The ABC's of Me

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My fabulous friend Lindsay over at The Flynnigans did this cool post “The ABC’s of Me” and I loved it so much that I did one for myself.  It's a different version than and I really liked this one. Each letter begins a new question.

A- Age: 31.  I’ll be 32 in August!
B- Biggest fear: Dying young, before I get to experience all the wonderful things this life has to offer.
C- Current Time: 8:18pm
D- Drink you last had: Yeah, that would be diet coke. I don’t drink much else.
E- Easiest Person To Talk To: My Momma…about everything…and I mean everything!
F- Favorite song: My favorite song right now is "Invincible" by Kelly Clarkson. There's also "Little Toy Guns" by Carrie Underwood. Her lyrics are amazing!
G- Grossest Memory: Gonna go with when I did ‘test makeup’ for a TV Show I was working on. The character in the show was supposed to get attacked by a badger and they needed to plan the makeup for it. I got to be the test dummy. It was actually a lot of fun!
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H- Hometown: Sacramento, CA (where I was born)…Roanoke, VA (where we’ve been since 1993)
J- Jealous Of: Women who have awesome wardrobes.
K- Killed Someone: I ran over a squirrel once :(

L- Longest Relationship: 9 months
M- Middle Name: Pauline
N- Number of Siblings: 1 brother
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O- One Wish:  To be able to look back and have no regrets.
P- Person who you last called: Mom 
Q- Question you’re always asked: When people find out I don’t drink alcohol
à “Really? Not even wine?” No, that is alcohol…duh!
R- Reason to live: To enjoy this amazing life that we have been given.
S- Song you last sang: “Everything is Awesome”

T- Time you woke up: My alarm started going off around 5:00am and I got up at 6:00am.
U- Underwear Color: Purple from Target
V- Vacation Destination: No vacation this year.
W- Worst Habit: The amount of diet coke that I drink.
X- Xrays you’ve had: In 2014 alone I had an MRI done and a couple CT Scans done. Super fun!
Y- Your favorite food: Pizza!
Z- Zodiac Sign: Virgo.  

What are your ABC's?

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What I'm Reading

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I must say, I'm doing pretty good this year with my reading. I'm actually ahead on my Goodreads Challenge and I'm usually waaaaaaaaay behind! Here's what's up in the book department and a new book challenge I just found out about :)

What I Just Read
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate I will admit that I totally bought this book due to the super cute cover. I don't usually read age levels below YA, but who can resist baby animals? I know I can’t! When I read the synopsis on the back of the book I thought it would be a really cute story. After all, it had received rave reviews from other readers.  In the end, I was not as big of a fan. There was a lot of death in this book. Death due to the mistreatment of animals. There were some really sad moments in the book. So sad! I finished it though and it does have a happy ending.

What I'm Currently Reading
Zoo by James Patterson I started this book just last week. I picked it up from the library on Monday (6/15). When I found out about the television ‘event series’ based on the book I had to get it! I’m a sucker for books turned into TV shows and movies. The book is really good with lots of action. I have just under 100 pages left, so I’ll definitely be ready when the show premiers on June 30th.  

My Reading Challenge Updates
Total Books this month: 1 (I’m on my second right now)
Total Books read this year: 11/20

I recently found out about a book challenge that the Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts. It’s really cool, so I want see if I can do it with the year already half over. Let’s see where I stand ~ 

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o   a book you’ve been meaning to read: The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton
o   a book published this year: Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling (Sept 29, 2015)
o   a book in a genre you don’t typically read: The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate (children’s books…ages 8-12)
o   a book from your childhood: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
o   a book your mom loves: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
o   a book that was originally written in a different language:  Andersen's Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen (originally published in Danish)
o   a book “everyone” has read but you: Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
o   a book you chose because of the cover: Cinder, by Melissa Meyer
o   a book by a favorite author: Cat and Jemima J, by Jane Green
o   a book recommended by someone with great taste: Zoo, by James Patterson (my dad has great taste in books…not always the same taste, but he’s usually right on)
o   a book you should have read in high school: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
o   a book that’s currently on the best seller list: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

This is actually perfect, because once I finish Zoo I’ll still need to read 8 books for the Goodreads challenge. Now I have them all figured out thanks to the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge!

What have you read lately? Also if we aren't already, be my friend on Goodreads!

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It's Friday!

I haven’t done a High Five For Friday in a really long time, so I thought I was due for one. I’m really glad to be back to blogging regularly. My intention was to be back regularly before this week, but I had the great idea to do a slight redesign and that took up my evening time. It was fun and I’m really happy with it. What do you think?

As I was searching through the World Wide Web for all sorts of things for my new design aspects, I came across some pretty cool fonts. I’ve always wanted the Walt Disney font and now I do! WooHoo!  I apologize for not saving the links to where I found the fonts, but all you have to do is google the name of the font and bingo! You’ll find several websites where you can download it for free. It’s amazing how many different fonts there are out there. Soooo many cool things!
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Over the weekend I went shopping with a girlfriend. She wanted to hit up Old Navy, because they were having a massive sale and $1 flip flops. I definitely got a new pair of purple flip flops. I also grabbed up a super cute new key chain ~ did I mention that I have a thing for lady bugs? I got lucky that the letter was an “M” which can stand for Movie Star or my last name.
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On Tuesday I was downtown with a friend. We grabbed a slice of pizza and then walked around. It was crazy hot outside and all of the stores were already closed (sleepy little downtown), so we walked to the library. When we got there we found a little concert going on. Two musicians from the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra were playing some lovely classical music. I love the library! 
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I know that I said I wasn’t going to post very much about my weightless/health journey, but I’m really proud of myself for getting to the gym at 5:15am! That's all I'm going to say.
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I was watching the news yesterday morning and the weather person, Kristina Montuori, had on my Ralph Lauren dress! I love this dress. It's super comfy and I feel great it in it.  It's kind of cool to see your dress being worn by a local tv personality here in Roanoke!
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I'm linking up this post with September Farm for oh hey, Friday!

and Bright on a Budget for High Five for Friday

and xoxo Rebecca for That Friday blog hop

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All material © Erica Musyt

Facebook is My Nemesis

Google defines the term ‘nemesis’ as the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall. In Greek Mythology Nemesis is the Goddess of Retribution, Punishment, Vengeance and Fate; often referred to as one’s worst foe or bitter enemy and the dispenser of dues. Well, that’s how I feel about Facebook. I know, I know, it’s a bit dramatic.
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I officially joined Facebook in 2006 when I moved to Los Angeles and at the time it was a way for me to stay in touch with people back on the east coast.  There was a time when I had hundreds of Facebook friends. It was great to see what was going on in everyone’s lives.  Sometimes, though, it made people feel even further away.  As it turns out, not even Facebook can help you keep in touch with people. 

It got to a point where I would take a look at my ‘friends’ and realize that I don’t talk to a good amount of them in real life. When I say ‘real life’ I mean talking to them on the phone, texting, emailing, or even visiting them when I went back east (or them not reaching out when they were in LA). I began to delete some people and I would get the “Did you delete me? Why would you delete me?” comments from those ‘friends.’
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Almost ten years later I still find myself feeling the same way about Facebook. A lot has changed in my life over the last couple of years and when I left northern Virginia I decided to give myself a clean slate. That included unfriending some people on Facebook. My four years up there were a bit rough and I just wanted to start over. I shouldn't have to apologize for that. It's my life and my business.
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I feel like so many people depend on Facebook as their main form of communicating and I really didn’t want that for myself anymore. Being 'friends' on Facebook doesn't mean you're actually friends with someone. If you and I do not have any interaction apart from Facebook, what are we doing? What is the point? 
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I would say that, not including family members, I have about five really close friends. I’m totally happy to be someone that has a few really good friends versus a couple hundred friends that don’t really know me. I have a good friend up in northern VA that I still keep in regular contact with via email and text. We toss little emails back and forth several times a week. I'll actually get to see her in July when I'm up there for the Taylor Swift concert.  A good friend of mine here at home is married with two kids and totally has her hands full, but we see each other at least twice a month. We make time for each other.

There are a few ladies I’ve met through the blogging world that don’t live anywhere near me (Northern Virginia, Maryland & Tennessee), but we make a point to stay in touch with email and texting and we are actually all making plans to visit each other! I also have some friends in England that I met through Twitter and we mail letters to each other. Actual mail! Can you believe it? If I ever make it to England I would definitely call those ladies up!
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I'm not saying down with Facebook. If you love it, that's awesome! It's just not for me anymore. I don't want to leave my relationships up to Facebook.  I think we take for granted the time we have in this world and I don't want to do that.  Let's not leave our friendships & relationships up to Facebook anymore. Let's make plans, call each other, write a letter.  Let's stay in touch, for real this time!

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Summer Swaps

I love SWAPS! Especially book swaps and all things that are meant to be happy swaps. I was lucky enough to participate in two swaps this summer, back to back. I was also very lucky to get paired up with two awesome partners. First up, the Sunshine Box Swap hosted by Always, Abby & Mrs. AOK, A Work in Progress.
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I was paired up with Alanna over at Alanna & Company. Alanna only started blogging in November is quite the pro. Her blog is awesome, so you should definitely check her out.  Alanna sent me some really great things ~ a Peacock Journal, Watermelon Lemonade scented candle, a book mark that reads Keep Calm and Have A Cupcake, and some yummy hand lotion from Bath & Body Works. The lotions is fantastic and I’m carrying it around in my purse so that I have it on ‘hand’ at all times. I’m saving the journal for something special, but the watermelon candle has already been lit! Thank you so much Alanna!
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Next swap was a Summer Reads Book Swap. I love book swaps! With this one, hosted by Life with Rose and American Honey, you were to send your partner three books ~ a book from their wish list, a summer read, and a book you thought they would like. 
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I got a great partner for this. Her name is Tiffany and she’s fabulous! She blogs over at Endless Bliss, so go check her out.  Tiffany sent me some great stuff ~ Cinder by Marissa Meyer, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, and This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. She also sent me a super cute tote bag, a book mark and two pins. One pin says I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie and the other one is to show that I’m a member of Dumbledore’s Army!
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I had so much fun getting to know these two ladies during the swap process. I can’t wait to sign up for some more!

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All material © Erica Musyt

5 Shows I'm Watching This Summer

Between working on my blog design and working at work, my eyes are completely crossed! I don’t think I can look at another computer screen if my life depended on it.  Plus, I’ve been watching an insane amount of television.  Which brings me to the subject of my post.
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I had heard amazing things about this show. I don’t have Showtime and it doesn’t come on Netflix. Brilliant idea ~ Library!!! The library has it and I’ve already watched the first two season in less than a week. I am in love with this show.  I’ve been a fan of Claire Danes ever since My So-Called Life and I’ve seen so many of her movies. She is undeniably fantastic in this television show. Damien Lewis plays the Marine/Terrorist/hot guy on the show. He’s pretty awesome too. The two of them together is fantastic and I’m just rooting for them. I’ve only watched the first two seasons, so I have no idea what/who/anything is coming up.

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Orange is the New Black
Of course I have to watch this! Seasons 1 and 2 sucked me. I can’t binge watch this one though, because I can only handle so much girl on girl action.

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Devious Maids
I LOVE this show, especially because of Susan Lucci. She’s a ‘minor’ character, but fabulous! The story lines are so creative and catchy. I can’t wait to see what these ladies get up to this summer. Plus, Naya Rivera is new to the show and she’s a perfect fit.

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I’m really excited for this one. Zoo is based off of James Patterson’s book with the same title. I’m reading it right now and really hoping that I finish it in time. I’m a little behind, because I didn’t read much over the weekend, but I’m cutting back on my TV this week (soooo much Homeland), so I should be able to catch up and possibly get ahead.

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You have to have a firm stomach for this show. It’s gross and graphic and all kinds of fabulous. My mom doesn’t understand how I can watch it, because it’s so graphic. It doesn’t really bother me too much.

PS ~ I'm also totally hooked on Drop Dead Diva via Netflix (and I got my mom hooked on it). I absolutely love this show! I watch a few darker shows and this one is so great and happy and positive. Check it out!

What are you watching this summer? Anyone keeping up with The Bachelorette?

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All material © Erica Musyt

Hello Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and that your day is off to a great start. You might have noticed a few little changes to Looking to the Stars   a new about me blurb, new header, and new side bars. I’ve added a little sparkle to the look as well! I love sparkle!  I still have new buttons to make, so those will be up soon. I have a fresh new Facebook page for you to follow, please go check it out. I’m still trying to figure out a few things on my own with the whole design thing, so bear with me! I’m going to leave you with Carrie Underwood’s Little Toy Guns video. It’s such a great song with very powerful lyrics.

I hope you have a fabulous day!

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All material © Erica Musyt

now i am invincible

my current theme song ~ happy saturday :)

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All material © Erica Musyt

Inspired by Tragedy

If you have ever traveled for work, especially to a trade show, you've probably experienced a few keynote speakers. This past week, I was in Orlando, FL for the Collaborate Marketplace Tradeshow and got to experience a few keynotes: Chelsea Clinton, Bill Roseman, Anderson Cooper, and Mark Kelly and his wife.
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Captain Mark Kelly was our first keynote speaker. Mark is quite the accomplished man; a Navy Pilot and a Commander for NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor. He's been in space four times!  Mark spoke a lot about his experience with the Navy and NASA.  He talked about how team work, communication and collaboration is exceptionally important in accomplishing your dreams. Mark also spoke about his wife, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and her incredible journey.

In case you are not familiar with Gabby Giffords, here's a little background on her. Gabby is a retired American politician from Arizona. She represented the 8th congressional district of Tucson, AZ in the United States House of Representatives.  On January 8, 2011 Gabby was a victim of an assassination attempt in her hometown of Tuscon.  If you're a fan of the HBO show Newsroom there is a great episode that covers this incident (Youtube Clip). I hate to admit it, but this was the first time I had heard about Gabby Giffords and I only started watching Newsroom in December 2014.  When the incident happened in real time I was still living in Los Angeles and not a big news watcher.

Anyways, Gabby was at a supermarket where she was meeting with constituents. Gabby was injured by a gunshot wound to the head (a 9mm shot from only three feet away). Twelve other people were injured and six were killed in the shooting, including a nine year old little girl. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR all pronounced her dead. They were very very wrong! She had been taken into surgery. Both of her eye sockets were fractured and she was in a coma for ten days. Gabby had to have two major brain surgeries. Over the course of time, Gabby recovered and even reappeared in Congress. In August 2011 she made her first public appearance since the shooting to vote in favor of raising the debt limit ceiling in the House of Representatives. Gabby did retire in 2012 to focus on her recovery.

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 When Mark introduced Gabby as she walked out on stage I was brought to tears. Her story of survival, among so many other survival stories, was truly inspirational to me. Gabby loved being in Congress and working for the people to make a difference. She was doing what she loved! Gabby still has some difficulty with her speech, as well as walking, and her right arm is paralyzed.

In January of last year, the three-year anniversary of the shooting, Gabby went skydiving to mark the day!  She said in an interview with the Today Show, "Oh, wonderful sky. Gorgeous mountain. Blue skies. I like a lot. A lot of fun. Peaceful, so peaceful."

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All material © Erica Musyt

11 Things I Still Need My Momma For

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A girl will always need her momma. I know I will :)  Glamour magazine featured an article back in May 2011 called 11 Times You Still Need Your Mother. Oh so true!

1. When the love of your life gives you a diamond ring...or meets someone else.
Well, I certainly don't have a diamond ring on my finger. The last guy I dated, well, I'm the one that broke up with him. My mom is always there for me to talk to about my boy problems. Some people don't really get how I can talk to my mom about stuff like that, but we have a great relationship. We're good like that.

2. The moment you pee on a stick and it's (OMG!) positive.
She would definitely be the first one I tell when/if that happens!

3. On the morning of your birthday, when no one else is going to call till noon.

4. When someone gives you a compliment so lavish you'd be embarrassed to repeat it to anyone else.
There are definitely some things that I've told my mom that I'm too embarrassed to tell my dad or anyone else. That's what moms are for, right?

