August 15, 2014

Spontaneous Adventures with Marissa and Shelby

Earlier this week, my best friend and I had planned to hang out, but we're never really sure of what to do. Sometimes we have lunch, sometimes we stay at my house or other times we'll go downtown and explore. This time, she asked me if I wanted to go to the Tejon Outlets, which just opened a couple weeks ago. I hadn't really planned on going anytime soon, but then I thought it could be one of those spontaneous adventures that we talked about earlier this year.
I woke up earlier, got ready, then Marissa came over. She chatted with my mom for a few minutes, then we were off. We stopped to get her car wash, then headed to Tejon for some shopping. We talked on the way, of course...And had a bit of an interesting time making our way into the shopping center, which gave us a lot of laughs and great video.

We were both hungry, so we decided to have lunch at the food court - Tony's Pizza. It was cheaper and it smelled really good at the time, so we went with it. We found a table near the back, away from the large crowds and sat down. Marissa and I talked some more, then we got our serious shop on. I used to love shopping, but over the years, it just kind of seems draining and I lose interest. Plus, I usually have no desire to go shopping unless I have money to spend and/or am looking for something specific. Marissa knows this about me, so she's always prepared for those moments when I might need sugar or I'm just ready to go completely.

However, I had an absolute blast. I was so impressed with how the shopping center looked for one thing - It was so nice, not a lot of people were there, wasn't too hot and there were a lot of great stores. We went to Pottery Barn and picked out things for our future apartment, which was SO fun. We looked at possible outfit ideas for the Katy Perry concert. We geeked out over just about everything in the "As Seen On TV" store, because they seriously have the coolest items that you don't even know you need until you get in there. And we bought some stuff at Windsor, because we couldn't live without it. We spent too much time looking through the bins for cool pins, because they had a ton and also got some friendship bracelets of Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, since they're our thing. We laughed about the most ridiculous things and had a fantastic time.

And then I had Marissa take this picture of me with a Captain America backpack in Hot Topic. 
Marissa was so excited to be in H&M. It was REALLY nice. 

Around 3:30, we decided to call it a day. We went and we conquered; found some good deals. We also grabbed some sodas on the way back, driving back into town, still laughing about our crazy inside jokes and how great the outlets were, while trying to cool off. Somehow in a matter of minutes, it felt extremely hot.

We came back to my house and were lazy for the rest of the afternoon, which was perfect. My mom and I also informed Marissa about the show "Married At First Sight." It's so fascinating and I can't get enough of it. But, I was sad when we were caught up and had no more episodes to watch. So, we just went to watching our usual E! News, talked and then my dad got home from work.

We ate dinner, then Marissa and I went to my room and talked for a couple hours. We also talked about Taylor Swift and watched videos of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake on YouTube, because why not? But, my favorite moments are still those heart to hearts, where we can just lay it all on the line, without holding back - Whatever we may be going through, fears, we can laugh about the craziest ideas, we can stress out about situations together and we can talk it out and strategize. We always come up with a plan...All of that. There's nothing better. I feel like we get each other like no one else does.

Marissa left close to 1 a.m., and I couldn't believe how late it was. We had spent the entire day together and had such a blast. Those are memories I will cherish forever.

'Twas a good day. It makes me smile :)

That's all for now,

August 13, 2014

The 20/20 Experience World Tour

I feel like I've used the word "epic" a lot lately, but there have been a lot of moments that I haven't been able to exactly put into words, because they are things I've always wanted to do or opportunities that even just a year ago, I never would've seen coming. So alas, last night was epic as I spent a couple hours with Justin Timberlake. 

I'm always just one big bundle of nerves. When I'm excited, it turns into anxiousness, which makes me feel a little nauseous. When I get nervous, it's just really not good; feeling like I'm going to pass out. As my aunt would say, "you're a fun date," and she's probably right. I guess that's why I don't get very many dates. Haha! 

