Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for having a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, a steady job and, most importantly, wonderful, loving, hilarious friends! Oh, and a new man that makes me smile :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though it is so easy to whine about the things that we want or need, or just all around take things and people for granted, let's take today to remember what we have and count our many, many blessings.


Image via we heart it

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just 'cause...

I'm about to go get myself another cup in fact... to help me get over this "hump" day. Hope you're having a good one!


Image via pinterest

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meaningful words

"I really care about you."

Funny how five little words can mean so much.
Hearing them felt like someone hugged my heart.

These were pretty nice to hear, too:

"You make me so happy."

"I want to make you feel special."

"I can't wait to see your beautiful smile."

Yep, I think he's a keeper. :)

Image via we heart it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A new set of wheels

You read that right! On Sunday, baby got herself a new set of wheels! Woo hoo! :)

Ok, here's the back story. On Friday, I was rushing out the door, running late as usual to a work meeting, and hopped in my car, a beloved black 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier that was my older brother's first (and only) car.

Beloved it may be, but when I went to start the engine, all I got was an odd vhmmm sound. Not even a hopeful click click click. Thus, I promptly went back inside and had my dad drive me to my meeting. (Only slightly embarrassing.)

I later had my dad and younger brother check out the car to see what was wrong and it turned out my battery was fine. But my starter was dead. A call to the dealer said a new starter would run me about $435 in parts and labor. This, coupled with the fact that I already needed new tires and have long been in dire need of a new car, made the decision for me: Time to go car shopping!

Fortunately, I'd been looking on and off for months, comparing different options in the "affordable small car" category. Many got vetoed on looks alone, I'll admit. Hey, if I'm spending thousands of dollars it better be pretty! Though highly rated, the Ford Fiesta felt like a tuna can. (Or sardine can? Either way, not good.) And I didn't like the handling of the Chevy Cruze. The Ford Focus was a bit out of my price range, as was the Mazda3...

Last year, when Hyundai redesigned the Sonata, I was totally smitten (as were automotive critics). But again, a bit out of budget. So when I learned that Hyundai similarly revamped their more affordable Accent, I was intrigued. On Saturday, I test drove the car at my local dealer and felt instantly comfortable behind the wheel. I liked the stylish exterior, the surprisingly roomy interior, the amazing mpg: 30 city, 40 highway! But I didn't like that the only Accent sedan on the lot was a Mocha Bronze color. Fast-forward to Sunday, the 'rents and I return to the dealer, ask if they can get the car in blue from another dealer (who we didn't want to deal with because of shady reviews), and a few hours later I am the proud owner of a new 2012 Hyundai Accent in Clearwater Blue!

I felt super nervous at the dealership-- I never bought a car before! But I have to say, the sales staff there made it a pleasant experience. They've already called me twice to see how me and my Accent are doing. And we're doing great! I love my new wheels and I think I made a good choice. Now, when it comes to donating my Chevy, I have no doubt I will shed a few tears-- I well up just thinking about it-- but that's another story for another day...

Till then, a few more photos!

What do you think? :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hazel feeling festive!

This past Saturday I celebrated Halloween with friends at a house party. I dressed as a sexy Coastie (aka, member of the Coast Guard!). Pictures to follow... But today, on actual Halloween, I dressed up for the office lunch party in what I'm calling a bad-ass cheetah costume (It was a last-minute get-up-- just grabbed an animal printed dress out of my closet. And then another reporter came in with the same idea. Twinsies!). I didn't feel like going home and changing before doing the blotter, which means right now I'm sitting in the police station lobby... in kitty cat makeup! Full on whiskers, baby. LOL. What can you do what duty calls?

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween? Or did you go to a spooktacular party this past weekend? And did you dress up for work today? :)

Super late update (as in two weeks after Halloween!) but here's a few photos!
Me and my bestie. Marielle was an adorable penguin (she was obsessed with all things penguin as a kid). Her "costume" is actually a dress from Hot Topic! She let me do her makeup for the night. :)

Me and "Lt. Dangle"-- you know, from Reno 911! He sure knew how to work those booty shorts and 'stache! 

This is me at my office party, with my former editor, Kyle-- who came to work dressed up as my new editor, Scott! LOL.

Work friends. Karma, on the right, always has the most kick-ass costumes!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Views of New York

Obsessed with these "finger-painted" views of New York by Jorge Colombo. Don't you love how the lights just glow? I almost feel like I am taking an evening cab ride through the city.

Images via 20x200

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Waves Weekend

Saturday felt like going home.

Home to college, that is!

This weekend, my alma mater, Pepperdine, held its second annual Waves Weekend. Though current students are more than welcome to take part, the event is a way to get alumni to come back to campus for a little reunion and a lot of fun. Since I only live about 45 minutes away from Malibu, it was a great excuse to visit and reunite with some old friends.

