Substance

31 08 2010

What is substance anyway? I don’t know, but apparently, my blog? It has it.

At least if you ask Brandi, the Twenty-something Florida Wife!

I adore Brandi!!! She totally came out as a blog lurker of mine, and I am BEYOND glad she did. She had an out-of-this world wedding, and she and her hubby look so in love! I am really enjoying her recaps. I also love how involved she is with animal rescue and how much I learn about animals and all things Florida when I read her blog. Add her to your reader, STAT!

Thanks for listing me as one of your 10 when you got this award!

Now I’m supposed to sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience in 5 words…

  1. Sarcasm
  2. Judging
  3. Creepy/Creepiness
  4. Awkward/Awkwardness
  5. Random/Randomness.

Can you guess which ones represent which things?

And now I share my 10 favorite blogs with substance. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite blogging ladies:

  1. Jennell at OMG in Indy (she’s NEW, she’s in INDY!!!, and you’ll love her)
  2. Layla from Wish Fulfillment Everyday
  3. LauraLou from Lucky in Love
  4. Em from Burning River Bride and now A Leap Begins
  5. Jesstagirl (and her Officer)
  6. Bestie Laura at Happy Hour with a Housewife
  7. Smitty!!! from Just Another Smith
  8. Nikki at The Fashionable Wife
  9. Lindsey at The Amateur Wife
  10. Steph at Life of a Husband and Wife

You are all blogs that I get excited to see in my reader, whether I just started reading them or have been since you started!

Also… here’s a Bugg pic… you know… just cause!

Someone is so tired that the couch is eating her!

Can’t wait to see the blogs everyone I listed will select for their 10!

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The Invasion of St. Louis

30 08 2010

And so I finally added state #25 to my “states visited” list. As you learned yesterday.

You also all learned that I’m the only conservative who took that quiz and OH WELL. I still love y’all and hope you love me back.

Anywho, this trip? It was amazing. It was so needed. I was feeling so down about my friendships and my jobs and my house and pretty much everything except the pugs and Big Daddy. And this trip rejuvenated me.

We made the trip with two other couples. The W’s, Jeff and Heather, drove separately. B’s best man Aaron and his girlfriend Amber also came, and drove with us.

I got pretty over-excited when I saw the arch while driving in.

Like, windows-down excited.

That evening, we went to a wonderful fundraiser. It was in memory of B and Aaron’s fraternity brother Craig who tragically committed suicide. You can read this article from 2004 for more information. The fundraiser was held at a beautiful glass blowing studio / gallery in downtown Saint Louis. The money from the event went to the Craig Doss Memorial Scholarship.

We stayed with B’s friend Pat, who helped run the event. (The W’s didn’t know Craig or go to IU so they stayed with our friends the M’s for the night… more on that later!) The food and drinks at Craig’s fundraiser were amazing. It was great to meet some of B’s fraternity brothers from the area!!!

I wasn’t a great picture taker. NOT ONE of me and B. Luckily I took LOTS of me and Amber though.

And Amber and Aaron.

Oh and then we had a photoshoot in the car. I’ll just show you one.

It took about 10 camera flashes to get the guys in on the fun. I think I had to promise to stop taking pictures before they agreed to this.

The four of us went back to Pat’s for the after party. I got to meet his wonderful girlfriend Laura as well. Pat was in the Peace Corps in Fiji for two years, and that basically says a lot about the wonderful, giving, dedicated, caring person he is. Laura is no different! She was welcoming and so happy to have us in their home.

The after party was great but I didn’t make it but 20 minutes before I put myself to sleep. Way less embarrassing than my usual “I’m just resting my eyes” move that I try on B in bars. He knows those drunk, sleepy eyes.

The next day, us four went with Pat and Laura to meet with Craig’s parents. They have an area called Craig’s Cove where they honor his memory. They also take pictures of Craig’s friends, family, and supporters there, which they have in an album. We got our photo taken and heard lots of great stories about him.

