Saturday, March 31, 2012

{We We Blog} Week: Why Kate Blogs

Hi Stress Case friends! This is Cute Apartment here signing in to write about why it is that I write my little blog, which I have so cleverly named, Diary of a Blonde. Get it? It's because I'm blonde and my blog is like my diary.

When I was in college studying to be an interior designer, I used to have to do a ton of research on design themes, green energy and so on. While looking for these things I would come across dozens of inspiration photos that I loved, but couldn't use because they didn't associate with whatever project I was working on. My desktop became so cluttered with pictures that I liked, I ended up making an "inspiration folder" to save them in hopes of using them for a project. Soon enough my folder of pretty houses and interiors included quotes that I liked, recipes I wanted to try and craft ideas. I pretty much invented Pinterest without even knowing something like that existed!

While in school, I had classes 30 hours a week, worked part time at Ruby's Diner and was suffocating in homework. I had no time to blog! So I waited patiently for the blessed day to come where I graduated and would finally have countless hours to be on the internet for no reason at all. Of course because I'm a little obsessive and set in my ways, I had to come up with a whole canvas in order to "paint" my blog. I spent the next 3 days creating a background, working on a header and coming up with what in the hell it was I actually wanted to say.

On June 27, 2011 my first blog post went up and Diary of a Blonde was born! I wrote in my little about me section that my blog will be my guilty pleasure, giving me a creative outlet to post the things I find worth living for. And I think I have done a pretty good job of that. Although my blog is open for the world to read, I really only write it for me. It's a place that I like to hold beautiful pictures of rooms I would one day like to have. I use it to remember fond memories with friends and family, and also to write facts/ stories about me that people are dying to  may not know. I've also recently joined E-Harmony and have been writing about all of my dating adventures, both the good and the bad.

So to make a long story short, why is it that I blog? It's simple. I blog for me

Thanks for reading! Stop by and take a look into my little corner of the blogoshphere at Diary of a Blonde


 Why We Blog Week

Friday, March 30, 2012

{Why We Blog} Week: Why Kathy Blogs

Hi everyone. My name is Kathy and I blog at That's What She Said and That's What She ReadI'm a nerd and proud of it (DFTBA!). Harry Potter is my biggest obsession. I've always wanted to work with animals. I like reading, video games, and tv. I am married to a wonderful man, and we have the greatest dog in the whole world. Oh, and I am ridiculously obsessed with Penguins. I've even been to Antarctica to see them.


I started blogging on That's What She Said almost a year ago (It was called Life As I Know It way back then). I started the blog to just write about the things I loved and the great times that I had. It was sort like a diary for me and place to share my wonderful life with my Facebook friends and family. But then life stopped being wonderful. A series of horrible events left me with an anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. I kept this off my blog for a long time because I just wanted my readers to see my happy side all the time.
Eventually I couldn't keep up the charade any more and I shared what had happened to me and that I was in partial hospitalization for it. I was really nervous about posting that post because I thought my readers would abandon me like my real life friends did, but they didn't. Instead they were amazing and encouraging. And that's when I started writing that blog for them. And while I still try to show my happy side most of time, I know that my blogger friends will always be there when I need them.
Some of my favorite blogs to read during this time were book blogs so after completing my task of reading 50 books in 2011, I decided to start one of my own with the goal of a hundred books a year. I write this blog because I love books and I love to share my opinions on them with everyone
Since I am no longer able to work, I have made my online activities into a full-time job for myself. Does it change the way I blog? Not much. I review more books that are given to me for review than the ones I get at the store and I spend more time highlighting my sponsors on That's What She Said. I've also had to take some time away from commenting in order to edit the book I wrote and to work on my Etsy shop. But my blogs are still the two most important things to me, and that will never change.
So I blog for a lot of reasons; for my family, for my blogger friends, for the little bit of money it makes, but most importantly, I blog for me.

 Why We Blog Week
Don't forget to start getting your posts ready for the {Why We Blog} LINKUP on Thursday, April 5th!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

{Why We Blog} Week: Why Kara Blogs

A big HELLO to all of you fabulous Stress Case readers! My name is Kara, and I blog over at All In A Row{e}.

I'm a twenty-something newlywed who loves to cook, shop, read, and drink a lot a respectable amount of wine every now and then. I also happen to be Casey's cousin!

