Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Travel Tuesday

Well, I haven't blogged in nearly a week...but I have a good excuse! I was away, celebrating Steve's birthday with him - in San Fransisco and Las Vegas! I'd never been to San Fran before, but this was my 6th time in Vegas. I absolutely love that city!

Unfortunately, between missing two days of work last week and yesterday being a holiday, I am super backed up right now and don't have time to write a big long entry about what an amazing weekend we had together. And in fact, I wouldn't write that entry here anyway, because in case you don't know - I have a travel blog as well :) I travel so much and have so many travel stories that haven't been told, that writing them here would mean them taking over this blog...and I don't want that to happen. So I have a completely separate blog where I recount my experiences, and I have in fact already written part of this weekend's story - I wanted to do so while it was still fresh in my mind.

I'm thinking about making "Travel Tuesday" a regular occurrence here, but in general it will probably just be some pictures and little blurbs and the necessary link to my travel blog. If I do it at all. I don't know. Input?

I hope everyone had an awesome Memorial Day weekend, anyway, and I'll be back in the swing of things soon. Hopefully. :) Pin It

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Semi Wordless Wednesday: My Best Friend

Another Semi Wordless Wednesday with Flip Flops and Pearls, and today I'm going to posting about my best friend of 10 years, Jenna!

Technically I should be making this post this weekend, but as I'm going out of town for a few days (yes, again, ugh) I figured I'd wish Jenna a Happy 10 Year Friendship Anniversary today :) Because it was Memorial Day Weekend 2001 that she and I really hit it off...and I knew I'd be hard pressed to get rid of her after that!
New Hampshire, July 2001
You see, despite the fact that Jenna is quite a bit younger than me (in the photo above, I'm 18 and she's 15!)...it was obvious from the start that we were meant to be best buds. She is sort of the anti-me...or at least she was. She's taught me a lot over the years and she is one of those people who helped mold me into who I am today.
NYC, January 2002
She is beautiful and resilient and smart and doesn't give herself enough credit for any of those things. She's down to earth and friendly and has this awesome infectious laugh.
Ellington, CT May 2003
She's gone out of her way to visit me in, and funny enough, not when I lived somewhere awesome like Orlando - when I lived in boring-ass Farmville and Lynchburg, VA!
Lynchburg, VA New Year's Eve '04-'05
Lynchburg VA May 2005
When I am acting like a total ass, she's not afraid to tell me as much. We rarely argue but we've definitely disagreed with each other's actions (or inactions)...and that's okay. Because at the end of the day we just want what's best for each other, which is how real friends should be anyway.
Connecticut again...August 2005
We make the weirdest places the most fun ones, when we're together. One of our favorite things in the world is to just go hang out at this walking park in our hometown, but somehow we always leave there with crazy stories.
Ellington, CT (*again*), August 2006
I've lost count of how many parties she's helped me prepare for...whether it was making 150 jello shots or hanging up banners, I can always count on her to be there when I need her to be there and to help set up...and even more importantly, clean up!
My Quarter Century Pirate Birthday Party, December 2007
At one point I'm pretty sure everyone thought we were lesbians together. This was 9-10 years ago now, and obviously that wasn't true, but I guess that's what happens when you go months at a stretch spending pretty much every waking hour together.
Re-living our lesbian days and sharing a margarita at the Big E, September 2008
Above everything, I know that even when she is frustrated with me, Jenna has my back. For sure.
Enfield CT, January 2009
She may believe I'm a total geek and have no problem telling me as much, but she's apparently okay with it because she's put up with my ass for 10 years now!
Enfield, CT July 2009
Or should I say, she's put up with me...and kept up with me...which I'm not sure many people can do ;)
Vegas, December 2010
Still Vegas, still December 2010
Happy 10 year anniversary Jenna!
(P.S. I can't wait to do Vegas again in September...let's see if it can keep up with us this time!)
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Reunion Confessions

I really have nothing else to post today, so I thought I'd give a confessions post the old college try ;)

I confess...that every time I go back to Orlando for a visit, I return home wondering why I ever left. But that feeling always goes away within a week or two (thank God).

I confess...that my friend Becky and I had far too much fun toting around our gnome, Churro, this weekend.

