? Anything fun? Are any of you participating in naNoWriMo also? I want to hear all about it.

10.31.2014

Happy Halloween!!

Today, my wonderful, loyal blog friends, is the very last day of #Blogtober14. Now, I am quite proud of my month of blogging and think it was fantastic to have prompts for each day, but I am so done with daily blogging. I was never a 7 day a week blogger, even when I was a good blogger. Now that I am a once every few months or so blogger, 31 days was crazy! But big props to Helene and Taylor for hosting such a great idea and giving me the inspiration to post each day.

But today I am all over this prompt. Because seriously, Halloween is my jam. I absolutely love dressing up, and a day that is all about it is fantastic. So Halloween. I didn't know what to do for a bit, and every time I settled on a costume, I would change my mind.
Mermaid?
Dia de los Muertos skull face?
Lion or tiger?
Daenerys Targaryen?
All great ideas but either would cost me more than I wanted out of pocket, I didn't have the exact skills needed, or I just plain changed my mind. And then I saw it. And it stuck.
The Cheshire cat. It would be easy to use the makeup I already own, along with the cat ear headband, and pink pants. All I needed was an Alice in Wonderland t-shirt and a jumbo eyeshadow pencil the tutorial I found called for. I just needed to have confidence in my makeup abilities, which for face paint is sketchy.
I may have brought costume props to the salon for the other girls to wear. Then insisted on a group photo! After scaring Samantha when I surprised her in the back room in full crazy makeup. It was freaking people out to see a big old painted smile move when I talked and smiled. But it went over well!
 All day I had to fight the urge to rub or scratch my face. My allergies are out of control this week, making me all sorts of itchy, stuffy, runny, and just plain annoyed with my face. Also, it was such a relief to go home and wipe most of it off and put lip balm on. Oh, lip balm feels so stinking good. I may be just a little addicted to the stuff, so to not be able to even rub my lips together for 6 hours was torture. But I really loved the pink and purple eyes, and my huge purple lashes. So I left that until all the trick-or-treaters had gone home.

And R.I.P to my pink feather boa tail. Brisket got a hold of that when I was washing my face, and it is no more. Funny enough, I think I got that boa for my 16th birthday from girlfriends at school. And that shows you just how much I horde costume pieces.

What did you do for Halloween?
Helene in Between Blogtober

10.30.2014

Birthday Boy

Today is Billy's *cough cough* birthday! While we are missing spending (another) birthday with family, we know they are thinking about him today.

Billy is the kind of guy who is easy to like, but hard to get to know. He's very approachable, but doesn't open up easily. If you get close to him, you will have a rock steady friend for life who has your back in all situations. He is a sweet and gentle soul in a warrior's body. He is smart, a fount of knowledge of all sorts, happy to provide insight and feedback when asked, but doesn't force information on you. He is my fixer, my exlainer, my steadying force. He loves with his whole self, and asks very little in return. He is selfless and considerate.

To my Billy bear, my love, my best friend-

Happy birthday to you, my love! I am so thankful to be spending another year celebrating you. I want you to know that I am so proud of you. You don't hear it enough, I am sure. Even when things are not all rainbows and roses, you have found a way to make it work, reaching for the optimism and rationalizing your way out of the dark places. Thank you for everything you have done for us. Having you by my side makes life easy. You are the single most important thing in my life. Your friendship, love and devotion is mind-blowing and so beautiful. Thank you for always making me laugh. For putting up with my sometimes irrational, often smelly, and very goofy self. I just love everything about you. You feed me when I get hangry, support my varying and far-reaching interests, and always, always make sure to cop a feel and tell me how much you love me and my assets.

Love always,
Addy
Sorry for no #Blogtober14 post, it was "Facts about you", and frankly, all you gotta do is read back a bit through this blog to learn everything you need to know about me ;)

10.29.2014

NaNoWriMo instead of embarrassing moments #Blogtober14

So, the #Blogtober14 prompt today is "Embarrassing Moments". Um, no. I put anything embarrassing that happens to me way out of mind. Knowing that my memory is rather sad anyway, this isn't difficult to do.

How about we talk about something else. Can you tell I'm uncomfortable with this topic? Yup.

