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oscars recap..

last night i got to watch the entire academy awards broadcast, thanks to randy having to stay late at work.

here are some of my favorites from the night:

i really like mila kunis' dress, with the exception that i felt like her boobies were going to pop out at any minute. when she was walking down to present that award, i held my breath for her a little bit.

even though she is a total weirdo, i LOVE helena bonham carter because not only is she a wonderful actress (in my opinion), she isn't afraid to let her freak flag fly!

this one might be a little mean-spirited, but i can't believe this is hugh jackman's wife..

until next time..
<3 alaina

all images from


new layout!

i have finally gotten around to toying with my layout a little bit. it isn't anything fancy, but i think it suits my taste a little more.

my weekend has been really good, but i haven't had much time to accomplish what i wanted. i need to write a paper that is due monday. tonight randy, myself, and a couple of our friends are going bowling, so i definitely need to finish up my schoolwork, like, ASAP!

the one thing i really wanted to get done this weekend was see about volunteering at an animal shelter nearby. i WILL call on that today, and let you guys know if i can get something set up with an organization.

as for something fun, here is a video i found by this artist Matt and Kim that is just super fun. they have a couple of songs i really like. their sound is fun and their videos are hilarious!

anyway, this is quick because i've got a lot to get done, as you can see. have a wonderful & relaxing sunday, dear readers!

until next time..
<3 alaina



happy saturday, readers!

i mentioned a couple of days ago that one of the things on my list of things to do is to write a short story. keeping this goal in mind, i rooted through my computer to try and find things i composed in the past. i knew i had written at least a couple of short pieces of writing - i was going through one of those defining "who am i?" moments and turned to microsoft word a lot.

i did end up finding some documents that were written in november and december of 2008. i was 19 at the time (i am 22 now), living in san diego and in my 2nd year at san diego state university. it was a tough time for me, as i was learning some painful lessons about growing up and the ways in which people change.. something i might go into later if i can muster up the courage.

i found this certain document that, i'll admit, is a little bit weird. but the me of today admires the daring philosophical-ness of the 19-year-old me. it took me a couple times to remember what my point really was when i wrote this, but i think it is something interesting to think about. i did make a few corrections (there were some errors in wording i just couldn't be okay with) but tried my hardest to preserve the thoughts of my former self.

without any further introduction, here is a very short piece by 2008 alaina for you all to enjoy:

          "I used to write all the time. What happened?

         I used to write. I used to enjoy it, too. The best things I ever wrote were before I experienced very much. The more you experience, the more your imagination decomposes. The greatest writers aren’t the ones who have experienced a lot and then write about those experiences in new, innovative ways. The best writers are the ones who write about the most absurd things, like children using their imaginations. When you have an imagination, nothing can stop you; there are no walls, ceilings, or budgets to creativity. Often times I pray I could get my imagination back.

         With an imagination, you can dream up anything. I can create a monster, called… Hornbladt… who is a drag queen by day and super slick drug enforcement agent by night. Absolutely nothing has to make sense. Hornbladt is gay but refuses to have sex with men. He only sleeps with women. No, he never sleeps with anybody. But only kisses women. That makes more sense, only because it absolutely doesn’t.

         Thinking of Hornbladt, I become liberated. I am beginning to learn that being too sensible is my problem. I look at all these people around me, all these children, full of imagination. They don’t let anything hold them back. Police officers, dutiful parents, protective older siblings, school officials; look at those who participate in meaningless sex, stuffing illicit drugs up their noses, sleeping through classes without care, driving without using a hands-free device. Maybe to be careless, rebellious, eccentric, maybe that means you have more of your imagination left than most people.