That's how I woke up yesterday morning. It felt like Christmas morning, completely wide awake at 7:45 with anticipation. It's like when you're waiting for your parents to get up, so you can really freak out and then, of course, come the presents and everything else. So, I woke up and had plenty of time to get ready, because my friend didn't get off work until a bit later - But, I thought it could end up being earlier, so I wanted to be ready for whenever. I watched some TV, then started getting ready. The time actually passed off pretty quickly and pretty soon, Viviyan was picking me up for our adventure. 

We were "all dressed up in black and white," ready to crank some tunes. We stopped at Jack-in-the-Box on the way out, since neither of us had eaten lunch. Then, I started blasting the JT music from the playlist I had made. We were chatting about guys, relationships, and life. Because that's what you do on car rides, and apparently the thing to do in your 20's...Constantly planning. And there were some laughs in there, too. We made it to LA in pretty good time and had several hours before the concert started. I had been so paranoid about making it down there on time. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I wasn't about to miss out, ya know? 

We drove around, trying to find cheap parking, but decided on one closest to the Staples Center, since it was just the two of us and the concert would get out later. It was great. We went to will call first, to pick up our tickets and everything went smooth. I opened the envelope and we looked at the tickets. SECTION 112!!!!! I couldn't believe how close we were going to be, and so much closer than *NSYNC. But, I didn't even care where I was sitting, I was just so happy to have tickets to the show. After we freaked out about our seats, took pictures and made a video of our excitement, we decided to hit the bathrooms at Lucky Strike and also got free cherry cokes at LA Live, which was refreshing. There's a nice, shady area to sit in by the Nokia Theater, so we sat down on a couple of benches. We talked and did a lot of people watching, since people were starting to show up for the concerts. It was interesting to see the ages of some people and what they were wearing, LOL. We sipped our drinks, enjoyed the warm weather (while trying to stay cool, so we weren't hot and gross before the show) and snapped some pictures. 

Around 6:30, we walked across the street to Staples to check things out and ended up getting in line. We waited around, just chatting and watching people all spiffed up. They let us in at 7. Everything was going great, and then I made my way through the metal detector. The lady searching my bag stopped me and told me that cameras weren't allowed. I thought someone had asked at the will call window earlier and I heard the guy say cameras were allowed, even though it said they weren't on the ticket. Otherwise I wouldn't have tried it. But, that's happened several other times (i.e *NSYNC said no cameras on the ticket, so we didn't bring it. We got to MGM and they were allowed), so I didn't think much of it. On the door, I thought it said that only cameras with detachable lenses weren't allowed. I tried to tell the lady I thought we could bring them in, and she was having none of it and told me to take it to the car. Viviyan had just walked in behind me, so we were trying to figure out how to exit. The lady wasn't very friendly, but told us to go back out through the door we were at. Luckily, we had gotten in with plenty of time, so we walked back to the parking lot and put my stuff away. I was also starting to wonder about my pepper spray...My aunt had just given it to me, because I thought it might be good to have when I'm at school late, etc. So I'd started carrying it with me. Viv thought it should be fine, so I just decided to leave it. We walked back over to Staples, this time entering through the back entrance, because the crowd wasn't as bad. As we were crossing the street, I saw Jason Kennedy (my favorite anchor on E! News) and his fiancé, Lauren Scruggs in the car. I was so excited. I would've loved to have gotten a picture or chat with them, but maybe next time. 

So, we make it inside and then the security guard checking my bag asks about something at the bottom of my bag. I'm like, what? Oh no, not this again. It was the pepper spray..Of course. I was carrying a bag that just had everything in the open. I did have a pocket, but it was pretty see through, so I'm sure they would've seen it there, too. It's not like I was planning to use it in there, but obviously they didn't know that. They told us we could take it back to the car, where we had just come from, and at that point, it was getting closer to show time and we still had to find our seats. This wasn't a smart move, but I just told them to get rid of it. So, there's that. I just felt really bad that my aunt had just bought it and everything, which wasn't cheap. But, tried not to let it get me down for the rest of the night. 

