August 28, 2011

Good thing we tarped the windows....

Irene came rolling into town on the east coast on Saturday. When it hit down in North Carolina, the pictures were scary. And the dumb weatherman was standing outside. On the beach. With huge waves behind him. It freaked me out. Couple that with the fact that we were in "Category 1 Hurricane" red area on the maps that kept popping up and the meteorologist saying that this would be a VERY DANGEROUS storm and I was hiding in the basement. Well, not quiiiite the basement. But let's back up.

On Friday my wonderful parents came to visit. We were all supposed to do a 5k on Saturday morning, so we had a slumber party. 5K was cancelled. Not shocking. But before they left, they helped us secure a few things. We bungy corded our hot tub cover down (our hot tub is broken; I wish it would have flown away). We cleaned up the backyard and moved the furniture inside. We boarded up the little basement window that vents the dryer because water can go right into it. Then I pulled a crazy and made J and my dad tarp the front window. They were showing me DISASTERS on tv, and I figured if something was going to crash through our window and wipe out the entire population of our house and cause a bit of glass damage, we'd be covered.  And then we did what all smart people do before a hurricane comes... we went out to eat italian food.
And that baked ziti served me through the weekend because of course that is a photo when I was finished eating. That bowl was huge. And delish. Mmm maybe I'll have the last of it tonight.

Saturday morning we prepared. And then our house looked like an aquarium. We took blue tarps and hung them across our huge picture window in the front room. Because, as previously stated, I was nervous.
With his arms out like that.... doesn't this remind you of a hammerhead shark floating above the camera when it takes a picture in the ocean and/or aquarium? Here's one for reference:
Eerily similar, right? I'll call J "hammer" from now on maybe. But either way, he's a very very good sport and an excellent husband who just was trying to make me feel safe. It worked, this brought a lot of (likely false if something drastic happened) security.

We also had plenty of flashlights, candles, water, and food. Tons of food. Enough for for like 2 weeks. I think we got over excited at the chance to buy unhealthy snacks and camp out. Oh, and we took out the PB lanterns. I was envisioning they'd be romantic. We never used them. Or anything else in this picture except water. But we were ready!
I thought maybe our pets would totally freak out when it all started. But when the rain was pounding sideways on the roof and walls and the wind howled, they slept. Oh did I mention we slept downstairs on our couch because it's the safest room in the house by far? Okay and maybe because I saw on the news that a tree crashed through someone's roof and killed them....
They were not fazed. At least not much. But we also followed the suggestion to have water to "flush toilets" if needed. So in our bathtub were two buckets from outside filled with water. The cat drank said water. Cats usually drink purified water. Cat vomit circa 5pm during the storms. Thanks cats. Thanks, dumb weather man, we never needed that water. We could have skipped that.

So the storms definitely swirled by us. As did a few tornados and tornado warnings. We were really lucky and didn't get hit. We're thankful because other areas in our state got torn up by them- including total destruction of houses. But here, it was just a lot of rain. A lot of wind. And a lot of me watching Lifetime movies when the power came back on late night. Because I couldn't sleep. It was so loud! J slept right through it. When there is a tornado warning - not watch - warning- until 11 pm it is hard to relax. But aside from the power going on and off multiple times, our house is in good shape. The back yard needs some branch clean up... our roads are okay, but about 1 mile down the street, this is the scene.
One mile is a lot during these things though, and our road is completely dry at this point. Hopefully J and I can both get out of the house and drive around tomorrow. We were really lucky in the scheme of things.

This was our biggest tragedy:
NO MORE SOUR PATCH WATERMELONS!!! Ahhh. NOW it is officially time to PANIC.

Thanks for a weekend of being hunkered down and cozy, Irene. Next time let's skip the destruction to people's homes and businesses and just call it a day.  Hope everyone is hurricane safe!! xo

My car was only born in January.

Well, we adopted her in January. And she was brand new. So born is a relative term. But the point is, my car was new and clean and wonderful a mere 7 months ago.

Today, she's (relatively) clean, but her mileage?
It's a little blurry but that reads over 25,000 miles. Yep, in 7 short months my long commute combined with a few trips to Connecticut, Rehoboth, and some other various places resulted in that many miles!

So today, I am VERY happy to say- my commute is over. No more fighting traffic for 2 hours when it's rainy in the morning. No more waking up at 5 am when I didn't need to be at work until 8 am. No more walking in the door exhausted after there was an accident on 95 and I'm an hour late for dinner.

No, none of that is part of my life anymore. Instead I will have 10-20 minute drives, time to eat dinner with J, time to go to the gym, time to do laundry. Time to see friends. My life! My life is back.