         Then there are people like me - people that have experienced thoughtlessness, carelessness, and have given it up in the name of morality. I walked away from being able to think I could do whatever I wanted. Now I am responsible, clean up after myself to make life more pleasant for people around me. I turn in assignments on time to please professors and study hard to get good grades for my parents. I am faithful to a loyal boyfriend. But the more I think about it, I realize I am too proud to screw up. I am too proud to be free. I would never give others the satisfaction of knowing that I have the ability to fail a midterm, to accept a mixed drink from a stranger, to answer a text message while I am driving. I am too proud to relax. So which way is right? Those who live guided by a moral compass, or those who have the ability to live beyond it?"



the picture says it all!

i don't really have much to say today except to wish you all a wonderful weekend!

until next time..
<3 alaina


fast obsession: crosswords

hello all!

the other day i was at marshall's department store with randy and our friend, and i came across this huge-ass book of crossword puzzles. being an english major, i love crosswords because they put my brain to work and are so rewarding once you finish a puzzle. however, i usually become very discouraged because most of them are just a little too advanced for me.

i took a chance though and politely asked randy to splurge the $4 for this book of 350 crossword puzzles. and boy, am i glad i got it! it's only been a couple of days, but it is so much fun! it's even been something nice for randy and i to do together right before bed. it's relaxing and the teamwork makes both of us feel stronger as a couple.

i couldn't find the book i got on line anywhere (since it was $4 and at marshall's, it's probably a piece of ancient history), but i did find some others i would totally be interested in trying out:

i am an avid reader of, so anything celebrity-related is right up my alley! find this crossword book here.

if you're into the whole 'green' movement, you NEED this puzzle!

the cover of this crossword book looks so relaxing! the new york times is infamous for their crosswords, and this is just one of many great collections of them.

there are crosswords for kids, cats, cars, movies, tv.. almost anything you can imagine!

have fun solving! and until next time..
<3 alaina


did someone say.. kittens!!!

image from

a litter of kittens was found in our warehouse at work today! there have been at least a couple of cats that have been roaming around back there for a couple months now, but the kittens were definitely a shock to all of us! there are 5 in total and they are cuter than words. 2 orange, 2 dark grey, and 1 lighter grey-ish mix-colored one that i am in LOVE with. just like in the picture above, we found them in a box, though they are much smaller than the ones in the picture. mama cat got scared away when the kittys were found, but hopefully she will go back soon to tend to her little angels.

one of my bucket list items (mentioned in this post) is to volunteer at an animal shelter, and the discovery of the teeny tiny kittens in our warehouse gave me such an ich to help little animals! i've resolved that i am going to call around this weekend to ask about different volunteer programs in my area. i don't do much volunteering (terrible, i know!) but there are so many great charities and causes out there!! having a doggy of my very own, i have the largest soft spot in my heart for little furry ones, especially ones who do not have homes. animals (domesticated ones at least) rely on us to take care of them, and unfortunately many people, for whatever reason, aren't able to give their pets the love or care they need, so they end up in shelters, or homeless, or worse.

sorry, have to pull myself out of debbie-downer mode. anyway, i will keep you all posted about my efforts to find a local shelter. go out in your community today and see what you can do to help!

image from

until next time..
<3 alaina


reflections: grammy awards 2011

i finally got through watching the grammy awards from what, 2 sundays ago?? it's a little hard with work, school, and a life to make it through a 3 and a half hour block of television.

overall, i was a little 'eh' about this year's show. were there even awards being handed out? i felt like it was just performance after performance after performance....

that being said, i finally decided which was my FAVORITE performance at this year's grammys. hands down, mumford & sons, avett brothers, and.. we could have done without bob dylan. no offense, the man is a legend, but he kept getting drowned out by the music! maybe it was the mic tech's fault or just time not being too kind on his voice anymore.

here is a semi-shotty video of the performance in case you missed it:

look at how much fun they're having! it made me want to jump through the screen and join those boys on stage. and bonus: they're easy to look at ; )

if you like what you've seen, you should check out their albums.

until next time..
<3 alaina


not myself for a day

can i be keiko lynn for a day? please???!?!?!?!

look at this girl - doesn't she just have the coolest sense of fashion?

i have such intense clothes-envy whenever i look at her blog.

actually, i changed my mind. i want to be best friends with keiko lynn for a day. she can dress me, take me shopping, and our doggies can play together all day long.

all photos were borrowed from keiko lynn's blog. if you have the slightest interest in fashion, you need to check out her page!

