Monday, December 31, 2012

Sayonara 2012...

Well, 2012, this will be our last chat. This year was full of the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm currently sitting on the couch in my sweat pants, as I do most New Year's Eves (because Danny has to work. Like he does every year. Because some jackwagon wants to get married on New Year's Eve. Sigh...If your anniversary is New Year's Eve, huzzah for you, but it sucks for the rest of us who(se loved ones) are making your day special. So tip well punks...). I swear 2013 is the year that I'm gonna get my shit together and party it up right at all appropriate times, like my birthday, Halloween and New Year's Eve. I know that everyone has all their things that they want to talk about from the past year and all the resolutions they're gonna make for next year and blabbity blabbity blah. Clearly, I'm in a bit of a melancholy mood.

I also wanna drop some knowledge about my 2012, but for the sake of my own sanity and so that I don't end up a weepy, quivering mess on the floor, each highlight gets 4 words or less. Aaaaaaaaaand here we go!

New York City!
Built (unused) dog bed
Girls weekend in Wisconsin
Quit job
New job
New tattoo for mom
Parents' 25th anniversary
First scrapbooking attempt
Indians game dugout suite
Inaugural ziplining trip
Got engaged
Mom's surprise 50th party
Finished (ish) the theater
Sand volleyball champions!
Fam visits from Cali
San Diego wedding trip
Moderately successful gardening
Gary died. Shit. Fuck.
New tattoo for Gary
Gary's funeral was AMAZING.
Lost 15 pounds
Found my wedding dress
First pro soccer game
Got new couch! Finally!!
Turned 30
Taco truck tour!
Prison haunted house
Adult footies
Bestie had a kid!
New niece!
Graphic design classes
Wedding plan plan plan
Selected as Date2Remember couple
Didn't win the powerball :-(
Ate great food
Made new friends
Sunday Dinner and Movie

Now, I'm sure there are things that I have forgotten. I have a terrible memory, so that's pretty much guaranteed. In order to remember some of these things, I took a trip down Adventures in Domesticating memory lane and I realized a few things: I REALLY like to be warm. And eat. And say the phrase "Eat/drink them shits up." And that I love fiercely, laugh often and keep on chuggin' along.

2012 has taught me much. I've lost a lot. I've gained a lot. There are things that I would do over again in a heartbeat and things that I wish never happened, but all I can do now accept my life as it has been, be excited about what it will be and say "See ya never 2012!"

Have a happy New Year! Danny and I will be here in front of the fire, watching the ball drop with our pups on the couch. Stay safe out there butterbeans :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Om Nom Nom...Cooper's Hawk Winery + Some Christmas (Self) Shopping Deals

Hey Friendsicles! Huzzah for not being apocalypsed!

So, this snow, right? Old Man Winter has been absent for the past 2 years and he's back with a vengeance today! Danny and I both got off work early today, so we decided to go out for dinner at a new place! This joint, Cooper's Hawk Winery, (which is a much bigger chain restaurant than I thought until just now, when I looked on their website) just opened at Easton last month. I'd been curious about it and Danny and I stopped in a few weeks ago, just to poke around the retail area. Huge pro: They give free samples as you walk in the door. The first time we went, the sample was a glorious sparkling almond wine (which was our wine of choice for dinner tonight). The sample today was a warm spiced winter white. I've never warm mulled white wine before, but I will damn sure be doing it again!

It's a HUUUUUUUUGE space! Ginormous downstairs dining room and a big upstairs balcony that overlooks part of the dining room and kitchen. It was great to be able to see all the action from upstairs. Lots of wood and warm browns, and a very relaxed, yet sophisticated vibe. Danny was happy that they had a good variety of music and even got a few old Stevie Wonder songs in there. 

We had potstickers and crab cakes for appetizers. Both were pretty solid, and the sauces were outstanding! The crab cakes had a crunchy Asian slaw and a lemon mustard sauce...muah! The potstickers had the traditional ginger soy dipping sauce, but also some other yellow mustardy business. I liked it, but I was definitely more into the crab cakes. For the entrees, I had a braised short rib risotto. It was alright. I think it would have been better had I not had a bite of Danny's trio of medallions. There were three slices of filet mignon and each slice had a potato butter topping. I only tasted the horseradish one, but there were also bleu cheese and cheddar. So. Freaking. Good.

Dessert was cheesecake with strawberries. Nothing too special there. The service was great and I really just loved the ambiance. This would be a great Girl's Night Out location, and they have a private barrel dining room, which I LOVE! In all, Cooper's Hawk warms the cockles of my {girl who used to live in the Central Coast of California with 50 wineries and vineyards within 20 miles} heart.

Part 2: A few days ago, I got a coupon email from New York & Co., as I get most days. This one said EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! AND TAKE SOME EXTRA $$ OFF! AND ALL JEWELRY IS $5.99!
Whaaaaa? So of course I had to check it out. I braved Morse Road traffic. During rush hour. The week before Christmas. **I was initially trying to get to FedEx to pick up a package, and Easton was on the way(ish). That's a good reason, right?** If you've ever met me and had any sort of fashion conversation, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with my lower body and clothing. I love my curves, I hate that I can never find damn pants to fit.

Before I even made it to the jewelry, I had about a dozen items to try on (What can I say? It was a REALLY good sale!) and I actually found some stuff that fit! Even pants! In a size 8! Say whaaaaaaaaaat? $230 later, I walked out with 3 button down shirts, 2 sweaters, a puffer vest, a pair of work pants, a pair of skinny jeans, a keyhole turtleneck (I LOVE clothes with fun details, like unexpected cutouts), a sparkly shirt, 2 rings, 2 necklaces and a pair of earrings.

Hey, holiday shopping is stressful. I needed a little reprieve for myself to make it through!

Ooooh, shiny pretty!



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Four Weddings? Nope, One is Enough for Me!

Today was a sick day for me. Took the day off work because I had some terrible things happening in my stomach all night, and as a consequence, I spent almost all day on the couch. A) Food poisoning (me) and/or the flu (Danny) is a dirty pirate hooker. We're both pretty much useless. I am so freaking sore all over, to the point that I can hardly move. It hurts to lay down, sit, stand, walk, pretty much anything is miserable. I've eaten half a cup of rice and 5 Frosted Mini Wheats and I am just cranky and exhausted.

To make things worse, I have gotten stuck on the show Four Weddings. I watched 3 episodes, interspersed with other stuff (namely Love Actually, which I love Love LOVE! It made me cry, as usual, and just put me in a better mood). But Four Weddings is an absolute shitshow. If you're not familiar with the concept of the show, it's 4 women who go to each other's weddings and judge/score them, in the hopes of winning a honeymoon.

All I have to say is that the women on these shows are, for the most part, big ass jerks. "The music was too loud, the chicken was dry, you didn't have enough flowers, I don't like her dress", and so on and so forth. I just wanted to shake them and hiss menacingly at them "How dare you!?" Since I'm planning our wedding, I'm really sensitive to how people react to weddings. I know that these women put their hearts, souls and a shitload of money into their big days and to have a stranger pick it apart like that just makes me CRAZY!

