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Saturday, October 29, 2011


(I wrote a column for the Las Cruces Sun-News about my desire to dress up my dog in a Michael Jordan jersey for Halloween... read it here!)

Tonight, of course, is not Halloween. But in the everlasting party world of college students and recent college graduates, it might as well be. Tonight is the night that my friends will don witty/stupid/slutty costumes and drink and party and eat candy.

I'm pretty much done with the party scene in my town (I always end up playing the mom and taking care of my friends to make sure they don't drink and drive or get too wasted, which gets OLD after a while), plus drinking is expensive, so instead of party-hopping between college bars and house parties where I'll be in danger of seeing yet another party busted by the cops (fun!), Boyfriend, Roommate and I will be heading out to bowl in costume.

I'm actually really excited about this. We can bowl and drink beer and listen to 90's rap (my favorite!) and have fun without being around super drunk people. Boyfriend is dressing up as Terminator and I'm going as Black Swan (I have black wings and a tutu!).

I'll let you know how successful we are for Halloween tomorrow. Wish me luck as we try to avoid the drunky mcdrunks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites!

It's FRIDAY! Which means it's time for another...


Today, I'm going to do a Friday Favorites post on my favorite cities in the world. I'm pretty well traveled within the United States, but I've never been out of the country (except Mexico, which doesn't count because it was Ciudad Juarez, which is like a dirtier El Paso), so all of my favorite cities are United States destinations.


First up, New York City. I LOVE New York City and I firmly believe that anyone that hates it has probably never been around the good parts of New York. A friend of mine ( went there and stayed near Times Square and hated it... to which I told her, "Duh, Times Square is the worst! Stay anywhere else and you'll like it." Times Square is something that everyone should see... once or twice in their life. It's exciting, but it's also Tourist Central, so it's full of chain restaurants and trash from the tourists. But other than that, New York has so much more to offer. What I love most is that every section is like a new city... every neighborhood has its own restaurants, bakeries, corner stores, etc. I've gone there a few times because I have family there (allllll of my mom's aunts/uncles on my grandma's side. She's 100% Italian and super proud of it), on Staten Island.

***Fun Note: my cousin Pauly owns an incredible restaurant on Staten Island and has employed both Vinny and the Situation from Jersey Shore before! He still knows both families really well and said that Vinny is a "good kid" but that Mike is a "punk, but has a good heart".***


South Bend, Indiana.

In high school, I went to a women's peace conference at Saint Mary's (right by Notre Dame) and I fell in love with the architecture, the beautiful summer weather, the lush green fields, the fiesty nuns that work there, the summer rain mist, the sweet fresh air... it was incredible and beautiful.

Boston! I've only been there once but I LOOOOOVED it. The people were so friendly there, and the history was rich and incredible. I love how they paint that red line down the street and sidewalks to lead you on the historic trail. I love love love the food... well, at least the food in the North End, which is where we ate every single meal!

(these photos are all mine from our trip last November!)


Branson, MO! My grandpa always hosted a family reunion and when my great-grandma Effie was still alive, we stuck close to her home state of Arkansas, which led us to both Little Rock and Branson. My memories of Branson are filled with rock shops, intertubing on the lake, time with my wonderful cousins and sporadic summer rains. I have a special place in my heart for Branson.

And finally...



It's impossible for me to talk about my favorite cities without mentioning Phoenix, the place where we traveled three times this year (so far...) for vacations. I love the sprawling city and the searing heat (I'm from New Mexico, so we're used to it). I love the restaurants and how much sky you can see wherever you are. I love the bands and the youth scene and the architecture. I love how you can travel ten minutes and be in a whole new city. I love, love, LOVE Phoenix.

There you have it! My favorite cities: New York, Boston, South Bend, Branson, and Phoenix. Where are your favorite places to visit?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


They should just rename Pinterest "Things I Want But Will Never Have"...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sad Day

Today, a family friend had a very sad thing happen for her family. Today, I'm going to take a few minutes to think about the blessings in my life... they can so easily be taken away. I hope you take a few minutes to be grateful for your blessings and that you recognize that it can always get worse.