Afterwards, we ventured to the M’s house. Brooke and Brian M used to live in Indianapolis as well. In fact, B went to Brian’s bachelor party the day after we met! They have a beautiful set of three-year-old boy & girl TWINS (clearly, I died) and a gorgeous, happy eight-month-old boy. Their home was something out of a magazine and I would like to hire Brooke to decorate our house. I’m pretty sure she could make it look at least 200 sq feet bigger and, oh, about a million dollars classier. It was really fun hanging out with Brooke and the babies! It made me a wee bit less trepidatious for when we decide to go that route. In a million and a half years. Maybe. Gah they are cute.

The foursome of men went golfing, and we head to Saint Louis Bread Company (aka Panera… it’s just called that there) with us three visiting ladies, Brooke, and the babes. Brooke then took the kiddos back home to nap while we went sightseeing. None of the three of us – Amber, myself, or Heather – had been to STL before! I was really happy to be a tourist for once, it’s been a while.

First stop? THE ARCH! Gilda (my Garmin) had a hard time helping us navigate the construction-riddled streets and we ended up in a, shall we say, crackhead-heavy area. Luckily they were all sleeping off their crack binges so we made it out safely. And then… the arch. Goodness. It was TALL.

They put you in some sort of Mork and Mindy egg capsule thing, packed full of five people. You become friends quickly. It was probably the most harrowing four minutes of my life.

At the top? Tremendous views. But even the floor is really arched!!!! I had a hard time getting myself balanced. The view from one side:

…and from the other:

After we were back safely on land, we drove to the Anheuser-Busch factory. You know, where they make beer.

We stopped first at Gus’ Pretzels across the street. Do not recommend. I received two cold, hard pretzels while Amber and Heather got warm soft ones. Why do you hate me, Gus?

The A-B (as I will call it because Anheuser is hard to spell) factory was pretty amazing. The free tour lasted an hour and ENDED WITH BEER.

We got to see Clydesdale horses… although it was sad because our guide Andrea made up their names. We heard her admit she didn’t know them, then called one Sam.

And an old delivery wagon:

Then there was the aging cellar where each barrel stores enough beer that to consume it all, you’d have to drink a case a day for well over 100 years. That’s like doing a case race daily. We all remember that time B and I won a case race and trust me, you couldn’t pay me to do that again. Let alone daily.

Then there was the AMAZING hop-themed chandelier that I would like in my home immediately. I love hops.

The brick architecture was so amazing. It almost made me forget that the whole campus smelled like a frat house basement that had been hosed down in beer and left to marinate all summer without air conditioning. Twice.

The end took us on trolleys… (yay for sitting down!)

…where we were supposed to see the bottling process, but it turns out it was down for maintenance. We got to watch a video instead… yipppee.

We went back to the M’s house and waited for the guys to get back. Personally, we were pooped. Beyond tired and nap-ready. We hoped the boys would want a night in.

They were exhausted too, but no such luck. I can’t blame them- the four are long-time friends who never get to spend time together. So B and I went back to Pat’s to shower up.

We clean up nice, do we not? I kept saying to B… “We’re MATCHERS!!!!”

I love me some Fiji. Pat is such an amazing friend to me and B!

We went to a place called Llywellyn’s for dinner. I had an amazing wrap and sweet potato fries. Oh and a Ranger IPA. Natch. I also got pictures of all the couples…

A & A or as I like to call them, the soon-to-be soon-to-be F’s. Since we’re all hoping for a proposal. Because they are so wonderful together!

The W’s, almost a month away from their one-year anniversary!

The M’s, who were, I’m sure, not only happy to see us, but happy to have a night off from three kids! (I may or may not have drunkenly begged them to babysit in the past, so I’m just happy I didn’t creep them out enough that I wasn’t allowed within 200 feet of their home.)

And B and Pat, since Laura couldn’t make it, which apparently makes them a couple.

