Mega Millions Lotto Numbers Anounced

We all are excited to win the mega millions lottery,  as all of US residents are looking to grab that big chunk of money..

The winning numbers for the $640 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, the first-largest prize in the game's history, Lotto Numbers that won$640 million are 2-4-23-38-46, Mega Ball 23, but so for winners haven't come yet, officials said as per

Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. ET and Friday night's drawing took place in Atlanta.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were estimated at about 1 in 176 million, according to lottery officials.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007, according to Mega Millions.

The winner is selected through five balls drawn from a set of balls numbered one through 56, and one ball is drawn from a set numbered one through 46.

While there are nine ways to win a prize, starting from $2, ticket buyers across the country have their eyes on the $640 million jackpot, which has been growing since Jan. 24. That's when Mega Millions had its most recent jackpot winner, Marcia Adams, 33, from Georgia. She won $72 million and chose the cash option of $52 million.

The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1 in 40.

The estimated jackpot is based on national sales up to the time of the drawing. In the last drawing, in which there was no jackpot winner, almost 2.9 million tickets won Mega Millions prizes.

Anyone Else Buy A Ticket? I Won $30 :)

Father & Son

Don't marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him.

Sometimes there will be these moments of bright clarity in the middle of play. I'll see Hank and Henry together, smiles and laughter, the sheer joy they bring to each others' lives so apparent, and it stops me dead in my tracks. Hank is a great man; he is kind, compassionate, loving, and truly sees the joy in every little thing. And because of all that and more, he is a wonderful father. Seeing the man I love as a parent has been one of the most beautiful things about becoming a mother, and it's the little moments like the one captured above, that I live for.

Growing up I dated a lot. I dated all sorts of guys; nice guys, overly nice guys, fun guys, some not-so-fun guys, and a handful of jerks too. When I was much younger, and before I figured out that I was worth being made a priority, I found myself trying to make something out of nothing a few too many times. But I wised up, I figured it out. I started to look at my parents' relationship, happily married for 30+ years, and I thought about who I wanted to end up with, what he would be like.

Before I met Hank I had sworn off serious relationships. I was 21 and enjoyed being "free"- I loved dating and preferred to do as I pleased, without taking into consideration anyone else as a major part of my life outside my family and friends. But my entire world shifted when I met my future husband, and suddenly here was someone that I could almost immediately see in my future, as scary as that seemed in the moment.

Those years went by so quickly- we fell in love, I relocated to his small town, we moved in together, we got engaged. And there is one thing I remember so distinctly from our engagement party, a specific moment that stands out above all of the laughter and stories and food we shared that night.  A good friend of mine pulled me aside and told me that her mother once said to her, "Don't marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him." She wanted to share this with me because she knew that any son of ours would be as wonderful as the best guy we all knew, and she was so happy and excited for our future together.

I think back to this day often, and that quote has stayed with me through the years. Every time I see Hank and Henry kicking a soccer ball, playing with blocks in the middle of the living room, or even reading a story together, I'm reminded. I see my little man trying to emulating my big man- trying on his shoes, the "dada dada dada," the way he lights up when Hank comes in the door after work. And sometimes, I'll see that little twinkle in Henry's eye when he's about to do something funny and I am reminded 100% of his sweet father. Henry is so young, but I can already see how kind he is, how warm and affectionate his heart is, and how silly and fun his spirit can be. It's amazing. I'm raising a boy who is going to be just like the man I married, and for this, I couldn't be happier.

Just ugh.

more tea
{old photo from 2009}

I'm not feeling so upbeat today. In fact, I'm feeling pretty crappy. On a good note though? My mouth is starting to feel better. But the combination of too much time inside, not enough substantial food, no exercise, and having weird medicine in my body from the surgery and afterward (I rarely even take Tylenol for a headache), I am feeling kind of down.

I wasn't sure whether or not to even write this post- I like to focus only on the positive here as much as I can, but Henry is napping and I've reached the end of Pinterest (is that even possible?), so here I am, typing it out. Sometimes I hold back from sharing sadness or negativity because it makes me feel like one, I'm complaining. And who comes to a blog to read complaints?! And two, I know my complaints are not a big deal whatsoever in the span of all of the other things going on in this big, wide universe. But here in my little world, they do seem like a pretty big deal, as most negative things can sometimes do. It's not even like anything is going wrong; mainly I'm annoyed at my mouth, my numb lip and chin, my inability to eat normal food, and the fact that I just feel so blah and depressed. I hate feeling like this- like I have no motivation to do anything. And typing it out makes me feel even more ridiculous for feeling so down about all of it.

SO with that said, I thought you could do me a favor.

