Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We Found a House!

Jonathan and I have been looking for new apartments or houses to rent...someplace that would let us get a puppy and would give us a little more room than what we have now. And yesterday we came across the add for a beautiful white stucco house nestled behind our town's historic district. We were given the grand tour of it, and found out that they would allow us to get a little dachshund puppy.

We spent the night praying and thinking about it, and decided that we're going to take it! It's right in our price range, and really is perfect for us. We're signing the lease and moving in on Saturday!

Yay! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Lot Has Happened

To say that it has been a while since I last updated is an understatement. The longer I waited to update, the less likely I became to do so. So, here I am today admitting to the fact that it has been way too long since I last blogged. And now I am going to change that.

A lot has happened since the last time I've written here.

  • I returned from Guatemala, which was the most amazing trip I have ever been on. It was life changing, and definitely changed my perspective on so many things in life. I would love to someday go back.
  • I was sick for a few months (I believe it was due to my Guatemala trip...parasite, or something like that...) but the doctor's were never able to figure it out for sure. I have been feeling well for the past week and a half, and I am believing that it will remain that way.
  • I quit my old job (which was a huge relief of stress), and now have a new one. It was the best decision I could have made for the situation.
  • I performed in our senior project, "Approaching Lavendar". Performing with my best friends in our final production at college was an amazing experience.
  • I graduated from college with highest honors! This happened on Saturday, just a couple of days ago. The feeling is still so surreal. I cannot believe that my time at Lee has come to an end. It has definitely been bittersweet. Thanks to all of my family and friends who came to celebrate with me. It meant so much to me that you were there.
Now, I am enjoying the freedom from school, preparing to work full-time, and looking forward to what God has in store for my life. There are a few things in the near future that I am looking forward to:

  • Buying a new camera with my graduation money. Delving more into the world of photography has always been a desire of mine. I just haven't really had a chance to do so because I've been so involved in other things, such as Theatre. And...I've never had a nice enough camera. Well, that's going to change soon.
  • Husby and I are currently looking to rent a house. I love our apartment, but we would love to move into a place that will allow us to get a puppy and would give us a little more space than what we have now.
  • As soon as we move into a place that will allow us to get a puppy...we're planning on getting a little Dachshund. We have gotten to the point in our marriage when people are telling us we should have kids (though we've only been married for nine months). Well, we're not ready to have kids yet...but we're ready to get a puppy. And I am very much looking forward to this.
  • My new job. I absolutely love my new job. It's better pay, better hours, and a better work environment. I can definitely see that this was all orchestrated by God, and I am very thankful for it.
I am very much looking forward to what God has in store for husby and I. The next year will definitely be a time of us seeking God's purpose for our lives and where he wants us to go. I believe that God is going to strengthen this desire I have for ministry and theatre, and the combination of both.

Although a chapter of my life has come to an end, a chapter I would like to title simply enough, "Tiffany Zajas: the college years"...I know that this is only the turn of a page. There is so much more to look forward to in life, and I believe the excitement has just begun. This book called Life is a mysterious one, for the only person who knows what the next page holds is our Father God. When reading a good book I am often tempted to flip to the end to see what the final outcome is. With this book, however, I couldn't do that even if I wanted to. So, I might as well curl up with a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy Life for what it is. One page at a time.

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." -Greg Anderson

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane

So, third time's the charm, right? I say this because (in case you haven't noticed already), this is my third post of the day. I know, I know, a little over zealous...but I'm going to be out of the country for 9 days, so I felt like I have to make up for it by posting lots now.

And writing the occasional blog post has also given me well deserved breaks from the copious amount of packing I've been doing. Oh, and just an update on the suitcase situation...my suitcase weighs 20 lbs. That's 29 lbs less than the maximum limit. So, ladies and gents, I believe that I have overcome this packing dilemma.

Now, I am off...to hopefully wind down enough (I'm pretty wired right now!) to perhaps get one or two hours of sleep before getting on the bus at 4am.

So, this is it. You won't be hearing from me in over a week from now. But feel free to leave comments in the meantime.

Please keep husby and I (and the rest of our team) in your thoughts and prayers during this next week. Pray for safe travels, health, and most importantly that God will use us greatly. I am so excited about this wonderful opportunity...and I just can't wait to tell you all about it when we return! :)

Packing Dilemma

The problem with packing is that you don't want to pack too much, and you definitely don't want to pack too little.

I am definitely dealing with this problem right now. I can pack light, don't get me wrong...I have done it before, and I can do it again. But this time...things are a little different. Normally when I go on a trip, I know that wherever I go there will be a Wal-Mart down the road in case I need anything. I don't think that backup plan is going to work this time, because as far as I know...there isn't a Wal-Mart down the road from the mountain we're staying on in Zacapa, Guatemala.

We have been given a packing list that seems longer than the U.S. Constitution, yet expected to keep our suitcase under 49 lbs.


Lots of things to keep in consideration.

Despite the fact that I am going through this major packing dilemma, I can't help but smile to think that I will be in Guatemala tomorrow. It all seems very surreal. I have heard that this trip is going to be a life changing experience, and I am fully expecting it to be just that.

Now, I am off to master the skill of packing!

Serious Haircut

As you can see by this picture, I am a very serious person. Okay, that may or may not be true...but I did, however, get a very serious haircut. Yesterday I said, "It is time for a change!" So, I marched right over to the hairdresser and told them to cut my hair...lots of it. As a result of that decision, I lost about six inches of my hair (maybe more, who knows.)

