Friday, March 18, 2016


Happy Friday!  This week has been one of the slowest on record and I could not be happier that the weekend is almost here.  Anway.  Here's what's going on in Alyssa Land.

Thinking About: How there are quite a few ladies I know (in real life and bloggers) who were pregnant at the time same time I was and are pregnant again.  No.  Just no.  One and done baby.  One and done.

Watching:  We started watching 60 Days In on A&E this weekend.  It’s kind of terrifying.  If you haven’t heard about it, a sheriff’s department takes seven people with no criminal record and puts them in the big house for 60 days to live amongst the inmates and hopefully report back with where contraband is coming in and where the prison needs improvements.  I think I would do it, but I wouldn’t be cheap.  They would have to pay me no less $1,000 for every day I’m in.  And if you’re watching, let’s take bets on how many days until Robert gets shanked.  I say two.
We’re also watching The People vs. OJ Simpson.  We were hooked after one episode.  It’s riveting!  And we really like Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark. I was so little when it happened the only thing I remember is the Bronco chase so each episode is a genuine surprise!

Reading: I finished The Painted Veil Wednesday night.  I’m disappointed.  The only thing I knew about the story was from the trailer for the movie. While I’ve never seen the actual movie but the book seems very different.  It’s made up of mostly inner monologue and I found it pretty boring to be honest.  I guess they had to Hollywood it up to make it an exciting film.  Oh well.  I made a goal for myself to read at least one book a month and so far so good.  I ordered three more from to have on hand and my next read will either be The Terror, Sharp Objects, or The Goldfinch (which looks to be about 1,000 pages long).

Liking: My clean house.  Saturday we moved the rest of Kaylen’s belongings from her apartment to her new house.  Kaylen hasn’t been living there since December and her roommate is…not the best housekeeper.  She is so not the best housekeeper she inspired me to deep clean the house Sunday.  That afternoon we sent Cooper to Mom’s, turned on some rock music and cleaned.  Like, REALLY cleaned.  A clean house makes me feel so much more relaxed.

Not Liking: This time change deal.  While I’m digging it still being daylight outside and getting to enjoy the sunset after work, I am NOT digging it being pitch black dark at 6:15 when I get up.  Not at all.  When it’s dark outside, I don’t care what time of day it is, my mind says “you should be asleep”.

Loving: the mild weather, my new sunglasses, Cooper walking with his hands raised above his head like he's praising Jesus, oatmeal creme pies, Instagram (always), online shopping for spring clothes, listening to episodes of Gangland on youtube.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Does Anyone Else...?

new walker, toddler, little boy buffalo plaid baby
We now have a walker.  This view is going to same getting used to,
 Does anyone else…

…get anxious to start a new book when they’re nearing the end of the book they’re already enjoying?

…have the strange desire to put mascara on their baby’s perfectly curled lashes while they’re sleeping just to see what it would look like?

...think Hilary Clinton might actually be a robot?

…feel dread when they see swim suits already on the store shelves and think to themselves, “I’m not ready for this…”?

…NOT understand why everyone absolutely worships Beyonce...but still get really hype when "Girls" comes on?

...stress a little in Sephora because there are so many options and make-up go wrong very quickly?

…become irate to the point of violence when they get hung up on?

...find themselves singing along to more T-Swift songs...and hating yourself for it? a little dance in the fitting room when trying on clothes? getting hugs from people bigger than you who can envelope you in their arms and let you rest your head on them?

...get excited to see spring approaching but still want to hang on to sweater weather a little longer? Saturday "pajama day" to their kids?

It's been a weird week and I am sooo happy to see Friday.  Tomorrow Cooper and I are going shopping.  He loves the mall, and I'm not making a joke here.  He loves to be strolled around and there are so many people to look at it!  I'm really excited about Sunday because we're taking him on his first zoo trip!  The weather is supposed to be absolutely fabulous for the first time in forever and I can't wait to spend some time in the sunshine with my favorites.