I confess...that I am a shameless flirt. 'Nough said.

I confess...that I really wish I had the money and cahones to ditch a family Thanksgiving and go to this awesome kid's wedding in the Dominican Republic over said holiday.
(Also, I met his fiancee this weekend, and while she probably thinks I'm a drunken ass, she is awesome.)
I confess...that for the first time since October 2008 (when it was too cold and I was wearing nylons), I didn't climb in the fountain in France while drinking around the world. Sad face :(

I confess...that as much as I wanted to avoid it, I had to make a pee pee stop in the Japan women's bathroom at EPCOT. If you've ever used this restroom...you know what I'm talking about.

I confess...that we had to pick a safety word to use when any of us was being wildly inappropriate on Saturday. And that word was "Hotbox". Yeah.

I confess...that I don't have diabetes. But Disney thinks I do.

And finally, I confess...that I am far too old for this shit. I haven't been in this much pain in I can't remember how long.

But it was so, so, so worth it ;) Pin It

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Do YOU know what DATW stands for?

Hmpf. My Thirsty Thursday post from last week was lost in the Great Blogger Outage of 2011, so I thought about reposting it...but I decided to save it for another time, because right now we need to discuss something far more important. That being

 DATW, or: Drinking Around the World.
At EPCOT, that is. In Walt Disney World.

I won't go into details on this blog, because I've already made my thoughts on DATW clear over on my travel blog (hey yup, that's a plug...haha). But just picture it: the magic of Disney World. The tastiness of some awesome drinks. And a group of friends to enjoy it with.
My first DATW experience back in March 2004. Ignore the AWFUL haircut and color. That's what I get for visiting a salon in a town called Farmville.
DATW version 12.0, August 2010
Have you ever drank Around the World at EPCOT? If not...do you think you'd want to?  Pin It

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Semi Wordless Wednesday: Guess Where I'm Going!

Two days from now I'll be boarding a plane and returning to a place that is very special to me.
That's right, I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! :)

I've told the story before, and the short of it is - waaaayyy back in 2001 I did an internship at Disney. 2001 was 10 years ago. Which means that this year is the 10 Year Reunion Year! And I will in fact be going twice - this weekend, to party with my party people from the 2001 WDWCP, and in the fall, to enjoy Disney with my close friends from the 2001 WDWCP...and a few other lucky souls ;)

But right now let's focus on this coming weekend, because I'm going to see this fine lady...

And this handsome gentleman...

And spend as much time as possible with this awesome guy (the one on the right - the kid on the left has sadly moved to New Mexico)...

Do a lot of this (minus the costume, of course...it's not Halloween. yet.)

And maybe a little of this...

Probably wish that my other half (the girl on the right) could be there, and hopefully not get in too much trouble with BONER! (the kid in the middle)

Splurge on one of these...

Hopefully not get so drunk that we set a James Brown doll and dirty work socks on fire and turn it into a Viking Vessel via laundry basket...

And just in general enjoy being with the people and reminiscing about one of the craziest, most difficult, and most amazing times in my life.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Little Peter (or Petra?) Cottontail

Well, I'm skipping Tail Wagging Tuesday today because we're supposed to post a video of our pets...I don't have one, and I doubt I'll have time to get one today. So moving on...I have an animal-related story for ya anyway!

Lately, we've been having a bit of an issue. One of our cats (Ducky) keeps bringing us presents.
Cute, right?

Us being animal lovers, we really don't want our cats to torture, maim, or kill cute little animals. I realize we can't stop this from ever happening again, but we do our best. Just last week I saved a chipmunk from Marmalade.

The first time Ducky brought us a bunny, we simply brought him inside and let it run away. The second time Ducky brought us a bunny, we brought him inside and Steve put bunny in a box and carried out to the woods behind our house and let it go (in fact, the bunny pictured above is said second bunny). The third time Ducky brought us a bunny--last night--we knew we had to do something. Because this time the bunny was injured. The thing is...it was an old injury. Could it have been caused by Ducky or one of our other cats in the past? Sure. But of course Steve wants to believe otherwise. Steve wants Ducky to be friends with the bunnies, though deep down he must know that Ducky really just wants to play with their insides.