We made our way inside - went to the restroom, grabbed a pretzel and coke, then found our seats. Staples Center is huge and the seating arrangements are a bit weird. Eventually we found them, and right in front of us was the stage in all of its glory. We couldn't believe how close we were and that Justin would be walking out there in just a short time. A dj played music and got the crowd pumped up, since no one opened for him. We watched people get to their seats, some decked out in pretty fancy attire and others keeping it casual. It was fun to just watch the arena fill up, as anticipation started to build. I also ate my cinnamon pretzel and had sugar all over my lap..I didn't totally think that through, LOL, but it was tasty and helped me wake up a little more. There were a lot of people around us who looked familiar, and I'm thinking had small parts on TV shows or something. In LA, everyone is someone, so I felt like we were surrounded by a bunch of special people. I found out later that Thomas Rhett and Danielle Bradbury weren't too far from us, so that was exciting. 

Great moments happen every night at the Staples Center, and I've had some incredible memories there over the years, but last night was something so surreal, especially because I'd never seen him as a solo artist before. Justin walked out after his short introduction video and everyone went crazy. It's like he's larger than life. He kicked it off with "Pusher Love Girl" and everyone was on their feet, constantly going crazy. There was no option of sitting down, even if you wanted to (which I doubt anyone wanted to), and it was fantastic. Everyone was dancing, singing along and waving their hands in the air. The feeling was indescribable, watching Justin, someone who has (in a way) been in my life since I was five years old, having transformed from teenage heartthrob to a handsome legend, changing the music world. 

There were two parts to the show, both mixing new songs and favorites together, and only a 10-minute intermission separating the two. He sang so many hits, like "Cry Me A River," "Sexy Back," "Señorita," "My Love," "Summer Love," "What Goes Around (Comes Around) and plenty from the "20/20 Experience," of course, like "Tunnel Vision," "Suit and Tie," and others. Justin had plenty of graphics and an intricately designed screen that had many uses. Throughout, there were lasers, videos playing, and more. In some parts, there was so much going on, it's like you were in a video game or something. I mean that in a good way. He made the crowd feel like they were part of something BIG. Everyone was constantly up on their feet, clapping, cheering, dancing, singing along, and waving their hands in the air. They aren't kidding when they say his concerts are like experiences, the energy and feeling in the arena was unreal; like a jolt of electricity. He was always interacting with the crowd, not just with the music, but chatting with fans if he read their signs, like the girl who was celebrating her 21st birthday in the front row and just casually, since we are "Tennessee Kids" now. 

I think I took this one from Viviyan! 
My absolute favorite part of the show was the sliding stage. It lifted from the main stage and slid completely across, high above the floor and the sides of the lower bowl. The stage kept getting closer and closer to us. HE WAS SO CLOSE TO US!!! I couldn't believe it. And then he ran over to the other side. I'm so glad I got that on video, though. Some of the best 30 seconds of my life. The stage finally stopped at the back and he made his way down to the VIP section stage. His friends were also in the section. I'm pretty sure that I saw Jessica in the pit, too. Beverly Mitchell (7th Heaven) was there as well, but I didn't know until later, like many of the other celebrities (Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, Janel Parish, Josh Peck, etc). He played a few more songs, then made his way back to the main stage. I was recording a lot of clips from my favorite songs, until my phone ran out of space. I was sad I missed "What Goes Around," and "Mirrors," but it reminded me to just enjoy the moment and focus on the fact that I was in the same room as JT!!!!!!

By the end of the concert, my feet were killing me (and also a little numb) and we couldn't really hear anything. It felt like we were wearing earmuffs haha! We made our way out of Staples Center and I bought one of the 10$ tshirts outside of the arena, and they had several to choose from. Normally, I buy a lot of stuff at the merch table, but Justin's site had some better deals, so I just decided to wait and buy everything online. Plus, I was able to avoid the lines, which was nice. 

We made it to the parking lot and waited a few minutes before heading out, so some of the traffic would pass, then hit the freeway. We didn't run into any traffic and made it out of LA pretty quickly, which was great, because it was about midnight when we got out...Not that I was complaining. He rocked that place for about 2 1/2 hours and every single second was amazing. Some of the dancing was "interesting" and there were some risqué graphics, but all in all Justin is such a classy guy and knows how to connect with the crowd. You can tell he genuinely loves what he does and appreciates the support that crowds give him night after night. It was one of the most fun nights I've ever had. I seriously didn't want it to end. 

