Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Although the first day of the New Year is just another day; really just a regular day of the week and can hold a simple title like ‘tomorrow’, the final seconds to the countdown of a new year always leave me feeling sentimental; emotional. I don’t want to say goodbye to yesterday and the yesterdays before yesterday which made my entire year, but today is only another day. January 1st is only the day after December 31st. And moving forward, each day that passes becomes a memory. You can’t go back and hold on to a day, even if you wanted to. So be happy with your memories; be happy that you are alive and moving forward with your future. And try to make your future a better future than your past.

I would like to share some things that I am thankful for from 2011 and my life in general. (In no particular order).

There are things that have happened in my life that are nothing short of a miracle. I am thankful to God for continuing to bless me (even though I haven’t been to church in quite a while). I have encountered many situations where the solutions seemed hopeless and impossible, but I always end up rising above the impossible situation and conquering the monster before me. I’m so, so grateful for these miracles.

I am thankful to have a job in this day. I have been extremely blessed to consistently have had a job since I was 19 and to have never been out of work since. With the way this economy has been I know how awesome that is. I am also thankful to have great, lovely people to work with, people whom I can call friends. And to come from previous jobs where some coworkers have become my extended family.

I am thankful for the people whom I’ve had to release from my life. I loved them at one point, I appreciated the friendship and enjoyed my time with them, but due to falling out(s) I learned that I should always trust my gut. People always show us who they truly are, we just choose to ignore it - 'Undies in a Bunch'.

I am thankful to be in a position to ‘pay it forward’, mostly to my brothers. There are angels (great friends) who have fallen into my life at just the right moment with exactly what I needed and I am happy to be that person to others, but especially to my brothers.

I am thankful for my true blue friends. I love you from the tips of my toes to the split ends on the hairs growing out of my head. I am so blessed to have friends who love and appreciate me and whom I love and appreciate. Not everyone has true lasting friendships and I am so blessed to have so many.

This might be redundant, but I am thankful for my best friend, Giselle. I have a few best friends who are all sisters to me, Daisy being one of them (who also shares Giselle) but Giselle is like… a sister-sister. We’ve been together for 22 years and we have shared the good, the bad, the ugly, the crazy (her), the amazing, the funny, and many milestones. To many more years and decades of true, sister friendship!

The release of Undies in a Bunch was a big deal for me. I am thankful to have friends who offered their services to help Undies in a Bunch come to life. I am thankful for all of the amazing support and uplifting feedback I received and I am also grateful to possess the focus and determination to follow through with the goal of completing and publishing my second book.

I am thankful for this blog and all of the wonderful, amazing people I have met through blogging. I am thankful for what having a blog has done for my writing and for the avenues it has opened up for me; and I am also thankful for more wonderful feedback from people whom I would least expect to be interested in my blog. Thank you for becoming my fans!

My solo trip to Puerto Rico was an amazing adventure and for someone who is afraid of flying, I am happy to have made it there and back in one piece. (Thank you, Jesus.) Life is about sharing experiences with people and I love being with people, but I also love that I won’t allow people to stop me from enjoying my life because they can’t or won’t do something that I want to do.

I’ve been trying to save as much money as I can so that I can fulfill my dream of home ownership, but I’ve already begun brainstorming where my next adventure will be to (with or without people). And once something gets into my head, there is no stopping me.

Getting my learner permit was another big deal. I'll share in a future story telling why my leaner permit means so much to me, but those who know, know how much of a big deal this is.

I am happy to be happy with me; the person I am, the woman I am, just the way I am.

I’m happy to be so comfortable in my skin that I don’t care what people think of me. I am happy that I can be honest with myself. I am happy to recognize that I don’t always do the right thing for myself. There is always room for improvement (even if I take my sweet time doing the improving).
I am happy that I have a big heart, even though that doesn’t always work in my favor… I am me and I love everyone BIG. The alternative is being a bitter bitch and that is no life for a sweet girl like me.