What more could I ask for?! Car, I'm sorry for the tribulations you've been through. I promise you'll have a better life now. And, Congrats to me, NO MORE LONG DRIVE (EVER AGAIN!!)

August 25, 2011

What Will I do without COLD gatorade? Do they make CAT floatation devices? I only know to go to the basement but that's for tornados. AHHH I am not prepared for a Hurricane. Someone give me a safety kit!

So I hate to buy into the chaos of this hurricane that's coming our way on the east coast but I seriously cannot help it. I am glued to the news, I could be the newest meteorologist outlining the path of the storm and where it will hit (as of today).

I have never been in a hurricane!! BUT I have been in a tornado. In first grade. Where I ducked under my desk until it passed.... and the roof of our school got torn off. And my mom had to come get me. But we've all seen the movie Twister. Tornadoes come and then they go. They tear threw and they bring a cyclone of wind. You hide in the basement (or if you want to go back to the movie Twister, you can strap yourself onto some water pipes that are secured into the ground). But they PASS. Hurricanes? All damn day....
J and I could do this if it was a tornado coming. But it's not. It's a hurricane. Like Katrina that hit Louisiana and tore its life apart. I don't like it. I don't mean to panic, but I have SO many questions.

In a tornado, you flee to the basement. In a hurricane? I mean yes to stay away from the wind. But what if it floods? Then what? J and I could survive in a little water... But what about my cats? I have the cat carriers out (yeah I'm a crazy pet parents- shhhh don't judge) and ready to go. Go where? Who the heck knows. I envision myself moving throughout our house on Sunday as needed. Up high if it's flooding,  down low if it's windy.This may be what my animals look like.

Umm and food? I guess I should join the club of gathering in the grocery store and/or Targetr. That will happen tomorrow afternoon on my way home. I think if I get 2 jars of peanut butter, some type of bread, and gatorade (I hate warm gatorade, but it will due) we will be good to go. Oh and potato chips. That would be good.

UGH I hate bad weather. Not only is this thing going to torment us, it is going to head up to Boston and torment my brother and sister-in-law, who live on the coast. Like the actual beach. And so far they are not evacuated. But how about you guys evacuate yourselves?

In conclusion, I will buy gatorade, hide in my basement/living room/garage, put my cats in their carriers and/or in inappropriate floatation devices, buy a lot of peanut butter, and forbid my husband to leave the house because everyone knows I'd lose my shit (sorry mom) if I was alone when this thing hit....

Dear Irene, I don't like your name and I don't like your path either. Find someone else to bully.
Hurricane Emergency Preparer.

August 24, 2011

Farmer's Markets and Cupcake Villages.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if cupcake villages actually existed? They don't. But I need to discuss the cupcakes I ate today. So join me in my journey. I promise the next stop is fruit and veggie-ville, so you won't feel totally on a sugar high and sick.

So near work is this little cupcake store. By store, I mean shack. Today it was even leaking water. But, they have the most DELICIOUS cupcakes. So today, one of my coworkers and I decided to bail on the paperwork building up and grab a few cupcakes. Let's just show them to you first.

That first top one? Chocolate. With peanut butter frosting. And hot fudge. Oh and peanut butter inside too. Just take that in for a second. Now, I usually love a plain vanilla home-baked cupcake with no frosting. But these are to die for. And I salivate as soon as we enter the store.

In the second picture, the top right one is vanilla peanut butter. So in case you aren't a chocolate fan, you can go to that one. The two on the bottom are vanilla with raspberry frosting (with little raspberry bits in it) and shaved white chocolate on top.

Don't you think we should all take a lunch time break for cupcakes? I do. 

In other news, J sent me an email on Monday night titled "adventure." It had a picture of a farmer's market slash spanish market. I was hesitant (as per usual) of his antics. But I hung in there and hoped for the best. When I got home late from work, it was totally worth it. Have I mentioned how much I love my wonderful husband lately? He seriously is the best. I am really lucky and sometimes forget that not all men can are willing to whip up a delicious dinner to have on the table when their wife gets home.  

See all that food? In the pan is fresh salmon with home-made yellow tomato salsa to top it off. Umm yes please. In the background are all the fruits and veggies that came home from the farmer's market. And they are SO GOOD. Some of the tomatoes are actually from one of J's colleagues, but the rest J brought home on Monday. We had that salmon with fresh corn and asparagus and I love love loved it. To be honest, if we are being honest, I ate it again for dinner tonight. SO GOOD.

