Tuesday, December 20, 2011


hee hee. found here.

On an unrelated note, I'm pretty sure my teeth are going to fall out soon due to my recent sugar intake.  Lovely.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

crispy chocolate peanut butter cookie dough truffles

Don't be intimidated by the ridiculously long name.  You should probably make these like now.  And eat a lot of them.  But eat a lot slowly, because they're really, really rich.  But oh man, are they delicious!

recipe and photo cred: how sweet it is

4th married christmas

It's hard for me to believe but this is our 4th married Christmas!  Where has the time gone?  So since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic I thought I'd share some pics from our past Christmases.

Christmas 2008, downtown Pittsburgh

Sadly there's no pics of our 2009 Christmas, so we'll just skip to 2010...

John's department Christmas party 2010

Our Christmas party 2010 (see, we made up for '09 by taking 2 pics in '10)

And today we'll be going to see The Nutcracker (John's gift to me!!) so I'll try to sneak in a pic of us before we leave for that.  Merry Christmas!!  Good luck with all your last minute preparations!

your daily (christmas) quote

He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought... doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more! 

 Dr. Seuss

Saturday, December 17, 2011

cute christmas

If this isn't one of the cutest things then I don't know what is.  
(found on facebook)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

your daily quote

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.

Pablo Neruda 

Monday, December 5, 2011

been a few days

Hey y'all, I feel like it's been a few days since I posted.  I looked at my last post and it said Thursday but I could've sworn it was like a week ago or something.  Anyway, it's been hustle and bustle around here (like every other American home); working, Christmas shopping (almost done--fingers crossed!), decorating, cleaning, prepping for a Christmas party...the usual.  I'm trying to think of some things to update you on...I finished my 30 Day Shred awhile ago but I haven't set aside enough time to give you my clear thoughts (they're positive ones!).  We watched this movie this past weekend:

Hilarious.  But really, really crass.  Some of the crass was a little unnecessary but what are you gonna do? 

Finished this book today:

I thought it was good.  Not incredible, but good.  I kind of had to push myself through it a bit.  I guess because I've heard a lot of hype about it and the movies (which I know I watched a looong time ago but have to go re-watch now) and I felt like it didn't live up to the hype.  Oh well, I'm going to read The Edge of Reason next because, well, I feel like I kind of need to.  Moving right along...

I finished this book a few weeks ago:

And it was AMAZING!  I loved it!  One of the best books I've read in awhile!  I highly recommend it :)

Also, I'm totally obsessed with Gossip Girl.  Which I watch during nap time at work.  Very addictive.  Darn you Netflix with your easy availability and darn you dramatic shows with your easy addictiveness. 

On that note, xoxo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

lessons from a southern belle #73

We Southern Belles may appear to be as dainty and delicate as Magnolia petals, but we are as strong as Cypress roots.

found here

your (not so) daily quote

In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.

Michael Jackson (found here)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

thankful 30

30.  Today I'm thankful for how beautiful our Christmas tree is.  It just warms my heart and makes any troubles or sad times just wash away.  :)

thankful 29

29.  I'm thankful for online shopping.  Specifically Amazon.  Because really, where else can you get such a wide variety of products?  I searched their website for the last few presents I needed to pick up and it was just so easy.  Love that. 

thankful 28

28. On this day I was thankful to have a job that I enjoy to return to after spending time with the people I love.

thankful 27

27. On this day I was thankful for cars and highways.  Although it took us 11 hours to get home I tried to think positively and imagine how stinkin' long it would take if we had a horse and buggy.  I mean really, how did people travel back in the day?  That would take for-ev-er.

thankful 26

26. On this day I was very thankful for my immediate family.  While it was great to see a lot of people on Thanksgiving day, it was very rushed so that we could see everyone.  It was nice to just hang out with my family and run errands on Saturday.  And we picked up a Christmas tree.  And decorated it!  Love ya'll!

last Christmas

thankful 25

25. On this day I was just down right thankful for some good shopping deals!  (Side-eye to Macy's--your coupons sucked)  Yes, I'm a Black Friday shopper. I was just raised that way.  Sorry you didn't know it earlier.  It's a pretty awesome thing.

thankful 24

24. On this day I was obviously thankful for Thanksgiving.  What a great day to be reminded of all the wonderful people and things in my life.  Oh, and the delicious food didn't hurt either.

thankful 23

Looks like I've got a lot of thankfulness to catch up on...

23. On this day (11/23) I was thankful for our arrival in NC.  When you cross that state line, you know you're home.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

thankful 22

22. I'm thankful for sunshine.  Which we haven't had around here since I don't know when...

Monday, November 21, 2011

thankful 21

21. I'm thankful for online shopping.  It just makes things so dang easy.

thankful 20

20. I'm thankful to have a healthy, fully functioning body

your daily quote

 In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

John Bunyan

Saturday, November 19, 2011

thankful 19

19. Today I'm thankful for John.  I love this man.  He's really great and pretty handsome too :)  Happy birthday to my awesome husband!  Seriously, have we celebrated 6 of his birthdays together?  Yes, we have.  Where does the time go?

(he did not willingly pose for this photo)

thanful 18

18. Today I'm thankful for Dixie.  I know I listed being thankful for her last year, so you can call it a repeat but I think it just means I'm double thankful.

Here's the latest Dixie story: John has been playing football with friends the last couple of hours.  I'm at home baking his birthday cupcakes.  I conveniently forgot cupcake liners when I went to the grocery store 1.5 hrs earlier.  I quickly set the alarm (yes, I'm a spaz), lock the door and dash to the car to make a quick trip for freaking cupcake liners.  While I'm in the store chatting on the phone with a friend I notice that ADT is beeping in.  I frantically click over and the sweet lady basically says that our "alarm has gone off and can she send the police?".  I'm thinking "umm I was in our house 3 minutes ago, what the heck" then I ask "can you tell me what sensor it was that set off the alarm?" to which she replies "the living room window".  Heart rate slows down a little and I tell her "oh don't worry about it, that's just my dog barking at the window, everything's OK, thanks".  Really?  I'm gone for 3 minutes.  She sets off the alarm barking at God knows what...probably a squirrel...or some leaves blowing through the yard.  When I get home I stare at her and say "way to go, champ" to which she ignores the jab and barks and wiggles wildly because ohmygodthankgoodnessimnotaloneanymore!  Neurotic.  For the remainder of baking time she randomly barks at the mailman/leaves/squirrels/neighbor sweeping porch outside like they're all aliens just waiting to attack our home.  Oh and she barks at me because she really really really wants a sausage ball (also for John's birthday).  But right now all of that just melts away because you really can't beat the feeling of a dog laying their head on your lap and wanting to be scratched when you sit down on the couch with your laptop.  Like, I type very quietly because I don't want her to jump up and leave this spot (which she has done at the point in the post...grrr...) because these times are few and far between and so precious.  Dixie, you make me so happy even though you are really super crazy.  I wouldn't have you any other way, precious girl. :)

thankful 17

17. I'm thankful for the joy I get from baking.  Like, if I could pay for things in cookies and cupcakes I totally would.  I've been baking since 10:30 today and I couldn't be happier.  Well, if some of my favorite people were with me I guess I could be a little happier...but that will happen soon enough :)

your daily quote

You can never be overdressed or over-educated.

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

thankful 16

16. Today I'm thankful for The Big Bang Theory.  We started watching this a couple months ago and it brings me so much joy.  Mostly because I can totally relate.  If you're a geek or you have a geek that you love, this show is worth checking out.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

thankful 15

15. Today I'm thankful for the way small children talk.  I love the stuff they come up with and the way they say it.  Precious.

thankful 14

14. Edy's Peppermint ice cream.  I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.  It's Christmas all up in your mouth.

Thanks to ABby for telling me about it.  Thanks to Pallas for encouraging me to make the plunge and buy it.

thankful 13

13. I'm thankful for people who are crafty and the crafts they create.  Also, I'm jealous. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

quick, easy, healthy meal ideas

  1.  Pesto grilled cheese sandwich.  Great way to fancy up a grilled cheese.
  2. Crunchy cajun chicken fingers.  One tweak: next time I'll use 2 tbsp. cajun seasoning instead of her suggested 3 tbsp.  It was a little too cajuny.
  3. Pork and brussels sprouts stir fry
  4. Buttermilk baked chicken
  5. Family style calzone
  6. Easy chicken pesto pizza
These have been a few of my faves lately.  As I think of more, I'll post them.

thankful 12

12. Today I'm thankful for modern technology.

meal plan

Call me neurotic.  Call me a planner.  Call me a spaz.  But I like to think that I am very productive when I have a weekly meal plan for us.  This little thing came to life when I was sick of eating whatever we had on hand (i.e. steamed broccoli and scrambled eggs don't go great together and they get old after awhile), tired of making multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week and not wanting to make healthy recipes that take an hour before you can even tell what the end product will be. 

Introduce: the meal plan.

I know this is nothing mind blowing nor is it anything new, people have been doing this forever.  But it's new to me.  So, I drew up a google document (spreadsheet) and now (attempt to) plan out each week of meals. I usually do this on Saturday or Sunday so that I can go to the grocery store and make sure I have everything I need for the coming week.  It's cost effective.  The meals I choose are quick and easy to make.  I feel like I have a grasp on what's going into our bodies every night.  And we have a healthy meal each night of the week.  Win-win-win. 

So I'm here to tell you that if you're tired of getting home after a long day of work, don't know what to cook, want something healthy and you're almost ready to admit defeat...you should totally do a meal plan.  You'll feel like you have some control over meal time, you're using your money in an effective way and you're giving your body (and your family's bodies) the respect they deserve by providing healthy meals.