At first, I have to admit, I was rather nervous as that lady was chopping away. But when I got home and husby told me that he loved it, and I had a chance to style it myself, I decided that I did too!

So, there you go people...in case you were just dying to know...I got my hair cut yesterday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Going to Guatemala

So, I have some exciting news that I haven't mentioned on this here blog yet. Husby and I and a couple of good friends are going to Guatemala with a group from school in two days! We are going there to work with a mission there...work with an orphanage...a feeding ministry to the poor...do some building for churches there...and showing Jesus' love in every way we can. I can not even begin to describe how excited I am about this!

I am fully expecting this trip to be a life-changing experience.

We will be gone for a total of 9 days. Please keep us and the rest of our team in your prayers.

With that said, starting Saturday I will not be blogging for about 9 days, since we will not have internet access there (although I haven't been blogging much lately anyways, so that won't be a huge difference.)

I will definitely fill you in on our journey there when we return. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jonathan's Birthday Day-O-Fun

I know this post is rather late...I told you all that I would probably write this last Saturday...and now it is Wednesday. And for that, I apologize. Don't hate, okay?

Right now, I have to admit, I still don't really have the time to write a substantial post on this subject. I'm quickly jotting this down during my lunch break at work, so my time is a little limited.

So, I'm going to suggest that you head on over to husby's blog, because he already wrote a very good summary of what took place during his birthday day-o-fun. Oh, and it was fun, let me tell you! It involved villains losing limbs, wild creatures, and Darth Vader. You really do not want to miss this story.

And I promise you, soon...sometime in my life...I will find the time to blog again. I do not want to leave you hanging, my dear readers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I am feeling very sneaky right now...because I am in the midst of planning and preparing for Jonathan's birthday! That's right, tomorrow is a day of celebrating the existence of my husband. I have a whole day-o-fun planned, and he has no idea what we're going to be doing. **insert mischievous laugh here**

I will most likely write a post on Saturday about our day-o-fun...so stay tuned! In the meantime, tomorrow you can head over to www.zajas.com and wish him a happy birthday!

Funny Family

My family is funny...I mean, I may be a little biased, but I find them very entertaining.

To give you a little taste of what I mean, I present you with a video created by my brother.

Oh, and brother did both parts in that video. Yeah, he's awesome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Okay, let's be honest here, I'm not a huge fan of worms...but I must say that waking up early is quite an amazing feeling. Now, many of you may be saying "Whaaaat? Are you crazy?" and well, that last question is up for debate. But seriously now...getting an early start on the day feels amazing!

This morning husby and I decided to wake up at 5:45am to go to the gym. Every ounce of my fleshly being was working against me when that alarm clock went off...but when my mind finally won and I got out of bed, I knew it was the right thing to do. After getting a good workout this morning I felt as fresh as a daisy.

And now, at 2pm (when I normally have my afternoon slump and feel like I need a 2 hour nap) I have more energy than I have had in a long time. Instead of taking a nap during my free time, I'm going to tackle my to-do list.
I think that all that stuff they say about exercise being good for you may just be true.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What a Whirlwind

This past weekend was quite the whirlwind, and I honestly didn't have the time to even think about blogging (I was doing so good there for a while too...)

Friday night husby and I had friends over for dessert and games. We played Scattegories, and boy oh boy was that interesting. My favorite answer for the night was when we rolled the letter B and the clue was "Something you keep hidden", and a friend of ours put "Bamboo". When his answer was questioned, he was quick to reply quite seriously "You know, if you have a pet panda, you would need to hide all of your bamboo." Needless to say, it was an amusing night all around.

On Saturday Jonathan's brother came through town and we were able to meet with him for supper. It was nice getting to do that, since we don't get to see his family as often as we would like to.

Sunday was full of preparations for church and, of course, church itself. It was a really great service, and our pastor spoke on giving. It's always good to be reminded of how blessed we truly are...and Sunday morning was definitely one of those times for me.

And then Sunday night (last night) we went to P.F.Chang's to celebrate a friend's birthday. We had a great time with everyone (although I have to say I was a little disappointed with the food...not as great as I was expecting.)

So, there you have it...our weekend in a nutshell. Although it was crazy busy, it was great getting to spend time with good friends and family. Plus, it was nice to get out and socialize after being sick for so long! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Different Ways To Show Your Love

Yesterday I wrote about the five love languages that Gary Chapman explains in his book, the Five Love Languages. I encouraged all of you to go and find out what your primary love languages are (and find out what the love languages of your spouse, friends, family, etc. are). Here is a quiz that will help you determine what your love language is.

When you have taken the time to find out what your loved ones love language is, now it's time to put that knowledge to good use. And here are some practical applications to show love in each of the primary love languages.

Sidenote: for most of these, I will be writing from the perspective of how to communicate love to your spouse, since that's what I've personally been working on. But these principals can be utilized in different ways to other loved ones as well.