But hey, I wouldn't be mad to win a honeymoon to Bora Bora...just throwing that out there.

Well, Danny's home from work and it's time for us to both be lumps on the couch in our own respective clouds of ick.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Don't Tell Him I Said This...

Danny asked me a couple weeks ago if I had written a blog about him. My response was that I hadn't because I wanted it to be special and that I would probably cry about it, so I needed to be in the correct mind set for it. His response (after getting a very concerned look on his face)? "Don't cry over me!" Oh, sir, if you only knew...

But the funny thing is, he does know. He's seen be at my best and at my worst, gasping for breath from laughing too much, curled up in a ball sobbing on the couch, sneezy and miserable, excited about learning something new, singing and dancing to the Spice Girls at the Olympics (he may or may not have secretly filmed me doing that and put it on Facebook.) and everything in between. He doesn't read my blog, so I can say whatever I want and get as sappy as a maple tree in February (I remember that little tidbit of information from reading Little House on the Prairie books when I was a kid). But since he asked that I not cry over him, I guess I'll keep it short and sweet...

So, today I'm thankful for this guy:
We've certainly had our ups and downs over the past 12 years, like any couple. But no matter what, being friends was always the most important thing in our relationship, even during the times that we weren't together. Beyond being friends, though, Danny has supported me when through funemployment. He's been my shoulder to cry on and when I've needed to be strong for everyone else, he was the one who was strong for me. Every day we make each other laugh, even when one or both of us is in a pissy mood. And we always say "I love you" when we leave, because we are acutely aware that at some point, it'll be the last time you get to say it.

Last thing I am going to say...a few months ago, I asked Danny if he was happy, if he missed the butterflies and excitement of being in a new relationship. He said that he was happy and that he didn't miss being in a new relationship, because he likes having someone to come home to, someone he's comfortable with and who knows him. I like that too. Butterflies are cool and all, but they only last for so long. So, fee-yawn-say, you're pretty radical and I want to shout it from the rooftops! (Boop, boop, boop...).

The series of photos below just about sums us up. We're making weird faces and then I dissolve into laughter. Such is the life ;-)






 Hooray! I made it through 30 days of thankfulness! To everyone who has read along, thank you for making this journey with me. I've realized that I have a lot to be thankful for, and while it's so easy to get caught up in the day to day junk, it's important to take a minute to recognize that. Happy December, lovebugs!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Hour!!

You ever have one of those days when you just need to get a drink after work? I had one of those days today. And I put out the call for happy hour drinking buddies at about 10:00 this morning. (Don't judge me, it's been one of those kind of weeks...)

Folks had stuff to do, so I only had one happy hour homie today, which was fine, because we had some awesome conversations, especially since I hadn't seen her in a while. One of the things we talked about was mental illness, depression, grief and anxiety (sparkling happy hour conversation, I know) and she helped me put words to some things that I think I subconsciously knew, but weren't in the forefront of my mind.

We talked about how being in Student Affairs actually trains you really well to deal with the shit that goes on in your own life. I don't know of many career fields where you may deal with suicide attempts, fires, drug overdoses, alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, physical assault and eating disorders and help people work through those issues. Doing that really helps you be able to put your own problems into perspective. So when I see people on tv in therapy for grief and make great, lifelong friendships, I wonder if I'm doing something wrong in my grief process. But, since we all know that tv is not the end all, be all of difficult life situations, and because I have been a Student Affairs warrior, I can compartmentalize, rationalize and grieve in my own way. And that's okay.

So today, I'm thankful for friends who a) know you well enough to pick your brain about what you're struggling with and b) help you actually put words to the abstract thoughts in your head. Tulls, here's to you my friend :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WTF Wednesday?!?


Oh, hey WTF Wednesday! I haven't seen you here in quite some time! Soooo, remember that time I was driving to work and that school bus stopped to collect a child? Right in front of their house? On a busy street? Directly past a stop light? Oh yeah, that happened this morning. And pretty much every morning when I leave 4 minutes later than usual. And today when I had to go on errands to buy gifts for our employee holiday party.

You know, I get that folks want their kids to get safely on the bus. But for real? Morse Road? Couldn't you pull into the apartment complex instead of stopping traffic on busy ass Morse Road? When I rode the school bus (cue curmudgeonly old lady voice...) I had to walk to the nearest school and wait. Granted, it wasn't that far away, but I definitely wasn't getting door to door service. And the bus wasn't holding up traffic 18 times in one mile to pick up 18 kids.

Here's how I see it...parents don't seem to be letting the kids out of their sight. So rather than making the bus stop 57 different times, bundle your kids up and walk/drive/bike them to the nearest school/church/fire station/what-have-you, hang out with 20 other kids and parents, hawkeye your own kids and STOP GETTING IN MY DAMN WAY!!

In other news, I went to Target today to get some extension cords for our holiday lights. Should have been 10 minutes and $10 right? An hour and a half and $200 later, I finally made it out alive. So today, I'm thankful for Target. Thinning bank accounts and supplying all the things you never knew you needed since 1962

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dammit, I Just Can't Quit You!

I was gonna get in the bed an hour and 40 minutes ago. Not to go to sleep, but so that I could read and get all snugged and warm under the blankets. Thanks to the miracle of the SyFy network, I got sucked into 2 episodes of Total Blackout and 2 episodes of Scare Tactics. Whenever I go over my mom's, I end up getting sucked into some crazy ass reality shows. Yesterday it was Catfish. The time before that it was Couple's Therapy. These are hours and hours of my life that I will never get back.

So today, I'm thankful for all the ways that my tv wastes my time, makes my brain a little mushier and gives me a little mindless escape from the everyday!

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum!

Holy moly! I absolutely didn't do a blog yesterday! But I'm making up for it now :-)

Remember that time I had a minor temper tantrum about ridiculous Christmas song lyrics? I still whole-heartedly stand behind those statements. And I had my first christmas shoes hearing of the season yesterday. Notice how I don't even validate that song by capitalizing the title? I think I've discovered the secret to being able to love on holiday music for 5 weeks without wanting to scratch your own ears off after hearing "Feliz Navidad" for the eleventy billionth time. (Side note: Did you know that there are only 19 words in that song? Repeated over and over and over for eternity.)

Tip 1: Wait until Thanksgiving to listen to your holiday tunes. I avoided 93.3 fm like the plague, since they decided that Halloween was a good time to become a 24 hour holiday music station. How rude.

Tip 2: Mix it in with some other music. Don't get me wrong. I have 5 Christmas music stations on my Pandora. That does not mean, however, that I've completely ix-nayed my other stations. Please believe that there is still a sufficient amount of booty shaking music that makes its way into the rotation.

Tip 3: Recognize and be okay with the fact that there are really only like 14 Christmas songs. Remixed, mashed-up, jazzed out, punk rocked, cartooned and christmas shoed (it gets its own damn category, because not once have I ever heard someone do a cover of that hot mess.)

So today, I'm thankful for holiday cheer. That fine balance that's just enough to satisfy my Carol of the Bells craving for the next 11 months (Let's be honest. I'll listen to it at some point in the summer. In my car. With the windows up. Belting it out at the top of my lungs.), but not so much that I'm curled up in a drooling huddle on the floor whisper screaming "Pa rum pum pum pum!" sniffing pine scented candles and shoving candy canes in my face!