Instead, let's talk about NaNoWriMo. That would be National Novel Writing Month, for anyone who hasn't seen that acronym. Here's what the official site has to say about the whole thing:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.
And I plan on doing it. I haven't written anything substantial since August 2013. That's over a year of having ideas bounce around in my head, maybe writing down the general concept, sketching out a few characters, then abandon them in Google Drive somewhere. I've missed the rush of developing a story, falling in love with my characters, and seeing them through to "The End". It doesn't matter that I haven't done anything with the two novels I've written; at least they are finished and have the option to be edited or turned into something else. 
For NaNo, I have a new concept in mind for my story. I am actually trying something new by plotting out where I want the story to go before I start writing. I'm normally a "write whatever pops into your head" person, which can lead to plot issues and the story wanting to end itself way before you do. I figure getting prepped before NaNoWriMo starts is a good plan. 
I imagine that devoting a month to intense writing will mean I all but abandon this blog again. It's been good to get on here every day (or so) and pump out a few posts answering prompts. I haven't had much original content sans prompts though, which looks bleak for future posting. Hopefully I'll find inspiration and motivation to blog while I'm crazy busy writing for NaNoWriMo.
Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? How did it go? What did you learn, and how did you approach the crazy month of writing a novel?

10.28.2014

Superstitions and Spartan race giveaway #Blogtober14

I'm not a very superstitious person. I'm not even all that sentimental, but that's another blog post entirely. Sometimes though, superstition can rear it's weird head in the most unlikely of situations.

When I was in middle school, I picked up a superstitious habit from my best friend, Shannon. She would kiss her hand and smack the roof of the car anytime the car went through a yellow light. Her theory was that she was blowing a kiss to God and acknowledging Him for keeping the car and passengers safe. I did that up until a few years ago, when I realized throwing a kiss up had little effect on my driving, and might actually make me less safe.

As for common superstitions, I put no stock in them. i live with two black cats that regularly cross my path. I've broken mirrors and walked under more ladders than I can count.

You can probably consider my OCD habits a bit superstitious. I have to load the dishwasher a certain way or it bugs me to no end. There's a particular way to fold clothes, too. Billy isn't the biggest fan of my ways, and even after 7 years of living together, he still won't commit to doing things my way. He's missing out.

I think I get more set in my ways than superstitious. Before races, I like to eat the same thing: an English muffin with avocado and turkey or egg whites. I've been taught not to switch things up, so that's what I do. It seems to have worked, I haven't had any stomach issues when I have a race. And the simplicity of having a breakfast I am accustomed to is good for my pre-race nerves.
Speaking of races, The Spartan race series contacted me to help build buzz for the upcoming November events going on in Dallas, Miller Park and Mississippi. Have you ever done an obstacle race? A Spartan race, at that? These races look legit.
There are Sprint, Super and Beast length races, and a Triple Crown event that you could do for a chance to win $500,000! I've never participated in an obstacle race, but I think they look challenging and a lot of fun. As a perk for my blog readers, Spartan has offered two free race entries for me to giveaway, AND a 10% off code for anyone who is interested.
How about that code for 10% off your entry? Here you go! Use code SPARTANBLOGGER at checkout to apply your discount. 
   
Would you rather win a FREE ENTRY to any Spartan race? Enter the giveaway below! Spartan Races provided me with the free entries and the discount code, but all views and opinions are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Helene in Between Blogtober

10.27.2014

Younger me #Blogtober14

Dear younger Adrian,

What up, love? I am writing to high school aged me, because that was when I was truly developing my personality, and becoming the woman I am now. Back to you, oh younger me. Your music is still the shit. I know you don't swear, ever, but I do, so I am sorry I failed you. To think that I still listen to some of the bands you discovered, loved, cried to, and made the soundtrack of your life, is pretty sweet. Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and New Found Glory still make it onto my playlists. Bright eyes, however, does not. You weren't even that into Connor Oberst then, anyway. You'll be wetting your pants to know that I met Chris Carabba of Dashboard Confessional, and years later watched his solo acoustic show, and yes, he's still emo amazingness, long after the end of emo music. *sobs*
Yeah, it's a tiny picture, but your computer hard drive was erased in 2007, so every photo you had stored on it disappeared forever. This was stored in some obscure site, so that's the only way I can share it now.

