Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The best day of the year!

Christmas? No.

My birthday? No (but eesh, that's only a week away)

The day the pool is finally warm enough to swim in? No.

So what is it?

Opening Day for the Orlando Magic!

I love my Gators. I love my Steelers. I love my Orioles. But there is something about the NBA that makes it superbly awesome. Maybe it's because MLB has it's steriod scandal, and the NFL is a thug showcase. Not that the NBA is full of angels, haha. Not even close. But I love some good basketball. And so does Tim (obviously, he lives and breathes it at every level). The Magic are the 1 team that Tim and I totally share as our above-all, bleed silver, black and blue 4ever team. He has his Noles/Red Sox/Patriots, I have my Gators/Steelers/O's, but we both have the Magic. (Though even I can admit, it is hard to match the aura of college football, especially SEC college football)

Tonight is the last ever Opening Night at the "O-Rena" (Amway Arena). Next year, after 21 seasons, we move into the crazy-awesome Amway Events Center. It will be a bittersweet year for me. I will probably cry often. Yes, I'm a doofus that cries over sports (I bawled when they retired Larry Bird's number, went into shock when Bill Cowher retired, and sobbed when they took down Three Rivers Stadium and Memorial Stadium).

The Magic played their first ever game on November 4, 1989. My 9th birthday! I got a basketball franchise for my birthday, what'd you get? Hehe.

This is also our first year as season ticket holders! We're splitting them with 3 other couples/friends, but still. All my life, I've wanted to be an Orlando Magic Season Ticket Holder. And now I am. I'm finally a grown up!

I watched the $%^*# Lakers get their rings last night. Coulda been, shoulda been us. That Kobe and his little smirky smile. I wanted to smack it off his face. Oooh, did I say that out loud? How unladylike of me.

So tonight we'll be there to watch our Eastern Conference Championship banner be raised to the rafters, and hopefully to witness the start of an amazing, record breaking season.

Go Magic!

Monday, October 26, 2009

How can it be the last week in October?


I need to make a better effort to post more than once a week. You should see my "dashboard" though. I start a million posts and, for a variety of reasons, never publish them.

What a week it will be! Tonight, my sister and I are going in for a looong overdue appointment with our "hair jazzer". I had blissfully forgotten just how "dishwater" blonde my hair really is. But these roots cannot be ignored anymore.

Tim is taking Miss Moonbeam into the vet for her last round of puppy shots tonight. Sigh. She is growing up too fast.

Wednesday starts the NBA season and marks the first game we'll attend as season ticket holders! Sooo exciting. There is nothing better than basketball! Go Magic!

Friday is Tim's co-worker's halloween party. I am not the biggest fan of Halloween. Those "halloween costumes" they sell in the special halloween stores they set up in vacant K-Marts? They are for sale year round at Premiere Adult Factory Outlet. Seriously. Do not ask me how I know this. Just take my word.

There is very little "middle ground" when it comes to women's halloween costumes. I was going to try to be a flapper or a 50's girl (period dress is always fun, right?) but time got away from me. I found an old costume I bought years ago and never wore. It's a "genie" costume---exactly like "I Dream of Jeannie". It's cute without being skanky. However, I'm not big on showing my tummy, so I will continue to brainstorm. Years ago, I remember a friend and her boyfriend went as "Homecoming King and Queen". Super easy and really cute. Maybe we can do that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beauty Blurbs

Top of the morning to y'all. It was a busy weekend, I'd like a nap right about now. But the Gators and Steelers won, so it was a good good time! And really, I must give Mother Nature "3 cheers" for the weekend weather she gave us! It'll be back up to the mid 80s in no time, but I loved that brief chill.

Today, my jumbled thoughts all seem to be of the beauty variety. Let's talk.

* Last Wednesday, I placed a long overdue order with I still haven't received a shipping confirmation. That drives me batty. Apparently, I am not alone. According to the ladies on the MakeupAlley Nail Board, their customer service has slacked off since I last ordered from them. Hmm. I usually shop with Trans Design, but they still don't have the China Glaze glitter polishes in. And I neeeeed some bling for my nails (don't you?)

* I have no will power and caved on the MAC holiday stuff. I ordered the Sorceress eye shadow palette and Viva Glam lip palette. They are gorgeous. Happy early birthday to me! (I shop at Old Navy so I can afford fancy-pants makeup. We all have our priorities.)

* Speaking of MAC, I know a lot of bloggers out there loooove Lilly. (Me? In moderation. Maybe if I were taller than 5 feet and wasn't constantly getting mistaken for a student at the high school where my husband coaches, I'd be more comfortable dressed like an Easter egg. But I have purchased several Lilly-fabric headbands on ebay/etsy and love them.) Here's something I think is pretty darn adorable: MAC does Lilly!
Check out Temptalia's site for info and pictures of MAC in Lillyland!
January 7, 2010 is the release date. Seems like an unlikely pairing, doesn't it? MAC may be a little "out there" sometimes, but their quality is top notch so I'm sure the products will be fabulous. They make some awesome pinks, so this is something to look forward to even for the non-fanatic. Save those Christmas gift cards!