Have a blessed day.

Green Thumb


I like to think I have a lot of talents, and a few of them are related to being a good homemaker (I'm a decent cook and a pretty good hostess... I am also a great cleaner! Does that count as a talent?), however, there is one skill that always comes to mind when I think about my shortfalls:

I have the hardest time keeping plants alive.

There. I feel like I'm in some kind of PKA meeting (that's Plant Killers Anonymous). Hi, I'm Jenna, and I've killed about a dozen plants in my lifetime. It has been two weeks since my last plant kill. I uh, I have a spider plant alive now (still kept in its original styrofoam cup home), but... but it's only a matter of time!

 I'm kidding, of course (except for the styrofoam cup spider plant... that's true), I haven't killed two dozen plants. But I have killed 90 percent of all plants I have bought for myself. I'm serious. I did the math.

However, I have the next best thing to a personal gardner:

This is Boyfriend (of course), also known as Spider (Plant) Man... eh? Eh? Not funny? I chucked :o)
So anyway, Boyfriend's last name is something that, in my town, is pretty synonymous with plant care. He worked at a nursery when he was a teenager and as such, always picks the BEST flowers (the "happiest" ones, he says), the best Christmas trees, and can identify and grow almost any type of flower or shrub.

I think that plant care is one of the more masculine/feminine hobbies. I mean, Boyfriend is a masculine guy, so I really love seeing him when he helped my parents landscape their yard. He can be so gentle with the plants and knows exactly how much water or sunlight is required for each. I love when he points out interesting or hybridized or complicated plants.

But at the same time, I HATE that I kill plants! I mostly overwater them, which always makes Boyfriend sigh, shake his head, and work his magic at fixing my mistakes (apparently, it's easier to fix an underwatered plant than an overwatered one!), which he has, on TWO orchids so far.

Sigh. I guess my next step should be actually bring my styrofoam spider plant home to Spider Plant Man to give it a happy home. Then I'll work on keeping it alive. One step at a time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites!

It's almost the end of another week, which means of course...


To celebrate the start of a weekend, this Friday Favorites is about my favorite TV shows... ever. I'm kind of a TV connoisseur (clearly), so I thought I would go over the television shows that have enthralled me over the course of my young life.

Saved by the Bell Poster
Ahh... Saved by the Bell. Who didn't love them? I was young for this, but I had the BIGGEST crush on Zack Morris (Who is Mark-Paul Gosselaar? We all know his name is Zack!) with his huge ol' cell phone and his adorable smile. And I aspired to be as happy and sweet as Kelly Kapowski. True story: I felt a little betrayed when I found out that Mark-Paul dated the girl who played Lisa Turtle instead of dating the actress who played Kelly! How could he do that to the beautiful, beautiful trust we had in him to be Zack in both his real life and his fake life? :o)

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Poster

I loved all things Power Rangers, both the TV show and the movies. My good friend Danielle (visit her here!) and I grew up together, playing at a babysitter's house after school, and we did this thing where we licked our thumbs and stuck them to our foreheads and shouted "Pink Ranger!"... the first girl to do this got to be the awesome Pink Ranger, dating the hot Red Ranger.

Then I started growing up and I fell in love with all things Disney/ABC Family.

Step by Step Poster

As Told by Ginger Poster

Lizzie McGuire Poster

Boy Meets World Poster

Growing Pains Poster
Growing Pains!

And then I started growing up and watching... more ABC family.

Gilmore Girls Poster

And now, my favorite TV shows alternate between hopeful...

To dark...
True Blood Poster

Dexter Poster


The Office Poster

30 Rock Poster

To guilty pleasures...

Teen Mom Poster

I feel like I went on a little long... but you know how I love my TV. What are your favorite TV shows? Tune in next week for another (hopefully shorter) Friday Favorites!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween preparations

I'm getting really excited for Halloween! I'm a chicken about scary things, but I love love love Halloween because it kicks off the holiday season (pretty much the only great thing about winter... I hate the cold!). What are my favorite Halloweeny things to do, you say? Well, if you insist, I'll tell you!