I'm sorry to tell you that giant folder of CDs that contained pretty much your whole burned catalog of music was stolen in 2009. I lost pretty much all of the music we discovered in high school because I hadn't converted everything to digital format yet. Some of those bands may never be discovered again, but you will be happy to know I am still discovering amazing music, even if it may not have been what you listen to. I mean, some of the indie stuff I love is a little on the folk side, which you would have considered country, and hated. Oh yeah, I live in Texas now, and sometimes listen to country, too. Don't throw stones, though, it's decent stuff. And you can still be a California girl even if you don't live within the state.

You will be happy to know that I did something with that love of writing you developed as a senior. I have written a few novel length stories, and have so many ideas in my head for more. I think you would be proud. Even though I dropped journalism and the idea of writing for a music magazine pretty quickly, I never lost my love for putting words to paper. Or screen, as our technology has made so easy. Maybe I'll even publish one of these stories someday. I'm still working on my confidence with my writing, it's a long process. And PS- your angsty rhyming couplet poems were pretty terrible, but I am glad you filled notebooks with them and expressed yourself somehow. Sorry (not sorry) I threw them all away. 

Speaking of love, stop chasing it so hard, kid! All of those boys you worry over, lead on because you like the attention, and get your heart broken for, won't even come close to the amazing guy you will meet in just a short time. He's waiting for you, babe, and he thinks you are amazing. You will definitely appreciate how easy life is with him, after struggling so much with former loves you lost, or left. You have to work so hard on crappy relationships and boyfriends who half-ass relationships now, because they aren't right for you. He is. You'll see. His love will be a game changer.
And stop shoving your finger down your throat when you get stressed. Part-time bulimia is no way to live your life, and has no effect whatsoever on your weight, which is minuscule, by the way. You are the tiniest you will ever be, beautiful without trying, and have way more self-worth than how you feel about your body allows. All you are doing is obsessing and piling shame on yourself for what you are doing in secret. You don't need that. It's a lifelong process, but you will learn to love yourself for who you are and what you can do, rather than how you look or what you weigh. 
 Yes, that is a guitar pick around my neck. What? I met Matt Flynn, the drummer for Maroon 5 that night. Yes, Lexie is a goddess of redheaded perfection. She still is, even 12 years later.
 Didn't everyone jump on their best friend's back anytime a (Kodak disposable) camera came out?

You and Lexie are still good friends. You live in different states, and she's still travel obsessed, but now she gets paid for it as a flight attendant. You started a relationship that would be easy to pick up anytime you got together, as far apart as those occasions may be. You will actually develop some amazing girlfriends in the upcoming years. I know, it's crazy to think that you will have more girlfriends than guy friends soon, but it's true. And oh, will you value them and everything they bring to your life! You don't have to compete with these ladies; they support you, cherish you, and make you feel loved, appreciated and happy. You are blessed beyond belief with amazing friends, near and far.

We are doing pretty well, career wise, also. It may not have been the direction you were imagining, but being a hairstylist and makeup artist is pretty awesome. All of that prom hair you did for free is now paying off, literally. You get to be creative every time you step in the salon, or head out on location. Brides seem to love you and your work, it's pretty awesome.

So keep your chin up, pretty girl (yeah, I referenced a Sugar Cult song, thought you'd like that), and follow your passions. You might get your heart broken more times than you should, but you gain something new with each path your heart takes you down, in love, and in life.

Love Always,
Adrian today

Helene in Between Blogtober

10.26.2014

In the movies #Blogtober14

I love movies. Getting comfy, hopping on the couch, and watching a movie is one of my favorite activities. I love being entertained, laughing, crying, getting deeply involved in a fictional world that plays out effortlessly on the silver screen.

So with the #Blogtober14 prompt today, who would play me in the movie of my life?