Quality Time
  • Set aside at least one night a week that is "date night" for you and your spouse. This is something that Jonathan and I have done, and it has really helped. No matter how busy we may get with school, work, church, etc. we know that we at least have that one night a week where nothing else is allowed to distract us from our time together. This is something we want to continue to do. Now, the date night may or may not be on the same night every week, for us it changes depending on what's going on.
  • When you're sitting down for supper with your spouse or family, turn off the TV. Time together during dinner is a time to talk with each other, not veg in front of the television. Make the most out of time together by eliminating distractions.
  • Plan fun and new activities to experience together. Quality time is one of my primary love languages, so I absolutely love it when Jonathan plans new activities to do together. Going hiking, going to the bookstore, reading together, playing racquetball, picnics, going to the theatre, etc. Whatever the activity is, the most important things is that you get to experience it together.
Words of Affirmation
  • If you don't do this already, then you should make it a habit of telling your sweetie every day that you love him/her. Three simple words can mean so much, and it only takes a second to tell them how you feel.
  • Write notes to your husby or wifey throughout the day. Jonathan and I text each other, and often email each other while we're apart. This is always encouraging to me, and brings a smile to my face.
  • Compliment one another. Now, I'm not talking about coming up with random compliments that you don't really mean. What I'm saying is, when you appreciate something about your spouse...tell him or her. Tell them they look nice. Rant and rave over the yummy supper that was prepared. I'm sure you can think of plenty of nice things to say about your love.
  • When you have the love language of Gifts, that doesn't mean that you need to have expensive gifts. What it means that you feel so loved when people take the time to prepare something special for you.
  • Make homemade gifts! Some of the best gifts that I have ever received have been the homemade ones (they are often the ones that don't cost much money at all, which is a plus!) Put together a scrapbook of memories, bake your hunny's favorite cookies, knit a scarf, etc.
  • Surprise your spouse with gifts on days that are unexpected. Giving and receiving gifts on Christmas and Birthdays are always fun...but it's so great to surprise someone with a gift on a day that they are not expecting it.
Acts of Service
  • When your spouse has this as their primary love language, there are so many things that you can do for them. The possibilities are endless! This (as you read in yesterday's post) is my husby's primary love language...so, whenever I wash the dishes, make the bed, straighten up the house, etc., I see that my husband is feeling so loved. So that makes keeping the house clean a joy for me, because I can see how much it means to my husband.
  • Do things that you normally don't enjoy doing, and it will make your spouse stop and say "Wow, he (or she) really does love me if he (or she) is doing that!"

Physical Touch
  • I don't think that this one needs much explaining...hugs, kisses, holding hands, massages, back scratches, etc. are always appreciated.

Now...you all have figured out what the love languages of the special people in your life are, and I have given you some ideas of how to speak love in those different love languages...so, now what are you waiting for? Go show those you love how much they mean to you!

Also, if you have any suggestions as to different ways to express love in the different languages, please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How To Better Communicate Your Love

Today is Valentines Day, also known as the day created by the greeting card industry, and I think it's only appropriate to write a post about the very core of this day: love.

One of our favorite books that husby and I read during our time of preparing for marriage was the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I'm sure that many of you have heard of this book, but if you haven't read it, I greatly encourage you to do so. Even if you're not currently in a relationship, The Five Love Languages will help you better know how to love in future relationships, and even learn how to show love to your family and friends.

In this book, Gary Chapman talks about the different ways in which we give and receive love, and how many of us vary in that way. He also talks about ways in which we can learn how to speak all of these love languages, in order to better communicate our love more effectively.

In the course of the book, he talks about five distinct "love languages":
  1. Quality Time: spending time and having good conversation with those you love is most important to you.
  2. Words of Affirmation: hearing someone say "I love you" melts your heart, and compliments always make you feel appreciated.
  3. Gifts: you love showing others you love them through giving them a special gift, and when someone takes the time to do the same for you, it means the world to you.
  4. Acts of Service: you feel loved when others help you do things around the house or yard, or go out of their way to do something for you that they know you'll appreciate.
  5. Physical Touch: a hug, kiss, holding hands, etc. is what speaks love to you. You really feel connected to those you love when you are physically close to them.
I think I can speak for most of us when I say that we all feel loved when any of these love languages are expressed. But there are certain ones that may be more important to us than others. And this is where learning what your love language, and the love language of your spouse (or family members, or friends) comes in handy.

When you know the ways your spouse (or other loved one) feels the most love, then you are better able to express love to them in that way. And vice versa.

After reading the list of love languages, you may have known right away what your number one is. Or, if you're more like me, it's a little more difficult to decide which ones are more important to you. In the back of the book, there is a little questionnaire that helps couples discover what their love language is. This helped me and Jonathan. I also found a short quiz online that seemed to be as efficient as the one in the book (when I took the quiz online it came up with the same answers as when I took the questionnaire in the book.)

Now, I know you're just dying to hear what our love languages are...so I will tell you.

For me:
  1. Quality Time and Words of Affirmation tied for first.
  2. Gifts
  3. Physical Touch
  4. Acts of Service
For husby:
  1. Acts of Service
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Quality Time and Words of Affirmation (tied)
  4. Gifts
You may notice that husby and I are a little different in our love languages. This is where knowing each others love languages really helps, because it is natural to show love the most in your primary love language...but when you realize that those you love may have a different primary love language than you, it is important to make extra efforts to display love to them in those ways.

Tomorrow I will continue this discussion on love languages, and will list some practical ways to show love for each different love language. I will also share some ways in which husband and I have personally worked towards speaking each other's love languages.

In the meantime, why don't you go and take the love languages quiz, pick up a version of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and go love your spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, etc. in ways that you know are meaningful to them.

If you have also read and learned a lot from this book, please share what you've learned in the comments of this post. Also, once you've discovered your love languages for yourself, I would love to hear what they are! (In other words, feel free to comment!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes (or, well, a 2nd grader)

The other day, Jonathan and I were over at my family's house having dinner. During the course of our visit, my 8-year-old younger sister starting talking about school, and then we had a conversation that went something along these lines...
Me: What grade are you in?