until next time..
<3 alaina


it's raining somewhere..

hi all -

hope you're having a relaxing sunday! i am currently en-route to my mini-vegas-vacation.

it is supposed to be raining in southern california and even into parts of nevada, including las vegas. like most people i'm sure, i LOVE cuddling under tons of warm blankets and having a movie marathon when it's all wet and dreary outside. here are some of my favorite things to watch on rainy days:

 breakfast at tiffany's is my all-time FAVORITE movie, so i look forward to plugging it in on a day that i don't have much i need to get done. there's even a very romantic in-the-rain-kissing scene, so it's perfect for when the weather's drizzly.
 i was a little late on the mad men train, but boy, do i LOVE this show! it's everything you love about the 1960's - the fashion, the dynamics, the smoking and drinking at the office. and if you have all 4 seasons on dvd, you've got yourself a full day marathon!
 bring it on is just a fun movie to watch when you have nowhere to go. it's funny to see how the perception of high-schoolers has changed since this movie came out eleven years ago. fun fact: the high school in this movie is actually san diego state, where i went for my first 2 years of college.
 garden state is a great movie to watch when the weather is less-than-perfect outside. it's got the perfect amount of symbolism and thought, but not enough to tire you out from thinking and analyzing too much. plus zach braff and natalie portman are so cute together in this movie!
 i know foreign movies aren't for everyone, but amelie is such a fun, innocent, visually-stimulating movie! as if i didn't want to learn how to speak french bad enough before, this movie makes me speak in a french accent for hours after i watch it.
here's a little something for the fellas. this movie is just too hilarious for words, especially if you haven't watched it in a while. randy and i plugged it in after not watching it for about 5 months, and each joke hit me like it was the first time i'd heard it. strummin' da bayyyyse.

tell me some of your favorite rainy day things to watch!

until next time..
<3 alaina


the bucket list

*disclaimer* if you're expecting this to be in regards to that jack nicholson/morgan freeman movie, you should navigate away from this page. sorry!

the other day i was making a list things i would like to do soon (both for this blog and in general), and i thought it would be cool to make a bucket list! but because i'm kind of lazy and i feel like most people's bucket lists overlap anyway, so i just looked one up online.

here is the list i found (it was the first result when i googled "things to do before you die"). i started reading through and it is awfully long - i mean, 50 things! i could be here all day. so i thought i would talk about some of the more interesting ones. anyway, without further babbling:

4. Live like a local for a month.
this one i would looooove to do!! although i don't really know if i would want to go to another country. i think it would be really interesting to live as a new yorker for a month. although i do live in the los angeles area, it is WORLDS apart from new york. i'm sure other people would say go to italy or france or china, but for some reason, new york calls to me.

29. Learn how to make a national dish.
this is kind of funny, because i just thought the other day i wanted to try a couple of new recipes. but instead of something national, i wanted to try cooking with beer. i know it's probably ridiculously easy, but it feels a little taboo, so i think it would be fun!

33. Spend the night in a storied/historic hotel.
i kind of did this one already. when i went to new york for the first time, my dad took me to the chelsea hotel. i was kind of in a pseudo-punk rock phase at the time, so i wanted to visit the landmark that had housed so many musicians, artists, designers, warhol-worshipers... we actually ran into alicia silverstone as she was checking out. clueless is one of my all-time favorite movies, so i was star-struck, to say the least.

48. Bike the Pacific Coast Highway.
umm, that's quite alright. my dad has done it enough times for the both of us. unless i get to ride in one of those things you attach to the back that little kids ride in. i never got to go in one of those. it's one of the biggest regrets of my life.
all the rest of the ones on the list are traveling-related. while i do want to travel, i think there are probably more things i would like to do before i die that can be accomplished without having to pay for flights and hotels and all that.

for those who are interested, here are some items from my own list:
-volunteer at an animal shelter
-go on a photography day trip (which i intend to do soon)
-go to a karaoke bar
-write a short story

until next time..
<3 alaina


fashion profile: tim chauran

first of all, happy friday everybody!!!!