I was hoping that you could all leave a comment telling me something awesome that is going on with you! Good news, something that made you smile today, whatever it is that you want to share. I'm excited to get some positivity going again!

Hunger Games Comic

Just recently released movie "Hunger Games" is popular and somebody has come up with the comic..

Tattoo Tuesday V.115

I wanted to take a moment and share a bit about today's Tattoo Tuesday participant and the work he is doing- after Christopher was a victim in a hit-and-run accident, he and his girlfriend Allie both decided to make positive changes and push each other to create something new. They started a company called D.O.G.T (Defenders Of Good Times) in which they help artists around the world promote their artwork and share it with others. Check out the video and links below for more info- it's such a neat, positive project!

Name: Christopher Collins
Age: 27
Occupation: Owner of D.O.G.T (Defenders Of Good Times)
Age of first tattoo: 18
Favorite tattoo: My head!
Featured tattoo/location: My entire head.
Artist/shop/location of featured tattoo: Greg Christian/Tattoo Faction/Head

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

Getting my head was kind of a big had to be something amazing and it was kind of me showing myself my dedication to tattoos and how much I love them. It was tattooed at Tattoo Faction(which is the best shop in the world) by Greg Christian(who is my favorite tattoo artist) and he made it fit and look exactly how I wanted it didn't feel the best but worth every single second of it. Tattoos are memories I will never forget and friendships that will never be broken. I got that tattoo for my family and everyone thats kept me going through the years. I'm pretty accident prone so I got a nurse tattooed on the top for keeping me safe all these years!

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I am covered and I could go for days but some key tattoos are the D.O.G.T on my hand because it reminds me everyday that I am defending good times! The tattoos I have for my family are super important....Guadalupe on my forearm for my mom by Chuck Uhler and a swallow with a heart for my sister Carol, tattooed by Cindy Burmeister. I am saving my empty hand for an epic tattoo for my dad because he is my best friend and the person I look up to most in my life! I have a chicken and a piece of fried chicken tattooed on me because I eat chicken and party! I have a matching birdcage tattoo with my amazing girlfriend that Carlos Rojas tattooed and one of her drawings on the other leg that Rob Hamilton tattooed. The "trust no one" coffin on my ribs was tattooed by Mike Hutton inspired from one of his original paintings, Doug Hardy tattooed a peice of Dan Higgs flash on me at Tattoo City in SF. I have an amazing owl with a lucky rabbits foot around his neck that Dave Wulff tattooed. I have a matching tattoo of a gnarly pirate that Dan Wulff tattooed that was his first tattoo using a rotary machine! My knee is a crazy bearded biker skull that Lil Jeff in Miami tattooed on me. Most of my right arm was mostly tattooed by Cindy Burmeister who taught me a lot about life and helped me out a lot. I'm currently working on finishing my back with Dave Wulff and continuing my collection.

3) Do you plan on getting more? 

I'll never stop getting tattooed. Ever.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos? 

My family is the most amazing family you could ever have and they are extremely supportive of anything I do. It may not be their cup of tea and I'm the only one with tattoos, but they without a doubt have my back no matter what! You always will run into someone that has something negative to say about tattoos or tattooed people; that's a given, I have no desire to gain acceptance from negative people- "I am a Defender Of Good Times"- I don't have time to bummed out over what someone else thinks of my decisions. My significant other IS tattooed and shares the same interest in tattooing that I do and will be tattooing someday soon.

5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? 

You don't want to get me started with stories cause Im a rambler but I would have to say my favorite tattoo memory was when Greg Christian tattooed an old Bert Grimm flash design on my forearm. Greg is one of the best people I have met in my 27 years and taught me so much I owe that guy the world! I watched him set up his machines he told me he was gunna use a tight 5 so it looked all "Shitty and shakey" like it would have when Bert tattooed it! It was my first real visible tattoo and it turned out to be one of my favorite things to look at every single day!!! Being tattooed by Greg is one of my top 5 favorite things ever. Theres not enough thanks to express the appreciation I have for what Greg has shared with me.

6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet? 

You're not going to the store to pick out a new iPhone- you are are putting something on your body that is going to say something everytime someone sees it. Go to a real shop and get a real tattoo, get good tattoos and get safe tattoos.

Weekend links, on a Monday

saturday morning hangout
an old photo of Madeline and me taken in 2008- look how tiny she was!