5. When you find a lump. Or she does.
With regular appointments, I pray that neither of us have to deal with this one.

6. When the kids you're babysitting won't stop crying.
There was a situation last summer where I had to call mom for this. I got stuck babysitting for a friend that fell asleep, because she was so 'tired' from the night before. Mom calmed me down and I got through it. At least now I know I can handle a two year old and a 7 month old.

7. When you get your first pink-eye or food processor...or mother-in-law.
I've never had pink-eye (I don't think). My best friend got me my first mini food processor and I was so excited that I did call mom. No mother-in-law yet!

8. When you need someone to assure you that yes, 30 is still really, really young.
Mom constantly tells me that I'm still young.  Thanks mom!

9. When you need to know the exact shade to fix your undereye circles.
My mom used to work for Estee Lauder. She's my go to for makeup.

10. When the recipe calls for evaporated milk and you're standing in the grocery aisle wondering, is that a powder? A liquid? A gas?
I still do this, all the time!

11. When you've swung up to the sky, and it doesn't seem real until she applauds.
My mom is my biggest supporter, besides my dad and brother of course.

What do you still need your momma for?

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All material © Erica Musyt

Back to Basics

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Happy Thursday everyone! After an unplanned hiatus from the blogging world, I have returned. I'm currently at the airport on my way to Florida for a work trade show. It's been a busy month for me with work and friends and family. It's been a good month and I'm glad I took my little break. I discovered that I really needed it. I was able to get back to me a little bit and remember why I started Looking to the Stars in the first place.

Two years and nine months ago I started this blog. I was working the evening shift at the front desk of a hotel with not a whole lot to do. My best friend had recently started her blog and it got me thinking about blogging again. I had attempted blogging twice before. The first time was a book blog and it dwindled. The second blog was supposed to chronicle my adventures in online dating, but that one went nowhere. I decided to give it another go and it turns out that the third time really is the charm! I've been blogging regularly for almost three years. I have met so many amazing people through the blog world and I love every minute of it. However, I was starting to feel daunted by it all.

I was putting too much pressure on myself to post five days a week. Sometimes coming up with a topic was hard and I copped out with something super lame (at least I thought). I felt like I had to participate in certain link ups and things to keep readers interested. I was so worried about how many followers I had; not only on the blog, but other social media platforms as well. I was also putting myself in a position of being too personal. I love all of my readers, but some things I should have kept to myself.  Not that I was TMI or anything, but I feel like I was putting too much of my sh*t out there for the world to see. 

The break came at a good time for me. It's true when they say that everything happens for a reason. I believe that with timing too. A friend and I got down to some good basics about myself and how I'm doing and it was really good! Sort of like therapy in a way. I had my little mini-vacation in Las Vegas and got to let off some steam there. I've gotten a lot of reading done too. I'm actually ahead on my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge and that never happens! I'm inspired more often to write. Just today on my first morning flight to Charlotte I was able to get some ideas down. 

Looking to the Stars is going to change a little bit. I might even change up my design for a fresh little start :)  I'm not going to worry about posting five days a week. I'm not going to worry about getting posts up and published first thing in the morning. I will write when I feel motivated and when I feel like what I have to share is quality. I'm going to focus on my interests, rather than my personal life. You'll still see and read about things that are happening in my life, but when it comes to my weight-loss and search for love journeys, I'm going to keep it closer to home. I have lots of travel coming up in the next 'fiscal year' with work. In August I'll be headed to South Carolina and in November I'll be looking for my cowboy in Dallas! I'm reading a lot more, so I'll try to get some book reviews up. The summer is going to be full of great movies, so you'll probably see some of that too. There are also some link ups that I'll still participate in (cough*write or die*cough).

I hope you decide to stick around. It's still the same ol' me, but I'm a little online wiser now. I have a new Facebook page for Looking to the Stars (Facebook). so please go there and like me :) (I accidentally deleted the original one)

I'm gonna get on the plane and fly off to Orlando now! Have a fabulous day and I'll see you next time!

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PS ~ How do you like my new signature? It's my actual signature!

All material © Erica Musyt