Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
(* I am not being PC; I am referring to Chanukah, Christmas and New Years … oh yeah, and since we are on a European island, Boxing Day … and maybe my birthday since it was just a week ago.)
The hubs and I, along with his parents and the boat crew, celebrated Christmas (and my birthday … and Boxing Day for that matter) in Sint Maarten.
I’ve been here once before, two years ago, when I was part of said boat crew. It’s been great spending an entire afternoon at the beach without having to sneak back on the boat before the owner knew we were gone.
And despite my love/hate relationship with the yachting industry, it feels good to be back on the boat and to be surrounded by others (… boats and people).
I was spoiled by my husband and by his family this year. And I'm traveling to Cincinnati in a few weeks to celebrate my mom’s birthday as well as a second Christmas and my birthday with my family! (Yeah!)
I’ve spent four birthdays with my husband. And he surprises me and spoils me every time.
During my first birthday, he flew me to London, um, proposed!!!
and on his deathbed (he was seriously ill, he almost passed out at while waiting to see the crown jewels) took me on a tour of Grand Ol’ London-town. … That was before he flew me to Seychelles to spend Christmas with his folks.
The year after, everything was a bit chaotic. We both had spend the last three months working on the boat in the Caribbean, so when my birthday came, we had 48 hours to fly into Miami (a city with neither of us were familiar) and find an apartment (while I was also attending school orientation), fly back out to Cincinnati, celebrate Christmas, fit in some wedding planning, pack up everything I own and move back down to Florida.
Amidst all of it, my hubs managed to surprise me with a HUGE bouquet of flowers (which I always tell him that’s ALL I really want, but he rarely listens).
Last year, while driving to my parent's place for the holidays, we spent my birthday in Nashville (one of my favorite cities). We actually stayed at the Opryland Hotel, which if you ever go, go at Christmas-time; it’s magical!!! The hubs gave me with a HUGE make up case with tons of make up inside (he is actually a card-carrying member at Sephora now).
And this year was no different.
The day after we arrived in Sint Maarten, he took me to a jewelry store he regularly shops (seriously, every piece of real jewelry I own, minus the engagement ring, is from this store).
After a big welcome and happy birthday from the employees, they brought out a tiny box, which I promptly ripped open to find this sparkler:
Mark bought the ring a week before he came home before Christmas. When he came back, we did our usual Cheesecake Factory dinner date, followed by a mall walk. We walked into a jewelry store and I told Mark that in about five years or so, I think I’d like a new wedding band (To my defense, Mark had talked about “upgrading” my engagement ring, but it’s too special to me. So I wanted to let him know that I wouldn’t be opposed to a new (and less expensive) band.)
The funny thing is, the band I described was almost identical to the one I received; and until that day, I’d never mentioned the band before. Not only does the hubs know me, he is the WORST secret keeper in the world, so the fact he managed to not give any hint to the gift was ah-mazing.
The jewelry shop employees organized a cake for me as well. I am currently dieting for a competition that’s in a couple months, so technically I’m not allowed the cake. However, they went through so much trouble I didn’t want to be rude.
And again, with Christmas, I was spoiled. On my birthday we walked through Phillipsburg (the main shopping area on the island) and I walked into Longchamps, telling the hubs I’d like to have a bag next birthday/Christmas (a few day earlier, he told me he wasn't able to find the gift item I had previously asked for. He seemed so upset about it, I was convinced he actually had found it and was trying to keep it a secret). So much to my surprised went I found a green Longchamps box on Christmas.
One of my goals for 2012 is to be super organized and on top of everything. Having a matching purse and cosmetic bags makes me feel that more Type A :)
We have another day or two before Mark and I head back home. This will be our first New Year’s Eve in travel, therefore we hope to actually make it out.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I ditched classes on Monday and hit the road to Ohio.
I’ve driven the Florida-to-Ohio route a few times: a couple trips in college, when moving to Florida, when going back to Ohio to get married, going back to Florida as a married lady, and then to and fro last Christmas. ... But I never did it ALONE!
(The hubs is somewhere between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic right now).
Okay, so I was not completely alone.