Anyway. We captured the bunny in a cooler (whatever, it's the closest thing we had handy) and I set about calling local wildlife rescues. I called two of them and left messages, and also listened to their instructions on how to deal with the bunny while we had it (handle it as little as possible, put it in a cardboard box in a warm, quiet, dark place, do not give it any sort of food or water). Then we waited. And then it was after 9 PM and all I could think was...I don't want this rabbit to die in this box in our house. So we contacted a couple people we know who have dealt with wildlife rescue in the past, and thankfully the lady I contacted also has a Twitter page - and on her Twitter page, she has the link for a third wildlife rescue in our area. One that didn't come up in my Google searches.

A phone call later and I was able to reach a live body, who put me in touch with the closest rescuer to us. Within an hour of my contacting this third rescue, bunny was on its way to getting proper care with an official Wildlife Rescue/Rehab group. I have the phone number of the woman who took the bunny, so I'll definitely be contacting her to check up on it! And at least if Ducky brings another one home, we now know who to call. Phew.

P.S. We don't live in the country. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Pin It

Monday, May 16, 2011

Country Concert Outfit

So this is by no means a fashion blog. I'm just...not fashionable. I tried for a short period of time at the end of last year/beginning of this year to pretend that I gave a crap what I looked like at work and whatnot, but I just...don't. However, that doesn't mean I don't love clothes and accessories - I do. Very much. Probably too much. And once in a while I put together a doozy of an outfit, and it can be a good doozy or a bad doozy. I wore a super cute outfit to a Sugarland concert back in March, but (a) didn't get any pictures and (b) it was not the outfit you would expect to see a person wearing at a country concert, anyway.

However, when my sister begged me to go to the Kenny Chesney concert with her last Friday, I knew that I had to put something cute together. Thankfully, I grew up on a horse farm and have a couple pair of cowboy boots and one really awesome cowboy hat to show for it. That said, I nixed the cowboy hat because it didn't really go with the rest of my outfit, but I bring you: a frugal fashionista's country concert getup!
First, I had to clean the mud and horse crap off my boots. Nope, not kidding.
I didn't get a good picture of my jewelry, but I have this pendant with matching earrings. Though this particular one is from a local jeweler and consists of white gold and diamonds; mine is sterling silver and crystals and QUITE a bit cheaper.
Dress: Merona, from Target
Boots: The real thing, folks. Ariats. And I got them at Tractor Supply years and years ago. And if you looked really closely, you would have seen that I was NOT able to scrape off all of the mud and horse poo. Just sayin'.
Oh, and that's my baby sister and yeah, she always looks that cute. Even when she has no makeup on and is wearing sweats. No fair. Especially as she's had two kids. My body will NOT hold up that well if I ever decide to have children. Sigh.

Anyway, the reason I put these boots with this dress is because the dress has a sort of denim fabric look to it, and the design on my boots has blue stitching...perfect.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

One of my New Recipes!

Well, I haven't posted since Thursday and that post isn't even here any more. And yes, I'm really, really annoyed about that. I mean, Blogger being down was annoying. Blogger being down for nearly 24 hours was even more annoying. But the fact that they just outright deleted one of my posts, and there is apparently no way to get it back? That's downright obnoxious.

Anyway, it's about time for a recipe, I suppose. Especially as I haven't even been doing the 101 in 1001 for an entire month, but I've already made four new recipes! The thing is, I would say I'm pretty proud of myself, but 4 new recipes in about a month is actually kind of normal for me. I cook so much that I have to throw new things in pretty often.

As a side note, I won't necessarily be sharing every recipe I make. For instance, one of those four was a recipe for fig and prosciutto flatbreads that were kind of just...okay. Not awful, but not great. Too sweet. I may make them one more time, play with the recipe a bit (I had already used a different kind of wine and less sugar than they called for) and see what comes of it. But for today, I am going to share the first recipe I made! I got this from another blogger, Megan over at Domestic Goddess - I think. Correct me if I'm wrong? I have finagled with this one a little bit, as it originally called for 3 cups Chex and that was WAY more than I needed.