Need proof? Here we are at my wedding:
Best Cousins and fellow Bud Light lovers!
I'm still fairly new to the blog world. I started blogging back in January and am loving it (you can read my very first post here).

I graduated from college in 2010, and until recently, I've never been a huge fan of writing. I'm pretty sure the hatred stems from all of the forced writing that I had to do in school, and I hate being forced to do anything.

Enter: Stress Case.

I became an avid follower of Casey's blog when she first started it and found myself really wanting to join in on the fun! I pondered the idea for months, because I didn't want to start a blog if I wasn't going to keep up with it, and I didn't know if I would enjoy it, since I hated writing so much in college.

After getting lots of great advice from Casey, I took the plunge, and am SO glad I did! Not only do I enjoy writing for myself (not for a grade), I have found some amazing blogs and have met so many great people through this great blogging community!

Aside from being inspired by my fabulous cousin, I started blogging because I wanted to have somewhere to really say what's on my mind. I'm still getting used to the idea of putting myself out there and saying how I really feel, but it's slowly getting easier.

I wanted to have a place where my true friends and family could keep up with my new life with my Hunter Husband. I also wanted a place where people don't feel like they have to be my "friend", they don't have to read what I write if they don't want to. And I'm A-OK with that!

So that, lovely readers, is why I blog.
I hope you'll stop by my blog and say hello, I'd love to hear from you!
And ALSO, Happy Blogaversary to the Great Stress Case! =D

 Why We Blog Week

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{Why We Blog} Week: Why Christin Blogs

Hi, everyone! I’m Christin, and I blog over at Classy, Southern Wife. I write about everything from running to fashion, cooking and married life. I hope you’ll stop by sometime.

The “Why I Blog?” question is always a hard one to answer. Honestly, I started my blog as a Pinterest board of sorts (long before the days of Pinterest) to share wedding inspiration ideas with my mom. I only gave her the URL and didn’t think that anyone else would follow along. A few days later, I got my first comment, and from there it spiraled into what it is today.

I’ve always loved writing, which is a huge reason why I blog, but I also love “meeting” other bloggers, whether we actually get to meet in-person or just become friends through comments and e-mails. The blogging community is such a supportive place, women offering each other encouragement and advice. 

As a late 20-something, it’s not always easy to meet other women who share similar interests, but blogging helps bring us together.
I’ve met wonderful women who have become dear friends. In fact, a blogger friend is flying to meet me at a race next month so we can run together. I’m so excited to meet her and share a couple hours of pounding the pavement together.

Blogging is much more than putting words on a webpage. It really is a community, whether it’s your community of mommy bloggers or fashion bloggers…we all have our passions, and blogging helps put us in touch with one another.

 Why We Blog Week
Don't forget to come back Thursday, April 5th to link up and share Why YOU Blog!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{Why We Blog} Week: Why I Blog

It's here! 

{Why We Blog} Week and my 1-year Blog-a-versary!!
I am so excited to kick off this week of blogging fun - I (along with some amazing guest bloggers I've got lined up!) am brining you eleven straight days of blogging fabulousness! 

For the next eight days, you'll be hearing (reading?) from all sorts of different bloggers from all over the country and all different paths of life telling you about the one thing they all have in common: blogging.

Blogging is funny in that it brings people together who most certainly would not find themselves there without it.  Those who lead completely different lives end up as blog besties, and that is such a beautiful thing.

So, to kick off {Why We Blog} Week, I guess I should start.
Why do I blog?
I started blogging initially because I was on Spring Break, and was bored, to be honest.
I thought I would do it for a little while, probably get sick of it, and move on to another hobby.

Well I'm a year deep, and don't see quitting in my near future!

Blogging has been such a wonderful outlet for me,
a place for me to discuss my failures and my triumphs,
my biggest fears and my embarassing moments,
to share photos from my wedding and tell stories about my husband,
a place to brag about the good things in my life,
and a place for people to commiserate with me on the not so good things.

I love blogging.
I also really really love the community of blogging. 
I mean, that's sort of obvious I guess, considering I host an entire link-up geared towards supporting fellow bloggers.

Lots of Link Love
So ladies,

Why do you blog?
Want to share why you blog with me, and the rest of the blogging world?  Well get to writing, because here's your chance!

{Why We Blog} Week will open up as a link-up on Thursday, April 5th so we can hear why all of you blog!
You can tell us why you blog, what made you start blogging, your favorite things to blog about, even your favorite blogs to read!  Basically anything blogging-related will fly!