Sister: What grade do you think I'm in?

Me: Third grade?

Sister: (with rising enthusiasm in her voice) Do you really think I'm in third grade?!

Me: I'm sorry...I forgot.

Sister: (pause) You're like a stranger to me.
Oh dear sister, I do believe you have inherited some of that sassy-ness that I know I had when I was your age. I suppose that I should do my best to always try to remember what grade you're in.

Later that day she asked me, "Are you ever going to forget my name?"

I think my little sister is still trying to get used to me being married and living somewhere that she does not. But that's just a guess.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Favorite Things: For When I'm Sick

A few days ago I wrote a post entitled These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, and I promised that I would follow up with another one along those lines. And while I sit here with my laptop perched atop my knees, I ponder what to write of next, and I can't help but think of all the wonderful things that have made this time of me being sick just a little bit easier.

So, here you have it.

These are a few of my favorite things (for when I'm sick)...

Hot Tea: I cannot even begin to describe how much this has helped me these past few days. There is nothing like some good, hot tea to sooth my sore throat and laryngitis, and to relax my sick self. My favorite is the Lipton honey and lemon flavored black tea. It has been oh-so-soothing, and it tastes yummy too!

Vicks Vaporub: I know that this probably isn't new news to you...but Vicks Vaporub really helps. I mean, it really does...especially at night when I've been rather congested.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches: This meal was made for sick people. I'm pretty sure that whoever came up with this delectable concoction was either (a.) sick, or (b.) preparing a meal for a sick loved one. Because let's face it...nothing is so perfect as some tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich when you're sick. Mmmm...mmmm...good. Can I hear an Amen?

Brian Regan: Sometimes, when you're under the weather, you just need to laugh. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." And I wholeheartedly agree! After husband sat me down on the couch to watch some of Brian Regan's comedy sketches...I couldn't help but feel a little better! If you have no clue who I'm talking about, or if you're a fellow Brian Regan fan, then here is a clip for your enjoyment:

And last, but most definitely not least...

Hot pink nail polish: Now, for you guys out there, I don't really suggest this for when you're sick...or ever, really (hopefully.) But for you women, I think it is vitally important to your recovery. You see, when we women get sick, we often tend to feel blah. You know what I mean, right? You just don't feel your prettiest. But when you take the time to give yourself a pedicure and paint your toe nails hot pink...you can say, "Hey, I may not feel that great...but boy do my feet look pretty!" And somehow the world is a happier place.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh Fred and Barney...

Husby just came home with a surprise for me...

Flintstones vitamins!

"So you won't get sick anymore" he said, with a huge grin on his face.

You know that scene in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, where the Grinch's heart grows 3x its size? That's how I feel right now.

Movie Mondays: 27 Dresses

Apparently I was wrong when I said in my last Movie Mondays article that, "I will be watching nothing but action and thriller movies for the rest of my life." I was wrong, dear readers, because last weekend my wonderful husband took me to see a romantic comedy that I had been wanting to see for a couple of weeks: 27 Dresses.

After a long and tiring week, Jonathan surprised me by cleaning the house and taking me out to dinner. He then, to my shock and surprise, suggested going to the theater to see 27 Dresses. I kept asking him "Are you sure? Are you sure? Because we just saw a terrible chick flick last weekend!" And, to my delight, he insisted anyways.

We then went to the local CVS to stock up on Milk Duds and Skittles (shhh...dont' tell anyone, we sneaked them into the theater!) When we got to the theater, we quickly bought the biggest Dr.Pepper we could buy and stood waiting for our theater to open for seating. We stood there, sipping our delicious carbonated drink, and looked around us at the crowd...and we noticed that we were the only ones there who appeared to be over the age of 21. We were surrounded by middle schoolers, and possibly some high schoolers...and it was at that moment, my dear readers, that I realized I'm getting old. (End side note.)

When we finally sat down to see our movie, my hopes and expectations were high (especially since this movie was written by the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada --which was a movie I really liked.) I was ready to see a good romantic comedy (especially after the previous weekend's movie tragedy.)

And, let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I laughed, I cried, and husband didn't hate it either. Unlike most romantic comedies, this one wasn't cheesy and completely unrealistic (and did not make me want to pull my hair out). It was good.

Now, if you're thinking, "Well, I'm glad you liked it, but what is this movie about?" here is a brief synopsis from movietickets.com:

Jane is an idealistic, romantic and completely selfless woman, a perennial bridal attendant whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight. Jane has always been good at taking care of others, but not so much in looking after herself. Her entire life has been about making people happy--and she has a closet full of 27 bridesmaid dresses to prove it. One memorable evening, Jane manages to shuttle between wedding receptions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, a feat witnessed by Kevin, a newspaper reporter who realizes that a story about this wedding junkie is his ticket off the newspaper's bridal beat. Jane finds Kevin's cynicism counter to everything she holds dear--namely weddings, and the two lock horns. Further complicating Jane's once perfectly-ordered life is the arrival of younger sister Tess. Tess immediately captures the heart of Jane's boss, George. Tess enlists her always-accommodating sister to plan yet another wedding--Tess and George's--but Jane's feelings for him lead to shocking revelations--and maybe the beginning of a new life.

Or, if you're more of a visual person, here is the movie trailer:

If you have seen 27 Dresses, I'd love to hear what you have to say about it! And don't worry, you don't have to agree with my love for the movie.