I had my navigator:
who promptly fell asleep about 30 minutes out of Fort Lauderdale.
Luckily Morgan stepped in, back seating driving a majority of the way.
About two hours into the road trip, it started to get not fun anymore. As much as I love my dogs, they offer sparse conversation.
A few hours later, as darkness fell and I entered Georgia I found the all Christmas music, all the time radio station. Thankfully singing Christmas carols kept me alert and awake enough to make it to Macon for my overnight. (I apologize to Martini-dog and Morgan as my singing ability is on par with their conversation skills).
For all of you road tripping/vacationing with dogs, there is a must-use Web site: Bringfido.com. It lists pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and attraction across the country.
After a night in Georgia and breakfast stop at Chick-fil-a, I was on the road again. An unfortunate one-lane traffic pattern (for 6 miles) and then a tropical storm-like rains in the mountains slowed me down, but when I got closer to Ohio, I saw this:
A blurry rainbow ... A welcome sign?
I crossed over Ohio into rush-hour traffic, but after hours of driving by myself, I was super excited and thankful to be home safe! (Oh, and people in Ohio actually let you over when you have your turn signal on ... eat that Miami!)
Oh, and something exciting happened on my drive north. Remember the baby shower for Christie?
Well, she was induced on Tuesday afternoon, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday night.
On Wednesdays, my bestie Kelly came over with her new baby … fur-baby that is. Carly, her Boston Terrier pup, and Morgan got along really well. I’m just sad we don’t live closer. It would be awesome to have regular puppy play-dates.
Kelly and I stop in to see baby Charlotte. It was my first post-partum hospital visit ever. It was also my first time holding a newborn ... ever (While I have younger brothers I was too young to have any memories of hospital views or holding them).
Let’s just say I don’t think I’m ready for a baby anytime soon, since I froze when they put Charlotte in my arms. I was too afraid to do anything in fear I might hurt her or place her in the wrong position.
Plus, on the way to the hospital, Kelly told me babies sense fear, which made me even more nervous. Luckily, Baby Charlotte is polite and such a sweetheart that she barely stirred as I held her (I think she even gave me a smile).
My brother came in from Chicago last night and we drove to our lake house. We have five dogs and five people in a little cabin (my other brother is working/studying abroad in London). But it’s been great sitting around all day, watching the parade, and the dog show (nerd, I know) and then football all afternoon.
Once I checked my email this afternoon I had even more exciting news. My friend Michelle and her man are engaged!!!!
So, as I am getting ready to celebrate with my family, I just want to say how grateful I am for everyone in my life. Despite not being completely in love with my living situation, this time apart from friends and family has made me become even more appreciative of them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I have attempted three other posts, but I haven't been able to complete them. Perhaps it's my multitude of finals and quizzes plaguing me, or maybe it's the fact that the hubs is about to leave for the season (I get to see him at Christmas, which a only a crazy few weeks away, but I sort of liked having him around all the time :) ...)
But as any writer knows as they are facing writer's block, write what you know. And all I know is this home-girl needs a haircut! Well, a bang cut. What are these?
Every time I mention my bangs the hubs says, (middle column, 8th quote down).
This will be my first professional haircut since oh, um, February 2010 when I did this:
Unfortunately for you, photos from my high school days are under lock-and-key. Those of us in high school in the late 90s, probably remember the Sun-In obsession.
I had always wanted to be of lighter hair color, so I followed the trend. But what happens to dark brown hair with a cheap spray-in hair lightener? It turns orange.
So years later, when I had the opportunity I decided to go lighter, professionally.
I only lasted two months, and once I went back to black, I wanted to make an attempt to grow it out for my wedding. I EPICALLY failed and wore faux-hair.
Before I met my husband, I always had long hair. But a year out of college, I started working a corporate job, and I felt like I was conforming too much, too soon. So I did what any rebel-Yuppie would do: I chopped my hair.
It was modeled after Mrs. VB herself.
My then-boyfriend (now the hubs) mentioned the ‘do reminded him of fellow South African Charlize Theron’s hair from Aeon Flux.