I am happy to be someone who continues to grow. There is a lot that I can change about the way I see things. If I saw certain situations in a different light, I would be less of a high strung individual (or so I’ve been told), but I am a realist (some say negative… fart noise to you), and although I have an imagination, I don’t have time to play games with myself.

I don’t do resolutions, but one thing I hope for myself is to grow into a better me. To make the most of every situation, every moment and every experience that comes my way.

It’s been a great year. Here’s hoping to an even better 2012!

Happy New Year!!

~ Love: Louise C.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmastime in the City

I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes get possessed by my camera and all of the beauty this city holds, so two years ago, at Christmastime, I took to the streets and began snapping photos of just about everything that had to do with Christmas. The next day it snowed (how perfect) and I felt compelled to take the same pictures all over again, but this time with snow in the shots. Needless to say, at the end of those two days I was exhausted. I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of the pictures. I won’t bore you with all, but I will share some. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer with a fancy camera. I just love to take pictures with my regular camera. 

Poinsettias

Welcome to Santaland
(without snow)

(with snow)


City Wreaths

6th Avenue

6th Avenue - Day & Night

Rockefeller Horns

5th Avenue

This time of year, New York City is jammed packed, but it’s the perfect time of year to capture some seasonal memories. Grab your camera and go!

~Louise C.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Louise's Restaurant Picks - Stage Door Delicatessen

My thirteenth featured Restaurant Pick is Stage Door Delicatessen:


5 Penn Plaza
(Corner of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10001
Cuisine: Deli, Diners & Coffee Shop

Stage Door Deli is very close to my heart because they feed me plenty. I’m like a little, furry animal. If you feed me, even a little, I’ll love you forever.

Aside from being a restaurant, Stage Door Deli provides catering to many business meetings in the midtown south (west) area, which is how I came to know them.

First, I’ll talk about the food. Everything and I mean everything that I have eaten from this place tastes DE-LISH regardless of whether it is baked ziti or a tortilla chip. And the reason everything tastes so great is because it is home made. Their pico de gallo is to-die-for; their guacamole, mmmm! And I hate avocado. Their salads, their sandwiches and wraps, their soups, their chicken parm… everything is muy delicioso!

Next, I’ll talk about the service. Fantastic!! In corporate offices, professionalism is appreciated and the gentlemen who deliver our catering are extremely polite, courteous and professional. It can’t be easy walking into the middle of a meeting with (sometimes) 30 - 50 hungry people waiting to eat. The deliverymen manage to set up a beautiful spread quickly and discreetly.

And then there is the owner and his two sons (Tom, Nick and George) who feed me all the time. Where I work, we contact Stage Door A LOT for their catering services and regardless of whether I want something or not, they will send me breakfast or lunch depending on what time of day it is. I’ve walked in to work and found egg whites and home fries on my desk. I’m not a fan of egg yolk and I love Stage Door for remembering this about me. (Ha-ha). It’s so minor, but to me, customer service goes so far with the littlest personal touch.

Today, Tom invited me to have lunch at his restaurant to thank me for all of the business that I have given him throughout the year. It feels like I’m cheating because I am only doing my job, but I am so warmed in my heart for his generosity today and for all of the breakfasts, lunches and cups of tea that he has provided ME throughout this year. Thank you, Jesus! (LOL)

I haven’t read my bible in a very long time (bad Louise), but the reason I am thanking Jesus is because of this scripture:

Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

I try never to take anything I get in life for granted. Thank you Stage Door for being so good to me.

If you are in the Penn Station area and are looking for a great place to eat, do visit Stage Door Deli. You will not regret it!

Visit their website for more of their menu options.

Enjoy and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Becoming a Child at Christmastime

I have many wonderful Christmas memories, but the majority of them are from when I was a child.

I try to recreate my own Christmassy tradition every year and although it’s fun, it's just not the same. I may not feel that ‘feeling’ until I have children of my own and I can become a kid again with them by sharing the things that made Christmas exciting for me and creating new traditions with them. Maybe I just expect too much from this holiday. That’s a problem I need to work on. Expecting too much out of everything. Let’s see if I can work on that in 2012.