The obvious choice is my doppelganger, Hilary Duff. Erryone tells me I look like her. I have a hard time finding any photos I can put side by side to show the resemblance, but we definitely has similar features. But just because you look like someone, doesn't mean they should play you in the movie of your life.
If I'm being totally honest, I have someone else in mind to play me, regardless of our lack of a similar look.
Kate Hudson. 
I love her spirit. Her joy de vivre. And especially her bubbly demeanor. Because bubbly is the first thing most people will say to describe me. It would be very important to have a celebrity who could portray that quality. And she's so darn cute. I think she is a stellar actress, and has made some amazing movies- Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Nine. I know she could pull off turning my however normal life into something worthy of a movie.

Helene in Between Blogtober

10.25.2014

Favorite Book #Blogtober14

Ugh. You guys. This #Blogtober14 prompt is so hard! How can I choose a single book as my favorite? They change with every good book I read. How about a top 5, with different reasons they are favorites? You're welcome for the awesome book recommendations, by the way.

My favorite most recent read:
Dearest Clementine, by Lex Martin
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.
As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart's at stake...and maybe even her life.

Favorite book of 2014:
Crazy Good, by Rachel Robinson
Before there were bikers, or fighters, or even good old-fashioned jerks, there were Navy SEALs. They put the bad in badass because, well…it’s their job. 
Navy SEAL Maverick Hart has everything. Women want him. Grown men idolize him. Little boys want to grow up and be like him. The job, the glory—it’s all his. Not because it’s handed to him…because he works hard for it. The second his sights lock on something, he owns it—or destroys it. Unfortunately he does both at the same time. 
Windsor Forbes only takes calculated risks in her profession and in her personal life. After being left at the altar by the only person she’s ever loved, the very last thing she’s looking for is a relationship—especially the insane brand an arrogant Navy SEAL is offering. Hesitant, yet trusting to a fault, she gives in. 
She knew she shouldn’t take the chance, especially a second time, but love is irrational and their love is perfect, infallible. Or so she thought… 
The downfall to having everything is you have that much more to lose. A man like Maverick can’t have it all without something slipping out of grasp. 
Crazy people perish for love. 
Good people live for it. 
Love doesn’t die. No matter how many bullets you put in it. 

Favorite book I read on vacation in Mexico:
My Skylar, by Penelope Ward
Skylar was my best friend, but I secretly pined for her. One thing after another kept us apart, and I've spent the last decade in fear of losing her forever.
First, it was the cancer, but she survived only to face the unthinkable at my hands. Because of me, she left town. For years, I thought I'd never see her again.
But now she's back...and living with him.
I don't deserve her after everything I've put her through, but I can't live without her. This is my last chance because she's about to make the biggest mistake of her life. I can see it her eyes: she doesn't love him. She still loves me...which is why I have to stop her before it's too late.


Favorite YA I've read this year:
Trial by Fire, by Josephine Angelini
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies make it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she's ready to disappear.
"Come and be the most powerful person in the world."Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem. One overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women—including Lillian, this world's version of Lily.
"It will be terrifying. It was for me."What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilities she can barely understand and a love she never expected, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Favorite Sci-Fi I've read this year:
The Atlantis Gene, by A.G. Riddle
70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.Until now.The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy--a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.
Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep in an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, and something is guarding it. As the Immari rush to execute their plan, a brilliant geneticist makes a discovery that could change everything.
Dr. Kate Warner moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to escape her past. She hasn't recovered from what happened to her, but she has made an incredible breakthrough: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous--for her and the entire human race. Her work could be the key to the next stage of human evolution. In the hands of the Immari, it would mean the end of humanity as we know it.
Agent David Vale has spent ten years trying to stop the Immari. Now he's out of time. His informant is dead. His organization has been infiltrated. His enemy is hunting him. But when David receives a coded message related to the Immari attack, he risks everything to save the one person that can help him solve it: Dr. Kate Warner.
Together, Kate and David must race to unravel a global conspiracy and learn the truth about the Atlantis Gene... and human origins. Their journey takes them to the far corners of the globe and into the secrets of their pasts. The Immari are close on their heels and will stop at nothing to obtain Kate's research and force the next stage of human evolution--even if it means killing 99.9% of the world's population. David and Kate can stop them... if they can trust each other. And stay alive.


Helene in Between Blogtober

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