Chex Chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-ish cups corn Chex cereal, crushed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons milk

-Preheat your oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
-Mix the garlic powder, salt, black pepper and paprika with the Chex and the Parmesan Cheese.
-Combine the milk and butter and dip the chicken pieces in it, sloshing around for a good 30 seconds to fully coat/soak.
-Roll the chicken pieces in the Chex mix and lay on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes (make sure it's not pink in the middle)

As you can see, we had roasted potatoes and asparagus on the side. I actually threw those in before I started preparing the chicken as they take slightly longer to cook. Just peel and chop some Yukon Gold potatoes, chop up some asparagus, throw in a few cloves of minced garlic and toss with plenty of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper. At 450 this mix probably takes about 35-40 minutes to roast properly :)
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: One of my 101 in 1001 Goals!

Linking up with Semi-Wordless Wednesday as a more, err, "fun" means of posting about one of my finished goals!

I have a secret for you: Until last week, I had never really celebrated Cinco de Mayo.

I mean, there was one year when it fell on the same day as the Kentucky Derby, and once the Derby was over we pulled out the Tostitos and dip and Coronas and made it a pseudo-Cinco de Mayo party as well.

But I was sick that year and didn't even eat much, let alone drink anything. So I added "Celebrate Cinco de Mayo" to my 101 in 1001 list and figured, shoot, I've got three Cinco de Mayos between now and then, I'll getto it eventually!

Apparently "eventually" meant "as soon as possible", though, because this very year, I left work early, my sister drove me to downtown Greenville, and we had a real Cinco de Mayo! Or at least I did, as she's pregnant.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the most amazing time due to some really obnoxious issues we had at the restaurant (which were actually NOT because of Cinco de Mayo), but that's a story I'm not telling here. Instead, welcome to my not-so-semi-wordless Wednesday post-Cinco de Mayo entry!
One tequila...
My DD. Don't worry, I bought her dinner.
Two tequila... (that's my good buddy Shane, <3 him!)
I was home a little after 7 PM, but stayed up until midnight drinking Dos Equis. Because The Most Interesting Man in the World told me to.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tuesday Two-Fer

Per C-Mae, today's topic for Tail Wagging Tuesday is...TREATS!

The problem is, I don't have any personalized pictures. My dog treats are kept in a super cute cookie jar on our kitchen counter (don't worry, the handle is shaped like a dog bone so you can tell it's not a people cookie jar) and my pups, while spoiled in so many other ways, get plain ol'
However, pretty much any time I am making a dinner that involves plain boiled chicken (and many of the casseroles I make do), my pups also get a couple small pieces of that. And I'm sure they prefer the boiled chicken to the Milk Bones ;)

Now, I could have made this a separate entry but I decided against doing so, simply because I have a rant but it's not a long one. Here's a fact for ya:

Steve and I *hate* beer pong.

But it's fun, you say! It's the life of the party, you say! It gets you drunk, you say!

First things first, our original reasons for hating it were: it's not fun. People get too competitive. It takes over a party - people are either playing beer pong, waiting to play beer pong, or watching others play beer pong. It's never-ending. It makes a mess. And I'm not wasting the type of beer that I drink in red plastic party cups or on guzzling a whole bunch of it at a time.

Plus, and I can't believe we didn't think of this before - it's dirty and disgusting! That's right, recently a study was done that found that ping pong balls used in indoor beer pong environments contained about 1,000 bacterial cells. Ones used in outdoor environments contained three million bacterial cells! And controlled tests showed that basically all of this bacteria could and would transfer into the beer you're drinking.

Even if you don't get sick from it all, that's still freaking disturbing and repulsive.

This girl is Proud to be Anti Beer Pong. Pin It

Monday, May 9, 2011

10 Favorite Things!

I know I'm a couple of days late on this, but I really needed to take a break from blogging over the weekend, so I totally missed that Miss asj of forever88 tagged me to write about my "10 Favorite Things"!

These aren't going to be in any specific order.

And to be completely honest I'll likely leave out some stuff that is pretty important to me.