Here are some of my favorite sites to discover meal ideas each week:
1. Plain Chicken
2. Cooking Light
3. Skinny Taste
4. Allrecipes
5. Rachael Ray Magazine
6. Pinterest  
7. How Sweet It Is

Also, when I type the name of a dish I'm making in Google documents I add the link to the recipe so I'm able to access the recipe and not spend another 10 minutes hunting it down in my browser history.

colonizing the cosmos

Colonizing the Cosmos is a local Pittsburgh band that I saw last year at a Halloween show with my friend, Pallas.  I really enjoyed listening to them but had kind of forgotten about them.  Then I heard them on the radio the other night and remembered how much I enjoyed their music, especially this song.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

your daily quote

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Dr. Seuss

thankful 11

11.  I'm going to be real predictable here and say that I'm thankful for all of our veterans and their families.  I mean seriously, these people are awesome!  Thank you so much for putting your lives on the line for our freedom!  And thank you to all of the families that sacrifice so that their loved ones are able to be great soldiers and serve our country well.  We will never be able to do enough to repay you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

thankful 10

10. I'm thankful for Christmas music.  That's right, I started listening to it yesterday.  It just brings me so much joy.  I'm going to limit myself until Thanksgiving and then it's full on Christmas music, all the time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

thankful 9

9.  Today I'm thankful for really good customer service.  Thank you, Amazon. 

your daily quote

found here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

thankful day 8

8. Today I'm thankful for frozen yogurt.  Yummy!  Even if it does make my stomach feel a little uneasy afterwards.  Large dairy intake = not good.

Monday, November 7, 2011

your daily quote

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.

Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

thankful day 7

7. Today I am thankful for television and the entertainment it provides.  Just keepin it real here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

rachael ray's pork and brussels sprouts stir fry

I'm not a huge fan of pork but it was on sale buy one get one so I figured I could find a recipe that I could choke down.  And I opened my Everyday with Rachael Ray mag and found this!  I'm sharing it with you because this is hands down the best Chinese dish I've ever made!  It's really the sauce.  And the brussels sprouts.  I could do without the pork and sub in chicken.  But really, the sauce is like the sauce in Chinese restaurants!  Seriously, it's super easy, you probably already have almost all the stuff, it's cheap and you should totally give it a try!  Here, I'll even post the recipe right below...


3 tbsp oil
1/2 lb. boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1/4 in.-thick-strips
1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved (I used frozen because my grocery store didn't have fresh)
2 scallions, whites and greens sliced separately 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pork and cook until golden; transfer to plate. Add remaining 2 tbsp. oil and sprouts to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add scallion whites and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and 1/4 cup water; cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Return pork to pan and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens.

(recipe and photo cred to Everyday with Rachael Ray...again, because I'm lazy and can't take my own pictures)

thankful 6

6. I'm going to get real sweet on ya and say that today I'm thankful for quality time with my husband.  (A lot of quality time is going on around here, right?)  We took Crazy for a hike today in Ohiopyle (like this time last year).  It was great to be in the middle of nowhere (although, I was a little scared that a mountain crazy would come out of nowhere and get us, normal fear, right?) with no one else around.  Nothing to do but walk, look around, listen and talk.  It was really nice and I do (surprisingly) enjoy hikes.  Just not the major uphill portions.  But I can push through those and call it a work out.  Anyway, our time together was very refreshing.  And that's enough sappiness for today. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

thankful 5

5. Today I'm thankful for quality time with old friends.  Lunch and great conversation, enough said :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

thankful 4

4. Today I am thankful for red wine.  I love red wine.  Doesn't matter if it's Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz or whatever the newest kind may be.  It's always been my preference.  I think it's because I grew up in a house with both parents loving red wine, maybe it's just in my genes. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

thankful 3

3. Today I'm super thankful for my cousin Abby!  That girl always be making me laugh and she has a great way of making me feel loved :)

Happy Birthday Abigail Boo Boo and Will of Fortune!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

your daily quote

hmm.  found here

thankful 2

2. Today I'm thankful for bluegrass music.  I was blessed to be given two last minute tickets to a bluegrass concert tonight.  John couldn't go, but I was able to take a close second, my sweet friend Pallas.  And man, do I really like bluegrass!  It feels like home to me.  Except home to me should feel like beach music (which is definitely true, love me some shag music) so I guess it's those good ol' Tennessee vibes I get from John and his people.  I can get down to some bluegrass! :)

thankful days

So, since this is the month of Thanksgiving I'm going to participate in stating what I'm thankful for each day (may be a day late, but whatever), so yay!  The thankfulness is in no particular order, just what strikes me as being particularly thankful for that day. 

And for yesterday...

1. I'm thankful for cool, crisp, fall-like weather.

Monday, October 31, 2011

your daily quote

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Things that aren't cool before Halloween:
  1. Temperatures in the low 30s
  2. Snow
  3. Salt covered parking lots
  4. The beginning of perpetually gray skies (for the next 6-7 months)

Things that are cool always and forever:
  1. Our local grocery store just started carrying Mount Olive Pickles!!  My life is complete!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

your daily quote

God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.