So in conclusion, always remember to mix up the foods on the pyramid to give yourself a nice balanced intake. A peanut butter chocolate cupcake and then some veggies from a fresh market later on? Sure why not. Maybe I'm just into food today. But had to share. 

PS cupcakes were from Charm City Cupcakes. 
PPS I don't think the farmer's/spanish market has a website. You'll just have to find your own.

Sweet dreams and cupcakes! XO

August 16, 2011

Fall Desires

I love fall clothes. I always have. I can still remember the smell of new clothes at the mall shopping for back to school days. I can still picture some of my favorite outfits that fall brought to my life and getting on the bright yellow school bus proud of the digs I picked out for the first day.

So it's no surprise that when August hits my brain starts reeling with what things I want to run to the store, buy, and hang in my closet with the price tags still on them until the new school year starts it is appropriately fall time.

1. My very first thing I want is a new pair of brown leather flat boots. I want suggestions. I don't want to spend $400. I wear boots a lot and I want some that are relatively casual, but work wearable. Here are a few pairs I wouldn't kick out of my closet.
Love these Lacoste boots. They actually legit remind me of my horse back riding days. Maybe they will give me better luck than my actual boots, which often ended in me having no control over horses and falling on the ground.

I also love these and the bit of extra height to them. They look comfy too. Sign me up.

These are Steve Madden Intyce in Cognac.
I love these because they are a bit cheaper and I'd probably convince myself to buy them in black too. Let's face it, I just love boots. They are my favorite trend.

2. I love leggings too, despite calling them faux tights for a very very long time before realizing they were so comfy and can be quite stylish too. Speaking of which, my friend Sarah recently sent me a link to a pair of leggings she loves. 

And wouldn't those leggings look cute with a pair of brown boots, a button down shirt, and a fall jacket? I think so. So these are another item on the wish list. 

3. Speaking of fall jackets.... I want one. And I found this beauty from J. Crew.
Not only is this jacket super cute, and easy to layer, it is mustard yellow. Fall's greatest color, in my opinion. I just fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Now, I probably can't splurge on every single one of these items (there's more to come still), but I love creating a wish list and thennnnn searching down similar cheaper versions. Always an accomplishment.

4. Long sleeve shirts and sweaters! I can never get enough. But I prefer the sweaters be fall tones and light weight. I hate being too hot. In keeping with my mustardy yellow obsession, how cute is this sequin shoulder sweater from Banana Republic?
Love the casual yet somewhat dressy nature. You could pair this with my new boots and leggings too. What a concept. Anyone else love that I'm making outfits out of clothes I don't own?

This scoop neck sweater also wins my heart because you can put on different tanks under it and it's light and flowy.

5. Cheap cardigans I can interweave into my outfits. For real, cheap. Like Forever 21 style. But with these fun yearly buys, why splurge?
With a brown belt and a long sleeve button down J Crew shirt underneath? This nautical striped sweater vest would be so adorable, and it is soooo cheap. There's literally no excuse not to buy this. And there's more!
This would be super cute with dark grey work pants and a bright red big beaded necklace I already own.
I actually love this outfit. Cardi open, dark jeans, good colored belt and the long necklace with bangles. Most of us already own a pair of dark jeans, right? And I have like 800 belts. And at $22, it's another steal.

6. Dresses for Fall. We already discussed how much I love boots. And leggings. And what better to pair them with (besides the other things I already drooled over) than a cute little dress?

Another affordable option. I'd probably belt it, because let's face it, I'm obsessed with belts and giving the body some shape. But this dress is so cute, and would be great for Thanksgiving dinner.
This price tag is the opposite of the F21 cute cardis, but I love love love this dress. With a cute blue necklace and brown boots for fall. Oh someone please buy this for me?
Unfortunately, this is also Anthro so it's somewhat pricy for a cotton dress. But umm I think I could live in this dress. All day every day. I want it. It's a definite on my wish list.

This is just a starting point. But a very good one. I am headed up to New Hampshire in September with the family and I am hoping my mom and I can hit the outlets. We will leave the boys to the wilderness for an extra day while we shop. I hope I can fulfill some of my wish list. Can anyone else smell fall in the air calling your name for a new pair of leather boots. 

Waiting for Fall.

P.S. I am reading Hunger Games and am flying through these books. They are for tweens. Thank you Sarah for sending me their way; now I have dreams of shooting arrows and climbing in trees to survive. Anyone else?!?!

August 11, 2011

Why girlfriends, fiancees, wives, and other female specimens should not cut male specimens hair. The End.

