Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bon Voyage

Tomorrow we depart for...


and here

and here

and here.

Naturally, I'm not excited at all.

As a side note, we arrive back stateside on 9/11 but were supposed to overnight in NY. I called Delta today to see if we could change our flight so we could get home on Saturday night, and they said it would be $150 per ticket. I totally would've paid it considering our tickets were "free" (i.e., SkyMiles). I said I'd speak with my husband and call back. Something made me get on the website to check our reservation, and I realized I could just change them there. Imagine my very pleasant surprise when I was able to change them for FREE. It should've charged me... I know Delta's policies. So, there must've been a glitch in the system. One glitch I am thankful for.

And, as a completely unrelated side note, I am so proud of my baby sister! She started her dental hygiene program yesterday and found out that there were over 160 applicants for only 30 spots in the program. So, that's awesome in and of itself, but the best part is most of those admitted already had a four year degree or dental/medical background/training. She has completed two years of her studies. Awesome! She's a super star. Between our cousin Danny who wants to be a dentist (or he did... I think he's still going that route) and our cousin Alyse who just finished her dental hygiene program, I think we need to start a family practice! ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

These pictures are OLD, but I was uploading all the pics from our SLR to get it ready for the hundreds of pictures I'm sure we'll be taking on vacation. I ran across pics I took of our garden in full bloom. Now, it's all yucky from our super hot summer, but things are starting to cool down, so hopefully it will perk up a little for fall before everything dies for the winter.

Pretty bird, pretty bird... Polly want a cracker?

Our pathetic little spruce next to the two giants... it gets too much water!

Now that we know how to handle everything, it should look even better next year! Trial and error, my friends... trial and error.

Friday, August 27, 2010


  • It's Friday. YAY.
  • We leave for Greece in T-minus 126 hours, but who's counting?
  • Matt's birthday is on Sunday. I haven't gotten him a card or gift yet. Oops.
  • He got himself a gift last weekend when we were on our way to Florida in the form of a speeding ticket (Super Speeder law in effect... it ain't a pretty number!).
  • When we were out on the boat last weekend, we ran into a pod of bottlenose dolphins. They were jumping and slapping their tail fins on the water and swimming all around the boat. I about died. I didn't jump in because I am pretty sure they were feeding, and I didn't want to be in the middle of that. I loooooooooove dolphins.
  • When I die, I want to be cremated and my ashes to be spread in the ocean with dolphins and on Florida field. ;) Or, donate me to science. Whatever.
  • My mom swam with dolphins in high school... as a job. SO.NOT.FAIR!
  • One of those dolphins tried to mate with her one time. It's true. He cornered her in the pool, but she was able to slowly swim to the surface and have someone drop the fish bucket in to distract him. Check out this link and read the section on reproduction and sexuality.
  • I am so ready for our vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Have I mentioned we're going to Greece and Turkey? ;)
  • xoxo! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Miss Universe Recap

Congratulations to Miss Mexico! She was beautiful and didn't make a mistake the entire night, nor did she the entire time she was in Vegas.

-Natalie Morales rocked it, as usual. She is a great host.
-Bret Michaels... um, not so much. He held the microphone like a singer, which I can forgive since he is a singer. But, he was absolutely horrendous. Couldn't stay on track and sucked at reading the teleprompter.

Musical Guests:
-You had me at John Legend.
-Viva Elvis was pretty dang cool, too.

Top 15 Recap:
-Shocked that USA didn't make it given that MUO picks 6 of the semifinalists. I think it was only the 4th time ever that Miss USA hasn't made the cut. I wonder if that affected ratings. Also fairly shocked that New Zealand didn't make it. Huh when Belgium made it. Cursed when Philippines took the last spot in the top 15.
-Seven Europeans made the cut. Four were immediately eliminated after being four of the most boring contestants to walk the stage in swimsuit. The most unfortunate casualty was Russia, who was just stunning.
-Jamaica and Mexico had the highest scores followed by Philippines and Ireland. I may or may not have drooled every time Ireland graced the stage. She is just stunning.

Top 10:
-Belgium, France, Russia, Czech Republic and Colombia missed the cut with swimsuit scores in the 7s. Scoring was pretty low all night.
-I curse loudly and freqeuntly when Ireland is called first in the top 10. Judges are notorious for grossly underscoring the first few contestants, and grossly underscored she was. 8.548!? Were we watching the same girl? Her EG and performance were perfect.
-Jamaica's gown is embarassing, but I love her and decide I want her to win since it's clear Ireland won't be advancing. Curse again.
-What in God's green earth was Puerto Rico wearing? A beautiful girl who got lost in her gown. This was not the same gown she intended to wear (as evidenced by her video description of the gown), so I'm not sure what happened.
-Australia is adorable, but not facially beautiful enough to be in the top 5, yet she makes it through. I am okay with that, becuase I adore her.
-Philippines. Ugh. I just did not like this girl. Her presentations were fine, but I've mentioned before that I visit pageant message boards, and Filipino fans are voracious!
-Ukraine looks beautiful in her Sherri Hill gown that Morgan Woolard wore for evening gown pictures at Miss USA, but also a little old.
-Mexico is great all night, but is also kind of safe and boring.