So what does any all-American girl who is trying to impress a handsome foreigner with an cute accent? I went even shorter:
And when Mark and I began dating, we would fly every weekend to see each other. My flights usually had super-short layovers. During one trip, foot traffic in the airport was re-routed and everyone had to re-enter through security to get to another terminal. I was late for my connecting flight, so I stood in line, cursing under my breath, throwing items into a bin, and quickly walked through security (you can’t run, as I learned at a later date and during a different story). As I picked up my items, a woman behind me told me, “Cute haircut.”
I thanked her curtly, barely glancing at her. I didn’t even bother with my shoes as I sprinted through the airport. My flight was delayed, but finally when we finally boarded I saw the pilot: the woman who liked my hair … and I had been a bit rude too. I was so embarrassed. After I sat down a flight attendant came over to me.
“The pilot has something to ask you,” she said.
I thought she was going to say something about relaxing and being kind to people. Instead she asked, “Where did you get your hair cut?”
Whew! (By the way, it was Greg at Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa in Kenwood, Ohio, but I don’t know if he even works there anymore).
After the wedding I was about to cut it again, I realized the hubs has never seen me with my long locks.
When longer, my hair is naturally wavy. Actually I should clarify, it waves ... just one. And itholds nothing, as my curling efforts are often in vain. So when a friend in college had a short bob with really slight perm in it (think beachy-waves that are popular now) and it looked super cute, I went to the hair salon and asked for a perm with the loosest waves possible.
Unfortunately the style didn't transfer well to longer hair, and I ended up looking like Ashley Simpson, pre-nose job:
Sick of being compared to her, I decided to start-over. I stripped my hair and cut it short. The next day, I opened People, only to open it up and see this photo:
A week later I was back to black.
Okay, so that about all to my hair-story. The long and the short of it, I need a cut. I would like to do something fun for the holidays, but one of my besties is getting married in June, and I haven’t figured out a hairstyle to wear yet, so I’m keeping it longer in the meanwhile. Though I guess I can always sport one of my faux-dos.
Friday, October 21, 2011
KitchenAid has a whole selection of products, all in pink!
Perhaps I’d cook more in a pink-accessorized kitchen (hear that hubs?)
Don’t like to cook? No problem there are a ton of other products that donate proceeds to breast cancer research or awareness. A few years back I bought a pair of this pair of New Balances:
They have multiple pairs this year (along with other accessories), but I sort of like this:
I'm not a runner, so I will not be paying $144 for a pair of gymmies, but this products has two good causes: breast cancer awareness (5% of the retail price goes to Komen for the Cure) AND the product is MADE IN THE USA! (They are actually the ONLY major shoe manufacturer still domestically producing products ... sad, huh?) They also offer free shipping for any Lace Up for the Cure purchase.
Sephora also has a whole bunch of cosmetic goodness; in more ways than one. Each
Sephora also has a whole bunch of cosmetic goodness; in more ways than one. Eachparticipating brand will donate a portion of the proceeds to organzations that raise awareness for and find a cure.
Sephora also has The Sephora Project which lists specific products and their causes.
Even the NFL is getting in on the action.
What better way to sport your favorite team, a good cause, while still looking like a girl in sports gear?
70% of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Fund
They are donating 100% of all profits from the sale of the Glitter Gloss in Twinkle Pink and Glossy Gloss in Wild Watermelon to the Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Some of my faves:
Hocus Pocus. (Once a SJP fan, always a SJP fan)
The Nightmare before Christmas
Others listed: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original is actually a bit too creepy for me ... and of course I prefer anything with Johnny Depp), and Monsters, Inc.
I know since it's on the Family Channel, real scary movies (Blair Witch, The Ring, Paranormal Activity, Scream, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Exorist, etc.) aren't included. But I'm not about to go out and rent these, as I feel I only have enough guts to watch some of the above with commercial breaks to still be able to sleep soundly.
For a full line up (you’ll thank me when you are channel surfing with nothing to watch) go here
Also, in the theme of Halloween, I was perusing through Pinterest (both the best thing that has happened to my creative mind and the worst thing to happen to my time management skills) and picked out some of my favorite Halloween décor: