One of my goals of 2014 is to try to be more consistent with my blogging - even if it's just a quick post.

So I started 2014 off by getting a new car (previous one started getting pricy issues). After test driving a few vehicles last Saturday, I ended up purchasing a Honda Civic. It's not as fancy or techy as the Volkswagen Pasant I tested and not as powerful as the tricked out limited edition Subura hatchback I tried before going to Honda. But it was in my budget and met my main criteria (a sunroof and comfortably sit passengers in the back) as well as being reliable (my previous car was a Civic that had over 230,000 miles and kept me mobile for 13 years). So, while I now am back to having a car payment, I am enjoying that new car smell and new ride.

Not many of us love our jobs. We may like what we do but few of us jump out of bed every morning excited about going into work. I sort of fell into the job I'm in, and I've been with the same company for over a decade now. The pay is decent, the hours are good, and my position is pretty stable considering that our company relies on the development community. But what really makes my job enjoyable are my co-workers. With horrible co-workers, even a dream job can become a nightmare. I'm lucky and have had some awesome co-workers.

Today is just a small example of how awesome and giving my co-workers are at my job. JC brought the office breakfast tacos this morning and also brought for my lunch some leftover tortilla soup (with all the fixings) that he made last night. It was delicious!

Then, this afternoon, I was craving something cold and creamy like ice cream or a smoothie. I posted this on my Facebook page, and JC saw it and spread the word. Soon the entire CAD department was contributing money for an ice cream run. I had enough money to buy us 2 cartons of ice cream (one type for floats and another for those who wanted a sundae), Coke, Oreos, and drumsticks. We still had some leftover toppings from our last ice cream social so I didn't have to buy any of that. The Coke float I had definitely hit the spot.

The guys here are so friendly and helpful. I love hanging out with them in and out of the office. Co-workers make working fun.
I don't usually watch the Super Bowl - for the game or the commercials (unless the Cowboys are playing but that was almost 18 years ago). However, this year a friend was hosting a Super Bowl watching party I had to attend. He's been wanting to host a big party and his wife finally agreed to let him throw it. He got Uchiko and P.Terry's to cater the event, had a big outdoor screen brought in by Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow, and had a snow hill for the kids to sled down. Who's going to say no?

Caters waiting to take out trays of sushi from Uchiko

There was also face painting for the kids and a snack bar of popcorn, goldfish, and pretzels  And for dessert there were fresh doughnuts with a choice of toppings: powdered sugar, chocolate, and sugar cinnamon.

And it's not a football game without cheerleaders.

Of course, the commercials are now a big part of the show. My favorite was Budweiser's Clydesdales: Brotherhood. Totally made me tear up.

Here's a link  from Huffingtonpost of all the commercials that aired during the Super Bowl. I did not enjoy the GoDaddy commercial (eww...the sounds; also awkward with kids around), but I did laugh out loud at the end of the Jack in the Box one. And if you're interested in seeing the movie trailers that aired during the Super Bowl check out Screenrant.

The party also allowed my friend to help out one of his and his wife's favorite charities. Everyone brought a children's book that would be donated to The Dell Children's Trust and A Community for Education. I donated one of my favorites, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish.

I have to say it's going to be hard for any other Super Bowl party after this to top this party.
I didn't get a chance to attend last year's Fashion's Night Out, but this year I was free and able to attend events held at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus on Thursday night. According to Fashion's Night Out's website:
Fashion’s Night Out is an unprecedented global initiative created in 2009 to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy during the recession, and put the fun back in shopping! In the United States, the program is a collaboration between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York.

Both Saks and Neiman's requested RSVP's but these events were actually open to the public. At Saks, the first 100 attendees received swag bags.

There were several perfume samples, a mascara sample, and a clutch in my swag bag. My sister's had a travel-sized toiletry bag in it.

They had drawings for a raffle throughout the night with some fancy prizes (e.g. $1,000 gift card to Sono Bello). There were various stations around the store offering small bites from Iron Cactus and the Cupcake Bar and libations from Starbucks, Republic Tequila, and Deep Eddy Vodka. 

We also went to Neiman Marcus' Fashion's Night Out event. We sampled more sweets and drinks before checking out the new fashion trends/lines. They also had On the Spot Body Art offering hair chalking (a fun way to get some temporary color in your hair) and Blo offered dry styling. My sister got her hair braided into a fishtail, my friend had her hair curled and styled, and I had them do a boho braid. 

I had a lot of fun, and I'm definitely making time to attend next year's Fashion's Night Out events.

Here are my photos from the evening:
2012 Fashion's Night Out


Twitter has introduced me to a lot of new things. The latest is Birchbox and their monthly subscription program. For $10 a month, Birchbox will send you a box of various sample-sized beauty items. The May box had a Gossip Girl inspired theme - Hamptons Beach Party. There were sample sizes of BVLGARI's Omnia Crystalline Eau de Toilette Spray, fresh's Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (it comes in a handy screw top container), a Twistband hair tie (they're not suppose to leave crimps in the hair), Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Beauty Balm SPF+25 (a moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum all in one), and beautyblender's blendercleanser (makeup sponge and brush cleanser). I don't generally wear makeup so the blendercleanser will not get much use, but I will be using the other items. I like the sample sizes; they're very purse friendly. I can't wait to see what June's Birchbox will bring me.