C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

plain chicken

When I discovered Plain Chicken I decided to pretty much hijack all her recipes and try them.  I must say that I am thrilled with how simple and delicious they are.  Here are the ones I've made so far :)

I made Mississippi Sin on Saturday night.  Might be my favorite dip.  Ever.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken was Monday night.

And Family Style Calzone was tonight.

All of the recipes and photo cred go to Plain Chicken.  Sorry I'm too lazy to take and post my own pictures.  The last two recipes are great for week night dinners, the baked chicken requires minimal planning ahead.  Enjoy!

your daily quote

found here

Friday, October 21, 2011

your daily quote

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

kudos to my hubs

On Sunday we came across this article.  If you read this blog I would really appreciate you reading that article.  John works in that lab and I'm pretty freaking proud of him and the rest of the team for what they've accomplished.  I teared up when I read it.  It's a good reminder that what he's doing here and all the sacrifices we've made are really going towards something.  Love my husband and couldn't be more proud :)

the shred

Sorry I've been MIA so far this week.  When I get home from work I usually Shred, then cook/heat up leftovers, zone out on Facebook/Pinterest/stalking blogs, shower and go to bed.  Pretty exciting, right?  Yep, try not to be jealous.

Anyway, to the Shred report: it's intense.  I'm keeping it low key this week and sticking to the Level One workout.  I don't want to hurt myself too bad, ya know?  I started on Sunday and I'm happy to report that today is the first day that I didn't have to go down the stairs like a 94 year old woman.  That's how much the muscles in my thighs were aching.  And the first couple of days I could feel my abs (there's actually muscles there?) contract with every move I made.  But I really like it, like a lot.  I like that Jillian is intense and the workouts are rather quick.  I told my sister that when I approach the workout out I think "I can do anything for 20 minutes".  She questioned that.  To be fair, there are some things I couldn't do for 20 minutes but when it comes to exercise I like to think that I could.  Confidence is where it's at ya'll.  After each workout I really feel like I've given it my all and the workout has in turn kicked my butt.  A good kind of butt kickin.  So I'm definitely sticking with it, although I'll be taking Fridays off to kind of give myself a little break. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

your daily quote

You just need to have a love for what you’re doing. It’s not about thinking that it’s the cool thing; it’s about really believing in it.

Anna Wintour

Saturday, October 15, 2011

want(need) this now

So I came across these pretty young things the other day and I thought: "OMG TOMS!  And they're leopard print! Could this get any more perfect?!".  And the answer is yes, it could get more perfect.  The dang price could drop about $50 or so.  You know they're only $95 at Neiman Marcus.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  I mean holy cow I really do LOVE these things.  Like I'm pretty sure I would wear them all the time.  Because they're freaking leopard print.  And TOMS.  But come on, I think like 3 kids should be getting a pair of shoes when it costs this much.  Just sayin...

Or I wouldn't mind having these Snow Leopard print shoes...

I mean they are so similar, yet a solid $40 cheaper.  Either way...Santa, if you're reading this...I would be a really happy gal if these came to me on Christmas morning...or a few a days after Christmas (cough cough Mom). 

weak in the knees

So I'm sad to say that I'm thinking about cutting back on the running.  Not that I was ever an extreme runner but it's going to have to be my secondary form of exercise because my knees are not taking too well to it.  Like, they really hurt.  Here's the deal; I was trying to run every other day and wasn't seeing the results I wanted.  After consulting John on the issue he told me that I was basically just running to sustain the shape that I was in, not really increase my endurance/strength.  Sooo I decided to run every day except Friday (rest day at the end of the work week, duh) and let's just say that didn't go too well.  It was a really hurt knee here, screaming shins there, and a couple of weak ankles every now and again.  And I'm sure that it doesn't help that I regularly walk a dog that thinks she was born to pull a sled through icy tundra.  I got to thinking and realized I didn't want to have to have knee replacement surgery before 30 just because I wanted to prove to myself that I could run.  Now I kind of feel like a failure (term is to be taken lightly...kind of) because I couldn't keep up the running but again with the knee replacements before 30.  Which brings me to this...

I've been looking around and this seems to be a pretty intense work out.  Which is what I want.  I want to be kicked into shape.  I want to be fit and strong not skinny minny.  So as you can see from the picture this is a 30 day workout.  Each workout is less than 30 minutes (totally doable) and guaranteed to whip me into better shape (per the reviews).  I saw where one blogger took her measurements (hips, legs, bust, tummy, etc.) before she began The Shred (let's call it The Shred, ok?) and continued to take (and post on her blog) them week after week while she continued the workout.  I'd like to do that and measure my success by inches lost/body changing instead of pounds lost/gained because I don't think that's always telling.  However, I will not be posting my measurements online, sorry people, I'm just not that into sharing personal details on the internets.  I will post my total lost inches (pllllease lose inches) at the end.  So that's what I'm thinking...what do ya'll think?  Have you done this workout or heard of it?  What do you know about it?  Am I total failure for not continuing to run?