We listened to the radio for part of the way home, then stopped for gas in Valencia. We were going to stop to get something to eat, but neither of us was really hungry. We were both getting tired, so I tried to play some uptempo songs to get the party started. I played some *NSYNC and a few repeats of Justin, since we were still on a high from the night. I got home close to 2 a.m., and was still buzzing with excitement. It was so hard falling asleep...It makes me wonder how the artists themselves come down from the rush of the crowd and all of the adrenaline, and I had a major headache, which didn't help. Eventually, I did get to sleep. That was nice. 

I am so thankful and eternally grateful to Master Card and their Priceless Surprises. Even if I'd been able to buy tickets, they never would've been as good as what we had last night. It was such a great time to get away with one of my closest friends and to just listen to good music by one of my favorite artists. I will absolutely never forget the feeling of just waving my hands in the air and singing at the top of my lungs. That's probably the most I've ever danced at a concert and I loved every minute of it. 

Today, I slept in until 10 or so and I have what I call the "concert hangover," at least what I'd imagine a hangover to be like, since I've never had one or been anywhere near that. I'm just feeling sluggish, too much talking is annoying right now and feel like sleeping. Everything feels like slow motion and I still feel like I'm in a complete daze. Take me back to last night. I would LOVE to see Justin in concert again sometime very soon. But, even if I never do, this was everything I could have hoped it would be and then some. 

Now, it's time to rest up to start focusing on some other things this week. :)

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

August 12, 2014

My Weekend

I haven’t really gotten out that much this summer. Most of my friends are busy working, I haven’t felt like getting out much (because it’s SO HOT out) or no one really wants to hang out, etc. I have done some fun things, but like I’ve mentioned on the day to day, I just need to get out more and explore. I’m starting to go a little crazy being inside all day. I need to push myself to get out more. I mean, mainly my life has revolved around Taylor Swift album news and crossing my fingers about getting Justin Timberlake tickets. 

But, I digress. You’ve heard enough about all of that. 

Friday was basically perfect. My aunt came over, we went to lunch at my favorite diner in town, then we went to several consignment stores. It was so fun looking at all of these random places, because you never know what treasures you’re going to find. I found a shirt for two dollars and it’s super cute. We went to another store with all kinds of antique treasures, odds and ends. I found a few small trinkets for my best friend, and just loved getting lost in inspiration with all sorts of things, like trunks, signs, and all kinds of other random things that you might be looking for. The people who run it were incredibly nice and talkative too, which helped. 

We also went to my favorite used book store, because I was wanting to find the movie “On The Line,” the one with Joey and Lance from *NSYNC. The last time I was there I saw it, and was hoping they still had it. And they did! I also hadn’t been in awhile, so I wanted to check out any other books that might have appeared in the mean time. I love that store so much. But, we didn’t spend a very long time there, because it was incredibly hot outside and I was losing energy. We also went to Target to pick up a few things. 

We stopped at Sam’s Club to pick up a few necessities, then came home. I was so glad, because I was wiped out. I had also started not feeling good. My aunt left, then my mom and I watched the new episode of “Girl Meets World,” and I was starting to feel extremely nauseous. I decided to lay down for awhile, then my mom made me some hot tea. I felt awful and eventually threw up. The rest of the night I felt awful. 

It got even worse from there. I’ve been trying SO hard to see Justin Timberlake in concert and MasterCard is giving away tickets. So, all week my mom and I have been tweeting about it. Well, she got a DM about “Priceless Surprises,” but missed the message. They had sent it in the middle of the night, then tweeted again earlier that morning. She hadn’t been on Twitter and doesn’t get notifications to her phone. She messaged them as soon as she saw it, but by that time it was too late. I couldn’t believe it. I had been SO close and just like that, the moment was gone. *sigh* I decided to take a shower, then lay down on the couch for awhile - getting on my computer and such. 

My dad came home, we ate dinner (I just had soup), then we talked about the crazy events of the day and how hopefully something works out so I can see him in concert. That’s all I really want. The rest of the evening was pretty laid back, chilling on the couch and watching Jimmy Fallon. Good times. I fell asleep pretty quickly after I went to bed, which was nice. 