I was especially glad to see one of my best friends, and sorority sisters, Kapua! She actually works on campus and she doesn't live too far away from me, but our busy schedules make it hard to connect. (But she just moved much closer to me last week, yippee! So I'll definitely be seeing more of her more often!)

We've got spirit, yes we do! Orange and blue are Pepperdine's colors. Kapua bought that hat, which is obviously too big for her, for her boyfriend. He's not an alum, but he has Wave pride whether he likes it or not!

I graduated in the spring of 2007. In some ways it feels like forever ago, and in other ways it seems like just yesterday. But walking around campus, I become acutely aware of how much has changed. New additions to the plaza, a renovated HAWC (basically Pepperdine's student union) that now serves hot food... I guess I'm glad to know my tuition, which I'm still paying in the form of loans, is going to good use! I just wish the campus would have been this nice (it's always been beautiful) when I still went there! Isn't that the way life goes...

Joslyn Plaza

The Theme Tower

I didn't attend the first Waves Weekend. But I can say without a doubt that this year's was better by far! This year, Malibu-born songstress Colbie Callait headlined the concert in Alumni Park. (Last year the park played host to Dwight Yoakam. Now, I like country music, but... no. I have no desire to see Dwight Yoakam!)

I absolutely adore Colbie. Her music just puts me in a happy mood. And she is wonderful in concert-- even better than the CD, I'd say! I have her first album, "Coco," but now I'm wanting to go pick up her latest, "All of You," and maybe even her second, "Breakthrough." Here's a few shots from the show, the ones that didn't turn out super blurry :)

The first song Colbie sang when she stepped on stage is my favorite: "Realize"

Me and Kapua taking a break from singing and dancing for a photo opp

Not pictured in these photos are some of my other lovely Alpha Phi sisters. I was so happy to bump into several of them-- Kelly, Sandra, Shenaya, Brittany-- and catch up before watching the concert.

Afterward, Kapua, her boyfriend and I decided to get some grub at Kabuki in Woodland Hills. I had never been but it was delicious. I got a light appetizer-- mixed tempura! Not so "light"-- and a lychee martini.

Oh, and I learned two things. One, that I actually really enjoy edamame. And two, this is the expression you get when you ask me to "do" Samantha from "Sex and the City." :)

Hope you had a fabulous weekend, too! Tell me, if you went to college, where did you go? And do you often revisit your alma mater?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Me & my Guitar

Hi there, folks. I have some exciting news to share: Last Thursday night, I bought myself a guitar!

Though it may seem like an impulse purchase, I have dreamed of learning how to play the guitar for ages. Many years my Christmas or birthday wish lists have included “blue acoustic guitar.” And every time I watched someone playing a guitar, blue or not, I pined away.

When I saw my friend (and former sorority “big sis”) Abby’s Facebook status a few weeks ago that said she was going to begin taking guitar lessons, it just reignited that flame. I hopped on the Guitar Center website and began searching through all the brands and models—some I had lusted after before and others that were new to me. I had decided that it was time to stop wishing, to stop saying, ‘oh, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar’ and just do it. There’s no time like the present, right? It was time to make my own dream come true.

So on Thursday night, that’s just what I did. I convinced my brother Patrick to come with me to my local Guitar Center for moral support but even still I was a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. When the employee helping me placed a contender in my hand, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I didn’t know any chords to play or even which strings were which notes! But my Ibanez acoustic-electric guitar (with transparent blue sunburst) looked good and felt good, and I had read glowing reviews online. Ultimately, it won out over the also beautiful Epiphone Hummingbird (with the heritage cherry sunburst design) and, tucked inside a new cushioned case, the Ibanez came home with me.

This past weekend I started fiddling around with my new instrument. After looking up which string is which note, I successfully tuned my guitar! Then I watched a few tutorials on YouTube and learned to play a very basic version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”—albeit, very slowly. One step at a time…

It is bittersweet that my older brother Jeremy isn't around to help me through this learning process. He was a natural talent when it came to making music. He would create funny songs about me and my stuffed animal while strumming on his acoustic guitar and I remember there were many nights he would stay up late playing on his electric—until my mother came up to his room and told him to stop because the younger kids were trying to sleep! If he were here, I know he would have me jamming in no time. But his memory serves as a source of motivation to keep at it even when it gets tough, as I know it will! Sure, I sing and read music and used to play the oboe, but the guitar is a whole other animal.

As I am still very new to this whole guitar thing, any and all tips are welcome from those veteran guitarists out there! I'd love to hear your thoughts-- what most helped you when you were starting out? Am I crazy to think I can learn without taking formal lessons?

Photo taken by Patrick. He wanted to make sure I gave him proper credit. :) Thanks bro!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello, autumn.

