the newest addition to the Bravo/Wilkenson household… Our kitten, Carol… named after the monster in “Where the Wild Things Are” they have matching ‘concerned’ eyes and he’s quite the little monster. ❀


how wonderful life is…

September 29, 2010

Last night we had some friends over for Mike’s (my Guy’s coworker) birthday and I realized how blessed I am. Guy ran into Kes and Kaitlin at a red light and invited them over to share Mike’s bday dinner and they were over in a flash. A few weeks ago I had spend the day with my family and last minute we invited them to have dinner at our place, not only did they come over they brought over food to add to what we were making. No matter what’s going on in life, I always know I’m surrounded by some pretty amazing people.

This weekend we’re going back to the LA County Fair with some great friends who we haven’t seen in a couple months. So excited! And my cousin is coming out to visit in the middle of the month. He just got out of the military and moved to Florida so I am really stoked that he’s coming out to see us.

I’ve been really uninspired blog-wise. I’m going to try to just write and post whatever comes out, good or bad… just until I get into my groove.

LA County Fair

September 7, 2010

Yesterday my love and I decided to head over to the LA County Fair… opening weekend they have dollar admission, so it’s not too insane to go, even if they do charge a bazillion dollars for parking and sales tax on everything is 10%. Last year when we went, we ended up not eating anything the whole time. Not this year, this year we were prepared to be deep fried from the inside… we got there early and had a giant corn dog for breakfast; they said it was a foot long but I really think it was closer to 16 inches, the thing was just huge. Then we hit up the shopping buildings. It’s absolutely amazing how many vendors they have, and how many vendors have a booth in each building.
What was our favorite find? Well, there were 3 things… sheets (1600 thread count, 30 bucks, plus 2 extra pillow cases), this oil for my love’s snoring, and the most exciting thing for me… a screen PRINTER… if you’re unfamiliar with how screen printing is usually done, it’s not exactly printing. You have to make a separate screen for each color and then register them so they will line up and then squeegie the color ink through the screens… then you have to heat them up in between colors to set the ink. Well, this insane printer does all the colors at once, prints in 1 minute, has no screens (which means no cleanup) and can even do foil! The 3 best things about it are that there is no cleanup, it’s small, and it’s cheap!!! Ok… when I say cheap, I don’t mean everyone could own one for their personal use, but as a business purchase it’s CHEAP! And it would really drop the cost of production allowing me to drop my setup fees to the customer. I would love love love to have one.
Anyway… back to the fair… we also decided we needed something bbq’d since we were in the fair mode… we shared a big plate of brisket, beans, cole slaw, and a chopped pork sandwich. It was so good and smoky and yum! If you’d like to grab some, we got it at the BIG bbq place next to where they keep the animals. I can’t remember the name of it. So good though.
It was a nice way to end the weekend. πŸ™‚ How is everyone else doing?

So today I was posting something for sale on Craigslist… and I realized how exciting it is to put something out there and wait for a response. For anyone interested in just exactly what I posted

there it is. haha. I have a couple things on ebay right now also and I love watching people bid on them. I think it adds some adventure to getting rid of our bulky extra stuff. I posted something that I didn’t think I would see 30 bucks for and it’s already at $51! I think that’s almost as fun as buying something on the cheap that you didn’t expect to find. Just another one of those little things in life that make me happy.

This weekend I got to be a part of something pretty awesome. Saturday my Guy and I took his mom up to Thousand Oaks to meet her big brother for the very first time. How cool is that?? She’s **cough cough** years old and is just now getting to meet a brother! He is quite an impressive man, too. He is a civilian psychologist for the military. We had such a great day with them, we went to the gardens of the world and then had lunch at Claim Jumper before going to sit at a park behind the Library so they could just sit and catch up. I felt so special to be a part of something that was so big for Lucy.

Yesterday we got to see my blondies and that always makes me happy. Those 2 girls canΒ  make me laugh and laugh! It’s so great! I got to talk to my best friend a lot this weekend too, my Laney. She always knows how to make me smile.