* And one last beauty blurb: Would my co-worker PLEASE stop trimming her nails at her desk?! The sound is making me feel ill. It's really loud, like the noise the clippers make when you're not careful to "catch" the nail and it goes flying? I am afraid what I might see if I go in her office. NOT work appropriate.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Update

Blip #1: I'm back from Duck, NC! *quack quack* I'm in love with the Outer Banks. It was a fantastic time. Absolutely wonderful. 14 of us all together for something fun for the first time since, oh, 1987. Highlights of the week included: shopping at The Cotton Gin, lunch/beer at the Weeping Radish, endless games of pool, watching my brother in law go through 2 books of matches trying to light a pipe, kahlua milkshakes, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, and playing with my adorable 2 year old cousin (my cousin's daughter). And, for what it's worth, the rest of the family thought the white polo/khakis idea was as lame as I did, so my cousin gave up on that. It was also very strange to share a beer with a cousin who, "just" 21 years earlier, you fed a bottle to. I'm old, lol. Family bonding at it's finest!

Blip #2: TEEEEBOWWW!!!!! Get better! Ohmygoodness, did my heart practically stop when he didn't get up after that hit! I hope he'll be better in 2 weeks in time for LSU, but if not, I hope he and the coaching/medical staff have the good sense to keep him out of the game. (And honestly, did they need to show every time a Gator barfed? We were trying to eat dinner, thanks ESPN)

Blip #3: TROOOOOY!!! Get better! Mr. Polamalu, my Steelers NEED you. I need you. My overall happiness depends on an effective Steel Curtain. And besides, unicorns and kittens cry when the Steelers lose to the Bengals and Bears.

Blip #4: Does anyone have any recipes for carambola/star fruit? My co-worker just brought me in a bunch from her tree. We're talking 2 dozen of these puppies.

And definitely not a "blip", but Friday marked one year since we lost mom. I'm definitely glad I decided to make the trip to NC so I'd be with Dad and Sis. It was a rough day, but it was a little easier because we had lots of great people and things around to distract us. The 3 of us took a beach walk that night (something mom loved to do when she was able) and talked a bit. Mainly, we just talked about how mom ("real" mom, before she was sick) would have loved the beachhouse and would have had umpteen comments about the Annapolis-branch of the family (if you can't tell from the portrait-drama, they're a little more uppity than we are). In some ways it seems like it's been eons since September 25, 2008. In other ways, it seems like it all just happened. I feel like I've made a lot of progress since then. I do feel generally happier than even a few months ago and I know that'd make mom happy. But sometimes I flash back to being in that hospital room, and I just can't get myself out. It's not even so much that I wish she was still here, because I know if she was she'd be miserable. I just want to talk to her. I don't even need to see her so much; it'd be enough if I could just call her. It's so strange to realize we've come to a point where I can't think, "at this time last year, mom and I were ____". It's hard to just suck up being sad sometimes, because I feel like I need to be strong and not drag my family down (they're sad enough without needing to worry about me...I know that's not how I should feel, but it is). I have very few friends who I feel truly comfortable talking to, and even then I feel like I can only dump on them so much, ya know? So that's why I blog. :) Cheap therapy!

Love ya mama (though remembering how you scoffed at/shunned the internet, I highly doubt you're reading blogs in heaven, heh)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Knitty Gritty

Ok. Now, I know Rome wasn't built in a day. I know I will not become an expert at knitting in one afternoon.

But honestly, after an entire afternoon of practicing one stitch, I'd like to think I'd be able to do it. I don't even mean do it quickly. All I'm hoping for is to be able to do it, period.

Continental cast-on: we have much more time to spend together, it seems.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're not conceited...

...we're just better than you.

All the other teams are just jealous. Big green eyed monsters, they are. Heck, all the other conferences are jealous: behold the splendor that is the SEC. (Although, where would I get my laughs if the Big Ten wasn't always whining about how much better they are?)

That's enough from you, Mr. Lame Kiffin! Put up, or shut up.

Me and my fightin' words... :) I've got on my blue-and-orange boxing gloves, dontcha know? I talk a mean game.

I'm off to grill some hot dogs. Have a fabulous college football Saturday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Phamily Photo

Next week, (nearly) my entire family is going to meet up in North Carolina for an Outer Banks family reunion. We haven't all gotten together like this since our trips to Sanibel Island back in the 80's, so this is special.

However, can I tell you what is NOT special about this trip?

My cousin sent out an email this morning. She has arranged for a photographer to come and shot a family portrait of her, her husband and their little girl. She has also decided that she wants to do a huge entire-family portrait.

That's not the bad part. Family pictures are great, and the last one we had is from 1987. The bad part is that we have a dress code.

"I'd really like for everyone to pack khaki shorts or pants, and a white oxford or polo shirt".

And just like that: our cool, laid back, sarcastic, easy-going family has become that family.

I know I know I know...I'm weird. I just think the whole "matching family thing" is geeky. I find portraits like that irritating to no end. My apologies for offending the millions of Americans who love that stuff. It's just one of those things.

Also...good luck convincing our 21 year old cousin, Merry, to go along with this. Merry is either Goth or Emo, I'm not sure which (kids these days, you know...I just can't keep up with the trends). She dresses up for "ComicCon" and writes bad poetry and wears smudgy black eyeliner and frumpy, unattractive Goodwill finds. (I try to wear as much pink as possible around her, I think it makes her uncomfortable). If Merry plays along with this, it will all be worth it just to have it documented in black and white (or khaki and white, as it may be).