Top 5:
-I think about mixing a drink, since Ireland didn't make it. Decide to put my big girl panties on and suck it up.
-Mexico, Jamaica, Australia, Ukraine and Philippines advance.
-Top 5 questions are no dodgeballs, and every girl did well except Philippines. Pageant Patty to the nth degree. Australia gave a great answer about the freedom to choose what you wear, regardless of religion. Jamaica hit the ball out of the park with her answer to the question, "Do you believe the death penalty should be allowed?" or something to that affect. She said that no human has the right to take another's life and only our Creator has that right. Her answer honestly brought tears to my eyes. It was a beautiful answer, whether or not you believe in a higher power, which I do. I don't recall Mexico or Ukraine's answers at the moment, but they were both good.

4th RU - Philippines
3rd RU - Ukraine
2nd RU - Australia
1st RU - Jamaica
Miss Universe 2010 - Mexico

Besides Bret Michaels as the host (who gave that guy a microphone to emcee), the show was great. There were a few technical glitches in the beginning, which I would assume they fixed for the West Coast broadcast. My biggest disappointment was that I didn't see my favorite pageant fans on TV! Several of them were able to attend, and I was thoroughly jealous. But then I reminded myself that I'll be flying to Greece in one week, and I felt much, much better. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Eye

This article is great. A taste of things to come in 8 days? At least that fight for armrest supremacy is with my husband.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Miss Universe

As far as I know, there are no contestants from other planets, let alone other galaxies, so don't ask me why it's called Miss Universe? Ahhh, tonight from 9-11, I will be reveling in the pomp, pageantry and international competition that is Miss Universe. Now, you know I love a good pageant, so I am pretty excited.

Ireland is my favorite for the crown, although I also like Albania, Russia, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. I also expect to see Mexico, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, France, USA, Uruguay and Japan up there. You may think that sounds like a lot, but there is a top 15, so I still have three spots to fill. :) Tune into NBC at 9 Eastern!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Me, Myself and I

I see this a lot in blogland, so I wanted to provide a quick "lesson" along with the trick I use to choose the proper pronoun.

Many people use pronouns incorrectly, especially when using "I" with another pronoun. Here's the rule... take the other party out of the sentence, and figure out which pronoun you would use. For example, "Me and Matt are going to the store." Take out the "and Matt." You wouldn't say, "Me is going the store." You would say, "I am going to the store." So, the proper grammar would be, "Matt and I are going to the store." You always put yourself last. Conversely, "This is a picture of Matt and I," or in captioning a picture, "Matt and I." You would not say, "This is a picture of I." You would say, "This is a picture of me." I'm not going to pretend like I don't trip up sometimes and use "I" when it should be "me," but this is the trick I use when I'm unsure. I think a lot of people use "I" in place of "me" even when "me" is the proper pronoun, because "I" tends to sound more intelligent. So, if you're guilty of this, remember this little rule, and you'll get it right!

This message brought to you by Grammarians Anonymous, a support group for people who know, or think they know, too many rules of grammar.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A few good finds

So, I did a little online shopping last week (and forgot to go through eBates AGAIN... I've failed to do that my last three online purchases... just losing out on cash back) at Kohl's. I don't think I've ever purchased any clothes from Kohl's before, but Jenn was playing "What Not to Wear" with her sister and forwarded me the e-mail. It had some items from Kohl's, so I started perusing. I found a few cute things at very good prices, so I made my purchase. I was VERY pleasantly surprised when my order arrived.

Elle (TM) Dot Mixed-Media Dress

Please pardon my lack of skills in the self-picture-taking department. I guess I'm just not very emo. This dress is ADORABLE! It was on sale for $32.99 when I purchased it, but it is definitely worth it's current price of $41.99. It does not look cheap nor does it feel like it's cheaply made. I ordered a small, and it fits perfectly. I'm pretty busty and it fits fine, but someone with a smaller chest can definitely wear this, so long as you have something in that region to fill it out. It's a great dress for a party, event or going out. Matt has a meeting today here in A-town, so he came home last night and we went to a "foodie" event called To Live and Dine in Atlanta, and I wore this and was very comfortable. (Side note: we had a great time and totally pigged out.)

Elle (TM) Assymetrical Ruffled Dress

I'm not able to save a picture of this dress to upload, so go check it out. This is another very cute dress. I ordered it in a small and it fits well. The fabric sort of feels like parachute material, if that makes sense. It has no stretch or give, but the top and waist of the dress are elastic, providing stretch. This is a dress that can easily be dressed up for a nicer dinner or event or dressed down for a casual day. It seems to be well made, but the fabric is a bit odd and the dress arrived quite wrinkled. I think hanging it near a steamy shower will eliminate the wrinkles, but I'm not sure this dress would take an iron very well. Provided I can remove the wrinkles, I am keeping it.

