Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Szumiak Residence...

It was a lovely Thanksgiving at the Szumiak Household. We had entirely too much food for the 4 of us and it was a glorious feast that took many hours of preparation.

Here's Dad hard at work at the shallot and sherry dish.

And Momma making her famous mashed potatoes.

Darling Sister stirring dedicatedly away at the gravy.

And here's me. Enough said.

Happy Turkey Day, Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That's SO Hot Right Now...

Alright, fellow fashion followers- here are a few "must have pieces" on my shopping list for the season:

1. Peacock colors (my personal favorite)! Deep purple, blue and green are the current "hot" colors. That includes the actual peacock feather print, purple nail polish, eyeliner, etc... Don't be scared of the purple.

2. Tights. Bust out the tights with dresses, long shirts, boots, you name it. Different colored and patterned tights are popular, too.

3. Plaid. Of any kind and on any body part. On my to-get list is a red/black/white peacoat.

4. Chunky and long sweaters. Wear them with pants, leggings or tights. Both functional and fashionable.

5. Pashminas. The European trend has travelled to America! (figures) These lightweight scarves pair great with any outfit, and come in super fun patterns and colors!

So... ready, set, shop!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As We Approach Thanksgiving...

Here are a few "things" for which I am thankful...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Finally, after 9 long years of separation, I will be back at "The Happiest Place on Earth"...

...with one of my favorite people on earth!

What could be better?!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet Caleb

This is Caleb, the little boy I have decided to sponsor through World Help. He is from Uganda, and will be 2 years old in February. He loves to sing! :) Pray for him, please!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two Thumbs Down

Three personal comments about the ever-so-loved hobby of watching movies:

1. I am an anomaly in the fact that I don't love watching movies. At all. My main problem is that I'm such a chatterbox that I never get through watching a rented movie (or at least get through it without my watching partner being at their wits end with my incessant blabbing). Oh, and I'm not one of those movie watchers who holds an ongoing movie commentary mid viewing. Rather, I am the person that will be watching a movie and sporadically ask what's for dinner. Word of advice- if you have a choice, don't watch a movie with me.
2. I hate Blockbuster with a passion. Tonight I was actually in the mood to rent a movie, and so roomie Sar and I walked down to our local Glendora Blockbuster store (I hate to admit that I was in my PJ's during our trip). We were all amped about our expected video choice (The Great Escape), but OF COURSE our Blockbuster failed us. Again. (We have tried renting Father of the Bride, Little Women, and many other classics, and our Blockbuster never seems to provide us with ample selections).
3. What are my favorite movies, might you ask? The first 6 I could think of are....
1. Mary Poppins
2. The Counte of Monte Cristo
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Les Miserables
5. The Newsies
6. The Fugitive
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What would YOU do with an extra 100 bucks?

 If someone walked up to me and handed me a $100 bill, how would I use it?

$25 on a manicure and pedicure
$30 to sponsor a child living in a third world country.
$16 to buy an intermediate salsa class and entrance into The Granada salsa club.
$28 to eat a meal at The Forks (my overly priced place of work). My planned menu? The asian pear salad to start, the braised short ribs for my main course, and Whit's banana cream pie for dessert. YUM.
$1 for a pack of orbit bubble gum.

How would YOU spend it? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A few reasons why next month will be different...

1. I won't be spending every spare second with these crazy wonderful people.

2. No more knobbing with all the muckity-mucks in the nicest country clubs in LA. (or ruining their carpets with tea spills, which is what happened 30 seconds after the above picture was taken).

3. No more fat suit for me!

4. For the first time in 3 years, my main mode of transportation will NOT be a van filled with 12 other crazy people.

5. I will no longer only have a week and a half of Christmas vacation, but i get a FULL MONTH this year!!

6.  That (see picture above) will no longer be my appearance for the whole month of December. And yes, if you had seen me any day in December for the past 3 years, that would have been what you would have found.

7. No more singing Christmas carols everyday, completing 56 shows in 3 weeks, playing handbells, singing to little rugrats as Mrs. Claus while experiencing sheer exhaustion. 

Bittersweet December, here we come....

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I know it's a bit premature, but I'm just in the spirit...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's Official...

...I am completely and utterly obsessed with salsa dancing!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Last night, I got in a discussion with my dear roommate and her friend about talent. The word "talent" is such an ambiguous word.  Merriam-Webster defines talent as "a special, often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude". In many cases, talent is very easy to recognize- it is very obvious that Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is a naturally talented swimmer. Yes, he trains like crazy, but even if I trained the same amount of time and at the same intensity he does, I could never swim at his level of skill.
In my eyes, musical talent is a whole different ball game. I am a musician, and I have been for 17 years. Not to stroke my own ego, but all my life, I have been told that I am "talented" at music. I am beginning to wonder what this compliment actually means. To me, musical talent is the fact that J.S. Bach wrote over 1,000 amazing compositions in his short lifetime. My 9 year old piano student is talented- she has flawlessly perfect pitch and can play any piece of music placed in front of her. My dear friend Rachel sings like a goddess- I am positive she will be the lead soloist in the angel choir in Heaven. As I contemplate, talent appears to be more of an anointing by God than trained skills. 
But me? Musically talented? I'm not so sure anymore. I have worked my butt off for 17 years to develop my musical skills. I have dedicated hours to building the tools which enable me to read music and make my fingers play what's on the page. I can only do what would be expected of me, considering that I've slaved to to reach the musical level that I have.
So, what is my "talent"? To be continued...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Ultimate To Do List...

I am absolutely obsessed with list making. Ask my roommates- my desk is covered with scraps of papers and sticky notes that remind me of my ever-growing uncompleted tasks. Here is my "ultimate to do list":

1. Become proficient at an instrument other than piano.
2. Have a garden.
3. Sponsor a child from a third world country.
4. Yearly read the Bible in its entirety.
5. Study abroad (to be completed in Florence, during Summer 09!)
6. Become a real salsa dancing queen.
7. Get married.
8. Become truly fluent in a foreign language.
9. Mend that one friendship.
10. Unspoken.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It is so funny how my taste in weather has changed over the past 4 years of living up in the Foothills. Pre-2005, I would get all in a tizzy if there was even a slight chance of rain. And, if rain actually did begin to fall out of a cloudy sky, I would mope and shut myself up in my room, waiting for my friend the sun to reappear. Now, 4 years later (wow, time flies), I am aglow if the muggy Foothills turn chilly and dreary. Today, as I walked out of my apartment to pouring skies, I felt so grateful for the wet weather. For the first time in my 21 years of life, I am not saying "rain, rain, go away", but rather secretly hoping that the drops will stick around for awhile.