(I obviously get my disdain for the matchy-matchy-family-thing from my father, since he just responded to all asking if we should also pack our Bibles and go, Dad!)

PS: If it makes it on to Awkward Family Photos I will totally post the link. Shame, what shame?

PPS: I'm not whining, really. I've just got a maaajor case of eye-roll going on, and I need to get it out of my system.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I lied yesterday. I told you that I didn't watch tv shows, but that's not true. I have two shows: The Office (season premiere tonight, wooooohoo! Jim + Pam = 4ever) and Criminal Minds (which Hubby got me into). But other than that, tv programming is crap.

Ok, now that my confession is off my chest, I can go about my day.

Maybe it's the start of fall (which, here in Florida you would never know, considering it will be 92 today) but I've got a whole heap of crafty projects I want to start.

I want to re-dedicate myself to learning knitting and crocheting. I want to finally suck it up and take my annoying, irritating sister in law up on her offer to teach me to use the sewing machine. I want to make a fall foliage wreath for the front door (actually 2, because we have double doors). I want to make some adorable pumpkin table decorations. And so on....

This is on top of the other projects I want to do. I've been saying forever that I'm going to get some big pots for our entryway and stencil our monogram onto them. Or get those snazzy little decals I see on etsy.

I should probably not admit that, after living in our house for 14 months, the name plaque of the previous owners is still on our front door. (Hey, the screws are stripped, what am I supposed to do?) It is covered by a wreath until I figure how to pry that sucker off. That's probably a little more important of a task to tackle than cutesy decorations.

Reading blogs gives me so many ideas! You people are so creative and talented! You make me want to bake cupcakes, decoupage my step stool, sew some beautiful throw pillows for the family room couch, and decorate our bland and boring bedroom (and that's just this week!) I fail, however, when it comes to actually acting. Oh well. With basketball season around the corner, I'm about to come into the part of the year when I'm on my own a lot. I'm thinking I'm going to use the time to do these little things that will make me happy.

Now I just have to decide where to start! (The pots...I'm going to start with the pots...)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I am not a big TV person. I love watching sports and "informative" TVshows (news, Food Network, History Channel, etc.) but I've never been into sit-coms or, especially, reality shows. I've never had the interest to watch one episode of American Idol, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Survivor, Gossip Girl, The Hills, you name it.

Last night after watching the NBC Nightly News (I love me some Brian Williams) I got suckered into watching ET because of the Patrick Swayze coverage (absolute saddness, I loved him). The TV was still on as I did a few chores around the house, and that's when The Biggest Loser came on.

In other words, I finally got to see who this "Jillian" person is that everyone and their grandma's mailman is talking about.

O.M.G. Who on earth thinks talking to people like that is acceptable? NBC must have worn out their bleep machine. The F word?! Come on. I understand the "tough love" concept for motivation, I do. You can't coddle people. You can't let people cling to excuses. But I believe there's a balance. Being spoken to like a dog does absolutely zilch to motivate me. I mean, it would motivate me to get my morbidly obese face up in hers and tell her that she can bite me....but that's about it.

On the other hand, the contestants obviously (I hope) knew more about the concept of the show than I did, so they knew what they were signing up for. I guess it works for the show and they get the ratings and results they want. But wow, still no excuse. Jillian, you are no lady.

Then my hubsand came into the room and made mooo-ing noises at the 500 pound lady. So I asked him if he'd rather she be at home eating a Jell-O Pudding Cup (I used that as an example since I knew that was what Hubby was coming into the kitchen to get..probably not nice, but hey, I'd had one too) instead of trying to improve herself?

So he got huffy, I was huffy he was making fun of fat people and mad that this Jillian wench gets paid millions to have a potty mouth and be mean.

Whew. I need to stick with watching Paula Deen. Zoning out in front of butter and bacon is, ironically, much more healthy for me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm leaving? I'm back?

I like to think of myself as fairly tech-savy, but Blogger puts me in my place. Apparently, am incapable of remembering to hit that little "Publish" button that allows y'all to experience my ramblings. I type out a thoughtful entry, minimize the window, become distracted by whathaveyou, and inevitably cancel out of IE/Firefox before I finalize the post (I admit, I do a good amount of blogging during quick lulls at work...can you believe they sometimes expect some work out of me and I have to pause my precious blogging? I know). And this isn't an isolated occurance, I do it all the time. I iz smrt.

So....I went on vacation. And now I'm back from vacation. And the vacation was great!

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas is fantastic. I did NOT want to get off! I may have enjoyed the ship more than the ports. I'd been on this cruise before, so I had already done the "must do" activities. Even though I'd already done it, Hubby and I climbed Dunn's River Falls and tubed on the White River (the Falls are fantastic, I was thrilled to have the chance to go again). The poverty in the ports is very sad, and I feel guilty when I get annoyed at their persistance when walking by vendors and shops.

Our tablemates were a wonderful family from the North of England, and their daughters were precious. We had a blast with them. The ice show (yes, the ship has an ice rink) was very impressive, as was most of the entertainment around the ship. Food was plentiful, but more importantly, delicious. All I have to do is think of the flourless chocolate cake and get weak in the knees, haha.