Happy holidays lovies!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Gettin Hot in Hurrr, So Take Off All Your Clothes! Wait, What?

I like to eat and I like to be warm. Definitely two of my favorite things, as I've talked about footie pjs (btdubs, I have mentioned footie pjs 4 separate times over the past year. Guess it's a good thing I finally got some!), heated mattress pad, hot chocolate, road trip snackums, you get the picture.

So, in keeping with that tradition, today I'm thankful for aaaaaaaaaaaaall this. And today is the inaugural fireplace fire of the season! Huzzah!

Unfortunately, my fire building skills are not on point. This is Danny's work.

It's one of my favorite features of our house. I sit on the floor as close as possible to the fireplace and rotate every few minutes when one side of my body starts feeling hot and jerky-esque. I love the way it makes the house smell like camping. I like to attempt to cook things over the fire. See how it all comes full circle? Fireplace, I salute you and your roasty toasty goodness!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Do you have a thing that you do that you're a little ashamed of? Something that you don't usually tell other people, because you're pretty sure that they'll judge you? I'm not talking about anything destructive, like hiding a gambling or drug addiction, but something a bit more mundane...a guilty pleasure if you will.

I watch "Pretty Little Liars" on ABC Family. Danny gives me shit about it whenever I watch it (but he knows the story line. As much as he teases me, he watches it right along with me!), but what he doesn't know is that I'm currently reading the PLL series. I'm on book 10, I'm pissed because the TV show is so far off the books and I get it on my Kindle, so no one ever has to know my shameful little secret ;-)

When I was younger, if there was no one at the house but me, I would crank up Mariah Carey's first album, especially "Vanishing" and "Vision of Love" and belt them shits out like I was the next star of VH1 Divas, high ass dog whistle note and all. But really, let's keep it real...I still do that.

Cheese. Lots of it. It goes all up in my belly and makes my mouth happy, even though I KNOW eating half a wedge of bleu cheese is something that no sane person should ever do.

There are plenty of other things in my life that people would probably give me the judgey eyes for, and I'm not gonna share. Because a girl's got to leave some mystery, right?

So today, I'm thankful for guilty pleasures. The little things you do just for yourself, because they make you happy, no matter how weird or awkward or frivolous or out of the norm that other people may think they are.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Littlest Things

You ever have one of those moments when something unexpected pops up? I bought some cable knit leggings at Target last week and I didn't have a chance to wear them until today. Opened the package and noticed it said "fleece-lined." Whaaaaaaaaa??!? Why has this not been a thing until now? Who made the executive decision that all leggings sold in cold weather areas should not be fleece lined?

Or what about when you find some money in a pair of pants that you haven't worn in a while? Or that time when cold weather hits and you get to rediscover all your cute coats and jackets that haven't seen the light of day for 8 months? How about when you hear a song from way back in the day and a) you remember all the words to it, even though you haven't heard it since you were in high school and b) it brings back all sorts of ridiculous memories?

So, today, I'm thankful for all the little surprises in life. The things that just make life that much richer, completely by accident, but totally appreciated!

What are some little things that have happened to you recently that just put a smile on your face?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Once, Twice, Three Times a Laddddddddddyyyyyy...

Yesterday, Danny and I were so excited to be able to sleep in today and not have to set an alarm clock. Wouldn't you know, at about 6 a.m. I woke up in a panic because I thought I forgot an ingredient for the mac and cheese (I didn't). And then a few minutes later, Danny's phone rings because his a.m. cook hadn't shown up and was over an hour late for work (he had way overslept his alarm). So by the time we got everything figured out, it was about 6:45 and of course we were both wide awake. Yeah for no alarm clocks!

Anyway, today's the the biggun! You gotta save your super important stuff for Thanksgiving, because it's...THANKSgiving. Duh.

So, today, I'm thankful for my family. They have been awesome all my life, and most especially over the past few months. Check it. These particular rascals right here just make my life better. They make other people's lives better too. We all have such distinct personalities, but as we've all become adults, our relationships have gotten much stronger and we are the best damn mishmash of women in the land.

Despite everything that we've been through this year, we've got style, we've got grace, we are WINNERS! We are LADIES! (And apparently in my mind, we're really aggressive about our ladyhood. Don't worry about it. That's how the Waters women roll.)

I love y'all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Everybody's Working for the Weekend!

There are lots of folks out there these days who don't have jobs. I have friends who've been in that situation, I've been in that situation. It's just a thing, an unfortunate fact of life.

So today, I'm thankful to have a job. It's meant to be a learning experience, a way to get my foot in the door in my chosen field. It pays the bills and helps keep my days occupied. However, I spent a couple of hours today sitting on the floor purging old files. Not exactly my life goal, but there you have it. At least until I have the chance to create a bigger and better opportunity for myself ;-)





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Violet! You're Turning Violet, Violet!

Hello. My name is Violet and I'm a driving machine!
I've had the pleasure of living in some pretty awesome places. Before moving back to Ohio three and a half years ago (Whaaaaa?!?! It's really been that long??), I lived in California, and before that, Ohio again, and then before that, I was in Florida. Interesting...I seem to go from warm to cold. Damn it Ohio, I just can't quit you! Anywhoosies, since March of 2005, I've had THIS sturdy beast that has driven me across the country numerous times.


So today, I'm thankful for Violet. She's driven over mountains, through deserts, under arches, along beaches. She's been backed into, kicked, driven on E for miles and miles (Many, many times. But she's never completely run out on me. We have a pretty good relationship.), had broken struts, had brakes changed by yours truly (That's a personal sign of bad assery for me: the fact that I can get up under a car and change the brakes. I know how to exactly two car tasks, beyond checking fluid levels, and changing disc brakes and wiper blades are them.), spun out on ice and packed up my entire life and moved me to a whole new world. She's also keeping my house running right now while the Jeep is in the shop. She makes being a one car household a pleasure :-)

"Look out butterflies! I'll eat you for breakfast!" - Violet
Miss Violet, I raise a glass to you (From the driveway of course. Not condoning drinking and driving!) and your awesome ability to keep on chugging, no matter how hard I drive you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shhhh

It's been a long day and tomorrow is another early one. So today I'm thankful to be able to take a break from verbosity...a little silence goes a long way. Good night pretties :-)

A Change in Scenery

Well, the dishwasher is running, all the food's put away and we're getting ready to hit the hay after today's dinner and a movie. A couple months have gone by since Danny and I decided that we wanted to have better connections with people, especially the folks who are important to us, because who knows what may happen in life, right?

I have been much better about talking to my sisters and family in general on a regular basis, and hanging out with my girlfriends more often. We've got some dinner and a movie action happening. Danny and I applied to be a part of A Date 2 Remember and we were selected to participate in the fashion show/date auction in February, so we'll be all about making new friends and connections for that!