For me, the only disappointment was the fact that the movie theater did not give free refills on their large sodas. Come on, that's like a movie theater standard! How can you not give free refills on your largest drink? Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. And yes, Jonathan and I did finish off our Dr. Pepper while waiting out in the lobby feeling old, as we were surrounded by pre-teen Hannah Montana fans.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In Sickness and in Health

This week I have been battling a lot of sickness (once again), which may be due to all of the vaccines that I had this week for our upcoming Guatemala trip (the shots had the possibility of giving flu-like side effects...and that's what I've got). So, needless to say, I've been a little under the weather lately.

On Friday night, being oh-so-thankful that I didn't have to go to any classes or work for a couple of days, my dear husband told me to lay down and rest while he made me supper. That melted my heart, I thanked him profusely (with the little voice that I had left, due to my sore throat) and I went to lay down on the couch.

After getting to rest for a while, I woke up and dinner was ready. And there, my friends, on the table were some of my favorite foods. Husby had made Red Hot chicken (mmmm...this is AMAZING, and I am going to blog about it soon in a "Favorite Things" post, don't you worry), macaroni and cheese (anything with lots of cheese in it is a favorite of mine), and broccoli (yummy and good for you!). I was pretty satisfied after that delicious meal. Thank you, husby!

We were supposed to go out on a date Friday night (we always try to have at least one date night a week...where we don't let anything distract us from each other), but since I was sick Jonathan suggested having a stay-at-home date night. I wholeheartedly agreed!

We decided it would be fun to finally order pictures for a couple of frames we had yet to fill. (Yes, we have been married for 6 months, but it has been a busy 6 months, and we have yet to finish all of the apartment-settling-in that we want to do.) So, we grabbed our big collage style picture frame, and sat around the computer to begin looking at wedding pictures to put into it (with the playlist from our wedding reception playing in the background).

That, my friends, was a wonderful night of walking down memory lane (even though it was only 6 months ago, we can still walk down it.) And it was a productive date night too, because we now have wedding pictures up in our living room (and it makes me oh-so-happy.)

Even though I have spent this weekend battling sickness, it has been a wonderful time, because I've been able to spend it with my husband. And I couldn't be more thankful.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

One of the best things about the bloggy world (or as some like to call it, the blogosphere) that I have come to know and love, is the ability to give and receive information. So this is where I'm going to let you in on a little bit of information that you may not have known before: a few of my favorite things.

This post is the first in a series I will do throughout the weeks, months, however long to come, where I will share with you a few of my favorite things. Whether it be recipes, products, books, or restaurants...I am going to let you know a few of life's simple things that make me smile (my husband, family, Jesus, friends, etc. are favorite things that obviously make me smile...but these I'm about to mention are a little less obvious.)

These are a few of my favorite things...

Hot chocolate with french vanilla creamer. I just need to take a moment and tell you how wonderfully delicious this combination is. You have not tasted the amazingness of hot chocolate goodness until you have tried putting french vanilla creamer in your hot chocolate. You will not be disappointed, my friends. Trust me and try it. And if you want some extra yummy hot chocolatey goodness...try putting some whipped cream on top. Heaven in a cup.

I don't know about you, but for me there is nothing like a nice warm and fuzzy blanket to go with my yummy hot chocolate. This blanket is my favorite! We have the Full/Queen burnt red blanket, and in addition to it looking nice folded neatly on top of our white down comforter in our bedroom, it is also great for wrapping around you on the couch to read a good book!

The C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine from Bath and Body Works is amazing. If you like your lips to be a little shiny, to feel nice and smooth, and to taste, smell, and feel minty...then you will love this lip gloss. I sure do! It's definitely a favorite. My preference is the peppermint (it's colorless), but they have it in a lot of different shades and flavors.

Whenever I hear the word free, my ears definitely perk up. So, naturally, when a friend of mine told me that she got some free ring tones for her cellphone, I was definitely interested. If you go to www.myxertones.com, you will find a smörgåsbord of music for your phone. Just type in your favorite artist, song, or genre, and I'm sure you'll find something you like. For example, I got this and set it for when husby calls. This one is for when my office calls me. And I just had to have this one to set as my alarm clock. I hope you'll have as much fun looking for new ring tones as I did! The only drawback is that they send them to you via text message...so if you go crazy with new tones, then you might rack up the amount of text messages on your phone bill (but if you have unlimited texting, I'd say go for it!)

So, there you have it, a few of my favorite things! And who knows...maybe they will become some of your favorite things if you try them out. :)

Stay tuned for part 2, which will come at some point in time.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2008

LOST Season 4: Episode 2

Warning: this post contains contents about LOST Season 4: Episode 2 (if you didn't guess that by the title, then now you know). This article may contain spoilers. Don't say that I didn't warn you.

Let me start out by saying that this show is crazy. Crazy amazing and crazy confusing! I'm pretty sure that every episode introduces several new questions, and I am looking forward to the day that those questions are finally answered. (Seriously though, what is that crazy black smoke monster? I've been wondering this since Season 1, and I thought they were going to answer that question last night, but I was greatly disappointed).

Last night's episode of LOST was intriguing, to say the least, as we are introduced to new characters and forced to question the motives of these "rescuers".

Let's take a closer look at these new characters...

Daniel is the first "rescuer" that we are introduced to. He is the first to parachute down and find Jack and Kate. In a flashback, we see him crying in front of the TV when the news reporter announces that they found Oceanic Flight 815 on the bottom of the ocean floor, and all passengers have been proclaimed dead. When his wife asks him why he's crying, he responds "I don't know."