Remember my good friend who asked Pinterest why we can't have private boards? Well this friend is a dear friend of mine, and we spend many hours lovingly talking over gchat.

This week, another classic topic came up. She told me she was SO MAD at her boyfriend. Why you ask?

Her response was "oh just about the dumbest thing we could ever fight over"

Inquisitive me... I'm thinking... hmmm... about the television being too loud when you go to sleep at night? about the fact that you like to eat chick fil a more often than Taco bell? But no.... instead.... a familiar sounding argument comes up. I call it an argument, but really it's not. It's a state of mind of many men.

The self-hair cut. But you know what's even worse? The FORCED spouse/girlfriend hair cut. And that, my friends, is what my lovely friend found herself in the middle of.

She was trying to convince her boyfriend to go to a barber. Not a prissy $60 hair cut chap, just a $15 barber. But he thought it was so silly to go there... when he has her. Cue my distinct memory from 3 years ago when J approached me with the sameeeee thing. She went on to tell me that when SHE began to cut his hair, despite saying it was not her finest talent, she messed up. There were holes and streaks and circles. Now I sound like Dr. Seuss or something. When I cut J's hair the first time, I think I cut open his ear, cut some sideburns off, and made a ridiculously awkward angle in the back. My friend's boyfriend, and my dear husband, sort of looked like this:
But less cute, they aren't small children.

So in honor of S's (she's my friend, that's her secret letter) and my hair trials and tribulations, and in an effort to convince BOTH men they should try the barber next time, let's discuss the difference between men's and women's hair. Let's also discuss the hardships in cutting men's hair if you are a female, who has no hair cuttery training.
1. Girls hair is long. And if you cut it uneven, someone can fix it. Boys hair is (most of the time) short. If you cut it unevenly and/or cut into their ear and remove some sideburns, it's noticeable (sorry J, I still feel bad about that first experience).

2. Boys hair needs to be cut like every day. Fine, maybe not every day. But every 2 weeks. My locks are cut like once ever 4-6 months. I know, I am supposed to do it more often. But whatever. I don't have to. But if J waited 4-6 months, he'd look like a werewolf cut lose from Twilight.

3. Blades have different lengths. WHAT? First of all, what the heck am I doing near a blade? But that's what you cut dude's hair with. BLADES. Whoever (J) let me near hair "blades" was not thinking this through (enter said cut ear and sideburn time #1). Girls cut their hair with scissors. We can't handle this machinery. And PS we DONT CUT OUR OWN HAIR- because there are pretty nice people at salons who do it for us while offering us some tea or coffee.

4. Last time I checked, I did not have someone who had their hand consistently vibrating from the hair clippers touching my hair. I hate that my hands are numb when I have to steady the blades. I like to call them blades now.

5. This isn't different, or about me cutting hair, but it's important. If you're a guy and you work in an office and get paid money to go to work, you owe it to them not to have a half shaved head or a missing ear. Go to the barber. Or the hair salon, if that makes you feel happy.

Now, let's talk about the difference between hopes and dreams and lost causes. 3 years ago was the first time we had the hair cut encounter. I keep hoping J will change his mind and say I stink at haircuts and go back to Chrissy, his old hair cutting girl who left the place he went to.  I hang onto the dream.... but I think this may be a lost cause. But S, if you or any other girl are out there reading this, break away now. Don't fall victim.

Cutting your spouse's hair doesn't come in the marriage contract. Trust me.


August 5, 2011

Why all girls should have a dad like mine....

Do you know that it's been almost a week since the FB was hacked? And do you know that despite emailing EVERY day, calling, and stalking I got no response?

So Wednesday, do you know what I did? I called in the big guns. Yep, that's right. My dad. Why you ask? Because since I can remember (that's a long time) when something goes majorly wrong, my dad can fix it. Swear. Even when it seems impossible, or unlikely. Take FB for instance. I tell my dad what happened and ask what to do. I am thinking in my head maybe we need to file a lawsuit. Well Georgey T. has bigger and better ideas. Mind you, my dad is not on facebook. I would be willing to be he has never seen a "facebook page" even. But, like all other problems in life that my dad can usually help me solve (he always says "I'm happy to help as long as you follow through and take care of business"), my dad also had a solution for facebook.

Mind you, for 5 days I had asked every 20-something and 30-something I know if anyone knew ANYONE who worked for facebook. Nope. Nada. I begged people to tell me how to fix my account. I wrote email upon email.

I should have just emailed my dad.

Within 2 hours of asking him for help, he escalated the issue in his own company, figured out who could help him out... and bam, I had the direct contact of a very very very high up person at facebook.