 Why We Blog Week

And tune in tomorrow for the first guest blogger!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunt to Homeownership: Our First Big Disappointment

Last time I told y'all about how we have really taken the leap, and begun our condo hunt.  I also shared how it feels like we are drowning in short sales.
Well, it only took us one weekend of house hunting to get our first big disappointment.
Here's what happened:
We decided to go looking on a Saturday, and see as many places as possible in the teensy little town that we have decided is our number one place we'd like to end up in.
We had actually seen one of the units the weekend before and saw it again with our real estate agent that day, along with several other units.
We saw some that were okay, some that were not going to happen, and we were leaning towards the one that we had actually already seen at an open house as the end of the day neared.
On our way to the last condo we were seeing of the day, I turned to the Hubs and said "This could be the one" and he said, "Yup, maybe it'll be a game changer."
And wouldn't you know it?  It was. 

We pulled up in by far the cutest neighborhood of the town that we so badly want to end up in.  A little neighborhood full of condos with white picket fences, big charming patios, and jasmine planted along the walkways.  It was perfect.

Not the actual neighborhood we saw.

After seeing the inside of the condo, we were sold.  This was the place for us.  Everyone told us not to get our hopes up, that is such a hard time to buy right now in the short sale market, that is could be months before we heard back.  So we tried not to get our hopes up, but they were floating all on their own.

Well, apparently we weren't the only ones who fell in love with that little condo.
Because the owners of that home got three offers that weekend.
And the one they took? 
Not ours.

Next time I'll tell you guys how this story takes a funny little turn, and how this home-buying business is a real bitch rollercoaster ride.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Off to Vegas!

Yup, that's right!
This fearsome foursome is off to live it up in Vegas this weekend!

Tutor Girl and Cousin Ronomon are bravely leaving Lil C at home with her grandparents to get their party on for the weekend!

If I had it my way, there would be a whole lot of this for the next 72 hours:

Never can tell what will happen in Vegas.
But what happens there this weekend won't be staying there - recaps to come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Handsome Husband Has a Birthday!

March is freakin' birthday month in my world.  Daddy-o, me, and the hubs!  A month full of celebration!

Today is this hottie's 24th birthday:

So in celebration, I present to you:

1. He loves me, despite the fact that somtimes I look like this:

2. He is so kind - much more so than I am.

3. He looks good without a shirt on...real good.

4. He entertained me for countless hours during his college soccer years.

5. He makes me laugh like no one else in the world ever has.

6. He puts up with me completely ruining (or enhancing, depending on how you look at it) a good 72% of all photos we take.

7. He lets me be me, and never judges me.

8. He is responsible, and ambitious, and so insanely smart.

9. He is going to be a great Dad someday when we are ready for that big 'ole leap.

10. He gives the best kisses.

11. He dances with me even though he is not a huge fan.

12. We know each other's histories, because we are a part of each other's histories.

13. He's handsome!

14. And on top of that, the dude is photogenic.

15. He is a great inspiration for eating well and working out - he goes to the gym twice a day half the week!

16. He always encourages me to do my best, and he always wishes me good luck before big events.

17. He has a family that has family drama just like every other family, but is always there for one another, and many of them live only a quick car ride away, something I never got to have growing up.

18. He will go to the store for me in the middle of the night if I need cough medicine, Advil, or hell, even ice cream.

19. I've had so many firsts with him, from big ones like first time living with a boyfriend, to little ones like first time camping in a tent.

20. He thinks I'm a classy lady, despite my sailor's mouth.

21. He has never been a commitmentphobe, a player, or opposed to discussing our future - I never had to chase the guy.

22. He loves my friends, and I love his.

23. He picked me.

24. He is the only person I could ever imagine living my life with, and being my partner throughout the crazy ups and downs that life tends to throw at us.

Happy Birthday, Hubs!

Lots of Link Love: Final LINKUP Edition

Lots of Link Love 

Like Tara, I think it's important to emphasize the importance of community in the blog world and not only focusing on ourselves and our own blogs, but to spread lots of blog love to those who deserve it.  Every other Saturday, I will highlight the posts over the last two weeks that touched me, made me laugh, pulled at my heartstrings, and inspired me. 
When I first started doing Lots of Link Love here at Stress Case (after being so inspired by Tara), I loved the idea of it being a link-up.  Of fellow bloggers coming together to support their peers and friends.  But the realization is that people link up when it's easy, when they have writer's block and want to get a post up.  Quick and fun is what makes a good link up, and Lots of Link Love is fun (at least I think so) but not quick and certainly not easy.  It takes planning and dedication to keep track of your favorite posts, and I just don't think that caught on with others the way it did with me.  And that's fine - not every idea is a good one! 