So today I'm thankful for being able realize that life isn't about just getting stuck in your daily grind with your usual stuff. It's about being able to try new things and go places you've never been. It's about inviting people into your home and having a good time. It's about bringing people together who may not have ever known one another otherwise. We're going to have a house full of people for Thanksgiving this year. Every other year, we got into our annual habit of going to either Cleveland or California, and that was our holiday. It's always been a great time with family, but that's not what's happening next week. I never would have thought that our house would be a holiday dinner house, but this year a lot of things are different. And different can be good.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bang Bang

I like to think of myself as a classy lady. I have red fingernails. I like to wear high heels. I drink martinis. My coat has a big, flouncy ruffle on the bottom. Classy broad, right here!

But oddly enough, one of my favorite forms of entertainment is loud, fast paced, usually involves sexy men and is best experienced with other people.

So today, dear hearts, I'm thankful for action movies! You don't have to think too much, there's always something to keep your attention, they're often pretty irreverent and raunchy as hell and it's so easy to just sit back and enjoy. I think a big part of the reason I love them so much is because of Gary. I know that he LOVED kung fu movies and pretty much anything with fast cars and good shoot-em-up scenes. I remember always sitting in the back room and cranking up the volume and watching Terminator or sitting in the living room watching Kill Bill or the fight scene between the Hulk and Loki in the Avengers. And there was always something a little magical about going to see an awesome action flick at the theater and feeling the sense of camaraderie when the entire room cheers after the bad guy get spanked and sent to bed with no dinner!

Another reason I love these movies is because the women are almost always bad asses (I mean, have you seen Linda Hamilton do her gimpy legged, one armed shotgun cock and shoot in Terminator 2?!? My absolute favorite favorite FAVORITE example of badassery.) Of course you'll have your occasional damsel in distress, but far more often, you'll have Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider, Rachel Weisz in The Mummy Returns, Uma, Vivica, Lucy and Daryl in Kill Bill, Helen Mirren in RED and you get the picture. Then you have the late blooming badasses, who start out damselly, but then get their shit together. Perfect example? Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. The stripping scene in the hotel is both epic and beyond ridiculous. In short, the ladies in these movies just GSD (get shit done) all day long.

Huh. That was weird. Pretty sure my inner feminist just came out to say hello ;-)

Anyway, there's just something kinda sexy about the action flicks, even the ones that have an actor playing the same role over and over again, because that's pretty much all he can do. Jason Statham, I'm talking about you. All you can do is drive cars fast and punch/roundhouse kick things. But you look delish while you do it, so I'm okay with that.

What are some good ones to add to our collection?

Friday, November 16, 2012

We Do Have Kids. They Just Happen to Have 8 Legs Between the Two of Them...

I've never been an animal person. Danny, however, is the damn dog/cat/rabbit/duck/what-have-you whisperer. When I was growing up, we had one dog. That dog, Lui, died when I was 19, and within a year, we had 2 dogs and a cat. I don't even know how that happened. But I was in college when this all went down and the only other significant amount of time I spent with the pets was when I moved back home for a year after college. Even then, I lived in the basement and they never went down there. The first time that Danny and I lived together, we had 2 cats, which was a huge mess, as a) I'm allergic to cats, and b) they were some crotchety old critters, one of whom scratched my face up and puked in my purse. So, there was no love lost there either.

I remained petless and dog hair free for several more years until I moved back to Ohio Danny. By that time, Danny had a dog and 2 cats, but I was living on campus, so it didn't matter. During the 2 years that I lived on campus, we went from having 1 dog and 2 cats to 2 dogs and no cats (We totes did a pet trade. I couldn't live with the cats and Danny had a friend who was moving and couldn't take her dog to her new place. Win win for everyone!).

So, today I'm thankful for our pups. I know that we have definitely had our ups and downs (You remember Dog-Mageddon, right?), but I do love them. Like, a lot. I'm not really big on clingy neediness, which is a big part of the reason why I don't have kids, and these pups are 70 pound lap dogs and all they want to do is snug all up on you. I also hate dog hair all over the house. But these two are big ole luvbugs.

I take care of them when they're sick. I give them super belly rubs. I throw Lola's ball over and over and over. And over. I feel terrible that I'm not as physically affectionate to them as they want to be to me, but I am so thankful that they love me, no matter what. When I'm sad or don't feel well, they just lay with me. When I'm at the house by myself, at least one of them will follow me from room to room, so that I'm not alone. They protect me from the vacuum cleaner monster (which can get really annoying when I'm trying to clean the house, but I know that it's coming from a place of love.) They eat the tops from my carrots when I'm making juice. Any stray ice cubes that fall out of the freezer? Instantly taken care of by the pups!

So, Bozz and Lola, I <3 yous guys. You still can't lay on my feet, and stop stealing my damn blankets at night! But thank you for protecting me and loving me. Your cold nose nuzzles are much appreciated!

See? Lapdog!

3 of my favorite critters all snugged up.

Look at those puddums!

Damn You, Dick Wolf!

Quick! What's the best way to kill a few hours time? Best background noise while you're folding laundry? The thing you can find on tv, pretty much any day, any time? That's right!! Law & Order! Now, I'm not a huge fan of the whole franchise, but there's really only one that matters, right? SVU, duh! Which is what I'm thankful for today.

Have you ever noticed that the only time a single episode comes on is during the prime time slot when new shows come on? Any other time is a whole marathon. This is what happens...Saturday afternoon, you haven't gotten up and showered and started your day yet. You're just flipping channels until it's time to get going. Oooh, look! Law & Order: SVU is on! I haven't seen this one. Let me just watch for a few minutes, then I'll jump in the shower...8 hours later, you're sitting in a cloud of your own funk, glassy eyed, hungry and wondering why it's dark outside. Oh, wait. That's just me?

Do you also notice that no matter how many episodes you get sucked into watching, whenever there's a marathon on, you are almost guaranteed to have never seen 80% of the shows? How is that even mathematically possible?!? I think that I've seen at least 300 hours of SVU through the course of my life, but I never feel like "Oh, I've seen this one. The neighbor did it. I don't need to watch it." And without fail, Every. Single. Time. we watch an episode, Danny exclaims, "Damn you, Dick Wolf!" because that sumbitch always leaves you hanging!

The next reason I'm thankful for Law & Order SVU needs very few words...Christopher Meloni. Stone cold, stereophonic FOX! Nuff said.

Point 4...You can always, ALWAYS tell what season they're in just by Mariska Hargitay's hair and makeup choices. The pixie in later seasons was a good look for her. The early dark hair and lipstick combo? Not so much.
Season 1. Dark hair and lipstick. Yeesh!
Season 9. Much better...

Tamara Tunie, I want your hair. Not in a creepy "It puts the lotion on or it gets the hose again" skin suit kind of way, but I really want for my hair to grow into those glorious curls!

As a final parting gift, I saw this on TV today and needed to share it with you lovelies. Go ahead and skip to 2:00. You can thank me later...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tasty Num Nums

My dinner tonight was smorgasbord of weirdy mcgee stuff...Campbell's Chunky tomato soup with pasta, a delicious dark stout beer, a chunk of bleu cheese and two poptarts. I know what you're thinking: "Wow, that girl is a food con-o-soor!" And you sir or ma'am would be correct.