Today, I felt incredibly lazy. I didn’t feel like doing anything or going anywhere. I woke up a little earlier, stayed in bed for awhile, then moved the party out to the couch. I cuddled up with my blanket, trying to fall asleep again and not doing anything at all. I started watching White Collar for a bit, then decided on 7th Heaven. I also started reading Diane Keaton’s book, “Think Again,” which is really good so far and I’m only a few pages in. 

My dad came home, we hung out at home for awhile/got ready, then headed out to lunch. We went to Outback and it was so good. I was also just glad I felt hungry. We had bread, salad and the bloomin’ onion, then my mom and I split the chicken on the barbie with veggies. So tasty. I also like that we’ve gotten to know several servers there over the years, so we get to chat with them. It makes things more interesting, you know? Plus, they had the best music playing. I heard Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Kris Allen and Kelly Clarkson. There were probably a few others, but those were my favorites. 

After lunch, my dad kept asking if we wanted to do anything. But, we didn’t have anything in mind. I still wasn’t feeling the greatest, so I kind of just wanted to go home. I was also debating on whether I wanted to go to the party I had planned on. It was a bit of “social anxiety” and just not feeling good. We drove around, then ended up at home. We just watched TV and found some random show on the cooking channel about donuts. I was actually rather fascinated with it. I was laying down, just getting on my phone….Trying to perk up or to not feel bored. My dad was still asking if we wanted to do anything, but there’s not really much to do around here. Plus, I was still trying to decide if I really wanted to go to the party or if I felt 100%. You know, the usual.

Eventually I said we should just go to Hobby Lobby to look around. So, we got in the car and start making our way down the road, when my dad asks if I had come home to get ready. Apparently I hadn’t “dressed up enough.” And really I hadn’t. I was in a shirt, jean shorts, flip flops and my hair was in some weird messy bun with a Pink Pewter headband. For a wedding reception, I guess I should have dressed up more, but I felt like “whatever” at the time and didn’t care. I didn’t feel great and I was still trying to decide whether I was going to end up going. After that, I got a bit of a ‘tude and told my dad to just turn around. 

We came home several seconds later and I went straight to my closet to find a dress. I didn’t feel like I had anything that I really wanted to wear, but decided on a peach dress from Forever 21. It seemed very dainty and perfect for the occasion. I touched up my makeup and curled my hair. I felt much better. I think dressing the part really does help you feel better about yourself. It completely changed my mood. 

We went to Home Goods for a few minutes, then my parents dropped me off at the location of the party. I have my license, but I just don’t drive very often. I usually don’t have much reason to, and it works out for the time being. 

I had such a wonderful time at the party, and I’m so glad I was feeling better and decided to go. I’ve known this particular group of friends since I was 12 years old when I started 7th grade. I was closer to some than others, but in high school we all formed a special bond. It’s crazy to me that it has been that long. I mean, that’s a little over half of our lives. WHAT?! We’ve been through it all together — the awkward stages, crushes, breakups, first relationships, driving, bad grades, high school drama, going away to college, family stuff, deaths, etc. Everything that happened and helped us find ourselves was experienced together. So, it’s crazy to me to see my friends now, as most most of them have graduated, they’re starting careers, moving away/settling in permanently, and now, of course, getting married. We don’t hang out as often as we used to, at least not all of us together, and I realize now how much I miss the high school days with all of us eating lunch or just going to the football games. 

I arrived a little later, but luckily my friends were standing right at the front by a table. We all stood around for a few minutes chatting, then decided to grab a table. We were there for the rest of the evening. It was warm to start, but as the evening progressed and the sun went down, it started cooling down. Everything was just so adorable. There were lantern lights lit like the Tea Cups at Disneyland, antique props on the tables, and lots of people mingling. Liz and I grabbed something to drink (Strawberry Lemonade), popcorn, and candy. It was very tasty. Then, we chatted with the guys and took pictures with Cory and his new bride. It was lovely. We also had a nice little talk about how I've been feeling left out and I don't feel so bad anymore. They love me, they really do. At the end of the day, that's what I have to remember. 