LC Lauren Conrad-Chiffon Trim Cardigan

Also couldn't save a picture of this one. This is a cute cardigan that could be dressed up for work or thrown over a tank and skinny jeans or leggings for a more casual look. The material is nice and the chiffon trim adds a feminine touch. I purchased it in the ash taupe color for $29.99 and will definitely be keeping it in anticipation of fall weather (which, by the way, I am coveting!).

Simply Vera Vera Wang Geometric Skirt

If I would've paid better attention to the description of this one, I wouldn't have ordered it. To me, this seems like a casual skirt that you'd wear with a tank top tucked in and cute sandals, and with that, I'd expected it to be just a little bit shorter. At approximately 20" in length, this skirt was knee-length on me. I ordered it in a small, and it was much too big... so much so, that I'm not sure if an XS would even fit. I did consider exchanging it for an XS and having the skirt shortened a tad, but I think I will just return it. It is cute, but just not what I was looking for.

Simply Vera Vera Wang Splatter Mixed Media Dress

Another very ill fitting item from Vera Wang. I think she has some major vanity sizing going on in this line, because I definitely should not be an XS. This actually fit me pretty well up top (as in the chest) but failed elsewhere. The drop waist was much too long for my short torso and the waist was just too big. There was a lot of bunching when I pulled the drawstring to fit the dress to my waist, and the side pockets flared out and looked rather odd. I would say this dress would be cute on someone tall and thin, but I don't think anyone much smaller than me could fit into the XS based on how the S fit me (meaning, it'd be much too large).

Since I live in the city, I don't have a Kohl's nearby and don't visit this store very often. I thought I'd share my experience, since I did find a few very cute items at very reasonable prices! Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How does that work?

So, if you know me on a personal level, you will quickly learn that I am the queen of TMI... I don't have the best filter or a whole lot of shame when I'm around someone I feel comfortable with. So, when two of my good friends had babies (the "normal" way, not the c-section way) within a week of each other and I went to see them, I couldn't help but sort of position the baby between my legs and marvel at the amazingness of the woman's body. I mean, seriously, these were not big babies (~7 lbers), but HOW do we do that? Yes, I've had the birds and bees talk, and I know more about pregnancy and birth (and the human body in general) than most, but still... how again?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Worthy Read

Mayor Bloomberg's speech given today from Governor's Island, standing amongst leaders from various religions. This is the best argument I've heard regarding the Islamic mosque and community center near Ground Zero. I mean, it's not like they're trying to build this in the heart of the WTC sites... it's a couple blocks away. But, either way, he makes excellent points.

“We've come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that more than 250 years later would greet millions of immigrants in this harbor. And we come here to state as strongly as ever, this is the freest city in the world. That's what makes New York special and different and strong.
“Our doors are open to everyone. Everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it's sustained by immigrants -- by people from more than 100 different countries speaking more than 200 different languages and professing every faith. And whether your parents were born here or you came here yesterday, you are a New Yorker.
“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life. And it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.
“On that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didn't want us to enjoy the freedoms to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams, and to live our own lives. Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish. And it is a freedom that even here -- in a city that is rooted in Dutch tolerance -- was hard-won over many years.
“In the mid-1650s, the small Jewish community living in lower Manhattan petitioned Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant for the right to build a synagogue, and they were turned down. In 1657, when Stuyvesant also prohibited Quakers from holding meetings, a group of non-Quakers in Queens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition in defense of the right of Quakers and others to freely practice their religion. It was perhaps the first formal political petition for religious freedom in the American colonies, and the organizer was thrown in jail and then banished from New Amsterdam.
“In the 1700s, even as religious freedom took hold in America, Catholics in New York were effectively prohibited from practicing their religion, and priests could be arrested. Largely as a result, the first Catholic parish in New York City was not established until the 1780s, St. Peter's on Barclay Street, which still stands just one block north of the World Trade Center site, and one block south of the proposed mosque and community center.
“This morning, the city's Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted to extend -- not to extend -- landmark status to the building on Park Place where the mosque and community center are planned. The decision was based solely on the fact that there was little architectural significance to the building. But with or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building.
“The simple fact is, this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship, and the government has no right whatsoever to deny that right. And if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.
“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.
“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.
"For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.
"On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, 'What God do you pray to?' (Bloomberg's voice cracks here a little as he gets choked up.) 'What beliefs do you hold?'
"The attack was an act of war, and our first responders defended not only our city, but our country and our constitution. We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.
"Of course, it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation, and in fact their plan envisions reaching beyond their walls and building an interfaith community. But doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our city even closer together, and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any ways consistent with Islam.
"Muslims are as much a part of our city and our country as the people of any faith. And they are as welcome to worship in lower Manhattan as any other group. In fact, they have been worshipping at the site for better, the better part of a year, as is their right. The local community board in lower Manhattan voted overwhelmingly to support the proposal. And if it moves forward, I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire city.
"Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest."

Monday, August 2, 2010


Someone has a case of the Mondays, and by someone, I mean me. When is naptime?

In positive news, T-minus 30 days until we leave for Greece and Turkey! We've booked everything save our ferries and our room in Santorini (waiting to hear back from our top choice). I.CANNOT.WAIT! But, I will (don't have much choice, huh?).