I mean, I'm not really a connoisseur in the traditional sense of the word, but I do like to eat. And I really like to discover new flavors and how they interact with each other. So today, I'm thankful for those little papillary (btw, the term papillary means "a small, nipplelike projection. Tee-hee...nipplelike projection!) marvels called taste buds. I'm not gonna pretend to get all scientifical and whatnot, because I'd have to wiki the eff out of how taste buds work. I'm not gonna lie, though. I did google this subject just now, but all I saw were big words, taste descriptors and medulla oblongata. Whenever medulla oblongata comes up in conversation it just makes me think of Water Boy and then I can't take it seriously anymore.

But that's neither here nor there. Have you taken a bite of something and had it bring back a great memory? Or taken a taste of something, a bite of something else, and had your whole mouth experience completely change? That happened today with my bleu cheese and beer, and it just made me smile. Sip of beer, bitter. Bite of cheese. Another sip of beer, nutty and a little sweet. Mouth Magic. Boom.

To me, that's one of the greatest joys of eating. Finding tastes and smells and textures and learning how they interact with each other. Wheat Thins and Nutella are an amazing combination. Pretty much any cheese (Except for Gruyere. That shit smells like feet and chocolate when it's melted. I'm sure it tastes good, but I can't get past the smell. See, it all comes full circle...) and pretty much any fruit will take you far in life. What are some of your favorite food/drink combinations?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Whole New Woooooorld...

You know how sometimes you just have to go a little crazy? Let your hair down and sing it out?

I did that on my way home from, which is why today, I am thankful for the relative anonymity of my car and here are the top 5 reasons why:

  • I love being able to belt out songs and know that no one is judging my scratchy, cough-ravaged voice. 
  • Sometimes my inner thug just needs to be let out. I'm sure I would have frightened many a little old lady had they heard my charming rendition of "Murder Was The Case." 
  •  I curse like a sailor when people cut me off or lurk in either the damn merge or pass lane without paying attention to the fact that people are trying to, I don't know, merge or pass! (EARMUFFS or EYEMUFFS, since you can't really hear me saying this: Some of my favorites are "dick biscuit," "fucking cuntbag,""asswagon," and "pretty pretty princess!" That last one's not really true, but I didn't want you to think that I'm a completely terrible person.) It's really good that the other drivers can't hear me. 
  • Showtunes and Disney songs? Turn them shits up all day long!
  • I have personal dance parties in my car. I guess that part's not as anonymous because others can see me. But it's really fun to get all the way down to funky town, knowing that the driver next to you is surreptitiously watching you, and then look directly at them and make eye contact, like "I know you're watching me, and now you know I know. How uncomfortable are you, car voyeur?!?" 



Monday, November 12, 2012

Weird Girl Alone

I can be awkward. I'm okay with it. I'm strange and I like it. As I write this, I'm having a wild west showdown with the dog and a rolled up piece of paper because he thinks it's appropriate to be on the uncovered part of the couch. I think he needs to be on his section that's covered with a sheet. Danny is sitting between us doing the showdown sound: "Oooweeoooweeoooooo, waaa waa waaaaaa....." We're an odd little family. And it is good.

So today, I'm thankful for the folks in my life who love me for my weird awkwardness, and embrace their own. I like having folks around who don't bat an eyelash when I burst into spontaneous, made-up song. Friends who will jump up and dance like silly fools with me as I make up a very thigh-intensive routine. Ones who understand my phobia of hospitals and point out that I'm getting all tense and squidgy when I don't realize it. People who don't tease me (too much) about my love of 1980s Schwarzenegger movies. Family members who also appreciate warm snuggly clothing-ish choices, such as the footie onsie and Superman snuggies.

Thanks for not letting me be a weird girl alone ;-)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Gonna Be Me!

First of all, happy Veteran's Day, and a huge thank you to the men and women in our armed forces who risk their lives and sacrifice time with their loved ones on a daily basis.

Another thing I'm thankful for today is alone time. Since Danny had to work, I've been by myself for the most part, all weekend, with the exception of my class. And I'm okay with that. I've breakfasted, lunched and dinnered alone. In public. Gasp! (really, I'm totes good with that. I do it pretty regularly because a) I'm not self-conscious about it and b) by the time I'm ready to eat, I don't want to futz around trying to get someone to go with me. I'm most likely a hungry, cranky monster by that point.)

I was able to eat cereal for dinner today and not get teased because of my frosted mini wheats/granola/pecan/flax seed mix. I eat grandma cereal...don't hate on my colon healthy choices!

I've had a chance to catch up on my stories. Granted, some of these shows are over a month old, so I still have dumb ass campaign commercials, but at least I can fast forward them :-)

So, it's been a good weekend and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have some me time, but everything in moderation, no?



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today Has Been an Ugly Day, or, Thank You for Being a Friend, Travel Down the Road and Back Again...

Today started out pretty rough...I'm in the drainage stage of the ick, which means it's almost gone, but on the other hand, my entire head is fucking leaking. And I have been incredibly sad all morning. Like crying for 2 hours. Finally, I decided that I had to leave the house early, because I won't allow myself to be a weepy, snotty mess in public. So here I sit at Cup O'Joe, red-eyed, puffy faced and exhausted (because crying and sneezing and coughing really takes it outta you!), writing my thankful entry for the day, since what I'm thankful for today is a big part of my sobfest this morning.

Today, I'm thankful for my friends. (And I'm going to try really REALLY hard not to start crying again. Because I'm at a coffee shop. And we have already established that I won't allow this to happen in public. So take THAT, tear ducts!) I don't have a million friends, but I do have a lot of friends that go way back into my past, as well as some newer ones. I feel incredibly lucky to have had some amazing people in my life who, no matter how far away or how long it's been since we've talked, when we see/chat with each other, we just fall right back into that familiar rhythm.

This morning was a sad one because of Gary (obv), but then to compound that, there were some happy tears involved because of how much love and support I, and my whole family, received from these folks (clearly my emotions never got the memo that sad=crying and happy=smiling...gotta work on that). I'm not one to use the word "blessed" unless there's a really damn good reason, and this is one of those reasons. I must have been a very good girl in a past life to be blessed with people like these in my life now. I can't tell you enough how infinitely grateful I am for you, but I want to say it so that you do know. Thank you for being you. (Effffff! Tears happened, but I was able to get them before they left my eyeballs, so that counts as not crying right? I'm gonna give myself that one.)






If your pretty face isn't in this shitshow of pictures, it's not that I don't love you, it's that I don't have a pic of us...and we should probably change that! Also, I really need to get one of those picture stitchy doohickies, because I get so frustrated because I can never make the pictures line up in any sort of discernible fashion.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Favorite Babushka!

When I say my favorite Babushka, I guess that implies that I have more than 1? It means a "triangularly folded headscarf for the head" (of which I have none) or a Russian term for grandmother (of which I have 2). Oh boy. This could get awkward...oh, but wait! We're not Russian, and I don't refer to either of my grandmothers as "babushka," so, no favoritism there!

Anywho, today I'm thankful for my favorite Babushka, which is Babushka's Kitchen. I've been in love with this little gem of a Polish restaurant for well over a year (you can find out about that here...), and they have been closed for several months, relocating. They finally opened back up in the past couple weeks and we are going for dinner tonight!!