*Obviously I will continue with The Shred or some other workout after the initial 30 days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

your daily quote

found on pinterest


This is the song that made me fall in love with Jack Johnson.  I was listening to it today and thought I would share it with ya'll :)

books, lately

Great book.  It basically follows the lives of two best friends through three decades.  Focuses on female friendships and the other relationships in their lives.  I really love how you see the characters evolve throughout the decades.  I thought Hannah painted a very realistic picture of women's lives and all that really goes on with full inner dialogue and everything.  It reminded me a lot of an Elin Hilderbrand novel.  I really enjoyed it :)

Oh my goodness.  This book was described as a "psychological thriller" which of course hooked me.  And thriller it was, I've been glued to this book for the past few days!  Lots of twists and turns.  I mean, I literally couldn't turn the pages quick enough.  Here's a peek (taken from goodreads.com): 
So begins The Doctor's Wife, a stunning debut novel about four people and the cataclysmic intersection of their lives. Michael is a rising OB/GYN at a prominent private practice in Albany, New York; he also moonlights at a local women's health clinic. But Annie, his wife, has become tired of her workaholic husband's absences, and the soccer-mom lifestyle has worn thin. She begins a passionate love affair with bad-boy, fading celebrity painter Simon Haas an affair that quickly goes awry when Simon's wife Lydia, who is also the model upon whom he built his career, discovers the truth. Abortion, local evangelism, marital disenchantment, and the rifts of social class: Brundage takes on the fault lines of our era with a deft hand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


If ya'll thought I could be a diva you clearly haven't met my dog.  She is the ultimate diva.

(probably barking at me because something didn't go her way)

She has her diva tendencies from day to day but she has been in full on Diva Mode the past two days.  You see, John's parents were here this past weekend (we had a wonderful time with them) and I am convinced that Dixie's best friend is John's mom, Kathy.  Dixie looooves her.  (Probably because she knows that Kathy suggested her cute little name.)  Nonetheless, Kathy loves Dixie very much too.  This translates to Diva that she has a playmate 24/7.  You should have seen her this weekend.  She wouldn't let Kathy sit down without a ball instantly being thrown in her lap.  If Kathy got up, Dixie got up.  Dixie would even go as far to bark (bad girl!) when Kathy didn't throw the ball as quickly as Diva wished. 

Now that they've traveled back to TN Dixie is in full swing.  Yesterday, when I tried to take her on a walk she refused and tried to drag me back to the house twice.  There were no loud noises, no impending danger...I'm guessing it's because her buddy wasn't with us and she simply didn't see the point in a walk.  We've got her pretty well trained that we'll play with her for a bit but after that she doesn't need to annoy the crap out of us with her ball.  Au contraire my friend.  She's been throwing the ball in my lap (read: face) all night tonight.  When I just let it stay there instead of throwing the sliminess back towards her she deliberately barked real loud-like in my face.  Umm no.  Not cool, Diva.  Just a few minutes ago she slumped down on the ground and flailed her body while simultaneously letting out the biggest sigh I've ever heard.  Poor Princess.  Nobody is attending to her every need.  Now I'm off to indulge her and do a little ball throwing...Lord help me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

your daily quote

If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude.  Don't complain.

Maya Angelou

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

squirrel on the loose!

Since baseball has been on nonstop lately (side eye, husband) I happened to look up and catch this the other night (last night?). Sooo funny!  I'm sure the fact that I think this is hilarious is a defining moment in the official decline of my cool factor...oh well. Also, people are really trying to catch this thing? Really? I mean, really?  Yuck.  Just let him do his thing. 

your daily quote

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

John Lennon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the lion king 3D & new bucket list item

Ever since I saw the preview for The Lion King 3D at Glee 3D, I knew I had to go see it!  And seeing as it's John's fave Disney movie, I knew we had a date night in the near future.  Tonight was the night.  It was sooooo wonderful!  I think it was part-amazing story and part-reliving our childhoods.  I loved it, I really did.  And I may have cried...twice.  Once when Simba was introduced to the kingdom and once when (spoiler alert) Mufasa dies.  Sad times people, sad times.  But all in all it was definitely worth the inflated price for the 3D viewing.  Although, judging from the previews I won't be going to see any more 3D movies in the near future.  Slim pickins.  And can I get an amen on being sick that everything is 3D now?  

Also, during the movie I made a major life decision.  Which brings us to.....