Lots of things happening in the real world, which doesn’t leave much time for the internet world for me. πŸ™‚

-Just Shay-

I swear, moving sucks the life out of you! haha. My parents and sibs moved this weekend and you’d think it would have been really easy considering they only moved one street over, but noooooo. They were supposed to get the keys around 3 pm on Saturday (and be out of their house that night), but the people moving out of their new house weren’t done “cleaning” until after 7:30. I say “cleaning” with quotes because I’m not exactly sure what they cleaned. It was so dirty when we finally got in there. So for 4 hours, we sat around waiting and waiting and waiting to get access to the house. Full U-haul, full van, full car, full crew of dad’s friends, neighbors, and our family ready to go. The house is really cute; they gained a computer room, a second living room, and a game room. Mom is really frustrated with the kitchen, she lost a lot of cabinet and counter space so trying to fit her old kitchen’s worth of stuff isn’t going so well. The kids bedrooms are a little smaller, but 1/2 of the stuff they had in their rooms is going in the game room or computer room so really, they will basically just sleep in their rooms.

My sister is loving it, she lives catty-corner to her besties now. I made them a folder on a string yesterday so they can pass their secret messages over the fence without them blowing away. The girls came over and helped her unpack and arrange her furniture, which was a huge help for mom. It gave mom time to do other things, like wrestle with the kitchen haha. My brother took a little convincing that this was going to be cool. The first day he was pretty upset with how small his room was, understandably. He’s 16 and feels like he should be getting more freedom, not less space. But by the end of day 2 he was really liking the house and I had helped him unpack some of his stuff, so he was able to see his space. And he gets that the game room will probably be his hangout.

It was so cool to see the kids all playing video games together in the game room! My brother, sister and her 2 best friends all piled on our big denim couch battling it out. This is exactly what my mom and dad were hoping for. In the other house there was no space for computers, so everyone ended up putting their computer in their own room and the family was spread out all over the house. Now they have a computer room right off the living room and it has double doors so they can all be together AND on their computers.

My mom and brother and I were up so late the first night laughing and goofing around, it was so good to see my mom laugh. After last week, I wasn’t sure how long it would be before she was laughing again. I love their new house, I can’t wait to have a big family dinner over there! However, while I was at my family’s house, my house was getting soooo messy!!! Gotta go clean!

Is it because no matter how bad your breath smells in the morning, they are right in your face licking you to wake you up? Or no matter how hard your day has been, you can always crack a smile when they brush against your leg or put their paw on your knee. Is it because they don’t judge you when your screw up, and don’t get mad when you’re a little late with dinner? It’s all of these reasons, and so many more… Your pets love you no matter what, and they are always ALWAYS happy to see you.

My brother’s dog passed away this morning (all of our dog). She was playing with my dad and he brought her in to get a treat and she fell over and didn’t get back up. A few minutes later she was gone. When my dad called me I could hardly breathe; I’ve taken a shower, gotten dressed, and still I have tears rolling down my face. Angel had these 2 little teeth on the bottom that weren’t in the right place and we always joked about her needing puppy braces. Every day at 4:00 she would start running around like a crazy cause she knew it was dinner time. She could tell the difference between the cheese drawer opening or the veggie drawer opening in the fridge. She knew the words 4 o’clock and her ears would stand on end any time we said it. She was such a smart dog and she was so pretty! She was a German Shepard mix, smaller and daintier than a German Shepard. She let my sister put tutus on her and she walked like a prize winning pony when she had them on. She loved a new bandanna for whatever holiday we were having. She smiled, and made us smile. I’m going to the house later today, but I know it won’t be the same. I won’t hear her collar when I walk up to the door, she won’t put her paw on my knee when I get to the couch, and at 4:00 there will be no Tasmanian Devil circles around the living room.

I didn’t ever expect to be this torn up about her passing away, I knew it would happen eventually but I figured she’d be older and my brother would be off to college somewhere.

Angel puppy, we love you very much. Rest in peace, now it’ll always be 4:00.

Sunday night we had our very first dinner party in our little condo. It was SUCH a blast! My long time, long lost friend Nicole came over with her boyfriend Jay and my 2 favorite blondies came (Kes and Kaitlin). I was worried that the 6 of us would be walking over each other in the tiny space, but it was perfect! Everyone had a place to sit on the couch when we were inside, and they all found a spot to sit on the patio. I made spaghetti, my Guy made garlic bread and the night was amazing. I haven’t seen Nicole in close to 15 years (wow, that makes me feel old every time I think about it) and we picked up like there was no time lost. She filled me in on what’s been going on in her life and I filled her in on mine, and not even halfway through the evening we were talking about our next get together.