i thought i would change it up a little bit and treat you all to fashion-related post today.

among my family and their friends, a phenomenon has started called "what tim's wearing." long story short, my dad has exceptionally good taste in fashion. his wardrobe is always very coordinated and thoughtful yet natural and effortless-looking. one day, my stepmother posted a picture of his outfit on her facebook page. 20 comments and some innocent heckles later, it has turned into somewhat of a phenomenon. then someone had the idea that there should be a blog started that focuses only on my dad's outfit each day (which i still think is a great idea). since this blog has not yet materialized, i thought i would share some of my web space and showcase my father's fabulous fashions.

this picture was taken in 2006 or 2007 during our family trip to France. as you can see, even back in the day, my dad had style; and, dare i say, some modeling skills.

jump to december 2010 at my little brother's 7th birthday party. here you can see tim is sporting a simpler look, but accessorizes with some facial scruff, tinted shades, and a beige hat. the clean white tee almost seems to serve as his 'pop' color.

here are the photos in question that started the appreciation of my dad's style. i stole these images from my stepmom's facebook (although when she sees this, i think she'll approve). as you can see, my dad's pretty hip, to say the least. not only because of his fashion sense, my dad has been a pretty awesome one throughout the years!

the funniest part, though, is that because of his general look and his fashion interests, my dad looks scarily similar to tim nordwind from the band ok go:
love you, dad :)

until next time..
<3 alaina


my weekend trip!

so i hope you have all been having a wonderful week!! tomorrow is friday, which is always something to look forward to. and as if that isn't good enough, monday is president's day, which (for most people anyway), means an extra day off from work and school!! i'm lucky enough to have a short hiatus from both, so i'm very excited about that.

to celebrate my 3-day weekend, i have decided to take a short trip to...

my friend erica (see more about her in this post) had already planned a trip and suggested that i meet her there. the big deal about this trip is that i have not gotten to go to vegas since i have turned 21. ever since my big birthday i have really wanted to have the 'vegas experience,' but with everyone's work schedules and other responsibilities getting in the way, my friends and i have never been able to coordinate spending any time there.

this being said, when i found out erica was going, i felt a tiny pang of jealousy. i know most people feel that going to vegas is overrated, but it's something i've never gotten to do! i feel like in our society, it's almost a rite of passage. i do have to admit, though, that i am a little nervous about the whole thing. randy won't be able to come because he is working, and i haven't met the other people erica is going with. but you know what, i am going to look at this as an opportunity to do something that will be very fun - i will get to see erica (it's been since december!) and i can cross it off my list of things to do. i also haven't had a girls trip in a loooooong time (if ever. sad, i know!) so i am very much looking forward to whatever vegas has in store for us.

after the weekend i will definitely make sure to share pictures and any stories with you guys. i promise to be safe and use good judgment (that's for you, dad), but i am looking forward to cutting loose a little and having fun with one of my best friends! erica's birthday is right after the trip, so we are celebrating my new-found sense of adventure as well as another great year of erica's life!

until next time..
<3 alaina


today i admire: kandee johnson

today i wanted to write a post about a person i deeply admire: kandee johnson.

kandee is a makeup artist that has worked in los angeles and new york and also hosts makeup 'conferences' that teach people new tips and tricks of the makeup community. kandee also posts videos on youtube about makeup tips & tutorials, fashion, hair.. anything under the sun that's related to beauty.

aside from her talents in the beauty world, kandee has a wonderful spirit. she is always encouraging her 'fans' to reach for the stars and to dream big. it's really refreshing to see someone who takes time out of her life (she just had a baby about a month ago and has 3 other children, so you know she's a busy gal!) to tell people how special they are.

kandee posted this video on valentine's day, and i think it's message is something to really think about:

if you want to know more about kandee, you can visit her makeup blog or her personal blog.

no matter how scary the world can seem sometimes, never give up on your dreams!!!

also: i have some exciting news for you guys coming up!!!! i have made kind of an impromptu decision to take a little trip this weekend (part of my whole welcoming new experiences mantra). check back in the next day or two to find out where i'm going!