So yes, back to life, back to reality. (At least for 9 days, then I leave for North Carolina for a family reunion) I missed my kitties tremendously, so it was great to see them. They even did me the favor of not barfing or pooing all over the house! (That's how they show their displeasure that we're not around to wait on them, it seems..."we'll teach you for leaving, here's something for you to step in as soon as you decide to come back!")

Our phone line went bad at some point while we were gone, so our DSL internet isn't working at home. Torture, lol! Hopefully AT&T will fix it today, and hopefully I'll be busy tonight catching up on the 120+ unread postings in my Google Reader. I kind of didn't realize how much I enjoy reading blogs til I started getting the itch to check in on board. At 55 cents per minute, I decided to wait til I got home, I hope you understand, haha!

Friday, August 28, 2009


I haven't killed him, and he hasn't run away: it must be love! Happy one year anniversary to us!

Seriously, a whole year? Where did the time go? You blink and boom! the newlywed period is done with.

It's honestly a kind of sad day for me too. As happy a day as my wedding day was, think of it makes me sad, since those memories are some of the last I have of my mom. I know I've touched on missing my mom, but I don't think I've talked a whole lot about it in blog-world. Long story short(er): My sister and I decided to do our weddings back-to-back, mine on the 28th and hers on the 29th. They were both very tiny--not much more than a ceremony and dinner--but it was just what we wanted. All our family would already be in town, so we figured it would be a perfect and low key way to do things (neither of us have ever had big fancy wedding dreams). We honestly never expected our mom to be able to attend. She'd been very sick with emphysema for many years and leaving the house was not easy. She was a very strong/stubborn woman though, and she made it to both. It was the best day of my life. It was too much on her body though, and she went into distress toward the end of my sister's dinner and was taken to the hospital. She spent nearly a month in the ICU and passed away on September 25. She was on a ventilator the whole time, as well as heavily sedated with propfol/diprovan (the "Michael Jackson drug"), so even though she didn't pass away til September, my sister and I really count this weekend as the time we truly "lost" her.

It's been a rough and rocky year, I'll be very honest. My mom was my best friend. We talked every day. And I don't care what people say, making the adjustment to married life is tough (especially when, like me, you haven't lived with someone else since your college dorm mate). So much had changed, and my usual rock wasn't there for me. I wanted to be happy and experience the "newlywed bliss" everyone talks about, but it was so hard. Sometimes Hubby just didn't understand. And I guess I can't blame him, he's (thank God) never lost a parent. I'd hold all my feelings inside, then he'd say/do something trivial and I would explode. I'm a very independent person who hates "dumping" on others, but I've learned that the only way to get through this is to lean on him. I know he genuinely cares. We certainly tested the "for better or for worse" aspect of our vows immediately. If we can get through this, I think we can get through just about anything. I'm a lucky gal.

I know my mom, and my mom would want her baby girl to celebrate today. So how 'bout some wedding pictures? Everone likes looking at random peoples' wedding pictures...right? Sure.

I loved my bouquet so much (Yup, that's the one I use as my profile photo. Gerber daisies and cerise roses, with the stems wrapped in polka dot ribbon).

One my fave photos of my dad and me.

One "traditional" wedding element we did, despite my lack of love for dancing, was a first dance. I We picked "She's Everything" by Brad Paisley.

I wanted a pretty sunset picture, and I certainly got it.

I loved our sweet little cake! 2 tiers, one my fave flavor (red velvet) and one of Hubby's (carrot cake). I promise I only used that ribbon on the cake and the bouquets. I swear I was not "that girl with the polka dot wedding". I love polka dots, but I know my limits.

I really did love our wedding. We rented an old Southern estate home in a beautiful lakefront park in Orlando and had dinner catered in. Florida's typical summer thunderstorms ended just in time, and we held our ceremony under a gazebo as a rainbow formed overhead. It was simple, sweet, and totally unstuffy, yet still felt formal and important. We had a great dinner, drank lots of wine, and visited with our dear friends and family. My mom said it was the best wedding she'd ever attended, so that's one of the sweetest memories of the day. Plus I snagged myself a pretty darn amazing husband. It really was a perfect day.

Thanks for sharing my celebration! T.G.I.F.!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Me at my finest!

So I come strolling on into the office today, just carrying on and minding my own business. I stop outside our office manager's door to ask her how her daughter's first day of high school had gone the day before. I take my keys out of my pocket and put them in my tote bag.

Unbeknownst to me, something fell out of my pocket when I took out the keys.

That something, of course, rolls off down the hall. I continue blabbing about first days of school.

As my luck would have it, one of the attorneys leaves his office and comes down the hall at that point. He stops, looks at the object on the ground, picks it up and hands it to me.

"I think you dropped this...?"

Ya, you guessed it. A darling, super mega absorbency O.B. tampon. (I am still not 100% sure he knew what it was, which is what adds to the humor for me)

(Come to think of it, I am pretty sure I remember putting 3 in my pocket before I left the house this morning, now there are only 2. Good Lord, where's the other one? LOL---ya just gotta laugh sometimes!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Passport PSA

Just a little reminder out there for those who are planning to travel out of the country: take a minute to go find your passport right now and check its expiration date.

My poor dad. He's had this golf trip to Costa Rica planned for months, and he was so excited. As he was packing last night, he flipped open his passport and about had a heart attack when he saw that it had expired in June.