18. When we have a child I will present him/her to our family as Simba was presented to the kingdom.  

No I'm not kidding.  No, I didn't consult John nor do I plan to, he will simply agree that it's a necessity.  Family, be prepared.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

it got cold real quick-like

Which means this weekend has consisted of:

  • chicken pot pie
  • cleaning the house
  • washing clothes
  • plenty of coffee
  • pumpkin spice muffins
  • sweatpants and hoodies
  • potato soup & cornbread
  • warm autumn salad
  • decorating the house for fall

Welcome fall!  Happy you're here :)

your daily quote

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, September 29, 2011

beautiful truth

found here

fall tv review

I semi-pride myself on not watching a lot of TV.  Because I'm all evolved and literary and intellectual and whatnot.  This post will completely wipe that smidgen of pride away.  Now, see, I have my shows that I watch.  The ones that I DVR and watch when I have the time (because I'm oh so busy, you see? eye roll).  And then there's all these shows that I've seen commercials for that just look cute/funny/worthy of watching.  And since children's nap times are scheduled into each of my work days I have a little time to check out a random show here or there (just so you don't think I'm a neglectful nanny, the majority of these shows were viewed at my own house sans children).  So here are my thoughts (also, there's probably some spoilers so if you're not into that kinda thing, don't read):

  • How I Met Your Mother: (Disclaimer: I have not seen this week's episode due to a DVR mishap grrrr and conflicting schedules with the hubs...we watch this one together.)  BUT for last week's episodes...they were great!  As usual.  LOVED the Cleveland Browns themed wedding (go Punchy).  I did not however love that Nora was back.  Can we get rid of her yet?  We all want Robin and Barney to be together and so help me, if that's not their wedding that they've teased us with for two seasons then I will blow a gasket(?) !!  Which reminds me, can we get a reveal on the wedding?  Please and thank you.  And Ted, if you date Victoria again I'm going to punch you...go ahead and find your wife already.  But other than that the cast was up to their good ol' charms.  LOVE them!
  • The Good Wife:  Finally!  Glad Alicia is going with Team Will (for now).  Also, judging from the commercials she was supposed to be totally vamped up this season and I'm not seeing it, yet.  I'll give it time, I'll give it nothing but time because this show is so great I'm not going anywhere.  And Alicia, side bang is not a good look for you, let's get rid of that.  I love all of the characters and how they all go perfectly together in this drama series, Mr. Big...err...I mean, Peter, try not to be too big of a jerk now that you've been elected into office and all.  Thanks.
  • Glee: I'm not going to lie, I was not (gasp!) impressed with the first episode.  Maybe that had something to do with the sarcastic dialogue from the other couch, maybe not.  This week's was a little better but I kind of feel like this might be my last season of Glee.  Because you know, Kurt (my man), Rachel and Finn won't be on it next year!  And I kinda feel like the show has reached its peak.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Hopefully I'm wrong.
  • The Office: Honestly, I still liked it even though Steve Carell isn't there anymore.  I think it has potential, we'll just have to wait and see.  Also, Pam and Angela baby wars = funny stuff.
  • Two Broke Girls: I caught the pilot and enjoyed it.  I smiled and maybe even laughed a little.  It has potential to grow into some funny stuff.  It's one that I would catch up on OnDemand (if it were on there!  Let's work on that Xfinity) but not sure I would DVR it.  Priorities people, priorities.
  • Whitney: Did. not. like.  I was not impressed with the pilot and so far there are no further episodes on OnDemand.  The whole thing felt a little forced and the lines just didn't seem to deliver the way they were intended.  I'm willing to give it one more episode.  That's it.
  • Up All Night: Loooved it!  It legitimately made me laugh out loud.  I like Christina Applegate and Will Arnett's chemistry together, they're hilarious.  In the first episode the husband (Arnett) goes to the grocery store (where he is clearly not experienced) and frantically calls the wifey saying "Where is the cheese?!  All I can find is the fancy cheese!  Where is the regular cheese?!".  Hmmm, I've also been on the receiving end of that phone call, no jokes.  So that little tidbit alone pretty much hooked me. 
  • The New Girl: I wanted to like this show.  Like I reallllly wanted to.  Because Zooey Deschanel is adorable and I really like her.  Plus her husband is the freaking lead singer of Death Cab!  Enough said.  Back on topic, I didn't like it.  I felt like the lines were forced and there wasn't good chemistry between the characters.  That judgment was just from the pilot.  I'm willing to give it another chance.  The second episode isn't on OnDemand yet, not that I've checked obsessively or anything.  Xfinity needs to get their crap together!
I'll report back later as I'm sure ya'll are all sitting on the edges of your couches for further reviews.  What did you think of these shows?  Did I make incorrect judgments?


Because I got a random comment from a spammer I've decided to "approve" my comments before they can be published.  Soooo if you comment and it doesn't immediately pop up it's because it's politely waiting for approval in my inbox.  Sorry for the inconvenience but I didn't feel great about the spam. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


found here

your daily quote

Infatuation is when you find somebody who is absolutely perfect.
Love is when you realize that they aren’t and it doesn’t matter.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

your daily quote

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Also, if you get bored and want to wander around the internet some more, I get a lot of quotes from this site: just be splendid

Thursday, September 22, 2011

books, lately

This book is wonderful.  Like 5 star rating wonderful.  It's incredibly written and the story is a page turner.  Because I'm lazy and also feel like I can't do it justice I'll refer to the Goodreads summary of the book:
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Wow.  This book is just wow.  I know I'm a little late reading this one, as it was popular when I was in college (and didn't have time to read books) but this book is INCREDIBLE!  I've never read anything like it.  I was ashamed at how little I knew about Afghanistan and it's culture.  Such a compelling book.  It was hard to put down and it definitely evoked some tears out of me.  I highly recommend it.  And again, since I'm lazy and can't do it justice:
A novel set mostly in Afghanistan. The introverted and insecure afghan narrator, Amir, grows up in Afghanistan in the closing years of the monarchy and the first years of the short-lived republic. His best and most faithful friend, Hassan, is the son of a servant. Amir feels he betrays Hassan by not coming to his aid when Hassan is set on by bullies and furthermore forces Hassan and his father Ali to leave his father´s service. Amir´s relatively priviledged life in Kaboul comes to an end when the communist regime comes to power and his extrovert father, Baba emigrates with him to the U.S. There Amir meets his future, afghan wife and marries her. Amir´s father dies in the U.S. and Amir receives a letter from his father´s most trusted business partner and, for a time, Amir´s surrogate father, which makes Amir return, alone, to a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan in search of the truth about himself and his family, and finally, a sort of redemption.

your daily quote

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.

Frederick Douglas

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

your daily quote

Though she be but little, she is fierce!

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Monday, September 19, 2011

the abc's of me

Because, why not?

Age: 25, quarter century ya'll

Bed size: queen, well that's a little personal

Chore you hate: sweeping/mopping/dusting...oh I was only supposed to pick one?  Well, that's just not possible.

Dogs: loooove my sweet Dixie dog! And pretty much all other dogs.

Essential to start your day: coffee

(found here)

Favorite color: right now green, but my all time is fave is pink

Gold or silver?: gold, most definitely gold.

Height: 5'1", short and sweet

Instrument you play: Yeah, that would be none.  Although the kids I watch dig my drum beats.

Job title: nanny

Kids?: one day

Live: Pittsburgh, PA

Mom's name: Delores

Never plan to...:run for political office (ha, my sister will get a kick out of that)

Overnight hospital stays: nope, none, nada

Pet Peeves: I can't stand when people leave cabinets and/or drawers open!  I mean...it's whatever...

Quote from a movie: "I love ya more than my luggage", Clairee from Steel Magnolias.  Well, pretty much every quote from that movie.  Duh.

Righty or lefty?: righty

Siblings: This fabulous girl named Katie...and everyone thinks she's the older sister but really she's 5 years younger than me.  Yup.

Time I wake up: 6:30 AM (on workdays) and whenever on weekends

Underwear: yeah...I don't know where that question was going so we'll just stop it there.

Vegetables I don't like: I have to say I'm not the biggest fan of radishes and I have to eat carrots and celery with something so that they're tolerable.  Truth.

What makes me run late: I believe that it is inherent in my DNA to run late.  Ask anyone who's known me since birth.  It's just inevitable. 

Yummy food I make: Hmm, sounds a little braggy, right?  But I'll go with bruschetta, guacamole, baked goods and the like.

Zoo animals I like: I'd have to say that the elephants are my favorite.  They're really quite miraculous.  And they sure beat those in the "cat family" that just lay around.  At least they're up and eating or walking through mud puddles or something...

your daily quote

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the rules

So I follow this blog, The Rules, the blog description is: Rules every Southern young lady should know, love and live by.  I particularly liked this one today:

Rule No. 206

Social media sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, were not created for you to air your dirty laundry and complain about everything in your life. Keep it positive and lose the profanity ladies!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

your daily quote

What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God’s eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard.

C.S. Lewis

maybe i need to do this

Channeling Dolly Parton

I love me some Dolly so I think I'm going to heed the advice in that post. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

winter ain't gonna touch me

Did I just say that?  Yeah, I did.  Because winter is literally not going to touch me (read: my skin) this year!  See, my skin is perpetually dry (except for face and scalp but that's another story) and winter up here in the North really does a number on me.  I am prepared and thus, it will not be happening to me this year.  "How are you so prepared you?", you may ask.  Well, here's how...

  • First, I drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Every night in the shower, I use a pumice stone on my feet so as to avoid Fred Flintstone feet, plus it just seems like a good idea.

  •  Then after showering is done and I've dried off, I use a body brush to get rid of any dead skin cells (you shed 40,000-50,000 skin cells a day!) so that I'm extra fresh.  Side note: Using a body brush helps to increase your blood flow.  Not that I really have a problem with that now, but it's always better to prevent, right?  If you choose to use a body brush always make brush strokes in the direction of your heart.

  • And lastly, I use grapeseed oil (infused with lavender essential oil to smell all nice and fresh) to moisturize.  My skin feels clean and hydrated!  Also, I feel like I'm doing a mini spa treatment every night, so yay for that!  Let's just see if these results last through the winter...err, they will last through the winter!
(Also, since Dixie apparently has an appetite for lotions/ointments/oils, she now follows me around each night after my spa treatment and pretends that I'm a human lollipop.  Quite funny when I'm moving around the kitchen preparing my food for the next day and she's constantly licking my calves.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

bucket list item #17

17. Attend a NASCAR race.

No, I'm not joking.  My sister attended her first (of many to come, I assume) NASCAR race this past weekend and had the time of her life!  At first I was thinking "why the heck would you want to do that?" and then I realized that she was attending an event that would entail everything that is good and right about America and more specifically, the South.  We're talking tailgating, beer drinking, jorts, cut off tees (eek!), boom boxes, people passionate about cars racing in a circle, good ol' boys, good ol' gals (?), cornhole, BBQ, rat tails (yesssss!), people who are genuinely nice and real excited to be there.  In all seriousness, I think it would be a lot of fun to attend at least one race.  And tailgating would be a must.  Duh.

Side note: A couple months ago I shamelessly sang karaoke in front of a group of people (with Abby!).  The song: I Got Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks.  So, check.

culinary excursions

This weekend was quite eventful in the culinary arena.  First, I had Ethiopian food for the first time in my life at Abay here in good ol' Pittsburgh.  It. was. delicious!!  My friend Pallas and I split a combination of entrees which are served up on this spongy bread.  Yeah.  Like four (generous) plops of entrees on a pizza size dish of spongy bread.  And they give you an additional pizza size spongy bread rolled up and that's what you use to eat with.  No utensils or plates required.  I loved it!  I don't think I would've thought "hmm we should totally try out this Ethiopian place" on my own and I'm very glad she suggested it.  So, for any of ya'll coming to visit that have adventurous taste buds, this is where we're going.  Get ready :)

Then, I came across a recipe for homemade granola bars and decided that I must make them.  Because John loves granola bars and everything is better homemade, right?  They turned out beautifully!  Like really, really delicious!  I take a bite and it kinda tastes like dessert, which is nice since it's supposed to be breakfasty.  So here's the recipe and I would bet that you probably already have everything you need to make them right there in your kitchen.  I decided to make mine with chocolate chips and craisins (probably why it tasted like dessert).  Side note: I had to buy a 3 lb. jar of applesauce (that's all Target had) to make these so I decided to have some tonight and have ya'll tried applesauce since you were like like 2?!  Because this stuff is good!  Man, I'm glad I have a solid 2.8 lbs to go through now :)

photo and recipe cred to:  skinnytaste.com

And lastly, there was a little chill in the air recently (for like a second) so I decided it was high time to make some chili.  After pouring through recipes, and quite honestly shocked that I don't have a go-to chili recipe, I came across this one: Flatlander Chili.  And here are the reasons it appealed to me:
  1. Flatlander is in the title.  I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to mean but I'm from flatlands so I went with that and decided I would honor my people by making it.
  2. It has tomato-y stuff in it like tomato juice and sauce but no chunks of tomatoes.  Because I'm married to a man-child who's scared of tomato chunks.  I think he was pleased.  The only things left over after he devoured his bowl were little bits of that mysterious green stuff (read: bell peppers).
OK, so as I read over this post I really didn't do anything "excursion" worthy but it was exciting for me, so just go with :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

your daily quote

I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the help (the movie)

I saw this at the beginning of last week and I'm just now writing my review, sorry!  Let's just say, I LOOOOOVED IT!!!  What a great movie!  Well the book was better, but they always are.  I went to see it with my pal Anna, and we both agreed that each character was played perfectly.  They did a great job with the casting.  And the acting.  Perfect, perfect, perfect!  Also, there were lovely guest appearances from some of my favorite characters from other shows in the past like Beverley Leslie, Lafayette Reynolds and Sarah Newlin.  If you haven't seen it you should definitely go asap! 

book report

Here are some of the books I've been reading as of late: 

I liked this book, it was very interesting and pretty cute too.  Also, the author has a great sense of humor and I enjoyed her style of writing.  Quick, easy read.   Here's the gist of it (taken from goodreads.com): 
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.
Loved, loved, LOVED this book.  Like, I couldn't put it down for a few days straight because it was so good!  I've enjoyed every Elin Hilderbrand book I've read thus far and this one definitely didn't disappoint.  Actually, I think I may have liked it more that the other two I've read because the story line was a tad different.  Usually her books are told from only female points of view and the stories revolve primarily around said females.  This book is about a group of close knit friends (4 married couples and their families) and it begins after one couple has mysteriously died while sail boating.  You go through all of the drama of the aftermath with the other three couples and the stories that unfold are full of twists and very interesting.  Hilderbrand always seems to throw a lot of curve balls, which I totally appreciate.  Highly recommend.  Also, once you start reading it, it will be hard to put down.

I just did not like this book.  I found it to be very depressing and I was pissed that almost every chapter was about a completely different person.  And only a few of the stories kind of connected throughout, but not really.  Like the main character of chapter 1 would maybe be mentioned in chapter 13.  This book received a lot of praise, I think it's even on Oprah's book list or something, so maybe I'm just missing something completely...