But I'll do my best :)

1) Traveling. - Obviously the logistics of traveling (airports, flying, long distance drives) aren't the part of this that I love ;) I love experiencing new places, meeting new people, trying new things. I love learning the history and culture of the places I visit. I love seeing sights like these:
My sister Christy and I in the French Riviera
My cousin Katie, my sister Jenni and I at the Hoover Dam
Bourbon Street in New Orleans, right after the Saints won their first Superbowl!
2. My pets. I could never choose just one of them (though yes, I like some more than others, sue me). I love them all; I love Stitch because he's such an asshole to everyone but me, I love Lilo because she's always willing to be cuddled, I love Wendy because she is the best dog ever and makes every day a little happier, I love Ducky because he makes good noises, I love Marmalade because she's the sweetest kitten cat, and I love Rigby for his devotion.
The closest I can get to having all of our animals in one picture, haha. Left to right - Stitch, Lilo, Marmalade, Ducky
3. Cooking/Eating. I put those together for a few reasons. I like eating out just fine, but I honestly love cooking and eating what I've put together far more. I'm a big foodie in general, mostly spawned from working in the restaurant industry for over four years, and there's just something awesome about putting together a meal and eating and enjoying it :) Plus cooking is kind of my "Zen" thing. After a long day at work (and especially after a long, CRAPPY day at work) it feels so good to just come home and lose myself in chopping veggies and layering casseroles and sauteing garlic.

4. Working out. I could have specifically put "running" because that's probably my favorite type of workout, but I really try to have a balanced workout regimen and really any of it makes me feel healthy and better about myself in general. Beyond running, I also do a lot of walking (my dogs go nuts if they aren't walked at least once a day, but I almost always walk them twice a day), rowing and weight lifting, and some yoga. I don't think I could ever give up or forget that high that comes when you've just had a great, make-ya-sweaty kind of workout!

5. Theme parties. I really love throwing them, but I love going to them as well. I love dressing up in silly outfits and cooking themed dishes. And honestly, if you're going to have a "house party" giving it a theme always makes it better ;) Case and point...
Retro Party, November 2008
First annual Kentucky Derby Party, May 2009
Steve's 80s-themed 30th Birthday Party, May 2010
6. Reading. Learning new things. Losing myself in someone else's story. Need I say more?

7. Greenville, South Carolina.  I love, love, love this city. I've mentioned this love before. This is seriously the first place I've ever lived where I am completely happy and content with the thought of living out my days and not moving anywhere else. I mean...I guess if the right opportunity/opportunities presented themselves I would have to consider leaving, but I'd rather not. And for me, that's saying something :)

What do I love about Greenville? The low cost of living. The pretty centralized (for the South) location. Seriously, it's three hours or less from Charleston, Atlanta, Charlotte...it's six hours or less from Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Nashville...and a completely reasonable eight hours from places like Louisville, Washington DC, and Orlando.

And we have a beautiful downtown. We aren't any sort of nightclub capital, but we've got some really great bars and some truly awesome restaurants. There's hiking nearby, a gorgeous park downtown, fun festivals and activities year-round, it's clean, the people are friendly...I could go on and on and on (obviously).
That's me enjoying the falls in our downtown park :)
8. My friends. They're crazy and weird and fun and amazing. They know my silly side, my quirks, my flaws. They travel hundreds of miles to join me on vacations or even just attend random parties at my house. I can call them with funny stories or when I'm just stressed out and need to bitch. They've seen me at my best; they've seen me at my worst. Shit, some of them used to work for me!

I don't have hundreds of them; I don't even have dozens. But I wouldn't give my handful of close friends up for anything.
Bachelorette Party ;)
Drinking Around the World at EPCOT, September 2009
9. Steve. Duh. And I've elaborated on how amazing he is so many times that I don't really need to say much more. Except that maybe I don't really deserve him. Oh, and he deserves major props for staying up late Friday night cleaning after my hungover, exhausted ass had to go to bed. And then going out of his way on Saturday to get me special beer. And then still taking me out to dinner and a movie yesterday. Because he's just the best.

10. My family. And as yesterday was mother's day and I didn't say anything about my mom, especially her.

Every one of us is flawed. We fight, we disagree with each other's actions or inactions. But they're my family and the only ones I'll ever have, and when it comes down to it they really aren't that bad. ;)
This picture is SO 90s Fabulous, right?! (Left to right - Me, my mom, Christy, Jenny, and yeah that's Raphael of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame. Be jealous.
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