I can't help but like this guy a little. When other members of his team show some violence toward the islanders, Daniel shows some compassion, and you can see that he really doesn't want to harm anyone (at least that's my impression).

Miles, on the other hand, I don't really care for so much. In a flashback, we see that he is some sort of paranormal investigator. He goes to an older woman's house, and she pays him $200 to go up into her grandson's (who was murdered) bedroom to investigate. He goes up, turns on a strange device that makes some sort of white noise, and then talks to the empty room as though he were talking to the spirit of the dead grandson. He tells the "spirit" that he is hurting his grandmother by staying there, and he wants him to leave...but first the spirit must tell him where "it" is. There is some sound over by the bookcase, and Miles pushes it aside to find a paper bag with a bunch of cash and a little bag of powder (probably drugs) in it. He then tells the grandson's spirit that he can leave now. Miles keeps the cash and leaves (after giving the grandmother $100 back, and telling her that her grandson is at peace now).


On the island, we see that he is the hot head of the new group, and can be somewhat violent. Based on first impressions, I don't really like the dude.

Charlotte appears to be an archaeologist (or maybe an anthropologist?), as we first meet her (during a flashback) in Tunisia at an archaeological dig. There, she sees the bones of what, at first, appears to be a dinosaur. Under closer examination, they see that it is a polar bear. Charlotte digs around in the dust surrounding the remains, and finds what appears to be a collar...with a DHARMA Initiative logo on it. (Whaaaaaaat???) Let me point out that Charlotte smiled when she saw that logo. She did not look upon it with a puzzled face...she smiled, as though it was not unfamiliar to her. Hmmm...

Back on the island, Charlotte seems rather sweet and innocent. After parachuting, she is "captured" by Locke's gang of followers, because they don't trust her or her team.

Frank (in a flashback) is watching TV, when the news report of the discovery of Flight 815 comes on. It shows a graphic view of the plane underwater, and shows what they claim to be the pilot. Frank quickly picks up the phone and dials the number for the Oceanic hotline and demands to talk with a supervisor. He then tells them that the person who was pictured on the news was not the pilot. When asked why, he said that he knew the pilot, and the pilot always wore his wedding ring...and the dead body pictured did not have a wedding band on its hand. When questioned further, he said that he knew this because he knew the pilot well and he was supposed to be piloting Flight 815 the day that it crashed. (dun dun DUN!)

In the final flashback we see Naomi talking with the so-called Oceanic lawyer who met with Hurley in the nut house during last week's episode. The "Oceanic lawyer", who is named Matthew Abbadon (yes, I had to look that name up), is giving Naomi a team...and sets down the pictures of Daniel, Miles, Charlotte, and Frank. She doesn't think that this team is a good choice, because none of them have military experience, and that they will be unprotected. Abbadon tells her that she is their protection and that each of the team members were chosen for a specific reason.

At the end of the episode, we find out that the "rescue" team is not there for the survivors of Flight 815. They are there for Ben.

And the plot thickens, my friends...

What do they want with Ben?

What are the specific reasons that each of those team members were chosen?

Can we trust them at all?

If you have any speculations concerning any of the questions or points that I have mentioned, then please do share! I would love to hear what you all think about all of this.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Comments Are Much Appreciated

I just want to take a minute to thank those of you who choose to comment on my blog posts. Comments really are the proverbial fuel that feeds this blogging fire of mine. When you comment, I know that you're reading, and therefore I make more of an effort to post things for you to read. You see? It's a cycle. "The Circle of [Blog]Life" (cue Lion King theme music here).

Now, perhaps you are new to the world of bloginess, and you don't really know how to comment. Well, here I will tell you...

If you notice, at the very end of each post there is a spot that says "0 comments", or "6 comments", or perhaps one day (if I become a blogging genius), "100 comments". Well, that little blue link that has a number and the word "comments" is a link that will take you to the page where you can leave a comment. So, click on that link. Come on, you know you want to.

Now that you're at the comments page, the comments are listed on the left, and on the right there is a field where you can type a little message, called a comment. Now, in this comment you can simply say "Hey, Tiffany! I read your blog! You should keep writing!", or maybe say "Hey, I really liked the movie Suburban Girl...I can't believe you didn't!" Or whatever you would like (within reason, of course...if it's something inappropriate, then it will be deleted).

So, write your comment and then put in your name. For example "Mawmaw and Pawpaw" (come on, grandparents, I know you're out there reading this here blog), or "Miranda" (seeester!), or whatever your name may be.

And then, comes the exciting part...hit "Publish Your Comment"! And then, my friends...I will receive your comment, and I will feel loved (or at least feel like this blog is worth writing on).

This ends my little tutorial on how to leave a comment on Life in the Time of Tiffany. Now, you have no excuse for not commenting (except for the fact that maybe you're just not reading this).

So, come on...show me some comment love!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Movie Mondays: Suburban Girl

On one of our recent stay-at-home date nights, husby and I decided to go to Blockbuster and see if we could find a good movie to watch. We didn't have a particular one in mind, so we spent quite some time browsing the aisles looking for something that may be worth watching.

Since we've watched quite a few action and thriller movies lately, I was in a (rare) mood to watch a chick flick. I mentioned this to Jonathan, and he graciously agreed, and said that he'd watch any movie that I picked out.