“I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone,” from Taylor Swift’s song “Never Grow Up” is the line that comes to mind. Liz, Thomas and Andrew, while Cory was walking around with his wife as we talked about our “Secret Santa” that we do every year. Everything is changing so much, we’re not sure that we’d be able to do it, at least like we’ve done it in the past. That’s when it really hit me that we’re growing up and nothing is ever really going to be the same. Growing up is a funny thing.
Music was playing softly in the background (a lot of classic love songs and later some classic party tunes), so people were dancing and just enjoying themselves. Our table was catching up with the each others’ lives, then Liz and Thomas were playing Cards Against Humanity or something like that. They were going to hang out at Thomas’ house, but I always head home earlier than everyone else. Liz said she’d give me a ride home, but she ended up dropping me off at Denny’s to meet up with my parents. I shared an Omelette with my mom and had a diet coke. It was tasty. 

We came home, I took a shower and got ready for bed. I watched the news (because I’m practically 80) and then turned in for the night. I was surfing the web, scrolling through Instagram, then turned on The Office and fell asleep. 

I woke up much earlier today for a Sunday and felt a little bit better. I just stayed in bed for awhile, scrolling through Instagram and mentally preparing for the day. Does anyone else do that? Lol. I finally got out of bed, but took my time getting ready and even had time to eat some banana nut bread for breakfast. So tasty! I put on my makeup and got dressed, then it was time to go. Church was so good for my heart. It’s a fabulous new series that our pastors started last week for the battle of the mind, and this week was to see how Christ sees us. So many times we can be so hard on ourselves and limit ourselves, not realizing the power of God and what He can do. 

After service, we had lunch at BJ’s Brewery with some family friends. My parents and I shared a pizza, since I haven’t been eating very much, it was plenty. I also had a delicious Caesar salad. We talked with our friends as they told us about their trip to Vegas and we made plans for our visit to the Queen Mary. It was a very good time. 

The first half of the afternoon was very relaxed, and that’s just the way I like it. And then, the greatest thing of all happened….MY MOM WON TICKETS TO SEE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE TICKETS AT THE STAPLES CENTER. I couldn’t believe it. It’s funny how a split second can change everything. The second half of the afternoon was a range of emotions - chaotic, exciting, intense, and mostly, just really wonderful. It didn’t totally even sink in that it was happening. I text one of my closest friends (and HUGE Justin fan), Viviyan, to see if she wanted to go with me. She said yes, of course, so we freaked out together and teared up a bit. 

Pretty soon, we left to visit my grandparents, so I was totally frazzled…Like, ah! I’m going to see Justin Timberlake on Tuesday/need to work out details, I don’t really feel so well, gotta put on more makeup, and oh, I hope I have everything. We stopped at Sonic to pick up dinner, which was very eventful as we ordered all kinds of food and it looked like it was just for the three of us (since there was no drive thru). Then, we made it to my grandparents’ house. We ate, watched “Heaven Is For Real,” which everyone really enjoyed and visited with my grandpa and grandma. We’ve been spending our Sundays with them lately, and I’ve really enjoyed the quality family time, since we don’t get to do it often these days.

We came home around 9:30 or so, I watched the Teen Choice Awards (I know I’m not a teen, but let’s just use my “line of work” as an excuse, okay? LOL). I mainly watched to see Taylor Swift and a few of my other favorites. But, I have to say, I miss the 90s when Britney, *NSYNC, Destiny's Child, Backstreet Boys and all of the classics were there. Those were the good ole days. 

But, how great did Hilary and Taylor look on the red carpet?? FIERCE. 

After I finished fast forwarding through the award show, I got ready for bed and went to bed earlier. Not feeling so well, I decided to get all the rest that I can to get ready for JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. 

It was a very good weekend, and it looks like things are just going to keep getting better this week. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Lunch with one of my best friends
*Justin Timberlake concert
*Hanging out with my best friend
*Taylor Swift's live stream -- Album 5 news! IT'S SO CLOSE!!!!!! 

That's all for now,
Shelby :)