No picture of me and B. I really need to get better at just asking people to take them!

After dinner, we went to a beer bar that had hundreds of beers. I had some german light-and-easy style beer that I forget the name of, and then a Framboise. Because it’s AWESOME. And decidedly girly but still delicious. The men agreed on both counts.

After a few drinks, everyone went to the Casino, except B, myself, Pat, and Laura (who had just joined us.) We weren’t in a gamblin’ mood and wanted to dive bar it up!

Dive bar it up we did. Hard.

So hard, in fact, that if you ask for an opener so you can shotgun a can of beer, you get not just that but a towel. Just in case.

This bar was called Sophie’s Place. How could we NOT take a picture! It’s our fawn pug baby’s name!

After that we headed back to Pat’s with frozen pizzas we had purchased… at the bar. I’m telling you, DIVE BAR is the way to go!

Like the night before, I may or may not have passed out and put myself to bed. Pat later told us that B fell asleep while being directly spoken to out on their porch. So yes, we are totally OLD BALLS.

Sunday morning, Pat and Laura cooked up an INSANE breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, and hash browns. I actually died a little from delicious happiness. I loved spending time with them and catching up. Plus, they sent us home with jalapenos from their garden.

Amber and Aaron had spent the night at the M’s after the casino, so they popped over later and we begun our trip home.

I was exhausted. And stinky. And a wee bit shaky from all the drinking.

But so happy.

The two couples we went with are such wonderful people. The two couples we visited are welcoming, inspiring, beautiful and kind people. Saint Louis, you were invaded and it was successful!

What should state #26 be?





“Basics”

29 08 2010

I got this post from Hannah at Gator Tales. We are exhausted from our trip to Saint Louis this weekend- I can’t wait to tell you all about it! So get excited for that post, probably tomorrow evening, and in the meantime, read my answers and fill it out for yourself as well!

Full name: KJ aka Kelly Jeanne

Gender: Female

Age: 25

Birth date: April 2

Place of birth/Current place of residence: born in Peoria, IL; adopted and raised in New Jersey; currently live in Indianapolis, IN

Heritage: no idea because I’m adopted. Any bets/thoughts?

Siblings: two sisters, Minnie (23) and Rosh (20)

Religious/Spiritual affiliation: Presbyterian. I am very much protestant, as in protestant a whole is the best fit for me, but happen to have always attended Presbyterian churches specifically. I am very spiritual on my own but the church experience is personally very important to my faith.

Pets: Three pugs, Sophie, Dixie, and Harley

Marital status: Married

Sexual orientation: Straight

Tattoos/piercings: Three holes in each earlobe and one cartilage hoop. Previously had my nose pierced and my belly button pierced. No tattoos yet.

Glasses: Yep, green ones.

PC or Mac: I prefer Apple in general, and own a Mac, but I use a PC at work – it should stand for Piece of Crap.

Mobile phone: I LOVE my iPhone!

Do you believe in ghosts? Yes, but I don’t pretend to understand them!

Do you believe in UFOs? I can’t even begin to comprehend what’s out there in our universe!

Abortion: Pro-Life. I think every child has a right to life and that there are consequences for all actions. Too often do people just try to “erase” a mistake… life shouldn’t be like that. We need to be accountable people. And, there are many people who want children – I am pro ADOPTION for women who cannot handle a child but find themselves in a “family way.”

Death penalty: In situations where there is absolutely no doubt, hesitantly yes. Although I wouldn’t want to be the one who makes that decision in a court! I won’t lie, my thoughts would likely change depending where I was in a situation… relative of the criminal, or close to a victim, or involved in the case… I think my feelings would change in each situation.

Gay marriage: I have many, many varied feelings on this that change almost daily. I don’t have anything against same sex relationships and absolutely adore the many gay people I know, and respect and admire many same-sex relationships. I think marriage in general has a lot of issues though, and that divorce is too often seen as an easy out. I think marriage as a whole has a lot to be looked at, and that includes who should be able to marry and where.