He's totally beating himself over this (the other members of his foursome decided to stay home, so he feels like he ruined it for everyone). They're good for ten long years, you just assume it's still valid. Mom used to keep track of all these little details for him. After 35 years of that, it's hard to even know what there is to keep track of, ya know?

This was going to be his first trip since mom died. One "silly" little detail, and it's a no go. I just about cried when he told me. I know it's not the end of the world, but still. At the very least, it's $$$ down the drain.

So go, check your passports---yes, now! I don't care if you just got yours a year ago. Go take a good look at that expiration year and engrave it in your memory.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dear Sephora....

Dear Sephora:

Pretty, pretty, pretty please get these items back in stock A.S.A.P.:

Candy corn, pumpkin spice muffin and candy apple 3-in-1's. I need them. Yes, I now the difference between "need" and "want", and this is certainly a need. This philosophy addict needs them. (I am using copious amounts of bold and italic to illustrate this, I hope my point is being made).

I will love you forever and never go near again if you fulfill my wish.

Love n' hugs,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's never too early to plan fun!

Today is Hubby's first day back at work for the new school year. Teacher pre-planning, wahooo! Ehhh, notsomuch. But what does everyone, students and teachers alike, look forward to? Spring Break! It is but a dot on the horizon now *sob*

Hubby's grandmother has been itching to go on a cruise, so we've decided to plan one for the end of March 2010. We just booked a 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan, PR. We've gotten Hubby's best friend, Traynor, to come along as well. Hopefully we can get a few more friends to book too!

Now, you might think, "cruising with your grandmother?" But Hubby's grandma is one hot ticket. She tells it like it is. She dances. She drinks scotch on the rocks. She wants to do a zip line excursion. She is one of those people that attracts a crowd: people want to be around her, whether they're 90 or 19. She's a hoot. (She will be 84 this December)

Our first anniversary/honeymoon-makeup cruise is 19 days away, and we already have another one to look forward to! This is like being a kid on Christmas, when you know you still have visits to various relatives coming (and therefore, more presents to look forward to).

Monday, August 17, 2009

A few little happies

Good Monday Morning!

The good news is that I survived camping with the in-laws. The Ichetucknee River was beatiful (cold, but beautiful). I got to see some egrets, herons, storks and a grand total of 22 turtles. No otters. That was a bummer. I did not get hounded about having babies, but I did get plenty of crazy advice on how to raise them once they arrive. For instance, did you know (according to my MIL) that it's terrible to have an only child, because only children "grow up weird"? Hmm. I did not know that. I'm sure all my friends without siblings would like to know that too. I knew they were too normal for their own good. I had to laugh.

The other good news is that I have lost 6 pounds! I know that doesn't sound like a ton, but on a 4'10" body it's pretty substantial. I admit I haven't been as on track with working out as I should be, but it is amazing how little dietary adjustments can make such a difference. (I hate using a scale, I've never cared about the number on it and I don't want to tempt myself into weighing daily and obsessing. I could tell my pants were fiting better, so curiousity got to me about "how many pounds does it take" to feel that difference).

Now I feel a little bit better about all the glorious eating we'll be doing on our cruise (in 19 days!!!!). I know people say you gain a ton of weight on cruises, but I never have. There's so much walking! And I always take the stairs instead of waiting (forever) for an elevator. I think I'm much more active on a cruise than I am in "real life". *hangs head*

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I get to have all the fun

Soooooo. Last night, I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business by watching some Deadliest Catch and various Food Network re-runs, when the phone rings. Hubby answers it, and after a bit this is what I hear from his end of the conversation:

"...oh yeah! Sure, that sounds great. Definitely, a fun time. Yeah, it's a great weekend for that. Nah, we don't have anything going on. I bet Grandma will watch the dog for us..."

Hearing that, I am on high alert. And then after all that comes his useless attempt at including me in the decision making process, "I'd better ask Kate though."

After I found out what that conversation was all about, an alternate title to this post could be, "How Kate got roped into camping...with her in-laws".

Now, do not get me wrong. I love nature. I love "the real Florida". I love a nice stroll (or even a hike) through the great outdoors. I love animals and plants and just generally getting away. But the catch is, I like to sleep in my own comfy bed. And to take showers without needing to wear flip flops. And a/c...oh how I love the a/c. I wouldn't go so far as to say my idea of camping is the Marriott, but it's close. Maybe HoJo? I can do a budget inn, no problema. I am just not so thrilled at the idea of being smushed up in Hubby's parent's little camper. Call me crazy.

(Usually when Hubby does that nonsense and I'm not up for whatever he's all but signed us up for, I tell him to make up an excuse why we're not going....otherwise, it just looks like Kate the Bitch doesn't want to hang out. But with his parents, it is a bit more difficult, you know how that goes. I pick my battles.)

(And also, it must be noted, they are not bad people. They're a different brand of crazy than me, so they take some getting used to, but--so far, knock on wood--I don't have any crazy Mother in Law stories. But we've only been married a year, I still say give her time.)

Seriously, though. I'm going to go into this with a good attitude. It will be beautiful and tranquil. I'll get to go tubing (in a tube with a bottom, so I don't freeze). I get to go back up to a park I haven't visited since I left Gainesville. I am bringing ingredients to make s'mores.