Happy first day of autumn, lovelies! It still feels like summer here in Southern California, but there's been a couple days recently where, if the wind blew just right, I got the distinct sensation that fall is coming. I know that once we say goodbye to September, October will usher in the new season quickly. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather and the chance to pull my cozy sweaters, boots and scarves out of my closet. What else is on my fall loves list? Mugs of hot cocoa and Pumpkin Spice lattes, jack-o-lantern picking and carving, costumes and trick-or-treating... just to name a few. So here's to a fabulous fall filled with cold-weather adventures-- and finding someone to snuggle up against to keep us warm. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall sidekick

The gorgeous russet color. The adorable gold sparrows. The plentiful pockets, inside and out. I just love this bag! Designed by Marc Jacobs, wouldn't it be the perfect carryall for fall?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twin tragedies forge new perspectives

Ten years ago, tragedy struck our nation in a sudden, profound and devastating way.

Our world was forever changed.

Ten years ago, tragedy struck my family, in a similarly heartwrenching way.

My life was forever changed. On April 26, 2001, my older brother, Jeremy Weed, was killed in a drunk driving accident.

Driving home in the early morning hours, my brother’s friend fell asleep at the wheel. When his Ford Bronco veered right across the 101 Freeway and careened into an illegally parked tractor-trailer, the driver survived unscathed. Jeremy was killed instantly.

We all know what happened Sept. 11 of that year.

Planes hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and— due to brave passengers who retook control of United Airlines Flight 93, whose intended target was presumably the Capitol or the White House—a field in Shanksville, Pa.

I remember going to school that morning, a junior at Simi Valley High School. My peers and I were glued to the TV screens, watching the newscasts in shock and horror.

Later that night, I sobbed as we viewed the replay. Watching the Twin Towers fall—my own personal loss still fresh in my heart and mind—I cried for all that had been taken from me and all the pain and suffering now inflicted on those across the nation, particularly those in New York City. I knew that pain all too well, the kind that leaves you eternally asking “Why?”

Crisis can make us better or worse as people. In the wake of Jeremy’s death I gained new perspective, and I like to believe I’ve become a stronger, more compassionate and more empathetic person.

The same can be said of our country in the days following 9/11.

United by tragedy—and yes, anger—we bonded together and held each other up. Confronted by fear and hate from abroad, patriotism had perhaps never been so high. The stars and stripes waved from porches and Porsches.

After a tragedy people sometimes say that “time will heal all wounds.” But those who have lost someone, especially in a sudden and senseless way, know the truth: Time just makes it easier to bear the pain. The sharpness, the sting, fades. But the memory doesn’t, nor does a longing to be able to change the past, to bring back what we’ve lost.

Unfortunately, sometimes the lessons of disaster also fade. It’s nearly 10 years later and our nation is, in many ways, more divided than ever. But anniversaries bring an opportunity for reflection—to consider the past and remind us of the way to move forward.

Jeremy’s life was cut far too short at just 26 years old—he was the age that I am now.

It is my aim to live a life that he would be proud of.

Likewise, while Sept. 11, 2001, was a dark day, I hope this 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks will spur us on to live in a way that will honor the spirit of those who lost their lives, those who risked their well-being to save another, those who have gone overseas to fight for our freedom and those who helped pick up the pieces and rise from the ashes to rebuild.

Courage, selflessness, love for country and thy neighbor, and resilience in the face of adversity— that is 9/11’s legacy, today and every day.

This story ran in the Sept. 9, 2011 edition of the Simi Valley Acorn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I don't own these, never even sniffed them in person, but I want them-- just because they're beautiful!

Wouldn't they look gorgeous sitting on your vanity?

Confession time: Have you ever bought a perfume just for the way it looks?

I have!

I was sucked in by, yes, the celebrity label. (Who doesn’t love Jen?) But I was also captivated by the jasmine-spiked scent’s description and the lines of the perfume’s bottle—said to be inspired by the flow of a Frank Gehry building and the fluidity of a cresting wave.

Luckily, it worked out. The bottle is lovely. And while Jennifer Aniston is not my favorite scent, it is a nice departure from the other florals in my collection with its earthy, beachy base. And a little goes a long way—one spritz and I feel like a field of night-blooming jasmine is following me around all day.

Time to share! I'd love to hear if you've ever bought a fragrance simply for its aesthetics-- and which one caught your eye!


Friday, September 2, 2011

A quick getaway

Happy Friday, loves! Right now I am getting ready to make an early escape into the weekend... I'm taking a mini vaycay to San Diego!

My bestie, Marielle, and I are driving down south this afternoon to visit Greg, an old friend from high school. He's a fun-loving guy so I know this weekend is going to be an absolute blast! After living in SD for two years, he knows all the best hangouts. His favorite is Pacific Beach, which I don't think I've ever been to... but we will be acquainted soon enough!

So what do you have planned for this long Labor Day weekend? Are you getting out of town for a quick getaway too? Or are you sticking close to home for relaxing staycation? I'd love to hear.

Now, I better finishing packing!

Images via we heart it, here and here.