Where have you traveled? In the US I’ve been to Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri (first time this weekend!), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington DC. So exactly half the states (25!) and DC. I also have been to Mexico (Nuevo Laredo, Acapulco and Cozumel), Jamaica, Canada (Whistler, Victoria, Vancouver), Grand Cayman, and Italy (Taormina in Sicily, and Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands)

Where else can you be found on the internet? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, and probably other places I can’t remember!

Wooooo… heavy! Not sure why this is called “Basics” since it’s more 5th or 6th date conversation than basic first-date stuff!

Hope you guys will fill this out and share a bit more about yourselves as well!





Random Talents

27 08 2010

I’m in the back seat and enduring a long drive. Luckily my pal Amber brought magazines, including a J.Crew catalog.

Ironically, this is involved in one of my random talents.

Actually I don’t know if it’s ironic. “Ironically” just sounded good.

Fact: I am amazing at drawing braces on J.Crew models. The pen I have here is a little inky, so don’t judge me on this one.

Anything to pass time on the road.

kjpugs on iPhone





I love Friends & Family

27 08 2010

…Old Navy friends & family, that is!

We are leaving for Saint Louis shortly, so yesterday I used my friends & family 30% off coupon. I shared it with anyone on Twitter who wanted it this week. It’s 30% off everything, including CLEARANCE!

I’m in too much of a rush with packing to take pictures of myself in everything. But here’s a list:

  • Navy shirt with eyelet ruffle sleeves, $16.50, clearanced for $9.49.
  • Purple polo with green collar, $14.50, clearanced for $8.99.
  • Lightweight dark turquoise shirt, $24.50, clearanced for $10.99
  • Lavender square neck shirt, $24.50, clearanced for $5.97
  • Two t-shirts (that will remain descriptionless since one is a gift) $19.50 each, $39.00 total.
  • Dreamer dark wash boot-cut denim, $34.50, weekly sale price $25.00
  • Pink striped dog polo shirt, originally $9.50, clearanced for $0.97.

I had a budget of $75. The total I would have paid for all these items if I went in without a coupon would have been $100.41 pre tax. And it ended up being, after my 30% off friends & family coupon, $70.29! After tax my total was $75.21. So only 21 cents over budget!

The pug polo put me over.

But look!

She’s just like her mom!

Seriously the polo was perfect for Sophie. It was the only dog shirt on clearance. It says “good girl!” on the bottom.

Pops her collar, natch.

Anyway, Dixie was really jealous, but she can’t pull off a pink popped polo.

Next time, Dixie and Harley!

Can you spot the jealous pugs in the above picture?

I hope you all will stop by Gap, Old Navy, or Banana and use your discount too!





Dat Bugg

26 08 2010

Here’s Dixie. Just to tide you over til my next post.

-kjpugs on iPhone





Lipstick Me

24 08 2010

I Never. Ever. Wear. Lipstick.

The only pictures I have of myself in noticeable lipstick are costume parties. (Like Halloween last year:)

(Billy Mays and Flo! Sadly my lipstick was almost all rubbed off by then.)

I think it looks weird on my ultra-thin lips. I got used to wearing super sheer lip glosses and never really strayed.

Some of my coworkers (a group of them are age 65+, so you’ll see where I’m going) wear lipstick EVERY DAY. As many women in that age group do. And some of the lipstick is really pretty! I get a little jealous. Finally one day I was all, why don’t I do this? Why don’t I wear lipstick every day?

Oh, right, cause I’m scared of it. And think it looks ridiculous on me.

So I decided to make September LIPSTICK MONTH. Where I will wear it every day.

And seeing that I have practically no lipsticks, that’s not gunna be easy.

Lay your lipstick knowledge on me. Favorite brands? Colors? Tips? Shades that would look good on me? COUPONS? (They’ll be necessary!)

Expect weekly check-ins while I take the lipstick fear head-on!