Saurkraut and dumplings? Yes please!
Fresh kielbasa? Why, don't mind if I do!
Golabki? Get in my belly, you saucy little minx!
Pierogi? If you insist!
Kolachky? Can't resist it!
You get the picture.

And then we're going to the movies. Probably a waste of $20, because we'll both most likely be in a food coma, but that's a risk we are willing to take ;-)

Happy Friday, lovebugs!

***UPDATE: After experiencing the first sleepies of a food coma, we decided to RedBox it up and spend the evening at home. I think that is the best decision for everyone involved...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vanity Plates Are for D-Bags...Or Are They?

I'm going to begin this with a disclaimer. The man I'm marrying has a vanity plate. If you know him pretty well, you know what it says and he knows how I feel about it. It's pretty douchey and has made for some interesting experiences when I drive his car. With that being said, on we go!

I'm not one for vanity plates in general, especially ones that have the driver's name. I mean, are you gonna forget who owns your car? This is the scenario I imagine:

Vanity plate owner walking through grocery store parking lot: "Jeez, I just can't remember where I parked my hot pink Hummer that I parked diagonally across 3 spaces! There's one the next row over, but I just don't know if it's mine. (walks 1 row over) Well, I guess it could be mine, but I'm not sure... (Looks at license plate) The plate says AliKat! Good thing I have this vanity plate!!"

Clearly, an exaggerated situation, but vanity plates aren't my thing. If you have them and love them, more power to you. I'm not judging (unless you have them on a hot pink Hummer, or any Hummer parked across more than 1 spot).

I have, over the years, seen some really good ones. So today, I am thankful for people who come up with clever vanity plate. The folks who have a sense of humor and make my drive a little more entertaining. Here are my favorites:

Brdwy Kd (Cynthia, remember when we were in college and would see this plate walking back to the dorms at least once a week and I could never figure out what it said?)

IMDC8U (What do you think this person's profession is?)

REEPCHP (Whenever you can make a reference to one of my favorite literary series, you get super cool points in my book all day long!)

Along the same lines, shout out to my girl Ishy...congrats on getting your license!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thera-what? Thera-fluuuuuu!

Some kinda ick hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. Danny and I were getting our drank on and watching the election and cooking last night, and around 11 p.m. I had a raging headache and my throat was starting to get scratchy. Danny said that I was just getting a pre-sleep hangover, because, let's face it, we had been drinking for about 4 hours by that point. I know my body and said, "Nope, I really hope I'm not getting sick. This is not from being rum drunk."

Clearly I was correct. Super sore throat today, headache, feeling like my brain was stuffed with cotton, tired, body aches and lady parts in turmoil (Just as an added bonus. Thanks for that, ovaries!). Shit was suuuuuper uncomfortable all day. And then on top of that Danny and I had an interview this evening, so I had to put my big girl shoes and smile on and rally up.

So for today, I'm thankful for my footie pjs (again) and Thera-Flu. Because I'm warm and snuggly while I drink my medicine, and I am so excited to crash the eff out in about 20 minutes. The next few days will be full of hot tea, tons of water, shit loads of sleep and fresh juice.

Sleep well butterbeans!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Soooooooup!

I got bored with the "Thankful, Day xxx" titles, so I'm scrapping that. But don't you worry, lovebugs, I'm still sharing what's making my little heart smile. I'm gonna see this once a day business through, dammit!!

Today I'm thankful for the flavors of the season. I have a couple of butternut squashes roasting in the over to make some butternut squash soup with wild rice and sausage. It's gonna be soooooo stinkin good tomorrow after all the flavors get a chance to meld and marry overnight. I'm thinking I might make some stuffed pumpkins and chocolate bread pudding too.

Yummo! (Tulls, that was for you...I know how much you luuuuurve Rachel Ray...)

What are some of your favorite fall num nums?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful, Day 5

Today, I'm thankful for the ladies of the suffragette movement many years ago, who fought for me to have the opportunity to get out and exercise my right to vote. So tomorrow, that's what I'll be doing, and I hope you will too, if you haven't already.

Happy Election Eve, y'all!



***Spoiler alert*** Tomorrow I'll be thankful that all this political grandstanding and bullshit will be done. I'm infinitely grateful to be able to vote, but the way people handle their candidacy these days is incredibly disgusting.

Aaaaand, I'm off my soapbox ;-)

Thankful, Day 4

Today I'm thankful for having friends from different points in my life be able to come together and just laugh and be inappropriate over good food :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful, Day 3

Today, I'm thankful for the opportunity to learn something new, something that I have wanted to learn more about for a long, long time. I will always regret not having gotten as much knowledge as I could from the best teacher in the field that I know of, but Gary, this one's for you. I took my first continuing education class in a graphic design program today and it was AWESOME!

I realized 3 things in this class: 1) How much I genuinely miss going to school. 2) How creatively stifled I have been. 3) I have a really high threshold for tedium and picky little tasks :-)

So I guess this one's a twofold thankful day...Not only am I thankful for the opportunity to learn something new, but I'm also thankful to have had someone in my life to give me the budding inspiration to pursue graphic design as an outlet for my creative side.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful, Day 2

Today I'm thankful for: Adult footie pajamas. And wine. Boom. Notice my footies are foxes. I like to call these little nuggets my Foxy Soxies...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful, Day 1

This year has just been the dooziest of doozies...parents celebrated their 25th anniversary, I got a new job, I got engaged, Mom turned 50 and got a kick ass surprise party, Gary died and I turned 30. Let's just say the ups and downs have been quite drastic.

Right now, I'm trying to do a few things in my life: Lose 30 pounds, plan our wedding and make better connections with people. And in light of the fact that it's November 1 (I like to start things on nice round days), now is a great time to get my life together and really do these things in earnest. Also, Thanksgiving is this month, so that's a great incentive for me to get back into blogging regularly. A post a day about what I'm thankful for, even if it's just a sentence, will get me into the habit.

I guess today is a good day to start fresh on where I am with my current life goals:

Weight: 171 lbs (Down from 183 before Gary died.  Thanks for the depression diet!) Gymmed it up twice this week.
Wedding: I'm actively working on our wedding website and finding a photographer. I hope to have the website live by the end of next week (at least the parts I'm working on) and keep adding to it periodically. Bought my dress a few weeks ago and we're still working on a ceremony site.
Reconnect: We've been doing weekly(ish) dinner and a movie at our house and we have a good time when people come over. I know everyone has their things going on in their lives, and it's not a big deal but I do feel a little hurt when people blow me off. I don't often invite people to do things because I've been blown off enough times by most people in my life that I don't really like to put myself out there. But, I'm trying not to take it personally, and I'll keep asking people over. And the fun part is that Danny and I clean the house together and cook, which has kinda become our Sunday thing :-) I've also been trying to call my sisters every week, just being better about talking to them more regularly. I miss those girlies immensely...

Thankful, Day 1: Thankful for my heated mattress pad! It's been cold at night, but I held strong to wait until today to put it on the bed (I told you, I like starting things on nice round days). We are about to be reunited and it's gonna feel so good!