  • Paranormal Activity. The first movie scared the bejesus out of me, even in broad daylight and Boyfriend warning me about the scary parts. But it definitely gets me in the scary mood!
  • Make apple cider. I love apple cider! It's an easy recipe: grab a gallon of apple cider, some cinnamon sticks, a little caramel and a little tequila, throw it all in a crock pot or slow cooker for a couple hours, then serve! Delicious!
  • Watch some True Blood. I've always loved me some Sookie and Eric, but the creepy feeling is a little more apropos during this season!
  •  And, of course, seeing great Halloween costumes. I'm not super out-of-the-box when it comes to costumes (for the past two years, I wore cat ears with a "Hello My Name is Demi Moore-Kutcher" sticker... get it? I was a cougar!), but I appreciate other great costumes! What are you all going to be?
Happy Halloween season!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Four Years

There are a couple of events that happen every four years. Elections, of course, which always feel like they last much longer with all the campaigning! Then Leap Years, of course, with the extra day in February that somehow feels like stolen time, in my opinion. And then... there is the best...


I am a huge, HUGE Olympics fan. When I moved into this house with my new roommates and got cable for the first time in years (sweet, sweet cable!), I was secretly thinking how convenient this will be next year when the Olympics are on and I can spend hours watching the games in the evenings. I'm preparing to clear my schedule for any and all events.

Just kidding... but not if it's gymnastics, volleyball, boxing, track events, soccer, diving or swimming.

One of my favorite things to do in life is look back at how much my life has changed over specified periods of time. I'm constantly saying things like, "Exactly eight years ago today I got my first kiss" or "A year ago today we were driving to San Antonio (NM) just for a green chile cheeseburger". That's part of the reason I love the Olympics. Time moves so quickly that I often think, "Wow, the Olympics again?", but it's so fun to see how far my life has come. During the last summer Olympics, I was living in my sorority house. I spent days lounging in my sorority sisters' beds, watching the games and bonding. When Michael Phelps and crew won that four-person swim (by like, .000000001 of a second or whatever it was), I can remember how excited and hyped up we all were. It was so patriotic and inspirational and in that time, we were all just Team USA.

The summer Olympics before that saw me in my junior year of high school, where I spent hours and hours at Val's house with Adriana watching the games. I clearly remember thinking to myself, "Wow, the next time I see the summer Olympics I'll be in college!". In college, I remember wondering where I would be watching the next games... if I'd be in graduate school, if I'd be in a new city, if I would be in love... I had no idea that I would be so happy with a Boyfriend, the best dog ever, in a great, stable job in this economy. I had no idea that my friends that I spent my last two Olympics with (Val, Kaitlyn, Jess B, Trish) would still be in my life.

Beyond the memories, my favorite thing about the Olympics is the power that it has to bring us all together. For a couple of weeks, we are all hardcore Team USA fans. Michael Phelps was our hero. The Dream Team (with my personal fave, Michael Jordan) brought us so much joy. And on the winter side, the Miracle team (which inspired my FAVORITE MOVIE EVER Miracle) taught us everything we needed to know about belief in our country and in ourselves. I love seeing so many people chanting "USA!" and supporting our athletes. And since I'm already a sucker for team spirit, this is like high school pep rallies on steroids. I'm such a softie for patriotism!

I'm super excited to watch Michael Phelps/swimming and our gymnastics team represent the red, white, and blue, but I'm also excited because Boyfriend's Uncle Ric's boxer (he's a coach) Siju Shabazz is an alternate for the boxing team. He's such a great fighter and has such strong faith and such a great personality that I know he'll be a great representative for our country. I hope he has the chance to show that he is the best boxer in the world. And with my kind of country pride, you can only imagine how a hometown boy brings out the very best of team spirit in me! :o)

I'm sure I'll write more about this in upcoming months as we get closer to the actual games, but I'm too excited not to write about it! Yay! Four years later! Olympics! Woo!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Today, I sat down to fill out a form. Everything was going very smoothly. Name, date, parents' names, address, piece of cake!