until next time..
<3 alaina


my most favorite hobby..

one of my favorite things to do for fun is take pictures. i have always been told that i have a good eye, but i never really took making anything out of my hobby that seriously. it's not like i'm a professional photographer now, but if i'm on a trip or visiting a new place, i make sure to bring my camera along in case there are some interesting things to capture. plus, i figured out a 'name' for myself (baby a photography), so i figure i'm at least half way there ; )

here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the past year:

going through my iphoto, i realized that i need to get out there more and start snapping away! this year, i am ready to start taking this seriously. hopefully i will get to take some engagement photos for a couple we know that recently got engaged, a trip up to northern california for a san francisco giant's game with my sweetie, and i'm sure many more unforeseen opportunities where i can try and take a couple good pictures.

for those of you who are curious, here is what i'm working with these days:
image from

it's a nikon d3000. personally, i like the look of the nikons better than cannon or some of the other brands. i still have a LOT to learn about how to work it, but i enjoy trying to capture the realist representation of an object while highlighting its beauty. randy got me a zoom lens for christmas, and i'm hoping to get a fish eye someday soon. the only thing i don't have is a name for my baby. yes, i am taking suggestions.

i would love to be able to seriously do something with this one day, and will keep all of you posted about my efforts to develop my 'craft.' hope you enjoyed, and until next time..

<3 alaina

ps, all pictures with watermarks were taken by me. i hate watermarking, but i've seen how people take credit for things unfairly on the internet. if you want to see some more of the stuff i've done, take a trip to my horribly out-dated baby a photography myspace page.


today i LOVE...

happy valentine's day everyone! whether you love or loathe this holiday, i think it's nice to think about the people who have made an impact in your life. in accordance with today's holiday, i would like to dedicate this blog to a few of the important people in my life. granted, there are many more who definitely have my love, but here are some of my MVP's (in no particular order, of course):

1. my family.
what would i be without my family? they have been there for me since day 1, and through difficult times and easier ones, have always stuck by my side.

my immediate family consists of my dad, my stepmom, and my brother. fortunately for me, i work with my parents (we have a family business-type situation going on), and i try and spend as much time with my little brother as possible. my brother, aden, is about 15 years younger than me, so i'm kind of like a half-mother to him. it is so neat to watch him grow up day by day and see how much of a little man he is becoming.

2. my man (& our dog, OF COURSE!)
sure, i had been in love before during my lifetime, but i would consider it puppy love, at best. meeting randy changed my life completely. we got together in the middle of my first year away at college. i had known him since i was about 18, but just as friends (he used to think i was weird!). when things got romantic, it was completely out of left field, for both of us i'm sure! today, i couldn't imagine my life without him. and with our doggy, lilly, in the mix, life is pretty great. i couldn't imagine better 'roommates' and friends, and i hope i get to spend my life with both of them by my side.

3. ericaaaaaa...
oh how i love me some erica!!!! erica is pretty much one of the best people i have in my life right now. on superbowl sunday 2010, our friend danny brought his new girlfriend to watch the game at our friend's house. 'ohhhh great,' i thought, as i am not really a girl's-girl. little did i know it would be love at first meeting! the boy has since faded from the picture, but erica and i continue to become closer and closer each day. she is the best person for drunk texting (on both the sending and receiving end), for tear-filled phone calls, for video chatting, and for just being myself around. i am so happy that a chance meeting turned into what i hope is a lifetime of friendship. she had to move back to her hometown after graduating college, but is courting some graduate schools that are much closer, so i can't wait for her to be back soon!

aside from those mentioned above, i have the priviledge of working with some really great ladies (you know who you are) and there are a couple people i have met in college that have been really great friends. even though most people HATE valentine's day (it even gets on my nerves, and i'm in a relationship!), i think it's nice to tell someone what a big part they play in your life. i could do with less of the teddy bears with magnets in their mouths sitting on heart-shaped pillows, but you have to admit, having someone say they love you AND they give you chocolate?? doesn't seem like such a bad deal to me.

until next time..
<3 alaina