Have a Happy Pajama Day!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 Academy Awards - My Picks

Before we even get into the fashion trends, hits, and misses, let’s just take a moment to share in the collective joy of Leo finally winning his much deserved and long overdue Oscar.

Now that we got that out of the way…
I was SO NOT disappointed in the fashion choices this year!  After a couple of ho-hum Oscars I was pleasantly surprised with so many great choices.  Fair warning, this might be a long post because there were so many fantastic looks!

Charlize Theron, Brie Larson, Olivia Munn, oscars, academy awards, red carpet
Charlize Theron – She couldn’t be any more gorgeous if she tried.   Beautiful cut and color and let’s not even mention the necklace. // Brie Larson – What an odd one she is.  For a best actress nominee (and eventual winner) I think she could have done better.  I dig the belt but something about the dress looks…cheap.  Like that cobalt blue though! // Olivia Munn – The color is incredible on her and it kind of reminds me of Lupita’s red Calvin Klein but nowhere near as amazing.  It’s just…ok.

saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Rachel McAdams, 2016 oscars, academy awards, red carpet, jewel tones
Saoirse Ronan – This is so different than the soft colors and textures she’s worn this awards season and I loved those looks on her but this is FABULOUS.  Great fit and I like the nod to her home country of Ireland with the color.  Hair and make-up are spot on as well.  Definitely one of the BEST DRESSED of the night! // Margot Robbie – Kudos to her for doing something different!  I’m a sucker for gold and she looks fabulous, of course. // Rachel McAdams – Swoon.  She’s been one of my favorites this award season.  It’s a bit wrinkly in the front but I can forgive her for that.  Great cut and color.

Priyanka Chopra, Lady Gaga, Daisey Ridley, 2016 oscars, academy awards, red carpet, white trend
Priyanka Chopra – Usually, I’d be drooling over this but next to some of the other dresses it’s just pretty, if not a bit bridal. // Lady Gaga – She looks gorgeous but I was a tad disappointed in this.  I think the only reason I don’t hate it is because it’s on Gaga. // Daisy Ridley – I would like this SO much more if the hemline were different.  It’s very pretty but I like my Oscar dresses touching the floor.

sarah silverman, kate winslet, jennifer garnder, red carpet, 2016 oscars, academy awards, black trend
Sarah Silverman - Best I've EVER seen her look.  Gorgeous. // Kate Winslet – Color me disappointed.  I know the girl loves her mono-tone but this is killing me.  So boring and not the most flattering thing she’s ever worn. // Jennifer Garner – I really liked this!  She hasn’t impressed me much on the red carpet but this might be my favorite look from her, at least in a long time.

Cate blanchett, alicia vikander, heidi klum, 2016 oscars, academy awards, red carpet, pastel trend
 Cate Blanchett – I gasped when I saw this.  She’s usually a bit quirky on the red carpet but this is stunning.  The color is amazing and her hair and jewels are perfect for it.  I seriously can’t say enough about this. A BEST DRESSED for sure! // Alicia Vikander – Meh.  The color is great on her but I don’t get the sequins and I HATE the hemline. // Heidi Klum – Yikes.  She always wears something ridiculous.  The only nice thing I can say about this is that I like the color.  Definitely a WORST DRESSED of the evening.

tina fey, naomi watts, reese witherspoon, purple trend, red carpet, 2016 oscars, academy awards
Tina Fey – I’m usually not a fan of hers on the red carpet but I really liked this on her AND the necklace.  I  just wish she’d worn her hair down. // Naomi Watts – I love a woman who swears by sequins.  She’s always Hollywood glamorous.  Love this and the color. // Reese Witherspoon – Meh.  She sticks to what she knows I guess, but this to me is boring.

jennifer lawrence, amy poehler, julianne moore, black trend, red carpet, 2016 oscars, academy awards
Jennifer Lawrence – So not loving this.  I’m glad she didn’t do another boring monotone dress but this just isn’t doing it for me. // Amy Poehler – A “what was she thinking?!” moment and definitely a WORST DRESSED of the evening. // Julianne Moore – ZzzZZzz…  What a snooze fest.  She can do much better.

olivia wilde, rooney mara, sophie turner, red carpet, 2016 oscars, academy awards, white trend
Olivia Wilde – At first I saw it from chest up and thought I just hated the choker…then I saw the rest and hated it too.  A WORST DRESSED for me. // Rooney Mara – Yes, we get it.  You only wear black and beige.  Your face is amazing but I’m over it. // Sophie Turner – I appreciate the look she going for, I just with it was in a color that didn’t wash out her beautiful skin tone!