I felt bad because I forgot to tell my blondies that Nicole and Jay were coming, and I forgot to tell Nicole and Jay that my blondies were coming… I was afraid it would be weird, and it wasn’t. Everyone got along great, we all laughed and told stories. These are the nights that I feel “grown up”. A night where I am the hostess and I try to make sure that everyone else is having a good time. From the feedback I’ve gotten in the last few days, I’d say it was a total success. πŸ™‚ Us girls were out chit-chatting on the patio while the boys played guitar inside. “Top night!”

Can’t wait to have you all over again πŸ™‚


July 20, 2010

So I’ve been going through pictures for the last hour or so and I can’t believe all that’s happened in the last few years. My brother’s hair has gone from brown to black, from above his ears to below his shoulders, and he’s gone from 5′ to almost 6’1″! My little sister has gone from her “little kid” stage to being a preteen. I’ve moved out, moved back in, and moved back out again. I just am amazed at how quickly it’s all happened. What a crazy ride!

I am so grateful for everything in my life, and I am learning not to dwell on what (or who) is no longer there. People come in and out of your life for a reason, and you may not always understand why, but it’s always for the best. I have been blessed to meet so many new people in the last year and a half… my boyfriend and his wonderful family, Kes, Kaitlin, Tanya… and I’ve been able to reconnect with some old friends who I haven’t seen/talked to in YEARS!

I am so excited to see what life has in store for me and my Guy… he makes me dream the biggest dreams!

Every time I think I have this place unpacked, or clean, or ready for company I get hit in the face with the overwhelming realization that I am nowhere near done with this place! And believe me, having a “project man” in the house does not help. With the “new” car coming home in a couple weeks we have discovered that we are going to have to empty the garage to make sure it will fit. This would be just fine if we had space in the condo (reminder: this is a 1 bedroom condo) for all the stuff in the garage. Plus, every time I go out to the garage to bring boxes in, I’m reminded that it is summer in Southern California and is therefore a billion and a half degrees outside.

Saturday when I went to my cousin’s grad party, my grandparents picked me up and were finally able to see our adorable place. Where did all the unpacked and uncategorized stuff end up? Hidden away in the garage :). But now I have to bring it all in and start really deciding what is necessary and what can be given up. We just don’t have the space for all of the excess. I know if you haven’t used it in 6 months, you don’t really need it. I’m also frustrated because I haven’t been able to have help from my love. It seems every weekend at least one day is completely full, and the other day he needs to just relax before going back to aΒ  busy work week. We need organization, downsizing, and order. All things that make a small space livable. If we had only the things currently in the condo, and none of what’s in the garage we’d probably be ok, somewhat. haha.

Ok… enough ranting, onto being productive about this! But first… Air conditioner, on!

Time’s a wastin’…

July 12, 2010

I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by. It’s already the middle of July!! We’ve been in our little condo for almost a month, and I feel like I’ve been spinning in circles ever since we moved. I love having our own place, I think Joe does too. He comes home for lunch every day and gets to eat a good lunch and relax for 20 minutes or so. Not only a huge money saver, but I love that I get to see him πŸ™‚

Saturday I went to my uncle’s house for my cousin’s going away/graduation party. I can’t believeoshe’s off to college next month! I love our family events. I wish Joe could have gone with me, but he was at his dad’s getting our “new” vehicle… 1956 Mercury Monterey Wagon. Such a pretty car!! He is so excited to get it home. It’s on a flatbed because it’s been sitting in his dad’s garage for a while so they need to flush the fluids and stuff before he can drive it. I guess his dad’s had it for the last 20 years or so. Completely restored it, put a new engine in it (which only has 300 miles) and then it went in the garage.

Other than that, not a lot is going on with me. I’ve been working on the condo, and spending time with my love. It’s funny, we’ve been here almost a month and I feel like it’s been a week! I keep saying I want to have family over for dinner and before I know it another week is gone 😦 craziness! Anyway, off for now.

Leave me a comment with your favorite dinner! I want to start collecting dinner recipes πŸ˜€