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'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:

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 
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, 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...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a letter to dixie

To my dearest Dixie,

I love that:
  • when you're needy you lay your head on my keyboard so I have no other option than to pay attention to you.  And if that doesn't work, you literally punch me with your paw until I stop whatever I'm doing. 
  • you still act like the mailman is a terrorist even though he walks by our house every day except Sunday (bless his heart)
  • you stare out the window for us when we leave the house.  PS-your dead give away is that you don't put the curtain back in place
  • you enjoy eating disgusting used tissues and sneak them as soon and as often as you can
  • you randomly pounce on the couch cushions for 5 minutes without stopping
  • you pretend that your ball is your prey and you are a jaguar
  • you have dreads behind your ears
  • you refuse to eat dinner if John and I aren't both in the house
  • every time there's a thunderstorm, you think the world is ending
  • you trick me into thinking you have to go outside only to find out that you just want to lay in the grass and proceed to ignore me when I call you back into the house
  • you punch me in the bum every time I bend over to give John a goodnight or "hey, how was your day" kiss.  Jealous much?
  • anyone who talks to me while we're on a walk poses an immediate threat and you have no qualms displaying that (also, maybe we should tone this down a bit...people are really starting to get scared of you)
  • you bury yourself under our stairs outside and it takes you 30 minutes to wiggle out 
  • when I get home you have to sniff me all over just to see where I've been all day
  • when we open a present or a package in the mail you knock our arms out of the way with your snout and sniff said present/package to ensure it's safe
  • you think crunchy leaves that have trailed into our home are delectable midnight treats
  • you get so excited to see a child that you jump and wiggle and bark and end up scaring the crap out of the kid before they can even come close to you
  • you think it's ok to eat part of our slipcover (ok not really, that was sarcasm, that was so not cool)
  • after 2 1/2 years of doggie life you still think you can eat a rock, but somehow they're still so dang hard and you can't chew or swallow them
  • you eat sticks...why do we buy dog treats again?
  • you happily share a bowl of popcorn with me because we both know John has no interest in it
  • you think a doorbell on TV is the real thing and go into complete freak out mode for a solid 5-10 minutes
  • But most of all, I love that you get so excited to see me every day that you have to bark and wiggle and jump and sniff me all over to express your excitement, because that makes me feel like a million bucks.  I love you, sweet Dixie girl.
Love you to the dog park and back (times like a million billion),

Jessi (aka the woman who feeds you, walks you and cleans up your "accidents")

Monday, September 5, 2011

your daily quote

What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thursday, September 1, 2011

guess what?

I went all Hilly Holbrook on ya'll and joined the Junior League of Pittsburgh!  That's right.  Except I couldn't possibly ever be as evil as Hilly...I just needed a League reference.  Some of you may be thinking "now why the heck would she go and do a thing like that?".  The answer is; I wanted to feel more connected to our community up here.  See, in college I was going to school full time, working part time and volunteering around 15 hours a week.  I was a go, go, go girl.  And then I graduated, got married, got a big girl job and my life slowed down, like a lot.  I enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community so I thought this would be a great way to do that.  Also, I get to meet lots of cool ladies which will be a nice little network up here.  Annnnd, whenever we move I will be able to transfer my membership to that city and instantly be a part of a network of women.  Win-win, people, win-win. 

Hilly in all her glory

apparently, life turns to c-r-a-p when John is out of town.  See, John is in Boston for a "convention".  I really think he created the convention as a ploy to go see the Rangers/Red Sox game, see his friend Scott play some golf (yes, it's his grown-up job, how awesome is that?!) and visit a few friends from high school.  I'll believe this whole convention mess when I see the t-shirt, mm hmm.  As for me, well, I turn into a worthless pile of mush while he's gone.  Who knew?  Certainly not me, seeing as I enjoy my alone time very much.  Let's paint a picture, folks.  Since Tuesday morning:
  1. I haven't had a legit dinner.  Cereal.  Nachos in the toaster oven.  C-r-a-p.
  2. It has taken every ounce of my energy to straighten up around the house (my fam is coming tonight!).  Not hardcore cleaning, just simply making beds and folding clothes here, people.
  3. I lay around on the couch acting sullen and hopeless, mostly because I can't find anything on TV to watch that interests me.
  4. I also can't be bothered to read a book for entertainment (what the what?! when has this ever happened?).
  5. I have to push myself to take Dixie on a walk, and it's mostly guilt driven since she's been cooped up in the house while I'm at work.
  6. I have called my sister no less than 94 times so I have someone to talk to.  And you might be thinking "aww, well you could've called me" but the answer is: no, you don't want me to call you because I can't form complete thoughts or sentences.  Last night I called her at 10:36 p.m. and instructed her to "entertain me".  She hates me.
So that's pretty much it.  I'm worthless and super needy when he's gone.  Which is news to me seeing as when he is home he's usually super busy researching/doing other stuff for school/playing inter-mural sports/water skiing.  I guess I'm just a gal that needs to live with someone (who can talk, no offense, Dixie) in order to be a productive member of society.  I realize he hasn't been gone longer than 2 days and this seems a tad dramatic but this is my life.  Thank the Lord my family is coming in tonight.  Who knows what would become of me come next Tuesday.  Yikes.