So my wisdom teeth are officially out, thank goodness. I got them out Friday morning and what was supposed to have been a 45 minute surgery turned into a 2.5 hour ordeal due to my "stubborn roots" or something- it's hard to remember since I was still foggy from being put under.  To be honest, it was much worse than I anticipated and the past couple of days have been more uncomfortable than even my c-section recovery, however crazy that may sound. But on the bright side, I keep focusing on the fact that they're out and now, the worst is over! I had an appointment today with my oral surgeon to check on healing, and he assured me my numb chin and lower lip should return to normal soon, and my mouth is looking a-okay. Now I'm just focusing on being extra careful to avoid those dreaded dry sockets. I'm so thankful for my parents who came up Friday to stay with us, taking me to my appointment on Friday while Hank worked and helped to entertain Henry all weekend.  I was sad to miss all the fun since I was stuck in bed, but I know we'll have another soon when I'm feeling 100%.

While recovering the past couple of days I've been watching a few different things for the first time- Gossip Girl and Gilmore Girls (love both of them!), and I also watched two movies- My Week with Marilyn and Young Adult. And after so much "relaxation" all I want is a busy day filled with errands, a trip to Target, a big sandwich, no mouth pain, and my nice, unswollen cheeks back. ;)

Whatever you did this past weekend I hope you had a great time. I figured I would share some links today, even though it's Monday. Enjoy!


I posted the winner to the Kelli Murray Art giveaway, so check here to see if you won!

Anita is doing a Shop My Closet for her fashionable daughter Lola Birdie! This week she put up jeans and shoes, and next week maybe she'll be selling some of Lola's amazing dresses or tops. Bookmark it, or follow Anita on Twitter for updates.

Carrot cake pancakes. These looks delicious!

My favorite blog post from the week.

Wouldn't these be adorable favors for a party? Pie to go!

A wonderful essay about being a Mom...and baking bread in a random lady's house. Weird. But it's a great read.

Ireland is at the top of my one day must-visit places, and so, I am totally loving these photos.

Hello, dream bikini. Why do you have to be $200?

Passionfruit has launched- I'm sure you've seen it all over the internet! If you take ads on your blog, you will want to take a look.

Win a Pioneer Woman Cookbook over on Heather's blog.

The Top 20 Bites of 2011 in Los Angeles...I would have loved to see this list before our trip, but luckily we picked great restaurants for every meal.

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars. As soon as my mouth is healed I will definitely be making these!

Whenever I want to look at pretty images, I go here.

I love checking out my readers "Currently" posts, like this one!

The Art of Being Happily Single. I passed this along to a few of my single girlfriends and they loved it. It's a good read.

Like Juniper (one of my sponsors) on Facebook and be entered in their giveaway.

My friend Jess took her daughter Rowan camping! Too cute.

Want something else to do with you Instagram photos? How about putting them on custom tiles?

20 quick and healthy snack ideas.

And finally, here's my new favorite blog. Thanks Liz!

Little bits of memory

Family Photos, November 2011

I can still remember the beginning. That nervous anticipation during those first few long drives to visit Hank, my hands tapping on the steering wheel, my eyes in the rear view mirror checking and rechecking to see if I still looked alright. It was the beginning of our relationship and we lived two and a half hours apart, so I would often find myself making the trek from Phoenix, up the I-17 and into the mountains. That very first drive up is still so fresh in my mind; the Jets to Brazil I had on the stereo, my cracked window, the fresh August air that evening, and me, trying to relax when I was so, so nervous. It almost seemed too good to be true- everything was falling slowly into place, somehow. And then, after talking for hours and hours every night for weeks, writing so many letters back and forth, and finally going on our first date, Hank had invited me up to visit him in his little town. 

It's strange to go back to the beginning of us. It will be eight years this summer and parts of it seem so far away, and yet other moments I can remember in such crisp detail. If I think back I can still see Hank's first date outfit- his jeans, his American Nightmare hoodie, those Vans. I can immediately recall a handful of mornings waking up with him to the Weakerthans he set for our alarm, tangled blankets and tattooed limbs. I can remember the night Hank asked me to marry him, the way the stars shined so, so brightly in that clear February night, the way my breath blew out like smoke and our voices echoed in the empty square. I think back to our first apartment, the smell of new paint and cardboard boxes, and our second, the smell of fresh cut grass through the open windows. I can go back to our wedding day and remember looking down the aisle at Hank through the yellow and the white and all of our family and friends, all the way to the very end, to him waiting there for me. And I can see him when Henry was born, joy filling every corner of his face.