Do you know what happens when you email said person and tell them that you got their contact from a prominent business executive? THEY RESPOND!!! In 2 hours!! And they get things moving for you. And FAST.

I'm happy to say my FB account is now back under my own control. I'm happy to say THANKS DAD and thank you to the FB execs who helped get this back. If you are looking for how to be a good dad, you should ask mine. He's the best there is.

Now, let's also discuss some facebook security and privacy must-knows. For real. I don't want you to get hacked too. Your boss' boss' wife might see it and that's embarrassing. Believe me, I KNOW. Because before I went through all this, in terms of security, this is pretty accurate:
Except I didn't need to learn how. I just already wasn't doing so hot. So here are my words of advice. If you care:
1. Go check your password for how secure it is. Make sure it is in the "strong" category.

2. Change your password relatively frequently.

3. Under account settings, there is an option to have facebook send a text message to your cell phone when someone tries to sign in from a computer other than your own. This is amazing. I set it up today and even when I tried to sign in on my phone, I needed a one time numeric code in addition to my password. This would make it quite hard for hackers to get through (though who knows, I'm sure they have their ways).

4. Delete all the people you don't like know. I went through and booted 180 or so friends today. If I don't talk to you in real life or think I will interact with you in the future, you gotta go. I'm sorry.

Welcome back to Facebook.  And welcome to Super Security 2011.  Now go tag me in Freeman's wedding photos because I'm back to being a real person on the book!

August 2, 2011

Jen & Tim's Nups Highlights

This past weekend we packed up our bags and headed north to New York for two of my favs wedding. Jen & Tim met at PSU back in college... who knew they'd be walking down the aisle to say I do forever?! The weekend was a fantastic celebration, and a great mini college reunion of sorts. Since if I posted all 400 pictures I took this page would crash and/or my readers would all abandon me, I'll give you the highlights.

Baback ordered "Mother's Milk" beer at dinner Friday night. It's sour like real breast milk. Juuuust kidding. But he did get kind of sick Friday night, so whoooo knows right? Baback, next time I'd go for the Miller Lite.
In related highlights, can I just say how much I love these two?
In unrelated to Baback and milk subjects, but related to wedding weekend, after dinner we met up with the wedding party at the bar and got to see the BRIDE!
The details of Jen's wedding on wedding day were perfect. As was the weather. Do you know what they had with the programs? Fans. Thankful for those bad boys, they served as some moving air during the ceremony but also as a shade from the blazing sun.

This looks familiar to me- looks just like our wedding!!

Everything was thought out. Everything was planned. The flowers hanging in the aisle (pictured above) were just absolutely gorgeous. Jen did a fantastic job of thinking of the small details. A fact that does not go unnoticed to a fellow recent bride. 

Beside the details, the ceremony site was pretty gorgeous. And the sunshine and blue skies didn't hurt.

These two lovebirds. So cute. Such a beautiful ceremony spot.

Oh hang on, a highlight that I think is a highlight was my outfit. I realize this is not a post about fashion, but why not? I bought this dress at the BCBG outlet back in February (remember my birthday trip to the Rehoboth outlets??) and I saved it for Jen's wedding. That's BIG for me. I never save dresses. I buy them like, two days before I wear them. And then I buy another one for the next event. I can't help it. Anywho here I am hanging out on the ceremony grounds around sunset's beginning:
OH and can we talk about my earrings? They might have been the highlight of my whole day. Wait, no, ummm, not my etsy earrings. My friends, yes. my friends. But for real, these were a close second.
I know, love, right?! So pretty. They are from Twilight Allure's  shop on Etsy. And they are from Twilight's shop. Who doesn't love Twilight? They were shipped the day I ordered them too. But I digress.

Back to the newlyweds and wedding. The reception place was also gorgeous, because it was all glass so we still were over-looking the mountains. Jen and Tim lived long-distance with Jen in NY and tim in VA for a few years, so they played Hey there Delilah as their first dance. Appropriate. Here's a few photos of the evening's best moments.

Here is another highlight of my evening. Dessert. Oh, and Jamie (who they called Haymea through the night) and Baback "liked" everything in real life instead of fb. It was funny at the time.

Could this photo of four friends devouring dessert be any better? I don't think so. And this may be my favorite photo of the entire evening. And if this post were about me (aren't they all?) and not Jen, I just might do that. But let's just take one more look at the happy new Mr. & Mrs. dancing the night away.
Have an amazing honeymoon in Barbados, you two!! xoxo. Congrats my loves, Welcome to the MARRIED LIFE CLUB!!
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