Some of my best Christmas indulgences and memories include Charlie Brown; Santa (aka Father Christmas in England) who I sometimes wish still existed to me; The smell of cookies baking in the oven, sometimes burnt baked cookies that my mom left in the oven a little longer than they needed, which still managed to come out tasting better than ever; Sitting on the floor in the lobby of my church, wrapping presents for the Angel Tree Project (An organization that donates Christmas presents to children whose parents are serving time in prison); Times Square Church’s Christmas production of 1990… or 91. I can’t remember which year exactly, but it was my favorite Christmas production; Singing Christmas carols and handing out candy canes at Rockefeller Center; Christmas fruit cake that my grandmother baked and sent to us from England, which I ate while reading Heidi; And last but not least, hot chocolate!

Of course there was much more to these memories; these are just some of the memory sparking activities I participated in at Christmastime.


Aside from still watching Charlie Brown every year, one of my favorite childish Christmas indulgences is The Snowman. It is so British. I guess you can take the Brit out of London, but…

My mom introduced me to The Snowman when I was about four-years-old. The Snowman is a story about a boy who builds a snowman and when he goes to sleep that night, the snowman comes to life and takes the little boy on a journey to his snowman land, introducing the little boy to his snowman friends and he even gets to meet Father Christmas. There are no words in the entire movie, and I love that even though you get the story visually, everyone can still come to their own conclusion.


I almost lost my mind when I found that The Snowman available on DVD and, on two separate occasions, I asked two people to buy it for me for Christmas, but neither of the two delivered. Maybe they thought The Snowman wasn’t a good enough Christmas gift because they both got me something more expensive than the ten dollar DVD I asked for. I am very easy to please.

Eventually, I ended up buying The Snowman for myself and I finally watched it last winter. Oh, the nostalgia! And this Christmas, I plan on putting on my red and pink striped Victoria’s Secret thermal pajamas, making a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and watching my wordless cartoon again. So what if I’m 32. I love taking part in the things that were fun for me when I was little. It brings me back to a time when life was much simpler.

To becoming a child again at Christmastime!

~Louise C.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

I planned on keeping my decorations simple this year because I hate the task of putting them up and removing them. But what is Christmas without decorations? I decided to go simple…


But it’s a little bare compared to my usual decorations.


I might just swallow my laziness, pull out my step stool and go to town on my ceiling later tonight. We’ll see. I’ll drink some CafĂ© Bustelo to boost my motivation.

I’m also getting ready to serve Christmas dinner and looking forward to it.

A few items on the menu...

Coquito

Roasted Chicken & Pernil

Wet rub ingredients for my chicken & pernil

Baked Mac & Cheese

Flan

Apple Crumble

This little contraption is AWESOME for peeling, slicing and coring apples. It cuts the preparation time in ½ .


I was going to make two-layer pumpkin cheesecake,


but two desserts are enough. I’ll save the pumpkin cheesecake for my baby brother who put in a special request.

I shouldn't even be blogging right now, I should be...grating cheese or something. I have a lot of work to do.

Have a wonderful weekend!

I know I will!

~Louise C.

Monday, December 5, 2011

...but forbidden water is soooo good!



I left this watering can on the window sill with the intention of watering my plant, not my cat. I mean, she has a full bowl of water in the kitchen...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Louise's Restaurant Picks - Oro Bakery & Bar

My twelfth featured Restaurant Pick is Oro Bakery & Bar:


375 Broome Street
(Between Mulberry & Mott Streets)
New York, NY 10013
Cuisine: Wine Bar & Cafe

The only dishes that I have tasted on their menu are the Meatballs (Made with Angus beef. Served with a homemade sauce); the Spinach & Artichoke Dip (Served with crisp bread); and the Chocolate Souffle Cake served with chocolate sauce.

I haven't had the pleasure of tasting them yet, but their madeleines seem to be a big hit.