So, because of that, this will be the last Lots of Link Love LINKUP.  I will continue to do Biweekly Lots of Link Love posts honoring the posts that I love - and I'll keep the button around in hopes you'll share Lots of Link Love with your readers.  I would also love to hear your suggestions for posts that deserve some Link Lovin' via Twitter if you're so inclined!

But for today,
for my last Lots of Link Love Linkup,
join me!

Link up, even if you just mention one blog post you love at the end of your post, even if you have a list of 20, even if you can't link up until Wednesday (the link up will be open all week), join me in supporting your fellow bloggers!

If you've been featured here at Stress Case, or if you're linking up, please use the button above to help spread the link love and enoucrage others all over the blogosphere to join us.

ALSO - Don't forget next week kicks of {Why We Blog} Week here at Stress Case, and I'd love if you came back a week from today on Thursday, April 5th to link up and tell me Why YOU Blog, and make some new blogging buddies!

 Why We Blog Week

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Hunt to Homeownership: Drowning in Short Sales

I've mentioned in here and there on the blog before, but this is the first time I'm coming right out and saying it.
We are condo hunting.
Yep - we are currently on the hunt to undertake the largest responsibility one can: the hunt to homeownership.

The first time everyone says when they hear this?  How exciting!  With the voice inflection meant to show how very exciting it really is.  And it is - so exciting.  It's also other things.  Nerve-racking, stress-inducing, anxiety-producing and complicated to name a few.  But we chose this path, and we are, over all other things, excited about this new adventure we are taking off on together!
The first thing I've noticed during this exciting little adventure?  We are drowning in short sales.  Tutor Girl wrote a great post last year about short sales that I would strongly encourage you to read if you're interested in learning a little more, or if you're unfamiliar with short sales in general.
I'm not sure if it is like this everywhere, or is SoCal is just special but we are drowning in short sales here.  They seem to be all that is out there!  This woulnd't be such a con if they weren't so damn complicated and so time consuming.  Did you know it can take months to find out whether or not your offer is approved by the bank?  Months.  What the fudge?  I'm not quite sure where banks get off dilly-dally-ing around, but it's a little redonk if you ask me.
The whole short sale business is a little sad, really.  It's sad to be looking into an investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and not be able to go into it with your whole heart.  I feel like I have to keep a wall up to avoid becoming disappointed. 
And the reality of the situation?  Even with that wall up, I still get disappointed.  More on that next week.
Note to HGTV: We would make reality TV gold if they filmed HH and I house hunting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quotable Tuesdays

Spring Sweets Swap Reveal Link-Up!

Happy First Day of Spring!
And more importantly,
Happy Spring Sweets Swap Reveal Link-Up Day!
Spring Sweets Swap

I hope everyone was blessed with some wonderful goodies from their swap partner!

I ended up with two fabulous partners, and I got the sweetest little Spring Sweets from them both!

Funny story - they were both named Heather!

Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde graced with me these goodies:

And Heather from Gurlee Girrl sent me this adorable package:
Thank you, Heathers!
My tastebuds are grateful.
My waistband however?  A little bitter.
Now it's your turn to show off the Spring Sweets that you got!
Link up below!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Pledge to my Girlfriends

Dear Girlfriends,
As your friend, I promise you the following:

I will never lie to you.
Even if makes me uncomfortable, I will always tell you the truth.

I will always give you the benefit of the doubt.
I will always think the best of you.

I will take care of you when you're a drunkkard.
Whether it's holding your hair back, holding you up in the shower, or stopping you from leaving with the biggest tool in the bar - I'm your girl.

If you love someone, I will try and love them too.
Even if your boyfriend is a total douche, I will try and find something to like about him for you.

I will always be there for you.
Day or night, no matter what, if you need me - I will be there.
I will be invested in your life.
I will ask you how things are going, and care what the answer is.
I will apologize when I hurt you, and will accept your apologies.
No one is perfect, we will always make mistakes.  And I promise to forgive yours if you promise to forgive mine.
I will never give up on you.
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