I am so very excited! Today The Pioneer Woman, aka Ree, announced that she has finished her novel and it will be released in February 2011!!! How exciting is this! The book is the story of how she met and married her 'Marlboro Man', and moved to a remote ranch in Oklahoma. She began chronicling her journey via her blog a few years ago, but ended the short chapters at her wedding. She is adding those chapters, and continuing through her honeymoon and first year of marriage.

Click to pre-order "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels".

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, PW began a blog a few years ago. It has now blossomed into an award winning, recipe posting, life chronicling, hilarious blog. I love it so much because she just writes. Simply writes how she feels. Since Ree has gained national (and I'm sure worldwide) acclaim, her followers are into the millions each day. There's even been a rumor of a movie one day. I'd go see it. :)

A friend told me about her crazy blog shortly after it began, as a friend had told her. We kept it quiet, on the down low as if we had found a nugget of gold amongst the riff raff of the Internets. But alas, we've all shared her site with our friends and loved ones, and now the secret is out. She came out with a cookbook last year, and I had the privilege of standing in line for three hours meeting her.

I love Ree. I love reading about her life, her kids, the ranch, the cowboys.....and I dream of the day I could live on a ranch...with a cowboy....and the kids......

Hey! I can dream, right?

The crew at Jen's on Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I wasn't able to return home to Kentucky this year, but am so thankful for my family of friends here on the West Coast. I split my day between my family that I work for, and my friend Jen's house. She hosted four Marines from Camp Pendleton who are finishing their training before shipping out to various locations across the world. It was such a pleasure to honor them, hang out with them and just love on them for the day. We had so much food, played pool, games, watched football, the works. They were too sweet and we all enjoyed getting to know them.

I joked that they were modeling the "Fall 2010 Marine Wear"

I was able to accompany Jen back to Camp Pendleton to drop the guys off, and we got to talking about how much more we as a people can do for our military servicemen. Some of the young men and women who serve our country do not have families who can visit them, or do not have family at all. I encourage you, if you live near a military base to contact the local YMCA or MWR on post to see how you can get involved. Upon further investigation, I have found that the YMCA on Camp Pendleton has over one THOUSAND families who have signed up for the Secret SANTA program this year. They are still looking for donations for over 350 families. Below is an excerpt from the Director of the program:

"Our Secret SANTA (Support And Nurture Those Americans who serve) program focuses upon junior enlisted families with children who are the ranks of-5 and below. These families have provided the Armed Services YMCA a wish list is then assigned to a donor family, organization, or business so they can shop, wrap and personalize gifts."

I am so excited to be involved in this program, as my younger brother himself is a serviceman, the least I can do is help out. If you are based in the Southern California area and would like to help, please see the contact information listed below.

Program Contact Information
Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA
Phone: 760-385-4921
Suzanne Tabrum Director of Events and Community Relations

I'm sitting at my desk watching the warm Southern California sun cast dancing shadows across my Macbook screen. Shaking my head, I'm thinking...never in a million years did I think I would be sitting here. A sparkling pool right outside my window, snow capped mountains in sight, (Bette Midler, anyone?) chilly evenings and warm afternoons year round.

Still, never even dreamed that I would be here.

But here I am, a year and a half later, and I have to say...


Don't get me wrong. I'm going back to my homeland someday, Tennessee, that is. Just not today.

In this season of thanksgiving, here are thirteen things that I am thankful for living in Southern California.

-Daily dosage of sunshine
-The ocean
-Bonfires on the beach
-Churros (Ps-didn't even know what that was until I moved here)
-FroYo!! (See above comment)
-The abundance of parks
-Being within driving distance of some of the most amazing geological creations
-Disneyland (Come on, it's awesome and you know it :)
-Breathtaking views of the city
-Standing still, with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other
-Having an amazing job that made this move possible
-Being blessed with the most incredible friends a girl could as for

There you have it! Of course I have a million other things to be thankful for, but I thought I'd give some props to my Cali experience thus far.

Joshua Tree

Last weekend the crew and I loaded up for a camping trip at Joshua Tree National Park. We had an absolute blast, and the weather was perfect, albeit a little chilly in the evenings. The stars were INCREDIBLE! I wished I could bottle them up just to see them sparkle all the time. I've been on a few cruises in the middle of the ocean, but somehow seeing the stars this time around was more profound than before. It seemed as if you could see the galaxies, so amazing!

Ok, call me crazy, but doesn't this look like a fish?!

So many beautiful rock formations.

We picked a route and just went for it. We were inside little rock caves, climbing up and over huge formations, you name it, we did it. We came to this one formation that the guys were determined to conquer. I really wanted to as well, but sadly... I have little legs. Ah, to be tall.

Half of the crew

Climbing inside of the rock formations

We only suffered one injury, and that award goes to Grant. He was Spiderman over all the of rocks, conquering his fear of heights pretty quickly! The last formation he was coming down, he fell and sprained his ankle. We had to cut our explorations a little short, but we didn't mind. The other guys in the crew were so sweet to take turns helping Grant out of the park. Now I now why people could get so lost out there, it's really hard to stick to a trail!! Next time, I'm bringing walkie talkies. :)

Nothing better than a fire...

The crew.


For my Nashville friends...notice someone behind the lead singer? Look familiar?!


A Nashville musician used records to shingle his outdoor porch! How cool and resourceful!

You can see the original post here.


Halloween was quite the blast, a friend hosted a fantastic party, complete with ghoulish martinis! So cute! Everyone got all dolled up and decked out, so much fun!

Dani, Courtney and I

Courtney and I

A group of friends bought tickets to Go Fest, the local country radio station's festival. We had lawn seats, but snuck into the Terrace level and had oh so much fun!!

Only half the crew!

My dear, dear friend Jessica married her sweetheart in an adorable outdoor ceremony in Huntington Beach. It was a super small wedding , and I was so honored to be there as her guest. Congratulations Josh and Jess!!

Mr and Mrs. Fowler

One of my favorite highlights from the past few weeks would have to be scoring tickets the to Tennessee Titan/ San Diego Chargers game! I took my friend Dani, and we had an incredible time. Our seats were nosebleeds, but we didn't mind! We were just happy to be there.

Our Seats

On the way to the stadium, we met a few fellow Titans fans on the train to whom we gave some of our temporary tattoos. So fun to meet new friends, especially when they've lived in Tennessee!! They mentioned that they had field seats...

Trent, myself, Dani and Tom

And offered to move us down with them if there were extras.

There were :)

We were the luckiest girls that day!

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