The reason I have eaten so little from their menu is because this was the real reason for my visit:


I just love a wine bar!

The first time I visited Oro was on a cold, wintery night with two of my friends. We ordered mugs of warm, alcoholic beverages (which I don't see on their menu, but I'm sure they still serve) and dessert. That night, Oro was the perfect place for a spontaneous girl's night, but Oro is also the perfect setting for a cozy date.


The space is limited, but there has never been a crowd when I have been there (which has only been twice). The warmth and friendliness of the service also mirror the ambiance of the restaurant. Oro is so quaint and cozy, especially with a warm drink in your hands, that you won't want to leave; and with the cold days of winter looming ahead, Oro is a perfect pick. I plan on going back soon!


Visit their website for more of their menu options.

Enjoy and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.

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Photos from orobakerybar.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December and Happy Holiday Season!!

I can’t believe it’s December already!! The years seem to be moving along way too fast. Either that, or I’m just getting old.

Although Christmas doesn’t feel the way it used to, I still make a big deal about it in hopes that the spirit will fill me again.

I always, always send out Christmas cards and I usually spend the last week of November writing up my cards. I print out my Christmas card excel spreadsheet, my address labels and then go to town, highlighting names off my spreadsheet as I address envelopes. By December 1st, my Christmas cards are all stamped and ready to be dropped in the mail. I take my Christmas carding very serious.

Last year, I stocked up on Christmas cards during the after Christmas sale, so when November rolled around, I expected to spend the last week as usual filling out cards… that is, until I won a family portrait photo shoot with the fabulous Isabelle Selby!!


I’ve been so good at not spending money lately, but with the awesomeness of the photos, there is NO WAY I can leave them just sitting on a disk. I have to treat myself to professional Christmas cards, just this once!

I’ve always wanted to send out a family Christmas card… didn’t think Edward would be up for it, but he totally proved me wrong. Take a look:











Mrs. Claus is looking good, aint she? And I guess the dude with her is pretty okay too…

A few things about Isabelle (the photographer): Although I love to be in pictures (whip out a camera and I’m cheesing all the way) when I am put on the spot with a professional photo situation, it takes me a bit to loosen up. The fact that I am not relaxed shows on my face and it will be obvious, in the photos, that my smile is forced and not genuine.

I’ve only spent 40 minutes of my life with Isabelle, but I can tell that she is one cool ass chick. In a professional photo shoot, I need to be directed and Isabelle took charge and directed Edward and I while still maintaining a relaxed, fun vibe. If your photographer is stressed or frustrated, you will sense that and also become stressed; and no one wants to see stress in their photos, because it will show up in your prints.

Isabelle has a great sense of humor which makes you feel at ease and adds to the pureness of the smiles and effortlessness in your photos.


Isabelle also convinced Edward to don the Santa hat, which he absolutely swore would not go anywhere near his head.


Now that Isabelle, she is truly a miracle worker.


The photo shoot was so much fun and Isabelle is great! I honestly felt like I was hanging out with one of my long time friends. That’s how comfortable she makes you feel!

If you have the chance, you should definitely book a photo shoot with Isabelle. Do it! Do it!

Visit Isabelle Selby Photography to see more of Isabelle’s work. And also check out the ‘Trash the Dress’ photo shoot on Danfredo Rivera.



Happy December and Happy Holiday Season!!

~ Louise C.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Keys!!

Last year, as I was leaving for work one morning, I dropped my keys down the elevator shaft in my building. When I called building management, they informed me that it would cost $56 to get them fished out and returned to me; AND that I could only pick them up during the hours of 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday... or something like that. I have a job during those days and hours, so I bid my keys goodbye, thanked God that Edward could let me in and that I had a spare set inside my apartment somewhere.

But today when I walked into my building lobby, I saw theeeesssse!!...



They are a little rusty and beat up, but I recognized them right away. I guess someone else in the building has clumsy problems too because there were another set of keys next to mine.