I think that about covers it.  Who were your favorites? 

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Monday, February 22, 2016

That Time I Got An Email From An Oscar Winner

gold glitter, email, oscar winner,

Just in time for the Academy Awards here's a little tale for you.  I debated even writing this post simply because it's so ridiculous I figured no one would believe it.

A few years ago, I woke up to an email with the subject line: Oscar Dress.  The Academy Awards had aired a couple of days before and I did my usual post giving my opinions on the best and worst dressed.  This post actually.  The email was eventually deleted but it went something like this:

I don't like that you called me and my dress ugly.
It's very bad karma.

It was a bit longer but that was the gist of it.
I had to read it and then reread it a few times to understand what I was reading and who it was from.  It took me a few minutes to realize the name in the signature was one I recognized.  I had watched her win an Oscar a few days before.  I googled her email and contact information and from everything I found, it was legit.  I got an email from a woman who WON AN OSCAR telling me she didn't like that I said her dress was ugly.  I, Alyssa, got an email from an OSCAR WINNER saying she didn't like that I didn't like her dress.

I emailed her back and basically said:

I didn't call you ugly, I called your dress ugly.
Congrats on your Academy Award.

Again, it was a bit longer but that's the cliff note version.
What I wanted to say but didn't because I didn't want to pile on to my already apparently bad karma was, "You just won a freaking Oscar, why do you care that a girl in Alabama thought your dress was ugly, which it was BTW."

You're probably wondering WHICH Oscar winner I managed to piss off.  I'll let your figure it out and here's why.  I began to wonder how in the WORLD this woman found my little blog.  I googled her name and "Oscar dress" and sure enough my blog post was on the front page.  She googled what people thought of her dress.  If she googles herself again and discovers I still think her dress was ugly, heaven won't be able to save me from my karma.

See?  I told you it was ridiculous.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Word from Gus - False Hope

cat in window, gus, fat cat, humor, cat diary

Gustifson Garfield here.  You can call me Gus.

Dixie and I long ago accepted the fact that the tiny human now known as Cooper will be living with us for the foreseeable future.  But over the weekend something happened.  Something that started out to be wonderful and ended with crushed dreams and dashed hopes.

Friday started out like a normal day.  The people left the house and took the baby with them and I lounged and stared out the window for the next twelve hours or so.  Later that night, much later than usual, the parentals came home…but the little one wasn’t with them.  I assumed they’d forgotten the little noise maker somewhere and would rush off to go get him as soon as they realized their mistake.  I certainly wasn’t going to bring it to their attention.  But they never did.  They went about their bedtime routine minus the thing that never shuts up and went to bed.  I was even allowed to sleep next to Mom!  I assumed my rightful place with my head resting in her hand while she slept.   Could it be?  I was afraid to let my thoughts wander to the possibility that they might have grown tired of the little monster and took him back to whatever road they found him on the side of.  But I DID let my thoughts wander there.  And they wandered even farther than that the next morning when Mom woke up and read a book for an hour in bed.  It had to be happening.  The tiny human had taken up residence elsewhere, exactly where I cared not, and things would go back to normal and I would once again be worshipped and adored.  They talked about getting lunch and shopping and left the house again. 
They came home that afternoon with leftovers from Ruby Tuesday, jeans from Old Navy…and the tiny bane of my existence.  He was back.  All the cat nip in all the Pet Smarts in all the world could not take the edge off my bitter disappointment.  A cruel joke.  Gus doesn’t like jokes.