Until tomorrow, lovebugs <3

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sometimes, You Just Have to Let It Out...

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to write. But I need to get it out, so with tissues in hand, here I go.

Driving. Always driving :-)
On Saturday, August 25, the world became a darker place. My stepdad, Gary, was killed in a motorcycle accident. I was up cleaning the house, getting ready to go to the gym, when my phone rang at 8:52 a.m. Everyone knows you just don't call me before 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and when I heard my mom's voice, I knew something terrible had happened. I'm not going to go into the details, but I was at my mom's house within a half hour and we hugged and we cried and we started calling people. The worst part was when my mom had to call and tell my sisters because they live so far away and could do nothing but scream, cry and be in shock.

When everyone made it home the next day, it was hard, but we had each other to lean on. We started making plans for his memorial service because we knew he wouldn't have wanted a funeral where everyone was all sad and weepy and serious. Gary was an amazing artist and graphic designer and had tons of friends who are also ultra creative, so we had help pouring in from all over the city. He loved movies and music, so we held the service at a movie theater. There was an amazing video made with pictures of him and clips from his favorite movies and songs. We spoke and honored his memory, and even though he would not have wanted us to cry for him, every single person in that packed, standing room only theater did.

All of the people who spoke talked about his kindness, his love for Jack Daniels, camping, driving and inappropriate jokes, his acceptance of everyone and his ability to make you feel like the most important person in the room. I had so many people tell me how proud he was of his girls, and how even though weddings were not his thing, how excited he was for mine. I had come to a decision a few days before he died about who I was going to have walk me down the aisle and who was going to have the father-daughter dance (because both Gary and my father have been hugely important in my life), but now the point is moot.

In the midst of all the sadness and heartache, I was able to have a few hours of happiness because my entire bridal party (plus a few extra VIPs) was in town, so we were able to go wedding dress shopping and I'm pretty sure I found "The One." I've been able to spend more time with my family all together since before I left for college. I've reconnected with some people I had lost touch with years ago. I've realized how much I miss my sisters and how proud I am of them, even though I don't tell them nearly enough. I've fallen even more in love with Danny, after watching him just step in and take care of things when I was a big snotty puddle. I realized how much people rely on me to be the rock, and that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was.

So Gary, I have you to thank for all of these things. But I wish, more than anything, that I could call you up and hear you say "Hey Poot-head! What's up?" I'm so sad that I won't get to go see the newly remastered Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at the theater with you next week. I regret more than anything not having gone on that last family road trip to Vermont because I had to work. And nothing breaks my heart more than you not being here to walk me down the aisle.

I can't hate you for leaving us, because you brought too much good into my life and the lives of countless others and you honestly died doing what you love. But goddammit, this is the hardest fucking thing I've ever had to deal with, and I don't know when (or if) it'll stop hurting so much. Until then, I guess I just have to feel what I'm feeling and trust that I, that we all, will be okay. 

Here's to you Gary. You lived life on your own terms and everyone who knew you was better because of it. I love you always. Shots of Jack Daniels all around!


The first of many cross country drives to move someone to or from California.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Slow Down and Enjoy...

Okay, so I never do a two-a-day post, but I had a revelation as I was folding laundry and I needed to share it with you all...

Last Thursday, Danny and I went to Pecha Kucha. If you've never been/heard of it, check this out. It's a great opportunity to interact with all kinds of people and learn about all sorts of things you may never have considered. At last week's PK, one of the presenters was Bear Braumoeller from Slow Food Columbus. His presentation basically said that food quality has been getting progressively worse over the years in America and that in order for us, as a society, to change that, we need to slow our food down and really enjoy it. We can teach ourselves to appreciate a variety of foods that taste good and are good for us, so that we will no longer be satisfied with the subpar swill that fast food restaurants and big chain grocery stores shove into us.

Today, I had an eggplant and a tomato from my garden and I had NO IDEA what to do with them. So I diced up the eggplant and pan fried it, diced up some onion, garlic and my tomato and sauteed them all together into a sauce. Add some angel hair pasta and voila! A perfectly seasoned, light meal with all sorts of interesting smells and textures, like crunch from the eggplant, a little bite from the pasta and liquid silkiness from the tomato sauce. And as I took my first bite, I said to Danny "Everything about this is right..." He just shrugged and went back to eating his canned soup and bread (I offered to share, but he doesn't like eggplant. His loss...). I don't think it fazed him, because when I cook at home, I often say something along the same lines.

Now this is not to say that I'm a perfect cook by any means. But I realized something tonight. When you take the time to make something that you want, that you like, prepared to your specifications, seasoned to your tastes, it just makes a better eating experience. The whole process, from dicing the eggplant, to getting my hands dirty with the flour and egg wash and breadcrumbs, to the pop and sizzle of the oil in the pan, to the smell of caramelizing onions and garlic and finally, to that first, luscious bite. In that moment, everything about my meal was right.

So thank you, Bear Braumoeller for putting the seed of an idea in my mind to slow down and enjoy my food. And I'm so excited that today, the idea finally blossomed into one perfect meal.

Just Do It

Yesterday, I put a call out to my FB friends because I need to get my life together. I need to lose weight and get healthier in general. I need to save money. I need to renew and strengthen my connections with the people who are important to me. I need find ways to express my creativity.

For the past several months, up until Danny and I went on vacation, I have been dealing with some pretty nasty anxiety issues. I'm feeling much better now, but if they come back, I'm going to have to see someone about them. Until then, I'm trying to bring more joy and wonder into my world and I realized that I can't do it by myself.

The reason I put the call out to my FB amigos is because I get so stuck in my own head that it's really easy for me to lose focus of who and what is important to me. I get nervous asking people for help because I've always felt like I need to be the strong, stoic one and I don't want to be a burden, because I know everyone is dealing with their own issues. Even now as I type this, I'm getting a little heart-racey because I know I'm going to put this out there for the world to see.

So I decided to acknowledge that fear and work around it and ask for help. Hopefully the people who have expressed interest in being Accountabilibuddies (Candice, you rock for introducing this word into my life!) will be able to create a strong network for one another and make things happen for the better in their own lives.

Nike, thanks for telling me to "Just Do It." I did something that I wouldn't normally do because I am ready to make a change. Let's see where this first step leads, shall we...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Like a Shiny New Penny

Yesterday, I was all ready to get a payday pedicure. Fresh shaved legs, skirt on so they could get to my legs, flippy floppies in my car so I could go straight after work. Then I realized that I'm a damn adult and needed to buy groceries. Sumbitch. And the fee-yawn-say was at work, so I had to unload all the groceries at home by myself. Hell's bells.

Today, I was gonna get a post-payday pedi. Then I realized that I'm a damn engaged adult and have to pay for a wedding next year. So I decided to spend $15 to get stuff to do my own pedi several times, rather than $40 to go to a nail shop once.

Even though I missed having my feet and legs massaged, I think I did a pretty dang good job. And I got a super cute new fall color, Copper Penny.


Sometimes, it's just the little things in life that make me smile ;-)

P.S. Lazy Girl Sangria is even better the second day! Just one more little thing to make this day even better...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vegetable Dilemma...