This really isn't blog worthy, but I'm thankful that I didn't have to pay $56 to get my keys back and thankful that I live in a building where keys can be left in the lobby and your neighbors can be trusted. All it takes is one person with too much time on their hands, to figure out which door the keys belong to.

~Louise C.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overcoming Obstacles in Writing

When it comes to writing, I have A LOT to say. My friends make fun of me and my ‘letters’ which I have written to anyone who has ever pissed me off. I have written letters to companies who, service wise, gave me less than I thought I deserved; and I have written letters to friends who thought they could pull one over on me. For some reason, writing makes people listen. I got the apartment I currently live in by writing a letter (they were giving me the runaround). Writing a letter can also be intimidating to others, but if you know me well, you know that I mean no harm. Writing is just my form of expression.

Because I have a lot to say (in writing) I never have a problem coming up with topics for my blog. I find inspiration in every experience and in every aspect of my life. I have a folder in my email with numerous pending blogs. Just sometimes, my mind moves faster than I can, and I only have time to shoot myself a note with a paragraph on the topic for further completion. Some blogs are pending due to the content. I want to write about certain (sexy, indecent) things, but I just need to figure out how to share without getting into trouble and maintaining my ladylikeness. A true lady would never discuss things pertaining to vaginas and farts so I guess I am no lady. Oh well…

Because I have been giving most of my writing attention to this fabulous blog, I haven’t been able to give my third book the attention it deserves. I will definitely get to it, because once something enters my mind, I do everything I can to bring that thought to reality.

Blogging is like exercise for my writing game, because (in my opinion) the more you write, the better of a writer you become.

With all of the expressing of myself that I like to do, I seldom suffer from writer’s block, but there are times when I feel like what I am writing isn’t melding the way I would like or a paragraph just doesn’t sound right or is missing a certain something. Writing is fun for me, so the second it begins to feel stressful, I know it’s time to take a break. Shutting down and taking a walk or even disengaging for 30 minutes helps. You come back with a clearer, stress free mind and when you are relaxed, good things can happen; good words can flow.

Another problem I run into with my writing is having the time to write, and sometimes not feeling like it. But the solution is to write even when you don’t feel like it. (This tip came from Edward. Gotta give him props otherwise I won’t hear the end of it). You might think that writing even when you’re not feeling inspired might not produce your best work, but you might surprise yourself. Once you sit down and begin writing, things could go in a direction you never expected, leaving you with a finished product way better than you originally imagined. Or you could end up with a first draft, improve a seventieth draft or add length to an unfinished project. Even a minimal amount of writing counts!

What are some of the obstacles you run into with your writing and how do you overcome them? Do Share.

Check out this blog ‘How to Write’ for a humorous take on writer’s block.

And Happy Writing to You!

~Louise C.
“Like” me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CazleyLouise

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hosting the Holidays

When I was younger, the warm, joyous feeling that we call ‘the holiday spirit’ filled me the second that the holidays arrived. The comfort that we get from the food we consume and being surrounded by good company only add to the warmth and the excitement of the holiday season.

I love to cook and I love seeing the satisfaction on the faces of my guests (and hearing their compliments). Knowing that I am responsible for making all of these people feel good with my food is my reward. Because of this, I have always looked forward to hosting the holidays at my house. But this Thanksgiving, I realized that this might not happen until I am a grandmother.

I am a domesticated homemaker at heart. I love clean laundry, I like a clean home, and I like to feed the people in my home with food that I prepared. I don’t necessarily like all of the work it takes to get all of those things done, but the outcome fills me with happiness and glee. Corny I know, but I love everything that has to do with making my home a comfortable haven… although if you walked into my house right now you would not get that impression. It’s always cozy, but I need to clean my stove and mop my kitchen, no foolin’.

Anyway, I’ve been waiting for my opportunity to throw down in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, but I’ve never been given the chance because there are so many moms in my life who are already carrying the Thanksgiving torch and would slice my throat if I either didn’t show up or kept someone from attending their Thanksgiving feast.