Have I mentioned that he’s grabbing tails now.  Yeah.  It’s awesome to be me.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Seeing Double - 2016 Red Carpet Appearances Side by Side

Hey friends!

I’m getting back into the blog swing of things and what better way than a red carpet post!  Instead of doing a separate post for each of the 483 award shows that have aired I thought I would do a side-by-side comparison of the lucky ladies that attended more than one of the big three that have happened so far: The Critic’s Choice Awards, The Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Golden Globes.  [My invites obviously got lost in the mail.]

Amy Schumer, Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards, red carpet
Amy Schumer: The feminist darling has made a big splash at the awards this year, more for her antics than her fashion, given that neither of these looks are going to blow anyone away.  But maybe I’m biased because I can’t stand her.  Having said that, she looks nice in both.  The white dress looks really great on her but I much prefer the off the shoulder neckline and hair and makeup from the Globes.

Brie Larson, Red carpet, fashion, golden globes, critics choice awards
Brie Larson:  Hm…  The color is the only nice thing about her pale blue look from the SAG Awards.  And let's not even mention those unfortunate shoes.  Even though something looks odd about the way the gold dress from the Globes fits her bust, it’s the definite winner here.

Bryce Dallas Howard:  Now here are to majorly contrasting looks.  I can kind of see what she was going for in the black number from the Critic’s Choice Awards but something’s just not right.  Even though I like the smoky eye on her, it’s hard to beat the gorgeous dress and fresh face from the Globes.  And props for the three quarter length sleeves.

Emilia Clarke: No contest here for me!  The “simple” hot pink gown from the SAG Awards is amazing on her.  She’s practically glowing.  The black dress from the Globes with the super high neckline completely hides her gorgeousness.

Emmy Rossum: She’s one of the girls whose closet I would happily steal everything from.  She ALWAYS looks amazing in whatever style she goes for.  The red gown from the Globes of course looks great but I feel like we’ve seen her in this before and it’s SUPER similar to Naomi Watts yellow ensemble from a last year’s Golden Globes.  So for me the winner is the edgy black number from the Critic’s Choice Awards.  I love the super simple fit, open neckline and the amazing, unexpected sequins.

Eva Longoria: I’m definitely not a fan of either look.  The green dress from the SAG Awards is too much and the white dress is odd with that cut-out bow thing on the neck.  If I HAD to pick a winner I’d pick the dress from the Golden Globes based solely on the colorful flowers on the white backdrop.

Gina Rodriguez:  I kind of like this girl!  Two very different but very classy looks.  The coral color and the fit of the dress from the Critic’s Choice Awards is amazing and it’s tough call but I have to pick the navy ball gown from the Globes!  The off the fit of the bodice, the neckline, the earrings, and the hair are all simply perfect.

Helen Mirren: A triple header!  I’m not sure what’s going on at the Critic’s Choice Awards but the other two are really lovely and she always knows how to dress for her age.  I like the slinky, silver look of the SAG Awards, but the black dress at the Globes takes the cake.  The sheer shoulders are a nice touch and just give me that necklace.

January Jones:  I always look forward to seeing what she’s wearing.  This is an easy choice for me.  While I like the color and idea of the tulle gown at the SAG Awards (not to mention the gorgeous hair and soft makeup), it adds 20 pounds to her frame!  The pale blue dress at the Critic’s Choice Awards is so quirky and fun!  I only wish she’d worn different shoes…

Joanne Froggart: There’s a clear winner here.  The blue dress from the Critic’s Choice Awards is pretty but nothing special and the way she styled the red dress from the SAG Awards made it look like she bought it off the rack at Sears.  The Golden Globes dress is sweet, feminine, and beautiful.

Julianne Moore: Speaking of off the rack at Sears, what was she thinking in that ugly green dress???  There is nothing good about this dress.  Nothing.  Not a thing.  The color, the fit, the fabric.  It’s a green nightmare.  However, the sequined Golden Globes dress is gorgeous.  My only gripe is the piece of fabric around the neck.  Rip it off and it’s perfect.