Memories are funny things. They change over time, they shift, they adapt. We keep what we want, small segments of our days, and the rest dissipates into a hazy fog. I hold tight to the things I want to remember- I take a second and try to capture it, all of it. My memories often feel so cloudy, floating in my mind, but then I'll be reminded of something, and one crystal clear moment will bob to the top, up and down, little bits and pieces becoming more clear.  With Hank I have eight years of these memories, good times and bad, trips and vacations and so much togetherness. My life has a distinct marker, a before and an after, and it's amazing to think about everywhere we've been, and to imagine everywhere we're going. And sometimes, when the weather is just right, I can crack my window, turn up the music, and I'm right back there again, 21-years-old at the very beginning.

Advertise on Sometimes Sweet in April!


A lot of my spots for April are already being reserved, so I thought I would make my one-and-only post/mention letting you all know that I am currently accepting advertisers for next month. There are tons of fun things coming up for Sometimes Sweet and there are sure to be many new visitors. As Sometimes Sweet continues to grow, I'd love to help you grow your blog, shop, brand, or website via this blog. Placing an ad on this site absolutely works, and many of my sponsors renew their spots for months at a time.

If you're interested, check out my sponsor page and then send me an email if you'd like to grab a spot before they're all full.  I'd love to have you.


{Tuesday's messy bun}

Loving: Prepare yourself...this is slightly (okay very) embarrassing to admit, but while I was sick I got into watching a new television series on Netflix. It's called Make It Or Break It, and it's basically a teen-geared gymnastics drama centered around a group of elite, Olympic bound gymnasts in Boulder, Colorado. It's an ABC Family show and I absolutely LOVE it. It's terribly cheesy and pretty ridiculous at times, but I can't stop watching it and have really gotten into all of the characters. I love Payson, adore Damon, and really think Summer and Sasha should be together! I haven't met one person who has ever even seen it though, so if you have, say hello! I feel so alone out here on my bad-television branch...even though I really don't think this show is bad at all. I'm finishing up Season 2 in preparation for Season 3 to begin next week and any free chance I get I'm trying to fit in yet another episode.

Thinking about: my Dad. He drove me home from the airport on Sunday night because he didn't want Hank and Henry coming down the mountain in the snow. We spent close to two hours together alone, which is unfortunately pretty rare, and it was so wonderful to have all that time to talk. I learned some things about my Dad I had no idea about (like the fact he lived in a beach bungalow for a year in Florida!) and it made me so happy to spend that time with him. I feel like it's one of those instances I'll always look back on and smile. I sure love him.

Anticipating: my wisdom teeth removal...tomorrow! AH! I've been putting this off forever and actually rescheduled this appointment about three times, but finally, the day has come. All four of mine are impacted and all four are coming out. So at 8:50am on Friday think of me as I'm getting teeth ripped out of my head. Yuck.

Listening to: Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things. Every single spring I feel like I blog about this but for good reason. The entire album reminds me so much of the warm months ahead and all things summer. It's great from beginning to end and it makes me so happy to listen to it, especially right around this time of the year when I am looking forward to April, May and beyond.

Eating: Ezekial tortilla pizzas. They're so simple to make and really, really good. All you do is take a tortilla, top it with tomato sauce, cheese and veggies of you choice, and bake it in the oven until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy. It's a super healthy meal, especially if you pile on the veggies. Let me know if you try it!

Wishing: that I could fly all of my Hunger Games-loving friends here so we could all watch the premiere together. Due to my wisdom teeth surgery I'll probably have to wait until next week and I don't know if I can make it. I'm so excited about it and I am crossing my fingers the movie does the book justice.

How about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments! And thanks again to my dear friend Megan for providing the original inspiration for these posts.

CLOSED! Giveaway: Win a custom portrait by Kelli Murray!

This giveaway is now closed!

Congratulations to Ayden for winning the custom portrait! Ayden please email me to claim your prize! And thank you again to all who entered. :)

Today I'm so excited to share a super fun giveaway with all of you. The extremely talented Kelli Murray (seriously check out her Etsy shop- she is AMAZING) is on my blog today, offering up a custom portrait to one lucky winner. Kelli will create the winner's portrait to their likeness and can also include their blog name, name, or favorite quote. The winner will receive a digital version as well as an 8X10 paper print as shown below.

To enter:
  • Follow Kelli Murray Art via Bloglovin', and leave a comment below letting me know you do, along with your name and email address.  If you don't already read Kelli's blog, trust me when I say that I know you will love it. It's a new favorite of mine and I'm really, really excited for more people to discover it. 
  • For up to three additional entries, tweet about this giveaway (see below), follow Kelli on Twitter or "like" her on Facebook, then leave up to three more comments letting me know you did so, along with your name and email address again.
 Tweet this:
    {GIVEAWAY} Win a custom portrait from the super-talented @kellimurrayart via Sometimes Sweet and @danihampton!

      That's up to four ways to win! I'll choose a winner on Monday and post it here, so check back.

      Here's the version with my blog name on it, too. Good luck to all who enter!

      LA Girls' Trip

      I spent this past weekend in California with two of my favorite girls and had a wonderful, fun, and relaxing time. We stayed at the Thompson Beverly Hills, and after a weird "your reservation was somehow canceled by someone" situation, it turned out to be a great hotel (although they handled the situation very strangely...but that's a story for another day). Anyway, Anita, Andy and I flew into LAX and met at our rental car place before heading over to The Thompson, and it was so fun to have a reunion, since the last time the three of us were together was Las Vegas back in October when we took a girls' trip with a few more of our friends. I talk to Andy and Anita every single day- they have both become two of my closest friends and it was fantastic to be able to spend the weekend catching up in person.

      After we got to the hotel and got settled we headed out to Real Food Daily for dinner. I've heard so much about this place and I was really excited to try it. I ordered the BLT wrap (all of their food is organic and vegan) and it was SO good. Really, really delicious and we all loved our meal. I highly recommend it, and I was so sad Hank and Henry weren't there to enjoy it too! After dinner we drove around LA and Hollywood for awhile; we did the Walk of Stars, checked out all of the touristy stuff, and oohed and ahhed over the beautiful homes up in the hills. We ended our night at Sweet Lady Jane's, a Hollywood bakery, and ordered a ton of desserts to split. The best of the group was the Key Lime was to-die-for.

      The next morning we woke up and went to Toast for breakfast. It was also really, really good. We spent the rest of the day shopping in the rainiest weather and although we were soaked to the bone it was a fun time. After lunch I had a little meeting regarding some blog business, then later in the afternoon I started to feel really tired so I napped for a couple hours while the girls stayed out. They came back later to wake me up before dinner, and we headed out the door to El Cholo, our Mexican restaurant pick for the night.

      (Are you noticing a theme here? Shop, eat, shop, eat! It was my kind of trip!)

      Dinner was traditional Mexican food and my favorite part was probably the guacamole they made right at our table. We all loved it, but Andy started to feel a little sick afterward so Anita and I dropped her off at the hotel and headed over to Magnolia to pick up some cupcakes to go. We'd both experienced Magnolia in NYC before and weren't the hugest fans, and these treats unfortunately proved no different. I really love cake, but Magnolia has disappointed me a couple of times. We did get some cookies though that were great. We spent the rest of the night girl-talking and hanging out, enjoying our last night of vacation together.

      The next morning we went to Swingers and ate great diner food, then did Fred Segal and a few other shops, and ended our afternoon with In-N-Out since Andy doesn't have one up in Seattle.  My flight home ended up being canceled due to the crazy snow we got, so I got on Anita's flight and we flew home to Phoenix.

      I can't say enough how much fun this past weekend was. I feel lucky to have such wonderful girls in my daily life, and I also feel lucky to be able to have weekends away like this. And as much as I love going on fun trips with my girlfriends, nothing beats coming home to my boys.

      Here are some random Instagram photos from the weeekend.

      Picnik collage1
      Picnik collage4
      Picnik collage9
      Picnik collage11
      Picnik collage3
      Picnik collage
      Picnik collage7
      Picnik collage10
      Picnik collage8

      Tattoo Tuesday V.114

      Name and blog name: Mal Warning
      Age: 25
      Occupation: Special Education Substitute/ part time nanny & jewelry maker.
      Age of first tattoo:16
      Favorite tattoo: Cherry blossom tree on my back
      Featured tattoo/location: Owl & Teapot on my right thigh
      Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: A great lady friend of mine by the name of Donna Klein did this piece at Evermore Gallery back home in Edwardsville, IL. This tattoo was taken from a favorite print of mine done by Kim Anh Nguyen.

      1) Tell us about your featured tattoo.

      This tattoo was a gift from my in-laws as a graduation present! I knew I wanted to get something that signified them in some sort of way or something that included them or that will always make me think of them. After some thought I decided Kim Anh Nguyen print was perfect! For our wedding my in laws bought me a tea kettle that I had been lusting at for sometime & so in the tattoo we made the tea pot the same color as my wedding tea kettle. Also I really love tea, this tattoo is something that shows people a little about myself.

      2) Do you have any other tattoos?

      I do! Does anyone ever just get one? All of my tattoos were done at Evermore Gallery done by either Donna Klein or Carrie Davini who is also another lovely lady friend. On my left thigh I have stacked tea cups to go along with my tea pot on my right thigh. I have a cherry blossom tree on my back, which is still my favorite because it makes me think of my mom who passed away when I was 2. In Japanese culture cherry blossoms are associated with "mono no aware" for their extreme beauty and quick death. I have an outline of a small dove on the right shoulder, a peacock feather on my right foot (which is actually a cover up from that time I was 16 & thought I'd truly love blue stars forever). I have the word "love" on my left wrist, a few hearts on the inside of my lip as well as "Mrs." on my wedding ring finger.

      3) Do you plan on getting more?

      Absolutely! Since recently moving to Portland I am hoping to get in with Silje at Scapegoat Tattoo to start my right sleeve this spring. A good pal of mine who married my husband and I works at the shop (Evermore) & has been apprenticing for almost a year now & as soon as I plan a trip back home he will be doing a clementine for my dog, her name is Clementine :)

      4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)?

      My family has been very supportive so far, I think they know its something that I enjoy & want to continue. My aunt who raised me as asked me not to do my arms, but I think she will come around once its done, she loves all of my other tattoos & has recently been talking about wanting to get one of her own! My nana has also made plans to have one of my branches from my cherry blossom tree tattooed on her shoulder. Also this past year I took my father-in-law to get his first tattoo & I didn't have to hold his hand like he thought after all! My husband has tattoos as well, I am pretty sure he plans on more as well.

      I have been pretty lucky, not a whole lot of negativity. But because I work within schools mine are covered a majority of the time & when co-workers do find out they are pretty surprised. I think in general people are just curious about my tattoos. I feel like if someone doesn't have tattoos or doesn't plan on ever getting any its a hard thing to grasp why we do get them or enjoy them. I've been stopped in the grocery store and asked "Why would you do such a thing, your such a pretty girl" by an elderly woman and the occasional stares. But other than that Its been pretty positive. I wear my tattoos with pride, especially in summer (when schools out).

       5)What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? 

      I'm not sure I have had any really interesting experiences, I like to read while I am getting tattooed, I guess that is a little interesting. I have also been sitting in a session getting my back done while a huge, I mean football player huge man was getting a four leaf clover tattooed on his lower back and was crying & when he was done I was still being tattooed and said something along the lines I don't know how you can be so chatty during this! People are weird in general, I often get strangers wanting to tell me about THEIR tattoos and tattoo stories when I never asked.

      6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet? 

      I think its important to do your research on an artist and shop you want to go too. If I hadn't moved across the country I would be going to Carrie and Donna until there was no room left on my body! I also think there is a reason why the legal age for getting a tattoo is 18, you don't know what you like. Trust me, 25 year old you wont like your 16 year old you tattoo choice. Lastly this is permanent, don't randomly pick something off a flash. Take some time to think about it and make sure its something you really want. I have been sitting on my idea for my sleeve for almost two years & I still want it so its going to be something I'll love forever.


      birthday weekend

      Sometimes I feel like I might be stranger than most people because I think about morbid things like death or loss a little too much. I don't know if you're like this too, but sometimes in a super happy moment or time I'll think about how it won't always be like this and how things always won't be so good. Weird, right? It's only for a second though, but in a way I think it almost helps me really enjoy those good times because I'm hyper-aware of them happening. Sometimes I'll start thinking about this with my parents and it brings me to tears. I recently lost my Grandma and it's bizarre to think about one day losing my own parents. It feels weird to even vocalize this kind of thing here, but it was on my mind as I've spent the past few days with my sweet mama and enjoyed every second of it. I love her SO much, so so much. I can't imagine my world without her, and I can't even begin to think about losing my Mom, like my Dad did a few months ago. So I keep focusing on the now, on the little moments I have with my parents. I take it all in. The way my Mom always seems to have a piece of dark chocolate in her hand anytime after 8pm, how my Dad will always wash my car on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I relish in the hugs and kisses my Mom gives me, even when I pretend to hate it, like my 16-year old self. I love my Dad's tough shell but sweet, sweet heart and my Mom's constant sunshine. I pay attention to the small details, the "make sure you call us when you get home," the "be safe" my Dad always has to say as his last words as we pull out of their driveway, and the way Henry runs to my Mom, arms outstretched, "up up up!"  I take in every single little bit I can, because I know one day it won't be like this. And maybe I'm really weird for having these thoughts, but in a way I'm grateful for them because they remind me to be in the now, and to really pay attention. I never want to take a moment of it for granted.

      Weekend links!

      Hollywood Sign

      Hello, hello! I wanted to take a minute and thank all of you who left such nice comments on Wednesday's post. My scan and x-rays went fine - I don't know why I get so nervous for medical things, but here I am at almost-30, shaking in my boots to get a needle in my arm.  It is scary though when you go to the doctor and they say you need to get these serious things done's so easy for my mind to run wild. Anyway, besides the strange injection they gave me for the CT that made me feel like I had peed my pants, the appointment was relatively simple. My results came back later that day, and although there was nothing in my throat (yay!) my thyroid is enlarged so I go in Monday for more testing. The doctor gave me the go-ahead for my LA trip though, and I am so thankful. Hoping some sea-air and relaxation will do me well.

      So, that's what's going on in my neck of the woods. Get it? Neck of the woods? HA. ;) Anywaaay, I am flying out today at noon and will be back on Sunday or Monday to share all about my little adventure. In the meantime, here are some links to check out. Enjoy!

      A Girl Scout-inspired bridal shower. So, so awesome.

      Have you watched the amazing method video yet? And if so, have you gotten that song out of your head yet?

      Strawberry lemonade, anyone?

      Passionfruit is up and running! I'm excited to check it out for myself.

      The Polkadots sent Henry the sweetest package full of tee shirts, buttons and music! Seriously, if you have a little one, head on over. So much fun.

      I really enjoy Carly's blog- especially posts like this.

      Neat art over on Kelly Ann's blog.

      I know I said this last week, but it's a good question- have you read the new issue of Gadchick yet?

      Real men wear pink.

      Need some fitness/healthy eating inspiration? Look no one of my favorite blogs!

      Anti-aging foods? Sign me up!

      I'm so happy to have Ancient Shades as a sponsor this month, so pop over and have a look! I think their maps would be such an awesome gift for a friend who has moved, to remind them of home.

      Oh my...this post is giving me an intense case of baby fever. And little girl fever! Could Harper be any cuter?!

      I love reading about all of Abi's adventures!

      Enjoyed this article about living in the now. It's a great read!

      I love Valerie Vargas.

      And finally, head over and check out these fine ladies and their blogs- one, two, and three.

      A little hello/update!

      Picnik collage
      a whole bunch of randomness- polkadots make everything better // visiting the ducks with  Henry // storytime with Grandpa // visiting Adie at work // books and more books // my go-to dinner, a  sweet potato with cheese and broccoli // my favorite treat, an In-N-Out protein style cheeseburger //  Henry at  our local playplace today, where our playgroup had a fun get together //  getting bloodwork done this afternoon

      Happy Pi Day! I actually just exclaimed, "it's Pi Day and we didn't eat any pie!" to my Mom, who is here visiting for a couple of days. I was legitimately upset about it until Hank reminded me that we ate pizza for dinner...which is a pie, right? So all is well again in the world; Pie Day was celebrated.  And speaking of this special "holiday," I can still remember back to all of the wonderful Pi Days I had in college. That sounds so weird- "all of the wonderful Pi Days I had in college" (what?!), but being a Pi Phi, we always celebrated when March 14th came around. I have such fun/funny memories of eating pie in the chapter room with all of my sorority sisters and I still smile thinking back to so many good times we had over those four years. One of these days I'll write more about that experience!

      In other news, tomorrow I have to get a cat scan and chest x-ray. Fun, right? To be honest I'm actually relieved to finally be getting some answers, or at least taking action towards getting answers. I talked about being sick a little bit in this post, but since then I haven't felt any better, and my weird symptoms haven't lessened at all either. I don't exactly feel ill; I'm more so just extremely tired all the time, and paired with some other things that are going on I finally decided to see yet another doctor and try and get to the bottom of it. To make a long story short, the doctor was a little concerned with some stuff going on in my neck/throat area and ordered the scans. So that's what I'm doing think of me at 10:15am!

      In other, better, non-illness news, I've had an LA trip planned for months, and this weekend it's finally here. I was a bit worried I wouldn't feel my best, and even though I don't, I'm still going to go and enjoy some relaxation time with girlfriends. This trip was planned way before the method San Francisco trip came about and I feel guilty leaving again so soon, but I am going to just enjoy my time and focus on not wondering about the results of the tests I'll get back next week.  We have a fun weekend ahead of us- lots of touristy things, good food, and most of all, great quality girl time with two of my favorite people. Someone just please tell my body to not be tired or feel out of it, because I've got plans!

      Some other things I'm loving right now: my Mom being in town (I wish my parents lived closer), the Bachelor finale (I actually ended up liking Courtney), and the new Trader Joe's in town (I've already gone twice).

      As for now, I am headed off to bed. My Mom, Henry and I are going food shopping in the morning to get some chili-making supplies, I have my radiologist appointment, and then I am looking forward to some outdoor time. I'm hoping for a beautiful day, and I hope you have one too!

      Blondes have more fun

      An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee.

      After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter, 'Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke ?'

