Sunday, June 21, 2009

tea for two, two for tea

I had my first proper English tea party yesterday (and there were actually 3 of us but I had to use that cute little song as the title). I felt so...proper? Haha, well my good friend from work is British and she wanted to invite me and Taylor (remember her from an earlier post?) over to her home for a proper ( her accent) English tea. And that's exactly what we did...I arrived and she had a lovely spread of pastries, savory pastries (yes they are two different things..."savory pastries" are similar to quiche) and a beautiful tea set equipped with English breakfast tea. I like to think that I am well cultured and there are few situations that I feel as if I need to act in an extra mannerly way but this was definitely an occasion where I felt that I needed to be "fancy". My Brit friend is very fashionable (so of course I dressed in a very cute outfit...if I do say so myself) and she doesn't mess around with her "proper English tea" I knew that I needed to be on my best behavior (Mom, you would've been so proud). And I was. I joked by putting my fancy pinky finger up while drinking but quickly put it down (didn't want to be disrespectful). But seriously, we all had a great time and while I did feel the need to be proper, it was not an uptight tea party at all. Tayla had to leave early to go to work so I lingered around a little while (yes, I offered to leave when Tay left but my British hostess asked if I would stay) and we had great conversation. I really do love talking to someone that...I love talking to. Well, its as simple as that...if I really enjoy talking to the person then I can sit there for hours. After 5 hours I finally came home. And oh by the way my Brit friend has an ADORABLE Shih Tzu whom I fell in love with and I'm kind of petitioning for one in our home...yeah right, that'll happen (roll of eyes......plllllllease John!?).

a few things...

Here are a few things that I would like to post about (so I will put them all in one post):

1. My new fave snack is cottage cheese with pretzels, yummm! Now, I can see all of you nay-sayers now...and yes, I used to think cottage cheese was nasty (I actually never tried it until last week) but now I love it! You must try the combo even if you are a little hesitant.

2. Dixie and I went on a walk today and an elderly lady called us over to her yard because she (insert heavy Eastern European accent here) "wanted to talk to the dog". So I took Dixie over to her and she promptly began asking me if I was married, do I have children, when am I going to have children? Then telling me that I am young and healthy and that I should have children. I assured her that children would be in the plan one day but no time soon, because my husband is a graduate student and we just don't think that right now is a good time (apparently not a good enough excuse for her). She told me that she was almost 80 years old and had moved here from Romania over 50 years ago. She then said "how old again?"...23..."oh 23! that how old I was when I had first child." Me: "oh ok, how nice". She then went on and on about how she met her husband, how long they dated before marriage, when she got married, when she had children, when they had children, where those children went to may sound like I'm complaining but it was actually very interesting and I enjoyed talking with her. All except the pressure to have children from an 80 year old Romanian that I had never met before...and don't worry, before I left to continue my walk she reminded me again that I was young and healthy and that I should have children soon...atleast 1. Ha.

3. One thing I love about the burgh is that we are surrounded by so many cultures. Now don't get me wrong I love being from the South and all but it's incredible to meet people who are refugees from another country or who packed up a suitcase just to get out of communist Romania to have a new life in the "free America". It makes me very proud of our country and all of the multitudes of people that we are made up of. After I spoke with my 80 year old Romanian friend, I went with John to a cook out that his advisor was hosting--I then met the daughter (my age) of another advisor that John works with--I noticed that both of her parents had thick accents and asked her where they were from. Come to find out that they're from Bosnia and fled to America in the early 90s. Crazy! Here I am talking to a woman my age whose parents had to drop everything except a few thousand dollars and leave their country. They practically came here with nothing and now he's an established professor at CMU, she's seeking her Master's, the mother has some sort of health care job (I think) and the other daughter is about to begin a teaching program in Baltimore. I really do love America, hearing stories like that are so inspiring.

4. One thing that I don't miss about the South: the humidity. I will say that the summer up here has been very, very nice. The weather reaches to about the mid-80s and there is little to no humidity. And when my co-workers complain about the humidity I just laugh at them and tell them that they know nothing about it.

congrats grad!

First of all let me say that I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in 2 years. Second of all, we went down to sweet ol' NC for Katie's graduation! Wahoo! I'm so incredibly proud of her! I was so thrilled to be able to watch her through tear filled eyes (my eyes, not hers--the heart of stone doesn't cry) walk across that stage! And her next stop is N-C-STAAAAATE! Yay! After she graduated we went back to my parents' house and had a barbeque, it was so great to see close friends and family! Although, I will say that we came home to a surprise...see we left Dixie out in the yard with Oakley (my family dog) to romp around and have a good time. However it slipped our mind that Dixie is still a puppy and can be quite destructive. So we walked back there to see that Dixie had eaten all of Mom's marigolds, ripped up some hosta and drug it all over the yard, dug holes, spread around pine straw in places it hadn't been before and literally eaten hibiscus blooms right off of the plant. I was mortified! John and I quickly changed from nice clothes to work clothes and tried to fix as much as possible...the fam helped out too but I wanted to do as much as I could since it was our dog that had been the destructor. Other than that everything went smoothly and everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks Mom and Dad for having us, we were so happy to be there! Thank you for everyone who came to the graduation partay afterwards, it was great to see ya'll too!! And Katie, I'm soooooooooooooooo proud of you! I love you baby sister!!

PS-I will post pics once Katie sends them to me, somehow John and I always remember to bring the camera on trips but forget to take pics. Oh well...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

the South will rise again!