Kate Winslet:  Kate!!!  This girl rocks a sheath dress like nobody’s dang business.  I keep looking between the two and I honestly can’t pick a winner!  I love the emerald color, the sleeves and the mermaid fit that shows off her gorgeous curves in the  SAG Awards dress.  But I also love the color, the satin and the halter neckline of the Globes dress.  It’s a tie closer than the Iowa democratic caucus.

Leslie Mann: She’s never been one of my favorites on the red carpet, and dresses like the pink Golden Globes ensemble is the reason why.  However, I do like the flirty dress from the Critic’s Choice Awards!  Fun things like this is what I like to see her wearing.  And I actually just noticed the splash of hot pink lipstick.  Props for that.  Let’s just get some better shoes next time.

Queen Latifah:  That blue color looks AMAZING on her skin.  I’m partial to blue but there’s something about the fit of the dress that just doesn’t look right.  But I think she just rocked the black number.  The long sleeves, fit and black color and super flattering and I love her hair up.

Rachel McAdams: Three different looks and three home runs.  I love them all!  The slinky, sexy look of the red dress at the Critic’s Choice Awards is gorgeous.  But so is the black and sheer dress.  And her makeup is perfect.  But then there’s the gorgeous, floral gown from the Globes with the perfect silhouette and lipstick to match!  So much awesomeness!!  If I HAD to pick a winner….  Screw it.  It’s my blog and I don’t have to pick a winner.  They’re all fabulous.  You go, Regina George.

Rosie Huntington-Whitely:  Does anyone else’s self-esteem take a hit when they look at her?  The black dress is amazing (even if I wish the neckline was a tad higher) but the golden dress from the (appropriate enough) Golden Globes is stunning.  She looks like a goddess.

Saoirse Ronan:  I love all of these looks on her!  What keeps the blue dress from the Critic’s Choice Awards from being a perfect 10 is the hair.  It distracts from the detail of the shoulders and looks messy.  The pink gown is gorgeous but the white Grecian dress from the Globes is the stand-out winner here.  It’s a look we’ve seen before but she looks absolutely ethereal.

Sarah Paulson:  She’s an oddball isn’t she?  But I wouldn’t love her if she were anything less.  The sequin dress is cool in a weird way, but I have to admit I really like the black feathered dress from the Globes!  I love the contrast of the bright colors with the black skirt.  It’s so her. 

Now all that’s left is the mother of all Award Shows!  The Oscars!  And if my boy, Leo, finally gets his hands on a statue you are going to hear my fangirling from wherever you happen to be at the time.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016


Baby Boy on his birthday morning.
Reading: I started Pride and Prejudice again. I began it a few years ago but just couldn’t get into and honestly found the language too hard to understand. Since then the 2005 version of the movie has become one of my favorites so I thought I’d give it another try and I’m enjoying it MUCH more this time around. I made a goal for myself at the beginning of the year (a goal NOT a resolution) to read one book a month in 2016. That doesn’t sound like much but since Cooper’s been around I’ve read three. Three. That’s pathetic. So when I finish P&P I’ll hit up again for my next load!

Watching: As far as TV shows go, not much of nothin’. Just waiting for The Walking Dead! Can I get an amen.

Wishing For: Black moto boots. A book/DVD shelf for the living room. Subway tile in the kitchen. A conceal carry purse. Red flats. More leggings to be worn as pants!!

Dealing With: A baby with either hand, foot, and mouth or chicken pox. He was exposed to HF&M at his party and since then another little girl at the party has had it. Even after his fever broke, he continued to get new bumps and they were spreading up his legs and on his trunk. Chris took him into the doctor and he wasn’t even sure by looking at it. He said it could definitely be HF&M but he could have also contracted chicken pox from the chicken pox vaccine he received last week. The doctor said about 5% of babies get it from the vaccine itself. They took a skin sample but we won’t know until some time today which it is. Such weird timing that it could very well be either one! So this week Chris and I have been tag-teaming work and staying home with Cooper since we have to keep him out of daycare in case it IS CP. This is weird for us because he’s such a healthy baby this is the first time either of us have had to miss work other than for the usual check-ups. He was miserable for a few days and super whiney. You could tell the little fella didn’t feel well. But the past couple of days he’s been more like himself, more like my happy baby. And that makes Mama happy.