Suddenly, the pressure of having to make the choice on my own made me feel a bit woozy, and I believe at that moment in time...I lost my good judgment. And because of this momentary loss of good judgment, I picked up Suburban Girl from the shelf. I had never seen the preview for this movie before (red flag #1), and had never even heard of it (red flag #2). BUT there was a huge shelf that contained many copies of Suburban Girl and most of them were gone, so I came to the conclusion that, "Hey! Lots of people have rented this movie, so it must be a good one!" We read the back of the movie case, and the description sounded interesting...

So, my dear readers, we rented Suburban Girl. And at that moment in time, our fate (for the evening) was sealed...

Imminent doom.

From the first two minutes of the movie, we were thoroughly confused as to where this movie was going. Normally, when you're trying to create a good plot, you at least attempt to catch your viewer's interest. But in the first two minutes of the movie, all we saw was this girl walking down the streets of New York while editing a manuscript.

And I'm pretty sure that was the highlight of the movie.

For a movie that is described as a romantic comedy, I was highly disappointed, because it was neither romantic nor comedic. The plot was not firm, and went in way too many different directions. For fear of spoiling the movie for anyone out there who may want to see it (although I highly advise against it), I will just give it to you in a nutshell:

Basically, Suburban Girl is about a young woman (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who has high ambitions to be an editor. But instead of pursuing those ambitions on her own, she ends up dating and eventually moving in with an experienced editor (Alec Baldwin), who is twice her age. It is a story of self-discovery which happens through a series of mishaps and ultimately being mistreated and cheated on by her elderly boyfriend.

When the movie was over with (after cleaning up all of the hair I had pulled out of my head), we were wondering why we had just wasted 90 minutes of our lives. 90 minutes that we can never get back.

Dear readers, I have a feeling that I will be watching nothing but action and thriller movies for the rest of my life...for I fear that Jonathan will never again trust me to be the movie picker-outer.

P.S. I later found out that this movie never made it to theaters. If I had known that piece of information beforehand, that would have been red flag #3, and I believe that I would not be here telling you this tragic tale.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

When It All Seems a Blur...

Saying that this week was a busy one would be an understatement. Looking back on the last few days, it all seems a blur, as every day melded into the next. Most were non-stop from dawn 'til midnight with classes, work, and obligations...and as the events piled up each day, so did the dishes in my sink.

How do I get this busy?
I ask myself. Of course, most things that occupy my time are non-negotiables. Such as classes, work, rehearsals, and the occasional meal. I really try not to commit to more than I can handle. I had several people call this week wanting to hang out, and I regretfully had to decline. If only there were more hours in a day. (Can we vote on this? I propose that we add more hours to each day. All in favor, say "Aye!")

In an attempt to be completely honest and open here, I have to admit that I didn't really handle my busyness very well. I laughed, I cried, I complained. And now, at the end of the week...I look back and am disappointed in myself. If this crazy week were a test from God, then I highly doubt I passed with flying colors. Instead of giving my stresses to God and trusting Him to help me, I freaked and let it consume me.

This lesson I have learned is all too familiar. It is one that I have been taught a multitude of times...and this probably isn't the last either.

I will continue to try not to over commit myself, but in the meantime...during those days and weeks which are crazy, I want to be able to give it to God and let Him help me.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

With all that said, I have to brag on my husband a little...

Last night, when I got home late from rehearsal, I walked in the door to a clean house (all the dishes done and everything!) And he then, that precious husband of mine took me out to dinner and to see a chick flick that I've been wanting to see for a while. I am truly blessed, my friends.

Friday, February 1, 2008

LOST Season 4 Premiere!

Warning: As stated in the title, this post is about the LOST Season 4 Premiere. So, if you haven't watched it yet, or you don't wish to hear about it, then...well, don't read this post.

As many of you know, the premiere for the 4th season of LOST was last night. And boy, was I excited! Along with family and friends, I was huddled around the TV in eager anticipation for what the writers of this addicting show were going to feed us next. And after an hour of new LOST footage, I'm anxiously awaiting next Thursday night.

As usual, there were quite a few questions that came up after watching the episode.

For you fellow LOST fans, let's discuss them here:

1. During the flash forwards, Hurley referred to himself as one of the "Oceanic 6". Who are the Oceanic 6? We know that Hurley, Kate, and Jack all got off the island (because they have all been in the flash forwards). And I believe that Sawyer is also off of the island, because in the last episode of Season 3 (in the flash forward), Kate says to Jack that she needs to get back to him. And then there is the person who was in the coffin in Season 3's finale. Perhaps Ben or Locke? My guess is Locke. And as for the sixth one, your guess is as good as mine. Who do you think are the "Oceanic 6"?

2. Charlie appears to Hurley in a flash forward, and Hurley freaks out. Charlie says that he is dead, but also here. What exactly does this mean? Do you remember how in last season, Naomi said that Oceanic Flight 815 was found on the bottom of the sea and that all the passengers were found dead? Well, perhaps all of the passengers are dead (because they died on that ocean floor), yet still here (because they were on the island). An alternate reality? It's a rather confusing idea in my head.

3. The eye that Hurley sees when he gets "lost" in the woods, and comes upon Jacob's house...whose eye is it? I'm thinking that it's Locke.

If anyone happened to watch the premiere of Eli Stone following LOST, then you may have seen the commercial for Oceanic Airlines that gave a little tid bit for LOST.

So, the plane is underwater...and "we can't trust them". (And check out www.flyoceanicair.com)

What are your thoughts on last night's episode, and LOST in general?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Let's get this show on the road!

As many of you know, this is my senior year in college. And one fun thing that senior drama majors at my school get to do is create something known as a "Senior Project". Now, I know that you are all on the edge of your seat wondering what this mysterious Senior Project is...so, I will hold you in suspense no longer and tell you.

Senior Project is, well (quite obviously), a project you do when you're a senior. Now, for us drama majors that could range from directing, performing, playwriting, scene and set design, costume, makeup, light and sound, etc. It really depends on where your interest lies (and quite frankly, what the school approves).

For my
Senior Project I have the privilege of working with three lovely ladies, some of my closest college friends (who are also graduating seniors). For ages, it seems, we have been looking for a play to do for our infamous Senior Project. Last fall we submitted a play, only for it to be rejected (a.k.a. not approved). For months we searched and searched for a play that would work with a three woman cast, and one that would uphold to our university's standards.

At last, we found one. And they said that it was good.

Approaching Lavendar
by Julie Beckett Crutcher

Directed by: Jade
Performed by:
Tiffany Z. (that's me!)

Wednesday, April 16th

To say that I am excited about this is an understatement. I'm pretty thrilled! We are all happy with the script...and I must admit, that I may like this play better than our first pick that was not approved. Actually, no maybes about it...I do like it better!

Tonight we had our "auditions" for it. Pretty much, we all got together and read the different parts, so that our lovely director can determine which parts to place us in. In my opinion, they're all great roles, and I'm excited to see which one I get to play (the list is being posted tomorrow).

So, dear readers, if you happen to be free on April 16th, know where my school is,
would like to see a good production, and care to witness my final performance on the university stage...then you should come see Approaching Lavendar. You won't be disappointed (at least I hope not...if you are, then I will personally refund your ticket).

Did I mention that admission is free?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No need to stress...

Once again, it has been a while since I last updated, and I apologize. Things have been pretty busy with school starting back up, and everything that comes along with it, I haven't even had time to think about the possibility of blogging.

With everything getting back into the swing of things, and with all the preparations I need to make for graduating in May...there is always the temptation to stress about things. But stress is never fun. Who enjoys stress? I sure don't! So I'm going to try my best to keep the stress to a minimum.

I know we all deal with stress...whether it be at work, school, or at home. Everyone has things that they worry about.

So, if you're struggling with stress, here's a list of things that may help (I heard a segment of this list being read on the radio one day, so here it is, courtesy of J93.3):

1. Have fun to reduce stress.
Do things for the sheer fun of it. Each day, plan to something "just for you." Even if you only have 30 minutes of fun time, don't let anything stop you from your 30 minutes.

2. Laugh to reduce stress.
Interact with people who make you laugh to reduce tension and boost the immune system.

3. Learn to say "no" to reduce stress.
Too much fun can become boring. When requests and invitations become a burden instead of being enjoyable, it is time to say "no."

4. Simplify your life to reduce stress.
Move closer to your work, hire a maid, or shop by internet.

5. Delegate responsibility to reduce stress.
Sharing duties allows time together and gets the job done faster.

6. Learn to relax to reduce stress.
Periodically visualize calming scenes; stretch and take deep breaths.

7. To reduce stress, don't be a workaholic.
Find a healthy balance between work and play.

8. Break tasks into segments to reduce stress.
Break down tasks into easy-to-handle segments and problems. It is easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time.

9. Keep your job skills current to reduce stress.
If you have current job skills, changes and lay-offs at work are not so stressful. You can take the attitude of an acquaintance of mine who takes work with a "Oh, well, I was looking for a job when I got this one. And I might be looking again." He knows his job skills are in demand.

10. Take care of your family and friends to reduce stress.
Having relationships in your life is less stressful.

11. Examine work habits to reduce stress.
If you are constantly stressed at work, examine your work habits. Maybe you are wasting time.

12. Drink water.
Consume 8-10 glasses of pure water daily.

13. Eat sensibly to reduce stress.
You are what you eat. I personally feel much better since I have eliminated red meat, whole milk, and most sugar from my diet. Maybe a similar diet change would help you, too.

14. Get quality sleep to reduce stress.
Sleep is an essential recovery mechanism. Sleep on your back or sides, not on your stomach.

15. Stop using drugs to reduce stress.
Stop smoking and avoid recreational drugs and alcohol. Remember that food is a drug, also.

16. Schedule time to reduce stress.
Allow enough time to reach the place or goal you wish without rushing.

17. Exercise regularly to reduce stress.
Take a vigorous walk, jog, or swim for an average of 20 minutes daily or 45 minutes three times a week.

18. Control your attitude to reduce stress.
About the only part of your life you can control completely is your attitude.

19. Be prepared to reduce stress.
Don't stick your head in the sand. Being prepared stops stress in advance.

20. Think positive to reduce stress.
If something is stressful, make a list of every positive aspect of your situation. This doesn't mean you should go through life as a Pollyanna, however. Then you will rarely, if ever, be prepared--see number 19!

21. Improve yourself to reduce stress.
Broaden your knowledge through reading, seminars, and self- improvement courses.

22. Live within your means to reduce stress.
Constantly overspending is definitely stressful.

23. Save money to reduce stress.
Having an emergency "nest egg" makes you less stressed.

24. Consider a career change to reduce stress.
Burnout can be very stressful. If that has happened to you, consider changing careers.

25. Handle stress now to reduce stress.
Putting off stressful events only makes them more stressful. Settle matters that are troubling you "as they occur." Procrastination usually leads to increased stress for me. And I feel so good when I don't procrastinate.

Bonus: Choose quality friends to reduce stress.
It is important to have friends you can trust and be yourself with. Ask friends for help instead of being too self-reliant.