So long as Hubby's mom doesn't start in on me about when we're going to give her more grandchildren, we'll be just fine. Ichetucknee Springs, here I come! (Though I may bring a flask. Come on, judge. I dare ya.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend recap...

#1...I wrote a very long, very rambly entry last Thursday about how super insanely crazy excited I was to be going to Jacksonville on Friday for a Kenny Chesney concert. However, in my excitement I never hit "publish post", so consider yourselves spared. At any rate, the concert was as fantastic as I'd hoped it would be! Mr. Chesney did not disappoint. The best part of the concert? Definitely when he changed the words to "We Went Out Last Night". He sang it as, "...I was a doctor, a lawyer, a senator's son, Tim Tebow's brother or a man on the run, anything I thought could get the job done..." Oh yes, Mr. Volunteer-State Man, you know how it is. Hehe. Even if you did "only" go to East Tennessee State... The second best part was all the hoochie-women dancing in the isles like they were auditioning for a strip club. A guy from our section actually went up and tried to tuck a dollar bill into one "lady's" pocket, it was that bad (good?)!

#2...I finally finished the scrapbook for our June vacation. I don't do the fancy-schmancy scrapbooks with the frou-frou paper and die cut stuff, that is way too much for me. I'm happy just having photos/ticket stubs/receipts/pamphlets/etc. stuck into a regular album in some sort of chronological order. Savannah, Chattanooga/Ruby Falls, visits to wineries, the Orioles game, and visiting all my family in Annapolis---it is all there! This is a big deal for me. I am constantly talking about making albums, but this is probably the first one I've finished since 2005. So that's why I'm telling you!

#3...A little update regarding the mourning of my CHI. On Friday, my husband informed me that my hair dryer was no longer working. Now, my hair dryer is just as special to me as my flat iron. It's a T3 and one of those splurges my mom convinced me was ok ("Kate, treat yourself to something frivilous and fancy now while you're single and kid-free, when it's no one's business but your own what you're spending money on". Smart advise, mama!) Anyhow, long story short: the good news is that neither my Chi or the dryer are broken. The bad news is that none the outlets in the bathroom are working (we tried flipping the breaker, no beans). seems like buying new hair appliances would have been cheaper than hiring the electrician we'll be needing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We gather together today to remember a faithful friend who apparently breathed her last breath (or drew her last volt) this morning. My Chi. My dear, pink Chi.

I've been wearing my hair wavy/curly a lot more often lately, I wonder if she got all dramatic on me and committed suicide because she wasn't getting attention anymore? That seems a little extreme. Whatever her reason, when I returned to her after her usual minute warm up period, her little red light was not glowing.

I touched the plate, thinking maybe it was just the light that was broken. I tried hitting the reset button, oh, 34 times. I moved the Chi to other outlets, hoping that was the problem. No luck.

I still have my old HAI stashed away somewhere, so I am not totally lost. But I got the Chi because the Hai wasn't heating up so well anymore. We'll see how long she lasts. My hairdresser has always talked about a place you can send your Chi for repair, so I'll call her up and get some more information on that.

(Yes, I refer to my hair appliances as "she". We've got a close relationship, ok?)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bad Car!

What a boring subject to write about. Sorry.

Yes, my dear little Honda (named Aretha, the same name my mom gave her first car) is acting up. I'm very lucky though, this time she waited til I was almost home. As I was pulling on to our street, I began to smell the distinctive scent of something sweet burning and saw smoke coming from under my hood.

Now, I understand my car is 11 year old and "stuff" happens. However, I just replaced my radiator and entire cooling system last fall.

Every time my car acts up, my dear husband decides that now is the time to buy me a new one. I appreciate his concern for my safety, obviously. And hell ya, I'd love to have a brand spankin' new car. But it's really not practical. I come from a family that runs cars into the ground. We would rather bite the bullet and pay $400 (um, or more) every year or so to keep the car going, rather than pay $400 every month as a car payment. My father, 63 years old, has had 4 cars in his lifetime ('68 Pontiac, '77 Pontiac, '85 Pontiac, '92 Mercedes). I have had mine for 10, and will keep it as long as the Car Gods keep her running. And it only has 145,000 miles on it! That's next to new for a Honda, right?

That does not mean I do not have my "dream car" picked out. If our family's mechanic comes back and tells me it will take a substantial fortune to keep Aretha going, I would pick a Honda CR-V. EX-L, Glacier Blue Metallic. Gray leather interior. Tinted windows. (it is not a gas guzzler and does not take up the same space as a tank on the road, so it is exempt from my general SUV hatred).

But like I said, hopefully the day I "upgrade" is far away. I love my car! No, the passenger window and the defroster don't work. Yes, she is dinged beyond measure from 4 years of parking in UF campus lots. No, the trunk hasn't closed or sealed properly since I was rear-ended in 2002. But seriously, no one in my life (aside from family and very close friends) has been a part of my life for 10 years! Aretha and I, we've got history.

So let's hope my mechanic calls with some good (cheap) news, haha...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sharpie Goodness

I love Sharpies. But that's nothing special, everyone does. Everyone I'm buddy-buddy with, at least. It must be something I subconsciously seek out in a friend, or a characteristic that comes with people like "us". We get excited over new colors. I am already plotting buying one of those big rainbow packages during the Back to School sales (one of my fave times of the year).

