Monday, June 18, 2018

What I've Been Up To And a Giveaway!!!

I'll start with the least juicy and most apologetic portion of this blog post. In other words, the part you'll rush through to get to the Big G-Word section towards the bottom. I know, I know. I said the word Giveaway in the heading...and now I'm going to ramble at you. But I've missed all of you!! And I'm going to pretend that all of you missed me also. So, I feel like I need to apologize for being MIA for almost a month, and tell you what's been going on in my life since we last know, before I go giving you chances to win a big ole cache of booty.

The short answer is that we had a LOT of family come visit, and I've never been great at having a backlog of posts to keep me from falling off the wagon when my life gets busy.  If I were a great blogger, I would have a few posts a week written and ready to go before my life gets busy...and y'all would never even realize that anything different was going on. But time always seems to get away from me, and I actually enjoy spontaneously writing on here.

Not frozen...yet again

We first had some of my husband's family come for a visit, which was wonderful! We went out to eat every night...discovered it's very hard to find a frozen margarita in the DC area...and laughed more than we'd done in quite some time. Then my daughter came home from college, and brought a few friends home with her for a couple of days. I love visiting with her friends, and hope to meet some of their parents in September, so I can gush over how wonderful their kids are to them.

THEN, I had the best date night I've had with my husband in all of our years since 1991 folks. I surprised him for his 45th birthday by taking him to see his favorite band, Trampled by Turtles, perform live in DC. He had no clue what we were doing. I booked an Uber, so he didn't even know what the building was when we were dropped off. It took a couple people walking by with band t-shirts on for him to realize! Y' was AMAZING. I don't think I can properly paint a picture of the evening for you, so I'm not going to try...just know that I didn't stop smiling for weeks afterwards. I'm actually STILL smiling. If you've never heard of them, check out this video on YouTube and know that they kick ass live.

My Mother, Me and My Beautiful Daughter on my Birthday

After all of that excitement, my sister brought my mother here for a visit! Now, due to all sorts of different things ranging from me living in Europe and my mother's fear of being without her cigarettes on a long flight to North Dakota winters, my mother hadn't set foot in my house since 1993. A lot of things have changed in my decor and lifestyle since I was incredibly excited to be able to spoil my mom for a few weeks. We had a great visit, and she was even here for my birthday!

And what a birthday it was!!! I have christened 43 to be my BEST YEAR EVER. It's started out with a bang...and I'm hoping to keep it going for the next 11 1/2 months. I have big plans for how I'm going to incorporate my best year into the blog, so be sure to stay tuned. The biggest thing to come out of this birthday was a new GUITAR!! I have christened her Stevie in honor of Stevie Nicks. She is meant to remind me of a certain aesthetic I'm trying to not necessarily cultivate, but remind myself that I love deep in my heart. Mellow Stevie...Stevie minus the coke habit. 😂 Do I know how to play the guitar? Not yet! But my beautiful husband bought me not only an Acoustic Fender, but 12 lessons from the music shop around the corner from my I've been diligently practicing and I can tell you, typing with guitar sore fingers is no small feat. Am I going to give up blogging for guitar, like I joked I would in my interview with author Linda Smolkin on Facebook? Probably not. But I may need to buy my husband noise cancelling headphones.

OOH, and I couldn't write a "what have I been up to" blog post without saying that in the last year I've lost 65 pounds, and I just recently fit into another size smaller clothes!! I may have actually been able to go down two sizes in pants this time, but I'm so used to them being big on me that it's hard to get accustomed to snug jeans again. I didn't quite hit the goal I had in mind for my birthday. I missed it by 10 pounds. BUT, for the first time in a VERY long time, I'm significantly smaller than I was last year...and hopeful that I will be able to say the same thing next year. I'm truly excited to see what the future has in store for me.

My first transformation pic!

So now we get to the good stuff!!! Tomes and Tequila is 2 YEARS OLD!!! Can you believe it?!? It has morphed and grown, and doesn't really look like it did on day one. I have days when I wonder what I'm doing...days I wish I'd picked a different name...days I struggle with debating changing platforms and attempting to grow more...days I want to stop entirely. But I love that this baby is all mine, and I love that I have a few core readers who have been with me from the beginning...and new readers finding me all the time. I could make it easier by not disappearing for a month!! LOL Blogger 101 says you don't do that if you want to grow. But to celebrate the anniversary of my love child, I felt it was time to do another GIVEAWAY!! This time I'm giving away a little piece of everything that makes up Tomes and Tequila. 

I have a copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (which I've yet to read, but I have a copy too so we can read it together!!). 
I also have a copy of Stories I'd Tell in Bars by Jen Lancaster. It's hilariously funny, and you can see a video review I did for it on my YouTube channel over here!
I have a Peach Slices sheet mask because everyone loves a good sheet mask.
Then I have a Summer & Rose Palm Tree Beach Towel, and a Summer & Rose Crossbody Purse.
And lastly, since I sell Chloe + Isabel jewelry, I had to throw in a beautiful Minaret Necklace.

If you add all of that up, this is a damn nice giveaway...if I do say so myself!!

For the nitty-gritty details on this giveaway: I've decided I'm keeping it open to all locales. For you, I will search the deep recesses of my brain and remember how to fill out a customs form!! You'll have three opportunities to enter and the contest will be open until June 22nd at 9 pm EST ...and I'll be using an online random name picker to select the winner. Once the winner is selected, I'll announce them on the blog and social media. If your name has been picked, I'd ask that you email me or send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram with your address so I know where to send the items. 

All you need to do to enter is this....

Comment on this post what your favorite book of the year so far is for one entry...


Comment on my giveaway post on my Facebook Page with what your favorite birthday present EVER was for one entry...


Follow me on Instagram and like/comment on the photo of this giveaway with the name of a celebrity whose style you LOVE for one entry. 

That is THREE very easy chances to get your name in on this contest, and like I said, I'll dump all the names into a random online name picker to get our winner. 

Share the contest with friends if you wish to share the love! I just wanted to show my appreciation to my loyal readers, and thank all of you for sticking around for 2 years!! Enjoy...and I look forward to hearing your answers to the above questions. And remember, I've given you 3 chances to win, here on the blog, over on Facebook, and on Instagram!! Here's to having the #bestyearever and shouting about how #fortythreeislookingdamngood 😁💛💜