‘When I have my own family…’ is the thought that has crossed my mind in the past, but that solution doesn’t work either because when I have my own family, I’ll be forced to cart the kids around from one grandparent’s house to the other.

So for now, I’m making peace with the fact that if I want to host Thanksgiving, I will have to settle for the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving or just step back and let the moms do their job and not host anything at all. And there is always my annual Christmas Party. It isn’t Thanksgiving or on Christmas Day, but for now, it’s the compromise I will have to take.

In my opinion turkey is overrated anyway. I never reheat the leftovers because (to me) turkey tastes so much better when it’s cold. And my kitchen is cleaner (or should be cleaner) because I wasn’t obligated to cook. And thinking about how much cleaning is involved after cooking a feast, I actually feel a little relieved that I didn’t have to do a thing.

~Louise C.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No More Caffeine After Noon

I dedicated Undies in a Bunch to my dreams because I love them. My dreams are sometimes scary, sometimes lovely; a subconscious origination or a continuation of something I have seen or read.

Dreams are like a movie projected onto the back of your eyelids, but this movie is ingenious because it was created by you. In reality you aren't seeing anything because your dreams take place with slumbered imagination. I find them awesome and amazing.

I don’t know if this comes with age, but I find myself becoming more sensitive to certain things. Certain over the counter meds have a bad effect on me and caffeine seems to linger longer in my system keeping me up at night.

Two days ago, I filled about 1/3 of a cup with coffee thinking that there was no way this tiny bit of coffee would affect me. That night, I fell asleep somewhere around 11pm as usual and had no problems falling asleep; but I was jolted awake at 1am by a cloudy dream of me being on the 6 train platform and somehow still passing the stop where I was supposed to get off. The 6 train I was supposed to be on, passed over my head on an elevated platform above the elevated (moving) platform I was already standing on.

The frustration from my dream must have been what woke me up. I turned on the television and set it to shut off in 30 minutes. I dozed off shortly after and ended up in a hair salon with my mom in the South Bronx getting a Wave Nouveau (A curly perm, which I sported in my teens) applied to my hair. I left my mom at the hair salon, but hopped on the 2 train and headed to her house. Once I got off the train at 149th and 3rd Ave., I realized that it was 4am and suddenly felt alarmed about walking the two blocks from the train to her house at that hour.

There is a church on 150th and Melrose Avenue called Immaculate Conception and once I hit that block, I got flooded by bright, high beam lights from car which jumped the sidewalk (in the opposite direction of the traffic flow) to ‘playfully’ run me down. There were no other cars on the street, just the one trying to run me down. I looked over my shoulder at the driver before I started running and the expression on his face was snide as if he found humor in my fear.

Once I began running, he turned his car around and drove away from me in the correct direction of the traffic flow. I didn't stop running until I hit my mom's block, but then I heard guys yelling and asking where the girl went. (In my dream I was called a girl, not a woman…okay?) I knew they were looking for me. When I looked behind me, I could see about three guys running in my direction and somehow I knew that they were with the guy who was in the car.

Usually if someone is chasing me in a dream, I can't run, and in this dream I felt like I wasn’t moving fast enough, but I made it to my mom’s building before the guys caught up with me. I didn’t need a key to get into her building, but the door still locked behind me.

When I got to my mom’s floor, the oldest of my two younger brother’s (Marc) had the door already opened for me. In my dream, my brothers were little again. Marc is 22, but in my dream he was 6. Asher is 20, but in my dream he was 4.

I bent down and gave Marc a tight hug.

“How did you know to have the door open?” I asked him.

“I knew you were coming.” He replied.

I was so relieved to be safe.

Although I knew the door was locked, I still turned around to put the chain on the door, but the chain was missing.

I woke up at 3am scared, sweating and thinking that I need to go back to church. It made no sense at all, but that's just what crossed my mind.

After I told Edward my dream he said, “You need to start writing these dreams down, lady. You could be the next Stephen King.” But I don’t want to have dreams with people chasing me. I love all of my dreams, but I’d prefer to have them be more relaxing because I hate waking up all stressed out. I have enough stress in my awake life.