Loving: My newly cleaned and organized bedroom. Cooper standing by himself. Instagram (always). The cold weather. Mini cherry pies. Quiet time at night after baby goes to bed.

Looking Forward To: I can’t believe I’m saying this…but I’m looking forward to going to Monday Night Raw live in Birmingham. Chris got our tickets months ago and supposedly our seats are in a prime camera area so look for us on TV. I don’t know who will fan girl more: me over Roman Reigns or Chris over…everybody else.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Since The Last Time We Talked...

Hello, friends! Remember me? I don’t blame you if you don’t.
I had ZERO intention of taking a “blog break”, it just kind of happened that way. But really and truly with the craziness of the holidays, working so much because of said holidays, and planning and executing a first birthday party, there was very little time for blogging.
So much has happened since I last posted!

Since the last time we talked:

…We celebrated Thanksgiving. And Cooper was really excited about it apparently.
thanksgiving, family photo

…There was a terrorist shooting in San Bernardino and I once again prayed for Jesus to come back soon.

…We successfully transitioned CT to his crib and it’s amazing. This was HUGE for me.

…Steven Harvey crowned the wrong girl at the Miss universe pageant and gained several enemies in Colombia.

…I turned 28. No biggie.

…Cooper had his first Christmas and aside from the little trip to the tornado shelter and his mother having a little panic attack, it was SUCH a wonderful day.
baby's first christmas, baby boy, christmas pajamas, christmas tree

…Alabama won their 16th National Championship and the haters continued to hate [Chris].

…The Golden Globes took place and my first husband won his category, was bumped into by Lady Gaga, and made the cutest “oops” facial expression ever.

…Alan Rickman died and I was more upset over the loss of Hans Gruber than Severus Snape….and then a few more celebrities died.

…Cooper turned ONE and we celebrated with a lumberjack party. Pictures to come later!
first birthday, baby photography, lumberjack birthday, birthday theme, birmingham photgrapher, baby boy birthday, smash cake
Casey Marie Photography
Yea, I’ve been on a hiatus for a while. I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL holiday season. After Christmas, and weeks of party planning I feel like I’m still trying to de-stress and get out of “I have so much to do, and plan for and not enough time, and what should I do next” mode. Luckily, this girl got the most spot on birthday gift from a husband in the history of ever: a gift certificate for a massage. Yes, please! That will be used SOON.

So here’s to a new year and [hopefully] more blogging!

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dear Cooper - Your First Birthday

Dear Cooper,

Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy!

I’m so excited to celebrate you and the fact that you’re a healthy, growing boy, but at the same time I’m sad because this special year is over. You’re looking more and more like a toddler and less and less like my little baby. I nearly cried when you cut your top teeth because I would miss that gummy, babyish smile so much. That smile lights up my life and one of my favorite times of the day is when I pick you up at Nanny and Poppie’s house and you see me walk through the door. That big grin greets me and you’re quick to give me a kiss (if I ask for it). My other favorite time of the day is when I’m getting you to sleep and I’m sitting on the bed with you cuddled up to my chest. Sometimes I just sit there with you long after you’re in a deep sleep and I could easily lie you down in your crib. I sit and listen to you breathe with your little hand resting on my shoulder. I know one day you’ll be a stinky teenager and you might not want to cuddle with Mom so I’ll take advantage as long as I can.

I’m not the only one who’s crazy about you. You are your daddy’s boy and you’re everything he always dreamed about. Never doubt that he adores you.

I can’t believe it was a whole year ago you came into our lives. But then again it feels like we’ve known you forever. You were our missing puzzle piece. Today we not only celebrate your birth, but we celebrate the day we became a family. We celebrate the day you completed us. You are so smart, and loving, and more beautiful than I ever dared to hope you would be. I love watching you grow.

Happy Birthday, son. I love you more than words.

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