OH. MY. GOSH! I'm speechless (for once)!

Ok, now that I've displayed my sheer excitement I will explain myself. So my boss mentioned to me the other day that it was his wedding anniversary, I then in turn asked him what he was getting his wife, he said "I'm taking her on a trip...oh yeah, I'm sure you would like this...we're going to a recreation of Tara." I almost peed my pants a little...could he be talking about THE TARA...THE GONE WITH THE WIND TARA (the only ONE, duh!)?!?! And yes infact he was speaking of our (the South's) beloved Tara! Can you believe that?! There is a recreation of Tara that exists and in the darn North to boot!! After he told me a little about it I tried to stifle a squeal and again I almost peed my pants (I'm sure you all enjoy these vivid images). Well he came back on Monday and described the whole experience, and no I was not ashamed to ask details about the exquisite food he said he had and the antiques that he saw. My heart literally fluttered for about 15 minutes straight. TARA! He then told me that he was sure they would treat John and I like royalty since we have Southern accents. Hello people I'm trying to go there!!! When I mentioned it to JK he said it was too expensive (danget!!!!). Well if we don't go for a night and stay we are definitely going for a tour sometime! (by the way, can you tell how passionate I am about this post?) And oh yeah, the employees dress up in clothes from that era! I mean let's see...there's a recreated Tara, they dress up in clothes from that era, the food is incredible, the ENTIRE mansion is decorated with gorgeous antiques AND every room is named after something from Gone With the Wind or something regarding the South!! Could I find anything more perfect?! Ok please do yourself a favor and check out their site... (and no I don't know how to make this into a link still, so if ya'll are in on a secret please share!).

I still can't believe this is in the North, is that proof enough that them dang Yankees are jealous of our culture? Yes, I believe it is.

Monday, June 8, 2009

crazy girl

I received an e-mail at work today that looked something like this:

"...So in between the time that you left for work and the time that I got up Dixie drank two Gatorades. She pierced the first one and sucked out the Gatorade then she unscrewed the top of the second one and drank it."

Seriously?! I really can't believe that! I mean how does a 6 month old dog unscrew a Gatorade and manage to drink it and another one in less than an hour?? Yeah, I still can't wrap my mind around it either.

When I came home today I found my food magazines torn up...not one of my fashion magazines was touched but my food mags were all torn up. That's my girl.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yes, that's correct...that's the name Taylor pronounced Taylah. This post is dedicated to my best (and only) bud in PA, Taylor (duh). I met Tay at my job, she was the old HR assistant and was able to train me for 2 weeks. We instantly connected and have been pals ever since! She's the same age as me but a little different, she's lived in western PA her whole life and is half Italian (yes, her father was born in Italy and immigrated here with his family when he was a young boy) and half Polish. Its quite fun to share stories about our different cultures...I teach her all about Southern culture (she is appalled that I wear overalls and laughs almost everytime I say ya'll) and she tells me crazy tales of her very Italian grandmother (which I soak up and semi-wish I had one of my own). She loves food (duh, to be any friend of mine this is a must!) and loves to laugh...perfect match, right?! Well tonight she came over and we made dinner (bruschetta is a must at all of our get togethers), played with Dixie and took her for a walk (more like she dragged Taylah up the street), got ice cream at Bruster's (apparently a popular ice cream place around here) and just sat and talked. I love just sitting and talking with another woman...that's definitely something that I miss from good ol' NC. Taylah is just a wonderful, sweet, uplifting person and I'm very thankful that our paths crossed and now we're good friends!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

new website

So I decided to be a copy cat (again) and steal this site suggestion from my cuz, Emily.

You really should check out:

This woman lives on a cattle ranch with her husband, kids and tons of animals. Now I'm not necessarily what you would call a country girl but I can appreciate the country-ness. Her pictures are absolutely breathtaking! You must take a peek! Enjoy and you can thank me later :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

good friends, marriage, and a sunburn

First of all I would like to give a shout out to our dear friends Pat and Emily...congratulations! They were married this past Saturday, which is why we headed down to Raleigh a few days ago. (the picture is of them at our wedding) We had such a great time, we got to see friends, family and a beautiful wedding! The wedding was outside on a gorgeous golf course followed by a lovely dinner reception inside. Emily was a beautiful bride and they're a great couple, we wish them only the best :)

I was able to stay with good friends and spend great quality time with them! It felt like we left just yesterday (so sad). John and Dixie were able to spend a lot of good time with John's friend Chad right before he leaves for Germany for 6 months. During my good time with friends we decided to lay out at their apartment complex's pool...where I got a sunburn :( I spent 2.5 hours outside without (gasp!) sunscreen! Now I'm feeling the consequences and trust me its no fun. See I'm usually not familiar with sunburn because I wear sunscreen and/or get a base tan at a tanning bed. The frosting on the cake is that puppies clearly don't recognize sunburn nor do they care which is why they have no problem jumping on your back at 7:45 in the morning and scraping your burnt back with their toenails and taking off your pj pants all in one fell swoop (thank goodness there was no one else in our dining room this morning). Yeah, I know I just painted a pretty picture, but that was the beginning of my Monday morning.

All in all, we were thrilled that we were able to go to NC and witness one of the happiest days of Pat and Emily's lives, and it was an extra bonus to be able to spend time with wonderful friends! We wrapped up the visit with a brunch with Mom, Dad, and delicious! Thank ya'll so much for coming to eat with us :) We love all of our NC friends and family (well we love all of our friends and family!!!)!!