Then I saw age.

And I blanked.

It was the weirdest feeling! I completely forgot how old I am! I mean, I knew I was between 22 and 24. I had to do the finger-counting thing to 1987 and then figured out that (duh) I'm 23... for another month or so! But then I felt like the biggest moron ever. Who forgets how old they are?

This girl!


I think this is a phenomenon that happens after you hit 21 or 22. Think about it. Growing up, every birthday means something new. 13 is your first year in the teens, then you count up to your Sweet 16 (and your first car!), then it's voting/cigarettes at 18, then you're basically just waiting for your 21st. Then... you're 21. You're done, right?

Okay, maybe 22 is still a big deal. 23 is cool, I guess. But after your 21st, you're basically just waiting for 25 so you can rent a car cheap and get a discount on your insurance (what grown-up things to look forward to!).

Still, even with all of these reasonings, I can't believe I forgot my age. 23, 23, 23, 23, 23, 23... Someone remind me on November 8 that I'm going to be 24!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites

Hooray! It's time for a new Friday Favorites! It's a little late in the day, I know, but it's still Friday so it counts. I have good excuses though. My sister is in town from Albuquerque where she goes to Law School (it deserves to be capitalized! That is an intense program!), taking a rare break from studying and writing papers. Also, I worked late today and then had dinner with my family. It's been a long week.

Either way, here we go with a new Friday Favorites on the topic of...

Makeup! Yay!

Since we discussed skin care in the last segment, I thought this week I would talk about my favorite makeup. I'm not that much of a makeup girl during the week (I'm talking some Lacome eyeliner and some face lotion. Seriously) because of my workplace dress code (the fanciest my coworkers get is when someone wears a blazer over their jeans and button down), so I thought I would talk about my makeup routine on the weekends.

I like to start out with a tinted moisturizer like this one from Laura Mercier:

It's a little too... tinted for me, so I mix it with my normal Clean and Clear face lotion to cut down on the shimmer! But it really has a beautiful tint and it makes my skin glow. I love it. Sometimes, even if I don't use it on my entire face, I dab it onto my cheekbones to give me a little glow. I don't use blush because I have a naturally flushed face (which is great for makeup, not so great when I blush bright red at anything kind of embarrassing!).

Then I use Lacome eyeliner. Black. As black as possible.

I love it! It's like halfway between a liquid liner and a pencil, but without that annoying pencil feel.

I spend most of my makeup time on my eyes. I really love eye makeup, so that's what I spend most of my makeup money on! I curl my eyelashes with your average eyelash curler (which I blast with my blowdryer for a few seconds before... have you tried it? Such a great trick). Then I get to work on making my eyelashes look as close to this as possible!

This photo is from It has some great tips on makeup!

I usually use two or three different types of mascara if I'm really trying to go out and have a good time. My absolute favorite is the Diorshow mascara (this photo is from It's AMAZING! So great! I also like Lacome mascaras (can you tell I'm a Lancome girl? Lol!) because they make me feel like I have butterfly eyes. You know that fluttery feeling? I love it.
DiorShow Mascara

I also really, really love Urban Decay. I know some of the brighter colors look a little young, but I ADORE the bright pinks, the dark purple, and the Smog bronze. I wear a lot of neutral colored clothes (blacks, dark blues, whites, and pinks) with little to no markings, so sometimes I like my makeup to be the expression!

Also, I've tried other primers, but I've never had one as great as this one! The Urban Decay potion is amazing. It works well if you're going out to dinner with your honey or if you're going out dancing with your friends all night. And when your colors are so bright, you definitely need something that will give you a little bit of help!

Then I finish with a little bit of

All night makeup setting spray from Urban Decay! It not only sets your makeup, it gives you a nice refreshing cooling burst. It's great, especially when you are planning on going out out!

Add that all together and you get looks like this:

(Note: None of these products endorsed me for this review. I'm just stating which products I personally use and love!)