      The bar immediately falls absolutely silent. In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, 'Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

      1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.

      2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.

      3. I'm a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.

      4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight-lifter.

      5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.

      'Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke ?'

      The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, 'No... not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times.’

      I just had a call from a Charity asking me to donate some of my old clothes
      To the starving people throughout the world.

      I told them to Bugger off!! Anybody who fits into my old clothes isn't starving!!

      My girlfriend is always complaining that I push her around and talk behind her back.
      I said "it ain't my fault you are in a wheelchair"

      Tattoo Tuesday V.113


      Name and blog name: Amanda Johnson at Here's Looking at Me, Kid
      Age: 26
      Occupation: photographer and graphic designer
      Age of first tattoo: 24
      Favorite tattoo: inside of my right arm
      Featured tattoo/location: Floral engraving on the inside of my right arm
      Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Jesse of Good Life Tattoos and Piercings in Akron, Ohio

      1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

      This tattoo doesn't have any meaning, and doesn't signify any special time in my life. A year before getting this piece done on my inner arm, I had found an antique floral engraving that I really liked, and re-pieced parts of it in Photoshop to trail along my arm how I wanted. I brought it in to Jesse to take a look at, and we sized it up to fit just right on my shoulder. The next year I decided that I wanted more of the engraving added further down on my arm, so I cut out and pieced together more of the engraving on Photoshop again, and Jesse did the rest.

      2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

      My tattoos might look like all one piece, but the part across my shoulder and upper arm was the first piece I ever had done, and a year later I had a coordinating piece done on the inside of my arm, not quite touching the original piece. I really like the antique engraving style, and plan on maintaining this look for my future tattoos- though I'm not sure if I'll be getting any more floral pieces done.

      3) Do you plan on getting more?

      For sure! Right now I'm pregnant, but am planning and saving for my next piece. It will probably be something on my left forearm, and I'll probably get it in another year- assuming my tattoo funds stay put.

      4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?

      My husband doesn't have a tattoo, but he's talked about maybe getting something on the inside of his upper arm. He's a teacher and a coach, so he spends time professionally in both long sleeves and sleeveless shirts. He would probably never get anything visible. As for me? You can tell I don't really care too much about tattoo visibility, considering how high my first tattoo sits on my chest. And I pay for that when I'm photographing Summer weddings. Most of the brides and grooms' families get really uncomfortable about a tattooed photographer traipsing about during their son or daughter's wedding ceremony. :) I did work for a while in a corporate office where they said they didn't mind if my tattoos showed, but I was pretty uncomfortable with the way people would stare at them in meetings or the hallways, so I decided on my own that I would be taken more seriously if I covered them up. Since those days, I'm very happy to be working for myself with nobody to gawk at me during meetings.

      My family is very accepting of my tattoos, but my mom was depressed for probably a month when she first saw them. She is one of my best friends, and I knew it would be a big deal for her- even though it is my body. We had talked about them before I got the work done, and she said she was okay with it as long as I had thought it through, and that in the end it was my decision. Different story when it actually happened! But in the past two years, she has gotten used to them and isn't embarrassed so much by other people's reactions. I think it helps that when we are out together people usually tell me how they "don't normally like tattoos, but yours is so tasteful!" After dealing with my mom's horrible reaction, I was pretty nervous about how my grandpa would react too, so I spend a year covering up my tattoos around him. Finally, one Fourth of July, it was so hot I decided to just show up to our family picnic in a tank top. Grandpa walked up to me and started talking, while I held my breath waiting for his reaction. There never was one! I guess he doesn't really care about tattoos after all.


      5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos?

      The funniest experience was when I was rummaging through some old linens at the thrift store. I was wearing a pretty 1950's sundress and looked very put-together that day. An older lady, around 70 years old, joined me at the linens table and we began chatting about thrift stores and garage sales as we looked through doilies and tablecloths. When I turned around, and she got a look at my right shoulder and arm, she audibly gasped and put her hand to her mouth. I was confused at first, but then I saw her staring at my tattoo as she said, "Oooh! I had no idea.... Well!" And then she quickly waddled away. Oh to think that I had actually fooled her into thinking I was a nice girl! Good thing she saw my tattoos in time. ;)


      6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

      Something I didn't think too much about when I got my first tattoo was how it would look under clothing. This might not be important to you, but for me, since the majority of my life is spent with clothes on, I want the parts of my tattoos that peak out from under a shirt or dress to looks pretty and purposeful, and not like bizarre alien extremities that live underneath my clothes. I've ruled out a couple of ideas for my forearm because I know the ends of them will look silly sticking out of my sleeves. So I'm saving those ideas for somewhere else on my body.