So, this summer has been drrrrrryyyyyyyyy and hooooooooooot. Meaning that I haven't had great turnout with my garden this year, much like last year (Except the reason for my low turnout then was punk ass squirrels, late planting, the first year of the garden and too much rain. Basically, last year's garden was just a crap concert). However, the garden has been putting out lemon cucumbers, black krim tomatoes and mint like that is its damn job! Well, I guess it is the garden's job, but that's neither here nor there...

I am ENAMORED with the colors of these foods!
Anyway, today I had several lemon cucumbers and tomatoes picked and ready to do something. I just wasn't sure what. I also had a half a bottle of red wine and some triple sec. There was some salmon in the fridge that I was planning to grill off tonight for dinner. I usually just make some pasta with a sauce made from the salmon marinade, but it was too damn hot to turn the stove on. So I figured I would grill the cukes and tomatoes, since I already had the grill going. And clearly, wine + triple sec = sangria. I mean, duh. Check out this magic that happened:

Honey soy grilled salmon.
Rosemary mint grilled lemon cucumbers.
Garlic rosemary mint grilled tomatoes. 
Lazy Girl Sangria.

Lemme school you on this sangria...(Really, I just eyeballed the amounts) Half a bottle of merlot. Half a cup of triple sec. Two teaspoons powdered sugar. One teaspoon powdered ginger. 2 cups of frozen fruit medley (the one that I buy has strawberries, mango, peaches and grapes). I may or may not have combined all those ingredients in a tupperware container. Scratch that. Let's be honest. I did combine them shits in a tupperware container, which was the best decision of life. Screw the top on and shake. Pour it into a classy glass, top it off with sparkling water. Or drink it straight out of the tupperware. We're not judging here. Do whatever floats your boat. There's no fruit cutting, no measuring. Literally just Pour. Shake. Drink. This will make a good sized glass for you and one for a friend. Or it will make you drunk by yourself. Again, no judgement ;-)

Light, super flavorful, and so easy. Perfect summer dinner! And the fee-yawn-say is gonna make me some marinara sauce with the leftover grilled tomatoes tomorrow. Double score :-D

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keep It Classy, California, Part 2: Seeing the Sights

During our journeys through Southern California, we had the chance to see some beautiful sights! We stayed in Rancho Cucamonga for 2 nights with my dad and youngest sister. On our first day, we went to visit my seester, Jade, and her boyfriend in West Hollywood. They live in a super cute neighborhood, within walking distance of a bunch of bars, restaurants, etc. We walked to Red Rock Bar & Eatery, had a couple drinks and num nums and then headed back to Rancho. During rush hour traffic. Fuck. That. Noise. Driving in Los Angeles makes me crazy. Driving in LA during rush hour makes me want to punch unicorns and burn down rainbows. Luckily, young Daniel finagled his way into this bad boy at the rental car company...
The BEAST!
He drove, we had the top down, and life was good. The next day, we took my youngest sister to Venice Beach. Danny's never been before, and he was good and entertained by all the crazy on the beach. He and my sister had fun discovering critters and seaweed in the sand. He does well with kids (far more patient than I am!), and we all had a great time!
Beach Besties, digging in the sand.
Pre beach


Muscle Beach. Me and that rope did not get along!

We could TOTALLY get Lola to do this!
After we left Rancho, we went to the glorious wedding in Bonsall and stayed at the Castle Creek Inn in nearby Valley City. We didn't stay very long, but this is the view that we got to wake up to...









From there, we traveled to San Diego. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. We stayed at the US Grant Hotel, which was this amazeballs property right downtown (thank you Danny, for getting that hella cheap employee discount!), a few minutes walk from the Gaslamp district, the Convention Center (which was coincidentally hosting ComicCon. Spectacular people watching. SPECTACULAR) and the water. I would make the move back to the west coast if it included living in San Diego. You know what, San Diego? You're not too shabby for a whale's vagina. Speaking of cetacean vag, can't even WAIT for this business...

Driving to San Diego, rocking out to Freebird!
Oh, hey boats. And water.
View from our hotel

I liked the nifty art above the bed and all over the hotel!



This fine ComiCon attendee thought I had beautiful skin. Well thank you kindly, you handsome fella!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keep it Classy, California: The Wedding

Last week, Danny and I took a little jaunty jaunt across the country to California. The main reason for the trip was to celebrate the marriage of one of my good good buddies from Cal Poly. However, we also got to visit my family, saw some beautiful scenery and ate TONS of delicious food.  So, in the interest of keeping your lovely peepers from reading for 8 years, and my fingers from falling off from typing too much, "Keep it Classy, California" shall be a story told in 3 parts :-)

Part 1: The Wedding

Look at the gorgeous altar with the balloons a la "Up!"
As I mentioned before, the main reason for our journey across country was to celebrate the nuptials of my good friend Brian and his new wife, Heather. A little background on my relationship to the couple...Brian and I started our jobs as CSDs (basically a fancy name for a hall director) at Cal Poly at the same time. He was the first friend that I made, and one of the first people that I met. We hit it off immediately. We were both midwestern kids, slightly awed by the splendor of the Central Coast of California, in our first professional job out of grad school, with the driest of wit, the sharpest of sarcasm and just a general proclivity to be immature dicks if the mood suited us. Sure, we had our rocky times (as friends often do), but to this day, I still consider him to be my boy bestie (aside from Danny, of course).

I only met Heather briefly before I left Cal Poly. I was her host around campus and town during her on-campus interview, and I remember thinking "Wow, this girl is suuuuuuuper bubbly! I wonder where she'll get placed." The next year, I came back to Cal Poly for a visit and found out from another friend that Brian and Heather had been secretly dating (they were placed together as co-CSDs in the same apartment complex). I stayed with Brian while I was at Cal Poly and we chatted about life in general. While I was surprised that they were dating (because on the surface, I could not imagine two more opposite personalities), I came to see how happy they made each other.

So, fast forward to this past weekend. Danny and I drove to the wedding, which was on a horse ranch (I think) in the mountains of Bonsall, that belonged to friends of the bride's family. Brian's proposal was based on the movie "Up" and the theme carried through the whole wedding. Everything was so colorful and beautiful, but simple and really let the beauty of the location and their love for each other shine through. Several friends from Cal Poly were in the wedding party, and it was so amazing to see so many of my friends all together after several years.


Watching the bride come down the aisle
The officiant was another former CSD
Their first dance was to "Home" by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, which was perfectly fitting for them, they read their vows from a brand new iPad, and they kept everyone chuckling through the entire ceremony. I haven't been to many weddings, but this was by far my favorite because it was so much about the couple and demonstrated not only their love for each other, but also the love that others have for them (they had 22(!!) people in the bridal party!).

We had a great time at the reception, and Danny and I cut several rugs. He bet money on me falling in the pool, but I kept my balance and my dignity, thankyouverymuch. Man, if I had some mountains around, we'd totes be getting married in them. But even though Columbus is regrettably mountain-free, I can only hope Danny's and my wedding is as full of love and joy as Brian and Heather's.

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs!
Just married!!

A whole lotta CSDs!