So yes, Sharpies in general are fantasticness in stick form but my main purpose in this post is to share the wonder that is....the Sharpie pen.

Just why is it so fantastic?

* It writes in a nice, crisp, thin-but-not-too-thin line.
* It does not bleed through paper.
* And, best of all (fellow Lefties, are you listening???) the ink dries fast and does not make a smudged mess out of your paper and hand!

The pen comes in black, blue, red and green. I realize these have probably been out forever and my rave is nothing new. But I am a pen geek and office supply junkie, and right now these are definitely my favorite. When a Leftie finds a good pen, she just about cries and is obligated to share the knowledge. This is a goodie!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First is the worst, second is the best....

Well, there is one national championship we will not take 2 years in a row.

The Princeton Review lists are in, and Penn State has overtaken us as the number one party school in the nation. Tragic, I know. But they have an on-campus creamery, nevermind the booze, how can we compete with that?

The Top Ten are as follows:

1. Penn State University
2. University of Florida
3. University of Mississippi
4. University of Georgia
5. Ohio University
6. West Virginia University
7. University of Texas
8. University of Wisconsin
9. Florida State University
10. University of California-Santa Barbara

I'd like to ask my fellow SEC girls to raise their glasses for a toast, we've got 3 out of the top 5 schools (and UT came in at #16). The Southeast Conference is the best, both on and off the field. And props to FSU for helping give the Sunshine State two appearances in the Top Ten. If only every state could be so proud.

Sometimes I worry that our quest to become a solid Top Ten Public University is compromised by these silly reports, but I (and plenty of others) know that Florida is a great university. So what's the harm in a little fun?

PS: I have been trying in vain to find an image of the "Sloppy Gator". When I was at UF, the slogan "Nobody likes a Sloppy Gator" was everywhere. The little guy was actually pretty cute. He had little drunken "x eyes". I know they still use that slogan! Next time I'm in G-ville, it's going to be a mission to seek him out and capture him on film.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Mondays. I haz it.

How 'bout 43 non-connected thoughts? Because it's Monday, that's why.

* Hubby and I had a lovely weekend at Cocoa Beach. The days were gorgeous and sunny (yet thanks to my spf60, spf-treated sunhat and tunic, and umbrella I didn't burn or even tan, yay!). Sunday before we left, we drove over to the port to watch the cruise ships leave. We drank Bud Light Limes (hey, they're not bad), leaned against the dock and toasted the fact that in roughly 40 days, that will be us sailing away!

* I need to lay off buying books. I worship, I can't imagine shopping at B&N ever again. I just got "Eat This, Don't Eat That!" Supermarket edition, which should be very helpful. I also received "Angela's Ashes" (super strange coincidence, I bought it the day before Frank McCourt died....cue that twilight zone freaky music). I also recently scored "A Southern Belle Primer, or why Princess Margaret will never be a Kappa Kappa Gamma" at a local thrift store (love those!), and it has made me bust out laughing several times. So wait, remind me again why buying books is bad? I'm getting them second hand....

* My sister in law came over last week with her 4 kids (gee, too bad I was at work and missed that...). I expected to come home and find our house looking like WWIII had rolled through--but no, S-I-L hung all of our pictures and such that we hadn't done anything with. I hate grouping and hanging art/pictures, I have no eye for it. That is why the task has been basically ignored for the year we've been in the house. 3 cheers for Hubby's almost makes her over-dramatic tendencies and poorly behaved children tolerable (almost). It looks like, dare I say, a home?

* I am going off hormonal birth control. I have gotten so that I don't have a period, ever, even during placebo weeks. Little Miss "I must be in control" here doesn't like that. I want to be more in tune with my body, especially if Hubby and I were to think about having youngins'. I've been on HBC for quite a while now, so I am actually going to have to re-learn how my body works. I just seriously hope my skin doesn't go last attempt at going off HBC ended with me as a cystic acne mess. Obviously if I am ever going to have kids I'll have to come off my good-skin-crutch at some point, but I'm still nervous about that aspect. I am what I am, and I am vain, I can't help it.

* Hubby's having knee trouble again. About 2 years ago he injured his left knee and had surgery on it. Now, his right knee is giving him trouble (to a lesser extent). He'll probably go in for an MRI this week, and hopefully the damage will not require surgery. If it does, he and I are both hopeful that he can manage his discomfort and be able to schedule the procedure for after our cruise. He'll still have 2 months to recover before basketball season starts, but he'll also be able to enjoy our trip. Poor guy. It's always something!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


(Just noticed my post from yesterday was never published. Don't know how I screwed that up, but that just means you get 2 posts from me today. Lucky you!)

Hubby and I are chomping (hehe) at the bit for college football season to get here. Less than 50 days!

We always try to go to at least one game from our respective alma maters. Last year, we were lucky enough to get tickets to see our teams play each other.

As I may have mentioned, we are a house divided. I went to the grand and glorious University of Florida and am a proud orange-and-blue Gator. Hubby attended our archrival, Florida State University and is not just a diehard garnet-and-gold Seminole, but was an athletic trainer for the football team all 4 years (capped off by a national championship in 2000, his senior year). Our allegiances run deep. Is anyone else a "blended family"?