Either way I wrote down what I could remember of the dream. I couldn’t get back to sleep until after 4:30. I’m too old to be missing out on sleep on a week night! So after noon, I won’t be sipping on anything caffeinated; unless it’s Friday.

Because my sleep was all jacked up from the night before, I was sleepy by 8:30 last night. I almost… almost made it to 10, but when I went to bed last night, I slept like a baby.

~Louise C.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Um…You think I have enough soap?

I found all of these while I was cleaning out the bathroom. I think I’m good with soap for a loooong time.


Displayed above are the following:

Johnson’s & Johnson’s Baby Soap
Johnson’s & Johnson’s Baby Blossoms Soap
L’Occitane Soap with Verbena leaves
L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap Lavender
L’Occitane Shea Butter Verbena Soap
L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap Vineyard Rose
L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap Milk
mark. Clean Up Time Conditioning Bath Soaps
Neutrogena French Milled Bath Soap
Dove White Bar
A Greek Olive Oil Soap (Don't know the name of it.)

Now I didn’t buy all of these soaps. The L’Occtaine soaps were gifts from France, the leaf shaped bar was a Christmas gift, the bar with the pretty wrapping was a gift from Greece, and the Neutrogena bar was from a hotel. I am responsible for purchasing the rest, though.

I get excited when I find the Johnson’s & Johnson’s soaps (especially when they are only 99 cents a bar) because they are my favorite and they are hard to come by.

Either way, I’m not allowing myself to purchase any more soap until I am down to one bar.

~Louise C.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Isabelle Selby Photography Giveaway!

On 11/11/11, Danielle of Danfredo Rivera, will be getting married and has invited me to blogsit for her. My guest post will be up on Friday, so do visit her blog on... 11/11/11!!

Another great happening on Danfredo Rivera , is a Family Portrait Giveaway! Visit the blog to enter the giveaway. But if you don't win, you can get $50 off when you book your session with Isabelle just by mentioning DANFREDO.

Good Luck!

~Louise C.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Introducing Baibe - My Furry Fam

If you're not a pet person (and I wasn't until 9 years ago) you won't appreciate this blog and you'll just think I'm a crazy cat lady. Either way, I'd like to introduce my beautiful furry fatty, Baibe (pronounced baby).

I introduced Baibe in Undies in a Bunch, but for those who haven’t read the book yet, here are a few introductory facts about Baibe:

She loves boxing herself into...boxes...


She loves bags and makeup...


She loves looking out the window...


She loves taking over my furniture with her snooze sessions...


She loves the smell of mint tea...


And she loves Victoria’s Secret catalogs...


She really loves Victoria’s Secret catalogs!!


Now that you know more about Baibe, I can go on with my reason for introducing her. I usually write about happy things, but I’ve been going through some real ish lately. Life is great, but it's also a roller coaster ride and in the past couple of weeks my roller coaster has been soaring down. I'm down, but I'm not out. I’ve been through A LOT of shitty situations, but I’m a fighter who is determined to win at this game of life. I have faith so I know the roller coaster will shoot back up again one day… Hopefully soon.


You never think that an animal would know how you are feeling. Some friends have told me that their pets can sense their moods and I didn’t believe it, but the other night (and this isn’t the first time) Baibe, who usually spends her time snoozing at the opposite end of the couch, hopped up next to me and squeezed her body as close as she could to mine, which is unusual for her because she likes her space… unless I am doing something that benefits her like brushing or petting her. But the other night she wedged her body as close as she could and she just stayed with me. And when I got up from the couch, she followed me; to the kitchen, to the bathroom. And when I woke up the next morning, she was stationed on the floor across from me as if she were on a post watching over me. I don’t care if I sound crazy. I love that cat and I feel like God used her for that moment to lift me up, because there is no way that I can look at that little face on the right and still feel anything bad.


To better days and the pets who love us!

~Louise C.