When I first told my mom about him, her reaction was priceless. I could have told her I was dating a black, Jewish, Republican (you get the point, whatever is totally opposite from our family) and she'd have been fine. But her eyes got wide and she said, "Really, Kate? A Seminole?" She did recover from the 'shame' I brought to the family and ended up loving Hubby despite his 'shortcomings', hehe.

So far, we are definitely attending the Florida/Arkansas game and the Florida State/Maryland game. Hubby decided a few years ago that we must always go to FSU's last home game, just in case Saint Bobby decides to retire (we don't predict he'll give any notice before the end of the season). I'd love to get tickets to the UF/FSU game (in Gainesville this year) but those are difficult to come by.

I can't wait for a good tailgate. Or at least a good football party at our house. Grill some burgers, make up some other munchies, chill some beer, float in the pool and watch some college football. I need to start planning some stuff early, I want this year to be good!

The point of this post? Nothing. Did you need to read any of that? No. I'm just tired of baseball, need some football in my life and want to talk about it!

Interweb babies!

You know technology is both a scary and absolutely awesome thing when you've been following the blog of a pregnant couple for their entire pregnancy, their due date is today and you know they're at the hospital, and the first thing I want to check up on as I sit down at my computer in the morning with my cup of coffee is how far apart the mom's contractions are. Email can wait.

I don't know them from Adam. They don't know me. Even so, I've been drawn in to their story (or as they probably think of it, their life, haha) and am so excited for them. Man, the interwebs are cool.

They have even made me use the Twitter account I signed up for so long ago and never log into. They're updating from the hospital (they have over 15,000 followers, they're quite a phenomenon). Hallmark should make a card that expresses that sentament.

His Boys Can Swim is the name of the blog (the 12 year old boy in me finds the name hilarious and still giggles every time 'he' sees the homepage graphics). I think I like them so much because they seem so down to earth and "real". Like people Hubby and I would want to go out for beers with (aww, look Sweetheart, I'm setting up imaginary double dates for us with strangers!).

Ok, now off to hotmail and msnbc, my usual first 2 stops in the morning. But hey, it's not every day a baby is born to the authors of my current fave blog to stalk!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Happy Friday to everyone! Hubby and I are taking his grandmother out to dinner tonight. We're going to a little hole-in-the-wall joint up in West Volusia County that serves the best "old Florida style" seafood on the planet. I can't wait!

I thought I'd start periodically sharing some of my favorite things. I'm a very easy person to shop for (at least I'd like to think so!) because there are so many things I'm known for loving at all sorts of price points. For example, all of my family knows that I am obsessed with Fiestaware.

Fiesta dinnerware was created in 1936 and, with the exception of a period of time between 1973 and 1986, has been around ever since. It's made in Newell, West Virginia (gotta love a good "Made in the USA" product). I love the art deco style and the fact that it comes in every hue in the rainbow. I love bold and bright colors!

My aunt got me started with a set back in college. Actually 4 complete place settings in rose, seamist, periwinkle and yellow (all beautiful pastels, and sadly discontinued now). My mom always loved Fiestaware and always talked about how she wanted to replace her Correlle ware with it. I guess that stuck with me! I love it. I'm so not a traditional China person (blasphemy to some, I know). I didn't register for a pattern. The thought didn't even cross my mind---well, until someone suggested it to me and I looked at them like they had 2 heads. Hubby and I are not the type to do fancy dinners, so it would be a complete waste (I do, however, have a fave Waterford crystal pattern---I cling to my old Irish roots on that one!). Now, nothing makes me happier than adding a new piece to my collection. I love that it is meant to be used, not saved "for good". I love opening our cabinet and seeing the stacks of colorful plates. I love how our table looks set with a rainbow of colors.

(I don't have an actual photo of our dinette set, but I found a similar picture out on the internets. This is exactly like our table, except ours is teal. It was in my mother in law's home when she was a little girl in the 50's. I love it. My eventual decorating goal is to give our kitchen a retro vibe without making it seem like you're in a diner or soda shop. Easy on the kitsch!)

Eventually, I hope to amass a substantial collection with lots of variety. That way, I can set a table with colors that match the season or holiday's theme. (I am currently all set for Easter, it's adorable). Since most dinner pieces sell for $10-20, it's a wonderful "cheap thrill" for me.

Anyhow, I'll stop before I go on all day about my slight obsession appreciation for Fiesta (I almost have already!) but I'm glad to share my loves!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Cheap Cute Find

I know Banana Republic and J. Crew have the hearts of quite a few out there, and while I totally understand the love, they are generally far too expensive for the Sweet Southern Sunshine budget. Even Gap can be outrageous. I am, however, a huge fan of BR's little sister company, Old Navy (and I get my J. Crew fix on eBay). I will pay good money for classic pieces that I expect to wear very regularly and want to last. For trendy, seasonal or just plain "I want something cute and new NOW" shopping, ON is my honey. (*whisper* I don't think Banana's quality these days is worth what they charge anyhow...shh)

Here is my latest find:

Usually Pasty-Pale me avoids white dresses, but it was just too cute to pass up. It reminds me a bit of cherry blossoms. I can think of a million places to wear it, but my major excuse for buying it was to bring it along on our cruise. It'd be an adorable dinner dress for casual nights. And for <$30. Just sayin'. I also got some colorful cardigans on sale too (wisteria, kelly green, royal blue). I think I now own a cardigan in just about every color. Mr. Rogers would be totally jealous of my closet.